When it comes to black and white conversion, there is no definitive method that will get the best results every time. Some use the channel mixer conversion, while others will swear by black and white filter. Other just like the simplicity of the desaturate function. Which one is the best? It depends. This is why I was so happy when Ladislav Soukup from ladasoukup.cz (flickr) sent me this cheat sheet. Read on to find your best suited conversion in an instant.
Photoshop Black and White Cheat Sheet
Have you ever converted any image to black&white? If yes, do You remember how many different ways and settings are there?
Photoshop itself has several ways (filters) how to make b&w images and each filter has many presets…
Wouldn’t it be great if you could have quick preview with different filters and presets? Well, You can. Thanks to the smart objects there is a very simple way.
Just create one big file, use place command to place some image as smart objects and then make many copies of it (use duplicate layer). This is easy… just set different filters with different settings on each layer and you have your “quick preview”.
See how this quick preview looks like (click to enlarge):
As I already written, it is easy to create PSD file with smart objects (Photoshop CS3 only), but why to spend time creating one, when you can download already created file (5MB download)? If you are interested, I made one this morning and You can freely use it. Just download it from here (did I say it is 5 megs?).
How to use it?
Well it’s simple… Open the PSD file. There are several layers (some of them are in groups). There is just one layer you really need to work with. It is called “ORIGINAL”. Just double click the layer and Photoshop will open image with 1500×1500 pixels resolution. Place ANY image here and make sure, that the image is scaled to fit in the “square”. Then “flatten image”. Just go to layer menu and select <flatten image> (last item by default). Then just close this square image and click yes when asked to save the file. Then let photoshop to do it’s work… Photoshop will change all images and reapply all filters
Under every b&w variant you can find description about used filter and preset.
Hope this file will be useful for you. BTW: You can setup different filters and settings. Just open the groups and go through layers. I hope that you will understand how it works 😉
BTW: This is not my original idea. I just saw it in “Photoshop user TV” show (ep 146) and decided to make the PSD file and I just want to share it with others. It took me about hour to create it, so it can save you some time 😉
You can also watch the show for the next step of Black and White photo conversion – Quickly applying the desired filter.
Here are some more samples of activating the cheatsheet to view some Black and White conversions: