thinking outside the box
Photo Editing Guide Part 4 - Changing Colors in Photos
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Regions and Masking

You can use the Region or Mask tools before you do a color-select to omit regions of the photo from the color selection. The Region and Mask tools This example shows the color of the Clementines changed, but in this case, one fruit has been masked so that it is not changed. Turn your oranges into lemons, limes or blues. I used the Mask Painter Tool  to paint a mask around one of the Clementine fruits before I started the color-select operation.  This means that when I select the orange color all orange pixels outside the mask area are selected.  Alternatively, you could use the Region Painter tool  to select a region before you try the color-select. In this case only the pixels inside the region would be picked (the opposite way round from the mask). I masked one fruit before using the color-select feature to change the orange to green. The green fruits look totally realistic because I used several color-select points (shown), to ensure all the required shades of orange were selected, before I used the Tint Control to change the orange to lime-green.


You might notice that the Photo is described on the Status line as a ‘Photo-group’.  This is because of the non-destructive nature of the color- select process.  A Photo-group is a photo that contains various edits ‘inside’ the photo. You can retrospectively adjust these edits, even remove them completely to recover the original un-touched photo. For most purposes an edited photo-group operates exactly as a normal photo. If you select it and apply an Enhance value or scale or rotate it, for example, the edit applies to the whole image. But you can drill-down into the photo-group to select just the edited regions inside. In the Selector Tool, hold down the Ctrl key and when you click, for example, on the green fruit in the above example then the status line will now show ‘1 color-selection region’ as being selected.  This is inside the photo. If you now press Delete, it will delete this – and restore the green fruit back to its original orange. Xara’s unique non-destructive nature maintains the high quality of your original photo regardless of how many times you open-edit-save it- which explains why many people use Xara Photo and Graphic Designer or Designer Pro as their primary, general purpose image editor. If you are not already one of them, download Xara Photo & Graphic Designer or Designer Pro and try it! This is the fourth part of a series of guides to editing photos in Xara. 1. Beginner’s Guide to Photo Editing in Xara  The basics of opening photos, zooming, sizing photos, and saving. 2. Summary of the Photo Tools  A summary of the tools on the Photo Tool fly-out menu. 3. Photo Enhance options  An overview of the ‘work-horse’ range of Enhance options. 4. Changing colors in photos  How to select and enhance or adjust specific colors. 5. A real-world example  Combining many of the techniques described above, to transform a poor photo. In addition there are more detailed guides covering other photo tools: The Shadow and Highlight controls Intelligent Photo Rescaling and Zooming Erasing Backgrounds and Combining Photos Brightness Levels and Color Balance Panoramic Photos For more tutorials by Xara and third parties, check out our Resource index, which offers a searchable and browsable list of movies and tutorials created  by Xara and third parties.