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Learn how to view the channels in color in Adobe Photoshop CS3.
Tags:adobe,adobe photoshop cs3,channels,images,masking,photoshop,total training
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So as I said before that I don't recommend that you view your channels in color, but if you really want to, it's kind of helpful to get a better understanding of exactly what the channels look like, as they are interpreted by Photoshop. So what you see over here, is you see the black and white images, but Photoshop does not actually see this as a black and white image, it sees it as values of color, and thus converts it into a colored image in say your RGB composite channel.
So let's go ahead now, and we will come up here to the Photoshop menu here. We are going to choose Preferences and we are going to just go ahead and we will click on Interface right there. You can also bring that up by using Ctrl+K on the PC, Command+K on the Mac to bring up this dialog box here, and I am just going to go ahead and check Show Channels in Color, and when I do that you will automatically see that the channels convert themselves over here on the right-hand side of the screen.
I will go ahead and click OK. And now let's go ahead. And we will take a look at first the red channel. I will just click on that red channel right there, or you can simply hit Command+1 or Ctrl+1 on your keyboard. And so here is what Photoshop sees in this image here. It sees the red all the way around this image, and in different parts of her face, because as we know red is particularly prominent in flesh tones and things like that.
So what we have here is a lot of red being on the outside, a lot of red in the face, here in this red sash that she has on here. There is not much in here gown at all, because that's black obviously. So there is going to be an absence of color there. Now if we take a look at the green channel, you are going to see a different perspective here, not as much green creeping into the face, you see there's lots of darker areas here, because green is not really associated too much with the flesh tones, but it does hope to offset that red a little bit as well.
There is absolutely no green whatever in that sash she is wearing as you can see here, and there is no green, maybe a little trace of green right here in the bottom portion of here sleeve there, but not a whole lot of green happening in the robe at all either. So you kind of get an idea of how Photoshop interprets these to use to compile into that RGB composite channel at the top.
Finally go to the blue channel, which his going to be your darkest channel, and when you look at the Blue channel you will notice here that it's a real dark image here in the face, it's also really dark all throughout these regions here in on her hands, and that's simply because there is not a lot of blue in this image. There is probably more blue in the robe itself than there has been in the other two channels, but not a whole lot of blue otherwise, because blue is not really a big flesh tone color, it's not really prominent in this sash that she is wearing, because that is just almost completely red.
And you also notice, when you look through these channels that this outside area here, is completely saturated with every single color. So here is the green channel here, if I click back on that, you see it's completely green on the outside, the same if I scroll back up and click on the red channel, it's completely red on the outside, and it's saturated like that in every single channel, because if I click on the RGB, you see that that background behind her is white, and if you have full 255 values of each one of those colors complied together, that creates white. So full saturation of each color creates white, zero saturation of all colors creates black.
So this is a good way to kind of get yourself wrapped around the concept of exactly how channels work, and how they interact with one another as interpreted by Photoshop, but as I was saying before, this is not a good idea to have these turned on when you are working on images, because of the fact that you lose track of the luminosity values. If you click back here on the blue channel, you can see how difficult it would truly be to gauge the luminosity values in her face and in her hands, because it's so very dark.
So what I recommend that you do is, go back to your Preferences by using Command+K on the Mac, Ctrl+K on the PC, navigate to that interface tab, and then just turn off the Show Channels in Color button, go ahead then and click OK, and then we will click back in the RGB Composite Channel, and now we are ready to start taking a look at exactly what RGB is, and how it works.