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Color Neural Filters

Lesson 4 from: Photoshop AI: Getting Started with Neural Filters

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

4. Color Neural Filters

Transfer the overall color and mood of one image to another or add color to a black & white image with these powerful Neural filters.

Lesson Info

Color Neural Filters

(upbeat music) There are three filters that are grouped into a section of neural filters known as the color neural filters. Let's take a look at what each one does. They're gonna allow you to either transfer the color, the general look of one image to another, or they're gonna allow you to colorize something that didn't have color to begin with. So here's how they work. In this image I have two layers. This is the base image, and then I wanted to add something to this environment so I have another layer with another image in it. That image has been masked and it has a layer mask here to limit where it appears. But the problem is if you look at the brightest portion of this layer that I'm adding, it doesn't really look like the background image, nor does it have any of the kind of warm feeling of it. Well, that's what one of our neural filters is designed for. If you have an element that you want to add to another environment, it's designed to make it harmonize a little better with it...

s new environment. So what I'm gonna do is have this top layer active and I'm gonna choose filter, neural filters. And we'll go for the first neural filter in this section called color and it's called harmonization. All I'm gonna do is turn it on and then I need to tell it what reference image would I like it to be compared to and harmonize with. And if I click here, it's just gonna give me a list of all the layers that are found in this document. And there's only one other layer. So I'll choose the background here. And then you'll notice it starts changing the image and it brought down the highlights a little bit. But then we have a lot of adjustments we can do here. I'm gonna bring the strength up, I'll bring it all the way up. So it's going to really think it should make this more closely match the contrast of what's in the background. But even in doing so, it didn't seem to give me the color that I need. So down here you have ways you can fine-tune the results. Let's say I want this to be a bit more yellow. Well, I drag this towards yellow, take it just a moment to update. And now it has a warmer feeling. Maybe a little bit more towards red and possibly magenta too. And after I've done that, I think I can push it even further towards yellow. And then I can adjust the saturation if I need it to be more colorful or reduce it to be less and I can brighten or darken. In this case, I'm gonna see what darkening does. And if you wanna see before and after, remember the icon just to the right of the edge of the picture. If you turn it off, there's my original. Didn't look like it belonged at all. Here's my end result. I'm not saying it's the best harmonization here, but it does look a lot closer to the warm feeling that we have in the other image. It really depends on the subject matter you have in both the layer you're working on and the layer behind it. Sometimes you'd be more amazed with the transformation it makes and other times you really need to be able to tweak these sliders to fine-tune the results. Let's close this image and move on to another. Now what I'd like to do is take the overall color feeling of one image and apply it to another. To do so I go up here to neural filters and I'm gonna use a choice called color transfer. When we turn that on, first, it gives us some sample images up here. If I were to click on one of these, like this one that has purples and pinks and just a hint of white, it would make the overall color within my image take on that general look. And I can go through all these presets that they have, but you only have here a total of nine and you might not find one that is appropriate for what you need. So instead, there's a choice on the right called custom. And if I click there, you could either choose from the documents that you currently have open by clicking on this menu. This will list all the documents you currently have open. Or if instead you'd like to access a document that's on your hard drive somewhere else and not open in Photoshop, click the folder icon. And then here I have a style I'd like to match. If I hit the spacebar, I'll get a preview. This image has just kind of a faded dull look with more pastel colors. And I'm going to use that image and we'll see what it does to this one. Suddenly you notice it has a more dull, faded look and a little bit more towards pastel colors, but we do have some control over the result. First, there's a pop-up menu here called color space. Most of the time I have it set to LAB because it gives me the most control. If you look, we have a total of five sliders here when I'm in LAB mode. If I change this to RGB, it will make the result look different. But I'll only have three sliders to control what we end up with. And those three sliders are the same ones found in the hue and saturation adjustment. So I could do a lot of that after applying the filter. But most of the time I find I like to use the choice called LAB mode because then we have more control. When you look at this, you might notice that the darkest portion of this image, it used to be black and now it's looks hazy. Well, if I would like to get closer to the original brightness of the image, that's what this luminance slider is for. If I lower it, we're gonna get closer to the original brightness and therefore the dark part of the image, you'll probably find getting darker and darker. And if I bring it all the way down, the darkest area should be near black, if I had near black in the original picture. Or I could bring this higher and say that I don't care about the overall brightness of the original and I can deviate from it. So you can fine-tune that. You also have a preserve luminance checkbox. If you turn it on, then you'll go all the way back to the original brightness of the image and then it'll just be applying to the colors within the picture. Sometimes that's preferable and other times if you want more of the look of your other image, what you'll end up doing is leaving that off and instead playing with the luminance slider. Although oftentimes I end up making additional changes after I apply the filter, that might help me to bring back some of the original brightness range in the image and I'll show you how to do that. Then we have another slider here called color strength. And if I bring that down, you're gonna see more of the original colors from the image coming through. And if I bring it higher, it is willing to deviate from the original colors a lot more. And then finally we can fine-tune the overall saturation, which means how colorful the results are, either bringing it higher or making it lower. If you brought saturation all the way down, you'd end up with a black and white image and then the hue will allow you to shift all the colors in your image, but in somewhat weird ways. So this is usually useful for a slight adjustment and not for wild swings. And then if the image appears to be a little too bright or dark, you can fine-tune the brightness with the brightness slider. I'm gonna tell it to apply this to a new layer. So we have the original image and a new one, click okay. And what I'd like to do is get the dark portions of this original image that is currently underneath to show through. So the first thing I'm gonna do is take the background that's here. I'm gonna unlock it by clicking the lock symbol and I'm gonna put it on top. Then I'm gonna tell it to take the brightness of this and apply it to what's underneath. I can do that by changing this menu to a choice called luminosity. And now in general I have the look of that checkbox we had that was called preserved luminosity. But I wanna get this only in the dark portions of the image. Well if I want just this lessened overall, I could lower the opacity here to allow some of the more faded appearance to come back. But I want to mainly leave the dark portion looking like this and allow that more faded look into the bright areas. How do I do that? Well, I can go to two places. One is the letters FX and choose blending options. That's going to bring up these controls. Or an alternative way to get to the exact same controls is to go to your layer and double click not on the picture, not on the name, but to the right of the name. If you double click in this area, it will bring up the same screen of options. In here, I can say let's take the current layer and I can tell it to hide the dark stuff here and reveal what's on the layer underneath. Or in this case I wanna hide the bright stuff. So I'm gonna pull this over and it's gonna start hiding the bright areas of the picture and revealing the version that's underneath. If you wanna see a better look of this, lemme click cancel and hide that version that's underneath. So you just see the original picture here and I'll double click to the right of the name. And if I pull this in, you just see the bright areas of this layer starting to disappear. And the only problem with that is it creates an abrupt transition where the image suddenly becomes visible. To get a gradual transition you take this slider, you hold on the option key, alt on windows and then you can split it apart and that gives you a soft gradual transition into the areas that will be visible. So lemme click cancel here 'cause I want to turn on that layer that's underneath. And lemme remind you what we have set up in our layers panel. On the bottom is the result of that filter and it's kind of the faded look from the other image. On top of that is the original picture, but it's in luminosity mode, which means ignore the colors that are there, only apply the brightness of this to the colors that are underneath. So when I turn it on, we get that contrast back. Then I'm gonna double click to the right of the name and now let's make those bright areas disappear to reveal that dull looking image that's underneath. Let's hold the option key and spread this apart to allow that to happen in the bright area of the picture. And then we can fine-tune the position of these sliders if we'd like. I'll click okay and now let's see what that layer is doing. I'll simply turn off its eyeball. Here's before, where it looked too dull everywhere and here's after, where some of that dark area came in. And if it's too much, all I need to do is lower the opacity of this layer. I can bring it all the way down by dragging on the word opacity towards the left and then slowly drag back until I get just the right density I would like in the dark part of the picture. If you want the bright areas to be as bright as the original as well and you only want that kind of dull feeling more in the middle, you can go back into this and I pulled in the sliders from the right side. You could also pull in the sliders from the left and then have that work as well. Let's switch to another image. And in general what I usually use this for is to try to simulate the look of a movie. What I'll do is I'll Google the name of a movie I like that has a certain visual feel to it. And then when I want that same visual feel applied to one of my images is when I go to neural filters, I end up using the choice called color transfer. I head over to the choice called custom and either tell it about the image if it's already open, just choose it from this menu or hit the folder icon and then choose a sample from that particular movie. And so this image has a darker feeling to it, a much more yellow feeling to it and it's a feeling of some movies. Well I can come in here if I need my luminance to be closer to the original, I can always lower that. This only has so much you can do though. So if you really want the original color, turn on that preserve luminance check box. Although I personally find I like to make the changes afterwards 'cause I have more control. And then we can decide how much can it change the colors. Do we want to change it less or more? As long as I tell it I want it in a new layer, I can click okay. And then the original image is underneath, just unlock that sucker, drag it up on top. And now if you want to blend it with the original, just lower the opacity of that top layer and maybe I want it somewhere about like that to get a mix of the original colors from the image and the influence of that other image I was trying to do a color transfer from. This is also useful if you have a black and white picture and you want to be able to tint it and you found a reference photograph you like. Well just take your black and white image, the only thing you have to make sure is that up here it is in RBG mode and not grayscale. And then you could apply this filter and just feed it another grayscale image that has a tinted feeling, you know, maybe a warm or a cool toned black and white. Now there's one other neural filter in the color category and that is one that is designed to colorize a picture. So I thought I'd start off by having a color picture so you get an idea of what the colors are supposed to look like. I'll come in here and with an adjustment, I'll choose desaturate, which will pull all that color out. So the filter has no idea what the original colors are supposed to look like. Then I'll come up here and choose neural filters and I'm gonna choose the choice right here called colorize, turn on that checkbox. Then there is a choice right here called auto color image and that's what causes it to try to colorize that automatically. And the main thing I dislike about it is the look of the mountains. They're the same color as the blue sky. Well you have influence over the end result. If you look at this small preview image in the upper right that shows you your original picture. And what I can do is move my mouse on top of that and click. And when I do, I'm telling it, I wanna manually add a color there and in this area I can choose the color I'd like. I think I'm gonna go in here and go for kind of a orangish red. And let's see, maybe somewhere in this general time or this general color, I'll click okay. And then you'll see over here in my results we now have that more warm look. And then I can take the little dot that you now see on the black and white preview on the upper right and you can see the one dot where I've added color. Well if I wanna add the same color in other areas, I hold down the option key, that's alt in windows, and that means drag a copy of this. If I don't hold down the option key, it just means move it. So if I move it over here and let go, it repositions it. But if I hold option, I move a copy. And so I'm gonna do that a few times to spread that color across these mountains. I'm also going to bring it over here to the little mountain peak between the trees so I can get it in there. And there's one other spot between these trees, but that might be too small for me to get with this. We'll find out. Yeah, it affected the trees a little bit, so I'll choose undo. Then I could go into any one of these and if I click on it right here is the actual color that I've chosen and there's also a strength slider. I think it's a little too strong, so I'm gonna bring this down. I probably should have done that before I started duplicating these because each one of these can independently have a different strength and even a different color. So you probably want to fine-tune it first before you start making a bunch of duplicates. Then if I look at the reflection of the mountains in the water, there I also see a green color in this case. So I'm gonna take one of the colors applied to the mountains. I'll hold on the option key to move a copy and I'm gonna drag it down here. And within that black and white preview to tell it to apply to a portion of the mountains. I'll drag a copy over this way and another copy over that way to try to make sure that it gets the majority of the mountains and that I can fine-tune the position of these if need be to see if I can get that to look acceptable. Then I notice there's not enough blue in the left side of the sky, so I'll click within my preview on the left side of the sky. And then here I can choose the color. So I'll click on the color and I wish I could click on my image to choose a color, but it doesn't allow me to. So instead I'll have to kind of guesstimate what that color would be. Thinking somewhere possibly in that range. Click okay and we'll see what it looks like. I don't think it's too bad. I can always bring the strength up to get it to apply a little more to that area of the sky. So anyway, this is what it's designed for. It will automatically figure out different areas. If it recognizes trees, it'll make them green, sky will make it blue and so on. But you can control it here. And at any time you can get rid of one of these dots. If you really messed up on one, you'll see a remove button here where I believe you could hit the delete key to remove the one that is currently active. Then down here we have some controls. We have saturation. If it is too colorful we can bring that down or not colorful enough and we can bring it up. If it needs to overall go more towards a cyanish color or red, we can do so. I kinda like it as I push it a little bit towards red. It feels like a little bit like a faded old photo. Or we can go towards green or towards magenta. And I'm actually liking some of that old faded photo look there. And I can go towards blue or towards yellow. And I'm liking a little bit of the yellow. A lot of black and white photographs are old and noisy. You can try to do some noise reduction and if you notice some color artifacting you can also bring this up. But overall that's what you can do. Up here there is a choice called profile and it looks like they have a bunch of styles within this menu. I have found though that this particular choice, where you also have the profile strength slider, hasn't really done much to the images that I've used, but I think part of that is when I use this, oftentimes I get this error message up here that the filter becomes disabled because of some sort of an error. And I'm not sure why it is. If I set this to none, the error goes away. So W might need to do more work on that particular feature before it becomes useful. Then when you're done with this, you have your normal options down here for if you wanted a new layer or it applied directly to the original. But there is another option down here called output as new color layer. Let's work on a different image to figure out when that's useful. So I'm actually gonna click cancel here and let's switch to this image. This is a true black and white scan, an old photo. First thing I wanna do with with black and whites, is make sure we're not in grayscale mode, that we're in color, otherwise we obviously can't add color. And then let's go over here to our neural filter. Let's turn on colorize. And you notice how it did okay with some areas, but it did terrible with others. And in here we could manually tell it we want to have add colors like over here where the sky is. But then I'd have to pick this color and you remember it doesn't let me click within the image to choose a color. And so it'd be a little bit of a pain. So what I'm gonna do here is I'm going to just tell it down here to output as new color layer. When I do, it'll change the appearance of this to show me what the color layer would look like. And that is just the colors that have been applied without any brightness. I'm gonna click okay, it's gonna be put on a new layer and this is our end result. Our end result looks the same as it did when we were in the filter, but if you look in our layers panel, it's made out of two layers. The original photograph is underneath and the color changes are sitting here on top. Now let's look at how we could fine tune the results. Well, what I would do is come in here and grab my paintbrush tool. I'd make sure my opacity and flow are 100% and I'd get a smaller brush. Then if there's an area where I do like the color, let's say for the sky, I like this color that's over here. Well, when you're in the paintbrush tool, there's a way to sample the color that's underneath your brush. You do that by holding down the option key, alt on windows. For the length of time you have that key held down, your mouse turns into an eyedropper. Watch my foreground color on the left side of my screen when I hold down the option key, as I'm doing right now, and I click. I just changed my foreground color to whatever color I clicked on and now I can come over here and paint where that sky is. And over here I can get it to be consistent across that whole sky. I don't like that the color of the sky kind of applied down here. And so let's just look around the image and see if there's an area where I like the overall color of the sand. And I'm thinking this is too much here, but maybe something about in here where it's a little less strong. So I'm gonna hold on the option key and click right about there. And now I'm painting with that color. And all I'm gonna do is paint it up this way and try to change the color that we found in that beach. Now sometimes it can be useful to use selection tools because there's the object selection tool, which can try to select particular objects in an image and then you could just use fill. But I'm feeling like painting right now, so I'm gonna do some painting like that. When it comes to her, I think her face is too colorful and I think that I like the color more down here by her feet or maybe right in this area. So I'm gonna hold down the option key once again and I'm gonna sample the color I like. Let's say it's that shade. Then I can paint on her. And all I'm doing is replacing the color that is here. It looks like that isn't colorful enough. So I'll choose undo and I'll instead grab the color from there and we'll apply that. Now when we do this though, it will not be able to change the brightness of the area where we're applying the color. It can only change the color itself. And so you're gonna have mixed results depending on what you're attempting to accomplish. But I think in this case I'm able to get it so it's not overly colorful like it was before. Here I see the legs look fine, but it looks like they lost all their tan on their shoulders. So I'll option click on the legs to grab the color. I'll get a small brush so I don't get overspray onto the sand and other areas and we'll paint that in. Remember this is not gonna be able to change the brightness. So if I attempted to paint here on this person, they're not suddenly gonna get tan. We would have to do a separate adjustment of brightness first, then do this in order to get a nice tan look because that would need to be darker. Up here where the building is, I don't like that this awning here goes from a vivid red to a mellow red. I kinda like this more mellow look. So I'm gonna copy from there by option clicking and let's just put that across this area. I went here beyond the edge and I don't want to, so I could just choose undo and redo that or I could use the eraser tool because I don't think there was any color that's out there. For me, I'll just type command Z and then redo this little area and just not go beyond the edge. There we go. Now the right side of the sand here is lacking color. So I could choose an area from here and then come in and paint it in to the other portion of the beach. So it's not that I'm really doing everything manually here. I am fine-tuning these results quite a bit. But I started with that filter, it gave me the overall colors in here and then I'm just fine-tuning it. When we get to talking about tips and tricks, which is the last section of this class. I'll show you how to make your colorizations look more natural. So we'll come back to this or a similar image, but then let's see how this filter can be used for a different purpose. Sometimes I have a color photograph and I just don't like the way the color is rendered. In this case it's a picture of my wife taking a photo out a window and some of the warm light from outside fell on her hand, her neck, and other areas. And it just didn't mix well with the rest of the light that was there. And so I dislike the overall look of the light. So I'll go up to the filter menu, I'll go to my neural filters. And it's not that this is a black and white image, but you can feed it a color picture. And when you choose colorize, it simply discards all the color and puts in its own colors. And then it seems to have picked a much more consistent color for the skin. And in here I can try to fine-tune that color. I think I might want it to be a little bit more towards yellows than what it was giving me. And I also might want it to be a little bit less colorful, so not so much color coming into the skin. But somewhere in this general range, I think I'm liking the color overall. Then I could attempt to get it to not add color to my wife's camera. I can do that by just coming up to the preview in the upper right, clicking on her camera lens, and in here just choosing black. That should remove any color that's being added. And if it's not very effective, I might need to hold down the option key and drag it somewhere else. But if I truly need it to not have color, I need to have the strength turned all the way up. And so let's see if I can go to these two, turn up my strength. And even then it doesn't seem to be doing anything. It is working. I could see the wood change there, but it just doesn't seem to be all that effective. So we'll use the tools that we have in Photoshop afterwards. So I'm just gonna tell to put this on a new layer and click okay. Then I'll return to the original image 'cause it has the most color information and I'm gonna see if either select subject or if I come up here and use the object selection tool, is it able to find my wife Karen? And if I click there, it certainly looks to be able to. And then I'll go to the layer that is above, which is the colorized information and I'm gonna add a layer mask. When I add a layer mask, it's only gonna keep the areas that are currently selected, therefore the rest of the image will go back to its original color 'cause that's what's found in the layer below. And now we have that. If I turn off this eyeball, there's where I didn't like the colors, that's the original shot. And here's where colorization was used, can kind of even out the skin tones and everything. But when I look at it, what I dislike about it is it seems to generically be coloring her eyes and her lips seem to be losing some of the color. And those are the main areas I don't like. So I just work on a layer mask. And I can come up here, zoom up, I'll grab my paintbrush tool and if I paint with black, then I can remove this effect and I see her original lips. And what I could do is if I just painted, immediately after painting, I can come up here and choose fade. And then I can choose the opacity after I paint. So here's the colorized version. If I went all the way to the other side, that's the original and somewhere in between might be a good mix of the two. Kind of liking it about halfway. Then I'll get a smaller brush and I'll come and paint on her eyes. So the original color in her eyes comes through and I don't think I'm gonna fade that at all. So now if I type command zero, that means zoom out. Let's turn off this layer so we can see the original picture. What I really didn't like, the color rendering of the skin. And then here where we've used colorization to try to normalize or just, I don't know, make it more pleasing. And I could always blend the two versions by lowering the opacity if I need it to vary a little more. So here, I'll lower the opacity down to zero. I'll slowly bring it up and see that color looking more consistent. And maybe somewhere around 70 or 80% it looks good and I end up with a little bit more variation in the color than I would get with a generic just colorized filter. So there you have the three filters that are the color filters. And they will allow you to try to harmonize an image. That's used when you want to take something out of one picture and put it in a new environment and it just doesn't quite look right in that environment. Or we can try to get the overall color look of one image and apply it to another. That can actually be useful as a way of harmonizing as well as an alternative to that harmonize filter. And then finally, we can colorize a black and white picture or just decide we want Photoshop to reinterpret the colors of our images and either lower the opacity of them or paint them in only in particular areas.

Class Materials


Photoshop AI Neural Filters Practice Images

Ratings and Reviews

Chris Evans

Introducing the brand new Neural Filters and the how to get the best out of them. Ben does this with his usual ease. The examples he uses are clear and precise and the extra tips he throws in are worth the price of admission alone! Brilliant class!!!

Audrey Agin

Oh Ben you are wonderful. I will have to watch this again. Parts are Medium to Advanced and that is what I am needing. These lessons showed so many different situations that a person may come across in their photography or restoring old photos. You also showed some work arounds! Most other teachers may mention something that the topic can also be applied to, but do not show how to do it. That is so frustrating! They stop short of giving a full lesson. You go deep into your lessons, I can always find info to help me out! Thank you!

Aston Moss

Great step by step instruction with some excellent ideas as to how to enhance and completely create images.

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