Sign & Digital Graphics

January '17

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38 • January 2017 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S Mastering Color Mapping Techniques that radically alter color Stephen Romaniello is and artist and educator teaching digital art at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona, for over 26 years. He is a certified instruc- tor in Adobe Photoshop and the author of numerous books and articles on the creative use of digital graphics soware. Steve is the founder of GlobalEye Systems, a company that offers training and consulting in digital graphics soware and creative imaging. B Y S T E P H E N R O M A N I E L L O e Digital Eye DIGITAL PRINTING AND FINISHING DIGITAL GRAPHICS improving image detail. These features can potentially change the entire color scheme of a picture or create eye-popping graphic effects. Just Adjust Most of the color-mapping operations in Photo- shop can be found under the Image > Adjustments submenu. Adjustments from this menu are destructive because they apply effects directly to the pixels on the targeted layer. It is therefore advisable to make an adjustment layer that attaches the data to a separate layer. Separating adjustment data to a layer enables access for further alterations and assures a non-linear workflow, something I always encourage. The Adjust- ments panel displays icons of all of Photoshop's pri- mary color altering features. When an icon is clicked an adjustment layer is automatically created. The Adjustments panel works in sync with the Proper- ties panel. When an adjustment icon is selected the Properties panel displays its controls (see Figure 1). Changing Hue and Saturation Probably the most frequently used color mapping adjustment is Hue/Saturation. This panel controls the basic components that change color. Dragging the Hue slider changes relative color relationships, and can produce some really beautiful and unexpected color combinations. It's worth experimenting with Hue/Saturation because you'll find that changing the reality of an everyday landscape into a brilliant fauvist work of art is fun and easy. A humdrum blue sky can be trans- formed into electric orange and the ordinary leaves on C olor is one of the most significant factors in our experience of the world. Because color plays such an important role in our lives, how we use it to communicate ideas is essential to the impact of our images. This article explores features in Photoshop that radically alter colors. Color-mapping operations go beyond brightness and contrast adjustments and sim- ple color fills, they provide the means to alter the basic characteristics of color while maintaining and even Figure 1: When an adjustment icon is selected the Properties panel displays its controls.

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