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Replacing Colors in an Image in Adobe Photoshop CS4

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  1. Replacing Colors in an Image

Article Description

With the Replace Color command, you can create temporary masks based on specific colors and then replace these colors. (A mask isolates an area of an image so that changes affect just the selected area and not the rest of the image.) In this excerpt from Adobe Photoshop CS4 Classroom in a Book, you learn how to use the Replace Color dialog box to adjust the hue, saturation, and lightness components of your selection.

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With the Replace Color command, you can create temporary masks based on specific colors and then replace these colors. (A mask isolates an area of an image so that changes affect just the selected area and not the rest of the image.) The Replace Color dialog box contains options for adjusting the hue, saturation, and lightness components of the selection: hue is color, saturation is the purity of the color, and lightness is how much white or black is in the image.

You'll use the Replace Color command to change the color of one of the child's cap in the image of the playground.

  1. Zoom in to see the child's cap clearly.
  2. In the Layers panel, select the Background layer. The cap is on the Background layer.
  3. Select the Rectangular Marquee tool, and draw a selection border around the child's cap. Don't worry about making a perfect selection, but be sure to include all the cap.
  4. Choose Image > Adjustments > Replace Color.

    The Replace Color dialog box opens, and by default, the Selection area displays a black representation of the current selection.

    The Replace Color dialog box contains three eyedroppers. The first, the Eyedropper tool, selects a color; the second adds a color to the sample; the third removes a color from the sample.

  5. Using the Eyedropper tool, click anywhere in the cap in the image window to sample that color.
  6. Then, use the Add To Sample eyedropper to sample other areas of the cap until the entire flower is selected and highlighted in the mask display in the Replace Color dialog box.
  7. Drag the Fuzziness slider down to 35 to decrease the tolerance level slightly.

    Fuzziness controls the degree to which related colors are included in the mask.

  8. If the mask display includes any white areas that are not part of the cap, get rid of those now: Select the Subtract From Sample eyedropper. Then, click those areas in either the image window or in the Replace Color mask display to remove those stray pixels. (It's fine if a few remain in the selection.)
  9. In the Replacement area of the Replace Color dialog box, drag the Hue slider to +138, the Saturation slider to –47, and the Lightness slider to +10.

    As you change the values, the color of the cap changes in hue, saturation, and lightness.

    The cap becomes green.

  10. Click OK to apply the changes.
  11. Choose Select > Deselect, and then choose File > Save.