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Recolor Tool Incomprehension


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First, I will acknowledge that it can be easy to drive me crazy. I have the bad habit of trying to think PDN is my old PhotoFinish, and it isn't. It is more than that... and less.

 

In PF, I could select a primary color and a secondary color, and then set my brush size and replace all of the Primary color with the Secondary color.

 

I don't seem to be able to do that in PDN.

 

I looked at the directions for Recolor Tool.

 

I can get SOME of the primary color to replace, but not all. AND, I cannot use a small brush size to select, and then switch to a larger brush size to cover large areas.

 

This is really annoying, because I have worked out a DNA pattern which I plan to "glow," but it is made of an outer ring of one color and an inner dot of white. It comes up very cool when "glowed."

 

But... I want to do this with green, red, and blue outer rings, and I thought it would be simple to use the color replace tool to do it.

 

It isn't.

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When you select the recolor tool, look at the toolbar:

Recolor.png

You need to select the secondary color option and adjust your tolerance up until you get the desired results.

 

Tried that. I can't sample and then change the size of the brush as far as I can tell. Never mind. I found a way around that on this particular project. A plain white DNA ended up giving the best effect.

Edited by Marilynx
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However, I have another issue with the color replacer. I have a picture of a wolf -- this is a comp image from Fotolia, which I will purchase if I can get things to work out.

 

I plan to mirror image it. One wolf is a standard gray wolf. The other needs to be a cream and rust wolf. Most of the gray and black needs to go to shades of rust. I have NO idea how to go about this, because all my experiments with color replacer do not turn the apple blue when it is red.

 

This looks like a potentially useful starting point for colors. http://jillienedesigns.blogspot.com/2013/08/rgb-codes.html

 

Another site for hair colors: http://www.collectedwebs.com/art/colors/hair/

 

And this looks like a useful one for dog fur coat colors. http://www.dogsindepth.com/overview/dog_coat_color_chart.html

 

From this, it might seem that for the rust and cream, I might want to use a combination of Pale Golden Blonde (229, 200, 168), Strawberry Blonde (165, 137, 70), and Light Auburn (145, 86, 61),  Darker accents might be Dark Auburn (83, 61, 53),. The only problem is that these colors seem to me to be too brown for a proper rust. (Pale Golden Blonde might make the cream color.)

Edited by Marilynx
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Hello. :)

Here are some re-coloring ideas that you might like or find useful.

 

-- The adjustments tab (up in the menu bar) offers ways to change the colors of things. Try playing with Hue/Saturation, Levels, or Curves, and Brightness/Contrast. (To know more, try exploring the paint.net documentation, if you haven't already.)
 
-- You could use layer blending modes.

1) Add a layer and fill the layer with any color you want. (Tip, have a color you like from another image? Screen capture the image and paste it into paint.net on it's own canvas, or download/save the image and open it into paint.net, then use the "Color Picker Tool")

2) Change the colored layer's blending mode to "Overlay" or "Multiply" or play with the other blending modes and see if there's a different mode you like best.

Don't like how the colors are turning out? Optional steps:

3) Click back on your image layer and make your image black and white (Menu Bar > Adjustments > Black and White.)

4) If needed, adjust the image's Brightness/Contrast, so that it is not too black or too white.

Notes, Gray shades pick up color better and have less color conflictions. Changing your image to shades of gray and then adjusting those shades can make the colors of your colored layer blend less brightly, or blend darker, or blend more vividly. You can use the Brightness/Contrast Adjustment, Levels, or Curves to help you improve your image's appearance. Like-wise, adjusting the colored layer's opacity can help too.

5) Now re-play with the blending modes.

 
-- You could also try re-color plugins. (How to install plugins?)

Color Replacer

Recolour choice

Hue / Saturation Plus

Conditional Hue/Saturation

Two Tone Threshold

 

 

If these ideas don't work for you or you get confused, feel free to ask for further help, or if you can share the images you are trying to re-color, perhaps I (or someone else) can give you more specific help.

Edited by Cc4FuzzyHuggles
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The Recolor tool seems to behave better in v.3.5.11 and below than 4.x versions of PDN.

 

If the Recolor tool isn't good enough and only certain small bits of the image needs recoloring, I personally would just go the easy way by adding a new layer with either Multiply or Overlay as its blending mode, selecting my desired primary color in the palette and just paint over the parts that need recoloring with a soft brush and that's it. Job done.

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Hello. :)

Here are some re-coloring ideas that you might like or find useful.

 

If these ideas don't work for you or you get confused, feel free to ask for further help, or if you can share the images you are trying to re-color, perhaps I (or someone else) can give you more specific help.

 

Thank you for the detailed information. Steps, links, etc. It's all very helpful to someone who has been using PDN for less than a month. And who hasn't yet found where everything is.

 

The first thing I always do is hit F1, but I'm finding that the descriptions of what the tools do and how to apply them have a large number of assumptions as to one's level of knowledge in terms of being a digital artist.

 

I do have Red Ochre's plug-in pack installed, although it appears that I have Version 1 of the Colour Replacer, and there may be a later version.

 

I attach one of the pictures I am currently working with. I think I have cleared out the backdrop from this Fotolia wolf. If I can get things to work out, I will buy a high rez copy and treat it the same way.

 

I want to have this one's eyes glowing golden: you know, the kind of shiny green-gold that a cat's eyes show when a flashlight is pointed at them on a dark night? Only golden, with the features of a wolf's eyes in them. The coat I will leave as a gray wolf.

 

I then want to take a mirror-image of this (no point in uploading two copies!) and have the eyes glowing red, and the coat rust and cream. I'm getting an idea of how I may be able to do this using the Magic Wand and the color tint.

 

Just to save my sanity, I may have to make a palette of those hair colors. I wonder if there's a similar set of codes for eye color? Or should that be, colour? I was looking at some of the palettes, and it appears that one can create a palette in a basic text file. I just have to figure out how to install it. And how to swap between palettes. I did find this thread on palettes.

 

One thing I find very frustrating about all the plug-ins is that someone says, "Hey, I have a plug-in which does X!" and then the messages below that say, "Oh, wow, neat! Look what I did with it!" and no one, not even the creator, ever explains what each parameter is, and how to use it for us ignorant newbies.

post-143238-0-52917800-1446937515_thumb.

Edited by Marilynx
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Marilynx, can you perhaps post the original photo, before the background was removed? I think some here might be able to suggest how the background can be removed more cleanly. Background removal is often difficult, and the best approach depends a lot on the particular picture.

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Thanks Marilynx for telling more about what you want and sharing a picture.

 

You did an OK job at removing the background, especially since furry animals are really hard to separate out from their backgrounds. However, I do kind of agree with MJW, the edges of the cut-out could use some improvements.

 

Try selecting different parts of the wolf with the lasso tool, then run the "Furblur" plugin and see if you can make the edges look more furry again.

(note, since you said you have an outdated plugin of Red Ochre's plugin, I hope you did not get the plugin from a bad website. There are dangerous websites that offer paint.net plugins, but what those sites give you are outdated plugins and viruses. Read more here : http://forums.getpaint.net/index.php?/topic/28270-megalo-virus/)

 

Another idea to help your furry wolf, is try removing the background with a different method.

Perhaps making selections with the lasso tool and using color removing plugins would help you remove the background around the fur better. For example, another user requested help a while back, here are the brief demonstrations I gave her...

 

* Grim Color Reaper Plugin
You can use the Grim Color Reaper plugin (GCR plugin) to remove colors (in your case, the gray background). The plugin : http://forums.getpaint.net/index.php?/topic/15595-grim-color-reaper-plugin/
For this image, I selected the outside of the hair, zoomed in really close, used the Color Picker tool to pick the color I wanted removed, then I zoomed out a little, and ran the GCR plugin. I had “What Color” set to “Primary Color” and I adjusted the "Color Tolerance."
http://i1146.photobucket.com/albums/o528/Cc4FuzzyHuggles/Other/CutOutimagesExamples_UsingaSelectionampGrimColorReaperforAroundHair_zps87c0777e.png
 
* Cut Color Plugin
Similar to Grim Color Reaper, this plugin helps to remove colors. The Plugin : http://forums.getpaint.net/index.php?/topic/18769-cut-color-effect/

This plugin uses your primary color as it's color sample, but a bonus feature is you can also tweak the color by using it's own built-in color wheel/sliders (note : clicking the reset button puts the color sample back to your primary color).

For this image, I selected the outside of the hair using the lasso tool and then ran the plugin. I set "Type of Effect" to "Remove Color as the Background", then I tried to match the plugin's color sample to the gray that I wanted removed, and I adjusted the "Tolerance in Color".
http://i1146.photobucket.com/albums/o528/Cc4FuzzyHuggles/Other/CutOutimagesExamples_UsingaSelectionampCutColorforAroundHair_zps7e7a9586.png
 
There are several plugins that can remove color these days (including some of the re-color plugins). Depending on the picture, you might prefer the results of one plugin over the other. If after using a color removing plugin there are areas that look like they still have a faint transparent color, using the eraser tool with a soft brush for touch-ups should work to clean things up a bit.

 

 

In this other thread, there is talk about other, but more advanced, ways to remove backgrounds from hairy subjects. If you can follow and understand, then maybe the ideas and suggestions might be useful to you.

http://forums.getpaint.net/index.php?/topic/32230-how-to-select-hair/

 

 

That's all for now. I will have to play around to see if I can figure out your eye-recolor request.

Edited by Cc4FuzzyHuggles
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Thanks Marilynx for telling more about what you want and sharing a picture.

 

(snip)

 

That's all for now. I will have to play around to see if I can figure out your eye-recolor request.

 

I will take a look at what you suggest for removing backgrounds. Like I say, I've been tinkering with PDN for less than a month. (Have already sent in my donation!)

 

I've been using a home computer since 1982 -- my first one was an Osborne 1. (64K of RAM! TWO 89K SSSD 5.25 floppies! (Later upgraded to two 198K SSDD floppies! A built in B&W 52 character wide screen that I would now need a magnifying glass to read! It was luggable!)

 

I've been on line since 1987. I am virus paranoid. The only time we've had a virus in all those years (so far) was when my design engineer husband, who is used to having IT people to take care of stuff for him, didn't pay attention to warnings on a site. He now has his own computer, and is not touching mine!

 

In any case, that sticky about Megalo virus and the warning on same was probably one of the first things I read in this Forum. All my plug-ins have come from this site.

 

Now, back to background removal.... I was using the lasso to trace around stuff, and then discovered the magic wand and tolerances. I was doing a fast and dirty on this particular picture since, as I said, it was a low rez comp file from Fotolia which I wanted to work out my techniques on and then purchase the higher resolution one for the final layout.

 

But since this particular technique (getting rid of backgrounds) is critical to every one of my projects, it's something I must master in as much detail as I can.

 

I will read over the Grim Reaper and Cut Color plug-in information and see what I make of that. I will also read the thread you suggested, although not tomorrow. <grin> I have a Barn Hunt practice with a bouncing black and tan longhaired Dachshund who loves hunting. And I'm also nuts enough to be trying to write at least 50,000 words this month, which means 2000 a day.

 

I am wholly self-taught when it comes to graphics. My first project was doing 8.5 x 11 maps in B&W, 300 dpi on a DOS/Win 3.1 computer with a whopping 4 MB (yes, MB, not GB) of memory. There were 45 of them, from scanned in maps. The only graphics program I had was Windows Paint. And on 3.1, that wasn't anything fancy at all! It took a BUNCH of work. I hope to revisit those maps one of these days with PDN and see how much better I can do!

 

The attached is a rough of what I am aiming for.  The gold eyes were done with Effects => Color => Color Flip/Rotate. I don't care for the way it came out. The red eyes were done with Effects => Color => and either Color Tint or Color Filter -- I don't remember which. I think Tint. They don't glow enough.

 

Adding the red cast to the right-hand wolf was the same, but needs to be MUCH better -- most of the black need to be replaced with dark rust, the gray with rust, and the white with cream, as that particular wolf is described in the book as being "rust and cream" while the other wolf is a standard gray wolf.

 

The photo is of Fairview Mountain in Banff, Alberta, Canada, and was taken by myself on a desperately overcast and snowy day.

 

The DNA was created thanks to someone explaining to me how GLOW worked.

 

I need to figure out how to get the lettering to show up better. But the shadowed lettering was courtesy of a tutorial in this Forum on shadows. I think it involved a tea set.

 

I am about to go see if I can figure out how to install a paint palette. I tracked down a bunch of Hex codes for hair color, skin color, and eye color and want to assemble them in one easy-to-use palette. I already figured out, I think, how to do the plain text file (Using Notepad ++ which has the advange of numbered lines so I can make sure I don't go over 96 colors. PS: the Palette works.

post-143238-0-77234700-1446966641_thumb.

Edited by Marilynx
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The Recolor tool seems to behave better in v.3.5.11 and below than 4.x versions of PDN.

 

If the Recolor tool isn't good enough and only certain small bits of the image needs recoloring, I personally would just go the easy way by adding a new layer with either Multiply or Overlay as its blending mode, selecting my desired primary color in the palette and just paint over the parts that need recoloring with a soft brush and that's it. Job done.

 

The problem with using two layers is that then I cannot use GLOW to blend the white center with the colored ring around it into a colored-and-white glowing ball.

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I tried to fiddle around with the wolf picture, got some interesting re-colored results, but no luck with the eyes, nothing looked good in my opinion. You'll have to figure out the eyes on your own.

 

Argh! Here I was hoping you would come up with something absolutely brilliant!

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Marilynx, the photo has obviously had the original background replaced with a black background. I wonder if perhaps the same image can be purchased with a transparent background. If it can, then you probably don't need to worry about that aspect of the process. You could just figure out whether you can to do the color-changing part. If that works out, you could decide whether to purchase the hi-res image. I don't know much about stock photo companies, but I would think most people who purchased the image would prefer to get one with a transparent background, rather than having to reinvent the wheel by re-removing it.

Edited by MJW
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Shutterstock has the original version of the photo with a grassy background. If you click Preview in the lower-right corner you will get a high quality version with a very faint watermark that can be cut-and-pasted into PDN. You can use it to experiment with coloring. I doubt you should post that version, even modified; it might be a copyright violation. Perhaps posting isolated areas, such as the eye region, would be okay.

Edited by MJW
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My quick hack - without a plugin in sight...

 

1. Paste or open the image with paint.net.

2. Go to Image > Canvas size and uncheck the maintain aspect ratio checkbox. Double the width figure and type it into the box (928 pixels). Anchor the image center left.

3. Magic wand the unused side of the image and press Delete.

4. Duplicate the layer.

5. Got to Layers > Flip horizontal & flip the upper layer (i.e. make sure it's the one highlighted in the Layers Window).

6. Duplicate the flipped layer.

7. Set the Primary color to #FF6A00. Set the Secondary color to #404040 (both hex numbers - you can copy + paste them in to the Hex box) < Pro tip ;)

8. Activate the Recolor tool :RecoloringTool: Make sure you're Sampling Secondary as BoltBait suggested.

9. Set the Brush width to around 20.

10. Set the Hardness to  around 15%.

11. "paint" over the grey wolf in the upper most layer. It should be one of the flipped ones. Keep away from the important bits - eyes and nose. These should remain black.

12. When you're finished - press F4 and set the blending mode to Glow. Set the opacity to around 80.

 

Should look something like this:

 

yhsjjie_108.png

 

Is that something like you want?

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Glowing eyes.....

 

1. highlight the layer which has the unmodified flipped wolf.

2. make a careful selection around the eye with the Ellipse select tool. Zoom in with Ctrl + Mousewheel makes it easier. Get as close as you can then press M twice. See the control nubs? Right click and drag to rotate the selection then left-click and drag the control nubs around to fine tune the selection to just the eye.

3. Press Ctrl + C to copy this selection.

4. Press Ctrl + Shift + V to paste the selection in to a new layer.

5. Activate the new layer (should be below the Glow layer - drag it there if need be)

6. Go to  Adjustments > Brightness & Contrast. Set Brightness to 80, contrast to 50.

7. Repeat for the other eye.

 

Result:

yhsjjie_109.png

 

Nice doggie! Ooooohs a GOOD BOY then?

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But since this particular technique (getting rid of backgrounds) is critical to every one of my projects, it's something I must master in as much detail as I can.

 

Another useful background-removal plugin I'll mention (because I wrote it) is the HSV Eraser. It may be a little difficult to use, but it allows considerable control over which pixels get erased, and the "Portion of Non-Erased Color to Preserve" feature allows "soft" removal of edge pixels for less ragged results. Besides the explanations in the HSV Eraser thread, I show how it can be used to remove a background while leaving hair in a comment in a thread on the subject.

 

The wolf photo is actually fairly difficult becuase the dark gray fur is similar to the black background. The following version of the wolf photo was produced by the ideas mentioned in the hair comment, followed by a few steps to soften the edge. Keep in mind that the upper layer contains the non-edge part of the image, to fill in any non-edge pixels that might be erased by the HSV Eraser, and the lower layer contains the edge pixels. Before I merged the layers I applied the following steps to the lower layer.

 

Effects>Blur>Zoom Blur:

Zoom Amount: 2

Center: 0.07, 0.51

 

Effects>Object>AA's Assistant

Soften the edges: Checked

Gamma: 1.42

Offset: 1.00

 

Effects>Object>Feather Object

Feather Radius: 2

 

I find Zoom Blur is often a useful trick for softening the edges of fur.

 

wolf_zpsajw14t8i.png

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Marilynx, the photo has obviously had the original background replaced with a black background. I wonder if perhaps the same image can be purchased with a transparent background. If it can, then you probably don't need to worry about that aspect of the process. You could just figure out whether you can to do the color-changing part. If that works out, you could decide whether to purchase the hi-res image. I don't know much about stock photo companies, but I would think most people who purchased the image would prefer to get one with a transparent background, rather than having to reinvent the wheel by re-removing it.

 

You know, I have to admit that I like that idea. I had chosen that one because (a) I liked the wolf, and (B) it seemed as if the black background would be easier to remove. I think perhaps I will check with both Shutterstock and Fotolia and see if it is, in fact available on a translucent background.

 

I wouldn't upload a hi-rez that I copied from the website -- I am extremely careful about copyright issues. I don't want to cause hassles for me, or this Forum! But since the stock photos are relatively expensive, I don't want to buy pix I'm not going to use. (Hey, there are BUCKETS on there that I would like to buy! Especially now that I am beginning to learn PDN and have a really nice editor to play with.)

 

Thank you for spotting the picture on a different background, and thank you for the suggestion of looking for it on a transparent background.

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My quick hack - without a plugin in sight...

 

Is that something like you want?

 

Oooh, yes, it is! <grin> I did figure out the copy-and-paste of color numbers, but I appreciate your mentioning it!

 

Is there a similar way to turn some or most of the white to a cream tone, just to make the two wolves look as if they are marked similarly, but obviously not the same colors?

 

 

Glowing eyes.....

 

Nice doggie! Ooooohs a GOOD BOY then?

 

I like that... and some very helpful tips in there for using the selection tools, too. (Thanks for that -- I can refer back to this thread!)

 

Although Mr. Gray Wolf is the good guy and Mr. Rust Wolf is the bad guy, so I'll do Mr. Gray Wolf's with the glowing gold eyes. Mr. Rust Wolf's should be glowing red. 

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Another useful background-removal plugin I'll mention (because I wrote it) is the HSV Eraser. It may be a little difficult to use, but it allows considerable control over which pixels get erased, and the "Portion of Non-Erased Color to Preserve" feature allows "soft" removal of edge pixels for less ragged results. Besides the explanations in the HSV Eraser thread, I show how it can be used to remove a background while leaving hair in a comment in a thread on the subject.

 

The wolf photo is actually fairly difficult becuase the dark gray fur is similar to the black background. The following version of the wolf photo was produced by the ideas mentioned in the hair comment, followed by a few steps to soften the edge. Keep in mind that the upper layer contains the non-edge part of the image, to fill in any non-edge pixels that might be erased by the HSV Eraser, and the lower layer contains the edge pixels. Before I merged the layers I applied the following steps to the lower layer.

 

Effects>Blur>Zoom Blur:

Zoom Amount: 2

Center: 0.07, 0.51

 

Effects>Object>AA's Assistant

Soften the edges: Checked

Gamma: 1.42

Offset: 1.00

 

Effects>Object>Feather Object

Feather Radius: 2

 

I find Zoom Blur is often a useful trick for softening the edges of fur.

 

Okay, let me make sure I understand what you're saying. You're saying I should have two wolf layers, one of which may have the edges trimmed back a little to get rid of the last of the background.  And a second one which is the edges, extending slightly farther in than the edges of the other layer. And then feather or blur the edges, put the two wolves (main wolf) on top, and then merge the two layers?

Edited by Marilynx
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Shutterstock has the original version of the photo with a grassy background. If you click Preview in the lower-right corner you will get a high quality version with a very faint watermark that can be cut-and-pasted into PDN. You can use it to experiment with coloring. I doubt you should post that version, even modified; it might be a copyright violation. Perhaps posting isolated areas, such as the eye region, would be okay.

 

Actually, the grass background version of that is also on Fotolia. I checked with them today. No, it does not come with a transparent background, and no, there is no way of contacting the photographer to see if they would like to upload the one they used to make the black background one. <sigh> Nice idea, though.

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Yes. The top layer should have the edge trimmed back to eliminate all of the background pixels, or the pixels that are a mixture of background and foreground (wolf fur). The purpose of this layer is to prevent erasing any foreground pixels that happen to have the background color. The lower layer should include the entire image, or at least all the edge pixels. You could erase most of the background away from the edge, but I find it easier to leave the entire background. (What I refer to as the lower layer is actually the middle layer if you add a constant-colored contrasting background as the lowest layer.) You then use the HSV Eraser, or something similar, to erase the background, leaving the edge. If there are any remaining pixels away from the edge, they can easily be erased using the Eraser tool. It's much more important to get a good-looking edge than to erase every background pixel.
 
Ideally, the edge will be smooth, but for the wolf picture, it may still be a little ragged. (It would be much easier to get a smooth edge if the background color were more distinct from the wolf's color.) Various tricks can be used to smooth the edge. I first used the Zoom Blur since it blurs outward from a central point, which is sort of the way the fur grows. Then I applied the AA's Assistant and BoltBait's Feather. These are for me the go-to plugins for edge smoothing.
 
I could probably do a better job then I did. I'm not too pleased with the darkish line along the top of the wolf's head.
 
EDIT: To smooth the edge, you might also try using Red ochre's FurBlur plugin as Cc4FuzzyHuggles suggested. That seems like an excellent idea.

Edited by MJW
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