thinking outside the box
Photo Editing Guide Part 4 - Changing Colors in Photos
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To ensure you have all shades of the color selected simply make some further clicks on the desired area to add multiple color-select handles.  Below, I’ve clicked a number of paler and darker shades of the orange car, to ensure I’m getting all the shades. Multiple color-select points are used to select a wider range of orange shades from this car When I click and hold on any handle, now I can see all shades of orange are selected (including some pixels in the background). With multiple color-select points, all shades of the orange are now selected. Now with the selection made, I can simply change any of the existing Photo Enhance controls and these will affect only the color-selected pixels. These are the Photo Enhance controls: The Photo Enhance Tool options that can be applied to the color selection The Color Tint control is used to re-color the pixels selected. In the following image you can see the Hue is set to blue, and the strength set quite high in order to change the orange to blue.  Other hues would need varying strength values. The more dramatic the color change (and changing orange to blue is about as dramatic as it gets) typically the higher the Strength value needed. Using the Color Tint to change the car from orange to blue

Adjusting the Color Select Effects

Like most Xara photo edit operations, color-select is non-destructive. Although it looks as if I have permanently altered the orange pixels to be blue, in fact, this is not a permanent once-only operation. The color-select handles and the applied effect are temporary ‘on the fly’ and remembered along with the photo, when saved. This means that you can adjust the effect later (even after saving / loading), or you can delete the effect entirely, and reset the photo, if you wish. When you load a document that has a color-select adjustment, just make sure you have the color-select control on  to show the color- select points in the document. When you click and hold on any color-select point, the checkerboard is shown. You can also now drag the handle, and the checkerboard selection is updated as you drag. So this is great way to interactively ensure you have the right regions selected.

Color Select Handle Options

When the color-select handles are active, they are shown red, as above. Active color-select points mean that subsequent Enhance operations will apply to the color-selected pixels only. Additional clicks will add more handles to this color selection. The color-select handles are circles, and it uses the average color within the circular control handle. By enlarging or reducing the circle size you can control exactly which colors are selected. Of course you can zoom in also to more precisely control things. You can right-click on a handle to access additional options, thus: Right-click menu on one of the color-select points. ‘Deselect’ will de-activate the color-selection (the handles turn black).  Now any subsequent color-select operations will be taken to be a new color-select, separate form the last one. This is useful if you want to change different colors in your image.  Click on a black handle to make it (and all handles part of the selection) active (and now red). The ‘Delete color selection’ will remove the whole color-selection. ‘Delete this color point’ does as it suggests and deletes just the point you right clicked on. The final option ‘Make transparent’  (make sure you have downloaded the latest v10 free patch, which adds this option) will erase the color- selected pixels, so these parts of the photo now become transparent.

Before / After Compare

As with all Enhance operations the Compare button on the right end of the InfoBar allows you to toggle between the before and after state. So in the above case if I select the photo - make sure the color-select mode is on, and have the handles active (red) -  then pressing Compare will show the before state, pressing it again will revert to the current enhancement values.

Adjusting the Color Selection Tolerance

When you have a color-selection active, there’s a drop-down control (small right arrow) next to the color-select mode control on the InfoBar: Click the right arrow adjacent to the color-select control, and a pop-up provides adjustments of the Tolerance and Fade. The Tolerance adjusts the width of the range of colors included. The Fade control adjusts how the edge cases blend with the background. So a low Tolerance means only colors very close to the picked ones are selected. A higher Tolerance means a wider range of shades of the picked color are included. Selecting a range of shades (as I have done on the car) is typically a balance between adding more control points to select a wider range of shades, and the Tolerance value. I could have had fewer color-select points and a higher Tolerance, but it’s usually easiest to leave the Tolerance and fade values as they are and just add additional color-select points to select the range of desired colors. A case for reducing the Tolerance value would be when you only want the precise color selected, with no lighter or darker shades.
Warm / Cold
Sharpen / Blur
Color Tint