How to go from to with Photoshop. Uses Selective Coloring, so probably not translatable.
1. The first step is always the same, go and prepare your base~ I'll be working with Nabari no Ou artwork today. :D
2. It's so plain and contrasty. D: Fix that with a new layer, filled with #2C2822 on Exclusion, 100%.
3. Better. <3 We can play a bit with the colors now because it's still so very boring. Make a Channel Mixer... adj. layer and put in these settings:
Red: 108 -12 -4
Green: -8 108 -4
Blue: 8 -12 88
Then brighten everything up with a Soft Light, 100% duplicate of your base.
4. We can still do better! Make a Selective Color... adj. layer and put in the step 5-settings from this tutorial. Duplicate that layer for extra greens and cyans (depending on your image, you might need to lower the opacity for the duplicate layer).
5. I still felt there was too little depth, so I made two new layers and brushed with a soft brush a few gray shadows on the first one (set it to Multiply, 14%) and highlights in white on the second layer (set to Screen, 14%). I mainly did that for the clothes and hair.
6. It looks more vivid now, but unfortunately with step 4 the skin color got a bit green, too. XD Don't worry, a new layer filled with #F8E3DB on Color Burn, 100% should do the trick:
7. Rawr, still not enough color! Open a Hue/Saturation... adj. layer and set the master saturation to 22 or higher for this. Then make another Soft Light duplicate of your base, but lower the opacity to 50% this time. (Maybe you can also skip the Soft Light duplicate.)
8. LOL, finally satisfied with the colors, but not with the aweful bright background. Make a Brightness/Contrast... adj. layer with brightness -24 and contrast -15.
9. Next I wanted the edges to look a bit softer (I'm doing that a lot at the moment) and created a new layer. Then I took a big soft brush (~ 45px), drew with a white-ish color along the edges and set that layer to Screen, 100%.
10. Open up a Color Balance... adj. layer with these settings to make the edges look even softer!
Midtones: -20 0 -10
Highlights: 17 0 0
11. Looks fine, so let's play with textures now. Take this polaroid texture (by ?), set to Screen, 100% for this. Then, to get rid of the plain white, take this texture by cdg and set it to Multiply, 53%.
12. The only thing left are the shinies! Take these lights by expose42, set to Screen, 100% and this one by spiritcoda on Lighten, 100%. And that's it!
Questions? Just ask! :D
Be creative and experiment however you want, and I'd love to see your results! I'm curious what you come up with. :D
Please comment on this post since I'll most likely respond there. More tutorials are here, and these will be coming next.