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[Through comments, it has been discovered that a blue button/pin is desired which retains highlights. The shadow across the center of the orange button in the photograph is the reflection of a person -- that reflection also needs to be retained. The white swoosh, the text, and the tree/lamppost artwork should be removed.]


I am a beginner to photo manipulation. I have been trying to achieve the following two independent tasks using photoshop on the image:

  • make the badge white (remove all text and color but retain the metallic finish and the reflection and highlights)
  • change just the text

My approach was to separate the photo into luminosity and color layers; which I then believed would be easy enough to achieve the two tasks by just modifying the color layer. It didn't work.

I would like some help in achieving the above two tasks. I have similar images of other badges from other sources that I need to have the same tasks done.

enter image description here

Here is what I was trying to do based on this tutorial. The "Gradient Map 1" is the rasterized luminosity layer. The "Background Copy 2" is the rasterized color layer. I tried making the badge a red or blue color but as you can see, the dark shade or orange remains. Painting with white got me the luminosity layer revealed.

enter image description here

Based on @cockypup's answer, I was able to erase existing text by using the spot healing brush on the luminosity layer.

  • My attempt at using the spot heal brush.

Please note that it works good when removing small area like one or two letters. When I try to apply it over the entire surface, it results in loss of highlights, loss of reflection (look near the F of Foto in third row of text) in the image. And I have been unable to get the white or orange area to move. Using a brush as big as the size of the badge doesn't work either.
From what I understand about spot healing brushes, they work based on its surrounding information in the image. What I am trying to achieve is change those very surrounding information.

enter image description here

I apologize as I do not seem to be able to convey exactly what I am trying to achieve. So I am going to focus on just this one thing for now: how to make this image look like it was a full uniform/plain blue. Here is my attempt. I painted blue in the color extract layer, which makes the badge blue, but not uniformly same shade of blue. I would like the entire circular area of the badge to look like the area in 1 while retaining the highlights and reflections.

enter image description here

I would like to be able to take the above image and have it look like this enter image description here

or this

enter image description here

all the while retaining the reflection, specular highlights and texture of the surface.

  • I'm a bit confused by what you mean in your comment on Cockypup's answer, "How do I make it all white or all orange?" -- if it's all white or all orange it no longer has a reflection.. so could you explain what you mean? – Ryan Mar 16 '15 at 17:12
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    Are you seeking to retain the tree/lamppost artwork and the bottom swoosh? Or do you just want a plain blue button? If you just want a plain button, I'd redraw it. – Scott Mar 16 '15 at 19:02
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    Even better than redraw from scratch you could go buy an empty pin, stick a piece of blue paper in it, take a photo and be done. – Ryan Mar 16 '15 at 19:32
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    I'd really need to ask why though. Seems like a fool-hearty errand for the most part. – Scott Mar 16 '15 at 20:20
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    What an actual professional faced with this sort of task would do would be to photograph a plain, single-colour badge/pin of a medium tonality (or one with very simple, small and easily-removed print if a plain item is unobtainable) to capture the environment. (Do note, though, that studio photographers don't want to wind up in their product shots, and go out of their way to eliminate their own reflections when shooting.) Adding a new design then becomes almost trivial. – Stan Rogers Mar 17 '15 at 7:52
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Have you tried the spot healing brush tool (PS CC)?

Basically, get the tool, make the brush tip almost the size of the characters, play your favourite music and start tracing over the white text. I started the process in here.

enter image description here

You can think about the spot healing tool as a localized Fill that uses Context Aware. It "selects" the area you indicate by drawing on top of the image with the brush and tries to fill it the same way the Context Aware would do. It is great for removing speckles and blemishes. It is not very good to be used on top of complex textures. In this case, since the background is quite flat, it works great.

Worth exploring as well: healing brush tool, patch tool, and clone stamp tool.

Here is the final one, with no text. It is a painstaking process so you just need to be patient. The secret is to use a very small brush. Make sure that Content Aware is selected at the top when you are using it. If there are areas that loose all the grain, then you can add a bit back with the Healing Brush Tool (not the spot one, the other one) or with the clone tool. You can even draw a bit of grain with a small semitransparent white brush if you feel it looks to perfect. Mind you, when you add the new text small smudges in the background will be virtually ignored.

enter image description here

  • cool. I am able to erase the text and that gets me the orange/white background. How do I make it all white or all orange? – user3526 Mar 16 '15 at 16:25
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If you are just seeking a blue button with highlights and shadows, I'd redraw it.

I used Illustrator, but it's generally an easy thing to add highlights and shadows to a circle. I don't see any real "texture" in that button and there's certainly no "texture" in your other samples.

enter image description here

(Updated to show that shadow across the middle (which is claimed to be a reflection of a person).

If you really want to add texture, that's a simple matter of adding a layer or shape with some noise on it.

  • @Scott I am trying to preserve the exact environment/context detail of the photograph while removing/changing just the artwork. I am not trying to create buttons for a web page. If you look closely at the image in the question, the reflection is that of a person pointing a camera to the object being photographed, which I need retained while changing the artwork. – user3526 Mar 16 '15 at 19:56
  • I think only you (or perhaps whoever took the photo) would know that that dark shadow was an actual image @user3526 I highly doubt anyone here knew that was a reflection of a person until you posted the comment above. – Scott Mar 16 '15 at 19:58
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Alright based on your second edit and comment here's some pointers:

Vector Mask

First off I isolated the badge and then created a layer mask for it:

  1. Select the badge, I used the Magic Wand on the black, held shift+polygonal lasso to get a few dots that didn't get selected. Then inversed the selection (Shortcut: Shift+Ctrli).
  2. Then Copy -> New Layer -> Paste (or you can right click and go to Layer via Copy)
  3. Now Reselect or on Layer Panel hold Ctrl and click on the thumbnail by your isolated layer. You should not have the badge selected again.
  4. Create a Vector Mask. You should now have something kinda like this:

Vector Mask of Badge

Now select the Image Thumbnail on that layer so it has the corners around it like so:

Vector Mask Usage

By doing this you won't mess up the edges when you're cleaning it up. See the black area here is me using the Spot Healing Brush, it doesn't go off the badge though like it does in your attempt thanks to the Mask:

Vector Mask in Action


Refine with Clone Stamp

The content-aware brushes such as Healing Brush will get a good foundation but then you should use Clone Stamp to refine it a bit so it doesn't look uneven. Here's after just Spot Healing Brush:

Dirty Badge

After a little refinement with Clone Stamp:

Refined with Clone Stamp


Making it all one color (updated information based on your comment)

Alright there's really no simple way to do this. there's a few solutions, as there always are, I'll present you with one. How you might start to approach this is by looking at your different tones. I see 3 main ones on the right side, largest, mid-size, smallest:

Badge Regions

Now that I loosely selected each to a new layer, I'll make another layer for each and fill the region in with Clone Stamp:

enter image description here

Then create Clipping Mask so its within the original region. If you take time and feather it'll be much better results then what I'm presenting you with but this isn't my job so just trying to get you started:

enter image description here

Then repeat for next region:

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

It's going to take time to make it look good but that's why this is a profession. There's not one click solutions for every single desire. You'll have to go back and touch up edges, touch up the shadows and highlights, etc.. Hopefully this gets you under way though.


Color Changing

This is pretty off-topic and should really be different question, or just marked as duplicate but you won't use the brush for changing colors. You'll use other tools. The simplest being Image → Replace Color

Orange Badge

Blue Badge

We have a number of questions on changing color you can look at: Posts containing 'change color'

  • Please see my third edit. How would I go about making the entire surface of the object blue. To the right there is still a white area. I tried using the "color changing" approach to try to make the white surface also blue, but it results in minute patchy blue inspite of adding the white shade from multiple areas using the + eyedropper tool. – user3526 Mar 16 '15 at 19:02
  • @user3526 updated the answer with one technique you could use to make it single color (3rd tip) – Ryan Mar 16 '15 at 19:26
  • I do understand that there is no one click solution. All I am hoping to get is something more than "touch up". A method or series of steps that would give more consistent results(This is because I have to do this same task for several such images). Something like how the technique of frequency separation makes touching up faces much more easier and consistent. – user3526 Mar 16 '15 at 19:31
  • ....I just provided you with such steps. @user3526 – Ryan Mar 16 '15 at 19:52
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This is how we can do this with Open Source Gimp:

  1. Select all of the fonts with the magic wand tool:

    enter image description here

  2. Grow and feather the selection:

    enter image description here

  3. Apply heal selection tool:

    enter image description here

  4. Adjusts colors with the Colors-Hue-Saturation tool for orange and add any other text:

    enter image description here

  • This is great, but the question has 3 tags, all of the related to PS, not to Gimp... – cockypup Mar 16 '15 at 19:23
  • @cockypup in this case I had the impression that a magic wand selection, combined with content aware fill (aka "heal selection"), plus a simple hue adjustment for colors may give us a rather quick results. Sadly they don't sell PS for my OS but apart from tools having different names (and a somewhat different qualitiy in the results) it should work just the same. – Takkat Mar 16 '15 at 19:40
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  1. Find a better image of a plain white badge/button with no graphics on it, on a white background, something like this perhaps:

Example image of white badge

  1. Use this image to create a layer mask on a white filled layer. Use levels to make it dark and contrasty. Fill the outside of the layer mask black (full transparency). You can also reduce the opacity of this layer if the effect is too strong.

  2. Under that layer, place your artwork.

  3. On the bottom layer, use a circle to create a layer mask. Fill the layer with colour. Add a drop shadow layer effect.

  4. The background layer is just white.

Example of Layers arrangement

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