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The Color Range command has been around for quite a long time, but in Photoshop CS6, it's been improved to make it easier to select Skin Tones. So for example, if you want to apply an adjustment that only affects the faces in a photo this is the tool for you. Let's take a look at how it works. I'll start off by choosing Select and then Color Range from the menu. That will bring up the Color Range dialog. I'll start off with my selection preview set to none so that we can see the original image and then at the top of the dialog, I'll choose skin tones from the select popup. This will cause Photoshop to automatically analyze the image and look for skin tones.
You can see in my selection preview that I have a pretty good starting point. I'll switch my overall selection preview back to grayscale, so that we can see the larger version of our preview and I can adjust the fuzziness. I can reduce the range of skin tones included or increase the range of skin tones included. If I go too far, you can see that the background area starts to get selected just a little bit. The idea is that I want to create the best starting point possible for my Skin Tone Selection. So, I think right about there looks to be a pretty good balance. I can then, however, turn on the Detect Faces check box so that Photoshop can further refine the selection based on the information that it's gathered from the photo.
I can still fine-tune the effect with the Fuzziness Settings. But in this case you can see that I'm not getting the best result with Detect Faces turned on. So I'll go ahead and turn it back off. I could continue adjusting fuzziness and even turning on detect faces after I've made further refinements, but in this case I think I'll get the best result by simply fine tuning the overall fuzziness. Of course, once I have a basic selection, I can always clean it up later. So, I'll go ahead and click the OK button to create a basic selection and then I'll grab the Lasso tool and set the Add to Selection option. And then I can simply draw a selection inside my existing selection to add the additional areas.
The areas that had been missed in that selection to the final result. So there you have it. With just a few easy steps, we're able to create a quick, basic selection of skin tone areas within a photo thanks to this new addition of the Color Range command in Photoshop CS6.
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