17 Replies Latest reply: Apr 23, 2012 5:19 PM by Semaphoric RSS

    Color in Grayscale Mode

    Dave_Marquez Community Member

      I imagine this isn't possible, but...

       

      I draw comics digitally in photoshop, working in Grayscale mode to reduce file size (I work very high-res).  Is it possible to make photoshop display certain layers in color, without switching to either CMYK or RGB mode? 

        • 1. Re: Color in Grayscale Mode
          Shan-Dysigns Community Member

          No, that's the whole purpose of grayscale (only shades of black).

          • 2. Re: Color in Grayscale Mode
            Dave_Marquez Community Member

            Thanks for the feedback.

             

            To clarify:  I use many layers, and it would be helpful if PS could just display a chosen layer as a certain color, not actually make it that color, if that makes sense.  for example:  PS will show guides as cyan, irrespective of the color mode of the file.  I'm just wondering if there's a similar way to present certain information in my image file in color, just to keep track of the different layers. 

             

            Duotone is a clumsy way of doing this, I guess.  Not ideal.  Open to any suggestions!

            • 3. Re: Color in Grayscale Mode
              Curt Y Community Member

              Perhaps this is what you are looking for.

               

              When the "Grayscale" and "Black & White" options are used to convert an image, the color information is discarded in the conversion.  Creating a B&W layer above an image preserves the original color information.

              Since the original colored image is still unaffected below the B&W layer, parts of the B&W can be erased to reveal the color below. The steps are as follows:

              1. Visit the article: Adobe Photoshop CS3: Creating a Black and White Layer to learn how to create a Black and White Layer.
              2. Open the desired image containing the B&W layer to be accented.
              3. In the lower left hand corner, locate the black and white color swatches.  Press X on the keyboard to toggle between the two swatches.
              4. Select the Brush tool.

               

                Note: If the Tools window is not open, click Windows tab on the menu bar and click Tools.

              1. Paint the sections of the image where color is desired. Note: While painting with the black swatch selected, color will be revealed.  While painting with the white swatch selected, color will be replaced, once again, with B&W.
              2. When completed, color accenting should make the color objects truly stand out in the picture.
              • 4. Re: Color in Grayscale Mode
                Dave_Marquez Community Member

                Thanks for the reply, Curt.

                 

                This is close to what I want (B&W on top, with the ability to see other colors), but since the image would have to be in one of the color modes (CMYK or RGB I guess), it would still increase file size. 

                 

                If anybody is familiar with Manga Studio, it essentially does what I'm describing  by specifying a layer type that will diplay as blue, even though the image file itself is actually bitmap. It may simply be that PS doesn't have a similar capability.

                • 5. Re: Color in Grayscale Mode
                  Dave_Marquez Community Member

                  Perhaps a better description:  can you color-code layers, without being in a color mode?

                  • 6. Re: Color in Grayscale Mode
                    Shan-Dysigns Community Member

                    How large of a file size are you talking about? I certainly wouldn't let file size be the determining factor versus ease of use.

                    • 7. Re: Color in Grayscale Mode
                      Shan-Dysigns Community Member

                      Are you talking about being able to color a layer in Photoshop and not the actual pixel content in the layer?

                       

                      Layer/Layer Properties - choose a color?

                       

                      Is this what you are talking about?

                      • 8. Re: Color in Grayscale Mode
                        Dave_Marquez Community Member

                        haha, minimum about 100 Mb, up to 400.  I work at around 900 dpi, with a document around 11"x17".  There's a laundry list of reasons why this has been easier to use for my workflow.  the only limitation being that I can't use color (which I don't need - but it would be convenient to display color-coded layers to easily distinguish rough sketches from finished artwork).

                        • 9. Re: Color in Grayscale Mode
                          Dave_Marquez Community Member

                          I would like for the pixel content of a layer to be displayed as a solid color.  Duotone mode allows this (without increasing file size, since it still only uses one channel) but links color output to opacity.  Not ideal, but is my current workaround.

                          • 10. Re: Color in Grayscale Mode
                            Shan-Dysigns Community Member

                            I don't know - you have a weird workflow (Photoshop + 900 dpi). If you are drawing comics, why aren't you just using Illustrator and maybe a tablet?

                            • 11. Re: Color in Grayscale Mode
                              Dave_Marquez Community Member

                              I use a cintiq - and as for software I don't particularly like Illustrator, and I use a ton of the raster effects/filters, etc that PS provides.

                              • 12. Re: Color in Grayscale Mode
                                emil emil Community Member

                                Dave_Marquez wrote:

                                 

                                ...I work at around 900 dpi, with a document around 11"x17"...

                                Why? Who asked you to do that?

                                The publishing standard 300 ppi gives a very good detail form a reading viewing distance for published materials. For anything with larger size the resolution (ppi) only goes down - the larger the size and viewing distance the smaller the ppi down to 10 ppi for billboard sizes.

                                 

                                you have images with 9900 X 15300 pixels per side. This can print a billboard with about 20 x 30 meters that will look sharp and clear from the distance needed to see the whole image comfortably.

                                • 13. Re: Color in Grayscale Mode
                                  Noel Carboni Community Member

                                  Dave_Marquez wrote:

                                   

                                  Perhaps a better description:  can you color-code layers, without being in a color mode?

                                   

                                  Sorry to seem negative, but the answer you seem unwilling to hear is:  No.

                                   

                                  So why not just work in RGB, and see whatever colors you want by using things like clipping on adjustment layers to colorize the layer you're working on?

                                   

                                  If your computer can't handle the data size you're using in the way you want to work, get a bigger/better computer.  Certainly there are systems that can handle 1 gigabyte files.

                                   

                                  -Noel

                                  • 14. Re: Color in Grayscale Mode
                                    Shan-Dysigns Community Member

                                    I think the first thing needing worked on is the reasoning for 900 dpi

                                    • 15. Re: Color in Grayscale Mode
                                      Dave_Marquez Community Member

                                      There are a host of reasons specific to the way I work, my client list, and the desired results. It's wierd, I'll grant you, but works incredibly well. In any case, not really relevant to this discussion.

                                       

                                      It seems that there isn't a simple solution to my specific issue (though using Duotone mode allows for a compromise workaround - providing multiple colors in a single-channel file). While other software may allow for the type of color-coding functionality I describe (MangaStudio as one example), Photoshop doesn't currently seem to have an equivalent. 

                                       

                                      Thanks to those of you who made an effort to address the question I asked originally.

                                      • 16. Re: Color in Grayscale Mode
                                        Shan-Dysigns Community Member

                                        While other software may allow for the type of color-coding functionality I describe (MangaStudio as one example),

                                         

                                        If MangaStudio seems to fit your purpose better, then why don't you go buy it? It certainly appears to be cheaper than Photoshop. Why try and stretch a program beyond its intended purpose when the ultimate solution is much cheaper?

                                         

                                        I'd still like to hear your reasoning behind 900 dpi. If you are getting projects that require such LARGE output canvas sizes, then I would imagine you would be using the appropriate software. Since everything stems from "file size", I think you are only shooting yourself in the foot by limiting yourself in the beginning. Whether you know it or not, maybe there is a better workflow than what you are using which would allow you to use color modes, etc... That's why this was asked so many times (about the 900 dpi). The fact you are skirting that answer makes me think there is something you don't want to reveal.

                                        • 17. Re: Color in Grayscale Mode
                                          Semaphoric Community Member

                                          Well, not certain layers, per se, but you could go to the *Channels* panel menu, and "Add new spot channel". Specific layers could be drawn in only one particular channel. Or two or three, if you wanted to blend colors, say, with a gradient.