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How to Invert Colors in an Image [iPhone & Android]

Last Updated on Mar. 17, 2022 – by David Morgan
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How to Invert Colors in an Image

Inverting a photo's colors used to be a painstaking process involving a dark room and lots of chemicals. But even in today's world of digital photography, color inversion can seem like an intimidating process.

This article will teach you how to create an inverted image quickly and easily using your phone or tablet. You will also learn about the best apps to use to invert the colors of your photos and have all your frequently asked questions about the process answered.

Keep reading for a step-by-step guide to inverting the colors of your photos using the PhotoDirector app, the best solution for color inversion.

What is Color Inversion?

Color inversion happens to an image when every color is flipped to its opposite on the color wheel. In black and white photos, light areas become dark and dark areas become light. In a color photo, blue becomes orange, green becomes magenta, and so on.

PhotoDirector App Interface

The interest in color-inverted photography started with analog photography and film negatives.

Chemicals in the film interact with the light that passes through the camera and darken the film, turning it into a photo negative. It takes several rounds of photographic processing to lighten the colors to their natural look. This is why photo negatives appear dark, and you have to hold them up to the light to see the images.

Negative film is not exactly the same as color inversion. For example, in film negatives, dark areas are light, light areas are dark, and the whole image is a sort of dark orange.

In a color inversion, all colors are reversed to their complementary colors so that even in the reversed image, you can still have bright, vivid colors.

Despite these differences, many people use the terms negative effect and color inversion interchangeably.

3 Best Apps to Invert Colors

1. PhotoDirector - Best Overall App

PhotoDirector is the best all-in-one free photo editor and collage maker to invert the colors in your photos. Using the color curve tool in the app provides more control over your color inversions, including changing red, green, and blue individually.

PhotoDirector App - How to Invert Color

You can also enhance, stylize and animate your images with precision editing tools, AI-powered effects, and essential lighting and color adjustments. It also comes with millions of stock images from Shutterstock, iStock by Getty Images, and Unsplash.

All edits and effects are done with a few simple taps with a beautifully designed and user-friendly interface.

2. Negative Image - Best for Negative Effect

With Negative Image you can apply a negative effect or invert all the colors in an image. You can even choose only a part of the photo to invert, leaving the rest of the image untouched.

You can also use Negative Image to turn old film negatives into actual photos. Choose photos from your phone’s library or use the built-in camera.

Negative Image is available on Google Play. Click here for more information.

3. Negative Me - Best for Color Conversion

Negative Me is a fundamental app with one function. It converts between the negative and positive of an image in one click.

Open a photo in the app or take one with the built-in camera. The photo will automatically become color-inverse.

Negative Me is available on the App Store. Click here for more information.

How to Invert Colors on iPhone and Android

Download the PhotoDirector app below and follow along:

  1. Tap Edit, then open the image you want from your Library or the Stock library, or use the built-in camera to take a picture.
  2. Tap Adjustments from the bottom menu.
  3. Scroll through the menu and tap on Curve.
  4. PhotoDirector App - how to RGB Curve
  5. With the RGB Curve control selected, move the ball in the bottom left of the curve to the upper left.
  6. Then move the ball from the upper right to the bottom right.

    The line going across the curve should now be going in the opposite direction. Your colors are now inverted!

    PhotoDirector App - Invert Image color

How to Customize Your Color Inversions on iPhone and Android

There are 4 hexagons along the side of the color curve. A full-color inversion uses the whole RGB color wheel, but you can limit the inversion to one color at a time. Follow steps 1-3 in the how-to section above, then follow these steps:

  1. Before reversing the line in the color curve, tap on the Red Hexagon along the left to edit the red color curve.
  2. Move the line to the opposite direction, or try somewhere in the middle.
  3. Here are examples of the colors in the image when you invert the red, green, and blue tones separately:

    PhotoDirector App - Individual Curve

    Tip: Try doing a straight color conversion, then converting the image again with just the red, green, or blue wheels for a totally different look.

    PhotoDirector App - RGB Slider
  4. Now, try using the other color adjustment tools.
  5. Choose Contrast, Highlight, Shadows, Saturation, Sharpness, Temperature, Tint, or HSL from the bottom menu.

    Click on each tool and move the adjustment slider until you are happy with the result.

    PhotoDirector App Interface
  6. When you are done adjusting the color of your image, click the Check Mark in the upper left.
  7. Continue editing or hit the Download Button to save to your camera roll.

    Tip: You can share your inverted color creations directly to social media.

    Hit the Download Button, then choose from Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, U, Line, Twitter, E-Mail, or Text.

Best Color Inverter App for Free

To get the nostalgic feel of a film negative, or the outrageous colors of an Andy Warhol, used to be a time-consuming and challenging process. Now some apps let you invert the colors of a photo in a few quick steps.

PhotoDirector is the best color inverter app on the market. It has several options for inverting colors on your images, ranging in skill level from first-timer to professional editor.

Its color curve offers more control on the level and intensity of the color inversion. Invert all the colors on the RGB color wheel, or isolate red, green, and blue tones. Choose up to 6 points in a single image to isolate tonal adjustments.

In addition, PhotoDirector has tons of color adjustment tools with an easy-to-use precision slider. Adjust exposure, contrast, highlight, shadows, saturation, sharpness, temperature, tint, and HSL for a fully customizable look.

With PhotoDirector, you get an all-in-one photo editor that does so much more than invert photos. Bring your photos to life with animated effects, AI-powered tools, beautification tools, filters, stickers, and so much more.

Best of all, you can get the PhotoDirector app for free on your iOS or Android device. So download it today and start creating.

Color Inversion FAQ

1. What Is a Photo Negative Effect?

A photo negative effect is an effect used in photo editing that will invert the tonalities of an image. The dark areas will appear light, and the light areas will appear dark. It makes your digital images look like the photo negative strips of old. The photo negative effect is often used in horror movies or to give photos a creepy vibe since eyes appear white with the effect.

2. What Is the Best Color Inversion Software on Windows and Mac?

  1. PhotoDirector Essential - Best Overall Software
  2. Photopus - Best for Batch Processing
  3. IrFanView - Best Graphics Viewer
  4. Adobe Photoshop - Best for Professional Photographers
  5. Adobe Illustrator - Best for Professional Illustrators

3. How Do I Invert Colors on Windows and Mac?

To invert the colors of a photo on your Windows or Mac device, download PhotoDirector Essential and follow along with the steps below:

  1. Click on Adjustment from the top menu.
  2. Underneath Adjustment will be two options: Manual or Preset. Click on Manual.
  3. Scroll down until you see Curve.
  4. Choose RGB to invert all the colors in the photo, R to only invert red, G for green, or B for blue.
  5. Click on the bottom of the line running through the middle of the curve and drag it to the top. Then click on the top right of the line and drag it to the bottom.
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