from Members of
The Mindful Eye Community
USING CHANNELS TO CONVERT
COLOR TO BLACK & WHITE
Do you know how to use Channels in PS CS-whatever version you have? If so, you can look at the scene in B&W in the Red and then the Green and then the Blue channels separately and decide which one of them best suits your B&W idea of the scene. Or if you like certain aspects of two of the channels, then you can capture and combine them as layers and mask and paint out or in the parts that you like. Craig says to check on your PS Preferences to make sure that the color channels will show up as a B&W layer - which is the default setting.
Directions for using the 3 color channels:
- Convert your image to a Smart Object first.
- Click on Channels (right next to the Layers in CS3 and CS4; at the end in CS5)
- Click on the Red Channel - the RGB at the top will deactivate and show you only the Red. Do this for each of the other channels in turn.
- Let's say you like the Red Channel the best. So click on it and make sure that only it is active - the yellowish highlighting is only on it and not the others. Click on the yellow part - not the eyeball.
- Now you're going to copy, cut and paste - just like you would if you were going to c/c/p a portion of text.
- Control(pc) or Command (Apple) Plus A.
- Then Control or Command plus C.
- Click on the RGB channel at top to make it and all the others active.
- Then click on Layers. This will bring you back to the Layers palette.
- Paste the Red Channel on the background color image by using Control or Command plus V. You don't have to place the cursor anywhere in particular for this.
Now you'll see the Red Channel as a B&W layer above the background (color) image.
From here on, if you want another channel, then go back to Channels and repeat Step 5 for, say, the Green Channel.
When merging layers, try out the various blend modes until you find one that you like. Some of them will show color rather than B&W.
Diddle further to your heart's content - and keep notes on everything you have done as you do it.
Hope this helps. And my deepest thanks to Craig who showed us how to do this in one of his recent videos. I must confess, I had to watch that part twice until I realized that getting the channel image out of Channels and into Layers is simply the copy/cut/paste process, just like we do with sections of text!
Very Important! Make sure you do Step 5c. If you don't reactivate the whole Channels palette, the paste won't take effect as a separate layer above your background image!
Craig's video in which he shows us how to do this.