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Hue Effect

Ever see images like this and wonder how they got that cool rainbow effect?

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These type of effects are created by Hue in photo editing programs like Photoshop or Gimp. In this tutorial I’ll be showing you how to get that rainbow hue effect as well as how to use Hue in other ways. The other ways that you can use the hue effect is to just change the color of the image in certain areas, and also to choose what colors those areas change into. Keep reading how to do both, they’re very similar. We’ll be taking the following:

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turn into:

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What You’ll Need:

  • Photoshop (You could use Gimp, however you’ll have to find all the gimp equivalents to what I describe here)
  • A image to edit (If you want to edit the image that I’ll be using in this tutorial, click on it right above and it’ll take you to my Flickr. You can download the original there)

Okay so let’s boot up Photoshop. I’m using CS5.5 but that shouldn’t matter. Load in the image that you want to edit.

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Okay so a little bit of background. When you hear about editing images, you’ll hear a couple basic terminology. Actually I’m sure that if you try the image editor that comes with your phone, it’ll have these terms. These terms I’m talking about are Brightness or Contrast. Saturation is definitely one that you’ve hear of. And last but not least, Hue. In my opinion, these are the four most basic ways of describing/editing an image. So a quick summary:

  • Brightness – How much light an image has. The brighter the image the more white you’ll see.
  • Contrast - How much variation there is between the light and dark parts of an image. More contrast = less mellow/gray areas.
  • Saturation - How much color there is in an image. More saturation means more of that color.
  • Hue - The tint color of a image. Just as the windows of a car may be tinted black, the image can be tinted any color.

As you can probably tell by the title, we’re gonna focus on Hue in this effect. Okay so we now know that we need to change the hue of our image. Furthermore, we don’t want to simply change the hue of the entire image, but instead, we want selective hue. We can accomplish this by creating a layer and turning it into a layer that effects the layers underneath it as the hue for those layers underneath it. So our image should show up as the background in your layer tab. Add another layer like this:

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Whatever we put on this layer will become our hue for the image. Okay now here’s where the two effects I describes earlier break off. If you want to create the rainbow effect, continue reading. If you want to selective choose the tint for parts of the image by painting on the image, skip ahead to that.

Okay so we need to add an rainbow gradient to the layer. Click on the gradient tool in the tool bad and then click twice on the gradient pull down in the top right to bring up the gradient chooser. Choose a gradient you like. If none of yours look like a rainbow, click new and add roughly 7 points. Now double click each point to bring up the color wheel and choose a new color. Your new gradient should look like a rainbow.

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While on the hue layer, create an gradient that encompasses the entire layer.

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Now all we have to do is change the layer type to hue. Change the following setting to “hue”.

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And that should be it! Your image should have a rainbow look to it now. Definitely go back and try creating different variations of the gradient in order to see if you find something that you like better.

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Selective Hue

Okay so if you read through the rainbow part, then this explanation should sound familiar. However, here, we’re gonna paint the hue. So the plan is to paint a hue of a color we want to wherever we want, and then to change the layer to hue type. First choose the brush tool in the tool bar to the left. Then set the color, size, and hardness. All these values can be found in the top bar. Go ahead and paint your image. It should look a little something like this:

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Now change the layer type to Hue like so:

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And that’s all there is to it! Great job! You’re done!

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Binit Shah

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