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Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Coloring a JPEG Overlay in Photoshop
I will be using the Retro Circle overlays from Scrapping Cop in my example. Deb has kindly provided permission. If you want the overlays, you can get them at her blog.
Retro Circle overlays
It is more difficult to color an overlay in Photoshop than in Paint Shop Pro because the basic color selection tools are designed to be fuzzy since with a photograph or artwork, it is better to have edges that blend well.
1. Open up the overlay.
2. The overlay will serve as a template. Because the basic image is in shades of gray, in order to obtain clean selections we must increase the contrast. Image > Adjustment > Auto Contrast or Alt + Shift + Ctrl L to make the shades of gray distinctly different from each other. It is possible to see the ugly artifacts caused by the JPEG compression after the auto-contrasting.
3. Next, we must fix the artifacts on the overlay. Apply the median filter (Filter > Noise > Median) with a radius of 2 pixels to smooth out the artifacts. If the JPEG has been suffered from high compression, the size of the radius may need to be increased.
4. All the coloring will be done on a new layer. However, first we must set up the selections for coloring the new layer. Go to Select > Color Range. Use the dropper tool to pick a color from the overlay.
5. We need to fix the selection so that it isn't quite so ugly. Go to Select > Refine Edge or Alt + Ctrl + R.
6. Modify the selection.
Radius = 1.0
Contrast = 50
Smooth = 1
Feather = 1.0
Contract/Expand = +1
7. Go to Select > Save Selection. Give the new selection a name. I called it Color 1 because I'm unimaginative. Click Ok to save the selection.
8. Go to Select > De-Select or Ctrl + D to unselect the selection.
9. Repeat steps 4-8 until all the colors have been saved as selections.
10. Create a new layer (Layer > New > Layer or Shift + Ctrl + N).
11. Go to Select > Load Selection and load your first selection. In my case, this is Color 1.
12. Fill the selection with the color, gradient or pattern of your choice (Edit > Fill or Shift + F5).
13. Repeat steps 11 and 12 for each color.
14. Go to Select > De-Select or Ctrl + D to unselect the selection.
15. Apply the Median Filter with a radius of 4 to get rid of the jagged edges.
The overlay is now re-colored.