Sunday, August 7, 2022

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How to Perform Perfect Color Match in Photoshop

The Match Color image adjustment is a versatile tool in Photoshop. This tutorial will teach you how to properly use it to perform a perfect color match.

Generally speaking, the Match Color image adjustment can be applied in the following scenarios:

  • You want the colors from one element to move to elements in another image;
  • Create an interesting toning by using colors from another image;
  • Set a unique ambient, such as day/night effect.
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Use Match Color to Create Unique Tint, or to Duplicate Colors of Objects

The Match Color command matches colors between multiple images, layers, selections – this is its basic usage. However, this tool can be very useful when you want to create a unique tint or duplicate the colors of objects.

Based on this behavior, you can create the base for creative toning or the atmosphere, for example a night scene. While playing with this filter, you need to go through a series of trial and error to adapt to its behavior and results.

Let’s get started.

Tutorial Resources

Step 1

First, you need to open two images: one that you will use as a source of color and the second to which you want to apply a new color. I open (File > Open or use shortcut Cmd/Ctrl + O) images “mur-847019” as a source of the color and “hong-kong-1990268” like target image to where I apply color. Go to the document with the image to which you want to apply color and duplicate Background Layer (Layer > Duplicate Layer or use shortcut Cmd/Ctrl + J).

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Step 2

Go on to Image > Adjustments > Match Color. In the window that appears, settings and the ability to specify sources will be presented. As sources can be not only the entire document but also any layer of that document. You must specify from the Source menu the opened document from whose colors you’ll be matching in the target image. In my case Source is “mur-847019” image.

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Step 3

Here’s how it works. In the image below you can get acquainted with each function and see how it affects the image. “Match Color” is designed for color, but it also has several settings that will help you adjust the color overlay. At the same time affects the tonal volumes, exposure, and saturation in the main image. If you think, what Save/Load Statistics do – it’s just saving/load the settings of applied filter like presets.

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Step 4

You can also limit the scope and before applying, create a selection of the desired color and selection of an object in the final document. Let’s try it out! Take the Magic Wand Tool (W) and make a selection of anything you want to apply whose colors.

Go to the source image and make an accurate selection of colors that you want to apply to the target image. Go back to the target document and apply the Match Color (Image > Adjustments > Match Color) command. And your colors transferred. Of course, this is not so attractive in the city; it will work well at the facilities. If Apply adjustments, we make the effect more enjoyable.

Step 5

This creative effect can be used in many ways and achieve many interesting effects and color toning. Of course, the algorithm may not work with precision. Sometimes this creates paradoxical results. Keep in mind that after applying, most likely you will need to make some corrections. Also, this method can be used for the whole image and take the whole image as a sample. But in this vein, this function often gives unpredictable results.

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You can always use your eyes and sense of color to recreate your desired tint. The same look can be done with different adjustment layers or tools. Unfortunately, there is no universal method to apply in all possible cases. When using any of the described methods, there will be disadvantages or further corrections. So, choose what suits your particular case and gives the best results. Next, control the result with the help of your creative vision and the technical capabilities of Photoshop.

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That’s all! Enjoy your final result. Here, my final artwork. Do not be afraid to go beyond software, style, and genre. But, most importantly – do not hesitate to create and experiment! Thank you for your attention and good luck to you in your creative projects! Have something to add or ask? Use the comment section below!

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