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There isn’t a week that goes by when I find an image or graphic to use and the color isn’t quite what I need. Re-coloring an image or part of it isn’t too difficult with the right tool. While a lot of online editors claim to re-color images or portions of images, not all work well or are intuitive to use. For quick jobs, I’ve found one online image recoloring tool that works and is intuitive. Since I tend to stick with the free online or downloadable software editors, I’m going to demo how easy this is with Pilxr Editor, even when the area to be re-colored has color variation or shading in it. That scenario is the most challenging re-coloring job to accomplish because when the area is a single solid color you can just use a fill tool to change it.
Pixlr Editor is the easiest re-coloring tool online that’s free. Note: I do use GIMP but that’s downloadable software and that tutorial will be in a separate post.
Pixlr Editor was one of the first online editors I ever used. I don’t remember exactly how or who recommended it but I found it very useful for several simple editing tricks I constantly need. I still will use Pixlr in a jam although the online version that does this will eventually go away when Adobe flash is no longer supported. I’m hoping the newer version of PixlrX picks up many of the nice handy Pixlr Editor techniques that I think are everyday needs.
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A Couple Things To Know About Pixlr
Some folks love to make graphics from scratch with Pixlr Editor, but I use it mostly for a couple of cool features that come in handy. The nice part about Pixlr Editor, there’s no login and no cost. On the downside, because there’s no login, anything you create that you don’t save to your device or to cloud storage is lost once you exit Pixlr.
The other limitation is font size relative to the total image size. The fonts don’t size up as much as I’d like but I believe that’s because the workspace size can be fairly large even when it doesn’t look so. Ultimately sizing the text font may not matter if you’ll rasterize it for special effects. (Don’t worry we go over this in a later lesson.)
Pixlr Editor strength is editing and touching up photos and images. It’s different from Canva because Canva has free graphics, templates and is very drag and drop oriented. So, when I use them together I have many options to make really unique graphics and visual content.
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Pixlr has a very simple opening window with 3 choices: create a file, open a file or open a file from a URL (think remote storage). Once the file is open a side menu and top menu appear.
Pilxr is more like Adobe, Corel, Inkscape or GIMP in the options of these menus but in my opinion, is not as powerful and doesn’t save using the high-resolution vector formats that the mentioned programs do.
Still, for quick jobs this editor is amazing good and very efficient. I refer to “quick job” as a simple edit, not creation completely from scratch.
So let’s take a look at using Pilxr simply to change the color of an image. That’s something I like to do with free graphics I get that I want to use in visual content. Many times I’ll modify the color slightly and then upload into Canva to make my graphic.
Let’s say I’ve found a nice graphic for my Contact page but it’s not of any of the colors I use on my blog. To make it fit in better I could recolor it to one of my blog’s colors. Let’s pick a nice red/wine color for this example. Pixlr Editor is perfect for the job.
So here’s the free graphic I got from Pixabay .
Now I open it in Pixlr Editor and use the color-picker tool to pick the color to be replaced.
Then I select color-replacer tool and the color I want to use in place of the old color.
Once that is done I “paint within the image to change the old color to the new one. The trick is that if this color is a gradient, texture or slightly shaded, Pilxr takes care of that and keeps the modification looking the same with the new color. Here’s how it looks when I replace the shaded rust background with a red-wine colored one.
As a comparison, if I just tried to “fill in” the areas with the new color I would lose the shading, shadows and depth of the image. Plus, it would look terrible (here’s what would happen). The color is uneven and splotchy in places. That’s almost impossible to fix and would take a lot longer to actually clean up.
I could continue to play with the color by modifying the standard photograph characteristics like hue, saturation, contrast etc. It would let me tweak the color thru the use of a filter but I’m happy with the result I’ve got. Now to use the image for a webpage.
Once I get it the way I want I can use this re-colored graphic on my contact page and the colors would match the colors of my fictitious website.
Here’s an example of a contact page with the final graphic (plus text) on the fictitious webpage.
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