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OPR Workshop Information Exchange => Photoshop Discussion => Topic started by: Ausimax on November 26, 2006, 07:54:23 PM

Title: Help! Colour ME Blue
Post by: Ausimax on November 26, 2006, 07:54:23 PM

Can anybody explain to me a way to pick/find colours in PS CS2. If I go looking for a colour, I find it very hard to find the colour I am looking for in the colour dialogue, I seem to be picking forever and can't get the right hue.

My next problem is when I do find a colour and then want to either lighten or darken that colour selection, the whole shemozzle starts again, I might add that colour mixing is not my best thing ( Failed finger painting at Kindy).

Hoping somebody knows a more intelligent method, it drives me batty.


Title: Re: Help! Colour ME Blue
Post by: cmpentecost on November 26, 2006, 08:17:15 PM
Hi Max,

If I'm understanding this correctly, you know the color you want (for example, you want to match the color of someones shirt), but don't know how to go to another picture and duplicate the exact same color?

Using your color picker, click on the color you want.  Then, go to your paint swatch colors in your tool bar (the 2 boxes that default to black and white).  Click on the color, and the the color picker dialogue box pops up.  There are two columns of white boxes with numbers in them.  Look at the 3 boxes (lower left of the columns) that have R G B.  Those numbers indicate your "color".  You may want to write those numbers down.  Then, when you need that exact color again, open up your color picker, type those numbers into the RGB squares, and you should, I hope, have your exact color.

Does this make sense/help?

As for lightening/darkening a colored selection, have you tried the blending modes in the layers pallet?

Good luck.

Title: Re: Help! Colour ME Blue
Post by: Ausimax on November 26, 2006, 09:31:49 PM
Hi Christine,

I am probably expressing myself poorly ( as usual ). No I don't have trouble picking colours from the image or another photo, mainly trying to find a colour that you don't have in the image to sample, if for example I want to use a particular shade of Gray - its finding that colour in the colour selection dialogue box, the band you have to make your selection from is very narrow, a whisker either way and you have another hue intruding.
Then when you do find a colour, trying then to select the same colour in just a lighter or darker shade - there are some methods of drawing hair where you start off with, say brown and then you incrementally lighten the colour each pass to create the effect - that is the trouble I have, lightening that colour, then again  and so on.

When I do find colours that I may want to select again I usually just use the hexadecimal number.

I hope this has made it clearer where I am having trouble, my colour sense is not brilliant, my wife and I are always arguing over what colour something or other is, I say its green, she claims its blue - trouble is I think she is probably right.

Thanks for your help, this is just one of those little things that bug me, and when you pick a colour out of an image and then when you have a large patch of it, it looks nothing like the colour you thought you were seeing.

Title: Re: Help! Colour ME Blue
Post by: glennab on November 26, 2006, 10:13:22 PM
Hi Max

You mentioned using a color "band" when trying to choose the shade you want.  Are you also using the large rectangle to the left of the band?  If you double click on the foreground or background color square, you'll get the "Color Picker" box with every shade  imaginable  and all the color values (numbers).  As you move the slider up and down the narrow band, you'll see the colors change in the rectangle and you can sample anywhere in that rectangle.  You should be able to get similar lighter or darker colors by just sampling vertically along the area from which you pulled the original. As you sample in the large rectangle, the actual color will appear to the upper right of the color band in a divided rectangle with your original foreground or background color beneath the one you've chosen.

If you're sampling a color from the image, you may want to change the number of pixels from which you're obtaining your sample.  3x3 is the standard, but it can be changed.

(Cat on keyboard -- help!)

I don't know if that's what you're looking for, but that's the best way I know to choose a color other than using a Pantone color library, but then when you change the color to RGB it will shift.

Best to you as always,


Title: Re: Help! Colour ME Blue
Post by: Ausimax on November 27, 2006, 03:03:21 AM
Hello Glenna,

Yes I know what you mean about the large colour box, it is just so "hit & miss". I'll explain what I mean by posting this image of the colour selector dialogue from the gimp.

You can see the colour I have selected at the cross-hairs in the dialogue box, all colours start from Black on the left to the full hue of the colour on the right, as you move the cross-hair to the right it takes you through every shade of that particular Hue as you move right along the horizontal line.


So if you have a colour selected, or you enter the colour numbers it takes you back to this dialogue, you then just move left or right to lighten/darken the colour.

When you try to do this in PS you are sampling with you dropper along a more oblique colour band in the dialogue and end up sampling colours that are not only lighter or darker but of a different hue.

Even a dummy like me can deal with colour in the Gimp, but PS defies logic,  mine anyway! What I was hoping that somebody knew a way to do much the same thing in PS.

Thank for your interest in the ravings of a silly old F$#t. :funny:

Title: Re: Help! Colour ME Blue
Post by: glennab on November 27, 2006, 03:08:48 PM
Hi again Max, (aka old f*#t  - I can call you that because I'm one, too! - but I'd never consider you a silly one!)

This may be a really dumb question, but what is Gimp?

You're right, the colors are basically "hit or miss" unless you have actual numbers for a particular one.  I did find that in Photoshop the vertical plane gives you colors that are closer in hue, if you want to get lighter or darker versions of a particular shade. Horizontally, you definitely get different hues.

Are you trying to match something, or just find a color that suits you for what you're doing? Are you printing the image and not happy with the color?  If that's the case, then color calibration among your hardware and software could be your issue.  I'm plowing my way through a book on color, and it emphasizes over and over the importance of having precise calibrations and color spaces.  And no matter what you do, the folks who print our images adjust the colors based on their equipment. Basically, we're talking "crap shoot!"

If anyone else knows how to get more precision, I'd certainly be interested.


Title: Re: Help! Colour ME Blue
Post by: Ausimax on November 27, 2006, 06:53:52 PM
Hi Glenna,

Basically, it is any time you want to use a colour that is not already in an image, like I said about doing hair and such like, even trying to get the colour you want for backgrounds etc.

I just find it hard to believe that something as complex (and expensive) as PS can be so unhelpful in something as basic as this.

I don't seem to have any real calibration problems that I know of, my Images print pretty true to the monitor colour, I don't have any calibration software other than Adobe Gamma, how do images I post appear to you?

The Gimp is an open source Photo editor (freeware) and it is very good, the only reason I left it for PS is that it does not have adjustment layers, other than that it was my editor of choice above PSP and PhotoImpact, both of which I have (old versions now) and as you can see its colour selection is much superior to PS.

Seems like the answer may to be to have the Gimp open at the same time and find the colours there, and use the data to get them in PS, a bit convoluted, but possible.

Thanks for your help Glenna, its not one of those killer problems, just an inconvenience to a silly old F%#T. :D


Title: Re: Help! Colour ME Blue
Post by: glennab on November 27, 2006, 11:27:32 PM
Hi Max

I think the reason Photoshop isn't as accurate with color as you'd like is that it's basically a fine art program, and when specific colors are required, most people use other software, like Quark, Illustrator and more and more often In-Design.

The designing I do in Photoshop is basically just grabbing a color I like or sampling something in the image to match the rest of the art, so I've never bothered to familiarize myself with anything more defined than that.

The hair I've done has been mostly trying to get what samples I can from the photo, if there's anything to see.  If not, I make an educated guess (or uneducated, as the case may be).

My Army friends' hair is going to be mostly guesswork, especially the Sergeant, but there is a little color to pull from.  We'll see how that works.

Those "little" inconveniences can loom large when you're trying to accomplish decent restorations.

I didn't realize how easy my job is until I started working with OPR.  Designing publication art allows me to run with whatever I want, within a few parameters.  I'm a spoiled brat!  I still have a sharp learning curve but am absorbing so much, especially from the latest photo.  I'm on about iteration 7, and it's finally starting to come together.  I'm having a terrible time with layers affecting other layers, and I still don't understand the dynamics.  Maybe I should read the 10 or so books I have -- but then I'm not working on the restoration.  Dilemma!!

And, of course, being the nut that I am, I chose very complex photos from the get-go.  Just don't know any better.  Gotta have that challenge!

Anyway, good luck with the hair.

Title: Re: Help! Colour ME Blue
Post by: kstruve on November 28, 2006, 12:52:07 PM

Hey Max,

I believe I understand what your difficulty with Photoshop's color picker is.  You probably have the "wrong" radio button toggled to get the interface you want.  If you open up Photoshop's color picker, you probably have either the "R", "G", or "B" button selected.  What you want is to have the "H" button selected and you'll get the interface like the Gimp screen shot you showed above.

(http://img292.imageshack.us/img292/2870/colorpickerxs7.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)

I hope this helps!

Title: Re: Help! Colour ME Blue
Post by: Ausimax on November 28, 2006, 09:14:50 PM

Thanks Kurt, that is exactly what I wanted to know, I figured there had to be a better way, but didn't know how to find it.

As you have probably realised by now I am PS challenged, there are just so many features hidden away that you overlook until someone shows you, Thanks again, and welcome to OPR.


Title: Re: Help! Colour ME Blue
Post by: zapphnath on November 30, 2006, 09:26:21 PM
Another way you can choose colors is through the Swatches Palette.  ( Window > Swatches)
You can see a bunch of colors that you can click on to instantly change your foreground color to.
Better yet, if you click the little-black-arrow-in-the-grey-circle button (top, right of palette) you can choose other swatch sets.
Check out TRUMATCH Colors for gradual changing of the colors from light to dark shades.
Title: Re: Help! Colour ME Blue
Post by: Ausimax on November 30, 2006, 10:33:49 PM

Thank you zapphnath, something else I didn't know, every day is a learning experience on OPR.


Title: Re: Help! Colour ME Blue
Post by: kjohnson on December 01, 2006, 12:28:11 AM
Actually by default the Color Picker opens with the Hue box already selected (checked). Unless there's a way to change it in Pref's. The color swatch way works too. I find my prob with selecting a color is - you can't just use the eyedropper to pick the color (like you normally can) because the color you want to sample is buried under a tint or "stuff."
Title: Re: Help! Colour ME Blue
Post by: kiska on December 01, 2006, 05:17:17 AM
kjohnson, are you trying to sample from the original photo for color but have a bunch of layers on top??? If so, keep a copy of original or color corrected one open, and just eye drop from that.