Mastering Duotones in Adobe Photoshop | Evgeniya & Dominic Righini-Brand | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Introduction & Overview


    • 2.

      Why and What to Duotone


    • 3.

      Setting up the Workspace for Efficient Workflow


    • 4.

      Black & White Adjustments


    • 5.

      Adjusting Contrast Using Curves


    • 6.

      Cutting Images Out of Their Backgrounds


    • 7.

      Sourcing Colours


    • 8.

      Collating Colours in Photoshop


    • 9.

      Creating Your Own Colour Schemes


    • 10.

      Duotoning Images with Gradient Maps


    • 11.

      Introduction to Choosing Colours for Duotones


    • 12.

      Creating Modern Duotone Looks


    • 13.

      Imitating Classic Photographic Looks


    • 14.

      Toning Images with Gradients


    • 15.

      Toning Cut-outs & Separate Backgrounds


    • 16.

      Toning Collages & Overlapping Images


    • 17.

      Managing Gradient Presets


    • 18.

      Creating Actions to Optimise Workflow


    • 19.

      Saving & Converting Duotones for Web & Print


    • 20.

      Ideas for Further Development & Conclusion


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About This Class

Level up your toning skills and create your very best duotones yet with our in-depth guide to creating trendy duotones in different moods.


Duotones and gradient overlays are everywhere now, and to make them look just right it takes a little bit of practice and some skill. It is more than just slapping a gradient map over an image! Besides the use of duotones in photography, duotoning is a powerful colouring technique which can be used to bring to life black & white designs, illustrations or sketches, or simplify and make more graphic originally full-colour images.

I am Evgeniya Righini-Brand, and for this class I put together my skills and experience as both graphic designer and photographer, to step-by-step walk you through the process of creating eye-catching trendy duotones in Photoshop.

In this class I'll show:

  • how to prepare images to make them pop when they are toned;
  • where to look for colour inspiration and how to pair colours to create different looks of both modern trendy and classic photographic toning;
  • how to apply duotones and gradient overlays to any types of individual images or multi-image compositions;
  • how to optimise your workflow by managing presets and creating and using toning actions;
  • and how to prepare your images for web and print using both process and spot colours.

At the end I’ll also share a few tips for taking your duotones further.

This class is for graphic and web designers, illustrators and photographers who are looking to add an edge to their work and make a statement through the trendy graphic look and use of exciting colour combinations. Whether you want to create your very first duotone image or perfect your toning skills and workflow, this is the class for you!


For the first 3 weeks of this class we’ll be running a special contest: we’ll be giving away 3 Duotoning Photoshop Kits containing toning presets and actions, and one lucky winner will also get a 1 year Skillshare Premium Membership. All you need to do to enter is create a project in this class and share your gradient experiments before Monday, 3rd July 2017.

I’m super excited to see your duotones! Join now and let’s make something awesome!



Duotones — research & inspiration board on Pinterest.


Class Outline

  • Introduction and overview. In this graphic designing tutorial, you’ll learn how to prepare images for effective toning, combine colors to create a range of trendy and classic duotone looks, optimize workflow with presets and actions using graphic designing software, and save images for print and web.
  • Why and what to duotone. Graphic designer Evgeniya Righini-Brand will show you some examples of graphic design art, illustration and photography which incorporate duotones. You’ll examine the types of projects where this design technique works best.
  • Setting up the workspace for efficient workflow. You’ll learn how to set up a workspace in Photoshop with all the panels necessary for the toning process.
  • Black and white adjustments. You’ll learn how to get the most out of color images when converting them to black and white using non-destructive adjustments in Photoshop.
  • Adjusting contrast using curves. You’ll learn how to further adjust tones, brightness and contrast in any images using non-destructive Curves adjustment layer.
  • Cutting images out of their backgrounds. You’ll learn the latest Photoshop technique for isolating important elements in your photographs, illustrations of designs using the Select and Mask tool.
  • Sourcing colors. Don’t get stuck looking at the Color Picker in Photoshop. Evgeniya will share color research tips and show you where to source colors from both on a computer, and from your surroundings.
  • Collating colors in Photoshop. You’ll learn how add your new found colors into Photoshop by loading color swatches and sampling colors from images with the Eyedropper tool.
  • Creating your own color schemes. You’ll learn how to create color groups in the Adobe Color Themes extension by utilising the Color Wheel mode and Color Harmony Rules available in Photoshop.
  • Duotoning images with gradient maps. Evgeniya will show you how to use the Gradient Map adjustment layer to tone your images and will explain how to use the Gradient Editor to set up and adjust gradients.
  • Introduction to using colors for duotones. Evgeniya will introduce her general approach to categorizing duotones, and show you how to set up and use the Colour Picker window to adjust colors.
  • Creating modern duotone looks. Evgeniya will demonstrate the process of creating different modern duotone looks in Photoshop, explain the rules for combining colours with an attention to detail you won’t find in other Photoshop design tutorials, and share what each type of duotone look can be used for.
  • Imitating classic photographic looks. You’ll explore Photographic Toning presets available in Photoshop, learn about what effects were traditionally created using photographic techniques in a darkroom by toning, tinting and split-toning and learn how to pair colours to put a modern twist on classic looks.
  • Toning images with gradients. You’ll learn an alternative technique of toning images in Photoshop by using and adjusting Gradient Fill layers or by manually painting color spots and utilising Blending Modes to achieve the desired effect.
  • Toning cut-outs and separate backgrounds. You’ll explore several ways to add your own digital background design to a photograph and how to tone them together and separately from each other.
  • Toning collages and overlapping images. You’ll learn how to use multiple images to create a digital collage and utilise the Blending Modes to combine these images into a single design.
  • Managing gradient presets. Evgeniya will show you how to save your gradient presets and how to manage them using the Preset Manager in Photoshop.
  • Creating actions to optimize workflow. You’ll learn how to create and adapt your own fool-proof clearly labeled toning actions in Photoshop, manage your actions using the Actions Panel, and batch process your images.
  • Saving and converting duotones for web and print. You’ll learn how to save images for sharing online, convert them for printing in CMYK, and how to use the Duotone Color Mode in Photoshop for preparing duotones for print with Spot Colors.
  • Ideas for Further Development & Conclusion. Evgeniya will share some ideas of how to use duotones in graphic design and illustration projects, and what you can combine duotoned images with to produce exciting experimental digital art in Photoshop.

Meet Your Teacher

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Evgeniya & Dominic Righini-Brand

Graphic Design & Photography

Top Teacher

2023 End of Year Giveaway: Win 1 Year of Skillshare Membership or a 1-on-1 Session With Us

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1. Introduction & Overview: Duotones and gradient overlays are everywhere now. To make them look just right, it takes a little bit of practice and some skill. It is more than just letting a gradient map or an image. Besides the use of Duotones in photography, Duotoning is a powerful coloring technique which can be used to bring to life black and white designs, illustrations or sketches, or to simplify and make more graphic originally, full-color images. I'm Evgeniya from IT creative. For this class, I put together my skills and experience as both graphic designer and photographer, to step-by-step walk you through the process of creating eye-catching splendid Dutones in photo-shop. In this class, I will show how to prepare images to make them pop on their tone. Where to look for color inspiration and how to pair colors to create different looks for both modern trendy and Classic photographic toning. How to apply Duotones and gradient overlays to any types of individual images or multi image compositions. How to optimize your workflow by managing presets and creating and using toning actions, and how to prepare images for web and print using both process and spot colors. At the end, I'll also share a few tips for taking your Duotones further. This class is for graphic and web designers, illustrators and photographers, who are looking to add image to their work and make a statement for the trendy graphical and the use of exciting color combinations. Whether you want to create your very first Duotone image or perfect your toning skills in the workflow, this is a class for you. To celebrate the launch of this class, for the first few weeks, we will be run in a special contest. We'll be giving away free Duotoning Photoshop kits containing 20 presets and actions, and one lucky winner will also get one year Skill Share premium membership. All you need to do to enter is create a project in this class and share your Duotone experiments before Monday, 3rd of July, 2017. I will be super excited to see your Duotone. Join now and let's make something awesome. 2. Why and What to Duotone: Less is more, and you don't need to have a whole rainbow of colors in your design, illustration, artwork, or photograph to make it look exciting. This is when duotoning techniques in Photoshop come into play. After you have mastered image preparation and approaches to combining colors, you will be able to create standing duotones in no time. Duotones can be extremely useful in different types of projects. They can be used to create standalone posters or photographics, or to give the same flavor to the set of images used in editorial projects or on the websites. As well proven by Spotify, duotones can also become the main feature of visual identity. Apart from all that, duotones make great background images, allow to simplify and change the overall mood of photographs, help to imitate in aesthetics, re-appropriate and give a new life to found vintage illustrations, and of course, enable you to take your own illustrations or designs to the next level by finishing them up with a power of color. To further explore examples of all sorts of duotone applications, don't hesitate to checkout my duotones research board on Pinterest. So let's get on with looking into how to get the most out of the duotones in Photoshop. 3. Setting up the Workspace for Efficient Workflow: Before we dive into working with the image files, let's quickly set out the Photoshop workspace so that all of the panels that will be needed are right in front of us. Usually, my workspace looks like this but it is not good for working with colors and toning images. If you have set up your workspace, and it works fine for your day-to-day tasks, it's a good idea to save the settings so that you can easily load your favorite workspace afterwards. If you haven't saved your custom workspace already, go to the menu window, Workspace, and select New Workspace. In this dialogue box, give your workspace a descriptive name. For me this is my standard workspace, so this is how I will call it. If you have customized shortcuts, menus or toolbars, you can also save these settings by ticking the boxes here. Click Save when you're ready to proceed. Now you can find this workspace in the workspace menu. User-defined workspaces will be in the top section here. As I have saved my standard workspace, I can start rearranging the panels for more efficient tone and workflow. Depending on the size of your screen, you can arrange all necessary panels differently. But in my case as I am working on a laptop, I usually stack a few open panels on the right-hand side of my workspace. So I'll drag this whole group out of the way and put swatches here instead. Then we'll be using the properties panel a lot, so I'll put it here, and put adjustments on the side here. Then at the bottom, I will keep layers. These are very essential panels for the task. If you cannot locate them in your workspace, open them up from the window menu and put them open in front of you. We'll also need Adobe color themes extension, or Adobe Color as it was called in some previous versions. So go to the menu window, extensions and select Adobe color themes here. You can keep this panel collapsed on the side like this as we won't be using it as much as the other panels. When you're done rearranging a new workspace, make sure to save it too. I will call mine toning. Now it is also available on the list, so it will be easy to get to these panels in future. As we've got the workspace sorted, we can open an image which we want to tone. I'm going to use this photograph of Dominick I took a few years ago. Photographs or any other types of photo-realistic images are extreme in terms of the color information they contain and they usually require more work than other types of images, so this one is great for demonstration. But you can go ahead and use anything you want. Photographs, digital art, scans of drawings, textures, or any found graphics. You can even quickly snap a selfie against the plane background and use it for this class project. Portraits look great as your tones. But again, you decide and open any image you want to experiment with. Let's get on with preparing images for toning. 4. Black & White Adjustments: After picking an image you want to tone, you might want to jump into trying out colors right away. Sometimes this can work out okay, but quite often the results might turn out not as exciting, vibrant or punchy as you had hoped for. This is because tone defects in Photoshop are best applied to images with a good tone range and contrast, which are essential for producing interesting results. If you're using images which already have a sufficient tone range and contrast, such as already processed black-and-white photographs, print-up scans, illustrations or designs, then you might be able to turn this images without any additional preparation. But in most cases, especially when you are starting off with color images, you won't need to adjust them first to make them look exciting and not fled when they are toned. Image preparation makes a huge difference to how toned images will look and includes conversion to black and white, global and local contrast adjustments, and in some cases, you might also want to remove or replace backgrounds or even make collages of photo montages. Let's have a look at a few useful techniques, which you can use to prepare images. The first thing you need to do when you open an image in Photoshop is convert it to black and white. As usual, there are several different ways that this can be done in Photoshop. However, if you want to get the most out of your images, some of these approaches are best avoided. For example, it's not the best idea to convert your images to grayscale just to make them black and white. It is not what greyscale color mode is here for. Better keep this option to discard color channels when preparing your images footprint as black and white. Using hue and saturation adjustments than turning down the image saturation is also not the best way of converting to black and white. As adjustment saturation this way doesn't allow you to fully use and control the images color information. It's much better to use non-destructive black and white adjustment layer instead. There are a few ways of adding adjustment layers to your document. In this class, I will be using the create new fill or adjustment layer button on the bottom of the layers panel. First of all, let's click on Black and White Adjustment layer here. This will create a new adjustment layer, which must be above the image layer, which you wanted to effect. Adjustment layers, affect all the layers below them. If you have multiple image layers and want to just only one of them, you will need to click the Adjustment layer to the image layer, by only clicking between the this layers when this icon appears. This arrow between the layers indicates that they are clipped to each other. As I have only one image at the moment, I don't need to worry about this. Note that all adjustment layers are created with the touched layer masks, which allow you to control which parts of the image your adjustments are applied to. By default, the mask is filled with white, which means that the adjustment will affect the whole area. Because the black and white adjustment layer doesn't discard the images color information, you can control its color channels in the adjustment layers properties, which will open in the properties panel when you have the adjustment layer selected on the layers panel. In the Properties panel, there is a range of colors sliders, which we can individually adjust to fine tune the image, to make it more punchy and to control how light or dark different color components will look when converted to black and white. When you're working with the color sliders, you need to bear in mind where different colors are used in your image. For example, skin tones and portrait photography can be adjusted using reds and yellows and sometimes magenta. At this stage with a black and white adjustment, the aim is to bring more contrast to the image and make different raised and out from each other, to would your image looking flat. If you're working those photographs, especially portraits. These adjustments can be quite minor. Try to stick to a realistic look, If something is not your intention. On the other hand, if you're working on a photograph which doesn't have any people and skin tones and need to be kept realistic. Or if you're working with a multi-color illustration or design, you can use the black-and-white adjustment in a more radical way to highlight or darken certain color components to make your image look more excited. For example, here, I had to shift all the color components to add more texture to the tree and to make the road signs stand out. To see how the changes you've made effect the black and white adjustments, you can press and hold down this button in the properties panel. If you messed up your adjustments and want to reset everything back to where it was before you started fiddling with the sliders, you can click on this Reset button here and then start all over again. I might have lost some details in this image by applying this adjustments. But since they're not really crucial, it only makes the image cleaner, belonging to concentrate on what's important. Don't be afraid to really push the colors in your image to make the tone spoke in black and white. Let's go back to this image and have a look at a few more black and white adjustment tools. This button here allows to sample the color you want to adjust from the image. Click on this button to make it active, and then click and Drag them out sideways over the image to adjust the sampled color. Dragging your mouse to the right will make you assembled gala lighter and drag it to the left will make it darker. This is useful when you can see the areas which you need to adjust, but you cannot easily identify the color components. Apart from the manual controls, there's also a preset menu here, which has a range of different presets for dealing with different types of photographs over creating particular effects. A lot of theory here relates to filter and black and white film photography. If you want, check out different presets here to look contrast your image and pick one which works best with the colors in your image. Personally, I prefer manually adjusting colors using sliders and sampling, but you decide what works best for you. This is the very first step of the image preparation. Since we are working with adjustment layers, we can always come back here and tweak the settings further if necessary. Just make sure that at this point, the image in black and white has a good tonal range, and if you are dealing with photographs, try to get a good contrast, but try not to blow out any highlights and don't make the shadows pitch black using the color slider. If you want your image to be super contrasty, almost graphic, it is better and easier than with the curves adjustments. That's what we are going to look at next. 5. Adjusting Contrast Using Curves: After you convert it to black and white and tweaking the settings, your image might still like contrast, like you can see here. Using the curves adjustment is the second step in adding contrast in making images look more graphic. Again, go to this button here and select curves. As with the black and white adjustment layer, the curves adjustment will be applied as a separate layer in your document. All adjustments are applied on top of each other, so the order of the adjustment layers will affect the final look, and since the curves adjustment is our secondary adjustment, which must take into account the result of the black and white adjustment, make sure that it is above it on the layers panel. When you select the curves adjustment layer on the layers panel, the properties panel will show you this graph with a histogram and a diagonal line going through it. If you haven't used curves before or don't really understand what all this stuff here is about. This might look very complicated, but it isn't. Curves are a very powerful tool for controlling tone, contrast and color, both globally throughout the whole image and locally in different tones, and a little experimentation, observation, and understanding of what all these things here can do can be a game changer. In this class, we're not going to look into working with the curves as they are irrelevant to what we're doing here. Make sure that in this menu, dependent on the color mode of your document, you always have the RGB or CMYK channel selected. Now, let's have a look at how we can use this graph and edit this [inaudible] curved line to make adjustments to our image. Along the bottom here, we have a slider which controls a dynamic range in the image as it is or in other words, input values. Dynamic range being the number of shades of gray available in your image, goes from black on the left, to white on the right. On the graph, the black point is the bottom left point on the curve, and the white point is the top-right point. A histogram is built upon this dynamic range and visually represents the distribution of different shades in your image and their intensity. The higher it shoots on a specific point or area, the more of the sheets you have in your image. If your photograph is overexposed, meaning that the whites and highlights are blown out. Or if it is underexposed, meaning that it is overly dark, you will be able to see it on your histogram. A photograph with a good overall exposure, doesn't have any spikes like this and it makes a good starting point as it contains a lot of color and tonal information, which makes it possible to achieve any desired effect. Obviously, the histogram will look very different if you're working with illustrations or designs, we choose a limited range of solid colors. But regardless of what you are using, please bear with me. Looking at the histogram for this photograph, you can see that I have a lot of highlights and lights because there is a huge area of sky here. Also, you can see that they actually don't have any white or very bright highlights and there are no blacks in this image neither, so now is when this dynamic range input slider can be useful. If I move the right toggle to where I have data on the histogram, I will reduce the dynamic range and Photoshop will consider this to be the white point in the image, what was the lightest highlight before now is white, and if I move the black left toggle in a bit, I will convert those shadows into blacks. Since I only adjusted the dynamic range aligning it with a histogram of my image, I basically introduced whites and blacks to the image which was liking them before. On the other hand, if I start squashing the dynamic range further, everything on the histogram which falls outside of the dynamic range will be considered white or black, so this looks a bit better now. As with all adjustment layers, you can toggle the visibility of this adjustment only enough for the properties panel the same way as I've shown you when we look at the black and white adjustment. In other approach you can consider trying out, especially if you're working with scanned illustrations, is set in white and black points on the image. To sample the white point, use this eyedropper tool and click on the image areas which you want to make white. Then set the black point by clicking on the areas which you want to make black. Even though these tools are designed for adjusting color balance in photographs, this technique is very useful if you need to even out a plain white background and make the graphic details in your image black and contrasting. Also, if you hold down the Alt key while sampling white or black points, you can see the clipping preview, which can help you to get rid of any leftover artifacts on the background, keep this in mind, if you're dealing with graphic works, especially with those ones with plain backgrounds and solid colors. After you have set your new white and black points, you will see the color channels curves shift, but the RGB curve will stay as it is, then you can edit it further as I'm about to show you. Now, I'm back to this photograph. I have just moved the black and white points in this image along the horizontal axis and their positions along the vertical axis are still the same. Vertical axis represents the output dynamic range of the image and the black point is at the bottom and the white one is along the top. This is why at the moment, the blacks looks black and the whites look white. If I start moving these points vertically, I will be reducing the dynamic range of the output, which also determines how the image will look, if I move the white point down, I will start losing the whites in the image yet again and the image will get darker, and if I move the black point up, the blacks will also disappear and become dark shadows instead, and the higher I move the black point, the lighter and more faded my image will become. Squashing that output dynamic range is a quick way of making images look faded and you might want to create a faded look as it is a great effect to achieve with your tones, but if you do it with a curves adjustment before toning, you won't be able to create a range of toning effects and it would be difficult to work with and predict what's going to happen during the toning. For this reason, I advise you to save fading until the later toning stage and achieve it through the use of colors. Let's keep curves for working with contrast and local tonal adjustments instead. On the overall graph, the lower left area represents the shadows in the image and the upper-right area represents the highlights. To just contrast using curves, we need to add at least one more point to this line. Let's click on the line somewhere in the middle to add a mid tone point in the image. Now, if I drag it up, I will make the mid tones lighter, and if I drag it down, the mid tones are going to get darker. Know that the change is gradual to the whole image and the black and white points in the image stay where they are. To increase contrast, you can add a couple more points, one in the light and one in the shadows, and then all we need to do is drag this point up or down to increase or decrease contrast in your image. The diagonal line going through the middle of the graph is where the input and output values are equal to each other moving the slide point up, for example, will mean that you are increasing the output value and by doing this, making the lights even lighter, which increases the contrast. Moving the point in the shadows down will make the shadows darker and the shadow area more contrast. Having white, black and mid tone points and adding points like this in-between allows to adjust the local contrast in the desired tonal areas. You're going to add up to 14 points to the curve, though you probably won't need as much as having three points between black and white might be enough in most cases. Look at your image and work out which specific areas require local contrast adjustments to make the image pop and adjust the curves accordingly. Here are a few quick rules about the curves. Firstly, unless you're after something crazy like this, keep your curves going gradually from bottom-left to top-right, and make sure that every point on the left is lower than the next one on the right. If you have a steep vertical segment, it means that this area has a lot of contrast. If you have a more flat horizontal segment, it means that the tones are squashed together, like this. Creating steep vertical segments will inevitably cause some flat horizontal ones. It depends on what you are trying to achieve, but squashing tones together might not always work. But by all means, play around to get to grips with the curves adjustment. The same as with the black and white adjustment, you can click on this button here and then you adjust the image by clicking and dragging in the specific areas which you want to make lighter or darker. But I would suggest working this way before you add any extra points to your curve, because otherwise you might get something like this. Generally an image adjustment is no brainer, just make sure to sample at least two tones, one in the lights and one in the shadows. Also, if you're feeling particularly lazy, there is a drop-down menu with various presets which you can explore and build upon if necessary. This photograph looks pretty good now and has nice glow in highlight areas and some deep shadows. I will leave it as it is and if necessary, I can revisit the curves adjustment later on during the toning stage. When you're working with your image, try to achieve a similar contrast in graphic look, with a lot of details and visible difference between the tones. Next, let's remove the background from the image to create a more graphical look and to be able to tone we'll fill in the background separately. 6. Cutting Images Out of Their Backgrounds: If you're after a more graphical full photograph or if you want to make a collage, then you will have to cut the object of your image out of its background. Separating the image from its background is essential to be able to turn them separately. There are a few different ways you can cut things out in Photoshop. Since it is just a small part of this class, I am going to do the easiest and quickest way using the select and mask tool available in the Creative Cloud versions of Photoshop. If you have Photoshop CS5 or CS6, you can use the previous and limited iteration of this tool available in those versions, which is called Refine Edge and which is available on the control panel instead of the select and mask when you have an active selection like this. If you have Photoshop Creative Cloud, then great. If you have CS5 or CS6, it's also okay and they will give you a few tips here in regards to refine edge functionality. If you have an even older version of Photoshop or going for a specific graph cut collage look don't hesitate to check out my other class. Sources mix digital collage from vintage encyclopedia illustrations where I cover, if you old school version, independent cutting techniques. Let's get on with cutting. On the layers panel, Select the image layer, and then go to the Select menu and choose, Select and Mask. This will open up a new window with a range of different tools and options which make it very easy to select and isolate, even very complex elements like hair. Start with speaking the Quick Selection Tool here. Make sure it is set to add to selection and then set up the brush size to your desired settings. I will set hardness to 50 percent and keeps basin at 25 and 72 pixels is about right proportionately to the size of my image. Not too small and not too big. You will need to set the size according to the size of the elements you want to select so that the tool is smaller than the area you are selecting. I am dealing with one image layer here, so I don't need to take this. I'm ready to start selecting. On the right-hand side in the Properties panel, there is a number of different few modes and you can pick whichever is more comfortable for you to work in. I will start with the onion skin and said the transparency of node selected areas to 70 percent here. I can just about see what is not selected, but it won't distract me from the selection. I will have oldest options object and go and start selecting by clicking and dragging all the parts of the image which I want to include in the selection. If you clicks and I've got the initial selection ready, if you mess up your selection, you can use the usual shortcuts to undo the changes. Now to check out the quality of my selection, I can use some other view mode. For example, black and white, to have a silhouette view or the selection, which makes it very apparent if something is off like here. Also, since we'll be replaced in the background with a solid color or a gradient, Check out how your selection looks against white background, in this case, turn up their positive to 100 percent and do the same with black. Check these view modes out will help you to easily sport selection defects. If you already know whether you want light or dark background, stick to white or black here, according to your intentions. The edges are not really fantastic here. I'll need to refine them using the Refine Edge brush. I will set this brush up to a smaller radius and again set the hardness to 50 percent. Then carefully go with it around the selection. It worked nicely with hair. But there's still some bits here where the shirt was blend in with the background is the colors for similar. To refine the hard edge selection, I am going to use good old polygonal Lasso Tool and go around in small segments and select areas which I need to add to my selection. You can also remove areas from the selection. If you click on the subtract from selection button here, or if you hold down the "Alt" key whilst using this tool in the add mode, if you change the setting, makes sure you pay attention to what you have selected when you next to use the same tool. If you're using a graphics tablet, you can also paint in the selection using the brush tool. I'm using a mouse and my painting with it is not very accurate. I don't really use this brush tool here. When you are done with the selection, you can further refine the edges by playing around with the edge detection settings here. The larger the radius, the bigger the area which Photoshop will take into account when calculating the edges. You can also refine your selection by adjusting all this values. I like a sharp graphical look and in this case it works quite well anyway. As even hair is not very complex and it has a very contrast background. But all images are different. Experiment with different values and see what they do to your particular image. There is also an option called decontaminate colors, which can help to fix edges further. Turn this option on and off to have a look at how it affects the edges of your selection. In my case, it doesn't help. I will keep it unchecked. If you have a CS5 or CS6 version of Photoshop with the Refined Edge tool, you will also get access to all the settings here. What you can do is firstly create a rough selection. For example, using the Lasso tool. Here, I am accessing it for the select and Moscow Window, but you will need to do it in the main document Window before going to the Refine Edge tool. After your selection is ready, loader Refine Edge and adjust the edge detection radius. Then work with the other settings here to refine the selection. Bear in mind that the edge detection works best when there is a visible difference between what you are trying to cut and the background. In some cases, this might not work too well and you would need to manually refine the selection afterwards. Regardless of the Photoshop version you are using, when you are happy with the way your selection looks. Go to the output section and in this drop-down menu, select New Layer with a layer mask. This will copy the layer and we'll apply a non-destructive layer mask to it, which you can edit further afterwards. Click "Okay" to apply settings. Here is a new layer with the layer mask. Photoshop has hidden the original layer, which is still there. Now if you need to refine the selection further, you can do it at any time. Simply select the mask on the layers panel and in the properties panel, click on the refined select and mask button here. Or if you wish, manually edit the layer mask here. I'm not going to get into explaining how to work with the layer masks. If you need to learn about how to use them, please check out my class Sources mixed botanical illustrations was typography to create 20 designs, which has a separate part about understanding and working with layer marks. These are the basics of the new and super handy select the mask tool. If you are into photo retouching, but using an older version of Photoshop, this tool alone makes it worthwhile upgraded to create a Cloud version is it makes the sort of tasks totally painless. The cut-out here is ready. For now. I'm going to hide this layer with the cutout and then we will get back to it when I get to cover the ways of color and the image and the background separately. Now it is finally time to start working with colors. 7. Sourcing Colours: Now we're very close to the most exciting stage of tone in images. While the actual tuning techniques you will be using are quite simple and straight forward, what makes the biggest difference are the colors you choose to use. You might already have some colors you want to use. For example, if you're working within brand guidelines, or if you have a set of colors you like. But if you are not tied to a certain color scheme, then you can play around as much as you want, and this is when it gets exciting. Colors are everywhere and it is really easy to create a lot of different color schemes just by looking around and doing some basic research. So don't start your projects by getting stuck looking at the Color Picker window in Photoshop. This is probably the worst thing you can do as you'll most likely stick to safe choices and your decisions won't be informed or inspired by anything specific. There is no end to color inspiration. Here is a brief list of where to look if you want to find some cool colors which you can use in your duotones or in any other projects for this matter. A lot of companies, especially those in fashion and home decor industries, publish their color trends on a regular basis, at least once a year. The first and obvious designer's choice to look for colors trends, is the Pantone website. In their color intelligence section, you can find colors of the year and their range of color palettes featuring these colors. Also, here you can find by-annual fashion color reports from New York Fashion Week, and starting from this year, it also includes colors from London Fashion Week, which is great. The more colors the merrier. A very useful thing about Pantone website is that here you can download color swatches and easily add them to your swatch library. So don't hesitate to get some libraries here. We'll have a look at installing, using and creating our own Swatch Libraries in Photoshop a bit later in this class. The page layout between different years and seasons isn't consistent. But if you look hard, you will definitely find the download links for the last couple of years. If you cannot find a link, simply grab a screenshot for the colors you like. If you're going to use these colors only in digital work, this will be enough. If you want to use them in print, make a note of color reference number for fuller conversion to spot colors or to CMYK, which we'll have a look at towards the end of the class. Other places I like looking for color trends are Dulux and the Behr. Dulux has different trends Europe and Australia. So it is worth checking out two of their websites to see different trends. Behr, being an American company, has totally different color trends also. So there's plenty of inspiration there. Even though it's about home decor, the colors can be very useful as starting points for other applications. Following the trends can be useful, but you don't necessarily need to do that. Especially if you are not creating your graphics just for a season and the sole purpose of it is to be in trend. So you can always look back at previous years or seasons and pick color palettes, which feel right to you. Also, you don't need to use the whole palettes as they are. You can just grab one specific color you like and use it as a starting point and build your own color scheme around it. Apart from the trend reports published by renowned brands, there are also a few color related resources which are worth looking at. For example, Design Seeds is all about colors and you can find some amazing color schemes there. So be sure to check all designs and website, Pinterest or Instagram channels. If you like something there and want to try out the colors, grab the images, and we'll have a look at sampling colors from them shortly. Another thing to explore, are color themes created by the Adobe Users Community, which you can access either for the Adobe Color website or for the color themes within Photoshop. If you go to the most popular section, you will definitely find some really good color combinations which you can use as a basis for your duotones. If you are a Dribble user, you probably know that you can download color swatches for each shot. If you are not, be sure to check it out. Here, you can also search by a specific color to see what other designers pair this color with and what is hot at the moment. You can also consider sourcing colors yourself by pulling them out of the images, which inspire you. For this, again, you can use the Adobe Color website and load your images here and then go to this menu and check out different rules for creating color groups. You can also adjust colors manually by dragging sample points around or using the color sliders here. This is the best way to find you the colors. Make sure to save your theme when you are ready so that you can access it later in Photoshop. If you have an Adobe Capture app on your mobile device, you can also collect colors on the go for what you see around. This is very similar to the Adobe Color website. But since you can dynamically analyze colors in front of you using the camera and moving it around, you are not stuck with just the pictures and you can use your environment to get color inspiration from. You'll be amazed how refreshing looking at colors this way can be, and how many different color themes you can create in a very short period of time. Make sure to save color themes you create to your library so that you can use them later in Photoshop. By default, created color themes are saved as public. So if you want to keep them private, so that only you can view and use them, you will need to turn sharing off. So there are many different ways you can find interesting colors to use in your work. So keep your eyes open and collect colors which you like. 8. Collating Colours in Photoshop: After finding some colors which you want to try out in your duotones, now it is time to bring them all into Photoshop. If you have downloaded color swatches from the Pantone websites, Dribbble or anywhere else, go to the Swatches Panel, and click on this button in the top right corner. From this menu, select Load Swatches, if you want to add your new swatches to what you already have in here, or select Replace Swatches if you want to replace the current swatches with the ones which you're about to add. I want to have a variety of different swatches, so I will be adding to the selection by loading your swatches every time. After clicking on Load Swatches, you need to go and locate which files on your computer. To save time, it's a good idea to put all the swatches in one place before you start loading them. You can add them directly to the Photoshop Color Swatch Folder, in the applications on Mac, or program files in Windows, or if you like, keep them elsewhere. I usually save swatches to a folder on my Creative Cloud so it is easier to access and share. These are the pantone swatches I downloaded so I will load them all into Photoshop. If you're not comfortable with the thumbnail size of your swatches, you can always change it in this menu. If you have some images which contain the colors you want to sample in Photoshop, open them up. Then using the Eyedropper Tool, pick the colors from the image. Sampling color, we'll set it as a foreground color on the Tools Panel. You can also click and drag your mouse around the image and see how the sampled color changes dynamically. This is particularly useful when you are sampling color from complex multi-color images, like photographs or paintings, as it makes it faster to find the right color without a need to click 100 times. Stop and release the mouse button when you're happy with the sampled color. Now, you can go to the Swatches Panel and click on this button to create a new swatch. In Photoshop, swatches are not document specific. So when you add color swatches in one document, you will be able to access them in any other document unless you reset the Swatch Selection. 9. Creating Your Own Colour Schemes: You can also develop your own color schemes based on any color you like using the Adobe Color themes extension in Photoshop and color harmony rules to make the whole process easier. You could also do it outside Photoshop using the Adobe Color website. But since we are already in Photoshop, it makes sense to work here. On the color theme panel, click on the Create button here, and select the will view mode. Then need to set the base color, you want to build your scheme around. Pick any color you like from your swatches, or if you want to create your own foreground color using the color picker. Whichever way you do it. When you have a foreground color set, go back to the color theme panel and set this color as the base color by clicking on the set selected color from Active Color button here. Then click on the color Rule button here and explore different harmony rules in this dropdown menu. This will show all the hues and their situation variants. This slider here allows you to control the brightness. If you have the base color selected, change in brightness, will affect the whole group. But if you select any other color here, you can change the brightness separately. If you want to just hue and saturation of all colors in the group together, use the base color on the color wheel and drag it to a new location. Base color has this marker here, so it is easy to spot. If the color rule is set to monochromatic, triad, complimentary or compound, when you drag any other color in the group, you will be able to change the situation separately from the other colors. If you have analogous rule selected here, drag in any color except for the base one, will change the spread of the hues. If you have a custom rule selected, you can control all colors individually. If you are used to working with colors in Illustrator, like I am, this might seem a bit limited and awkward. Unlike Illustrator, which allows to access a number of teens and shades of colors in the color groups. Here you're stuck with five colors. Whilst trying out different color rules for creating your own custom schemes, look for pairs of colors which have a good color, or tonal contrast. We are going to look into different approaches to parent colors emit later in more detail. For now, play around with this tool, pick some colors, and add them to swatches by clicking on this button here. Don't forget to save the themes you like to be able to access them later. Any film that you save or any film that you find in the export hub, you can add to your switches by clicking on this button here and selecting Edit to switches. Okay. This colors should be enough to get us started. We will further develop color pairs and fine tune these colors when you start using them in diatoms. Now, it's time to check out the first tone and technique which we are going to use. 10. Duotoning Images with Gradient Maps: The first toning technique which we're going to use is a gradient map adjustment. Before adding a new adjustment layer, let's quickly set the foreground and background colors to two different colors from our swatches. If you click on the swatch but instead of this color you see a shade of gray on the tools panel, it means that you have a layer mask selected on the layers panel. Make sure that you either have nothing at all selected on the layers panel or select top layers from there instead. Since we are going to be working quite a bit with the eyedropper tool and setting colors on the tools panel, it is good to remember the following shortcuts. When using the eyedropper tool with swatches holding down the command key or control key in Windows, allows you to set the background color, and press an X swatch to the background and foreground colors around. Let's set the background color to something light or bright, and set the foreground color to a more desaturated and not very bright color. At the moment, my color choice is not dictated by any specific effect I am trying to achieve, it is just to show you how the gradient maps work and we will look at using different color combinations to create certain moods shortly. Now, on the layers panel click on the ''Create New Field'' or ''Adjustment layer button'' and select gradient map from the list. Make sure that the gradient map layer is above all other layers you have in your document, and here is our basic duotone. When you have the gradient map layer selected in the properties panel, you will see the gradient used to turn the image, which is by default created between the foreground and the background colors specified on the tools panel. If you click on the gradient, you will open the gradient editor. Here, you can further adjust your gradient, pick another gradient from the presets, or manually set colors here on the gradient slider. Gradient map works by replacing colors from the original image based on their brightness in gray scale with the equivalent colors from the set gradient, so the left stop replaces black in your image, and the right one replaces white. You can also, add more color stops to your gradient either by clicking just under the gradients slider when this hand cursor appears, or by dragging in existing color stops to copy them. Any additional color stop will be used to replace certain tones in your image, for example, if you add a color stop in the middle it will affect the mid tones, and if you move it around you will be able to control how the colors are distributed in your image. Adding an extra lighter highlight stop, or a darker shadow stop can be useful when your image has pronounced highlights or shadows, but you also want to retain colors in the mid tones. Keep tritones in mind and experiment with them if you need to. But in this class, we'll be focusing on creating exciting duotones, so let's get back to them. When to stop gradient, is created based on the set foreground and background colors. The foreground color is used as a left telescope, and the background color is used as a right one. Having a lot of contrast and pronounced black and white areas in your image, makes the toning process more predictable and the result more exciting and not flat, that is why we've gone through all the hustle often just in this image before toning. Let just quickly close this window, and check out how this image would have looked if we haven't used the black and white in curves adjustments. It would have been pretty boring without the curve, and it be off without the black and white adjustment, which in this particular case leaves the skin tones, and you can see that only when you use together, this adjustments produced the result we want and they are not good enough on their own. Don't be lazy and don't underestimate the importance of good image preparation. Now, let's go back to the gradient editor. When you have any color stop selected, you will also see this diamond-shaped indicator, it shows the midpoint and the gradient between two colors stops. The mid point is the point at which two colors are mixed in equal proportions, and by changing its location you can adjust the way this gradient is applied to your image, and how the colors are distributed between different shades making one column more dominant than the other. If you move the midpoint further away from the lighter color stop, it will make your image lighter, and if you move it further away from the darker one, your image will get darker. The way gradients are created and how the midpoint colors are calculated in a digital environment is different in comparison to using physical paints, and is based on the average numeric values of the color components. I have discussed it in detail in my previous class, ''Mastering gradients'' in Illustrator, so don't hesitate to check it out if you want to learn more about digital gradients. The principles are the same in Photoshop, and now in demo might come in handy when working with duotones. To change the colors in the gradient, you can select a color stop, and then pick a new color for swatches. This way you can quickly explore different options, especially if you have a good understanding of how colors work with each other. Trying out different switches is always a good and liberating start, but manual find union of colors is really important to get the exact effect you want, and saying this brings us nicely to approaches to combining colors to create duotones in different moods. 11. Introduction to Choosing Colours for Duotones: Moods created by duo tones are all about different levels of color and total contrast between the colors. If you're using swatches, especially those based on trend reports or developed by color specialists, then most certainly each theme will contain at least two colors, which would have a sufficient amount of contrast to create an interesting duo tone. But if you want to get more confident in developing duo tones to match your intentions, regardless of whether you're starting off with the colors from swatches or manually picking colors in Photoshop yourself, it is useful to know what colors to look for and how to find kinder to get the exact result you're after. To edit a color stop or to define a custom color, double-click on the color stop you want to edit and this will open up the color picker window. The color picker window can be set to a number of different view options, all of which can be useful in different situations. But in this case, I find selecting hue here and working in this view mode most practical, as it allows to easily access all these and shades for chosen hue, which is really handy when working with duo tones. In this mode, there is a hue color strip on the side, and here the brightness changes along the vertical axis and the saturation changes along the horizontal one. If you are set on a certain hue, it is very easy to adjust how bright or saturated it is. This is particularly useful when you're using color swatches as a basis for your duo tones, including corporate colors, which otherwise are not good enough to be used in duo tones and require minor adjustments. Alternatively, if you are set on specific brightness and saturation, you can very easily tweak the hue instead and explore different color options. When I develop duo tones, I consider the lighter color to be the lead color, which makes the statement. On the other hand, the darker color helps to shape the character further. But the way they play off each other, and the amount of contrast between them is what sets the final mood. Based on the level of contrast and the colors used in duo tones, I discern punchy, calm, monochromatic, and faded looks, all of which can easily find their way into design illustration, or photography projects and can be used in different scenarios. There are also certain looks which imitate traditional chemical tonal techniques, but it is a slightly different story and I will cover them separately later. Let's start with the modern duo tone looks and use the color picker window to see how they can be created. 12. Creating Modern Duotone Looks: Punchy vibrant duotones can be created by combining bright saturated colors, with darker saturated ones. This duotones are great as posters, photo graphics and printer web or anything else, which needs to grab attention and look fresh, energetic, and juicy. It all seems to be pretty straightforward. But there are a few rules which can help you to take your duotones to the next level. Whiles picking the lighter of two colors for this kind of duotones, you don't necessarily need to stick to 100 percent brightness and saturation unless you are going for quite an acidic look. Often, picking a less saturated or less bright color from around this part on the color picker where the brightness and saturation are around 75 percent and higher, can help to achieve bright duotone which looks more sophisticated and original. Whereas this is all true when dealing with colors on screen, if you're preparing your work for print, you might want to keep brightness and saturation higher if you want your colors to come out more vibrant when printed. When picking a darker color to work with a brighter one in the bungee combination, I usually set it to at least 30 percent darker than the lighter one, and keep the saturation somewhere between 60 and 90 percent. But increasing it can also work depending on the hue and how it works together with the lighter color. As far as the brightness is concerned, if you go below 20 or 15 percent, the colors get so dark that you cannot really see the hue regardless of how saturated the color is. So I try to stay above this value. Also keep in mind that some hues appear lighter than others when their other values are the same. Generally, hue saturated between cyan and yellow on the hue strip or on the color wheel appear lighter than the other hues set to the same brightness and saturation. So if the lighter color in your gradient map is set to any of this hues, you might get away with setting the darker color to some bright hue too. Like in this case, because there's enough color contrast between these two hues to bring out the details. As far as combining the hues is concerned, the way you create color contrast is a matter of personal preference and taste. There are no hard rules here. I like combining triads colors as there is enough contrast between them, and I personally find using them in duotones way more pleasing than using complementary colors. So all this is based on my personal preferences and observations of what punchy duotones are trendy at the moment. Nothing stops you from using 100 percent bright and saturated colors and pairing them with very dark saturated shades or even black. So go ahead and experiment. Using subdued colors which have less contrast between them, allows to create common duotones which look more elegant and sophisticated. These duotones can be used when you need to create relaxed, glossy or mature look. In this duotones, the lighter color is not as bright and saturated and it usually falls somewhere in the top left quarter on the color picker. The darker colors in this case, can vary in situation a lot and can be safely picked from the bottom third part here. Since the colors in this type of duotones are generally less saturated than in punchy ones, there is no end to different hue combinations as the changes are very subtle and after you have decided on the brightness and saturation values, you can very easily go for different hues using the hue strip until you get the result you like. If you want to create a duotone which features white, gray or black colors, consider using slightly tinted off white, warm or cool gray, and warmer or cooler black alternatives to create a more sophisticated and not so harsh look. Creating duotones using two shades or tints of the same or very similar hues is very useful when you need to create images with subtle details, which can be used as backgrounds and easily accommodate some readable text. This is one of the most common things I do with duotones. In this case, it works really well when the saturation of both colors is very similar and the brightness difference is not very drastic either. Somewhere between 30, 40 percent, or maybe a bit more, but not too much. If you increase the brightness difference and make the darker color less saturated, you can create exciting duotones, which make a bold statement, but look more refined than the punchy ones. I personally really love those. Setting the darker color stop to not very dark and almost the saturated color, allows to create a distinct faded look. So if you're after something faded, start off with the colors you want to combine using any of the rules we have just discussed. Adjust the darker color in the duotone by decreasing situation and then increasing its brightness. Bear in mind that faded duotones won't work too well if you're starting off with a monochromatic background duotones with a lighter of two colors being relatively deep and dark. But other than that, there are a lot of color variance to experiment with when creating faded duotones. If you leave the darker color too much, you can also get an inverted look, which might work in some experimental cases, but try to watch out for it and only create it intentionally. These are the modern duotone looks. Decide on what effect you want to create and play around with the colors to achieve it. When adjusting color stops using the color picker, you will be able to see the changes as you make them. So if you like a certain color, you can edit to your swatches from this window by clicking here, and then carry on trying out other colors. When you are done with the color picker, click "Okay" here to apply changes to your gradient. Any gradients you create, you can add to presets by clicking on the New button here. I suggest that you add all the gradients that you like to presets so it is easier to play around with them and check out different toning options. For now, you can just put them all together and we will have a look at managing and saving gradient presets later on in this class. The great thing about using adjustment layers is that you can easily create many different versions without destroying your original work or drastically increasing the file size. So don't hesitate to create as many different Gradient Map Adjustment Layers as you wish. But make sure to have only one gradient map layer visible at a time to see the correct toning result for the colors you are using. Now let's have a look at how we can imitate traditional chemical photographic toning. 13. Imitating Classic Photographic Looks: There are two ways you can go about imitating traditional chemical photographic toning, dependent on how realistic you want them to appear. The first way is to use photographic toning presets available in Photoshop. You can load them by going to this cog icon in the Gradient Editor Window, and selecting photographic toning from the list of presets. Make sure you append this process to your selection here, if you don't want to lose any of the gradients you have created, but not yet saved. Photographic toning presets available in Photoshop use quite complex gradients, which have more than two color stops. They quite realistically simulate the effects traditionally created in a photographic darkroom to both stylized and archive photographic prints. If you're after a realistic look of traditional chemical toning, be sure to explore and use this presets in your work. Alternatively, if you're after toning effects which people would perceive as traditional and would be able to relate to, but which look more intense, you can create duotones inspired by the typical colors created by this traditional techniques but with a modern twist on them and make the colors richer. You do hold this chemical processes work. Toning is mostly happening in the shadows and mid-tone areas. In most cases, highlights are not toned unless a split toning process is used. On the other hand, an alternative process where the highlights are colored is called tinting, which was traditionally commonly used in film and animation to give them a certain fill. When you create your own duotones which are supposed to resemble classic looks, you can use a creative license and explore both of these approaches or combine them together and tone the highlights more intensely to create more exciting looks when simulating photographic toning. Tinting is a pretty straightforward effect which works by replacing the white and the highlights with some relatively saturated hue, and you can experiment with it easily by setting the dark color to black or even better dark gray, and then trying out different color versions for the lighter color. Traditional popular tips to try out would be bright blue, red, amber, yellow, and green, to name a few. Probably the most popular toning effect which is extensively emulated digitally is sepia toning. Sepia toning gives images a warm look and can be created by combining different shades of browns in the shadows with different shades of oranges or cream colors in the highlights. Basically, here you can set the hue value of two-color stops for the same over-closed oranges, and then explore their brightness and saturation to create different sepia effects. Sepia looks can be quite intense if both colors are relatively deep, but the darker color is more saturated than the lighter one. You can also create a faded sepia look by using quite lightened desaturated colors for both stops. Again, try to keep the darker color more saturated than the lighter one but make sure that you still consider hue in both of these colors. Actually, if you're after a great sepia look, chip out the sepia antique preset. Apart from looking exciting, it is also a very good example of an effective use of tritones. Keep in mind this color distribution if you want to venture into making your own tritones. The vivid blue colors of cyanotypes are quite often associated with telegraphic toning, even though it is not a toning, but rather a photographic printing process in its own right. Cyanotypes produce interesting and intense photographs. But what this process is also known for is a distinct look of copies of technical drawings which are widely known as blueprints. If you need to make a drawing, technical drawing or design look more industrial, toning images in shades of blue and cyan paired with off-white is a safe bet. If you're dealing with photographs, you would probably want to keep blue or cyan and the shadows and use white, off-white, or very light and faint blue for the highlights. On the other hand, if you're toning illustrations or technical drawings, going for an inverted look might add more drama to your work and make it appear more genuine. If you want to solve the gradient colors around and create an inverted look, you play the gradient to your image as it is. Don't worry about moving the color stops. Then close the gradient editor window and in the Gradient Map properties selects reverse here. This is a much faster way of reversing colors, then moving the color stops in the gradient. But if you have more than two colors stops new gradient and they are not evenly distributed, you might need to adjust the gradient filler after reversing it. Tints and shades of blue and cyan using cyanotypes can vary. So there's a lot of room for experimentation. But to pick realistic colors when creating a cyanotype look, consider referencing real cyanotype images and sample colors from them. There are also a few popular split toning looks where highlights and shadows are toned in different colors. Common pairs are sepia highlights and shadows, yellow-greenish highlights and brown or not very saturated red shadows, and the yellow, beige, or orange highlights, and purple brown shadows. One final effect you can consider checking out is a look of low contrast photographic print where the highlights are lighter gray and the shadows are dark gray but not black. This is very similar to faded looks I covered in the previous part. If you use desaturated or very lightly saturated grays, you can create some really subtle moody images. There are a lot of different ways you can give your images a classic look. So explore various photographic toning presets available in Photoshop and experiment while developing your own dark inspired toning styles. Next, let's have a look at another method of toning images in Photoshop. 14. Toning Images with Gradients: The second technique of toning images I'm going to show in this class is toning using gradients and blending modes. To start with, let's quickly put all this gradient map layers in a group and hide them for now. We can see our image was black and white in cross adjustments. Now, let's click on this button here and select a new gradient fill layer. When you add a gradient fill layer, this menu opens up. Here, you can set up your gradient the way you want it to be. Click on the "Gradient" to open the Gradient Editor Window. It is absolutely the same as we've seen when working with the gradient maps. Again, pick and set up your gradient here. Unlike when creating Gradient maps, by default when you add a gradient fill layer, Photoshop creates a gradient between the foreground color and transparency, and not between the foreground and the background colors. So either have a gradient you want to use on standby as a preset or pick colors manually. When you are done with the gradient editor, click "OK". While the gradient field window is still open, you can pick the gradient style from the menu here. Linear, radial, or reflected gradients are quite good in this case. Here, you can also adjust the scale of your gradient in relation to the canvas, and rotate the gradient by setting the angle value here. What is not that apparent, but very useful, is that you can move the gradient around, holding down the mouse button like this. If you need to reverse the gradient, you can do it by checking this box here. If you need to reset the alignment of the gradient, click on this button here. Finally, one of the most important settings which is available both here and in the gradient map properties is dither, which reduces the color bending to make gradients look smoother. When you're done here, click "OK". If you need to edit your gradient fill, as always, just double-click on its formula on the layers panel. But before you do this, it makes sense to actually set it up so it owns the image bill. To do this, select this layer, and in the Blending Mode Menu select "Screen". This will fill in all the dark areas of the image with the selected gradient, and all white areas will stay white and all light areas will be lightly toned. If you wish, you can try out different bending modes too for other effects. For example, multiply, overlay or color. But screen is the one. If you want to have this nice and clean toned for our old image. If your image has a lot of lights and highlights in it, toning using this technique will be pretty subtle. On the other hand, if your image has a lot of dark tones, you will be able to see the gradient much better. After you have set this gradient field to screen mode, you can go ahead and change the gradient settings to work better with your image. Of course, tryout different colors. Your gradients can be subtle, or as contrasted as you wish. Just remember that the gradients here are more visible as actual gradients than when creating your tones using gradient maps. So carefully consider how the colors flow into one another. Make sure to watch out for the colors created in the midpoints and add extra color stops to create cleaner colored transitions especially if you're creating gradients between hues which are far away from each other, on the hue strip or on the color wall. Another thing you can try out is using two gradient fill layers to tone both shadows and highlights. In this case, you will need to set the blending mode of the gradient field you want to turn the highlights to multiply and set the blending mode the second gradient fill to screen to tone the shadows. The effect will be different depending on the order of these two layers. So move them around to get the result you like. Keyboard gradient is the same, we'll explore different color combinations and gradient angles, or even replace one of the gradients with a solid color fill, and see how the colors in the gradient blend with it. If you want to create a multi color and more random tone in your spots of different colors, you can also fill the layer manually by painting. To do this, simply create a new empty layer, set as blended mode "Screen" and pick up the brush tool. Set the brush size to large in relation to the image size, and keep it soft to have a smooth transition between the colors. Then pick the colors from the swatches and paint them in. Change the capacity percentage to better blend the colors together and create the desired effect. In a similar way, you can also place and use any gradient-based images created in Illustrator. Those created using the gradient mesh tool might give you some interesting results. But generally the possibilities are endless. So experiment with different gradients or abstract colorful images to create interesting toning effects. Next, let's move onto working with cutouts separated from the background to create a graphic look. 15. Toning Cut-outs & Separate Backgrounds: As we have looked at two techniques of toning images, we can go back to this cutout we have created and explore a few different ways of working this cutouts in separate backgrounds. Firstly, let's hide everything we don't need and only keep the cutout and black and white and curves adjustments. To make it easy to switch between different effects in future, I will copy these two adjustment layers, put them together with the uncut image and hide this group. There are a few different ways you can approach the backgrounds. You can use a solid color background or a gradient background. If you want to push it even further, you can use another image, texture, or a pattern. But I will leave it up to you to explore. In any case, the basics are the same. If you want to have a background in a solid color, add a solid color fill layer from this menu and put it below your cutout. When using a solid color fill layer, you can change it's color by clicking on the thumbnail here. Second, on the color picker manually, we'll be selecting it for the swatches. The best thing about it is that you can see the changes as you apply them in real time. At the moment, you only see the shades of gray here regardless of what color is selected. This is because the adjustment layers in this document affect all layers below them. Let's quickly close the color picker window and sort it out. If I hold down the alt key and click between these two layers, when this icon appears, I will clip this adjustment to this image layer and it won't affect any other layers in my document. Since I have a curves adjustment layer here, which I also want to affect only in this cutout, I need to clip it to it as well. To do it, I need to alt click between this two adjustment layers. Both of these adjustment layers is this image layer as a clipping mask and are applied only to it. Now let's put these three layers together in one group, so it is easier to deal with. Here's our black and white cutout, and here's our colored background. Now you can keep it colored separately as it is, or if you want to tone it together with the image, you can tone it into any shade of gray, from white to black, depending on how light or dark you want it to be. Then you can go and stone bold the cutout and the background together, either by using a gradient map adjustment or by putting a gradient over it the same way we have done before. After applying any of these effects, now you can go and adjust brightness of the background until you get the shape you like. Another thing you might want to explore is using a gradient fill layer as a background instead of a solid color. Let's hide this layer for now and go and add a new gradient fill layer instead. In this case, is I want to tone it together with the cutout, I will set this gradient to black and white. The next thing to do is to position it in relation to the image above so that they work well together. Again, here, you can explore different gradients styles and change it's size and angle. Having the tone and effect on at the same time is also quite useful because you can see the result straight away. This is what you can do if you want to tone the background and the cutout together. Alternatively, if you want to tone them separately, you will need to clip the layer, which is used for toning the image to this group here. Then color the background separately any way you like, or replace it with any other image. Placing a single cutout onto a plain or gradient field background is an easy way to make your image look more graphic. But if you add a few more elements, for example, geometric shapes or a typographic composition in a solid contrast and color, your image will stand out even more. Usually, my choice of the third color falls on the white or off-white, because unless the colors in the dual tone are really faint, white really makes the whole composition pop. White is a safe bet in most cases, but don't hesitate to explore other colors which can help your work to stand out. Look back for inspiration at the color frames and swatches you have created or found. You can also use this tone and techniques and apply them to multiple images within one document to create exciting multi-color images. There is a couple of different creative opportunities. Let's quickly check them out. 16. Toning Collages & Overlapping Images: In other approach you can take is using multiple cutouts. Toning them separately, and layering them over each other to create collages, patterns, or Colorful multiple exposure effect. If you are creating a more complex work, for example, a collage, you will need to pay even more attention to how you organize your graphic layers in respective adjustment layers. My advice here is to clip adjustment layers separately to all image layers, even if the adjustments used are the same. Then group each graphic layer together with its adjustment. Name groups in this case can also help to navigate through your document, and it's always good practice anyway. When you have different graphic elements in separate groups, you can also utilize blended mode to create an overprinting effect, especially if the elements are toned in different colors. This effect works with all toning. But the most exciting result usually come when the image is atoned using gradient maps, based on gradients between bright colors and the white, and when the blended mode is set to multiply. When creating this effect, make sure to set the blending mode for the groups, and not for the individual layers within them. If you're using an older version of Photoshop, which doesn't allow to use blending modes with groups, you can convert each group into a smart object. Then set the blending mode for it. You can access the contents of each smart object by double-clicking on it, and edit it if you need as a separate document like this. After you have edited it, make sure to save it, and the smart object will re-automatically update it in the master file. This is a really cool separate effect. Be sure to explore it. You can also achieve a similar look by manipulating our channels in Photoshop. But it is a very different process, and then you go to separate class about it. Don't hesitate to check it out if you want to learn about creative possibilities of using our channel. This is as far as [inaudible] it self is concerned. Next, let's have a look at a couple of ways of optimizing your atoning work flow. 17. Managing Gradient Presets: While working with hue, tones and Photoshop, it is very easy to gets hone by tons of presets you create. So it is always a good idea to stay on top of them, organized them into separate libraries, and purge anything you don't need. When I go to the Gradient Editor window after everything I've done so far in this class, I can see a lot of different gradients Presets here. Some of which are standard gradients which were loaded by default when I started working. Some of them I have created myself. And some of them are loaded from the Photoshop process library, like this shot of photographic tone presets. So I've tried them all, but I want to keep only my own gradient presets, and saved them in a separate library. To do this, I need to remove all other presets I don't want. You cannot select multiple presets here in one go.But you can hold on Alt and click on all presets you want to remove in order to make it faster. When your selection is ready, click on the same button here. Give you a gradient preset library in descriptive name so that you can easily find it later. And then save it either within Photoshop gradient presents folder, or elsewhere or on your computer. As I have already mentioned, I like keeping all my presets in one place on Creative Cloud so I can easily access and share them if necessary. If you have too many presets to delete individually by all clicking, you can also manage them using the preset manager. Go to the Swatches panel.Click on this button in the top right corner, and select preset manager here.In this window,move a selection of gradient presets. Here you can shift click on the presets to select a range of them. Or Command click or Control click in Windows to select multiple presets.With your selection active, now you can delete them in one-click. Or you can save the selection as a separate set by clicking here. If you create your own color swatches in Photoshop, consider managing them the same way and save separate source libraries.In other way of optimizing your workflow is by using actions put on images in batch.And that's what we're going to look at next. 18. Creating Actions to Optimise Workflow: If you need to do it on a number of images in the same way, you can also consider setting up a Photoshop action. Personally, I believe that the actions are better kept for automating the processes which does not require human input and toning can be one of these processes. On the other hand, I think that image preparation and retention require creative judgment. Even though you can set up our actions to perform black and white conversions and curves adjustment. You might still need to go through all the images and double check that everything is good and proper. In this class, I want to concentrate on setting up a foolproof action, which will apply a gradient map adjustment to your files, assuming that all your images are prepped beforehand. This is an image which is ready to be toned. It has two adjustment layers here and it is already saved as BSD. The first thing we will need to do is open up the actions panel. If you don't have it in your workspace, open it up through the window menu. On the actions panel, let's create a new set by clicking on this button here, and call this set duotones. When you create your own actions, it is always a good idea to organize them in sets depending on the task they perform or by project they're used in, so that you can easily find and use them. If you have any other sets open like this default set I have here, you can collapse them so that they do not distract you. Let's select the duotones set and create the first action by clicking on this button. In this pop up window, you can give new action a name and select a set it will be saved in. I will rename this action afterwards, so I won't change its name here. When you are ready here, click record. Now, everything you do in Photoshop will be recorded as a part of this action. When an action is being recorded, this recording button on the actions panel is red. The first action we need to perform is select the top visible layer so that the gradient map is added on top of it. Now you want to click on the top layer here on the layer panels. Well, you shouldn't, as the action will record the name of the layer you select and if any document you want to apply this action to in future, wouldn't have the layer with the same name or it will be in a different place. Most all layers, the action would either give you an error message or wouldn't work properly, so you need to use shortcuts instead. A shortcut to select the top visible layer is old, period. If your document only has a long background layer, this action cannot be performed. For now, keep it in mind and we'll get back to working around this issue a bit later. The next thing we need to do is pick colors to be used in our gradient map. Again, you might want to head straight to the gradient map, and choose a gradient from presets. Don't do it either, because if you don't have the same gradient in your presets in future the action will not work. Instead, go to the tools panel and set the colors using the color picker. When you are in a position to create actions, you will know what duotones you want to automate. Before you start creating actions, make yourself a reference sheet with the color values written down. Something along these lines. Better, keep it outside of Photoshop, print it out, or even write the values down by hand so that you don't need to stop and start your actions every time you need to reference to the colors. Using the color values you already know, go and set the foreground and the background colors. Make sure that they are in the right order. The lighter color is the background, and the darker one is the foreground. When the colors are all set, go and add a gradient map adjustment layer. As we already have selected the top layer using the shortcut in the beginning of the action, make sure that you don't click on any layers here. Now when you add a gradient map it will be edit on top of all other visible layers, and the colors used in it will be those set on the tools panel. We're pretty much done here. The last thing to do is to save this document with the changes made to it. Even if you want to overwrite the existing PSD document you started with, go to the menu file, choose save as, select these the format with layers and tick here to embed the color profile, then click save. Then you can also go to save as or export as and save this document in any other format you need. When you write the save and actions, don't do anything with the filenames or destination folders, as you can specify them when batch processing your images. Otherwise, if you modify them here, and if you run actions without specifying saving options when batch processing, Photoshop will rename all the files created using the same action and we'll keep on overwriting them with each other when saving. After you are done with saving, close the document, and stop the recording on the actions panel. Here's one action done. Before you move onto making actions for other color variants, rename this action so that you can easily find it later and know what colors are used in it. To check that your action works, go and run it on any other file like this. It works totally fine with any file which has got more than one layer in it, but it will hiccup on a file which only has a Log by default background layer, like any JPEG file, for example. As I have already mentioned, this is because Photoshop cannot select the Log background layer as a top layer, as it is the only layer in the document. But the fact is, that it doesn't affect anything else in the action, so if you know that you're going to be running your action with flattened files like this, you can just turn this tap in the action off, and it will work just fine. Just remember to turn it back on when you are done with flattened images. Alternatively, you can create a separate action for flattened images, if you know that you're going to be working with them. To do this, you can simply duplicate this action for this many and then just delete the first step here, add a suffix to this new actions name so that you can easily find it when working with flattened images. To batch process images using actions, go to the menu file, automate, batch. Here, specify an action you want to run and select files or folders, you want this action to be applied to. These options here are self-explanatory so check anything you need here. If you need to save your processed images in a different location, check override here and specify new location by selecting folder here and setting it up manually. If you want, you can also set a custom name with the serial number here. Click okay, sit back and watch the action go for your images. When you have created a number of actions, save your set so that you can load it in future, use it on another computer or share it with someone else. To save an action set, select it on the actions panel, and then go to this menu and select save actions here. As always, you can save it within Photoshop library or somewhere else on your computer. This is how you can quickly create some tonal actions which you can apply to a range of images. In a similar way, you can also record a toning action using a gradient fill layer. But in this case, you will need to specify colors by setting the color stops on the gradient slider. Then you will need to add a step to apply a blended mold to the gradient fill layer. Try it out, if you want to. But regardless of what actions you record, remember not to select any layers manually and use shortcuts to select certain layers instead. If you really want to automate the black and white and curves adjustments, you can record them as a separate action. Just don't do any image adjustments or color sampling. Make all the adjustments through the properties panel instead. Apply all the adjustments, install this action and delete this adjustment layers from your file. Then add the step to play this action in the very beginning of the tone in action like this. As I said in the beginning of this video, I believe that creative judgment is important when it comes to preparing images, but in some cases, especially when you have a set of images which can be prepared in the same way actions like this can also come in handy. In this part, we have briefly touched on saving images, but now let's look into it in more detail and explore what you need to do to prepare your images for web and print using both processed and spot colors. 19. Saving & Converting Duotones for Web & Print: When saving or exporting your duotones for digital use, make sure that you embed the sRGB color profile so that the colors are displayed correctly. When saving for web, finding a good balance between the file size and quality is usually the best practice. Saving as a JPEG would work in most cases and produce smaller files. But if your images have large areas of continuous solid colors, and if you want to post them on Facebook or Instagram, for example, which optimize files upon uploading, consider saving them as not compressed PNGs to have better quality images. Try not to use images smaller than at least 1200 by 1200 pixels for better quality on both Facebook and Instagram. Though dependent on the image, the quality after uploading to Facebook or Instagram still might not be perfect even when uploading PNGs. If you're producing the work for print and your printer accepts files in RGB, as most Print on Demand companies do, including Society6, you don't really need to convert anything. But it is always a good idea to make a test print in any case, if you have a chance. Remember that when printed, colors appear darker and dimmer than on the screen. The level of contrast between the colors is also reduced. Avoid using colors which are very similar to each other, especially if you're printing on fabric. If you're planning to print your images using CMYK process inks, then you will need to convert your files in the CMYK color mode, if you haven't been working in CMYK, to begin with. Some adjustments, look and work differently in CMYK mode. Unless you have been working in CMYK all along and got the effects you like, if you convert an RGB file with a number of layers and adjustments into CMYK, the result might look very different. Check it out first, and if it doesn't look like you need it to, then make sure to merge the image layer, and the black and white incurs adjustments before converting to CMYK. In any case, always keep a master file with all the layers un-merged so that you can adjust any colors you need. If you're after particular colors and if you have a color guide, for example, Pantone Color Bridge, you can reference it for the specific CMYK values of the desired colors, and edit the values of the colors in your gradient maps or gradient fields used to tone the images. Yet again, it is always a good idea to produce some test prints, because how your work looks on your screen is not necessarily how it will look when printed. Contact your print shop and get some test prints done, especially if you are planning a large print run. If you're planning to print duotone images with a set of spot colors, for example, using Pantone system, you can prepare your files for print using the duotone color mode in Photoshop. After you have adjusted the black and white version of your image, tried out different colors you want to use, and now are ready to proceed in a sprint preparation, firstly, make sure to save a copy of your master file. Then get rid of any layers used for coloring and only keep the image and the relevant black and white and curves adjustments. Now go to the menu Image, Mode, then select Grayscale. When the image is converted to Grayscale, go to the Image Menu again and under Mode, select Duotone. Even though the mode is called duotone, you can specify between one and four inks. But we're after two, so let's pick duotone here. Now we need to go and set the inks up. Click on the color thumbnail here to open up the color picker. In the color picker window, click on the Color Libraries button here, and select the library you are referencing according to the colors you plan to use when printing. For example, I'm using the color bridge quoted guide. Now I just need to find the color I want to use, and I can do it by typing its name here. One color is set. Now, I need to do the same with the second color. This doesn't look right. This is because these inks are only replacing the grays in the image, which are the areas considered to contain ink. But I want the lighter color to fill in the highlights instead. To do this, I need to click on the Duotone Curve Formula for this color, and here you adjust the curve like this. Click Okay to apply changes. This doesn't look right either. We need to go and set up the overprint color here. In the Color Libraries, select the same color as the darker one in the duotone, apply changes, and here we are. Save your file in PSD or any other available format and leave the rest to your print shop. If you need to convert a lot of files into spot color duotones for print, you can also create an action for it and batch process your images this way. Regardless of the process you are using, when saving your work for print, save your files in maximum quality and resolution possible, and don't compress your files. 20. Ideas for Further Development & Conclusion: Duotones can be a starting point for a project, a stand alone effect, or a way to stylize images and add finishing touches to your work, and make it look complete. To create outstanding duotones, keep an open mind towards the colors you use, and experiment with different tones and shades. It is the subtle changes which can make or break your duotones, so do your color research and experiment. You can duotone any images you like. If you're stuck for ideas, consider duo-tone in portraits or any other photographs, scanned textures, illustrations, drawings, or hand-lettering. This class is a great opportunity for you to revisit your projects done in our previous classes, and take your work to the next level by further exploring color combinations. If you have taken any of the classes in our source and mix series, scanner glitch or type-as-image classes, don't hesitate to go back to the work you've done there and upload a new iteration in the project for this class. If you want to take your duotoned images further and develop them into something else, consider exploring the following approaches: As I have already mentioned in the part about tone and cutouts, you can create some really exciting work by combining duotoned images with solid color elements, such as typographic compositions, vector patterns, or geometric shapes. Entwining images with the graphical typographic elements is also a great way of making your work more intricate, and using layer masks can help you with this. If you want to learn about using layer masks for these purposes, be sure to check out my class source and mix botanical illustrations as typography to create trendy designs. If you need a few tips about creating simple but exciting typographic compositions, don't hesitate to watch my class mastering typography one, introduction to the topographic contrast. Creating a few duotones and putting them into a simple animation in Photoshop, is also good fun and extremely easy to do especially if you have a few images which would create some kind of narrative when put together. Applying some graphic effect to the images before the duotoning them can enable you to create exciting visuals, so don't hesitate to check out our Photoshop effects classes and mix the techniques together. If you love experimenting with colors, check out our class on creating elite color effect, which covers a totally different workflow of creating exciting images using color channels in Photoshop. I am really looking forward to seeing your duotone experiments in the project for this class. We'll start to project today by posting any images you want to tone and share your progress as you develop your work. Don't forget this for the first few weeks of this class we will be running a special contest, so make sure to participate by posting your duotone experiments before Monday, 3rd of July 2017 and check out the contest detail on the community board for this class. We'll have seen the projects done in our classes on Instagram, so please take attitude skills and check out our Instagram profile for updates. That's it for this class. I hope you have enjoyed it and learnt something new. If you liked this class, please leave a review so more people could discover it, and don't hesitate to follow us here on Skillshare to be the first to know about our new classes. If you have any questions, please leave a comment on the community board for this class and we will happily answer and provide feedback. Also, be sure to check out and follow our page on Facebook to see what we're up to, get all the latest updates, send us private messages if you need to get in touch about something, and not to miss, if you're featured in our student's photo gallery. Thank you for watching this class, and I hope to see you in our other classes.