Thu 7 Feb 2013
A quick Google search will prove that there are about a million different ways to just about everything in Photoshop. More than 8 years in and I’m still learning new ways to do even the most basic tasks. There are a quite a few ways to recolor your digital scrapbook elements in Photoshop. I’m going to walk you through my preferred method using Layer Styles and I’ll show you how it applies to recoloring everything from basic graphics like fonts, stamps and shapes to your more complex dimensional elements.
PART 1: Basic Recoloring
Many Peppermint Creative Stamps and particularly the Life in Pictures Prompt Card Templates come in grey/black and need to recolored. Even those that come pre-colored aren’t always going to match your layout so we’ve got to put our recoloring skills to use! For this example I am using a date stamp from the Life in Pictures: Square Date Stamps pack that comes in black. Blech.
So let’s get to it.
Step 1: Select the Layer you want to Recolor in the Layers Palette.
This will open your Layer Style dialogue box where you can do all sorts of nifty things.
Step 2: Select COLOR OVERLAY by clicking on it.
Step 3: Set the BLEND MODE to Normal and click on the Colour Box.
Step 4: Select your Color and click ‘OK’.
Alrighty! Now we can easily change the color of our image by selecting any color from the Color Picker. You may opt to click the H (hue), S (saturation), or B (brightness) to give you more color control. I usually select my color first, for example here I’ve selected a plum purple but if I wanted a much lighter shade, something more lilac colored, I would select the ‘S’ for saturation and that little colour window will change allowing me to lighten (or darken) my color selection.
Step 5 & 6: Select the Eyedropper Tool and choose a Color
Now let’s get a little fancy. Allow me to introduce you to one of my all time FAVE tools – the Eyedropper Tool. The Eyedropper allows you to pick up any color you click on. This makes it incredibly easy to recolor your digital elements to match your layouts. You can find it in your Toolbar on the left of your screen.
Let’s pretend I’m scrapping a page. I want my stamp to match my background paper on the right. With the Eyedropper Tool selected I just click on the background paper and wherever I click that’s the color that will appear in the Color Picker window. You can re-click and re-click until you get it right. Here I’ve pulled the green from one of the polkadots. Click ‘OK’ to set your selection.
That’s your basic recoloring using Layer Styles. But what happens when you want to recolor multiple layers the same colour. Do you have to individually select each layer and recolor one at a time? Good news, NO!
How to Recolor Multiple Layers at Once
I use this trick constantly. You can COPY/PASTE your layer styles to as many layers as you like in one easy step. In this example I am using a Card Template from the Life in Pictures Prompt Card Templates – Love. This PSD template comes coloured grey so I’ve got to recolor it. I’ve made the background a rather hideous shade of pink. And the YOU+ME layer is red. Now I want the line and the heart to be the exact same shade of red. I can use the eyedropper tool as shown above or I can do this:
Step 7: Select the layer containing a Layer Style you want to copy. Click the ‘fx’ icon to bring up the menu. Select COPY LAYER STYLE.
Now this only works if you’ve already selected a color by applying layer style using the steps above to at least ONE layer. But it can be a real time saver if you have multiple layers to change and it keeps all your color changes consistent.
Step 8: Select the Layers you want to recolor, right click and select PASTE LAYER STYLE
The colour will now be applied to all selected layers. To select multiple layers hold down the SHIFT key on your keyboard while clicking the layers.
PART 2: Recoloring More Complex Elements
Now what happens when you want to recolor an element that’s not a flat graphic like a shape, font or stamp? What happens when the element has dimension or texture? Here I’m using a glass heart from the Lovebird Elements Pack. Let’s take a look.
When I use the same technique as before you can see I lose all the detail in the image.
But never fear! One small change fixes that.
STEP 9: Change the Blend Mode to COLOR to maintain element details.
When you change the BLEND MODE to color instead of normal (see step #3) you get an overlay of colour onto your element. You can experiment with the different blend modes as each one will give a different effect. The other one I use often is HUE. Sometimes one works better than the other depending on the element.
And that’s all there is to it! Pretty simple stuff once you do it once or twice so give it a shot to get the most out of your digital products.