Photoshop Color Variation

When working with images in the textiles industries it's often necessary to create colour variations on a garment.

Open an image of a model with garment. We would then use the Crop tool if necessary to adjust the size of the image. The tonal levels would be adjusted in Image > Adjustments > Levels, or by adding a Levels adjustment layer, as well as a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to adjust the colour values. Retouching may be required on items like flyaway hair and skin blemishes. To whiten the eyes we could use the Magic Wand tool and a Levels adjustment. Accentuate the lips by selecting around them and with the Lasso tool and using a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to change the colour and increase the saturation.

Whenever we create changes like this it's a good idea to create a Snapshot in the History panel; this is like a milestone in the editing process, allowing us to easily go back several stages if necessary.

Now we are ready to create colour variations on the garment itself. First select the garment with the Magic Wand, Quick Selection and Lasso tools. Then go to Edit > Copy, and Edit > Paste to create a new garment layer, naming it Purple. Then use a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to change the garment colour to purple. Now go into the Layer options flyout list to choose Duplicate Layer. Name this new layer Gold. Again use a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to change the garment colour to gold. Repeat this process as many times as you need variations. For a black garment change the Saturation slider to - 100 (minus 100) and the Lightness value to -30.

To create a floral pattern, duplicate the layer as before, and open a floral swatch. Go to Window > Arrange > Tile to see the two images side by side. Then use the Move tool to click and drag the floral pattern across into your master image. Next we need to mask the floral pattern to match the outline of the garment. To do this select the outside of the garment (the white background, for example), and go to Select > Inverse; this will result in the garment being selected. When using masks the rule is to select what you want to keep. Next click on the pattern layer and click on the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. This will result in the pattern being cut to the outline of the dress. Next experiment with the various blending modes at the top left of the Layers panel, to find which one best represents the pattern on the garment. You may also adjust the pattern layer's opacity slider to tweak the result.

Finally save the file as a PSD format - this is the default and will preserve the layers on your working file. Then to save each variation as a separate file select the Background layer, hide the layers you don't want on the JPEG, and go to File > Save As: JPEG.

Tom Gillan has been training Photoshop to corporate clients in Sydney for seven years. Visit Design Workshop Sydney to know more information about Photoshop.

This article was published on 20 Nov 2015 and has been viewed 513 times
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