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Here's another astoundingly simple technique as it turns out. This one is all about averaging skin tones. So basically modulating the skin tone, so there is more uniformity, so that you have less blotching especially in the color department. I am looking at an image called dudesonblue.jpg and it comes to us photographer Mark Aplet. And these guys look at little windburn from a day of skiing, I believe and this guy might have some sort of rash on this face, I am not really sure what's going on there, doesn't matter, some handsome youngsters let's go ahead and fix up their skin tones so that there is no windblown look to them at all.
And we are going to do that using the Average function as it turns out. So for starters, we need to select their flesh tones. Basically, select just their faces and nothing else. And we are going to do that by going out to the Select menu and choosing the Color Range command. Now I want this to be a pretty discrete selection. So I am going to leave the Fuzziness value turned down to 40 and if you don't have it there already, go ahead and reduce the value to 40 and then click somewhere in one of these little red patches and one of these guys here and then start Shift dragging around the faces and I am just kind of going to drag around the left-hand guy's face here.
And then once you select a fair amount of the face, you should see a couple little ghost faces here inside the in-dialog box preview. I am going to go ahead and change the selection Preview to Grayscale so that I can gauge whether or not I have selected enough of these faces and I haven't at this point. So now I am going to Shift drag through some of these gray areas like so. And what you want to watch out for is selecting too much of the jacket and so forth. When I drag over this area above this guy's lip, I do end up selecting some of his hair, some of his friend's hair and some tiny little strands of jacket detail toward the bottom of the image, that's okay.
But you don't want to select anymore than about what you are seeing on-screen right now. For example, if I clicked on his tooth, I am going to select way too much stuff, so I don't want that, I will go ahead and undo, might just Shift click there, few more Shift clicks just to see if there is anything else I need to grab. And about this point, I think things look good. And I am going to click Ok in order to exempt that new selection. Now I want you to press Ctrl+J in order to jump just the selected portion of the image to a new layer.
And you might want to go ahead and turn off the background layer, so you can see what you have accomplished here. We have selected this area, balance it to a new layer and that's what we have got, so there are faces without their eyeballs or any shading, their faces are hovering on an independent layer. And let's go ahead and call this one Average and then I will press the Return or Enter key. Now I am going to go up to the Filter menu and I am going to choose Blur and I am going to choose this very first command, I was telling you about it earlier on. What it does is it averages, it finds the average color inside of a layer and fills the entire layer with that color.
Now you may get a weird effect when you choose this command, sometimes it's behavior is a little odd. In this case, it's filling the entire layer with blue, so it's obviously looking at information beyond this one layer, it looks like it's looking for information inside the entire image at this point because certainly their flesh tones don't average out to blue. Let's go ahead and undo that modification. Here's what I want you to do Ctrl+Click or Command-Click on layer thumbnail like so, in order to select the contents of the layer and then go to the Filter menu and choose the Average command again in order to apply it and this time you should get a rosy color like what we are seeing here on screen.
Now press Ctrl+D or Command-D on the Mac in order to deselect the image, turn the background image back on and notice now we have got some pretty homogenous skin tones now, but of course they are dark sort of clay red at this point. So what I would like to do is merge the color from this layer, from this average layer with the luminance levels from the layer in the background, so that we can keep the detail from these dudes' faces. So I am going to change the Normal Blend mode to Color because that will keep the color and let us see the luminosity from below, so I will choose color.
Now that looks like overkill to me, their faces are just bright red at this point and I am suspecting that they are oversaturated. So I can break color up into its components here saturation in hue, I don't want to keep the saturation of this layer, I don't want a uniform saturation, I want uniform hues inside their flesh tones, so I am going to go ahead and choose the Hue Blend mode and that's pretty good. So just to give you a sense this is without the Average layer and this is with the Average layer. Now it's still too red, it's sort of a red orange color now and I would like it to be more of a skin orange, so a little more yellow than this.
So I am going to press Ctrl+U with the average layer highlighted here in order to bring up the hue saturation dialog box and then I am going to increase the hue value incrementally and just keep an eye on the faces here and will decide when they are starting to look good. Actually I think I have just gone just slightly too far, a hue value of plus 8 looks like it's going to work out well for this image. Now I am going to click Ok in order to accept that result. Now that is I must say much better than it was before. Here's before and here's after.
We have certainly done a great job of getting rid of the pink inside the image, but we still have a few little sort of blistery details going on. This guy's nose has this really hard orange point right there, possibly a pimple who knows what and this guys rash is still showing through in certain areas like on his chin and over here on this cheek. We can address that as it turns out by doing a little more work and we will do that work in the next exercise.
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