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X No Selective Coloring

X Software: Photoshop CS3
X Difficulty: Beginner-friendly


X Using actions
X Enhancing colors using channels in Lab-mode
X Downsizing using Bicubic sharper

You might like to use a fairly large image for this tutorial. If you haven’t got one at hand, you can use this one or this one. I got both from stock x change.

This tutorial also explains how to use actions. If the tab isn’t already open, you can find it by going to window – actions.
If you’re not interested in creating actions, you can skip that part and go to Step 1.2 Color enhancing.

Step 1: Making an “action” out of your color enhancing.

1.1. Actions

With your image already open in Photoshop, click on your actions tab (1.) and then create a new set (2.). A window will appear where you can give your set a name. I called mine “My Actions”. Your new set will automatically be selected, so you can create a new action (3.) and give it a name as well. I called mine “Color enhancing”.


If you like, you can additionally create a keyboard shortcut out of your action.
After that, you hit the “record” button.


1.2. Color enhancing

Set your image to Lab color (image -> mode -> Lab Color) and then open your curves menu (ctrl + m). In there, go to your dropdown menu and select your a channel.


Drag the square at the top right-hand corner to the left, till it is approximately in the center of the top line of the first box. Then drag the square at the bottom left-hand corner to the right, till it is about in the middle of the bottom line of the first box.


Repeat that step for your b-channel. In some cases a bit of brightening – sometimes even a darkening - of the image will be necessary. To achieve this, switch to your lightness-channel.
Click in the center of your grid. A square will appear. Using your arrow keys on your keyboard, move the square upwards slightly, to brighten your image, or downwards to darken it.


Once you are satisfied, click “ok” or hit enter. So basically, your first action is complete. Simply hit the “stop recording” button in the action menu.


If you’d like to use this action on a different image, simply open your document, select your action and hit the play key in the actions window.


If you feel that the colors are a tad to brilliant, you can fade things out a bit. To do so, go to edit -> fade (curves, in this case) and pull the opacity slider to the left, till you are satisfied with the result.
Note that the changes when fading can be subtle, so not always very necessary. For this image, I used a fade setting of 70%.


2. Downsizing an image without loss of quality.

The image of the robin is fairly large. Sometimes shrinking an image can cause loss of detail. The edges might end up blurry or fuzzy. Icon makers in particular will be acquainted with this problem. What often happens is that people crop and then sharpen the image, which can give it a slightly distorted, over sharpened or pixilated appearance.
To prevent this, you can tweak your downsizing options.

2.1 Downsizing

Go to image -> size (ctrl + shift + i). A window will open. In there, check the “resample image” box if it isn’t already checked, then go to the bottom dropdown menu and select “bicubic sharper”. This option will uphold the sharpness of your image when reducing its size.


After that, you type in the dimension of either width or height, which you find best suitable for your needs.

Below you can see the difference for yourself. The image to the left was downsized using the “bicubic sharper” option. The one on the right was not.

(I reduced the width to 500 px and zoomed in to 200% for each example).


You’ll see the difference quite clearly when paying particular attention the region around the eye and beak.

I hope you found this tutorial useful. Should anything still be unclear, feel free to comment and I’ll do my best to clarify things for you.

Poll #1129980 Survey

How did you like this tutorial?

A lot
It was good
It was average
It wasn't good
It sucked!



( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 30th, 2008 04:18 pm (UTC)

You are back again! I have missed you!
Jan. 30th, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC)
*squee* yes^^
I'm still alive, hehe. gosh. how long has it been since I updated here at LJ? must have been months.
I hope you and your daughter are doing ok.
Ja. Voller Schande muss ich gestehen, dass ich seit Ewigkeiten keine Seite auf meiner F-Liste gelesen habe.
Either I'm too busy or I'm too lazy, hehe.
*big hugs* I've missed you as well, sweety. sorry I'm such a slacker
Jan. 30th, 2008 06:03 pm (UTC)
Ich hoffe doch dass es dir und deiner Tochter auch gut geht.
Ich hoffe auch dich hier ab und an zu sehen.
Jan. 30th, 2008 06:07 pm (UTC)
jo. der kleinen und mir geht's recht gut. es ist halt super stressig im moment. abitur ist nicht so ganz ohne - vor allem mit kind. >_<
wir sind ja auch noch umgezogen, und da ich meine alten möbel schrotten musste, bin ich auch dabei alles neu zu kaufen. das bedeutet einfach jede mänge arbeit. ich bin total ausgepowert. ich hab schon seit wochen für nichts zeit.
das nervt wie die pest. )=

aber gut geht es uns beiden. gesundheitlich zumindest, hehe
Jan. 31st, 2008 11:20 am (UTC)
Das hört sich stressig an. Wichtig ist dass es euch beiden aber ansonsten gut geht.
Ich denke wir werden uns dann doch ab und an hier treffen. Es würde mich wirklich freuen.
Jan. 31st, 2008 02:02 pm (UTC)
jo, schon. dazu kommt halt noch ein ständiges möbel-aufbau programm XP ist super nervig, das ganze. aber ich wollte es ja so, ne. das heißt augen zu und durch, hihi
ab nächste woche hab ich frei. zwar auch nur ne woche lang, aber in der zeit werde ich warscheinlich öfters hier zugange sein und die LJ-welt stressen^^
wird auch mal zeit für ein update. nur hab ich null ahnung was ich posten soll.
naja. mir wird schon was einfallen^^
Jan. 31st, 2008 11:37 pm (UTC)
es freut mich immer von dir zu hören *smiles*

möbelaufbauen... OMG! ich habe zwei linke hände....
Feb. 1st, 2008 06:29 am (UTC)
*joy* I've missed talking to you. I'll be around more often next week and catch up on things.
and yes. building furniture sucks. I hate it. but there's no one save myself around to do it, so I'm left with the task.
es nervt, aber so schlimm ist es nicht. ich hab ja übung, hehe. die wohnung in der ich jetzt wohne habe ich ja auch selbst renovieren müssen. *shrugs* a girl's gotta do, what a girl's gotta do. =P
man gewöhnt sich dran
Feb. 1st, 2008 02:40 pm (UTC)
Tja. Mädels haben es drauf *smiles*

Feb. 1st, 2008 07:07 pm (UTC)
*verbeugt sich* ja^^ da hast du recht. =)
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 30th, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC)
you are very welcome^^
Jan. 30th, 2008 07:02 pm (UTC)
Whee! Absolutely brilliant tutorial; v well laid out and extremely intuitive. Love it. I've saved the whole html file, so I can check it out when I'm offline as well ... And I guess I've found another comm to add to my watch list. :)

Thanks for compiling this and sharing it!
Jan. 30th, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC)
go me! *grin*
thank you very much for your comment!
I'm glad I could be of service and that you liked it.^^
Jan. 31st, 2008 12:00 am (UTC)
That is a very neat tutorial! I never know you can do that! :D
Jan. 31st, 2008 01:44 am (UTC)
yay me! thanks a lot for your comment. I'm glad you liked it and that you seem to have learned something new.
Jan. 31st, 2008 02:15 am (UTC)
that's an awesome tut! would you post it to Icons?
Feb. 1st, 2008 06:41 am (UTC)
thanks a lot for the compliment^^
I'll check your site out soon.
Jan. 31st, 2008 03:26 am (UTC)
Ooh it's been a while since I last saw you around! How've you been doing?

Anyhow, loved the tut. I never knew about actions so that'll probably save me a lot of time in the future. But for the downsizing, I've only got bicubic, not bicubic sharpener. Does that make much of a difference?
Jan. 31st, 2008 08:57 am (UTC)
yes. it's been ages, hehe. I'm fine, but super-busy. motherhood and studies. *rolls eyes* not a good combination. I'm loosing track of all the fun things, unfortunately. in all those months I've only had the time and nerve for this one tutorial and to create one graphic that I could post to my deviantart page. )=
I was afraid I'd be completely out of practice, hehe. and you've been doing ok, I hope?
now to your question:
I'd say it makes a difference. which ps-version do you have? is it photoshop cs? I'll check into things and see if I can help you out there. ummm... could you provide me with a screen shot of your resizing window? that might help.^^
Feb. 1st, 2008 02:13 am (UTC)
Aww well I hope you take breaks and relax a bit for yourself in the midst of all that. Is your daughter doing well now? I'm doing pretty well for myself right now :)

Unfortunately, I'm still using PS7 so that's probably why mine only has 3 options. If you'd still like to see it though: http://i29.tinypic.com/2l8izxu.png
Feb. 1st, 2008 06:37 am (UTC)
oh sure. she's doing just fine. she's in first grade and having a good time getting to know new friends (and dragging them all home after school *rolls eyes*). I try to take breaks, though. they just never seem to be long enough. ;)
glad to hear that you're ok. =D

oy. "Unfortunately" I've only worked with PS7 once - and that was back in the year 2000. I don't remember a thing I did back then. But yay for google! I did some research and found a site where someone explains things very well. If you scroll down to the third image (Fig. 3) and read the text _above_ that screen shot, you'll find an explanation of the options you have.

I hope it helps. ^^
Feb. 3rd, 2008 03:09 am (UTC)
haha sounds like she's having fun. thanks for that site btw! it really was helpful in figuring out the difference in all those options. :)
Jan. 31st, 2008 12:19 pm (UTC)

Hello from me also :)))

I have been wondering where you went to, especially when I have seen a lot of tutorials lately just like your icon there, with the orange skin and GREEN-as eyes ! LOL

Good tutorial, I never knew about 'actions' , but I do now ! THANKS !
Jan. 31st, 2008 02:07 pm (UTC)
hello, sir! it's been ages. glad to see that you're still around as well! =D
how is it over there in Australia? I hope the weather isn't as horrible as it is here^^
and lol! yeah. laser beam eyes and horrid orange skin rule the icon-tutorial world. *shudders* and never forget the ostentatious pink-red-orange lips (on men in particular) achieved via teh magnificent selective coloring, hehe.

I'm glad you like my tutorial^^ it's nice to know that I can still teach people new things.
actions are fun. I hope you'll enjoy using them, too.
Jan. 31st, 2008 02:14 pm (UTC)
thank you for the tutorial.
though i am still using ps cs only,
still adaptable.
thank you again.
Feb. 1st, 2008 06:39 am (UTC)
you are very welcome^^
and thanks for the feedback! I wasn't sure if it would work for ps cs as well, though I should have checked. *blushes*
Jun. 8th, 2011 08:09 pm (UTC)
Классный блог!
Ага, теперь понятно…А то я сразу не очень то и не понял где тут связь с самим заголовком…
Jul. 11th, 2011 06:24 am (UTC)
Супер блог!
Не жалею, что потратил пару минут на чтение.
Jul. 11th, 2011 08:42 am (UTC)
Re: Супер блог!
;D glad to know. thanks for the feedback^^
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )