A common image effect I’ve often asked to perform is what’s known as a splash effect. This is where an image is mostly black and white but a portion of the color remains, essentially containing just a splash of color. The effect is real nice and can definitely make objects pop out of a picture. We’ve found three great, free tools to do this online. They each operate a little differently, while some are easier than others, but the result is the same.
Touted as the most popular online photo editor in the world, Pixlr offers many advanced editing features.
Upon initial launch of the editor, choose a method of importing an image. We’ll use “Open image from computer” to pull in a picture of some grass and sky.
Choose “Layer > Duplicate layer” to make an exact replica of the image over the existing layer. We’ll do this so we can make changes to one layer while not effected the other.
Notice the new layer to the right in the “Layers” panel. The original imported picture is called the “Background” layer by default.
With the top layer, or “Background copy” layer, selected choose the “Adjustment > Desaturate” menu option. This will make the top layer black and white.
To add a splash of color, we’ll select the “Eraser tool”, or “E” on the keyboard.
Ensure the top layer is selected and begin erasing where you want the color to show through. This is, in effect, removing the top layer to reveal the bottom, colored layer. Do this anywhere you want to reveal more color.
Although Photoshop is used by many through Adobe’s Desktop application, they have a free online editor that’s quite comprehensive. Making colors pop in Photoshop is extremely easy. Open the Express Editor here to begin.
Choose to open an image from your local disk by selecting “UPLOAD PHOTO.”
Acceptable images for use on Photoshop.com are only through the JPEG format.
Choose upload to import an image and select the “Pop Color” option from the side menu.
Select any part of the image to quickly, and quite effectively, only have that particular color pop out of the image, leaving the rest black and white.
Above the imported image are colors the application detected. Choose one of these to quickly select that shade for a splash of color.
Once a color has been successfully selected and identified, use the menu just below that to quickly change the color to something else.
Choose to “Get Started Now” from the Color Splash portion of the webpage.
Add you own image from the “Photo Basket” menu to the right. You can import images from various places such as Facebook or Flickr.
Click the “Color Splash” option from the left menu.
We’ll be using the default image Fotor first loaded so we’ll need a large brush size to accommodate the large floor we’ll be coloring. Drag the “Brush Size” bar to the left or right for a larger or smaller size. The “Brush Opacity” shall remain at 100% unless only a light color should be applied.
Simply brush over the area of the image where the color should remain, adjusting the brush size when needed to get to tough areas around smaller objects.
These three weren’t hard to use at all. Getting used to the brush strokes and sizes is the only issue I can see while using two of the services. Photoshop’s Express Editor, however, allows only a few seconds of editing to effectively create a splash effect. While the other two work well I recommend using Photoshop’s to get the job done fastest. Whether you’re editing your Facebook photos or looking to give a cover picture some flair, using the color splash effect is one way to make it stand out from the crowd of pictures on the Web.