Monday, 23 August 2010

Colouring Old Photos

I love colouring old photos to give that "hand coloured" look and I hope these tips are useful to you.
The Photo I used, "Little Orphan Annie" by Elizabeth B Brownell Public Domain is available on Wikimedia Commons -- Image HERE

For the tutorial I have reduced the size of the image, but I encourage you to recolour at the original size of your photo or illustration.
The tutorial was created using PSP 9 but later versions should be similar.

Open your image, copy and close original.
[Don't forget to save often]
Adjust>Hue and Saturation>colorize and reduce saturation to 0%
Promote background layer and resize canvas to give yourself some room :).
New raster layer and fill with white and send to the bottom.
Layer> new mask layer> hide all. Apply a white brush to your mask as outlined in my vignette tutorial [ ]

Now for some colouring.
We'll start with a general recolour by adding a new raster layer blend mode "overlay"
Flood fill with #ca6740 ...oops...a bit strident..Lower opacity of the layer to suit your preference..I've gone down to 50%

Already looking better.Notice how the colour is only taken up by the non white areas.
Now a little colour to the cheeks.
New raster layer called "cheeks", blend mode "overlay" [or "color"].
Using a round paint brush opacity about 50% and hardness 30% zoom in and colour the cheek areas...and again lower opacity of your is best to be subtle. Erase or undo any overcolouring.until you are happy.
I used color #ca4040

Similarly apply colour to the lips.I used the same colour.
I brightened up the eyes with a bit of yellowy brown in the same way.
Use a new layer for each colour.

The dress I took to be calico coloured.
This time my new layer was blend mode "color" and I carefully coloured the dress area with #446244 and lowered opacity way down until just some colour showing.

Finally some highlights for the hair.
New layer, blend mode "dodge"

Using a brush with color #ffff00 clear yellow, lightly apply to the hair area which you want to highlight.

If you only wish to use your image with a white background , save now as a .jpg.

However, you may want to use over a variety of backgrounds and will want to have your vinigrette saved as a pspimage or .png with a transparent background.
Let's fine tune our mask by flood filling our background [layer 1] with black.

Open the mask layer again

Using the black brush on the mask layer remove any more unwanted areas and add any missing areas by applying white to those, until you are satisfied with your image.

We will save this mask to the alpha channel:-
Whilst the mask layer is selected, layer>load/ save mask> save to alpha channel.

Close your black background layer so it can't be seen.

We now have some of our first fill colouring to remove from around our image.

We will now apply our saved mask to this layer.

Layer>load /save mask> load mask from alpha channel.

Repeat with any of the layers where you may have strayed beyond the image with your paint brush as a "clean up"
You should end up with something like this:

Save as a .pspimage or a .png

I then added a lightly patterned background and a frame.

I have used only a few layers in this example ...with a more complicated image you will have more and you may need to experiment with colours to get just the look that you would like.
I tend to use quite strong colours at low opacity and find that works best for me.
A Couple of Tips:
Do any repairs to your photo before you start :)
If your resultant image looks a bit "muddy" or dark, lighten your original image.
A quick way to do this which I find works well is to duplicate the layer of your photo and change the blend mode of that duplicate layer to "screen" and adjust opacity to suit before merging down.

Have fun ..and DO experiment.


Friday, 30 July 2010

Using Multilayered Preset Shapes in PSP Part 1


One of the great things that I really like about Paint Shop Pro is the ability to be able to make, save and use layered PSP vector shapes.
There must be a limit to the number of layers that it will support...but so far I haven't reached that limit :)

In this tutorial I'll show one option using a very simple layered shape that I have made.

In my DOWNLOAD ZIP are several files.
Place the shape "jm_rect_layered_frame_5_7.PspShape" in a folder within your PSP Files for Preset Shapes. [I have a lot of shapes saved so have quite a number of folders in my shapes library]
Place the texture JM_Wood Texture3a.jpg in your texture folder.

Open a new file say 500 X 500 at 72 dpi transparent background raster layer and fill with any colour . ..however size however doesn't really matter for this exercise.

Make a New Vector Layer it "frame".
Select the shape tool

Select the shape "jm_rect_layered_frame_5_7.PspShape" from the drop down list.

[If your shape does not show up, make sure that you have subfolders ticked in your preferences. go to File>Preferences.File locations and tick subfolders enabled box]

Use these tool bar settings with foreground nil and background a simple gradient of your choice linear style.

Click image above to enlarge.

Now hold down the shift key while with your left mouse key held down, you draw out your frame:
[Holding down the shift key will maintain the width/height proportions of your shape which in this case is approx 5/7]

Then go to Objects >align>centre in canvas

You should have something similar to this :

Now for some editing :)
Open your vector layers in the layer palette by clicking on the + sign adjacant to the layer and then on the group layer

Hover your mouse over each of these layers to see what they contain . In later versions of PSP they will be seen more readily...

eg PSP 10

It is now possible to change the properties of these individual layers within the group.

Select frame segment_1 layer within the group and right click on this :
It will open a dialogue box Select Properties:

Leave the line style for the moment and click on the fill to alter.

I have selected one of the metallic gradients that comes with PSP and kept the repeats as 0 and direction angle at 0.

Repeat for Frame seg2 but with gradient angle 90, frame segment 3 angle 180, frame seg 4 angle 270

Now for a bit of fine tuning and texture:
Select the layer named frame background and change the fill to a darkish colour from your gradient and also tick the stroke box and change that fill colour to the same colour and alter the width to about 2 or what just shows around your frame to define it a little.[a matter of taste]

You may like to save your frame at this stage as a vector..[.I tend to remove the background layer at this stage]

Now lets duplicate our vector layer and convert the duplicate layer to a raster layer so we can apply some effects.

Your layers should look like this

I am going to apply some wood texture.

On Vector layer select frame seg-1 Hold down the shift key and select frame seg-3 Go to Selections>selection from Vector object

Now whilst selections are still in place go to your raster frame layer and Effects>texture effects and apply a texture. I have used the following settings:

If you use another woodgrain texture, make sure your grain is running horizontal.

Image>rotate>rotate clockwise [or right] 90 degrees

Repeat texture using frame seg-2 and frame seg-4 layers for your selections.
Selections> select none
Image rotate>counter clockwise 90 degrees.

Delete background layer if you have not already done so and save as a .png file or .psp image

You will see a fine diagonal line in the corner of your frame, which is more obvious in smaller images. It is quite in keeping with a wood textured frame but can be eliminated using a small sized smudge brush.
Of course you can alter the colour/hue etc to suit and apply more textures and finishes!

In the example below I used a striped pattern in the frame segments and finished the frame with a slight bevel.

Have fun!