Instructables

GIMP Color Effects on a B&W Photo

Have you ever seen a black and white picture with only one thing that was colored?

I have and now I'm going to show you how to do it yourself.

First open up GIMP. If you don't have GIMP, then get it from here.



Sorry the video is choppy and a little blurry.

 
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Step 1: Open up the image in GIMP.

Picture of Open up the image in GIMP.
3.bmp
Now open up the image that you are going to use. My picture wasn't the best because I couldn't figure out where the rainbow was later on. So make sure you use an easy photo for the first time.

Step 2: Duplicate the image.

Now in the Layers menu click the button that duplicates the image.

If your Layers menu isn't open:

1. Click File
2.Go to Dialogs
3. Click Layers

Or do Ctrl+L

Step 3: B&W

Picture of B&W
6.bmp
Now we need to make this image Black and White.

To do this:
1. Go to Colors
2. Click Colorify
3. Click the white box.
4. Click ok.

Step 4: Making the color detail.

Picture of Making the color detail.
8.bmp
9.bmp
Now you need to zoom in on the area where you will be making an item colored.

I decided on this rainbow picture, but I didn't know the rainbow would cause a problem.

Step 5: Use the Eraser tool.

Now this is where the item that you picked to change into color will appear.

Steps:
1. Choose the Eraser tool.
2. Color the area you want.

Once again, this is where the rainbow came to be a problem for me.

Step 6: Saving

Now all you need to do is save the image!!!

The File menu to save the picture is the picture window. Not the GIMP window.
mmartin162 years ago
I'm having the same problem ! ?
aceves4 years ago
thnx 4 da tip itmboy :)
bob051119834 years ago
I followed the steps and the missing step and still am not able to get it to work, not really sure where to put the missing step though so it might be a simple fix?
a_ruiz19904 years ago
i guess i missed something here..but when i zoom in what do i do? just look at it? then u said to click on the eraser i did that also and it just erased the picture...everytime i clicked...well if u can get back to me thanks
m00055 years ago
I've done everything step by step but when i go to erase it erases the image itself.What am i doing wrong?
jmeile m00055 years ago
Ok, I found it. The missing step is: Menu Layer / Transparency / Add Alpha Channel
I would like to thank you for this missing step..it really helped. I was having the problem with it erasing the image itself.
You are welcome. I'm glad to see that it helped you.
fidz916 years ago
awesome, as soon as i saw it, i did it !
sunflower.jpg
hominid fidz915 years ago
Yes I agree,very nice indeed.
summit (author)  fidz916 years ago
Wow great result! I love the one sunflower sticking out. Good job!
baconfish6 years ago
If I can make a suggestion, look into masks. It would work much the same way as the above instructions, but instead of erasing parts of the black and white layer you would make a mask of it (it's sort of like another black and white layer that maps to the alpha channel of the layer it's applied to). Now you just paint the mask black where you want stuff to show through and white where you don't. I guess you could use the anti-erase tool, but masks may be easier to work with visually.
summit (author)  baconfish6 years ago
Thanks for the info. I'll look into that.
pitty summit6 years ago
I agree using layer masks is the way to go with this sort of work, once you get the hang of them you may never use the eraser again.

Andrew546 has a great Instructable using layer masks
"Creating a 3D effect with image editing software (GIMP or Photoshop)"
summit (author)  pitty6 years ago
cool thanks
lgsmith6 years ago
It's called selective desaturation, and though it may look cool now, it gets old. So now you know how to do it, but don't overdo it or use it on the wrong photo.
bikerguy76 years ago
hey great instructable. as far as I could tell there is no GIMP for Mac OS X. Does anyone know of a similar program? Thanks.
Yeah, there is a GIMP for OS X- it's http://www.gimp.org/macintosh/ or try http://seashore.sourceforge.net/
But you will also need to install X-11 which comes on the OS X install disc as an extra option.
for general information, seashore is Cocoa based- but the GIMP has more features.
rholland456 years ago
this same tut is avaliable for photoshop CS3 go to itunes an type in the russell brown show an its tip #72
I was wondering if there is a tutorial for this using the older photoshop cs?
ehhh i dont know i think its the same procedure tho the tools you use for the CS3 one are the same for older CS2 i think chek it out tho tip #72 russell brown show off itunes
reedz6 years ago
Great job, I've always wondered how to do this
summit (author)  reedz6 years ago
I'm glad could help! =D
ltmboy6 years ago
This method usually works well when accenting someone's eyes in a portrait or to draw attention to a certain object in a scene. You just have to be careful not to overdo it.
summit (author)  ltmboy6 years ago
Especially of they have blue or green eyes.
Just interested to know does colorify white, work better than desaturate.
summit (author)  stalkingcoco6 years ago
It works the same...I just learned both ways.
mjordan7246 years ago
thanks for the guide but is there any way to "decolor" a portion of the picture that you accidently colored in? as in go back to black and white but only a small portion. hope this makes sense. thanks again.
There is. If you look below the tools dialog, you'll see an Anti-erase option. Check the box beside it and the eraser will work in reverse. Hope that helps.
summit (author)  ltmboy6 years ago
Yes, I believe Itmboy's reply is correct.
Yes, I believe Itmboy's reply is correct as well. lol. Thanks Itmboy and thanks again summit.
summit (author)  mjordan7246 years ago
Yes, I do believe that was a very formal reply lol. Well I don't know....
Xellers6 years ago
This works really well with flowers. I don't mean to be offensive, but some of these pictures don't look too great with B&W background. Nice instructable though. +1 Rating
summit (author)  Xellers6 years ago
I know they don't look great with the background. And trust me that wan't taken offensively. Those were the only pictures I had to work with at the time.
clank11086 years ago
This is cool! I finally know how to do this!!!
Transquesta6 years ago
Fantastic! Now, if I could just figure out how to fade to transparent in Gimp. :-)
summit (author)  Transquesta6 years ago
What do you mean transparent? You could lower the layer's opacity.
LinuxH4x0r6 years ago
Cool! I love gimp. What can't it do!
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