How do you do this in Photoshop?

I’ve always wondered how catalog designers make pictures of different colored pants from what is obviously the same picture, getting all the folds and shadows just right. And today I saw this:

So how do you do that in Photoshop?



It might be as simple as creating pink, mostly transparent, layers that are cropped to only the parts that the photoshopper wants to be pink.

It involves separating the different items in layers through selective cropping. Once that is done, you manipulate each layer, effectively an area of the image, independently. Then you merge it back together, and voila, Hello Kitty. Notice how the edges of the robe/vest seem to overlap the suit underneath it around the shoulder.

Layer masks and blending modes FTW. If you’re really anal, you could do copies of the individual sections with layer masks and repaint them by hand, but then you’d be crazy for what this amounts to.

Okay, I figured it was something along those lines. The source material in this case was white, but if it had been, say, tan, would you have to somehow grayscale before dropping in a semi-transparent color?

And thanks for the quick response! This has been very enlightening.

Here’s a quick demo I whipped up:

(I wasn’t trying to be neat or precise, or do any sort of blending or anything. this took about 2 minutes).

Here’s the .psd that goes with that:

Grab that and look at the “Layers” panel, and the “Channels” panel. Try “painting” more white on the masks/channels associated with the hue/saturation layers in and see what happens. Try blurring the mask and see what happens.

My co-blogger also wrote a nice little tutorial on adjustment layers that is probably more helpful than the .psd file:

Good luck.

Nice! Thanks.


I typically do stuff like this by making a very precise marquee, then copying the contents to its own layer. This allows for a lot of versatility in what you do with that particular segment, as well as quick changes.

Short cuts: paint directly with the brush mode set to “hue” or “color,” or paint onto an empty layer and use blend modes.

Use the force.