Use Photoshop to Quickly Change the Color of Objects in Your Photos

Photoshop is a powerful tool that can be used to do pretty much anything in a picture. Photoshop has is the power to change the color of objects in a photograph without harming the natural texture. Today, I will teach you how to easily change the color of part of your image while retaining the existing colors on the rest of it.

First let me give you some quick keys that will help you:

1: “Q” enables the quick mask mode. You paint the red with the brush tool and when you are done hit “Q” again to turn the mode off

2: To make a straight line from one point to the other, hold the shift key down and click the point you want to end with. Photoshop will create a straight line from the initial point to the last point. This is very useful when using the lasso tool.

3: Hold the space-bar to move the image around.

ScreenShot021 Use Photoshop to Quickly Change the Color of Objects in Your Photos
pin it4 Use Photoshop to Quickly Change the Color of Objects in Your Photos

 

Let’s get started:

I have a picture that is unedited but the bride asked if the car could be another color.

ScreenShot001 450x281 Use Photoshop to Quickly Change the Color of Objects in Your Photos
pin it4 Use Photoshop to Quickly Change the Color of Objects in Your Photos

With the image loaded, I first duplicate the layer. With the duplicate layer selected, press the “Q”key to enable the “Quick Mask” Mode. Using the brush tool paint the item you want to change. You don’t have to be perfect because we are going to refine it later.

ScreenShot0041 600x375 Use Photoshop to Quickly Change the Color of Objects in Your Photos
pin it4 Use Photoshop to Quickly Change the Color of Objects in Your Photos

After you paint the part you want to change, hit the “Q” key to exit quick mask mode and the OUTSIDE of the area is now selected.

ScreenShot005 600x375 Use Photoshop to Quickly Change the Color of Objects in Your Photos
pin it4 Use Photoshop to Quickly Change the Color of Objects in Your Photos

 

Next, Click Select>Inverse or click key Shift + CTRL + I: PC or Shift+ Command + I: Mac, to reverse your selection. Now the truck is selected.

inverst Use Photoshop to Quickly Change the Color of Objects in Your Photos
pin it4 Use Photoshop to Quickly Change the Color of Objects in Your Photos

Since the car is now selected we want to establish this as a mask. Before we do this we want all the color changing in its own group. Select the “New Group” Icon in the layer window then click the Mask icon in the same bar. This creates a group that only edits the car.

ScreenShot0181 Use Photoshop to Quickly Change the Color of Objects in Your Photos
pin it4 Use Photoshop to Quickly Change the Color of Objects in Your Photos

Now we can change the color. With the group selected, navigate to the Adjustment the left and click the “Hue and Saturation” tab. Use the slider to alter the color to your liking. You can also adjust the brightness and saturation of the color in the same box.

ScreenShot011 Use Photoshop to Quickly Change the Color of Objects in Your Photos
pin it4 Use Photoshop to Quickly Change the Color of Objects in Your Photos

And watch the car change colors.

ScreenShot019 450x281 Use Photoshop to Quickly Change the Color of Objects in Your Photos
pin it4 Use Photoshop to Quickly Change the Color of Objects in Your Photos

Once you have found the color you want and are satisfied, click on the layer mask box and paint on or off areas as needed. This will take some finessing to change the small details.

ScreenShot015 600x433 Use Photoshop to Quickly Change the Color of Objects in Your Photos
pin it4 Use Photoshop to Quickly Change the Color of Objects in Your Photos

Once satisfied, I save the image as a PSD file then flatten the layers and apply my favorite MCP actions to edit it further.

DSC 3994 600x885 Use Photoshop to Quickly Change the Color of Objects in Your Photos
pin it4 Use Photoshop to Quickly Change the Color of Objects in Your Photos

You can use this technique to accomplish many new looks. You will find that the “Photo stalkers” will be trying to find the purple wall and it doesn’t exist. Use this info to your advantage marketing wise. Set yourself apart with your own rendition of the same locations that others have.

Sample 600x451 Use Photoshop to Quickly Change the Color of Objects in Your Photos
pin it4 Use Photoshop to Quickly Change the Color of Objects in Your Photos

sample2 600x401 Use Photoshop to Quickly Change the Color of Objects in Your Photos
pin it4 Use Photoshop to Quickly Change the Color of Objects in Your Photos

This color changing technique also works well to take out some yellow in teeth. Do all of the above but instead of adding color, use the saturation and take color out. It will not make a pearly set of “Choppers” but the yellow and coffee stains will go away and it is more visually appealing.

 

teeth1 600x402 Use Photoshop to Quickly Change the Color of Objects in Your Photos
pin it4 Use Photoshop to Quickly Change the Color of Objects in Your Photos

*Yes I will admit that the yellow toothed fine looking fellow is myself. To my defense I drink Russian Tea in the morning and this shoot was at 9am. As for my 5 o’clock shadow, it actually is a 9 o’clock am. Rich Reierson, the photographer and author of this post can be found on Facebook.

 Use Photoshop to Quickly Change the Color of Objects in Your Photos

MCP Guest Writer

This post was written by a MCP Guest Blogger. If you would like to contribute to the MCP Actions Blog, check out our Guest Writers Wanted page.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook - Pinterest - Google Plus

Previous Post:
Next Post:

18 Comments and 2 Replies



  1. 1
    Jay C says:

    While there are a hundred different ways to accomplish any one task within photoshop. This is perhaps the fastest and simplest way to color swap. While I have been changing car and clothes colors for some time, I am stunned that it never donned on me to use this same technique to change wall colors, other items when shooting on location. That part was my own little “DUH!” moment. :)

    Great tutorial, thanks for sharing. Oh and the bit about de-yellowing the teeth was also a bit of brilliance. Where you are right it won’t produce a radiant white smile, I personally think your method produces teeth that look much more natural and realistic, and not yellow. LOL

    Again, thanks for sharing!

  2. 2
    Apixelintime says:

    Lisa – I have done this before with a senior who wanted the yellow dress that she was wearing to be the blue of the prom dress that she wore to prom. One thing that gave me fits, and I see it here as well is the reflective color of the original paint of the car is showing on her white dress. It is very subtile but it is there and may need some attention. In my case, I selected her arm to another layer and fiddled a little with the hue/sat and then adjusted opacity to look more natural.

  3. 3
    Heidi says:

    Photoshop Elements (I have PSE7) has a tool for doing exactly this, called the Color Replacement brush. It is grouped with the other brushes.

  4. 4
    Linda Deal says:

    PhotoShop Elements 9. “Q” opens the shapes tool. “Ctrl + Q” is for Quit. I’ll have to keep working on this. I love the idea and am going to learn how to do it on my program.

  5. 5
    Deb says:

    Awesome information. Thanks so much for sharing your workflow ideas and shortening my learning curve. My photography MoJo was going a little numb til you revved me up with all these great ideas! ¡Muchas gracias!

  6. 6
    Sara Campbell says:

    Thank you for this tutorial. What MCP action did you uses for the texture at the end?
    Kindly,
    Sara

  7. 7

    Sara, The texture was applied on a separate layer and blended in using the layer adjustment selector and masking it off of the bride. Feel free to PM me on facebook.

  8. 8
    Billye Woodruff says:

    Very helpful. Would love to see this as a video tutorial!!!!

  9. 9
    MRoss says:

    I have been attempting to use this technique but I can’t get past the first couple of steps. I open the picture, duplicate the background layer, press “Q” for quick-mask mode, use the brush tool to paint the area and then press “Q” again. When I do, it exits quick-mask mode and selects the entire picture rather than only the area I used the brush tool on.
    Am I missing something? Thanks for any help I can get!

  10. 10
    Mobashir Ahmad says:

    It’s a quick way to replace colors. However, it’s hard for novices to pick follow it.

  11. 11
    Mobashir Ahmad says:

    Can I get the colors replaced of some of my pictures from you? If so, what are the terms and conditions?

  12. 12
    C says:

    What about fixing the color of shadows reflected from the object. For instance, the blues in the girl’s wedding dress.

  13. 13
    andrew says:

    Awesome tutorial – really needed this. I’m noob to Photoshop :)

  14. 14
    Kisa says:

    How would it be posible to colorize part of an image to be a specific pantone color? Is there an extra step as part of this or a different technique altogether? Thanks!

  15. 15
    Jennifer says:

    I’m confused like MRoss, too. I duplicate layer, press Q for Quick Mask mode, ‘colorize’ the wall I want to change using the brush tool, press Q, again, and it selects the entire image. What step was left out? In your tutorial, it shows you’ve selected the vehicle or … I am totally lost. Please assist! Otherwise, the tutorial seems amazing!

  16. 16
    Vito says:

    Thanks so much for this tutorial. I just used your technique to change the colour of some sun shelters for a client.

    One question, how do you change to a specific color? With the hue adjustment, you seem to have to eyeball it. Is there a way to be more exact?

  17. 17
    Jerry says:

    Nice work! After obtaining horrible results using Photoshop’s Color Replacement Tool (awful!!!) I tried your method. This worked fantastic ~ I will add this skill to my Photoshop arsenal! Thanks for your great tutorial!!

  18. 18

    You have no idea how much time you just saved me at work… thank you so much for the awesome tutorial!



Leave a Comment

Current day month ye@r *

 

Image Map