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How do you add color to a black and white photo?


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It sure is!

The Multiply layer blending mode is you're friend here. For instance, here's the Black and White image:

BlacknWhite.png

Then you add a layer to the image and color it with hues indicative of the color you want the objects to be. So, since I have green grass, a blue sky, and some water in the foreground, I painted over them with green and blue hues. I came out with something like this:

Masked.png

Then double-click on the layer and select Multiply, the second option down in the Mode drop-down under the Blending heading. That will overlay the colors on top of the existing image, allowing the shadows to show through and give your image back the definition it once had. :wink: It ends up looking something like this:

Colorized.png

You can play around with the color hue and brightness to get your just the way you want it. Now, if you have a bunch of objects in the scene, this could get tedious, but there's no way to automatically color an object to it's real-world color, you'll have to do that yourself.

Mine is a bit rough around the edges, but I wanted to get the answer out there first with pictures! :P So I rushed it a bit. But you get the idea.

Hope that helps!

I am not a mechanism, I am part of the resistance;

I am an organism, an animal, a creature, I am a beast.

~ Becoming the Archetype

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@ flohrian

To be honest, I don't actually know what each one does myself.

What blending modes in general do is use the hue, saturation, or color values of the pixels on that layer to either alter the layers underneath them or alter the way they are displayed. For instance, the Difference (Differenz) mode basically does a local Invert Colors (Invertieren) of the pixels on lower layers based on the brightness of the pixel (white = inverted, black = unchanged).

The Screen (Blidschirm) mode changes how the pixels of that layer are displayed, not the layers underneath that layer. With this mode, the pixels are displayed at varying opacity depending upon their brightness, with black pixels being transparent and white pixels opaque.

I know Rick posted a site a while ago where it explained the formulas each mode uses to alter the image, but I don't remember where it is, and I haven't been able to find it on Google either...

@ Luigifan

You're welcome! (Luigi is my favorite character from the Mario universe :D)

I am not a mechanism, I am part of the resistance;

I am an organism, an animal, a creature, I am a beast.

~ Becoming the Archetype

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