Trick To Change Specific Colors in Photoshop!

Learning the trick to change specific colors in Photoshop is one of the most useful skills you should acquire since it’s very useful in photo manipulation!

If you wan to follow along with the tutorial, Download Tutorial Image Here.

The Hue and Saturation Adjustment Layer

With a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, you can shift the hues of the entire image by dragging on the Hues slider. This is a global adjustment and it affects all the colors in the image.

The Targeted Adjustment Tool

To target only one color or a range of colors, click on the hand icon beside the Master drop-down and click over the image on the colors that you would like to adjust.

Click on the Master drop-down

In this example, I clicked on the blue couch. Notice that the drop-down switched from Masters to Blues because we are now targeting pixels in this range. Also, notice the sliders over the gradient, they are targeting the blue pixels.

As you drag on the hue slider you will notice that not all the blues were selected. But you can add to the targeted colors selected by using the Add to Sample tool.

Click on the Add to Sample icon to add a hue to your targeted colors. 

Click-and-drag over your image and you will see that more blue areas will change color.

However, this technique might cause banding issues or other imperfections. While these can be easily remedied by enabling the Colorize feature, it also removes the targeted colors. and

Make a Layer Mask from The Adjusted Pixels

To solve this issue, you can create a mask from the pixels you adjusted, then apply the colorize feature.

To do so, duplicate the image layer and place the duplicated layer at the top of the Layers panel

Set the Blending Mode to Difference. This Blending Mode looks at both layers; If the pixels on the layer on top and the layer below are the same, then the resulting color will be black. If they’re different you will see another color.

Since the resulting colors are black and a brighter color, we can turn this information into a mask using the Channels panel.

From the Channels panel, select the channel that shows a starker contrast between the black and the lighter colors. 

Then, hold Ctrl (Windows) or Command (macOS) as you click on the channel thumbnail to load the lighter pixels as a selection. Click on the RGB to return to the composite view and delete the duplicate layer since it’s no longer needed.

On the Layers panel, delete the Hue/Saturation’s Layer Mask.

Then, create a new Layer Mask, which will take the current selection and apply it as a Layer Mask.

Apply Colorize on The Hue and Saturation Adjustment Layer

With the Layer Mask selected, return to the Hue/Saturation Properties panel and enable the Colorize feature once again.

Adjust the Layer Mask with Levels

Choose Image > Adjustment > Levels to control the mask’s brightness, to fine-tune any imperfection. Remember, making pixels darker will hide the colorizing effect while making pixels brighter will reveal it.

Adjust the Layer Mask with Dodge Tool

You can also use the Dodge and Burn tool to selectively brighten or darken areas of your mask. 

The Dodge tool brightens pixels while the Burn tool makes them darker.

Make Final Color Adjustments

Back on the Layers panel, select the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer thumbnail and apply final color adjustments for the Hue, Saturation, and Lightness.

If you enjoyed this tutorial, make sure to follow PTC on YouTube! And if you create something using this tutorial, share it on social media with the hashtag #PTCvids for a chance to get featured!

Final Image

Drag The Slider To See Before & After

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