Colorize is one of the latest features introduced to Photoshop’s growing suite of Neural Filters. Powered by machine learning with Adobe Sensei, Neural Filters help to take otherwise complicated workflows and simplify them to just a few clicks.
You can find the Neural Filters under the Filter Menu.
Since many of the Neural Filters are still works on progress, most are located under the Beta Filters tab. Each Filter can be downloaded locally to use at any time, but some require an active network connection as they utilize cloud-based services. Depth-Aware Haze is one such Filter, so make sure that you’re connected to the internet if you want to give it a try.
The Colorize Neural Filter
One of the most commonly requested tutorials we get is how to colorize black and white images in Photoshop. While we do cover it in How to Restore Old & Vintage Photos, the manual process can be time consuming and involve a lot of trial and error.
The Colorize Neural Filter promises to make this complicated workflow as easy as a few clicks.
By simply toggling the Colorize Filter, any black and white photo will be instantly colorized.
However, there are several options and sliders that can help dial in the exact look and colors you want. You can use the sliders to adjust the overall amount of cyans, reds, blues, yellows, magentas, and greens in an image. This is especially helpful if you’re working with a portrait and you want to make sure that skin tones look warm and natural.
Since the Colorize Neural Filter is using A.I. to identify what colors should be present in the image, it might not always hit the mark. But the Focus Point feature can help!
You can select multiple Focus Points in a photo and assign a color to each.
We attempted to use a Focus Point to color the rose in our example photo, but Photoshop had some trouble differentiating the rose from the background. You can try to use multiple Focus Points to dial the right colors in, but we found this feature to be hit or miss.
We recommend using the general adjustments for now and then, if you do want to make further changes to the colors, to combine the Colorize Filter with other Adjustment Layers.
Output the Colorize Filter
Like the other Neural Filters, you can choose how you want to output the effect. This will largely depend on your own preferences and workflow, but we would suggest not outputting the effect to the Current Layer. This will affect the original image and make things difficult, or impossible, to go back and fix later on.
Once the effect is applied, you can continue to edit an image normally using any of the hundreds of tools available in Photoshop.
Since the focus is on color, you might want to use Hue/Saturation or Color Balance Adjustment Layers along with Layer Masks to dial in the exact look you want.