You will need:
-Sprite to recolor (I am using Elli from Harvest Moon DS - you can find the sprite here)
Step 1: Selecting the Color You Want to Change
Using the Select By Color Tool (it looks like a hand pointing to a bar colored blue, red and yellow and is generally in the top right hand corner of your toolbox) select the lightest color of the object you want to change. It’s important to start with the lightest color as you can then easily darken the color bit by bit for the shading (picture 2)
Step 2: Fill in With Your New Color
Once again using the Select by Color tool, select the next-to-lightest area of the object you’re changing. Then, using the color selector, pick a color that is darker than your original color. Make sure it’s the equivalent darkness to the shade you are replacing – if it’s too light or too dark, it will look odd. This might take some practice to get good at, but keep trying! (Pictures 2 and 3)
Step 3: Finishing
Zoom back to normal magnification and see how your sprite looks now (picture 2). There, she’s looking pretty good! Now I’m going to quickly repeat that whole process to change her bow to a more fitting color to match her dress (pictures 3, 4, and 5).
Step 4: Comparison and Advanced Coloring
And there you have it! You can use this method to change any color on a sprite, but be aware that the more colors you are replacing, the more attention you have to pay to replacing the shades exactly.
Hair is one of the most difficult things to change because there is generally so many shades to replace and often the color of the hair is used elsewhere on the character, meaning you have to be careful exactly what you replace. Elli has the same brown color of her hair outlining her face – changing her hair would be quite a project. The easiest color to change is one that isn’t used elsewhere on the character – for example, Nami (picture 2). Her red hair is easy to change because the colors don’t blend into her face or outfit. So it’s easy to make her, say, a blonde (picture 3).
Finally, remember to save your work often! If you successfully change the color of a character’s shirt, save your work before you try to tackle another object. That way if you mess up, you won’t have lost all your recoloring work.