Hue, saturation, and value (luminosity)

Kurt Michael Russell
A free video tutorial from Kurt Michael Russell
Professional colorist & art instructor
4.7 instructor rating • 12 courses • 38,763 students

Learn more from the full course

A Pro's Guide to Digital Comic Book Coloring

Learn the entire process start to finish in Photoshop. Coloring is so much more than just staying inside the lines.

06:08:53 of on-demand video • Updated January 2020

  • Learn everything from the very basics of layering to finishing pages with special effects.
  • Understand color theory as it applies to comic art.
  • Master the art of storytelling as you learn about plane separation, strategic rendering, and the importance of value and contrast in your pages.
  • Learn effective techniques for adding color to line art in different styles from traditional lasso "cut and grad" style and more.
  • Learn which layer modes work best for different effects.
  • Learn tips on portfolio building, finding work as a colorist, and collaborating with other creators.
  • Save time with tons of tips, tricks, and shortcuts that are critical to working in production of comic art.
  • Students will be more confident in their coloring abilities and have a solid understanding of what color in comics really is.
  • Students will understand how pro colorists think about color in comics and sequential art.
English [Auto] All right. So for the next few lessons in this course really talking about some color theory terminology and some color concepts that you'll hear me reference quite a bit and want to mix you guys at least understand the basics of these terms and you'll get a lot more I think out of the course if you have a base and an understanding of what these terms mean and also it's just something you really have to understand if you're going to be a good colorist one day so and if you guys took this paper texture here just to give us something a little bit more interesting to work on. And this is from Syra. If you guys are familiar with cyclers YouTube channel but he's a fantastic artist not just comic art but all courts all sorts of artists. He has a lot of resources like this but that sets S Y C R A dot net and if you're curious about downloading some of that and I'll try to put a link here and the resources here as well. So the first couple of concepts we're going to talk about is hue saturation and value. And so it's easiest just to show you these things and you want to kind of understand here so I going to open up your colored picture in Photoshop and if you have the default color picker it's going to look something like this. And to get to this in case you don't know the little blue or the little orange and green We've got down here of what I've got selected currently. If you click on that the top on there that's your foreground color and we'll use this to kind of describe these these different types of concepts here. So first is Hugh. Now Hugh is really in this case. It's what most people would call the color like what the base color is if if you ask someone you know what color is the sky. You're really asking them what hue is the sky. You know you would say well it's blue. So and these are not scientific explanations. If you want those. This is probably not the place. This is really just to get you comfortable with these concepts for coloring purposes. I'm going to give you what you need to know here. But so when you say whew we're really talking about you know is it red. Is it purple or blue as it's in the middle somewhere. That would be what HUGE something is. OK. All right so next is saturation now for saturation in the color menu by default. It's really how intense a color is I guess you could say. So on the right side of the color picker these are all of the completely saturated colors so if I go and pick one of these on the far right edge here and get a brush here. All right. So this is a really saturated blue. OK. It's about as saturated as you can get. And if I move to the left we're getting less saturated. OK. So if I get this you can see it's a little bit grayer. Still still pretty saturated. You'd have to go all the way over really to the other side to see you know more of the saturated version. OK. The less saturated things get really the more grayer I guess you could say they're getting. And we'll get to talk a little bit later about colors next to each other and how those work and how great colors can even start to look you know warmer. We'll talk about warm and cool but but really that saturation so we're looking at these four colors. Let me grab another difficulty here. So this would be your D saturated as it gets which is really completely gray. And then a little more saturated even more saturated. And that's just as saturated as it gets there on the left so. So again when you're in that color picker just remember that the more to the right that you are the more saturated the color is. This is really clear especially when you get really bright then obviously you know going across here. You know that's completely saturated and then we're a little less saturated. And then we're really saturated. OK. It's almost whites. All right. Now the next in the last term we'll talk about here is value or you may also be hard called brightness. But value is really how bright a color is how light it is which is a little different from saturation or a lot different from saturation. So as we go across left to right that's all the same value. OK it's. So let me see here and let's do this so we got this color here again really saturated I go to the middle and it's kind of saturated in the middle and then almost entirely desaturated. And you can barely even see that and can. So that's at that particular level. All right. So if I go up we're getting the values are getting higher this is where brighter colors so if I say something is a bright value that's really we're talking about the brightness so the top of the one of the color Pichler would be how the the lightest values. Then as you go down you're going to have your darkest values. So if this is our saturation option then and get rid of these. So for value so I'm going to go kind of middle saturation here left to right right at the top. So here we goes as bright as it gets that color blue. And I scroll down about half way and you know here's a middle you know blue here. And then if I scroll down to the bottom once you start getting down here we're almost always black entirely but. But that would be a really dark value. So we talk about value we're talking about how like a color is so. So just to recap and of course we'll be throwing in a little bit more specifics as we go forward. So the Heugh is your base color is what I would call it is really best the definition as I know. So you know all of these hues are blue and there's some hue of blue. I guess you could say and then you've got your values which are how light and dark things are and then your saturation which is on this is left and right. How intense that color is now in comics and they tend to use a lot of saturated colors especially for special effects and things like that. And to really pop off the page they tend to be really high saturation whereas you know maybe if it's nighttime in and you know it's a really cool scene. You know they use a lot of the century colors to be able to show that this is you know it's not there's no glow of the sun or anything like that out there. And we'll talk about using these and real world scenarios here and a little bit also. But but that's some of the basics on the next video we're going to talk a little bit about color schemes and warm and cool and. And then we'll move on to some other stuff but I see you guys in a second.