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Color Splash Image Effect - how it is made with PHOTOSHOP CS5

Updated on December 21, 2015

If you ever wonder how do people make those cool black and white background effects – I’m here to help you. In this tutorial I’m going to show and teach you how to make this so called color splash effect the fast and easy way. Let’s get started.

You will need Adobe Photoshop (I’m using CS5.1) and your photo. I am using this cool parrot image I found on Google.

Step 1. Open your image in Adobe Photoshop. Then in the layers toolbar you will see a layer called „background” with a lock on right side. Double-click on the name and then click ok or just click „enter”.

Step 2. Duplicate the layer. To do so, right-click on the layers name and select the „duplicate layer” option. Then hit „enter”. This will make the actual layer for us to work with.

Step 3. Now make sure that the new layer is highlighted blue in the layers toolbar and go to Image->Adjustments->Hue/Saturation or hit Ctrl+U and change saturation from 0 to -100. This will make your image black and white. Hit OK.

Step 4. This is the most important step. You MUST create a layer mask. To do so, go to Layer-> Layer mask -> Reveal all. After this, you will see a „white box” popping up next to your layer. That is called the layer mask.

Step 5. Now you will have to do some actual work. When you are working with a layer mask, there is one simple thing you need to know – white reveals, black conceals. This means that only black and white colors will do the trick. When drawing with black paint, in this case, you will be able to see the image in colors, but when drawing white – image will be black and white. Now you need to use black paint brush to select areas to be in color. You will also see that layer mask is receiving color information.

Step 6. Basically step 5 was the last step, but to make you get more out of this, I will show what else you can do. Now make sure that the layer, NOT LAYER MASK, is selected. To select it, just click on that small image beside the „white box”. Now you can add a lot of other effects like blur, and it will not harm your main colored object. You can find all the effects in the „Filter” menu. I'm going to use Gaussian blur and change it to 4 pixels. Then hit OK and see the result. As you can see, I haven’t done a good job with the coloring, so I have to correct it a little bit. So I select the layer mask again and by using white color, make the selection better. Done!

Step 7. Now all you have to do is save and enjoy it!

I hope you liked and understood this tutorial and stay tuned for more. Feel free to ask questions and leave comments. I will try to help you in every single way I can.

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