PI8 Sepia Duotone Variations

The introduction of the Two Color filter in PI6 made it easy to create duotones. In PI8 the filter has been renamed Duotone. More sophisticated than in previous versions, it includes a transparency option, "Original color retained."

duotone variations

As you can see in the examples above, the "Original color retained" option allows you to create beautiful pastel sepia effects by revealing some of the original image color. What's more, the Duotone filter also features a Red/Orange Filter (adjusts the yellow or orange cast on the image) and several attractive Presets (also found in the EasyPalette's Effect Gallery, Artistic tab group).

I'm using this photo in the tutorial. You're welcome to use it to follow along. Open the image up in the work space. Choose Effect, Artistic, Duotone Effect to open the filter's dialog box. Unless you've been using the Duotone Effect in this work session, the dialog box defaults will look something like this.

duotone dialog box

Select "Enable sepia effect colors and range" to begin. Doing so will let you create a two color effect with the default sepia properties (0% Original color, 0% Red/Orange filter, and black and white as the two colors in the sepia effect).

As you can see in the screen shot above, each color box has a down arrow next to it. Click the down arrow on the left to display a rainbow color box. Position your cursor in the color box and it will turn into an Eyedropper. Click in the color box (arrow) to select a rich, dark brown color.

select brown

Click the down arrow next to the second color square to select a light peachy-pink color.

select second color

The sliders shown under the selected colors can be dragged to define the saturation range for the two colors that will be included in the image. When the range is set wider, the two colors blend more smoothly and the image looks more natural. This creates a good range of tones within the image. A tighter range makes the colors more solid and defined. A smaller range of colors will make the image look harsher and higher in contrast by comparison.

sliders close together

Conversely, dragging the sliders farther apart results in less contrast and a softer look.

slider farther apart

Experiment to see which effect you like best. I prefer the results yielded by the default slider attributes, so that's what I'm sticking with.

Click the Preview button and view the effect on the image. These Duotone Effect values create a pretty sepia effect. But you can't see any of the original color. This photo, with its strong lavender-pink tones, is a perfect candidate for retaining a bit of original color. Click Continue to return to the dialog box. Edit the "Original color remained" (I think it's supposed to be "retained") value to 25. This will allow the most tender tint of color to peep throught the sepia tones.

edit transparency

Click OK to apply the transparent sepia effect. You can see the results below.

25 orignal color retained

Retaining some original color can yield lovely results in photos with completely different tones, too. For example, the same preset used above was applied to this white water lily, allowing a bit of the yellow in the center of the flower to show through.

same preset

Remember, depending on the colors in your image and the effect you're trying to achieve, you can edit the "Original color retained" value higher or lower. Here is the same sepia Duotone with a 40% value. If you go much higher than this, very little sepia effect will be left.

40% original color

If you have difficulty getting the right colors in your Duotone Effect and want to use the same ones I've used, you can download my .SMP file here. You just need to Import it into your EasyPalette.

Finally, keep in mind that in addition to varying transparency of the sepia effect, you can apply the Red/Orange filter to add a yellow or orange cast to the photo. For example, the same sepia effect with a Red/Orange filter value of 50 creates a completely different look with golden tones.

red/orange filter applied

This tutorial uploaded 5/29/03

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