kolios's blog

How we can colorize a B&W image.

posted by kolios, Dec 15, 2006 3:51 PM — 99 comments

In advance I will introduce the tools and layers that we will use to this Photoshop tut.
1) Brush Tool
2) Elliptical Marquee Tool
3) Eraser Tool
4) Blend mode of our layers will be in: Color Mode
5) At the end we will have 8 layers (new layers) + 1 (original image) our new layers will be: bg, dress, skin, bracelet, hair, lips, eye-left, eye-right and the color with the same order (RGB): 345a02, d1041d, f6d9b9, d9860e, d3b785, ff335e, 6b8fa9, 6b8fa9 of course you can use other combination to get other result.

Here we go!
Now we will choose a B&W picture. (For this I used a picture from here:
#669553 and I took cooljinny’s permission.)

Open in Photoshop


Create a new layer and name it bg.
After creating this, set Blend Mode to COLOR


Now select for forward color 345a02 (green) and with the bg layer selected, take the Brush Tool and start painting all the area of this layer so you will have this result.


Create the 2nd layer and name it dress and set Blend Mode to COLOR.
Now select for forward color d1041d (red) and with the dress layer selected, take the Brush Tool and start painting the area as shown down to this picture.


Create the 3rd layer and name it skin and set Blend Mode to COLOR.
Now select for forward color f6d9b9 (open pink) and with the skin layer selected, take the Brush Tool and start painting the area as shown down to this picture.


Create the 4rth layer and name it bracelet and set Blend Mode to COLOR.
Now select for forward color d9860e (orange) and with the bracelet layer selected, take the Brush Tool and start painting the area as shown down to this picture.


Create the 5th layer and name it hair and set Blend Mode to COLOR.
Now select for forward color d3b785 (orange) and with the hair layer selected, take the Brush Tool and start painting the area as shown down to this picture.


Create the 6th layer and name it lips and set Blend Mode to COLOR.
Now select for forward color ff335e (pink) and with the lips layer selected, take the Brush Tool and start painting the area as shown down to this picture.


Create the 7th layer and name it eye-left and set Blend Mode to COLOR.
Now select for forward color 6b8fa9 (blue) and with the eye-left layer selected,
1) Take the Elliptical Marquee Tool and select the left eye and after
2) Take the Brush Tool and start painting the area as shown down to this picture.


Create the 8th layer and name it eye-right and set Blend Mode to COLOR.
Now select for forward color 6b8fa9 (blue) and with the eye- right layer selected,
3) Take the Elliptical Marquee Tool and select the right eye and after
4) Take the Brush Tool and start painting the area as shown down to this picture.


At this point we have finished adding color to our image and now we have to erase some pixels to finalize this.
For this reason we have to select the Eraser Tool, and we will erase as shown down the image.
Remember!
We have to select each layer separately and erase those pixels on this specific layer. If you erase a bigger area than you should to, go one step back on the history, or you can add again the same color in this area.


The result of the above step is the final step and it should be like mine.


Click to download this .PSD or .DOC file

A very big weapon for a graphic designer is his passion and his patience…
The more you work, the higher is the result achieved and the closer you are on being a professional...

Hope you like it and especially I hope that I helped some people sharing some of my knowledge on this powerful tool-program, named PHOTOSHOP!

If someone has stuck somewhere, please let me know and I will add the missing part.

Thank you.

Comments | RSS

1. posted by widem, Dec 15, 2006 7:12 PM

Wonderfull!!! Making the old pictures new...


2. posted by kolios, Dec 15, 2006 9:02 PM

Yes but you didn't rate this tutorial..
;)
Anyway this is the point of this tutorial...
Critics of all nature are wellcome too... From our mistakes we learn and be better!


3. posted by Maart3n, Dec 16, 2006 12:29 AM

Really nice tutorial!


4. posted by adalove, Dec 16, 2006 12:58 PM

A great tutorial!! Congratulations!!! I was waiting for a b&n to color one, and here it is!

Thanks to you and all sxc users that don´t mind sharing their skills :)


5. posted by kolios, Dec 16, 2006 3:31 PM

Thanks for your comments and I forgot to say that I am about to make a video tutorial avaliable for download. Please be patient...


6. posted by sundesigns, Dec 18, 2006 1:46 PM

Good Tutorial, quite useful..


7. posted by omar_franc, Dec 19, 2006 3:42 AM

very good!

so simple and so useful, wonderful!


8. posted by kgs2006, Dec 20, 2006 2:09 PM

Its really very useful ..
Thanks..


9. posted by a_kartha, Dec 22, 2006 9:42 PM

Wow, amazing work! I admire your patience and fortitude! Your work is outstanding! Hats off, great tutorial.



10. posted by bircanokan, Dec 24, 2006 12:34 AM

Thank you very much. Helpful, useful..


11. posted by abdelmotaa, Dec 24, 2006 2:38 PM

good


12. posted by cafrethe, Dec 26, 2006 9:06 PM

thank you so much. ive been wondering how to do this, now i know. i tried it and it most deffinateley works! thanks again.

-thomas


13. posted by cafrethe, Dec 26, 2006 9:06 PM

thank you so much. ive been wondering how to do this, now i know. i tried it and it most deffinateley works! thanks again.

-thomas


14. posted by kgsomaraj, Dec 27, 2006 2:19 AM





This is really exciting !
Only hard work pays, one should
do it again and again on different
pics to become an expert.

kgsomaraj


15. posted by thanhhua, Dec 27, 2006 6:43 AM

Thanks kolios for sharing, this is really awesome!!! =]


16. posted by 1234papi, Dec 28, 2006 6:50 AM

good work!


17. posted by am-y, Dec 28, 2006 3:35 PM

very interesting! :D


18. posted by btoinc, Dec 28, 2006 6:54 PM

like it a lot


19. posted by sinapot, Dec 29, 2006 2:32 AM

superb!


20. posted by hipINC, Dec 29, 2006 2:35 PM

this was fun... I made my stumbleupon avatar with your directions here...

http://heresyisprogress.stumbleupon.com/about/


21. posted by MaFoster, Dec 30, 2006 9:37 AM

I use Paint Shop Pro, but your directions in the tutorial were done well enough it was quite easy to do in my program too. Thank you very much for this excersize.


22. posted by Face_off, Dec 30, 2006 10:25 AM

Good tutorial kolios, i like it very much,, i think is a useful tutorialk for all designers.
For me the quality of the old photo that you colored ( i think the people in the photo must be albanian peaople- from the caracteristics of their dress and face, but people from the sud of albania in the border with greece ;) ) is not a big problem the tutorial and your actions have done well their job, the problem comes from the original, originaly this kind of photo is printed i think from a 35 mm b/w film and is printed with no acuracy with manual development and manual exposure on enlarger, after the first print in a dimension i think shuld be no more than 7 cm x10 cm is reproduced again to do the anlargment with a photo procesing shooting again the photo with a 35mm camera, so the shapes and the detaigl of image is poor and also you dont have the right gray scale, but a forced gray scale, the borders that divide the details hair, eyes are disapear and of course you will find trouble finding the borders, for this the photo has a bad quality that comes from the original itself, you can't do better :), and the job that you have done with this photo is a more than a good job.


23. posted by miasarah, Dec 30, 2006 9:34 PM

Amatur work!!


24. posted by Aquilo, Jan 1, 2007 11:49 AM

here is an example that required a little more detailed and precise work but same concept!

stock image
http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=406555

result
http://www.meganandjasonwedding.com/images/hp-righ- t.jpg


25. posted by thatsit101, Jan 1, 2007 6:06 PM

wow!!
stunning tutorial...
tried it and achieved great result...
keep coming these kinda tutorials..


26. posted by elp9946, Jan 3, 2007 8:58 PM

very good tutorial, but there are correct ways of editing an image and there are wrong ways... it's important to keep in mind that non-destructive image editing (such as through RAW and using layers) tends to preserve the integrity of the digital file.


27. posted by npreston, Jan 4, 2007 11:44 PM

Great stuff -
Pretty quick and easy, but something that needs a tute to give us some confidence.


28. posted by reticulimr, Jan 5, 2007 6:55 PM

Amatur work!! Trash!!


29. posted by grberry, Jan 8, 2007 3:28 PM

Fantastic and so quick! Ignore the trolls!


30. posted by xoxo007, Jan 8, 2007 10:02 PM

Very nice tutorial.. i`ll try it at home...


31. posted by xSovereign, Jan 9, 2007 12:31 AM

It's a very easy to follow tutorial for any program (I have psp7, psp9, and ps cs2) but unfortunately the purpose of colorizing is to make the image look realistic and it doesn't look realistic. I gave it a 5 for simplicity but you lost the other 5 because it doesn't look real.


32. posted by lnordmann, Jan 11, 2007 8:43 AM

Hi Kolios! Nice tutorial. There are so many cool features in Photoshop to discover, I have never known before... :-) And I use PS since version 3.0 !!! Go on...


33. posted by pap, Jan 11, 2007 10:56 PM

Excellent turorial from a specialist designer.
Thanks


34. posted by abejo, Jan 11, 2007 11:36 PM

That is excellent! Thanks! I will give it a shot. Have lot's of photos of my grandparents.


35. posted by McArty, Jan 12, 2007 10:48 AM

Thx Kolio!!!

Going to try it becouse looks easy and well explained.


36. posted by kolios, Jan 12, 2007 2:51 PM

Thank you for your comments and special thanks to those negative comments, because from our mistakes we learn and we try to be better...

As I have say on the top of my post, this is the way that I did this tutorial. Anyone can follow any other combination of programs, tools, tecniques etc to get the desired result.

Many people here are professionals on designing and many more are trying to be. I work with PS since PS8 so my experience is lower from meny people here.

This tutorial was directed to some people who have note explore some parts of this powerfull designing program called PS and I have wrote it because I remember how I start learning design. I use to read any tutorial over the internet that had interest for me and I still do read tutorials...

I apologies for my english but I think that is greater from your greek!

PS: None is perfect.


37. posted by kolios, Jan 12, 2007 2:51 PM

Thank you for your comments and special thanks to those negative comments, because from our mistakes we learn and we try to be better...

As I have say on the top of my post, this is the way that I did this tutorial. Anyone can follow any other combination of programs, tools, tecniques etc to get the desired result.

Many people here are professionals on designing and many more are trying to be. I work with PS since PS8 so my experience is lower from meny people here.

This tutorial was directed to some people who have note explore some parts of this powerfull designing program called PS and I have wrote it because I remember how I start learning design. I use to read any tutorial over the internet that had interest for me and I still do read tutorials...

I apologies for my english but I think that is greater from your greek!

PS: None is perfect.


38. posted by dAmnMeyra, Jan 15, 2007 1:24 PM

10 for a great presentation and for the files attached ! People should do that more often.. helps so much.

Many Thank :)


39. posted by dAmnMeyra, Jan 15, 2007 1:25 PM

forgot to rate :D


40. posted by ayazu, Jan 16, 2007 7:56 AM

I am Ayaz from India,

I have read the column and used it practically and i think " that it's just amazing".....
thanks for it......


41. posted by gabriel77, Jan 16, 2007 10:13 AM

Great tut. very easy to do, the only thing i did dif. was: use the lasso tool
to select the area's and then fill, lets you work preciezer.

Thanx for sharing

Gabriel


42. posted by fadirahhal, Jan 16, 2007 2:56 PM

if somone looking 4 somthing...profesional...try 2 use "path" tool...
the edges will be so sharp....


43. posted by magi48, Jan 17, 2007 5:04 AM

Good work! This tutorial is very easy to follow.


44. posted by claudelu, Jan 18, 2007 7:27 AM

Very useful! Thank you for sharing this with other enthusiasts.


45. posted by MNA1, Jan 18, 2007 8:38 PM

hey great work....


46. posted by 1394053, Jan 18, 2007 11:59 PM

Es muy interesante tu trabajo, gracias por compartirlo.

Good work..


47. posted by gouvernant, Jan 28, 2007 4:16 PM

I liked this tutorial, especially as it worked the same way in GIMP.


48. posted by eszterd, Jan 29, 2007 3:52 PM

Thank You! Great work! It helped me a lot! Keep on going with such!


49. posted by arnab, Feb 2, 2007 8:00 AM

Great work!! indeed

I have learned some specific way to convert BW to Colour. I must use this technique in my designing profession.

Thanks
Vivekananda Paul from India


50. posted by branox, Feb 2, 2007 3:34 PM

super and fast


51. posted by 123321, Feb 2, 2007 7:20 PM

Great, especially for the amount of time needed!


52. posted by stephen66, Feb 10, 2007 1:46 AM

Amazing results from such a simple technique, this will be very useful, thanks.


53. posted by mcguffin, Feb 12, 2007 1:48 AM

Could be improved, but an okay tutorial anyway.


54. posted by iangiles, Feb 12, 2007 2:42 AM

Brilliant, it's the first time I've done anything meaningful with PS. It was great fun to do and has give me inspiration to do more. Many thanks.


55. posted by assennato, Feb 12, 2007 11:59 AM

It's good, but i think it could be better. The skin of the girl wasn't so real as the mouth and eyes.

A little bit of reallity it make this tutorial, perfect.


56. posted by naitore, Feb 16, 2007 12:44 PM

It looks so real. loved it. Am sure your tutorial will make me do one as good as that or even better. Thank You. I appreciate that. God Bless your Talent. Nitrous


57. posted by partiigurl, Feb 18, 2007 8:22 PM

i have never actually thought about doing this becuase after i gray scale a picture i think that the color information is lost forever! with this tutorial, i can completely reagain all of the color within minutes. this is so great


58. posted by zinab, Feb 21, 2007 11:06 PM

I think it is a good technique to colorize an image quickly. For those people that said it is not so realistic, what would be a better way to achieve more realism.

Thanks for the tut


59. posted by zinab, Feb 21, 2007 11:06 PM

I think it is a good technique to colorize an image quickly. For those people that said it is not so realistic, what would be a better way to achieve more realism.

Thanks for the tut


60. posted by zinab, Feb 21, 2007 11:06 PM

I think it is a good technique to colorize an image quickly. For those people that said it is not so realistic, what would be a better way to achieve more realism.

Thanks for the tut


61. posted by mammi, Feb 23, 2007 1:55 PM

I am like this pic. and i think that is a good tec. to coway to others.
thanks bye.
M. Muneer Ali Pakistan. Lahore


62. posted by jose177, Feb 27, 2007 7:23 PM

very good, you never die (muy bueno, no te mueras nunca)


63. posted by dinxcarin, Feb 28, 2007 2:15 AM

cool tutorial,
Did you just use the Eraser tool in getting rid of the unnecessary colors that go beyond the image?


64. posted by mg_1400, Feb 28, 2007 8:41 AM

i like this work, good for new photoshop student


65. posted by imon1, Mar 1, 2007 11:49 AM

Very...very..nice Tutorial to convert a B/W photo into colour


66. posted by juass, Mar 16, 2007 8:30 PM

gracias.....muchas gracias¡¡¡¡¡


67. posted by bnarasimha, Mar 19, 2007 9:15 AM

exelent work, good technique


68. posted by fofo_77, Mar 21, 2007 3:47 PM

wow.go on man


69. posted by xr4m, Mar 27, 2007 6:22 PM

nice tutorial.....


70. posted by ivormwela, Apr 9, 2007 8:30 PM

cool trick


71. posted by essenza, Apr 20, 2007 10:22 PM

Very nice tutorial! Have you ever considered using the "Solid Color" adjustment layer? Using the layer mask gives a degree more control than just the brush tool alone, and with the adjustment layer, you can change the colors all you want just by reopening the Color Picker...


72. posted by blackadir, Apr 25, 2007 2:06 PM

very nice... thanx


73. posted by cerdoski, May 3, 2007 3:20 PM

nice tut, very easy to follow. Thxs man


74. posted by pemc80, Jun 12, 2007 9:00 PM

carai manow muito bom mesmo


75. posted by deivisom, Jul 11, 2007 3:51 PM

Wow.. this guide helped me a lot. I remebered how can I colorized B&W pictures!
Thanks a million!


76. posted by tamoghno, Jul 24, 2007 1:25 PM

superb i tried to do this in so many different & painful ways. thank you . again


77. posted by morleys, Aug 1, 2007 3:11 PM

Thanks for the straight forward tutorial. I'm a beginner to photoshop so any new techniques I can pick up are an added bonus.


78. posted by wats0n, Aug 3, 2007 4:52 AM

this is wonderful. I'm amazed at how easily this was done, with a beautiful result!


79. posted by oscaredu, Aug 26, 2007 11:14 PM

nice, very easy way to do it!!, thanks


80. posted by fake_usa, Sep 17, 2007 5:13 PM

thank you, this was helpfull to me.


81. posted by sxchuman, Sep 20, 2007 2:05 PM

i like this work, good for new photoshop student


82. posted by rudey, Sep 24, 2007 6:24 PM

thnx a lot


83. posted by shadowlyx, Oct 9, 2007 10:01 AM

Congratulations!
As a graphic designer I can say that I am very pleased by the fact that someone is able to post some interesting and very clear tutorial on Photoshop picture editing.
It is very useful for those who are interested in aditing old photos w/o using plugins or some complicated methods.
This is a tutorial that is explained simple and very clearly.
Keep up the good work.


84. posted by jessada, Nov 22, 2007 5:21 PM

Now I understand this miracle of color blend mode


85. posted by AjjiBan, Dec 11, 2007 9:19 PM

whoa~ o -o awesome~ ;DDD


86. posted by amiraslani, Dec 18, 2007 9:21 PM

wooooooow ! it's so nice .
tanx


87. posted by ninjagurl, Dec 31, 2007 3:05 AM

awesome tutorial!!! you make it very easy to follow : ) thank you thank you thank you!


88. posted by longjiang, Jan 27, 2008 1:16 AM

Very realistic!


89. posted by zulio2006, Mar 20, 2008 3:35 PM

very good



90. posted by lprado, May 25, 2008 10:03 AM

Great tutorial, thx for sharing. I've found another technique that gets to do it a little more realistic, but maybe in a more complex fashion> http://psdtuts.com/photo-effects-tutorials/awesome- -photorealistic-coloring-techniques/#more-167


91. posted by dipkya, May 27, 2008 1:31 PM

thats excellent tutorial i have ever seen on the net. too good


92. posted by sukkigoh, Oct 24, 2008 12:28 PM

very helpful..before i used to think twice how to do it all..thank you


93. posted by spancomm, Jan 10, 2009 9:20 AM

Thank You Bill


94. posted by nachappeal, Jan 13, 2009 9:07 PM

Ty so much for taking the time to share your knowledge with others. I am grateful and know that this will help out a lot ! :)


95. posted by ofcdubai, Feb 15, 2009 12:45 PM

Well done kolion....

U did a great job.


96. posted by guillerali, May 7, 2010 12:38 PM

well is more easy and result is more poor for ten minutes (no use Pencil, Feather no select tools) thanks this tecnique no good idea apply in restoration


97. posted by escan, Aug 18, 2010 9:03 AM

Wonderful andl vary useful tutorial.
thanks


98. posted by teploshop, Aug 26, 2010 4:17 PM

exelent work, good technique


99. posted by inizjall, Nov 6, 2013 3:20 AM

superb .. tutorial

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