How to Create a Black and White Partial Color Effect with GIMP Photo Editor

One of the most dynamic photo effects is converting a photo to black and white, except for one object that stands out in color. You can achieve this in many ways. Here is a non-destructive method using a layer mask in the free photo editor GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)

  1. Save and open practice image
  2. Duplicate the background layer
  3. Convert Duplicate Layer to Grayscale
  4. Add a layer mask
  5. Reveal apples in color
  6. Clean up edges by painting in a layer mask
  7. Add noise for the finishing touch
  8. Crop and save photo

Save and open practice image

Start by opening your own image so you can practice following it. If you’re using Gimp on a Mac, replace order (apple) on ctrl a Option on the alt † when hotkeys are mentioned.

Duplicate the background layer

  1. First, make a copy of the photo and convert it to black and white.

  2. Make the layer palette visible by clicking ctrl l

  3. Right click on the background layer and select from the menu Double layer † You have a new layer called background copy

  4. Double click on the layer name and type “ grayscale ”, then press Enter to rename the layer.

Convert Duplicate Layer to Grayscale

  1. Go to the Colors menu and select bleach with the grayscale layer selected.

  2. Dialog box remove colors provides three ways to convert to grayscale. You can experiment to see what you prefer, but here we’re using the brightness option.

  3. Press the button satiate after you have made your choice.

Add a layer mask

Now we’re going to give this photo a color cast by restoring the color of the apples with a layer mask. This allows us to easily correct errors.

Right click layer shades of grey in the layers palette and choose from the menu Apply a layer of mask † Set the options as shown here in the resulting dialog box, with the option selected White (full coverage) † Then click To add to apply the mask. The layers palette now shows a white box next to the image thumbnail – this represents the mask.

Since we used a double layer, we still have the color image in the background layer. We are now going to paint on the layer mask to reflect the color in the background layer below.

You may already be familiar with layer masks. Here’s a summary for those who don’t:

A layer mask lets you erase parts of a layer by painting a mask. White reveals the layer, black blocks it completely and grays partially. Since our mask is currently completely white, the entire grayscale layer is revealed. We are going to lock the grayscale layer and extract the apple color from the background layer by painting the layer mask with black.

Reveal apples in color

  1. Zoom in on the apples in the photo so they fill your workspace.

  2. Activate the tool Brush select a round brush of the correct size and set the opacity to 100 percent † Set the foreground color to black by clicking d

  3. Click now layer mask thumbnail in the layers palette and start painting apples on the photo. Now is a good time to use a graphics tablet if you have one.

While drawing, use the bracket keys to increase or decrease the size of the brush:

  • [делает кисть меньше
  • ] increase the size of the brush
  • shift + [делает кисть мягче

  • Shift +] makes the brush harder

If you are more comfortable making selections than painting with color, you can use selection to highlight the object you want to color. Click eye in the layers palette to disable the grayscale layer, make your selection and re-enable the grayscale layer. Press layer mask thumbnail and then go to section Change Fill with color FG select black as base color.

Don’t panic if you go overboard. We’ll show you how to remove it further.

Clean up edges by painting in a layer mask

You probably painted some areas with color you didn’t intend to. No problem. Just change the foreground color to white by clicking X and brush the color back to gray with a small brush. Zoom in and remove all borders using the labels you learned.

When you’re done, set the zoom level back to 100 percent (actual pixels) † You do this by clicking a on keyboard. If the colored edges look too hard, you can soften them by going to Filters fade away Gaussian Blur and set the blur radius 1 to 2 pixels † The blur is applied to the mask instead of the photo, resulting in a softer edge.

Add noise for the finishing touch

Traditional black and white photography usually has film grain. This was a digital photo so you won’t get that grainy quality, but we can add it with a noise filter.

  1. First we need to smooth the image, which removes the layer mask, so make sure you’re completely happy with the color effect before we start. To save the edited version of the file before flattening it, go to File Keep a copy and select an image GIMP XCF for file. a type. This will create a copy in GIMP’s native format, but keep your working file open.

  2. Now right click in the layers palette and select Flatten the image

  3. After selecting a background copy, go to the section Filters Noise RGB noise

  4. Clear the check boxes for Correlated noise and Independent RGB

  5. Set red, green and blue to any value 0.05

View the results in the preview window and adjust the image as desired. You can compare the difference with and without the noise effect with the undo and redo commands.

Crop and save photo

As a final step, use the Rectangle Selection tool and crop out for the best composition. Go to page Image Crop selection and save the finished image.

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