Aug 09, 2016

How to Colorize in Photoshop

How to Colorize in Photoshop

Take control of Color in today’s episode – learn how to use Colorize to change the Color of any object in Photoshop!

Create a Selection of the Area You Want to Colorize

In order to colorize a specific area of a photo, first, you will need to create a selection around that area. In this example, we use “Select-Color Range’ to select out the pink hair.

After making the selection it needs to be refined. To refine the selection even more, hold ALT/OPTN and click on the layer mask of the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer and paint white or black with the Brush Tool set to ‘OverlayBlend Mode.

Hue/Saturation + Colorize

Once the selection around the Hair is perfect, click on the ‘Colorize’ Button in the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer Properties window.

When Colorizing an image, you have control over Hue, Saturation, and Lightness. You can use the combination of these three sliders to make any Color.

In this tutorial, we use several Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layers to Colorize different parts of the hair and eye Shadow.

How to Use Two Layer Masks on One Layer

In this example, we work hard to create a great selection around the Hair of the subject. Because we want to colorize different parts of the Hair, it makes sense to keep the original Layer Mask intact.

To keep the original Layer Mask intact and hide additional parts of a layer, try grouping a layer with itself and adding a layer mask to that group. This is a way to effectively have two Layer Masks controlling the visibility of one layer.


user image You
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  • user image

    This is awesome,
    can you make a video for photo manipulation of astronaut under in water

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    Melissa Hill

    I always love your lessons. There is so much information and it’s presented in a very user welcoming, user-friendly way. The video is looking awesome. Would you be willing to do a BTS of your recording studio and share what camera you are using?

    • Seth

      Well, we have been Snapchatting and Instagramming those behind the scenes shots, but those disappear after 24 hours. We might do one for our next photoshoot.

  • user image

    This is purely like a pro retouching tutorial!
    I am feeling really amazing for teaching us the great trick to colorize!
    That double mask is fantastic!
    I always use this double mask (but never used to colorize!) n also that overlay brush mode to paint black in black-white in white! I use this mode to extract complex hair , fur subjects from backgrounds!
    You made me like whenever I think Ps I’ll remember Phlearn & Aaron!
    Feeling really happy to meet you in this regard brother!

  • user image

    Only one minute in I’m already amazed by the photo! For some reason I only see tutorials which feature stock images while you have such great work yourself…

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    Rosario Zinnanti

    Great! I was doing something similar. But your way seems way better.
    Thank you.

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    Bill Anderson

    Aaron, you and your crew do some awesome tutorials, and I own quite a few. But I am a wildlife and landscape photographer at heart. Could you do some tutorials for that area of photography?

    Thanks, and again, you guys ROCK!

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    Tom O'Connor

    I always like your tutorials. You explain everything so clearly and you make it fun.

  • user image

    Awesome video.. Will definately be giving this a try at my next model shoot session..

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    Maggi Marmion

    Really great tutorial and great idea!
    Photoshop CC never ceases to amaze me!
    thanks !

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    Mohammad Ali

    I have been using Photoshop for over 10 years and I still learn new things with your tutorial almost every time.

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    Steve Chapman

    Great episode! maybe a dumb question, BUT…can this process be put/saved in “Actions”?

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    Carl B

    You are one of the finest, fun instructors of all!

    Please consider a tutorial for using the Patch tool. I’m mystified by situations where I select an area to patch, move the selection to a target area, and all looks good in the original area. But when I apply the patch, I sometimes get different, undesirable stuff.

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    Don Funderburg

    This is a subject I’ve wanted to know how to do. I belong to a photo club where we compete. I would see these old cars all modulated in several colors but no one wanted to release that information. On a later PHLEARN you might show how to do old rusty car or truck in a field or something like that.

    Photoshop Tutorials: How to Colorize in Photoshop

  • user image

    Great tutorial! love it..
    Can you show us how to colorize an old photo and how you can repare it?
    I did it with layer masks – solid color ( see photo, this is my mother with her two brothers ), but maybe there’s a better way to do it.
    Thank you, Love Lies

    Photoshop Tutorials: How to Colorize in Photoshop

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    Deepak Tamrakar

    Dear Sir,

    Good Mornning! very nice tutorial i want make professional graphic designer as you so that i will seen your every tutorial, if any course is related that so provide me completely detail to join you.


  • user image

    Painting on the layer mask with the brush blending mode set to overlay is brilliant. It makes perfect sense. I have never heard of that technique before.

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    Dawn Cunnane

    This is the video that pushed me to colourize a black and white image for the 1st time. I can’t thank you enough for your videos; They have taught me how to understand Photoshop so much better!

    Photoshop Tutorials: How to Colorize in Photoshop

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    Dan Lane Williams

    I have been a big fan for awhile now
    Your tutorials are the best in general….I have taken my photoshop work into another realm
    But I want to say it is not just the work you show us it is your teaching style that always keeps me coming back for more and even going back to review past episodes.

    Photoshop Tutorials: How to Colorize in Photoshop

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      Matt Pople

      Me too. I’m always going back to previous episodes to remind me of a technique, as opposed to searching anywhere else. (Its my memory that’s poor, definitely not your teaching technique!)

  • user image

    How to colorize her hair to white? I have trouble changing colorize existing color to white.

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      Kelley York

      On your hue/saturation adjustment layer, turn the saturation down to zero/close to zero. On a subject like this with light hair, it’s easy to do. But if you’re working with a subject with dark hair, it can be extremely difficult.

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    Richard Cooper

    I always enjoy the Phlessons. Is it possible to do a lesson on sharpening and gaussian blur.

  • user image

    Any suggestions for selecting blurry images? For instance, if you’re shooting a plate with food. The depth of field would bring the front items in focus while the edges in the back would be soft and blurry. How would you select the image (in this case the food sitting on the plate) to be able to bring it into a new setting, but still look realistic?

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    Pierre Guersing

    The overlay brush mode on masks!!! Never thought about it! Mind blowing!
    Thanks Aaron!

    Photoshop Tutorials: How to Colorize in Photoshop

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    Matt Pople

    Amazing tutorial! As always. You’re a legend Aaron! I’ve learnt so much from you over the last year or so. Especially masking techniques. And then recent updates in PS bring in a newly developed marking tool! I wonder if some of the previous things I’ve learnt are still appropriate…

  • user image

    I’ve been asking for a variant of this tutorial without answer ’til now.
    It seems the hue saturation adjustment dont work the same on white or black objects.
    So, how can we colorize to any color a white shirt or dress?
    The same for something black.

    Thx in advance
    Best regards

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    Bill Gardner

    Aaron, Great tutorial, thanks. Have you contemplated providing a base image so we could actually follow along as you proceed through the tutorial? I think it would be a great opportunity and an asset to learning your techniques.

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    David Karikas

    can you change the order of thumbnail in the gradient editor. example last to first. Thank you The tutorials are the best.


  • user image

    Amazing !!! ideal for finessing and testing different color layers for hair styles ! keep up the outstanding work !!

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    louis velazquez

    i enjoy learning photoshop with you its not confusing i like that pattern app

  • user image

    please could you include a more in depth tutorial with some photos on the page under the videos because i cant watch the videos because they are blocked by our school (im in a lesson photography…. its stupid)

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    Lizbeth Millis

    At sisterwives I am pretty happy, they are a huge Polygamy Dating website and Offer a lot of profiles for females and males looking for polygamy dating.

  • user image

    Love all your tutorials. your guidelines are way much more helpfull 🙂
    wanted to know if you have tutorials on adobe illustrator too ?