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Color-correcting light skin tones

From: Photoshop CS3 Portrait Retouching Essentials

Video: Color-correcting light skin tones

In this movie, I first want to open up our resource file and then I will actually want to apply what we are going do to the image robyn.psd. let's open up the resource file inside the Photoshop, press Command++ to zoom in. For starting it says, we need to find a diffused highlight. Now we are going to set that point, we are going to look at the numbers in the Info palette. We are going to evaluate the numbers and then finally make adjustments. So by way of an overview that's our approach here. Find the highlight, add the point, evaluate some numbers and then modify those numbers with curves.

Color-correcting light skin tones

In this movie, I first want to open up our resource file and then I will actually want to apply what we are going do to the image robyn.psd. let's open up the resource file inside the Photoshop, press Command++ to zoom in. For starting it says, we need to find a diffused highlight. Now we are going to set that point, we are going to look at the numbers in the Info palette. We are going to evaluate the numbers and then finally make adjustments. So by way of an overview that's our approach here. Find the highlight, add the point, evaluate some numbers and then modify those numbers with curves.

My hope in pointing this out is just to let you know you have a reference file because it gets a little bit tricky when you actually start to work on this on your own images. Alright, well let's close this file, Command+W on the Mac, Ctrl+W on the PC and go back to the bridge and open up robyn.psd. Press F to go to full-screen view mode and reposition the image to the top part of the screen. You can do that by pressing the spacebar to access the hand tool and reposition the image. Alright, while you notice I've already set an eyedropper point for us there in the image.

If we want to set more points, what we do is we grab the eyedropper and we hold down the Shift key and we click on the image. So, here I've another point on the forehead and I'm looking to set these points next to my diffused highlight not right on that. These highlights are pretty low key so that is going to work but if the highlight is really bright, it won't work because itll have too much white in it, too much brightness, not enough skin. Also, we want to stay away from the cheeks because we can see we have some blush, there is some makeup. So that won't work. Now once we have set our points, we are going to go over here to the Info palette and in the Info palette; we are going to set these eyedroppers to read CMYK numbers.

We can change them by clicking on the eyedropper and choosing CMYK Color. So now both of my eyedroppers are reading the CMYK Color. Now they are also both a little bit different that's OK because skin has a little bit of variation and I'm going to look at both numbers and see how they both work together. Another important thing in regards to the eyedropper is your Sample Size. Currently, my sample size is 5 by 5 Average. Watch as I take this to Point Sample. Look what happens to my numbers, they change pretty significantly.

So what I want to do is have something in it that's at least 5 by 5 average or higher. Why is that? Well, let me zoom in on the image for a moment. When I zoom in on the skin, let's go to the area with some variation. Point sample is the sample of the actual pixel. 5 by 5 would say let's take a 5 by 5 grid, let's look at that color, average that out and then give the numbers based on that average. In this case I'm averaging by 11 by 11 which gives me a pretty accurate representation of the color there.

Alright, double click the Zoom tool to take it back to 100%, spacebar reposition the image. That zoomed in a little bit too much for me so I'm going to press Command+- just so I can have my Curves dialogue window open and still see the image. I'm now ready to apply my curves adjustment. I need to take a look at my CMYK numbers. Whats the problem number in this case? We are noticing that yellow is much lower, in both cases, it is lower than magenta. that's a problem, that number has to be higher than magenta.

So, I'm going to work on my yellow channel or my blue-yellow channel for that matter. My cyan is looking a little bit high as well. So I'm going to have to target that one. So first, I'm going go after those yellows, next I'm going to go after the red-cyan. Go down to the adjustment layer icon and choose Curves. Now that Curves is open, I need to position this in a way that I can see my image and my numbers. Perfect. I want to go for the yellow, which is my blue-yellow channel. I know if I pull this up towards the blue, it becomes blue.

I pull it away from blue, it becomes the opposite color, complementary color which is yellow and I click and drag that point off. Where do I need to set my point? Well, I'm going to click in my image and when I click in my image, it shows me that the skin tone is actually pretty bright. If I want to sample a point in that area, on the Mac I hold down the Command key and I click, PC that's Ctrl+click. Now that I've that point, I can actually use my arrow keys on my keyboard and I'm using those arrow keys and I'm pressing the down arrow key and I'm looking to get that yellow higher than my magenta.

Already, the image looks a ton better, let's look at our before and after. Heres the before, heres the after. The image was cool; we didnt really realize it was cool but now that we see that, we notice that yeah, definitely it was cool and now it is much more neutral, the skin looks pretty good. OK, the next thing that I need to work on is my red-cyan channel. So I go to the red, I bring this towards the word Red right there, it becomes red; away, it becomes cyan. Click and drag that off. Alright, let's go ahead and click on my image and then Command+click or Ctrl+click; Command+click Mac, Ctrl+click PC.

Now that I've that point, what I need to do is I need to reduce my cyan a little bit by adding some red because I need to be able to say 3 by my cyan, let's say right now, 3 by 8 is 24, 5 by 8 is 40. I still don't have enough cyan according to that point. What about point 2? Well, 3 by 5 is 15, 5 by 5 is 25, it is getting close. I will go ahead and take that up a couple more steps here. Now as I do that I notice that I don't have enough yellow.

By adding that red, it reduced this ratio of my yellow there so I need to go back to my yellows. Hit the Blue channel, click on that point to target that point. Now I'm going to increase those. I can even just click and drag this if I want to. Sometimes it is nice to do it a little bit more subtle by using the arrow keys, depends on how far you need to move that point? Alright, my numbers are getting to be in a good place. 3 by 6 is 18. Awesome! Yellow is a little bit higher than magenta. Perfect. let's look at this one; 3 by 4 is 12.

that's great. 5 by 4 is 20. So, I need these numbers to be somewhere between 12% and 20%. That looks really good. My skin tone is color-correct based on this recipe. Now it is just that; it is just a recipe. it is not always going to work; it is not a one-to-one thing. But think of it like a recipe for cooking; how to make a good lasagna? Well you need a certain amount of spaghetti sauce and a certain amount of mozzarella cheese. Well, you can vary that a little bit because skin is incredibly varied.

that's one of the things that makes being a person wonderful, we are all different. Yet these numbers give you a nice guide in order to get your skin color-correct. I will click OK to apply this curves adjustment. Then I'm going to click on the eye icon from my curves adjustment layer to see the before and after. Here is the before, Oh Man! Here is the after. That image looks so much better and I didnt even realize it or maybe you didnt realize it how bad it was. One of the things that this technique will do is it will teach you to see color shifts.

Alright, well I want to apply this technique to other situations and we will do that in the next few movies.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS3 Portrait Retouching Essentials
Photoshop CS3 Portrait Retouching Essentials

122 video lessons · 21309 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 15m 11s
    1. Welcome
      27s
    2. How to use this training
      1m 32s
    3. The art of retouching
      3m 3s
    4. Training sneak peek
      3m 2s
    5. Resources and inspiration
      4m 3s
    6. Using a Wacom tablet
      2m 11s
    7. Using the exercise files
      53s
  2. 16m 10s
    1. Initial retouching considerations
      6m 37s
    2. Retouching workflow strategies
      4m 20s
    3. Retouching roadmap: Making notes
      5m 13s
  3. 49m 19s
    1. What we'll cover in this chapter
      1m 22s
    2. White balancing in Adobe Camera Raw
      1m 40s
    3. White balancing with Curves
      2m 27s
    4. Brightening dark tones
      3m 8s
    5. Darkening bright tones
      5m 14s
    6. Reducing dramatic red skin tones
      6m 36s
    7. Reducing subtle red skin tones
      4m 6s
    8. Reducing moderate red skin tones
      3m 29s
    9. Color-correcting skin by the numbers
      2m 39s
    10. Color-correcting light skin tones
      7m 9s
    11. Color-correcting medium light skin tones
      3m 38s
    12. Color-correcting medium dark skin tones
      3m 37s
    13. Color-correcting dark skin tones
      4m 14s
  4. 12m 35s
    1. Healing in Camera Raw
      4m 45s
    2. Healing and cloning in Camera Raw
      4m 19s
    3. Removing dust in Camera Raw
      3m 31s
  5. 1h 30m
    1. Creative Tip: Leaving crumbs
      2m 4s
    2. Removing background distractions
      7m 29s
    3. Removing elements with the Patch tool
      3m 15s
    4. Removing distractions near subjects
      8m 14s
    5. Simplifying backgrounds
      7m 2s
    6. Cleaning up faces
      4m 17s
    7. Improving studio backdrops
      7m 46s
    8. Removing wrinkles in garments
      6m 20s
    9. Reducing hot spots
      7m 14s
    10. Removing flyaway hairs
      8m 23s
    11. Cleaning project 1: Face
      10m 46s
    12. Cleaning project 2: Keeping it under control
      6m 43s
    13. Cleaning project 3: Fashion image
      11m 11s
  6. 1h 10m
    1. Improving the jaw line with the Liquify filter
      5m 49s
    2. Improving the jaw line with the Free Transform tool
      9m 29s
    3. Creating visual symmetry
      6m 31s
    4. Improving the shape of eyes, ears, noses, and faces
      10m 31s
    5. Tailor-fitting a wedding dress
      9m 18s
    6. Reducing the stomach size
      6m 56s
    7. Thinning the waist and legs
      4m 21s
    8. Flamenco project pt. 1: Thinning the waist
      5m 49s
    9. Flamenco project pt. 2: Shape and height
      4m 34s
    10. Flamenco project pt. 3: Color, tone, and light
      2m 47s
    11. Combining multiple images
      4m 53s
  7. 27m 6s
    1. Reducing wrinkles with the Healing Brush tool
      2m 27s
    2. Reducing wrinkles by brightening
      6m 23s
    3. Creative Tip: The right tools for the job
      47s
    4. Reducing wrinkles with the Burn and Dodge tools
      4m 29s
    5. Reducing wrinkles with layer burning and dodging
      7m 41s
    6. Removing face and garment wrinkles
      5m 19s
  8. 58m 16s
    1. Changing eye color
      7m 7s
    2. Brightening eyes with Screen Blend mode
      4m 1s
    3. Brightening eyes with Curves
      5m 19s
    4. Advanced eye tone and color enhancements
      9m 8s
    5. Adding a catch light
      2m 55s
    6. Sharpening eyes with Smart Sharpen
      3m 13s
    7. Sharpening eyes with High Pass
      4m 15s
    8. Increasing eye size with Free Transform
      6m 1s
    9. Increasing eye size with Liquify
      1m 37s
    10. Darkening the edge of the eye
      7m 0s
    11. Whitening eyes
      7m 40s
  9. 16m 7s
    1. Cleaning up and darkening eyebrows
      9m 20s
    2. Increasing eyelash density
      2m 57s
    3. Adding eyelashes
      3m 50s
  10. 37m 24s
    1. Patching a gap in hair
      3m 36s
    2. Improving hair tone
      2m 27s
    3. Lightening dark roots
      7m 0s
    4. Covering gaps in hair
      6m 16s
    5. Fixing roots and hair color
      6m 15s
    6. Removing stray hairs
      5m 20s
    7. Removing flyaway hairs over a background
      6m 30s
  11. 1h 3m
    1. Creative Tip: See life as it should be
      59s
    2. Enhancing muscles with Liquify
      5m 3s
    3. Enhancing muscles with Burn and Dodge
      4m 1s
    4. Enhancing muscles with Curves
      5m 1s
    5. Enhancing body shape with shadows
      2m 13s
    6. Enhancing faces with shadows and highlights
      7m 50s
    7. Enhancing lip color and tone
      4m 37s
    8. Adding glossiness to lips
      3m 19s
    9. Enhancing lips
      4m 20s
    10. Changing facial expressions
      5m 32s
    11. Thinning arms
      3m 14s
    12. Thinning legs
      3m 15s
    13. Increasing height
      3m 35s
    14. Enhancing body shape
      3m 50s
    15. Body sculpting
      6m 21s
  12. 11m 4s
    1. Whitening teeth with Dodge
      3m 28s
    2. Whitening teeth with Hue and Saturation
      4m 3s
    3. Removing a gap between teeth
      3m 33s
  13. 35m 31s
    1. Additional makeup resources
      2m 2s
    2. Adding color to cheeks
      5m 40s
    3. Changing the shape of lips
      5m 13s
    4. Modifying makeup color
      7m 35s
    5. Enhancing makeup and adding creative color
      6m 9s
    6. Makeup color enhancement with LAB
      3m 36s
    7. Makeup color enhancement with Adjustment Layers
      5m 16s
  14. 56m 0s
    1. Creative Tip: Reduce and simplify
      1m 7s
    2. Reducing skin variation with the Spot Healing Brush
      5m 36s
    3. Reducing skin variation with the Healing Brush
      2m 46s
    4. Deemphasizing skin variation
      5m 16s
    5. Reducing freckles
      7m 30s
    6. Cleaning up skin and sharpening
      10m 15s
    7. Cleaning up skin and adding texture
      5m 22s
    8. Enhancing skin for high-end fashion
      13m 30s
    9. Evening skin tone
      4m 38s
  15. 59m 39s
    1. Project 1 pt. 1: Cleaning up skin with Heal and Dodge
      9m 8s
    2. Project 1 pt. 2: Softening the skin
      8m 10s
    3. Project 2 pt. 1: Basic retouching
      3m 13s
    4. Project 2 pt. 2: Improving color and tone
      3m 38s
    5. Project 2 pt. 3: Softening skin
      8m 56s
    6. Project 3: Quick skin softening
      6m 9s
    7. Project 4: New skin softening technique
      4m 8s
    8. Project 5 pt. 1: Improving color and tone
      3m 57s
    9. Project 5 pt. 2: High-end skin color, tone, and shine
      5m 8s
    10. Project 5 pt. 3: Adding dimension
      7m 12s
  16. 19s
    1. Goodbye
      19s

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