Flourish memories with Wacom!

In this tutorial we will show how you can make a touching symbolic gift to your loved ones by coloring and editing the old black and white photo using Photoshop and the convenient Wacom tablet.

Step 1: Scan a photo in resolution 300 dpi, save it in format jpg and open it in Photoshop. Getting to work.
So, our original photo looks like this:

Step 2: Frame a picture with the tool CropTool(Frame), removing white edges:

Step 3: We clean up the flaws on the photo itself – white spots on the baby’s pants and the erased part at the bottom right side of the photo. To do this, use the tool Patch (Patch) and an electronic tablet pen, which makes it much easier and more convenient to create precise selections of small details than with a computer mouse, since the Wacom pen without wires and batteries will fall in your hand, like pencils and ballpoint pens familiar from childhood. Next, drag the selection to the intact part of the image. Correction of damaged areas will occur automatically:

Step 4: Remove the white bar on the right at the edge of the photo using the tool Stamp (Stamp) and having previously checked whether our brush sensitivity to pressure is set up (this will allow us to use cloning more freely without changing the dimensions on the toolbar each time).
The brush sensitivity to pressing is set to panels Brushes Window Brushes (Window> Brushes):

you must check the box ShapeDynamiks(Dynamics of the form) and, twice clicking on this line, select in the drop-down list PenPressure(pen pressure). Now, when working with the Stamp tool, the width of the line to be cloned will depend on the degree of pressure on the pen. This convenient setting is available only to owners of the tablet.

Step 5: Now we can clean up minor flaws in the photo by copying the intact area onto the corrected areas and painting them as if with a brush, while not forgetting to select the starting point for cloning by pressing the key Alt and by clicking on the tablet in the place where the cloning will take place. By the way, this modulator (Alt), which is often used in Photoshop, is more convenient to adjust to one of the hotkeys of the tablet, since when processing photos, it will need more than once, and it’s ineffective to access the keyboard each time.

Step 6: To make a black and white photo color, first of all you need to place the object on a colored background. This is an axiom when coloring black and white photographs. To place our baby on a colored background, you need to accurately and accurately separate his shape from the gray background, i.e. make a clipping of the object. This is where the tool comes to help. Exstact, to activate which you need to click CtrlAltX (or Cmd + Alt + X, if you are working on a Mac), and a tablet pen, which can easily and quickly trace the contour of complex, shaggy and ornate objects, and do it clearly and accurately. So, we press Ctrl+Alt+X (Cmd + Alt + X) and find ourselves in the tool window to separate the shape from the background. In it, select the tool “Brush”, top right, and circle the area that we want to extract, after setting the radius of the brush we need in the window on the left.

Then fill the selected area with the tool. “Fill” , Left to right below the Brush tool:

Next, click “OK” and get the shape cut from the background.

Now create an additional layer that will serve as the background image. On the layers palette we place it under the layer with the baby’s figure and fill it with any color you like. Then, clicking on the row of the background layer twice, we enter the layer’s effects menu and create a gradient fill for it as follows:

choose from the list of effects layer GradientOverlay (Overlay gradient) and customize the gradient on their own. In this case, applied radial gradient (Radial) with the transition from light blue to dark blue. Our choice is due to the fact that this color is most reminiscent of the colors of the backs in the photo studio of the time when the photo was taken. But we want to preserve the feeling that the photo came to us from the past, just becoming a bit more colorful.

Step 7: After we have separated the figure from the background, cleaned up noticeable damage and made a color substrate, we can proceed directly to coloring.
You can color the photo in different ways. The easiest of them is to create a new layer for each detail and simply apply the desired color, changing the transparency of the layer in accordance with the order of blending. But in this case, changing the color of the painted area becomes very problematic, and the colors do not fall too naturally. In this regard, we will color the photo with corrective layers. This will give us the opportunity to change the color at any time, and just as easily as with a brush on paper, adjust the layer mask using the pen and tablet, hiding or opening it.
So, create the first adjustment layer, by clicking on the layers palette below the icon . In the drop-down menu, select SolidColor(Color), then – any color in the palette that appears (later we can always change it if we don’t like something), and then press the key combination Ctrl+I (or Cmd + I, if you are working on a Mac). This key combination will make the mask of the adjustment layer completely hidden, and you will paint over the desired area, as if opening the mask where you need it, using the pen and the tool “Brush” .

Then, in the layer settings change blending mode from Normal to Color(Chromaticity). Now the layer is ready to work with a photo.
By creating an adjustment layer, you make a mask. The choice of its color is carried out by clicking on the color icon in the row layer; you can change this color as much as you like. However, if the toolbar on the left and the top color is white, then the pen will work as a brush or in other words “open mask”, and if you change the order of colors by clicking on the arrow between the layers, like this –, then the pen will work like an eraser, hiding the mask. Working with a mask is convenient because you will never lose the irretrievably erased / hidden area and you can always erase or paint over the fragment you need.
After all the manipulations, the layers window on the right will look like this:

Now copy this adjustment layer several times, so as not to create anew each time, and proceed to coloring.

Step 8: In our case, we start with a child’s blouse. Name the layer accordingly Jacket, Click on the color area and select the desired color. After that, take the tool “Brush”, check whether pressure sensitivity is set, and, choosing the appropriate size and softness of the brush, carefully paint over the required areas:

In the same way, paint the chair, face, hands and eyes in the photo.

Step 9: To make the face more natural, we recommend making a separate layer for the blush on the cheeks and lip color. It should be a little more pink than the general color of the body. To create a softer and more blurred blush contour, we recommend that you enable the function Airbrush (Airbrush) on the top bar of the working window:

In combination with the pen’s sensitivity to pressure, this effect, with a correctly chosen color, will make it possible to make a natural glow without sudden transitions. The effect can be enhanced by working with the transparency of the adjustment layer.

Step 10: Separately, you can stop at coloring hair. The contour of the hair has an uneven edge, therefore for its coloring it is good to take not a round brush, but an irregularly shaped brush giving strokes “with a fringe”, and uneven edges of hair to close with strokes directed outwards, then the color will fall more naturally.

Step 11: Not less interesting point is the filling of the texture surface.
The baby’s braid on the blouse has a clearly visible texture, and in order to avoid losing this texture during dyeing, we turn it on in the palette Brushes, paragraph Texture (Texture):

In the texture selection window, select close to the fabric. Then using the slider Scale (scale) customize the size of the texture. After that, as usual, select the desired color of the adjustment layer (here it is pale blue) and apply a textured color over the photo. By adding texture, the stripes look more natural.

Step 12: So we finished coloring the photo, it remains to bring a gloss.
On the original photo, the black pants of the baby are scratched, which spoils the impression of the photo. To correct this deficiency, use the quick mask toolkit: press the tool QuickLayerMask (Quick mask) (located in the toolbar on the bottom left) and paint over the desired part of the image.

Turning off the quick mask. A selected area is formed around the part of the image that we need. In order for our designated part to become active, select in the menu Selection > Invert(Selection – Invert), we get the selected area with soft edges. Copy this area to a new layer and apply a filter on this layer. Filter > Noise > ReduceNoise (Filter – Noise – Reduce noise). If necessary, repeat the command several times. Now dust and scratches are removed. Slightly remove the contrast and add brightness to the corrected layer, to give a natural look:

Our color photo is ready! It remains to add a little warmth and individuality. With a Wacom tablet, this is easy, just create a new layer and write your message on it with your own hand:

Author: Nikulina Olga

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