View Full Version : Duotone Tutorial

Julie Kenward
08-23-2008, 04:22 PM
Time for another tutorial! There are lots of ways to make a duotone (black + one other color), tritone (black + two other colors) or quadtone (black & three other colors) image. You can certainly download a free duotone action (there's a good one at www.atncentral.com (http://www.atncentral.com)) or you can follow along and try something like this!

The first step is to find an image that will be a good candidate. If an image looks good in black and white then it will generally work well for a duo/tri/quadtone image as well. What you're looking for is an image with a good variety of lights and darks. (Hint: This is also a great way to save an image that is either overly saturated in color or very bland - both lend themselves well to this process.)

So let's get started!

Julie Kenward
08-23-2008, 04:24 PM
STEP ONE: Choose an image and convert it to black and white.

There are lots of ways to convert an image to black and white but in Photoshop CS3 I tend to use layer/new layer adjustment/black and white. Move the sliders around until you get a nice variation of black and white tones and then save the layer.

Julie Kenward
08-23-2008, 04:27 PM
STEP TWO: Convert the image to grayscale by going to Image/Mode/Grayscale. When it asks you if you want to discard the color information click on "Discard." NOTE: Make sure you're working on a COPY of your original image!!!)

Julie Kenward
08-23-2008, 04:29 PM
STEP THREE: Now click on Image/Mode/Duotone. You can also choose tritone or quadtone from the dropdown box. If this is your first try at an image like this, I'd start with duotone and then play around from there.

Julie Kenward
08-23-2008, 04:35 PM
STEP FOUR: Now it's time to jump in and get your feet wet! You should now be able to see the duotone option box. At the top, you'll see a dropdown box for changing from a duotone to a tritone or quadtone image. You'll also see that black has been chosen as the first color. Below that are three other color boxes. If you are making a duotone image, only one other box will be "open" for you to use. If you click on the tritone level at the top, a second color box will open up and if you click on quadtone, a third color box will open up.

If you click on the color swatch in Ink 2 it will pull up a pallet of colors to choose from; however, there are more than one pallet of colors! Click on "book" to reveal all the other pallets that are available and then get ready to sit and play with color for HOURS!!!

Julie Kenward
08-23-2008, 04:37 PM
STEP FIVE: Once you have the color(s) where you like them, click okay and check the final product. You can always go in and adjust or change the colors by popping up the dialog box again. When you get the color result you like, make any final adjustments to your image.

Julie Kenward
08-23-2008, 04:40 PM
STEP SIX: You now have to get out of duotone mode and back into RGB or sRBG mode so swing back up to Image/Mode and click on whichever mode you want the final product to be in.

Not sure what to choose? RGB mode tends to work best for printing images to inkjet printers and sRGB tends to look best on images being loaded onto the web - use that as a guideline.

Now you're ready to save your final product although you could also add filters, effects, or a textural overlay if desired. It's all up to your imagination!