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Photoshop CS4's adjustment features offer unparalleled opportunities to correct and manipulate images. In Photoshop CS4: Image Adjustments in Depth, Jan Kabili explains how to use all the major Photoshop adjustment features. She shares the best techniques for adjusting image quality, and shows how to use the new Adjustments panel to streamline a photo correction workflow. Jan also demonstrates multiple ways to eliminate color casts, and explains how to use the new On-Image Curves control to adjust brightness and color. This course offers a detailed look at the techniques photographers and designers use to master image adjustments in Photoshop. Exercise files accompany the course.
The Match Color adjustment is one that doesn't get a lot of press but it can be really useful if you're in advertising or marketing and you're trying to match skin color of the model from shot-to-shot, or if you're trying to show a product in multiple colors. Let me show you how it works here with these two images. The source file on the left and the target file on the right. One of the things that I can do with match color is to try to match a model skin tone from image-to-image. So in this case I'd like to put both of these images in the same brochure, but her skin is much darker here than it is here.
I'll start matching her skin tones by making a selection of the good skin tone here in the source image. I've actually already done that for you, so you can just load that selection if you're following along. By making sure that source.psd is the active image and then going up to Select and down to Load Selection and make sure Document is set to source.psd and Channel is set to skin source and then click OK. So there is the selection that I made for you or you can make your own.
Now I'm going to go to the target image. The one in which I want to change the skin color and I'm going to select her skin color here. I've already done that, so I'll just load that selection by going to select Load Selection, make sure the Document is set to target.psd and the Channel is set to skin target and I'll click OK. So that's all of the area that I want to change. Next, I'm going to open the Match Color Adjustment dialog box. This is one of the few adjustments that's only available as a direct adjustment. So I'm going to go up to the Image menu and down to Adjustments and way down here to Match Color. I'm going to move the Match Color dialog box over, so that you can see the model in both shots.
I'd like to make these marching ends that indicate the selection boundary temporarily invisible, so that I get a better view of the change I'm about to make. I don't want to delete that selection, but just to make a selection invisible you can hold down the Command key on your Mac and press H or the Ctrl+H on a PC. Now to replace this model's skin with the colors from the skin in the source image, I'm going to go down to the Source menu in the Match Color dialog box and I'm going to choose source.psd. That's it, what an amazing change! There are a few other things to take a look at here in the Match Color dialog box.
One is that there are sliders up here that allow me to tweak this match. So for example, if I would like to bring back some of the darker skin, I can fade the match by dragging the Fade slider over to the right, like that. I can also change the luminance or the brightness of the model's skin in the target image by using the Luminance slider and going in the other direction makes the skin darker. I think I'll make it just a bit lighter. I could change the color intensity, or the saturation of the match colors.
Moving to the right intensifies the color and to the left has the opposite effect. I'll put that back in about the middle. So I think that's a pretty good match. Before I close this dialog box, I just want to show you the two checkboxes down here. The first checkbox is saying please use the selection over here in the source image that I'd made of her skin to calculate this Color adjustment and the second checkbox is saying please only change the color in selected areas in the target image. Now if I had some other photos I've taken in the same light with the same model, I might want to save all these settings so that I could load them and apply them the next time I open the Match Color dialog box with another image.
So to save all these settings, I could just press Save Statistics, but I'm not going to do that this time. Instead I'm going to click OK to close the Match Color dialog box. I want to be sure that that selection that I have, which I'll show you by pressing Command+H or Ctrl+H on the PC, gets deselected. So I'll press Command+D on the Mac or Ctrl+D on the PC. Now another thing that I could do is change the color of these model's shirts and I do adjust the same way. If I wanted to have a blue version of her shirt, I could just select some blue from this model's shirt over here, make a selection around this model's shirt and use Match Color as I showed you. This is really a powerful adjustment and I hope you don't forget about it down there in the direct Adjustments menu.
Give it a try on your own images.
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