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Selecting skin tones and faces

From: Photoshop CS6 New Features

Video: Selecting skin tones and faces

In this movie, I'm going to introduce you to a feature that allows you to automatically isolate skin tones and offers the added advantage of face recognition. I am looking at that filtered image that I created in the previous movie. Let's say now that I want to limit the oil painting effect to just the midtones and the highlights inside the model's face. Well, because I'm working with a Smart Filter, I have a filter mask. Currently the mask is completely white, meaning everything in the image is getting filtered. But now because it's easier to create the filter mask from scratch, I'm going to right-click on the existing one and choose Delete Filter Mask.

Selecting skin tones and faces

In this movie, I'm going to introduce you to a feature that allows you to automatically isolate skin tones and offers the added advantage of face recognition. I am looking at that filtered image that I created in the previous movie. Let's say now that I want to limit the oil painting effect to just the midtones and the highlights inside the model's face. Well, because I'm working with a Smart Filter, I have a filter mask. Currently the mask is completely white, meaning everything in the image is getting filtered. But now because it's easier to create the filter mask from scratch, I'm going to right-click on the existing one and choose Delete Filter Mask.

And next, I will go up to the Select menu and choose the Color Range command. Now for those of you who aren't familiar with this command, it works a lot like the Magic Wand tool except much better. Use the command by Clicking and then Shift+Dragging inside the image to lift the key colors for your selection, and then you can adjust the Fuzziness value to include more colors or fewer colors as desired. This mask preview here demonstrates what the selection looks like. Anywhere that appears white will be selected; anywhere that appears black will be deselected.

Now all that stuff works just the same way it always has. Here is the new stuff. If you go up to the Select menu, you will see a new option called Skin Tones that isolates the skin tones inside the image. Now this feature works for dark- skinned people, light-skinned people, anyone in-between, because where color is concerned, we all tend to be various shades of orange. Now I'm going to go ahead and crank the Fuzziness value up to its absolute maximum of 200 luminance levels.

And now notice this checkbox right there, Detect Faces. I want you to watch the mask preview. Notice right now it offers some very harsh transitions. That is, we are seeing a lot of whites representing the selection, a lot of blacks representing the deselected area, but we don't have too many grays, which means we are not going to have very subtle transitions. When you turn on to Detect Faces, we get a lot more grays in the scene. So we are going to have a lot softer transitions, more organic transitions as well. Now, what I am going to tell you is that Skin Tones combined with Detect Faces does not magically select people so that you can move them against different backgrounds.

That is not how these options work, that it's not what they were designed to do. If you try to use them that way, you will be very disappointed. Instead, these options are designed to limit filtering effects, as we're doing right now. They're designed to isolate color adjustments, as we'll show you in just a moment and so forth. All right. Now I am going to go ahead and click OK in order to generate that selection and you can see that we were selecting the bright details inside of his face, we were leaving some of the shadow details deselected. Now I'm going to go ahead and apply that selection as a Filter Mask, by right-clicking on the words Smart Filter and choosing Add Filter Mask.

And now as you can see, we are limiting the filtered effect to just those previously selected regions. Just so we can see things a little better, I'm going to double-click on little slider icon in order to bring up the Blending Options dialog box and I'm going to crank the Opacity value back up to 100% and then I will click OK. And now, what I want you to watch is the eye right there. If I Shift+Click in the filter mask to turn it off, you can see that the eye kind of blurs apart, and if I Shift+ Click to turn the filter mask back on, we have much better eye and eyebrow detail.

We have a little bit of noise going on too, but that tends to dissolve away when we zoom out. All right, now let's say, I want to brighten up everything that's not skin in the background. I will go ahead and Ctrl+Click or Command+Click on that Filter Mask in order to load it back up as a selection, and because I want to select the background area, I need to reverse the selection. So I will up to the Select menu and choose the Inverse command. Next, I will dropdown to the Black/ White icon at the bottom of Layers panel, click on it, and I'll go ahead and choose Brightness/Contrast. And notice that Photoshop automatically converts that selection outline to a layer mask for this adjustment layer.

And now I'm going to click on that new Auto button here inside the Properties panel, and because that doesn't go quite far enough I'm going to click inside the Brightness value and I am going to the press Shift+Up Arrow four times in a row in order to dramatically brighten the scene. And then I will hide the Properties panel. Now, the problem at this point is that we're getting some rough transitions in places. I don't want that. So I'm going to go ahead and blur this mask. It's currently selected. I will go up to the Filter menu, choose Blur and then I will choose a Gaussian Blur command. And I'll crank that value up to something like 20, that looks good, and click OK. And that's my final effect. All right, now I will go ahead and press the F key a couple of times in order to fill the screen with the image.

Just to give you a sense of what we were able to accomplish, I will press the F12 key to revert the image to its original appearance. This is what the image looked like at the onset of the movie. This is what it looks now, thanks to our ability to isolate skin tones and recognize faces here inside Photoshop CS6.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 New Features
Photoshop CS6 New Features

38 video lessons · 41823 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 37s
    1. Welcome
      1m 37s
  2. 2h 27m
    1. The secrets of the dark interface
      3m 55s
    2. Background and Auto-Save
      3m 22s
    3. The altogether revamped Crop tool
      4m 0s
    4. The consolidated Properties panel
      3m 58s
    5. The searchable Layers panel
      5m 2s
    6. Modifying multiple layers at a time
      4m 50s
    7. The wide world of layer enhancements
      6m 48s
    8. Content-Aware Move and Extend
      6m 16s
    9. Content-Aware Patch
      3m 14s
    10. Auto-Power color adjustments
      6m 3s
    11. The brave new world of Camera Raw 7
      6m 16s
    12. The new three-part Blur Gallery
      8m 9s
    13. The Adaptive Wide-Angle filter
      7m 7s
    14. Correcting wide-angle panoramas
      7m 14s
    15. Text enhancements & styles
      4m 48s
    16. Filling & stroking shape layers
      4m 37s
    17. Aligning and stacking vector-based shapes
      4m 17s
    18. Working with the Scripted Patterns
      3m 32s
    19. Erodible brush tips & airbrushes
      5m 44s
    20. The enhanced Liquify filter
      4m 20s
    21. The new Oil Paint filter
      4m 10s
    22. Selecting skin tones and faces
      5m 11s
    23. The new Lighting Effects filter
      6m 29s
    24. Editing videos in the Timeline panel
      10m 16s
    25. Making editable 3D type
      8m 8s
    26. 3D shadows and reflections
      6m 35s
    27. Aligning and distributing meshes in 3D
      3m 0s
  3. 50m 34s
    1. Introducing the first Photoshop Creative Cloud update
      1m 36s
    2. Liquify and Blur Gallery support Smart Objects
      8m 42s
    3. Creating conditional actions
      9m 51s
    4. Moving a point with the Pen tool on the fly
      3m 32s
    5. Autonaming merged layers
      4m 42s
    6. Creating global default type styles
      4m 57s
    7. Copying CSS code from specialty layers
      4m 54s
    8. Enhanced 3D lighting with 32-bit bit color
      6m 42s
    9. The new default 3D image-based light
      5m 38s
  4. 29s
    1. Goodbye
      29s

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