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Color-correcting skin tones

From: Photoshop CS4 Portrait Retouching Essential Training

Video: Color-correcting skin tones

So far, I have shared with you some valuable techniques in regards to retouching. Yes, some of you may be wondering Chris, how do I put all of these techniques together? How do I create a retouching workflow? How do I retouch a photograph from start to finish? Well, that's exactly what we are going to do in this chapter. And in this first movie, we are going to work on correcting the Color and Tone here. Now for starters, we look at the image and we say okay, we have this nice portrait, yet the Color and Tone doesn't look very good, we need to fix that. Well, let's go and grab our Eyedropper tool, and we will select that Eyedropper tool, and then what we are going to do is hold down the Shift key, and I'm going to click on a few areas of the image.

Color-correcting skin tones

So far, I have shared with you some valuable techniques in regards to retouching. Yes, some of you may be wondering Chris, how do I put all of these techniques together? How do I create a retouching workflow? How do I retouch a photograph from start to finish? Well, that's exactly what we are going to do in this chapter. And in this first movie, we are going to work on correcting the Color and Tone here. Now for starters, we look at the image and we say okay, we have this nice portrait, yet the Color and Tone doesn't look very good, we need to fix that. Well, let's go and grab our Eyedropper tool, and we will select that Eyedropper tool, and then what we are going to do is hold down the Shift key, and I'm going to click on a few areas of the image.

Before I do that, I do want to make sure my Sample Size is something other than Point Sample. Now, this is a relatively lower resolution file, it's not to low res, but 5 by 5 and it could work well, or 11 by 11 for that matter. So I'll go ahead and choose 11 by 11, just because this is a little bit of a bigger image. Next, I'll hold down the Shift key and I'll click on the background. Now I don't necessarily know what that background Color should be, but I'm guessing it's not blue. And I'm also going to add a couple of points up here in the forehead, and then I'm going to add two points up here in the forehead, one in a little bit of a wider or brighter area of the skin, and then another in a little bit of a darker area.

Because this is defused light, we don't really have a highlight, typically what you do is you look for the highlight and then add a point just off of that. Now we don't have a true highlight here, so I just have a few points. Now, my first point, I'm going to leave as RGB, the second one, we are going to CMYK, and the third one, we are going to CMYK. Then we are going to start to look for any kind of a pattern that we can notice. Now, one thing that I notice is that my Yellow value is really low here, it's also, but it's okay, it's a little bit okay over here but my Cyan is way too high. Well, let's correct that, we will go ahead and click on the Curves icon here in the Adjustments panel.

Next, we are going to go to one of our Curves that's a little bit problematic. Let's go to that Red channel and we'll grab the Target Adjustment tool. Then I'll hover over one of these points just to show me that that's the part of the Histogram, or that's the part of the Red channel that I'll be working on. I will go ahead, and I'm going to click, and what I want to do is decrease the percentage points there, because remember, for our Cyan amount, we want 1/3 to 1/5 of the Magenta and the Yellow. Now once I do that, I see that the image is going in a good direction but I have a few other little problem areas, my Yellow is much too low. So I'm going to go to that Blue-Yellow channel, and then I'll go ahead, and what I'm going to do here is add some Yellow. What I need to have happen is I need to have more Yellow than Magenta, and I'm really just focusing in my numbers.

Now, I have these two numbers just as a way to begin to compare and contrast different points. I can hold down the Shift and click and reposition them, I see how their numbers change, and keep in mind that this point is in this brighter area, it's a little bit closer to the highlight, so we are going to see a little bit different values there. But again, having these two points just helps me say am I going in a good direction? It also helps me to make sure have I not accidentally clicked on something that I didn't want to click on. Let's take a look at how we are doing. Well, three times eight is 24. Okay, well that's a little off. It's pretty close though. Three times eleven is 33.

Well, that's a little off. So we can see that those are still little bit off. We will go back to that Red-Cyan, and here what we are going to do is go ahead and click, and I'm going to bring this down just a bit. Now when I do that, now that's right in the range there, three times seven is 21, three times ten is 30. So, it's right in there, maybe even a little bit more in order to bring that in. Well, perfect, well, so far so good. These two numbers are equal; typically, you want your Yellow value a little bit higher but I'm in this really bright white area. So I'm going to trust these numbers, and again I'm just looking at both to try to compare them.

Now, in regards to my background, this is really close to neutral. If these numbers are all equal, it's telling me that this is a neutral. Now I don't know if that background is neutral but I had a guess that it probably was. So now when we look at our before and then after, we can see that yeah, you know what, the skin is looking much better, the overall color and tone of this photograph is looking much better, and the skin Tone Color correction by the numbers is looking a ton better. All right, well now that we have color corrected this image, we have color corrected the skin by the number, we are ready to move to our next step in our retouching workflow, and we will do that in the next movie.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS4 Portrait Retouching Essential Training
Photoshop CS4 Portrait Retouching Essential Training

175 video lessons · 25576 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
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  1. 3m 22s
    1. Introduction
      2m 35s
    2. Using the exercise files
      47s
  2. 16m 24s
    1. Initial retouching considerations
      5m 21s
    2. Retouching workflow strategies
      3m 58s
    3. Retouching roadmap: Making notes
      2m 33s
    4. Using a Wacom Tablet
      2m 21s
    5. Resources and inspiration
      2m 11s
  3. 19m 44s
    1. White balancing in Adobe Camera Raw
      5m 51s
    2. White balancing with curves
      3m 10s
    3. Fine-tuning color with curves
      2m 17s
    4. Color-correcting white and black points in a photo
      3m 32s
    5. Color-correcting with a color card
      2m 59s
    6. Applying curves adjustments to another image
      1m 55s
  4. 35m 37s
    1. Reducing red skin tones
      3m 36s
    2. Correcting and enhancing skin colors
      2m 46s
    3. Introducing skin tone color correction
      3m 0s
    4. Color-correcting skin by the numbers
      2m 59s
    5. Color-correcting light skin tones: Male
      3m 25s
    6. Color-correcting light skin tones: Female
      2m 40s
    7. Color-correcting light skin tones: Children
      2m 46s
    8. Color-correcting medium light skin tones: Female
      2m 46s
    9. Color-correcting medium dark skin tones: Male
      3m 44s
    10. Color-correcting dark skin tones: Male
      5m 15s
    11. Color-correcting dark skin tones: Female
      2m 40s
  5. 34m 28s
    1. Using the Spot Removal tool
      5m 11s
    2. Deconstructing Clone and Heal spot removal
      2m 59s
    3. Cleaning up small skin variations
      5m 36s
    4. Reducing blemishes and skin shine
      3m 53s
    5. Cleaning up a portrait backdrop
      1m 39s
    6. Cleaning up a backdrop
      4m 33s
    7. Reducing wrinkles and Camera Raw workflow
      7m 46s
    8. Removing lens dust from images
      2m 51s
  6. 1h 1m
    1. Creative tip: Leaving crumbs
      1m 8s
    2. Removing background distractions
      7m 31s
    3. Removing elements with the Patch tool
      8m 27s
    4. Removing T-shirt graphics
      4m 6s
    5. Removing distractions near subjects
      6m 5s
    6. Simplifying a background
      7m 24s
    7. Cleaning up small facial details
      5m 50s
    8. Simple skin retouching project
      7m 29s
    9. Reducing hot spots
      4m 55s
    10. Cleaning up small hair details
      9m 2s
  7. 19m 39s
    1. Taking notes on an image
      2m 8s
    2. Cleaning up small details
      7m 12s
    3. Improving an eyebrow
      4m 13s
    4. Working on shadows
      6m 6s
  8. 15m 36s
    1. Cleaning up the background
      4m 27s
    2. Creative tip: Letting go of perfection
      1m 25s
    3. Improving the face
      5m 8s
    4. Cleaning up the details
      4m 36s
  9. 24m 41s
    1. Cleaning up the background
      5m 43s
    2. Improving background tone and texture
      6m 21s
    3. Fixing details and wrinkles
      4m 33s
    4. Final detail corrections
      4m 22s
    5. Bonus color enhancements
      3m 42s
  10. 38m 49s
    1. Creative tip: Movie critic
      58s
    2. Correcting tone with the Adjustment brush: Male
      5m 31s
    3. Correcting tone with the Adjustment brush: Female
      4m 58s
    4. Brightening with the Dodge tool
      3m 37s
    5. Correcting tone with curves
      5m 9s
    6. Enhancing with curves and the Burn tool
      3m 40s
    7. Quickly correcting tone with curves
      3m 35s
    8. Brightening with soft light blending
      4m 35s
    9. Darkening corners with soft light blending
      3m 54s
    10. Enhancing tone with shadows and highlights
      2m 52s
  11. 36m 11s
    1. Reducing shallow wrinkles with the Healing brush
      4m 32s
    2. Reducing wrinkles with Clone Stamp blending
      4m 2s
    3. Reducing deeper wrinkles with the Healing brush
      5m 57s
    4. Organizing layers and masking
      3m 15s
    5. Using the Dodge tool and blending modes on wrinkles
      4m 9s
    6. Using cloning, healing, and curves on wrinkles
      7m 33s
    7. Removing face and garment wrinkles for a magazine cover
      6m 43s
  12. 1h 1m
    1. Creative tip: Art and craft
      59s
    2. Adding sparkle to the eyes
      4m 25s
    3. Enhancing eye details
      3m 55s
    4. Brightening eyes
      6m 4s
    5. Improving eyes and darkening edges
      5m 38s
    6. Improving eyes with curves and color
      5m 3s
    7. Enhancing eyes with curves
      3m 42s
    8. Changing eye color
      6m 18s
    9. Adding a catch light
      2m 19s
    10. Sharpening eyes behind glasses
      4m 27s
    11. Whitening eyes
      2m 24s
    12. Whitening eyes in detail
      7m 44s
    13. Creating "Hollywood eyes"
      3m 24s
    14. Modifying pupils and eye edges
      5m 11s
  13. 15m 27s
    1. Reshaping an eyebrow
      3m 24s
    2. Improving texture around an eyebrow
      3m 8s
    3. Darkening an eyebrow
      3m 50s
    4. Adding mascara to increase eyelash density
      2m 11s
    5. Adding eyelashes
      2m 54s
  14. 18m 11s
    1. Enhancing lip color and tone
      3m 22s
    2. Using curves and Hue/Saturation to improve lips
      4m 28s
    3. Adding dimension, shine, tone, and color
      4m 11s
    4. Improving shape and tone
      6m 10s
  15. 11m 53s
    1. Creative tip: Ansel Adams
      1m 36s
    2. Whitening teeth with the Dodge tool
      2m 14s
    3. Whitening teeth with Hue/Saturation
      5m 17s
    4. Removing a gap between teeth
      2m 46s
  16. 35m 20s
    1. Patching a gap in hair
      2m 45s
    2. Covering hair discoloration
      3m 20s
    3. Brightening hair for emphasis
      3m 8s
    4. Brightening dark roots
      4m 27s
    5. Adding hair
      4m 39s
    6. Fixing roots and hair color
      4m 17s
    7. Removing flyaway hairs
      12m 44s
  17. 36m 12s
    1. Additional makeup resources
      1m 30s
    2. Brightening shadowed areas on the face
      2m 46s
    3. Adding color to the cheeks
      4m 59s
    4. Improving the lips
      3m 3s
    5. Modifying lip color
      4m 28s
    6. Adding makeup
      3m 31s
    7. Modifying eye makeup color
      4m 58s
    8. Increasing color saturation and variety
      3m 19s
    9. Changing eye makeup color
      3m 15s
    10. Creating dimensions with contours
      4m 23s
  18. 45m 5s
    1. Creative tip: Know when to hold 'em
      1m 18s
    2. Reducing skin highlights
      4m 15s
    3. Cleaning up small skin blemishes
      5m 19s
    4. Healing small skin blemishes
      3m 15s
    5. Minimizing color variance
      3m 31s
    6. Reducing small details
      4m 40s
    7. Advanced skin enhancement
      6m 17s
    8. Beauty skin workflow
      8m 50s
    9. Fashion project pt. 1: Background cleanup
      4m 21s
    10. Fashion project pt. 2: Skin cleanup
      3m 19s
  19. 1h 5m
    1. Basic skin cleanup
      2m 49s
    2. Advanced blemish removal
      6m 39s
    3. Skin softening
      7m 5s
    4. Basic skin cleanup
      3m 42s
    5. Enhancing texture and tone
      5m 12s
    6. Basic retouching final steps
      4m 27s
    7. Final skin softening
      6m 53s
    8. High-Pass skin softening
      7m 38s
    9. Creating a skin-softening action
      7m 18s
    10. Speeding up skin softening with masking
      7m 1s
    11. Skin cleanup and softening with Camera Raw
      6m 53s
  20. 57m 33s
    1. Creative tip: The ethics of retouching
      1m 31s
    2. Yoga project
      8m 52s
    3. Fashion project pt. 1: Improving the facial expression
      2m 44s
    4. Fashion project pt. 2: Changing the arms
      4m 43s
    5. Fashion project pt. 3: Modifying the legs
      2m 54s
    6. Fashion project pt. 4: Increasing the height
      2m 29s
    7. Fashion project pt. 5: Working with light
      6m 4s
    8. Flamenco project pt. 1: Modifying the waist
      3m 37s
    9. Flamenco project pt. 2: Improving the waist
      1m 54s
    10. Flamenco project pt. 3: Adding height
      2m 16s
    11. Flamenco project pt. 4: Color and tone
      2m 52s
    12. Muscles project pt. 1: Introducing the Liquefy filter
      2m 46s
    13. Muscles project pt. 2: Using the Liquefy filter
      5m 12s
    14. Muscles project pt. 3: Burning and dodging
      6m 19s
    15. Muscles project pt. 4: Using curves
      3m 20s
  21. 43m 31s
    1. Improving the jaw line with Forward Warp Liquefy
      3m 21s
    2. Improving the jaw line with Push Left Liquefy
      3m 25s
    3. Improving the jaw line with the Free Transform tool
      1m 55s
    4. Creating simple symmetry in the face
      7m 21s
    5. Improving the Shape of Eyes, Ears, Nose and Face
      3m 49s
    6. Tailor fitting a wedding dress
      2m 32s
    7. Improving the face
      3m 20s
    8. Reducing the stomach size
      4m 28s
    9. Correcting distortion
      8m 49s
    10. Combining multiple exposures
      4m 31s
  22. 46m 0s
    1. Creative tip: Seal on photography
      1m 28s
    2. Color-correcting skin tones
      4m 8s
    3. Reducing blemishes
      3m 33s
    4. Enhancing tone
      3m 22s
    5. Adding makeup
      5m 17s
    6. Creating dimension with contours
      2m 57s
    7. Sharpening eyes
      5m 22s
    8. Improving eyes
      4m 44s
    9. Lightening dark roots
      1m 26s
    10. Smoothing skin
      3m 38s
    11. Enhancing color
      3m 29s
    12. Modifying the background
      6m 36s
  23. 38s
    1. Goodbye
      38s

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