Non-translatable for editors other than Photoshop.
Made in Photoshop CS5.
Special Note: Duplicate your image and set to Screen (whichever opacity fits your image best), then duplicate again and set to Softlight (again, whichever opacity works best for you) before copying the psd group/folder over.
DO NOT COPY THIS TUTORIAL/PSD EXACTLY! USE YOUR OWN IMAGE!! I'm putting the psd up, but if I see copies I will take it down!
Start by making your base. I made this base of the amazing gorgeous flawless Tim Tebow from the Denver Broncos praying on the field.
The image isn't all that dark, but for the desired coloring it needs to be super bright, because I want his uniform and the grass to stand out. So duplicate your base and set to Screen 100%. The opacity will depend on your image; if your image is entirely too bright at 100, lower it.
Now it's nearly perfect, but I want Tim's uniform to stand out the most. So for this we need to add contrast. Once again duplicate the base layer, drag it to the top, and set to Softlight 100%. This also gives the grass more of the green back. Again, this depends on your image. If the image becomes too dark (because we still want it bright) then lower the opacity.
Now the colors are just pretty dull, so before the real coloring we just want to up the saturation. Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Hue/Saturation and up the Master Saturation +20. This makes the greens, blues, and oranges all pretty.
It's still pretty dull. So next we're going to add a Vibrance layer to help those colors pop even more. Set Vibrance to +12 and Saturation +8.
Now I wanted to start on the grass and make it even greener. I also hoped to add more natural colors into Tebow's skin so it didn't match the orange stripes on his uniform. To do this I added a Color Balance layer. Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Color Balance. These were my settings:
M: -22, -16, +23
S: -15, +19, -24
H: +19, +12, +13
On other images I've had to leave out this layer completely; if you're using an image with someone's face as the main focus it makes it super green all over, so beware, just use this layer at your discretion!
At this point the grass is an ugly yellow and his uniform doesn't pop out enough. To remedy this add a Selective Color layer. Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Selective Color. These are the settings I used to add more greens and blues:
Reds: +6, +16, +9, +5
Yellows: +32, -15, +9, +15
Cyans: +6, 0, 0, 0
Whites: +15, -14, -12, +16
Neutrals: +8, -16, +20, +1
Blacks: +10, +5, +5, +2
Fiddle with these settings until it's too your liking.
For me this still isn't good enough, because I like my images super bright. So make another Hue/Saturation layer and up the Master Saturation +13.
The grass is pretty, but I still need more blue in his uniform. To do this I added a Photo Filter layer. Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Photo Filter. Change the filter to Cooling Filter 80. This makes it entirely too blue and washed out, so I lowered the opacity to 28%.
Originally I did this with the full image (see the .psd), and little picky me still wasn't satisfied. I thought it could still use more natural colors while being made vibrant. So I added another Color Balance.
M: +8, +15, +23
Again, you can't really tell the difference from the icon size image, but trust me, there is one.
Now for the final act of vibrance, another Vibrance layer. Vibrance +17, Saturation +6 so the colors don't get pixely with too much saturation.
Now I thought his arm matched the orangeness in his uniform, and we don't want that. Also, I wanted to subtly brighten the overall image with a matte tone, but without taking away from the vibrance. So add a new Fill Layer with the color #ff72e6 set to Screen 10%. Anymore than 10% will just ruin the image. This step also served to make the blues and oranges brighter.
Now for sharpening. Go ALL THE WAY BACK to your very first screen layer, the duplicate one of your base, and make sure it's the only layer selected. Then go to Filter>Sharpen>Sharpen. This serves to effectively sharpen nicely without oversharpening.
Now go back to the top of your image and click Layer>New Layer to add a transparent layer. We're going to brighten one spot of the image. So take the brush tool, using a fuzzy brush at 91, and put it right in the middle. For this image, I used the brush right over Tebow's 15. Set this to Softlight 100%.
And there you go!
.psd at the top of post!