Color Grading


Advanced Adobe® Photoshop® Techniques


Lesson Info

Color Grading

let's look at some other examples of more dramatic color adjustments that we need to make now um let's see I can do this so just as an aside that's going to be important in this particular case it looks like on the monitor okay it looks pretty much the same if you've ever had a situation where you're working on a project and you want to feel like you want to show someone before and after version two to show the difference I am of the opinion that the best thing you can do is to do a slight variation on that and show on after and then before if you show the before photo first no matter how good a job you've done people's eyes tend to notice the difference ago oh you fix that my philosophy is if I show on after photograph of say reach they have done retouching on someone's face and I show you know here's the after and they go oh what's wrong with his eye that's bad that means I haven't done a very good job there noticing something so in a case like this here is the after photo of a a job...

that I was trying to touch up a little bit to make fix of very distracting problem on this photograph and I'll show you now what the original looked like it was this and have a big shadow hanging over the edge which it was okay but it wasn't interesting shadow it wasn't necessary which is that was the time of day I was there this is a part of tampa where let's just say you wouldn't want to drive back there later in the evening to take a photograph of this spot because if you probably would not be very safe to do so so I leapt out of my car took this photo one okay good figure I'll fix that later on so I want to be able to try and fix this in a way that's going to look better but not just a matter of me going well let's just do a quick little fix now with some of today's new technologies maybe some parts of this I could fix with content aware type stuff content where phil possibly the problem with content where phil of course is it does a lot of guessing randomly says all use this area so there's a good possibility it might use the top of the door to try and replace it which might not work out as well just to give you an idea I'll just do a quick little test to see what happens if I try and use my quick selection to um make sure I'm on the correct layer so I'm just trying to get this little part of the shadow just to see if it's even remotely worth working so I'm gonna use the patch tool of any of the retouching tools I like the patch tool the best because this is the one where you can still use content aware technology but now I'm deciding from where it should patch as opposed to content where phil driscoll's all used that and it uses some pixels so now I can drag to a place that I think would be a good fix and it start to do it overall it's not bad but you're gonna have a little bit of a border there so we might ultimately incorporate some of this into our way of working but I'm gonna try and do it in a way that's a little more technical in terms of getting color information so I'm not relying exclusively on my eyeballs so let's select this whole big shadow just to make sure I have everything I'm going to expand this selection by like one pixel just to make sure I'll tell you right up front no matter what I do there will tend to be a little border between the part I'm fixing and the existing which will address separately okay so here's how we go through this procedure we take the color sampler tool and you click once in some spot that's representive of the shadow so like up here and then nearby in the part that doesn't have the shadow so what I'm doing is marking to say this is the part I'm trying to fix this is the color I'm trying to get it too so when I look at the info palate for example if we look at the red channel it's saying red is ninety two it should be one seventy one so those these are the values that are currently so number one is what I'm trying to fix so that's what it currently is this is what it should be so if these numbers were exact it would be green would be one seventy and blue would be one fifty to so sometimes we have to tell photoshopped take those colors up there that are currently ninety two ninety seventy six and changed them to these values and we do that using curves but we're going to and because I made a selection first it will on ly adjust the selected area because as we hopefully remember when you have a selection and then use a function like that just automatically makes a mask for you based on that selection so we go and get a curves adjustment lair and there's a slight trick to this to make it work I need to somehow use that point and tell photo shop on the curves to make use of that so the way I have to do that is click once on this little uh targeted adjustment tool gizmo some but anything that has to be on whatever its official name is and when you do that you automatically get a little eyedropper I'm gonna hold down command and shift and click right on that eye dropper now first it doesn't look like anything's happened but if I now look inside curse and go to the red channel you will see there is a point and it's ninety to hear it said ninety sorry ninety five and ninety so I was must have been off by a pixel or so for our purposes that should be okay so when you look at the curves and the bottom you see input output from our purposes input is shadow output is what it's supposed to be so that's how we have to look at it to say this is the current color for red is ninety two it's supposed to be uh one seventy one so I go in here and I type one seven one now let me pause once again and say this is another one of these cases where it will look worse before it looks better because right now all I've edited is the red information so you're like well that's way too much red so now we go to the green channel and look at those numbers it's ninety two some on the wrong point sorry go one seventy so we go to one seventy and then blue is supposed to be one fifty two now this is the hard part ignore the blinding white border between the two of them which is easy to say but hard to dio and look and see the colors actually are pretty close it looks to me like it's a slight bit off but let's try and see if we can help with that a little bit so I'm going to try one thing first haven't tried this done this technique in a while with this photo but let's see since I have a mask and now there's this properties panel with mask edge might be just to see if we can tweak it a little further just using that radius lighter how that's helping looks pretty good right there I think I'll start doing it that way all the time now in the past I would I'll show you what I would have done anyway but this is something that's worth trying you may find it didn't doesn't really work for you but because it's just a dialog box you can only see what happens if I try this well that's going to help or not to me that looks actually pretty good I'm gonna cancel it to show you what I used to do before realizing that was an option is that at a blank layer and take a tool like the spot healing brush and to make sure it says content aware sample all layers and then come along but this is a manual process of me going all around the outside of this and trying to get rid of any noticeable border between the two of them so the good news is we have a couple of options available to us if you could do that masks panel and properties and have it all fixed right away then that's not a bad deal at all to be able to do that I still feel like that color's a little off just because of the I was off by thinking like a pixel or so the other thing we have to remember is that was quite a dark shadow and now we've brightened quite a bit so one of things that we made notice if we looked more closely is part of the problem is there's no real texture to it anymore because you can't see it as much so sometimes it's just a matter of single maybe I need to try and introduce a bit more texture into that area so we might decide to load that selection come back to this area and just duplicate it so it's on a layer by itself and let's make that a smart filter yes thank you very much and then try and introduce a bit of texture to it so the unfortunate part of this is we have to kind of do it in a couple of steps because you can't see it in the context of the photograph so right now it's texturizing and it's really dark that's because it's goingto still be affected by that adjustment so I may have to go back and forth a bit and go okay well that's way too much so now let's pull this back a little bit I want to be subtle amount of texture that's still a little too much let's lower the capacity and this is definitely eyeballing it I'm just trying to introduce a little bit of texture so it looks mohr similar now in this case because it's a bit of a difference on the screen my screens a little more yellow is the top part looks a little more yellow wish to me than the bottom parts I might also consider taking the same mask and adding another adjustment here this one just doing a very slight adjustment of hugh and this is where it's eyeballing it a bit more to try and make it look a little better so it matches if there's some glaring areas like this part right here is the one that sticks out to me the most where just doesn't look as nice as I'd want then I would definitely consider going back to the patch tool saying you know by the time I play around forever with a different setting I couldjust used probably use the patch tool and have it fixed in very short order so there any glaring areas where it just looked doesn't look quite the way you want that's how we can try to adjust it now in theory you can use this concept for anything where there's colors that are similar but need to be adjusted for example I've seen people use this where someone has really bad sunburn and it's very noticeable when they're wearing their wedding dress or something that in theory you could use this color sample to say this is the color of her skin and this is the color of the the sunburn and adjust them to get closer and then do some tweaking on top of that so it's a way to help us try to get the colors on a closer match to the way that they should be let me show you another similar kind of example of the same thing so here's another example this was the original photo had a really big strong shadow which I just I decided I didn't like so I was trying to make it look like there wasn't such a big shadow and it's a combination of a couple of things there's a little bit of ah texture going on there's curves and then there's just a bit of patching and healing to try and see there was initially a little obvious line there let me show you one aspect of this that I did that I felt help because when I just initially did that same taking on bother going through with that curves of justin they're using adjusting the colors you can see that by high this for a second the colors look like the right shade but it's completely lost all of this stucco side that's on there so I want to get that back so one of things that will touch on a little bit further in the next segment but one of the things that's always been around a photo shop and it's always good to kind of keep in your back pocket as a technique to help you in this case I don't think using just a filter that says texture is gonna work is not going to be this texture is going to be some arbitrary one so if I take my selection tool I'm gonna select as much of this as I can without getting any of the shadow and then I go to the edit menu and shoes whips he said edit menu and shoes define pattern now when you define a pattern you have to think of this as if we just were retiring our kitchen floor and you have those little square tiles and you line them up together and ideally you match up the pattern so that there's no noticeable lines in them so here there's going to be some noticeable lines but we might be okay with it because of the circumstances in the next segment I'll show you how we can try and make a pattern that doesn't have those obvious seems so I already have a selection here from before when I was doing the curves adjustment layer commander control click on that toe loaded this selection and then let's go to uh see which way should we do it we can use an adjustment layer so we can tweak it there is an adjustment here called pattern which allows you to pick whatever pattern you've created and it's just going to do it straight like floor tile so there will be noticeable seems here and there the one advantage we have in here is we could potentially scale it a little bit smaller although in that case that's probably not going to help us a whole lot quick okay and now you can see there's a little more of a pattern but because we've added this in this color now the effect of the curves is almost too much so if I turn that courage just fire off now it actually the colors look pretty good but then we've got all these noticeable seam line so you may find that the solution this case is just to not use the curves just mayor and do some cloning patching healing on these areas to try and randomize it doesn't look quite so obvious I tend to still put a bit of the curves near but maybe lower the opacity and I'm just eyeballing it so that have to keep looking at the monarch is for me it's a little different on my screen so at least the colors are fairly close together and then add ah layer on top with that little bit of patching are healing so anytime you have a heavy texture in there and you're worried that when you adjust the colors it still doesn't look right because the texture isn't there defining a pattern out of the existing texture can be interesting and we'll talk about some ways next segment about how weaken again try and get rid of that seam on the pattern also somewhat randomize it in the way that we use it so that's another way that we can kind of help our cause when we have a bit of a challenge now here's a funk since actually been around in photo shop for a while I haven't really use it that much recently because I tend to do everything in camera raw but this is an interesting option that I'll tell you up front that it's how should I say this in a nice polite way sometimes it will work quite nicely other times I look at and go really that's your idea of matching colors is it so I kind of forgotten about this honestly and then someone asked me questions that I was watching the other creative life classes and I notice you didn't mention match color when you were talking about color adjusting kind of thing is I was kind of like a good point I haven't talked about that in a while because I've rarely used it but the theory of it is I really like when I took this photo something I did with my settings I really like those colors that's the kind of vibrancy that I want and I wish this one looked the same well said of me trying to figure out at some adjustment layer and say try to somehow adjust some sliders of the saturation looks the same in an ideal world I would say well let's just match the colors of this document to that other one and there actually is an option called exactly that match color the on ly things about that I'm not a huge fan and probably the reason I stopped using it is because there is no option to do it as a smart filter adjust malaria etcetera it's just kind of a here you go so that's one of the reasons I think that I'm hesitant to use it now course if you plan it careful not you can always undo and do it that way but the idea of match color is this it brings up this dialog box and you basically say I what is the destined this is the image I'm working on what one day I want to use is my source you have to have both images open and I say the other one is this one and right away as soon as I click it you see already the colors are closer now it's a little intense to me so I might pull it back here a little bit or maybe just fade someone so this is the eyeball impart a little bit but you can see if you look at the difference it really has got quite a bit closer I feel like overall it's at a bit of yellow because the clouds look a little yellowish so that's that's one of the reasons why you still have to kind of play with us a little bit I might push the luminous up a little bit more or use this match color as a way to say get me very close to the intensity of colors like saturation and then if I notice there's a bit of a color cast in something else like the clouds used one of our other methods try and take that away a little bit so it's interesting I threw it in there because some people asked about it I don't use it ah whole lot the other way and if you getting more into the sort of creative side of just saying let me try using other colors that just to see what happens you can be very specific and say for example in here I'm gonna just select one little area and now one in this document when I choose match color I can go to the other document and say use the selection and see in this case it does a wonderful job of just saying will make everything really yellowish that's because I haven't set way too high but if you want to do like a bit of a overall color tony so needless to say you wouldn't typically just select a little kind of yellow part because that's all it's going to happen to make it really yellowish but just to illustrate the fact that you can in fact select just a portion of the photographs will say you had a photo that the buildings were the correct color but the sky was off you might try and see what happens if you made a selection of the building's first again I would quickly at I personally find I'm not using match color anywhere near I used to when it first came out because it doesn't have any of those nice non destructive things that I like but I want a least show that this is a new option that's available

Class Description

There is always a better way to edit in Adobe® Photoshop® – learn new, advanced techniques from expert instructor Dave Cross and develop a faster, more effective post-production process.

In Advanced Adobe® Photoshop® Techniques, Dave will introduce you to a wealth of little-known and under-utilized techniques that you can use to make your photographs really pop. You’ll learn learn new ways to work with:

  • Layers and masks
  • Composites
  • Type
  • Camera Raw
  • Color grading

Dave will show you how to speed up your work with luminosity masks and how to be more creative using the Blend If sliders. You’ll see how non-destructive methods – including smart objects, adjustment layers, vector shapes and smart filters – can boost both productivity and creativity. You’ll also get lots of great tips on automating your work.

Open up a world of creative possibilities – join Dave Cross for Advanced Adobe® Photoshop® Techniques.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 15.0