How can I replace all red with black on the image below, using Photoshop, without damaging the image?


enter image description here


If you have the choice and can avoid using the magic wand tool, don't use it. It can work well on big images but not so much on smaller ones.

Since you simply want to change the image from red to black, you could simply:

  1. Put that image in GRAYSCALE COLOR MODE

  2. Then use the LEVELS (menu Image > Adjustments > levels)

  3. Then use the black color picker and click on the red area. It will change the light gray to black. You can change the black density or recipe by double clicking first on the black color picker first.

enter image description here

This is a non destructive method and it will also take care of the anti-aliasing.

If the white part of your graphic is actually transparent, you can also simply use a COLOR OVERLAY in the layer style (double click on your layer for options), and select black as color.

You'll be able to change that color as many time as you want and keep the original color too if you want to revert to it.

  • By changing the color mode to grayscale this is a destructive method. – Ryan Jan 20 '16 at 21:33
  • Changes nothing to the quality of the pixels/image and they all get changed equally. – go-junta Jan 20 '16 at 21:45
  • Sure, but its still destructive. You can't go back to RGB and have the red magically reappear. – Ryan Jan 20 '16 at 21:52
  • @Ryan Yes you can. Using the techniques you posted or some layer style or even duotone and then rgb, etc. That's just 1 color after all. – go-junta Jan 20 '16 at 21:54
  • Worked perfectly with this image and with another one with a slightly different red (#db1d2a). Thk you so much! – Ricardo Miguel Jan 21 '16 at 0:04

Go-Junta has a good generalized answer, but for this specific image:

  • open the channels palette
  • delete the red and green channels
  • set the image mode to greyscale
  • set the image mode the RGB again (optional)
  • Thk you so much! Worked perfectly. I've tried, however, with a slightly different red (#db1d2a) and it didn't work so well (as you mentioned "but for this specific image"). – Ricardo Miguel Jan 21 '16 at 0:02
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    I've accepeted the go-junta answer (cause it works on both situations), although your answer is correct for the given problem. No problem? – Ricardo Miguel Jan 21 '16 at 0:07

Lots of options, and while I do really like Yorik's channel approach which will work for this image, let me offer you what I believe is the easiest and probably best solution, which will work on all images not just yours: Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer

Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer, go to Reds, lightness to 0:

enter image description here

Photo from Unsplash.com:

enter image description here

Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer, go to Red, lightness to 0:

enter image description here

Another one significantly more complex from Unsplash.com

enter image description here

Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer, go to Red, lightness to 0... and then go to Magenta and drop its lightness to 0 too:

enter image description here

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    I got 99 problems but switching from red to black ain't one (anymore)! – go-junta Jan 20 '16 at 21:02
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    I love brambles! – Paul Apr 26 '16 at 13:18

Yet another way, let Photoshop do the heavy lifting and totally non destructive method:

  1. Add a blank layer above the image
  2. Fill the new layer with black, which will hid the image below
  3. Double-Click on the new layer to get to the Layer Style window
  4. Move the Blend if sliders as shown in the screen capture

You can change this layer from black to blue to change the color to green if you like to change the color to green, see below and the layer stack as well. The black border around the green example is from the screen capture, just in case you are wondering.

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imageThe easiest way. It is easy because there are only two colors. Take the quick wand tool and select all reds. Make background color black. Then ( Ctrl+ backspace). Its done!


There are probably half a dozen ways to do it, but a quick one is this:

1) Duplicate the layer the artwork is on.

2) Use the Magic Wand tool to select the area outside the white circle, then hold the Shift key and click inside the puzzle piece to select that area as well.

3) Make sure your background color is set to Black, then hit Cmd (Ctrl on PC)-Delete to fill the selected area with Black.

You'll now have two layers: The original red/white, and the new one which is black/white.

While typing this answer I thought of 3 separate but similar methods to get the same result, so there are many "Correct" answers!

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