At times, you may want to change a range of colors within an object or area. You may want to make a red ball yellow, for example, or a blue car green. This involves changing more than just one color shade because numerous values represent the highlights and shadows across the form. At the same time, you don't want to change any areas outside the desired object. Photoshop offers the perfect set of tools for making these kinds of changes: the Select Color Range and the Hue Saturation controls. This task shows you how to specify a range of colors and globally change them to another color.
Open the File
Choose File, Open and select the image file you want to modify.
Select Color Range
Choose Select, Color Range to launch the Color Range dialog box. From the Select drop-down list box, choose Sampled Colors so that you can select the colors in the image that you want to change.
Sample the Color Range
The Eyedropper icon should be selected by default. If it's not, click it in the dialog box and then click in the thumbnail or main image to choose a color. Select White Matte from the Selection Preview pop-up menu to preview the colors selected against a white background within the main image window. The selected color is shown in the main image window against a white background so that you can see exactly what is included in the sampling. Drag the Fuzziness slider to increase or decrease the range of colors selected. Click OK to create a selection of the color range as shown.
Change the Hue
Choose Image, Adjustments, Hue/Saturation to launch the Hue/Saturation dialog box. Drag the Hue slider to shift the color range as desired.
Check the Brightness
If the color range selected is very dark or very light, you may find that moving the Hue slider does not change anything. In this case, drag the Lightness slider and then modify the Hue slider as needed to achieve the desired effect.
Using the Photoshop Controls
Although ImageReady offers a Hue/Saturation dialog box, use the Photoshop version if possible. Photoshop's Hue/Saturation controls offer a more interactive interface, showing you what things will look like as you move the slider instead of forcing you to click OK before you can see the results.
If you want the selected area to change to all one hue, enable the Colorize check box in the Hue/Saturation dialog box. This option lets you select a single hue for the selected range by moving just the Hue slider.
Selecting a Target Area First
As you specify a color range, it is normal for stray pixels from other areas, such as the background, to creep in and add "noise" to the image. To keep stray pixels to a minimum, select the object with any of Photoshop's selection tools before you sample a color range (see Part 3, "Selection Techniques"). You also can use the Image, Adjustments, Color Balance command to apply this same kind of effect.