Editing with Blending Modes Part 2: Evening Out Colors with Layers and Blending Modes

When working with photographs of products, sometimes the colors are uneven, especially when working with rubber items, such as basketballs.  That’s been my project lately, making rubber basketballs look their best.

In learning more and more about blending modes, I discovered a great method using our good ol’ friend the paint bucket mixed with a new layer and blending modes to really even out the colors in a product.

Here’s how I did it:

  1. Open image in Photoshop
  2. Save PSD file
  3. Duplicate original layerDuplicate original laye
  4. Adjust color using Image –> Adjustments –> LevelsAdjust color using Levels
  5. Crop out unnecessary backgroundCrop out unnecessary background
  6. Select object using the Quick Selection or Pen ToolSelect object using the Quick Selection or Pen Tool
  7. Hide the background layer then create a Mask to remove balance of backgroundHide the background layer then create a Mask to remove balance of background
  8. Refine Mask to smooth the edgesRefine Mask to smooth the edges
  9. Make any major cosmetic edits (i.e. uneven lines, folds in the logo) on a new layer. It can be helpful to circle all the flaws so you are sure to fix all of them.Make any major cosmetic edits (i.e. uneven lines, folds in the logo) on a new layer.
  10. Duplicate the color edited layer and merge with the editing layersDuplicate the color edited layer and merge with the editing layers
  11. Select the first color to even out using Select –> Color RangeSelect the first color to even out using Select --> Color Range
  12. Adjust the color selection with the Quick Selection ToolAdjust the color selection with the Quick Selection Tool
  13. When color is selected, create a new layerWhen color is selected, create a new layer
  14. Make a Mask of the selection on the new layer (make sure the image is selected, not the mask by clicking on the image on the layer list before moving on to the next step)Make a Mask of the selection on the new layer
  15. Using the Paint Bucket Tool, click alt to use the eyedropper to select the correct color (or, if you have a PMS color, select that color from the color library).  Click on the image to flood the masked selection with the colorUsing the Paint Bucket Tool, click on the image to flood the masked selection with the color
  16. Select FX –> Blending Options to select a blend modeSelect FX --> Blending Options to select a blend mode
  17. Review the Blend Modes to see which has the best effect for your image
  18. Work with the Advanced Blending options until satisfied with the re-coloring
  19. Repeat from step 11 for the balance of colors if needed
  20. Review for additional cosmetic editing required
  21. Trim to desired sizeTrim to desired size
  22. Save for Web & DevicesSave for Web & Devices

Check out the difference between the original photo and the edited image!

Before & After

Before & After

NOTE: When working with multiple color adjusting layers, it is helpful to name them specifically, i.e. Red Layer, Blue Layer

Was this helpful to you?  Let me know how you have used blending modes in Photoshop!

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5 comments

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