blue (awmp) wrote in awmpdotnet,

adventures in color correction: miscolors

adventures in color correction: miscolors
and no, this will not include the phrase "add a blue exclusion layer and a beige layer on multiply."

a few days ago I asked my flist to link me to really badly miscolored screencaps that are hard to work with... thanks to my lovely flist I can present you really colorful screencaps and some helpful hints in correcting them (if wished so, sometimes I like the caps with the funny light sources *g*). there might be a second part for too desaturated/washed out/dark caps, too.

note that this is not a step by step tutorial on how to get a certain colorization effect! more of some guidelines on how to get a natural coloring of heavily saturated screencaps.


here are the originals, I started to work with.
thanks to miss_sarac and fateorlate

normally I start with auto-contrast (ctrl+shift+alt+L) and auto-levels (ctrl+shift+L) to get a first improvement.
(if the changes are too drastic and you are not happy with the result, simply undo it!)

when I need to correct really heavy miscolorings I try the Variations first. it's the easiest tool to go in the right direction.
you can find it under Image - Adjustments - Variations
for a correction of an overall miscolored pic you can work with the midtones first, and in most cases this is enough anyway.
now we have to do a little color theory...
what works best for me (and for most pics *g*) is this general rule:
CMY(K) vs. RGB
I know it's not really scientific (the subtractive color model of printing against the additive screen color model, WTF?!), but strangely it works... and seriously the Variations tool of PS works exactly after that principles ;)
to be exact it works like that:
for whatever color you wanna have less, you add some of the corresponding color of the other model.

Cyan - Red
Magenta - Green
Yellow - Blue

IMPORTANT: the Variations Tool always uses the last setting you used, so you might wanna reset it first before working on a new cap! to reset press alt, the cancel button changes into a reset button then.

for this case we want less green, so I pitched the magenta up (three times in this case as it was reeeeally green)

the blue cap changed more to cyan when we auto-levelled it, so we want to correct it with red. twice on the more red in the Variations in this case...

obviously we want less red for this one, so we add some cyan...

additionally it's always a not so bad idea to add some yellow when humans are on the caps... makes a soft light and the skin tones more natural...

adding color makes the pic usually a bit darker, so we want to lighten it up a bit...
we're using the well known standard techniques for this.

duplicating the pic and setting it on Layer Mode Screen. depending on how dark it is, we lower the opacity or we copy the layer again (and again, and again...)
if it looks too washed out we add a layer on Soft Light Mode and adjust the opacity.

time to adjust the curves. I'm using an adjustment layer and go for a slightly S-shaped RGB curve.

before I start with standard coloring layers I normally drop down the saturation a bit.

now I add some solid color layers on different blending modes and opacities...

I want Lilly to look a little lighter, so she gets a light layer on Soft Light Mode.
and as I want it generally to look a tiny bit cooler, it's gonna be a light blue. (#D5E3F5, 40% opacity)
also I don't want the bright white parts standing out so much, so it's gonna be a very light peachy layer (#F6E7D9) on Multiply next.

These two I wanted to be much warmer, a little lighter and again with the bright parts not so much standing out...
therefore they got a peachy Layer on soft Light mode (#F1DAC5, 90%) and the same peachy color on Multiply on top.
and as this screencap was a pain to work with qualitywise I needed to add an Adjustment Layer with a Selective Color that set the Reds on 100% Black.

for the last one we definitely need less yellow, so I added another Selective Color Adjustment Layer and worked on the Yellows. I reduced the Yellow to -43% and added 10% Black.
I wanted more light and a cooler tone, so the cap got a baby blue Solid Color Layer on Soft Light mode. and in order to add some more definition and contrast a light cyan Solid Color Layer on Color Burn mode.

Poll #651850 Rate this tutorial

How helpful did you find this tutorial? (from 1= not at all to 6= very helpful)

Mean: 5.30 Median: 6 Std. Dev 0.92

basically, that's the techniques I'm mostly using. the results are ok in most cases :)
from here you can work with your favorite coloring techniques *g*
have fun fiddling around!
Tags: adjustment layers, brightness, color correction, screencap improvement, tricks&tips
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