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Adobe Photoshop CC - Advanced Training

Using Photoshop selection to fix grass & sky - Color Range

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hello my friends, this video we're going to use Color Range again, but for a very different use case. Instead of masking we're going to use it to adjust the colors. It's something that I do a lot more, instead of masking it's more just adjusting things, like if you have a look at the leaves, they are kind of a browny green, and now, ooh, beautiful green! And let's look at the sea. It's gone from a blue to a kind of a nice tropical holiday cyan color. So basically we're going to use color range to make a selection of those colors, and then use adjustment layers on them. Just to fix them up, it's a really common way that I use color range. Let's jump in now and learn how to do it. 

So I'm going to work on the document we used in the last video. If you don't have that or you skipped it, just go to 'File', 'Open', and open up your 'Exercise Files', and we're using 'Color Range 3'. So basically we combine Color Range 3 with 1 and 2, where we've got this kind of composition now. So what I'm going to do is just turn the Eyeball off on both of these guys, which is the banana and the blueberry. I want the background selected. I want to change the blues and the greens. 

Basically every landscape photograph I ever take. I want to kind of enhance the greens a little bit, and often the sky needs just a little bit of Photoshop love. And Color Range is an amazing quick and easy way to isolate those things to make those adjustments. Very different from the last video, we were using it to completely mask it. So Background Layer selected, 'Select', let's go to 'Color Range'. Depending on what you were last doing you might have to switch back to 'None'. You might have to turn 'off' Localized Color. And you get yours looking something like mine. We'll start at a 100 fuzziness-ish. I'm going to work on the sea here, and it's got a very similar color to the sky. I'm happy to work on both of those, I'm going to click once in here. 

You can see, it's clicked quite a big chunk of it. Let's switch the 'Selection' preview to 'Grayscale' so we can kind of see it. Now it's grabbed most of this sea except for this chunk here, grab the '+' button, and let's go ahead with this bit, and it's got most of it. The only trouble is it's got quite a lot of the sky, so I'm going to lower the fuzziness. So when I was using my masks, I don't use the fuzziness very often, but when I'm doing this kind of like subtle Hue Saturation changes. Now I'm getting mine down-ish. And there's no right or wrong, there's no magical number. 

What you'll find is whenever I'm doing this, I'll do it once, and see if I've gone too far or too little, and then come back and change it. So that's worked for me, let's click on 'OK'. Basically we've got a selection of all the kind of blueish bits, and I want to make them more cyan. Instead of making a mask on their own layer, the easy way now is to click on 'Adjustments', and let's click on 'Hue & Saturation'. And what it does is it takes that selection you had, and applies it to this Hue & Saturation adjustment layer. So I can turn it on and off, and make adjustments to it without destroying the background. We love a bit of non-destructiveness. 

What I'm going to do is-- I love-- you know, blue, skies are blue, but actually they look really nice when they're cyan, they look tropical holiday. So I do that often with all my landscapes, is I'll go through and just add a bit more of the cyan rather than the blue. How much? Yes, it's working for me. I might bump up the Saturation just a tiny bit. Go way too far. Somewhere in here. Turn the Eyeball 'on', 'off'. So it's just a really easy way to isolate colors. Especially generic ones, like sky, where maybe making a selection can be quite tough. We do the same thing for these leaves, whenever I photograph kind of foliage, I know it should be green but it always is this kind of motley brown yellow color. That's just the way of the world, but what I want to do for this promotional image, I want it to be our lovely green, a nice rich but believable green. 

It's the same thing, I click on my Background layer, I'm going to grab 'Select', 'Color Range'. What I might need to do is switch it back to 'None'. Then click on one of these, and it's picked-- there's so many different kind of green browns going in here. I'm going to click, hold, and drag across a few of these, where I know it's kind of a-- it's a good representation of the whole document. I click back into here, into Grayscale. If it had to work you actually need to have this Eye dropper on the +. Just clicking and dragging across it with this first tool, doesn't work. 

I'm going to go back to 'None'. I'm going to say, you my friend, and I click and drag across there. And now I'm going to go back to Grayscale, and you can see I've got a pretty good selection of this. It's got probably a lot too much of the sand as well. The browns out of the leaves, same browns are in the sand. I'm going to lower the fuzziness a bit. I'm going to grab my '- Eyedropper Tool', click once in here. Click once again just to get rid of these sands in here. We're getting pretty close. All right, let's click 'OK'. 

So I've got my selection. Same as before, let's go to 'Adjustments', 'Hue & Saturation'. What I'm going to do is yank out the saturation really high, way past where I need it. Just so that I can know that I've got the right colors. So I want to pick a green that's not too that green, not too bluey green. I want something in the middle nice and rich, and then I can lower this down to kind of make it believable-ish. Just turn the Eyeball on and off on that layer, and you can see what I'm doing here, just moving the kind of brown greens, to a bit more lush green. 

Only trouble with this, I find that this island here is probably over saturated now. Often Color Range gets used in a combination, so what I'm going to do is I'm going to select on the 'Mask', grab my 'B' key for my 'Brush Tool'. I need black as my foreground color, remember, X toggles it back and forth. Brush size, we're going to use our shortcut, and I'm just going to get rid of this. I'm going to make my fuzziness a bit higher because it's quite out of focus. Brush size down. Just to touch this up. I might have lowered the opacity of this brush so it's not such a drastic change, because now I feel like it's completely brown. 

Really hard to get in here, I could get in with a really small paintbrush to fix this up. Probably what I'd do is just lower the opacity of my brush, before I painted it all out. Kind of faded it into here. So let's do that before I go. I'm going to go undo a billion times till my [00:05:50 ?? iron's] back. Not too far. Here we go. So with this Layer selected, with the Mask selected, Brush tool. I'm going to show you a new little shortcut. We've let the size, left and right, up and down for the hardness. Another cool one is, see the opacity? So if you look at your keyboard, the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 along the top, not the ones on the number keypad, you might not have one of those, but the ones that are above the letters on your keyboard. Watch up here, where it says Opacity, if I type the '2' key, goes to 20%. '5' is 50%, '9' is 90%, '0' is back to 100. Weird. If you want to do it super fast, like '5', '5' together, you can see it changes the opacity here. So it's just an easy way of picking an opacity without having to toggle. 

I'm going to jump up here and slide it up and down. You can see what I'm doing here, I'm just not getting rid of it at all. Mainly so I can save the trouble of having to go through and paint out, between this kind of crossover of the leaves and the island. I'm going to turn my banana on, and my amazing blueberries. And that is an easy way to select a particular Hue, often really good for landscapes, so skies, and kind of grasses, trees and stuff. Make a selection. And with that selection you just click on your 'Adjustments' panel, and that adjustment takes that selection, and turns it into a Mask for its own layers. Then you can turn it on and off. Later on, non-destructively, it's on its own layer, and is awesome. That is it for this video, I will see you in the next one.