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The Color Replacement Tool available (Photoshop CS5 and higher) may provide a low cost option to quickly change a products color in your photograph. Product photography for your ecommerce website can be expensive. Budget and time can be a big factor in determining if you shoot all of the available color ways for your products. Sometimes you might have access to manufacture’s imagery but later find that it is incomplete and only a few colors of each style were photographed. Photoshop’s Color Replacement tool, just might be the option to help you to create those missing color way images without having to set up a new photo shoot.

The color replacement tool is easy to use and will just require a little practice and experimentation on your part to get the look you want. Here are a few tips to help get you started using this tool.

Getting Started:

  1. Open your image and set your foreground color to the color that will be replacing the one in your image. In my case, I want to replace the color purple in an image with red. So I selected red as my foreground color.
  2. Select the Color Replacement tool.
    – It shares a flyout menu with the regular Brush and Pencil tools.
  3. On the Options bar, click the Brush Preset Picker.
    – In the drop-down panel that appears, select your desired diameter, hardness, and other options for your brush tip.
  4. On the Options bar, select your desired blend mode:
    Color: The default mode that works well for most colorizing jobs. Use this mode if you’re trying to get rid of red-eye.
    Hue: Similar to color, but less intense, providing a lighter effect.
    Saturation: Set your foreground color to Black in the Tools panel and set the mode to Saturation to convert a color image to grayscale.
    Luminosity: The exact opposite of the Color mode. Although it can create a beautiful effect between two image layers, it doesn’t provide that great an effect with this tool.
  5. Select your sampling method from the icons on the Options bar.
    – The default of “Continuous” allows you to sample and replace color continuously while you drag your mouse.
    – Select “Once” to replace colors only in areas containing the color that you first sample.
    – Select “Background Swatch” to replace colors only in areas containing your current Background color.
  6. Select your sampling limits mode.
    – The default of “Contiguous” lets you replace the color of pixels containing the sampled color that are adjacent to each other directly under the brush.
    – “Discontiguous” lets you replace the color of the pixels containing the sampled color wherever it occurs under your brush.
    –  “Find Edges” allows you to replace the color of pixels containing the sampled color while preserving the sharpness of the edges of the objects.
  7. Specify your tolerance percentage.
    – Tolerance refers to a range of color. A high tolerance lets you replace a broad range of color. A low tolerance limits the replacement of color to only areas that are similar to the sampled color.
  8. Choose whether you want anti-aliasing.
    – Remember, anti-aliasing slightly softens and smoothes the edge of the selected or sampled areas.
    – Click the Tablet icon (at the end of the Options bar) to control the size of the brush. The pressure you apply overrides any settings in the Brush panel.
  9. After you establish your settings, click or drag the color replacement brush over the color you want to replace in your image.


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