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LAB Color Mixing and You by fox-orian LAB Color Mixing and You by fox-orian
Unlike Perspective & Composition Part 3, however, here is a real tutorial today.

Ever wonder what LAB color sliders were in Photoshop? Here's a little bit of enlightenment to help you figure out what the hell they do.

A note about this tutorial: This is MIXING COLOR with LAB Sliders -- NOT speaking about the LAB Color Space which your open document can be converted to. You need special monitors that can show LAB color space -- something more useful to professional photographers. With LAB Sliders, you can use RGB and CMYK color space, both work just fine since we're using this for the purposes of choosing colors for painting/coloring -- NOT color correction.

Also: Adoption of the new "ORIANART" name. I believe I'm leaving the name Plastic Shards behind, soon.
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Catrojan Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Question! When do we know which type of shadow to use? 
In your example. It's a warm light with warm shadow on the walls. ( unless I mistaken white for a warm light instead if a cool light) when does cool shadow come into play? 
Skaera Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm not sure why I just started trying this two years after seeing this initially, but IT IS FUCKIN MAGIC. THANK YOU. SO MUCH.
Himmels-W Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2013
thank you!
SaraV-Art Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I, personally, never liked the RGB sliders. I tried using Lab and felt confused so I developed around the HSB sliders. Thank for sharing this. I will give Lab another shot now that I understand it better and with the use of HSB the possibilities are endless =D
wyxxs Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2012
Very helpful.Thank you very much!
Thrangisthered Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I've never really looked at the LAB setting before, but wow. It seems like a great deal of untapped potential and actually helps puts some color theory concepts into perspective. Thanks for this. :)
Freedom-the-batxD Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Your tutorials help me more and more every day. thanks a bunch. :clap: ^u^
zawung Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2012
thx finaly i hacket "the lab"
ps: is this legal?
entropiCCycles Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2011
Thanks for the information!
I'll admit, I'm more interested in the CIE Lab color space because some papers in the Cognitive Sciences literature report stimuli colors in Lab coordinates for some experiments. Although this wasn't exactly geared towards someone with my interests, your explanation did give me some new insights into the Lab color space. Thank you very much for that!
Kamui85 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2011
Very informative, thank you.
kyle-culver Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2011  Professional Filmographer
very useful! Thank you!
(just tweeted it. hah)
Yon-kitty Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2011  Student General Artist
can I marry you?
UsayFudo Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2011  Student General Artist
Awesome :D
ArtemOrlov Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2011
Thank You For This AWESOME and MARVELOUS Tutotrial!!! Thank You Master!!! You Help Me Very MUCH!!! ThankYouThankYouThankYou!!!!!
Riftcat Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Hope you don't mind the favspamming. ;)
sandipboral Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
awesome tutorial thanks
mo3ali Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2011
Thanks for the great tutorials.
FeelingVeryLucky Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2011
This is interesting. I've never thought to touch these sliders, since I was so comfortable in HSB and didn't even know what LAB stood for. Thanks for explaining it so well and giving painters a reason to try it! :D
lalocoon Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
"Unlike Perspective & Composition Part 3. Today's lesson: LAB"
Each one of those tutorials are just great... belive it or not I'm learning a lot of color tricks with them... Thanx a lot.
DangerPins Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I honestly had no clue what Lab was for. Thank you for posting! :)
Azzen Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Immensely helpful for what the letters actually stand for. Thanks!
Jehrico Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2011

but change is good ^^
alexandergras Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2011
Look at this comment by ~manfredkooistra on *janaschi's question about Lab mode: [link]
An-die-Freude Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2011
Awesome tutorial, thanks so much for doing all these! I don't think I was even aware of this, or maybe I ignored it or something. You're doin a great job at demystifying photoshop :] +fav
aruzza Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
now i finally understand that LAB thingy :D
D-eTo-X Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2011
Shufly Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2011
Somewhat tricky, but also useful! This will take some more study!
mguz192 Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2011  Hobbyist
Awesome! I did once guess the L must have been for lighting, but I never knew about the rest! This is a very good and helpful tutorial! Can't wait to practice with it! Thx!

Also, ORIANART sounds awesome.
Nokadota Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2011  Professional General Artist
ORIANART sounds so much better!
Nellyaa Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2011  Student Digital Artist
A little bit additional information: If you just choose the LAB in the "color" window, it's only a kind of fake color selector, your real colors are usually still RGB.
That doesn't matter though, if you just want to play around with color sliders to get creative!

To achieve true LAB colors you need to convert your document into LAB mode. However, your monitor is very likely not able to display the whole lab color space. Professional image editing monitors are needed.
Chercitia Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Hobbyist
Great tutorial! This is extremely helpful (:
mjbdisaster Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011
too cool
ximuu Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011
this is actually really frickin useful O: thanks!
ghostcharmer Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
YOU. HAVE CHANGED. MY LIIIIIFE! @O@ lately i've been trying to figure out how i can transfer what little knowledge i have about mixing oil paints to "mixing" paint in photoshop (especially for greys), and i was failing miserably! but then i read this tutorial and experimented a bit and was like "HOLY CRAP THIS IS SO BEAUTIFUUUULLL!!" i love LAB color sliders!
alexandergras Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2011
To me, a color picker must be intuitive in that it conforms to my real world experience of color. The Lab color space is easy to understand, but I find it extremely hard to plan what adjustments I have to make to the sliders to achieve the color I have in mind. I always need to play with the Lab sliders until I come close.

For painting, I find a HSV mixer (as the one in Painter) superior, because it behaves as traditional paint does, and if you understand the color circle, you'll know what to do to get the color you want. For example, in HSV complementary colors are immediately obvious, in Lab ... ? I wouldn't know how to find them there.

Since there is no useful color mixer in Photoshop, I built my own.
alexandergras Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2011
Oops, look here: [link] and here: [link] and here: [link]
RobynRose Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2011
Excellent tutorial. Well explained and neatly layed out.
kvweber Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Nice! I had heard that this colour slider was used only for photo editing, so I ignored it for the past... however many years since Photoshop 7.0...BUT now I can see that there are some interesting benefits to using it. I'll have to try it next time I'm experimenting with colour. :D
NEOkeitaro Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Ha. I use LAB often in photography (it's seriously a life saver, sometimes), but I never thought illustrators would use it too. Now that I read it, it makes a lot of sense.

I still think it takes a photoshop geek like you to consider using it in the first place though :p
AyameSuzuki Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for all the tutorials, I don't think this one will be useful to me (perhaps it will) but it is really nice that someone of your talent is putting out helpful things.
tofuburgers Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2011
Great tutorial, thanks so much for sharing! :)
fadeddreamss Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2011  Student General Artist
Thank you very much for your tutorials! The last one wasn't complete, but already have some precious information! As for this one, I've never used LAB before, but I was "ooooh" hrough the reading, because it's so cool! Since I'm learning photography too, I could really relate! Will try that in my next illustration!
jogy-d Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2011  Student Digital Artist
great works
Dualmask Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Tasty new knowledge. I tried using the lab sliders a few times, even though I didn't quite get how they worked. This should help...even though putting it to practical use in my work will be a whole different adventure altogether.
Localized Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for explaining this. I've heard you mention LAB previously various times, but I haven't tried it that much. I'll be sure to do so now. The achievement unlocked part made me chuckle :D

I was going to make a point about how you somehow can have a greenish-magenta or yellowish-blue, but it seems this is only true for yellow-blue and red-blue. Though perceiving a colour like yellow-blue would only occur under special conditions so it's irrelevant for the most part. Here's a Wikipedia article on the subject: [link]

And leaving behind Plastic Shards :ohnoes: !? But I like PS, whatever works for you though.
heartwrench Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2011
I never knew this existed. Thanks for the tutorial!
RuinedCorpse Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awesome and very helpful, thanks for the tutorial!
Vincentleaf Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2011
you make such great art and such great tutorials! im proud Im human thanks to you (?
fishuu Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2011
Oh man, your tutorials are as fantastic as always. Thanks for sharing this!
Ekqo Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2011  Student General Artist
Interesting! I'll have to try this out sometime. I've seen it, but never used it.
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Submitted on
July 20, 2011
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