In this example, the VFX supervisor originally asked you to paint the image with a blue cast to match the color-corrected plates received from the client. Once you were done, he thought it was perfect. Despite that, the client doesn’t like the blue cast that the movie has been working with and is trying to eradicate it. Rather than starting over from a neutralized plate, can you work with your painting and just get rid of the cast?
Of course you are wincing inside, thinking of how hue shifting causes all kinds of unwanted colorations, how putting in an overlay or doing too much image processing flattens the image’s color range; a litany of hurdles bombard your mind. Then you smile and say “Okay.”You remembered this particular chapter! I think this would be called grandiose delusions on my part, but if this chapter happens to save any of you, e-mail me and tell me the tale!
Before neutralizing a color cast, find out exactly from where the cast is coming. Placing color markers aids your quest and gives you feedback during the process.
Your original painting with a heavy blue cast.
The Color Sampler tool is hidden behind the Eyedropper tool.
Setting the Color Sampler options to an average gives you a more accurate reading.
You see #1 with the average valuelisted in RGB in the Info palette, shown in Figure. (Choose Window > Show Info if you don’t have the Info palette up already.) You see the sampler symbol with a1 next to it, indicating from where the sample is being drawn. If you think you need to nudge it over just a bit, just place your cursor over it.When it changes into triangle, click and drag it to where you want it.
The Info window with one color sampler marker.
The Info palette displays this as #2.
With both the #1 sample and #2 sample, the red, green, and blue channels should have a different value from each other. That is causing a color cast.
If you have a sudden memory lapse and forget what area you sampled, have no fear Photoshop leaves the markers onscreen, with numbers indicating which sample i which. To clear the markers, go to the options bar and click the clear button. Figure shows the numbered markers. Now that the markers are set, you are ready to take the first step in neutralizing the color cast.
The Color Sampler leaves markers so you know where you are getting your values from.
With your color markers set, first work on neutralizing your highlights. Take the neutralizing solution and spread it evenly over your head. Uh, wait. That’s from my hair-streaking kit. Now you know the answer to “Does she or doesn’t she?” As I recover from my utter embarrassment, take a look at the brightest points on your image as you subtract the color cast from the highlights.
In this case it is imperative that you use a Curves Adjustment layer instead of the Image Adjustment Curves.
Another way to do this: Go to the bottom of the Layers menu and choose Curves. See Figure for what this looks like. Either gives you the same result on a separate layer. You need the flexibility of the separate layer for going back to tweak the settings.
You have multiple ways of doing the same thing. Click the Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer button on the bottom of the Layers palette.
Take a look at the values in your color sample #1 in the Info palette. Notice the highest value. In this case it is the blue channel with a value of 249.
You switch your curve editor to the channel with the lowest value.
When you opened the curve editor, the sample colors were updated with a slash that divides the current and the corrected colors.
You are doing the same thing to the green channel.
You have neutralized the highlights, but your image is still unbalanced until you at least neutralize the shadows. Keep working through the next section.
Before you leave the Curves dialog box, neutralize the shadows using the same method, but matching down to the lowest value.
The lower-left node represents the dark shadows. You may have to make some extreme adjustments, but trust in the numbers.
Your image so far with highlights and shadows neutralized.
The midtones are a bit trickier. Ideally, there exists a point on the image that is supposed to be 50 percent gray. In reality, that is rarely the case, and you need to determine your midpoint gray.
I added another curve layer for clarity, but you could have made the adjustment on the existing Curve Adjustment layer.
Evening the Light
This image is looking much better, but you still need to even out the light.
Instead of adding the Levels Adjustment layer through the Layers palette, you could go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels
In the Levels Dialog box, notice that the histogram is not spread across the entire range of values.
Drag the end triangles in, toward the range of the histogram, to set a new range for the image
Take a look at the image. All this processing has left it too saturated. The last order of business is to desaturate the image a bit.
You’re almost there!
As you start to desaturate, the histogram fills in, reflecting a richer range in the image.
The before image.
And the after image.
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Adobe Photoshop Tutorial
Preferences And Settings
Customizing Your Workspace
Starting With Color Maps
Tiling And Transformations
Matte Paintings From Pictures
Quick Fixes For Common Problems
Masks And Mattes
Noise And Grain
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