View Full Version : Colorizing Black with a Selective Color Adjustment Layer

02-06-2020, 04:58 PM
Anna Aspnes has a tutorial on her blog (https://www.annaaspnesdesigns.com/recolor-digital-stitching-tutorial/) that's meant to show use of a selective color adjustment layer to change the color of something black, like a messy stitch, with less opaque black holes and shadows. The goal is to recolor the black stitch without coloring the holes or shadows. Following the directions on the blog works well as long as the new color is relatively dark and the selective color adjustment layer is **not** clipped to the target layer. But if your target layer is something like a stitch, which is usually on top of a lot of other layers, you will end up recoloring blacks and greys in all the layers below the color adjustment layer. Clipping the color adjustment layer to the target layer colors the less opaque blacks as well as the opaque blacks (colors holes and shadows in a stitch layer). The workaround in the blog is to stamp the color-changed element onto a white layer, drag the new stamped-on-white layer into your LO and set the blending mode to darken (or you could try darker color), but that only works if everything below the new element is lighter than the new color. I posted (in the gallery) a couple workarounds which work reasonably well (i.e., you can recolor a stitch without recoloring holes, shadows or blacks and greys in layers below the stitch) as long as the new color is relatively dark.


For the technically-minded, the problem is that Photoshop treats black as the absence of color (i.e. "black" is not really a color as far as Photoshop is concerned), so you can't easily change black using techniques that work on other colors.

02-07-2020, 03:18 PM
Thanks for your tutorial! Great info!