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How to replace color in PS

Contributor ,
May 11, 2024 May 11, 2024

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I am using the latest version of PS on an ACer desktop. I have a part of my image which is gray and I want it to be black

I am using the lasso tool to select the object and the perforated lines indicate I have selected the object. The two squares at the edge of the work space are white and gray. 

I go to adjustments then choose replace color. I then click on the portion of the adjustment box where it is black. and the color in the two boxes changes dutifully to black as does the color in the box that says new. I click ok and nothing happens. Thanks

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Community Expert ,
May 11, 2024 May 11, 2024

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You can't use Replace Color for this. You're not dealing with color here, you're dealing with luminosity. There is no color in black, gray, or white. They are the total absence of color.

 

In digital imaging, color and luminosity are two strictly separate components. The term "color" has a narrower meaning than in casual everyday speech, it just refers to the chroma component.

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Community Expert ,
May 12, 2024 May 12, 2024

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Please post the image itself and screenshots illustrating your process. 

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Contributor ,
May 13, 2024 May 13, 2024

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Let's say I want to make the tumbling figure on the left part of the screen darker or closer to black. Here are the steps I am taking. Using the lasso tool, I select the figure. Then under select I choose color range, then I click on the figure and the lasso tool indicates that it has selected because it has a peforated line around it only the tumbling stick figure. 

Then under Window, I click on Color and the box opens indicating a box with a lot of colors. I click the cursor as low in that box as I can trying to get close to black. The two boxes that were white and gray under the tool bar have now become white & what looks like black, the color I have selected. Then I go to replace color and nothing happens. 

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Community Expert ,
May 14, 2024 May 14, 2024

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If the objects are distinct Layers anyway try using the Layer Style Color Overlay. 

 

Replace Color is, in my opinion, worthless because it is destructive and I would recommend not using it. 

 

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Contributor ,
May 14, 2024 May 14, 2024

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Ok, so I have successfully selected my object. Now I click on the two boxes lower left hand side of the working window and click on the gray box. This brings up the color options window. I click on the darkest area and in the boxes lower left the box turns to something close to black. Now I go to the FX button at the bottom of the right hand panel. Open that and choose color overlay. A Layer style box opens up but the color inside the box in Layer styles is still gray and while I can choose Darken that doesn't do it. What am I supposed to do? Thanks

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Community Expert ,
May 14, 2024 May 14, 2024

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Screenshots, please! 

 

What do you mean by »select«? 

Did you select the Layers or did you needlessly load the transparency as a Selection? 

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Contributor ,
May 14, 2024 May 14, 2024

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What do you mean "needlessly" when I am following your instructions. Here is a screenshot. Once again because all I am trying to do is darken the gray of the tumbler on the lower left hand side, I have clicked on layer 17. As I hope you can see from the attached photo I have used the Loop tool to surround the Tumbler and that is what I mean by "selected". Then, to make sure only the gray part is selected I am going up to the Options bar, choosing 
select then choosing color range, then usiing the eyedropper on the gray area, then saying OK. At that point the gray and white squares on the lower left are just that. But again I want the tumbler figure to be darker so I am choosing FX at the bottom of the right hand panel and then - again at your recommendation, choosing color overlay which opens yet another dialogue box but nothing I do at this point changes the color of the tumbler figure. I don't know what else to tell you. 

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Community Expert ,
May 14, 2024 May 14, 2024

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Is the background color a separate layer than the person icon?

Is the Tumbler figure on the layer 17 you have selected?

In general, selection are only necessary for isolating items that are on the same layer.

If the tumbler figure is on a layer by itself then making a selection with the Lasso tool is unnecessary since the layer is what isolates it from everything else. 

In that case, the layer style color overlay should be all you need to recolor the figure. You would pick a color and make sure teh effects blending mode is set to Normal.

 

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Community Expert ,
May 14, 2024 May 14, 2024

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Again, you cannot use Replace Color for this. Read my post above again. This is not color, this is luminosity. White, gray and black are not colors.

 

Black in color mode over a white layer is still white. No color has been added.

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Community Expert ,
May 14, 2024 May 14, 2024

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The Selective Color Adjustment in Photoshop can be used to target black, white and gray in addition to the other colors in an image. It can be found under Image>Adjustments or as an Adjustment layer.

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Community Expert ,
May 14, 2024 May 14, 2024

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Correct, but this isn't Selective Color, this is Replace Color.

 

To be entirely consistent, Selective Color should actually have been called something else. It probably started as a CMYK ink manager. But it has been with us under that name since forever, so it can't be changed now.

 

The bottom line is that in digital imaging, the color component (chroma) is, and has to be, strictly separate from the brightness component (luminance). In Lab mode this is more formalized.

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Community Expert ,
May 14, 2024 May 14, 2024

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I know you were talking about Replace color. But I would recommend Selective color instead for the OP to achieve what they want.

 

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Community Expert ,
May 14, 2024 May 14, 2024

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You could also use the Hue/Saturation Adjustment on B&W and grayscale areas if you enable its Colorize option.

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Community Expert ,
May 14, 2024 May 14, 2024

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I was going suggest Hue/Sat Colorize for mid grey (or other than full white or full black objects) but the OP's last screen shot looks like the objects are each on separate layers, which makes life super easy.

image.png

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