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Mar 24, 2015

How to Select and Change Colors in Photoshop

Selecting Color Range

To select out the different colors, create a new layer and go to Select – Color Range. Click on the color you want to sample with the regular eyedropper tool. You can play with the fuzziness to get more of an accurate selection. Also, if you need to add or take away from your selection, you can use the eyedroppers with the plus and minus symbols next to them to do so.

Next, go to Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Hue/Saturation. This will load your selection directly into the Hue/Saturation layer so that you can adjust the hue sliders and change only the colors you want to change!

Refining Layer Masks

If you have small unwanted parts in a selection, you can always paint over it with a brush tool on the layer mask.

Tip: If you hold alt/opt and click on a layer mask, it will appear as black and white. This can be very helpful for seeing tiny stray colors in your selections.ย 

 

60 Comments


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    Shai

    Hey Aaron.
    Why do I need to make a new layer before adding an adjustment layer?

    Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

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    Christopher Boles

    I had a recent client ask me to change the color of the models shirt and I didn’t know how to do this. You just made me look like a miracle worker.

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    Dominique

    It works great !
    even if I had some difficulties with grapes of this example ! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

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    joan gomez (architect in barcelona, spain)

    TNAKS FOR EXISTING VIRTUAL FRIEND AND TEACHER !!!

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    Benoรฎt

    Hi Aaron,

    Many thanks for these tips.
    I just wonder why you need to create a new empty new layer each time you want to make a selection. Why not using the eyedropper on the background, making this selection, and then just adding the adjustment layer with its mask (on which the selection will be applied the same way) ?

    Thank you for your explanations.

    Regards,
    Benoรฎt.

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    Dick

    Great session on using Color Range!

    Suggestion for a future tutorial: Seems that in all of your tutorials on cutting a subject from the background, the background is a solid color. Could you do a similar tutorial where the background is multi-color, such as an outdoor scene? Thanks.

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      Tom

      I’d also like to see what Dick was asking about. I tried your tutorial and it was awesome!
      Thanks for all the great tutorials and help!

      Tom

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    Jeff

    As always your tutorials are fun and helpful, I do miss seeing you in other clothes, i guess its for branding reason, and I’m aware that comment sounds a little creepy ๐Ÿ˜€

    • user image
      Phlearn

      Hi Jeff!

      Glad you enjoyed our tutorials! Yes branding purposes and it’s easy to wear ๐Ÿ˜€

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    Diane

    I am very new to photoshop and slowly am learning some things from your great tutorials. I really enjoy them but just wished what you talked about would work as well for me. On that note I’d like to explain what I’m trying to do and maybe you can help more, I sell a product that is a mix of steel and laminates, I’d like to change the colors and textures to the photos I have for marketing purposes. Some of the areas to change are very small and I wonder if that may be why it doesn’t work as well. Also some pictures are line drawings that I’d like to fill in with paint color for the main cabinet and laminate color for the drawer fronts. I seem to be having trouble with that too. As I said before I’ve spent hours watching tutorials finally found yours that I prefer from any others & don’t feel like I’m anywhere close to being good at this.
    I’ve watched many of your tutorials ( more than once) but do you think there are some tutorials that would better suite what I need, please let me know,
    Thank You,
    I do enjoy watching your tutorials

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    Garry

    Awesome video as usual. I do enjoy that your hair style changes in pretty much every video.

    • user image
      Phlearn

      Thanks for watching Garry! At this point, I’m just trying to grow it out ๐Ÿ˜€

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    Chris

    Man…. I’ve purchased 2 Phlearn Pro tutorials and haven’t been able to get into them yet, but I wish I was rich because I want to give you lots of money!!! You have the best free tutorials on the net, covering so many friggin’ techniques, that I have seriously stepped my Photoshop game up in a short amount of time. You made me do this image!!! It has nothing to do with this tutorial, but you are a serious inspiration!!! I hope you make millions, no, BILLIONS of dollars!! You deserve it for giving away so many secrets!! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

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    Dimitris K.A..

    Dear Aaron,
    Beautiful n very informative video. I wish to have your view on how to remove the chromatic aberration in Photoshop. I have gone thru a variety of relevant videos over the net but I count on your option.

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      Phlearn

      Thank you for watching Dimitris!

      Here is an article we found on chromatic aberration and how to prevent it ๐Ÿ™‚

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    Ron

    sometimes this can be done in LAB color , nice follow up tutorial idea to show the LAB method.

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    Paul

    I really enjoy the simnplicity of your tutorials Aaron! I also noticed you slowed the pace down a bit, which is awesome as well! Thanks so much for sharing!

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    brendan

    Aaron one question how does one know how much fuzziness to use thanks again

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      Bill

      Look at what you are selecting or masking if it is fuzzy use a fuzzy brush it it is sharp use a sharper brush beyond that practice, practice, practice!

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    MIKKI

    I’d forgotten this. There’s so many ways to do the same thing in PS. Thanks for the entertaining and terrific video production.

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    Nico

    Great tutorial Aaron! what a simple yet effective technique. Now I know how they make those clothing catalogs, when they change the colors of the shirts (or whatever) to the same photo.

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    Rich

    Can this be done for a white to black transition also, making white bird wings/angel wings black for instance?

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    Al Stewart

    How about one more How-to-change-sky video, but this time with the sky showing through a bunch of tree branches and leaves? Love your teaching! Thanks! Al

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      Robert

      Select your original sky with the magic wand tool and adjust the tolerance as required and then use blend if blue for the underlying layer and your underlying layer should be your lovely blue sky of choice adjust the blend sliders to taste. Mask out painting black any areas outside of the sky and trees. See the before and after of this effect on my website: http://www.rdpotter.com/#/photography-golf-course-development

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    Rizwan

    Hey Your Tutes are awesome but i wanna ask that why did u make a new layer before selecting a color , why didnt u take a copy of Background layer and directly select colors from that layer?
    Whats the logic behind the New blank layer????

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      abbas ajorlou

      The reason of this is to show you what happens when we make changes on the image

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    chelsi

    I have no idea what I’m doing wrong, I followed all the steps exactly but when i move the hue bar to change the bar nothing happens! help!

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    Andy

    Question: I’m at a Photoshop 101 level – or even worse. During this video you create a new layer that you do a color selection on, then add an adjustment layer. Then at the 5:00 mark, that first new layer that you created vanishes, and all you see is the adjustment layer. What happens there?

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      Hai.Ta

      In my humble opinion, that layer is to create a selection. Now since he does not need it any more, he just delete it, so the whole thing looks simpler.

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    Camilo

    Is there any way of applying a layer with a gradient from black to transparent without getting some banding in the image? Here is an example with heavy banding in the sky. Thanks in advance.

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    Shanna

    Aaron, thank you for all of the amazing tutorials! I would loooooove to see a tutorial on the best way to change color to achieve specific CMYK or RGB values (without losing detail and texture and ending up with yucky clumping).

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      Andre Vigil

      Hi Shanna,
      Have you managed to discover how to do this?
      I still can’t find a way to change colours to a specific cmyk value.
      Thank you

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    suzanne

    Just watched How to Select & Change colors in Ps – loved it! However, I want to change the color to a specific pantone. How can I do this? thanks in advance ๐Ÿ™‚

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    catbrown01

    Love your tutorial. How would you suggest I change some of the colors in the attached image? I like that it’s multicolored…I just need to change some of the colors.

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    Sarah Anderson

    Great video- so happy to find Phlearn!
    My question is how do you replace black (or white) with a color??

    Thanks so much,
    Sarah Anderson

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    Alexander Pauwelyn

    Hello, thank you for this amazing tutorial ! I have one question, where could i find the image you are using ? (the woman with the all stars) ? Thank you ๐Ÿ˜€

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    Mike

    Great video. Is there a way to change the color to some other specific color that I know the RGB value of instead of using the Hue slider? Thank you.

    • user image
      Andre

      Hi Mike,
      Have you managed to discover how to do this?
      I still can’t find a way to change colours to a specific cmyk or rgb values.
      Thank you

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      Senhor

      You can choose Edit>fill >color then enter your color value .This way you can change color to a specific color you want.

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    SIRIL RAJ

    Sir, How do I cut out the hair of this lady. I tried through your tutorial but didn’t get 100 per cent result. Can you do it for me and explain how to do it. Plz reply to my email

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    Kim Lennert Simonsen

    Hi Aaron,

    Why the “need” for the empty layer as the first step?

    Best regards,
    Kim