I'm having difficulty replacing the colors in an existing image with colors from a new swatch of colors. I've tried the following :

  • Magic wand and fill
  • Color replacement tool
  • Image -> Adjustments -> Replace color

The latter just wouldn't let me select the color I wanted to replace with I had to fiddle with hue/saturation/lightness. I have about 100 of these images to change to using a different swatch so I need a quick method.

Here's an example image I need to change the colors for:

image that needs to change

Here's the new swatch showing which colors should go where:

image that needs to change

This is the best result I can get:

image that needs to change

Awful. If anybody can forgive my poor Photoshop skills and show me a good way to do this I'd be very grateful thanks.

How can I replace multiple colours in an image with a new swatch of colours, in a systematic way that I can repeat for a batch of ~100 more images?

UPDATE: Here's my compromise using simple hue/saturation adjustments

image that needs to change

2 Answers 2


I would use a Gradient Map as an adjustment layer. You can easily create your gradient by sampling your color key in another open window:

selecting tones using the eyedropper tool

It also helps to paint samples of your new tones on a new layer above your adjustment map.

gif showing tones painted in place on a new layer above original and mapped layers

In this case, that should be all you need. If you have an image where a color transition would contain inappropriate tones after being remapped, you may need to mask an remap those areas separately.


  • Thanks a lot Alex I learned something new. I really tried using the gradient map but the end result I got wasn't good enough. Maybe in the hands of an expert it'd be perfect... In the end I've compromised and used simple hue/saturation adjustments. At least the new graphics all fit together visually albeit not exactly how I hoped.
    – Newt-7
    May 20, 2014 at 20:27
  • I've added an image showing my compromise. The colours are similar but not as dark. Good enough for now.
    – Newt-7
    May 20, 2014 at 20:29
  • I think what I really need is a gradient map that somehow maps hue and luminosity to other colors, not just luminosity.
    – Newt-7
    May 21, 2014 at 7:45
  • You're right that gradient map only maps to the luminosity of the input pixels, but you can always use channel-mixer, calculations, equalize, etc to remap/adjust the input. May 21, 2014 at 16:16
  • You're definitely a pro! I'll look into these things cheers.
    – Newt-7
    May 21, 2014 at 18:08

This doesn't really answer your question, it's just a work-around since your image has most of the same colors.

made a new layer above the original,

Filled it with your third swatch color,

set the new layer to Multiply,

Looks decent, except for the highlight color — so I used Select Color Range to grab the highlight color as a selection, made an Adjustment Layer to lighten just that area a little.

Here it is:

enter image description here

Here's the Layers:

enter image description here

  • You're welcome. Hope it helps.
    – Rsiel
    May 21, 2014 at 13:07

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