Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Free software for selective coloring

Tintii Photo Filter takes full color photos and processes them into black and white with some select regions highlighted in color. The technique is known as color popping or selective coloring – tintii makes it easy.

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With Tintii Photo Filter you can easily apply eye-catching color effects to your pictures. The filter removes all colors from the original photo, leaving only traces of certain tones. Think of the red coat in that memorable scene in Schindler's list, and you'll get the idea.

On opening, Tintii displays four thumbnails. One is entirely grayscale. The other three are grayscale with a single color retained. You can increase the number of thumbnails, which creates more and more subtle color separations. Then, click on one or more thumbnails to include the selected colors in your final image. That's all there is to it.

The dialog is enlargeable to your full screen, and because the preview window is zoomable, you can view lots of detail in your image. However, the thumbnails are fixed at very small sizes that sometimes make it difficult to tell what your results will be until you click on the thumbnail to look at the effect on your preview.

Tintii's slider controls are limited, and, depending upon the color composition of your original picture, you may end up with some unwanted areas of color in the background. That's why you might want to consider purchasing a key for the very inexpensive Photoshop plug-in ($9 only) so you can use Tintii with your imaging program's tools to help refine your picture. The interface of the Photoshop plug-in (which is not available on Linux) is nearly identical to the standalone, with the added advantage of being able to fit Tintii in your normal imaging workflow.

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Tintii is a remarkably easy solution for a color-popping effect that normally would take you lots of time (as well as skill and effort) carefully using your imaging program's selection and color tools. We highly recommend trying it.


Since the software was reviewed, it is no longer freeware for Windows and Mac, while the free rial is provided. For Linux, it remains open source free utility.


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