Shifting overall colors with Color mode

Kurt Michael Russell
A free video tutorial from Kurt Michael Russell
Professional colorist & art instructor
4.7 instructor rating • 12 courses • 38,740 students

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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] In this lesson I want to show you guys something that I use all the time. And we used it briefly earlier and just a quick example of how to tie colors together that may be too far away from each other kind of out of sync you know visually and it's largely a name for this I guess you'd call it their color mode layer trick if you want to call it something. But I use that a lot and it can be a big help. And I'll give you guys a quick example of well I'll show you how to do it. And then I'll give you guys a few examples of where I used it how I can kind of help you. So let's say I've got this image here and I want to shift all the colors in a different direction. You know for whatever reason for storytelling purposes I've got two panels next to each other and there's a push for different locations. I colored in the same way you know I want to shift to one differently from the other so that it's all the same place. You know that's will be. That would be an example. So above my colors I want to make a new layer and I want to call it like named player but we'll call it the color trick player. Doesn't really matter. You can leave it layer 5 her whatever it says but I'm going make a new lay on top of the colors and I'm going to fill this player with just a blue color. Doesn't really matter which one. And you can actually can put this on top of everything if you want. Doesn't really make a difference. So I've got this blue color layer I'm going to change the mode of the way her color. And you can see that it's adjusted all the colors so that every color is a tent of this blue color. So no matter where I color pick on this image here you can see that if you watch my color picker over there the hues are not really changing at all. It's it's it's jumping around. But within the box but the fuel around the edge as far as all the different colors it's just not changing they're all. You know what some tenth of that of that one blue color. So and even this by itself can be useful. Like I said in earlier lecture if you had something that just the colors were just totally washed out is all one color then this would be this may be okay in some situations not very many but it's doable in situations. This is where the trick comes in handy is if you change the opacity of this layer which right next to the color you can change the opacity. I want to bring this down to about 50 or 60 and is saturated quite a bit from our original. If I turn this off and on obviously and the reason it's gotten so great is because when you mix orange and blue which is basically what we're doing here you end up with sort of a great color. Everything's really washed out the saturated. But this is a good look in some cases maybe it's a flashback or something and you want to do something to separate it from the rest of the comic. And then it will be I can be a pretty cool trick. But you can also I'm still home selected on the on the color trick layer. I'm going to open up my hue saturation which I've got a keyboard shortcut or Again image adjustments set in such direction. And you can slide this around and you can see that the colors are all being affected underneath. So you know maybe these guys are walking around guns on Mars now you know or maybe they are I don't know if they're underwater I can shift the saturation way up in maybe they're walking on the bottom of the seat now. Yeah. So it's a real quick way to shift your colors all together without having to go in and change every color individually and you can do this of course for just parts of an image. You know if let me show you guys an example here. We find what I want to see. And this is actually the I want to show you first so this is a page from a few years ago that I did. Jonathan Brant Sawyer and he sent me the page you know werewolf coming out of the door here. He sniffed the air. He runs away from the girl that is shooting the gun at him. And now here's this guy you know taking his socks off or holding his shoes. It's not particularly obvious from the art itself. This is a different location. Let me get something. Let me do some drawing here. You guys can see what I'm talking about. All right. So the building and this panel looks exactly the same as the building in this panel. I mean even down to where the door is the the way it's got this little rim going across the edge. And so when he sent me the pages he told me he said I really made these two panels look too much alike. As far as the background so you know do something to make sure that people see that this is not the same location. This guy here has actually been running away from this werewolf for a while and he's quiet and he's way ahead of him. So how do we show that with color. Well what I did is I color them all with flat colors. And even in my flat you know obviously I may the building a different color and that helped but what I wanted and did as I highlighted these bottom three panels with this the marquee tool and the color rectangle or Marty marquee tool. Yeah. And you can you know de-select the gutters there if you want and holding down the altar. And then the magic wand tool. And then I made a color layer on top and do what I just showed you guys change the them to color on that layer and then just adjusted the opacity OK did the same thing up here with like a yellow and orange so the final product is seen on spackle. So in the final page you can see that where's my drawing layer. Meaning I need to get a sense of this. I keep getting about. But these top three layers here are all you know yellows and reds and oranges kind of worm whereas the bottom Come on work with me Photoshop the bomb. Everything's no blues and greens you know. So your brain is telling you these are different places. Another good example that I just did this page last night actually was drawn by Kevin Hart for a book that has not been announced yet at this point. But but you have this portal from one place to another. You know again I made the portal room here in this world very blue and it's painted everything you know. Because that that one lights kind of blowing everything out in the same balloon on the other side and you can see the arch through the panel through the portal into the world. And now we pretty much got the opposite we've got orange skies and ships everything with some orange highlights in here. But then through the portal is in this this is happening in the blue part of the world we're back in the car world. So you guys can see that. But yeah this panel and this panel so. So again it's it's a great storytelling technique. I did a really similar thing here and it seems obvious when you think about it but you know don't reinvent the wheel. It works. So these panels here before I rendered the is I use that that same trick to make everything here sort of this pinkish red. Even inside this little window here. Same color. All right. And then the rest of it well you can see it's got this green tend to guys probably can't see that very well. Let's do this. There we go. So all of these panels and I even shifted at the end one more time when the guy comes out of this room here into a blue color and his whole you know that's even changing. You know so I separated three locations here with Colin. So this is something that tends to get overlooked when for colors that are just starting out they just color everything like they would a coloring book in and wonder why it doesn't work that well. So when we're going bring this lesson to an end I hope you guys enjoy it. We will jump right back in on the next one.