From White to Black - Darkening Equine Legs in Photoshop
 By T W I   •   11th Oct 2011   •   6,164 views   •   7 comments
Horse Photoshop

Software: Photoshop Elements | Skill level: Advanced

I recently entered a manipulation contest and was required to turn the legs of a horse black. I found the process to be fairly simple, so I thought I’d share my technique with the rest of Ponybox. This tutorial will only be covering how to darken the legs, as oppose to the whole horse.

Using the lasso, carefully make a selection of the area you wish to turn black. Avoid selecting the hooves.

You can select all four legs at once, so long as they are the same general shade of white. If not, just do them one by one, as different shades of white will take slightly different amounts of the effects we will be adding.

Horse Photoshop

Feather your selection (Right click while on the lasso tool and chose “feather” from the option box) to 15 pixels.

Press “CTRL” + “L” to bring up the levels box. Pull the little gray slider to the right, until you get a shade of black that you like. The numbers in the gray slider’s box registered 0.43 once I had found a shade that I liked.

Horse Photoshop

Now that the white has been considerably darkened, we have one more step to do before we deselect. Press “CTRL” + “U” to bring up the hue/saturation editing box. Pull the saturation slider down to around -30 and the lightness slider to -25. These numbers are only guidelines. Just be sure that when you find a shade that looks good, the number values are close to the ones I got.
Now you can deselect.

For good measure, I did a quick rub-over with the burn tool, on all the areas I edited. Do so if you'd like.

Repeat this process on the remaining legs

Now it’s time to restore some detail! Before you start, duplicate the horse layer. This insures that you can always lower the opacity, in case you need to tone down the highlights.

Zoom in and select the dodge tool. Set the range to “shadows” and the exposure to 10%. Wherever you see areas that are brighter then the rest of the leg, accent those with the dodge tool. The general idea is to make the curves of the horse more apparent. Since the eye determines curves by the shadows and highlights cast, accenting the highlights will make the curves more apparent, effectively restoring any detail that was lost during the recolorization process.

Horse Photoshop

Horse Photoshop
Horse News More In This Category:  Graphics      Horse News More From This Author:  T W I
Love your tutorials! They are always soooo helpful!
  Oct 11, 2011  •  5,034 views
All That Jazz  
Love it! You're so amazing at graphics and such :o
  Oct 12, 2011  •  5,045 views
Loved the final turn out too thanks for sharing
  Oct 12, 2011  •  5,032 views
Dunns DragonFly Stable  
Soo Beautiful!!!!! It looks like a Breyer horse:-)
  Oct 12, 2011  •  5,036 views
Stay Untamed  
This looks good! This are really good articals :)
  Oct 12, 2011  •  5,073 views
Aslans Roar  
wow really helpful, ill have ot try it some time. :)
  Oct 21, 2011  •  5,063 views
you know so much about photoshop!
  Nov 18, 2011  •  5,071 views
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