Colouring a fabric – colour & texture accuracy

M
Posted By
Marvinzzz
Mar 16, 2009
Views
1501
Replies
6
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Closed
Hello,
I have a piece of fabric that I’m trying to colour with a variety of different light & dark colours (blues, yellows, reds, black, white, grey, etc). The fabric colour that I’m trying to fill is a light grey which shows the texture (shadows, pattern, etc) of the fabric. In the layers pallet I have the fabric layer set to multiply and placed above the colour layer so that the colour comes through.

My problem is that I’m having some difficulty in colouring in the fabric. With lighter colours it’s not a problem, but darker colours appear to saturate the selection too much which results in a loss of texture definition – the cracks in the texture appear that they are filled with paint. At the moment I have been playing with a combination of fabric layers set at different blend modes & opacities: multiply, screen & overlay which works to a certain extent but I’m not happy with the realism of the results especially for the darker colours.

With that said I have 2 questions:
1. Does anyone have any good experience with colouring selections which maintain colour & texture accuracy (to see what I mean, design a shoe at NikeID.com). You can see how they colour a lace in a variety of light & dark colours accurately (accurate colours while maintaining good texture). More generally, what’s the ‘best’ approach here to blend (or some other method) the full spectrum of light to dark colours?

2. Ideally, what colour should the underlying fabric be? (white, grey, black?) And why? I notice that it’s easy to colour a predominately white fabric with light colours but increasingly difficult to colour the selection the darker the target fill is.
Anything welcome.
Thank you,
Marv.

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ZB
Zeno_Bokor
Mar 16, 2009
How about leaving the fabric layer on the Normal blending mode, make a layer above it and set the blending mode to Color and paint on that layer with the color you want.
M
Marvinzzz
Mar 16, 2009
Hey Zeno. Thanks for that. I just tested your suggestion with a Nike lace – trying to replicate their results. Colour works well for light colours but increasingly becomes desaturated the darker the colour applied.

Through a quick trial and error I have managed to create a fill effect quite similar to Nike. I’m using their white lace as the test with a target of a dark blue.

There are 4 layers:
1st: Lace selection with 100% black fill set on normal set at 33% opacity 2nd: Lace selection with blue colour fill set on overlay 3rd: Shoe layer set of linear light
4th: Lace section with 100% black fill set on normal with 33% opacity. I used linear burn for the white fabric with a 100% black layer under set at 33% opacity. This actually gives quite a good result for the dark blue. My only quibble is that its reflecting slightly too much light in places visibly seen with white pixels in my version in close zoom. In comparison with Nike, their pixels are a light blue.
Perhaps the lace colour should be darker so less white comes through and appears more natural? I tried to tone down the contrast, but this spoiled the overall effect.
JJ
John Joslin
Mar 16, 2009
Or select the fabric area; add a Solid Color adjustment layer, and experiment with the opacity and blending mode until you get the desired effect.
M
Marvinzzz
Mar 16, 2009
Hey John, I just tried that, one single solid fill layer at any blending mode doesn’t seem to do the trick. I think i need a combination of layers & blending modes.

I guess my question/problem is trying to make sense of what the determinates are when experimenting with blending modes and such so I can predict with some degree of certainty the expected output. I know its a difficult question and quite subjective to the particular case. Just wondering if anyone may have any experience or links on theory that they may be willing to share?
ZB
Zeno_Bokor
Mar 16, 2009
With Photoshop there are a ton of methods to accomplish what you’re asking(adding a color to an image) like: Image->Adjustments->Variations, Color Balance, Hue/Saturation(with colorize checked), Channel Mixer, etc. Heck, you could even do it in Curves/Levels by working on different color channels
K
KatWoman
Mar 16, 2009
can you make the fabric areas transparent first and then put the fabric layer underneath?

IOW make a line drawing of the garment with no fill color at all (no white)

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