I saw a recent tutorial about color isolation or as they called it, partial color, in About.Com's Graphics Newsletter so I got cracking....you can do this in FxFoto too. I bet you have seen those photos where everything is black and white except something colorful like a red rose or a blue balloon. It is really dramatic but actually very easy to do.
As is true in most software, there are several ways to get this effect in FxFoto. Method 1 involves roping off the area you want to keep colored and turning everything else black & white using a filter. Method 2 uses two copies of the same photo - one is made B&W and placed on top of the colored photo. Then a transparency brush is used to make holes in the B&W copy to let the colors show from below.
Let's start with the daffodils and Method 1. Here is the original photo:
Method 1: Using the Black & White (Rope) Filter Effect
This is probably the easiest and fastest way to do partial color. It works best if the area of color you want to keep is all in one area and connected. The idea is that you are going to place a rope around the colored area and then turn everything outside the rope to black and white. So the daffodil photo above is ideal since the flowers are all together and touching each other.
To start we first need to draw a rope around the flowers. There are two ways to do that - hand draw or use an auto rope. Hand drawing can be done with either a mouse or a graphics tablet (like a Wacom) but you may find it easier to control the cursor with the pen of the tablet.
Method 1 A: Hand Drawing a Loop
Let's start with hand drawing.
First, click on Correct and then click on the Filter Effects tab. Now click on the down arrow next to Choose Effect. From the drop menu choose Black & White (Rope) as I have done in the screen shot below:
Now on the right side of the tab, click on Draw Loop (see the red arrow above). Using your mouse or gen. click and drag the cursor to form a line around the flowers, connecting it with the starting point. Since it is hard to have a steady hand, it is better to leave a bit of the background and adjust the rope afterward. Take a look at the screen shot below - the red arrows point to the dotted line I drew.
Now let's adjust the rope so it goes along the edge of the flowers. to do this, click on the rope and draw a new line, connecting it back to the rope. The rope will now go along the new line. Zoom in so you can see the flower edge clearly and work in small step to bring the line in to the flower edge. In the screen shot below, the old rope is a black and white dotted line and the new one is a yellow dotted line.
Once the line is set, you will apply the Black & White (Rope) filter effect. Click on the Outside Box ( see the red arrow below) so the effect will be applied outside of the rope. If you want the edge feathered, adjust the slider. Then click Apply and you are done. Don't forget to save it!
Method 1 B: Drawing Using the Auto Rope
This method uses the Auto Rope feature found in Cropping to apply the rope. You won't be cropping the photo - you will switch back to Filter Effect to apply the Black & White (Rope) effect. The auto rope works best if the colored areas are all the same color.
First, click on Correct and then click on the Crop tab. Click on the Draw Loop button and you will see the Click Auto Loop slider turn on. This slider controls the color matching for the loop. The lower the number, the more precise the match will be. Since an object usually consists of several colors due to shading, the rope would only select the color that was clicked. Using a high number means that more of the object will in included. So for example, you can see I set the slider at 80 in the example below. If you find that only some areas of the object are being included, try increasing it.
Now click on the yellow daffodil and the rope will be applied.
You can see above that there are a couple of areas where the rope is not along the edge of the flower. You can adjust the rope by drawing a line to connect the areas better. Just follow the directions in Method 1A above for adjusting the rope.
Once you have the rope adjust, click on Correct and then on the filter Effects tab. Click on the Choose effect drop box and from the drop menu, choose Black & White (Rope) . Make sure the box marked Outside is checked and then click on Apply.
You may save the altered photo either as a new picture or replace the original one. click on Save and then click on Save Image As button. Decide on whether you want to replace of save a a new image and then choose folder and click Finish. FxFoto always saves the original - even when you decided to replace it! Want that original back? Open the altered photo in the right pane and right click it. Choose Restore Original.
Method 2: Using the Transparency Brush
The idea behind this method is that we will be suing two copies of the same photo, one on tip of the other. First, we will turn the top one black and white. Then we will make some holes using the Transparency Brush so that the color from the bottom photo shows through. This is a great technique when you want several areas of color with a black and white background, like in the photo above.
We need two copies of the same photo side by side in the right working pane so click on the photo to open in the main pane of FxFoto. Now click on the Collage Add button which is located just below the +/- zoom control on the right ( see the red arrow below).
Now click on the photo again so you have two copies side by side in the right pane.
Now click on one photo to select it - this is the one we will make black and white. Click on Correct and choose Filter Effects. From the drop menu choose Black & White (Rope) and click Apply.
Right click on the B&W photo and choose Show Image on Top. Now move it so it is over the colored photo.
Now let's make some holes. Click on Correct and open the Color Brush tab. If you slide the Transparency slider all the way to the right, then brush can be used to make transparent areas in the photo. In the screen shot below I chose a circle brush with a width of 15 and no feathering. Below you can see the Color Brush tool bar set up as a transparent brush.
Now for some fun...simply drag the cursor/brush over the areas in the B&W photo and the colored areas below will show through! I've zoomed in on the flower and have brushed away some of the top B&W in the screen shot below:
It's really an amazing effect!
A couple of hints:
- Make sure the two photo are lined up exactly.
- Work in small areas by zooming in and using a small brush width.
- Adding a feathered edge makes the line where B&W meets the color a bit softer.
- Use the square brush for objects with straight edges.