Automatic coloring from photographic palettes.




(っ ◔◡◔) っ

Hello again


In this month's tip on "automatic coloring" I bring you a quick way to use color references from photography.

I did some color testing before sharing my way of using the Autocolor tool and I really loved the results!


I leave the video process in Spanish.


Color references

I first looked for naturalness in color palettes.

I am not an expert in color theory and I have a hard time defining my own palettes, so my method is to rely on photographs and other illustrators.


The best reference for me is the behavior of sunlight in photography, so I decided to observe different scenarios.

This photograph I took from my window, it is not necessary to be a great photographer (I am not)

the important thing was to capture the color palette of the sunset sky.

We can directly with the dropper select the colors that predominate in the image and make our own palette

Or use a palette generator like "Palettegenerator" where you upload your photo and quickly launch your palette with color codes, you can also choose the number of colors you want.


This method streamlines the process of selecting the colors that you like the most.


There are a lot of photographic references that we can use.

Another example I will leave behind is the instagram @ Colorpalette.cinema that uploads palettes of cinematographic scenes with a brief psychological description of the use of color. In addition to having very interesting light sets, it also serves as a reference to know where to locate the shadows, lights and midtones in our characters and objects.


To order your color palettes create a new set of colors.


Color Set> Edit Color Set> Add New Settings> Any Name You Want> OK.

And then add color.



Sketch and Lineart

It is not absolutely necessary that the lines are completely closed and defined but if you want a cleaner result I recommend doing it.


I composed an illustration that would give me depth of planes and shapes.


⬧︎ The most important thing once your lineart is finished is to set the layer as "reference layer", which is pressing this icon.

Coloring part 1- bases

The default automatic coloring layer is left with multiply mode and paints everything like a photo filter.

For this coloring method I obtained better results by coloring the image as a whole, that is, not only the character but the background and the objects together.


Then I will apply base spot colors that are not in the previous palettes and that will help define the shapes. (like skin or clothes)


It's optional.


coloring part 2 - automatic color

In a new layer, take the colors from your previously saved palettes, define a light source and start applying shadows, highlights and midtones. (light colors and more pastels for the skin and more saturated colors for the hair, clothes and objects)


If you want a color to be on a single object then don't drag the color outside of the line of this object.


As I was looking to apply the colors to the entire composition, I did not respect margins and I used the oversized opaque "Watercolor" brush.

⬧︎ To activate automatic color.

We will go to: Edit> Colorize> Apply selected colors> OK.

You can try all the palettes you want and find the result that you like the most, it is a very fast method to create very natural environments!

Coloring part 4 - Details

We may not be satisfied with some areas that were colored so we can match.


With the same "opaque watercolor" brush and on the same coloring layer I drag the colors selecting with the eyedropper (right click or pressing Alt).



We can add details to the face or define the lines of shadows and highlights.


You can also play around with the opacity of the base color layer.


In my case, I chose a sunset color setting, so I wanted to dramatize the shadows and highlight the lights with a new layer in "strong light" mode to add brightness or textures to objects, such as glasses, skin and books.


coloring part 5 - Tonal correction

When you find a color composition that you like, you can modify the colors even more by playing with Color Balance, Curves, or Brightness and Contrast.


Edit> Tonal Correction> Color Balance


Move the parameters and you can get many combinations.



I will leave other examples of my experimentation from other palettes.

Color can greatly influence the perception of time, temperature and even the mood of your illustrations.

And voila, this method helped me find that natural color palette, apart from saving a lot of work time.


I hope it works for you too and if you have a question don't hesitate to leave your comment.


 ★ See you soon and thank you very much! ★



New Official Articles