1. Image Improvements
  2. Professional Tools
  3. Objects & Layers
  4. Creative Effects

Image Improvements

 Improve Image: Color

  • Color Tool: Automatic
  • Apply changes
  •  Improve Image: Exposure

  • Smartfix correction

  •  Improve Selected Areas: SmartFix

  • Draw Selection around glasses
  • Apply Feather with Radius 10
  • SmartFix correction
  •  Improve Selected Areas: Gamma

  • Select: Draw a Lasso around the cat
  • Feather radius ~15, Apply Feather
  • Exposure: Brightness, increase Gamma

  • Invert Selection
  • Feather radius ~15, Apply Feather
  • Exposure: Brightness, decrease Gamma

  •  Remove Color Stains

  • Color Tool: Color Cast
  • Press the Pipette
  • Click on the white T-Shirt
  • Apply changes
  • Repeat above steps with other image areas

  •  White Balance

  • Automatic White Balance

  •  Highlight Shadows: Flash

  • Exposure: Smart Flash ~120
  • Apply changes

  •  Highlight Image Areas: Reflector

    In the Flash example, the highlighting effect is very distinctive, causing the image to loose some of it's magic. The following tutorial will show you a more conservative approach, by highlighting only parts of the image, similar to using a reflector panel on location.

  • Exposure: Smart Flash ~50
  • Apply changes
  • Zoom into the face
  • Retouch Brush: Lighten Mode
  • Deactivate Paint Over, Step ~10
  • Set Radius and Feather
  • Amount ~50
  • Use Eraser Brush for corrections

  •  Clone Image Areas: "Surf twins" example


  • Clone Brush
  • Set Radius to size of head
  • Pressing the SHIFT-Key, click into the sand above the surfboard
  • Paint over the surfboard
  • Set Radius to 1/4 size of head
  • Pressing the SHIFT-Key, click into the center of the right head
  • In the center of the left head, paint in circles towards the outside border
  • Use the Eraser Brush for corrections

  •  Clone Image Areas: "Ancient shoreline" example


  • Clone Brush
  • Pressing the SHIFT-Key, click into a green area of the image (select source point)
  • Using different source points, replace houses with trees and shrubs.

  •  Clone Image Areas: "Unwanted person" example

  • Clone Brush: Replace person in picture with stone pavement
  •  Washout Effect (Colorkey)

    The Colorkey effect enhances a motive in a black&white or sepia colored image. Usually, this effect calls for layers - in CodedColor however you only need to follow a few simple steps.

  • Color Tool: HSL
  • Hue Range: Reds
  • Lightness ~40
  • Saturation ~ -200 (minus)
  • Apply changes
  • Eraser Brush: restore the beef on the plate to the original color

  •  Straighten Horizon

  • Rotate dialog
  • Activate Crop
  • Click in image: a horizontal line appears
  • Drag & align the line with the horizon
  • Press OK and then Apply Crop
  •  Improve Contrast & Color

  • Exposure: Brightness
  • Reduce Contrast by -30
  • Color: HSL
  • Increase Saturation by +70
  •  Remove Artefacts & Scratches

  • Noise: Noise Reduction 255, again 255
  • Apply changes

  • Clone Brush: remove artefacts

  • Color: HSL
  • Reduce Saturation by -255
  • Apply changes
  •  Remove Red Eyes

  • Red Eye removal: Automatic
  • Draw circle around eyes
  • Apply
  •  Image Composition

  • Crop
  • Move box
  • Apply Crop
  • Clone Brush: remove unwanted artefacts
  •  Change Aspect Ratio

  • Select
  • Select digital format (4:3)
  • Hold ALT key pressed
  • Move bottom right corner to reduce frame size while preserving aspect ratio
  • Position frame
  • Press Apply Crop
  •  Equalize Histogram

  • Curves: Curves
  • Move bottom left point to ~50
  • Move top right point to ~220
  • Apply changes
  •  Improve Backlight Images

  • Exposure: SmartFlash ~250
  • Apply changes
  • Alternative: Brightness, increase Gamma
  •  Replace Colors

  • Replace Brush
  • hold SHIFT key pressed and click on the yellow leaf to select the source color
  • Radius ~80, Opacity 100, Tolerance ~85
  • Select a destination color (in this case red) and paint over the leaf
  • Use the Eraser Brush to correct mistakes
  •  Crop with Rounded & Softened Edges

  • Select: Circle, draw a circle
  • Feather Radius ~ 80, Apply Feather
  • Press Apply Crop
  • Save image as JPG: choose White as background
  • Alternative: save as PNG to preserve transparency
  •  Convert to B/W or Sepia

  • Effects: Convert To Sepia
  •  Vignette Effect

  • Select: Circle
  • Draw an elipsis, starting from the center of the image
  • Invert Selection
  • Feather radius ~100
  • Apply Feather (takes a while)
  • Exposure: Brightness
  • Increase Gamma
  • Click Apply Changes
  • Professional Tools

     Soften Background and Retouch Details

    The following example unites many of the editing tools in order to create a perfect photo. With a little practice, you can make professional improvements in CodedColor, that otherwise can only be achieved by much more expensive applications.

  • Rotate on Horizon Line, with autom. Crop
  • Select 4:3 Format, und crop away the right part of the image
  • Remove the red Color Stain
  • Do some Gamma Correction
  • Soften the skin in the face using the Retouch Brush
  • Remove the 2 boats using the Clone Brush
  • Mark the background & mountains using the Lasso; apply Selection Feather
  • Soften the selected area with the dialog Basic Effects: User Filter: Blur
  • Repeat the softening, until the background appears out of focus (reduce focal depth)

  •  Stage Objects (Colorkey with Mask): B/W Effect

  • Mark the person in the image with the Lasso
  • Invert Selection, Apply Selection Father
  • Color Tool: HSL
  • Saturation -255 (minus)
  • Click Apply Changes

  • Correct the borders using the Retouch Brush: Desaturate with Amount ~100
  • Correct borders using the Eraser brush

  •  Stage Objects (Colorkey with Mask): Colorize Effect

  • Desaturate the background (see "Colorkey B/W" example)

  • Select the eyes (Multi selection: SHIFT key)
  • Color Tool: HSL
  • Apply Hue Shift

  •  Unfocus Background

  • Select: Lasso
  • Draw a selection around the person
  • Feather Radius ~20, Apply Feather
  • Invert Selection

  • Effects: Advanced Effects
  • Select Blur, Filter Size 50, Intensity 0.5
  • Click Apply, OK

  • Exposure: Brightness: decrease Gamma
  • Click Apply Changes

  • Use Retouch Brush to darken and blur edges around person

  •  Extract Objects: Transparency

  • Effects: Transparency
  • Tolerance ~ 70
  • Use the Eraser brush to correct spills
  • Press CTRL-C to copy this object including transparency into the clipboard

    Hint: if you want to save this object, then you need to use an image format like PNG, which supports transparency.
  •  Combine / Overlay Images

  • Press CTRL+V to copy the moon object (see "Transparency" example) as a Layer into the image
  • Resize and Rotate Layer
  • Press Merge Layers
  • Call Crop to remove the overlay
  • Retouch Brush
  • Radius ~75, Opacity ~50, Mode: Darken, Amount ~50
  • Darken the "dark side" of the moon
  •  Colorize B/W Image

  • Open Paint tool, activate brush
  • Feather ~75, Blend Mode: Colorize
  • Zoom image into detail
  • Select colors and paint
  • Use Selections and Fill tool for large areas
  • Use Eraser Brush to correct errors
  •  Replace Background: Mask

  • Open person image in editor
  • Select: Lasso
  • Draw a selection around the person
  • Add a Feather
  • Press CTRL+C

  • Open jungle image in editor
  • Advanced Effects: Blur the image
  • Press CTRL+V
  • Position the layer and click Merge layers
  • Use the Eraser Brush to correct edges
  •  Replace Background: Fill

  • Do some Exposure Correction
  • Add some Flash
  • Remove artefacts using the Clone Brush
  • Open the Fill tool
  • Load an image with a nice sky in the Texture panel. Increase/decrease the size.
  • Tolerance ~15
  • Click in the sky to fill, and play with the tolerance slider
  • Remove spills with the Eraser brush

    Note: Read the full tutorial here.
  •  Improve Portraits

    This example uses a large number of tools and is highly dependent on taste, so we list only the basic steps:

  • Change eye color: Red Eye Manual mode
  • Brighten eyes: Retouch Brush Lighten
  • Saturate lips: Retouch Brush Saturate
  • Improve skin color: Color HSL, increase Saturation
  • Soften skin: Retouch Brush Blur
  • Darken hair: Exposure Levels, increase Shadows
  • Remove spots & artefacts: Clone Brush
  • Sharpen eyelashes: Retouch Brush Sharpen
  • Soften garment: Selection with feather, Sharpness Blur
  •  Paste into Selections

  • Open fish image in editor
  • Select: Rectangle
  • Copy a square area with CTRL+C

  • Open pot image in editor
  • Select: Lasso
  • Select front panel of pot
  • Edit: Paste into Selection
  • Stretch Clipboard image? YES

  • Repeat with side panel and top, except this time also Darken the selected area using the Retouch Brush
  •  Perspective Correction

  • Effects: Perspective
  • Extend Workspace 2x
  • Move top red handles to left & right
  • Click Apply Changes
  • Click Crop
  • Position crop frame
  • Click Apply Crop
  •  Create Panoramas

  • Select frames in Explorer
  • See Panorama topic for detailed description
  • Objects & Layers

     Add Watermarks

  • Add: Watermark
  • Line1: Custom Text1
  • Position: Bottom Center
  • Border Margin 40, Transparency 50
  • Font: Arial 36
  • Font Color: Yellow Pastel
  •  Add Text Labels

  • Add: Text Labels
  • Frame Width 50, Background White
  • Line Width 2
  • Click New Label, then click inside image
  • Drag handles to position text and arrow
  • Save Image will create a new image file, so the orginal is not overwritten.

    Hint: if you then call Text Labels in the original image, the labels will be loaded again.
  •  Add Speach Bubbles

  • Optional Fill Brush: select a Texture and increase to 200%, set Tolerance 50, Fill Mode Exclusive, Blend Mode Normal, etc.

  • Add: Clipart
  • Select a file from Symbols\Callouts
  • Activate Add Clipart as Layer
  • OK, reposition & resize layer, Merge Layers

  • Add: Text, Size 30
  •  Add Clipart Wartermark

  • Add: Clipart
  • Select copyright.png from Symbols
  • Activate Add Clipart as Layer
  • Size 200%, Transparency 90%
  • OK, reposition layer, Merge Layers

    Hint: you can do this to a number of files in the Batch Conversion dialog
  •  Design Greeting Cards

  • Effects Borders & Shadows: Create a polaroid frame
  • Add Text layers
  • Rotate Layer, Merge Layer
  • Add Clipart layers
  • Rotate Layer, Merge Layer
  • Paintbrush: add water effects
  •  Add Google Map

  • Add: Map
  • Search for "Jasper", OK
  • Zoom out and position map
  • Capture
  • Add Mask, Add Shadow, OK
  • Merge Layers

  • Optional: add some Text
  •  Create Collage

  • Select images in explorer
  • Edit: Create Collage
  • Define Width, Height of collage, number of Columns and Rows, background Color for space between images: White
  • OK, reposition layers, Merge Layers
  • Crop

    Hint: creating a page layout with the Pixpedia Publisher is more flexible (see next tutorial)
  •  Create Map Collage

  • Call Tools > Map Capture
  • Search for a location and open a map
  • Press Capture, and then Apply Crop

  • Click Add Layer and load an image into the layer. Repeat for several images.
  • Open Layer options for all layers and define a Shadow
  • Merge Layers and store the collage to a file

  • Add Text Labels to the images, pointing to locations on the map
  • Increase the Frame Width, if the labels overlape the image borders

  •  Design Page Layouts

  • Select images in the explorer
  • Tools: Create Photobook
  • New Project: CodedColor Layout
  • Add more images
  • Select one or more Page Layouts
  • Add Borders & Shadows, edit text, position image elements, etc.
  • Add Curved Text as title
  • Activate Gradient property for title
  • Add Background image
  • etc...
  • Save as JPG or PDF

    Note: Pixpedia Publisher must be installed during CodedColor setup

  •  Blend Images: Easy Example

  • Select: Circle around girl
  • Feather Radius ~100, Apply Feather
  • CTRL+C
  • Open sunset image in editor
  • CTRL+V
  • Position layer above sunset
  • Optional: Layer Options
  • Set Transparency
  • Click Merge Layers

  •  Blend Images: Professional Example

  • Open face image in editor
  • Advanced Effects: Duotone Image
  • Select pale brown as Color
  • Apply, OK
  • Steps analog to easy example: insert face selection into tree image
  • Use the Eraser Brush with Opacity and Feather to fix edges
  • Creative Effects

     Pop Art (Colorkey with Color Shift)

  • Color Tool: HSL
  • Select person, Invert Selection

  • Select colors with the Pipette and reduce Saturation
  • Clear Selection

  • Apply some Hue Shift to the bathing suit
  • Click Apply Changes

  •  Simulate Speed

  • Basic enhancements: Color Balance, Straighten Horizon, Flip, Crop
  • Advanced Effects: Add Motion Blur
  • Angle 0, Distance 3, Steps 6
  • Press Apply
  • Eraser Brush
  • Feather 100, Opacity 80
  • Paint over surfer and splash
  •  Painting: Oil

  • Advanced Effects: Oil Paint
  • Brush Width 40, Blend Edges
  • Apply to create oil paint effect
  • Activate Apply on top of previous effect

  • Geometric Mean Filter, Size 4
  • Apply to soften edges, OK

  • Exposure: Brightness
  • Increase Gamma, click Apply Changes

  •  Painting: Watercolor with Paper Effect

  • Start with the result of the "Oil Painting" example
  • Fill Tool
  • Tolerance 255, Opacity 50
  • Fill Mode Global, Blend Mode Normal
  • Select a paper Texture
  • Choose Texture Color Black
  • Choose Texture Size 200%
  • Click in image to fill the texture
  • Click Apply Changes

  •  Painting: Watercolor with Diluted Effect

  • Start with the result of the "Oil Painting" example
  • Advanced Effects: Watercolor Tint
  • Blur Amount 0,4, activate Lighten Image
  • Click Apply, OK
  •  Painting: Watercolor with Paper & Diluted Effect

  • Start with the result of the "Oil Painting" example
  • Advanced Effects: Stipple
  • Size 70, Geometric Mean filter
  • Apply to create paper effect
  • Activate Apply on top of previous effect

  • Gauzy effect
  • Bur 0.5, Sharp 0.5, Clarity 1.0, Desaturated
  • Apply to create watercolor effect
  •  Water Effects: Ripples

  • Advanced Effects: Perlin Displacement
  • Amount 30, X-Scale 20, Y-Scale 20
  • Click Apply, OK

  • Crop Image

  • Optional: Basic Effects: Wave
  • Click OK

  •  Water Effects: Reflection

  • Perlin Displacement as in "Ripple" example
  • Rotate image by 180°
  • Copy Selection and Paste as new Layer below original image
  • Layer Options: Transparency
  •  Hamilton Effect

  • Advanced Effects: Gauzy
  • Blur 0.9, Sharp 0.5, Clarity 0.5
  • Mode: Desaturated
  • Click Apply, OK
  •  Highlight Objects (Colorkey with Mask)

  • Select: Circle
  • Select the mirror object
  • Invert Selection, Apply Feather 10

  • Advanced Effects: Gauzy
  • Blur 0.9, Sharp 0.5, Clarity 0.8
  • Mode: Desaturated
  • Click Apply

  • Enable Apply on top of previous effect
  • Repeat effect by clicking Apply
  • Click OK
  •  Chalk Drawing

  • Advanced Effects:
  • 1. Oil Paint: Blend Edges
  • 2. Median Filter
  • 3. Stiple: Size 15, Filter Maximum
  • 4. Blur: Size 40, Intensity 0.5
  • Frames & Edges: select a Mask

    Note: the parameters for the above filters are highly dependant of the size of the image, so you need to experiment with them.
  •  Fisheye Effect (Binocular)

  • Advanced Effects: Elliptical Transform
  • RadiusX 900, RadiusY 900
  • Mode: Compress Both
  • Click Apply, OK

  •  Mask Borders: Fade Effect

  • Effects: Frames & Edges
  • Select a Mask
  • Image Displacement ~10
  • Click OK

  •  Mask Borders: Water Effect

  • Effects: Frames & Edges
  • Select a Mask
  • Image Displacement ~30
  • Click OK
  •  Mask Borders: Film strip

  • Effects: Frames & Edges
  • Select the Filmstrip Frame
  • Image Displacement ~10
  • Click OK
  •  Mask Borders: Stamp

  • Effects: Frames & Edges
  • Select the Stamp Mask
  • Click OK

  • Add Text layer

  •  Polaroid Frame with Shadow & Text

  • Effects: Borders & Shadows
  • Activate Add Shadow, Add Border, and experiment with the settings

  • Add Text layer
  • Pick a script Font with Size ~60
  • Activate Add Shadow
  • Press OK and Merge Layers
  •  Frame Images

  • Effects: Frames & Edges
  • Select a picture frame
  • Set Displacement to 10
  • Press OK
  •  Add Texture: Wall

  • Fill Tool: Texture
  • Select brick wall
  • Tolerance 255, Opacity 70
  • Fill Mode Global, Blend Mode Normal
  • Fill image and press Apply Changes

  • Effects: Frames & Edges
  • Select a Mask
  • Background Color Black
  • OK

  • Add some floating Text with shadow, rotate it
  • Add some Cliparts
  • Merge layers

  •  Add Texture: Paper

  • Exposure: increase Gamma
  • Fill Tool: Paper Texture
  • Add Clipart layer
  • Layer Options: set Transparency to 80

  •  Create a Custom Mask

  • Effects: Invert Colors
  • Effects: Convert to B/W
  • Exposure: Increase Brightness
  • Save into mask folder

  •  Apply a Custom Mask (easy)

  • Effects: Frames & Edges
  • Click User Frame to open file
  • Select the mask you created above
  • Activate Invert
  • OK

  •  Apply a Custom Mask (advanced)

  • Analog to easy example, except here we disable the Invert checkbox

  • Effects: Frames & Edges
  • Pick a Mask

  • Effects: Borders & Shadows
  • Create a black frame

  • Sign the image with white Text

  •  Viewglass Effect

  • Circle Selection around face
  • CTRL+C, Insert into new image
  • Advanced Effects: Lens Transformation, Apply, OK
  • CTRL+C put result into clipboard
  • Switch to original image: Crop
  • Insert Clipart magnifying_glass.png from the folder Tools
  • Move layer until grip overlaps image
  • Merge Layers
  • Circle Selection around glas
  • Insert into selection
  • Reflection using a star shaped Paintbrush

  •  Photo Montage

    This photo montage was created entirely with CodedColor. It involves a number of tools such as:

  • Selections & Layers
  • Color Shift
  • Clone Brush
  • Eraser Brush
  • Retouch Brush

    Basic steps are adapting the color of the tuna, extracting & placing it over the girl, and then correcting all borders and errors.