Correcting for a Specific Color






Correcting for a Specific Color

Sometimes you don’t know exactly what’s wrong with the color of a photo. You may, however, know that the color of a specific object in the photo is wrong. For instance, skin color may be too blue in those underwater shots, or your cat is simply not that shade of brown. Would you recognize the correct color of that skin or cat if you saw it? If so, you have an easy way to correct the color of your photo: the Paint Shop Pro Manual Color Correction effect.

Note that Manual Color Correction adjusts the color of the entire image so that your selected object (skin or fur, for example) is then the correct color. It presumes that every object in your photograph was shot in the same, bad light. If it gets your selected portion of the image correct, the entire image is then correct. You can use it to correct just the object itself, but you must first select that object using the Paint Shop Pro selection tools.

Ready? Choose Adjust→Color Balance→Manual Color Correction to give this targeted tool its instructions. The Manual Color Correction dialog box appears, as shown in Figure. (Refer to the color section of this book to see the difference in colors.)

Click To expand
Figure: Correcting the entire photo so that Katy’s skin tone is correct.
  1. Click the Preset Colors radio button and choose a likely-sounding category from the menu that matches some portion of your object, like Skintones or Hair.

  2. Click and drag in the left preview window to select a small swatch in your image that matches the menu selection.

    In this case, we have selected Skintones and have selected a tiny box of skin on Katy’s cheek. We could also have selected Hair and selected her bangs, if we had wanted.

    Drag diagonally to define a rectangular area. For instance, drag across the forehead of your subject, creating a rectangle that surrounds a fairly uniform skin color, if you intend to match the person’s skin tone to a color. Choose an area that isn’t strongly affected by highlights or shadows. Drag again if you want to change your selection.

    If the area you want to define is irregular in shape, enable the Freehand Selection check box. Then, drag (draw) the irregular shape you want to use on the left window.

    Use the zoom, drag, and locating features of the dialog box (see “Using the Adjustment Dialog Boxes,” earlier in this chapter) to get to the right place in the left preview window, if need be.

  3. Click the down arrow to the right of the Preset Colors box.

    A gallery of color appears.

  4. Choose a color from the gallery that is what that swatch should look like.

    If you can’t find the color you want, click the Manual button and then click in the Target box to choose a color from the Paint Shop Pro Color dialog box. Refer to Chapter 3 for the details of using this dialog box.

Paint Shop Pro then alters the image in the right preview window, matching the hue of your selected area to the hue of the color you chose in Step 4.

“But,” you may say, “the color doesn’t match exactly.” Don’t panic. Unless you have previously fiddled with the check boxes in the Options section of the Manual Color Correction dialog box, the color shouldn’t match exactly — yet. The Preserve Lightness and Preserve Saturation check boxes, which are initially selected, cause your photo’s color to be corrected only to the hue (a kind of fundamental color) of the color you have selected, and not to its saturation or lightness. (See Chapter 9 for more information about hue, saturation, and lightness.) If you want to make the color match your chosen sample exactly, you must clear both check boxes. However, you may find that you get good results more easily by leaving both check boxes selected and choosing different colors.



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