Change Colors In Photoshop with the Hue Blend Mode

There are several ways to repaint or change the color of an object in Photoshop. In this short tutorial, we’ll look at a really easy way to re-color an object by painting on a separate layer and then use blending modes to “apply” the new paint job. Blending modes let you control how colors interact with each other on different layers. So let’s get started.

1. Open up an image that you want to change an object’s color. This image is a free wallpaper from the Formula 1 site.

Forumla1Car

2. Create a new layer above this image by clicking on the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layer’s palette/panel.

Newlayer

3. Click on the Blending Modes menu at the top of the Layers palette and set the new layer’s blend mode to Hue.

BlendingMode

4. Choose the Brush tool (B) and then select the color you want to apply by clicking on the foreground color. Use the Color Picker to pick a color, then click OK.

5. Start painting on the new layer over the object you’re change the color on. Because the layer you are painting on has the Hue blend mode applied, the paint does not go on opaquely. Highlights, shadows and shines are all dealt with very nicely.

Painting

6. If you make a mistake or “go outside the lines” you can switch to the Eraser tool (E) and carefully erase the new color. This is generally not too much of a problem with this image, thanks to the blend mode change. If you paint on top of white pixels on the underlying layer, there will be no change of color. For this example I’ve painted all orange and red livery with a light blue brush.

BlueCar

7. To finish up, select another color for the Foreground and paint over the green livery and green strips on the tyres.

FinishedCar

This is just one, of many ways to change colors in Photoshop. It’s very quick and easy and handles highlights and shadows extremely well.

Free book: Jump Start HTML5 Basics

Grab a free copy of one our latest ebooks! Packed with hints and tips on HTML5's most powerful new features.

  • Wardrop

    Interesting. Photoshop is one of those sandbox application where there are always multiple ways to achieve a particular outcome, each with their strengths and weaknesses. Often when you find one or two ways to do something, you stop looking for alternative methods, hence why articles like this one can be good stimulation for learning even more of Photoshop’s tricks and lesser known functions.

  • A.K

    Didn’t know about this. I’m not a designer but sometimes our designer takes a day off and this might help to solve the small problems.

  • http://www.virvo.com Web-Development

    this is an awesome tip – the methods I used to replace color are usually a lot more complex.

  • johngarghan

    Thank You, Thank You, Thank You

  • Curiouser and Curiouser

    Does this also work in the GIMP or any other not-quite-so-expensive software package? Thanks.

  • Josh

    thanks

  • Sjaak

    Thanks a lot. Google brought me to your site and thanks to your tip I could finish my project on time :)