Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Reducing dramatic red skin tones, part of Photoshop CS3 Portrait Retouching Essentials.
I'm excited about the next few movies we have ahead of us because in these next few movies, we are going to start to work on color but I want you to think about color as tone because what we can do is if we can correct-color, we can actually even out tone in particular tone in someones face. In this movie, we will be working on two files and we are going to be working on annika_and_grandpa and annika_and_grandpa_2. Go and select both of those files and press Command+O on a Mac or Ctrl+O on a PC.
Now once you have two files opened in Photoshop, you can press Ctrl+Tab on a Mac or a PC to scroll through whatever documents you have opened. it is a great little shortcut for you or you can go to the Window drop-down menu and choose the particular file you want to work on. We want to start off working on annika_and_grandpa. So go ahead and select that. Then, double click the Zoom tool to take it to 100% and press the spacebar to reposition the image. Now heres a great snapshot of my dad and my daughter, Annika, down at the beach one day, we were just going for a walk along the beach, we've captured this moment.
But one of the things I'm noticing is that my dads skin is really red; he is sunburned and you see a lot of red tones in his skin which creates a tonality that's pretty uneven. we are going to make some corrections on both of these images. Initially, we are going to start off with kind of simple and then we will make things a little bit more complex. Alright, well let's start simple with this image. we will go ahead and click on the Adjustment Layer icon in our Layers palette and choose Hue/Saturation, interesting. Why Hue/Saturation? Well, what we can do here is we can go to a specific channel. In this case, I'm going to go to the Reds.
Now that I'm in the Reds, I can then modify the Hue, this isnt going to look you, I warn you and I've made my dad blue. He looks like an Oompa-Loompa, right? Yet I'm looking at this or I'm doing this to see that I can really target his skin, great, take that back to zero. Next, I'm going to desaturate a little bit so I point some of those reds out. Then I'm going to warm this up a little bit by increasing my Hue just a tad bit to the right and click OK. let's look at our before and after. Now here is our before and there is our after, a much, much stronger image.
Now this technique works with a lot of different types of skin variation and skin problems. let's take this to the next level and let's do that on the following image. Go ahead and navigate to the Window drop-down menu and choose annika_and_grandpa_2. Alright, double click the Zoom tool, take it to 100% and you can see we have a similar problem here, too much red in the face, how do we fix that? Click on the Adjustment Layer icon for Hue/Saturation. Now this one is a little bit of a smaller image but it is nice because we can see more of the image, I've intentionally created it smaller so I can see whats happening here.
Click on the Red channel so going to the Reds and let's modify the Hue to see what reds we have selected. OK, well that looks pretty funny but it is actually incredibly helpful, because what I can do here is select the eyedropper with the - sign, subtract from my sample point. I'm going to use that and watch this area down here as I click on the skin of my daughter, Annika. you will notice that it brought these two mid-points closer together; I will click on more for skin and more for skin and more for skin. I'm going to go through this image until I've removed the color shift from a large part of Annika.
You can see that it is narrowing what red it is actually working on and we can narrow that even further. What I want to do here is bring these two together so that I see that I'm still affecting my dad and not other portions of the image. Then I'm going to bring in the side ones here. What that's going to do is reduce the transition area from that color to other colors. Now it looks like I need to increase that just a little bit. So I've a much more focused adjustment, it is not affecting Annika as much. It is still affecting her which we can fix later but it is much more focused.
Now that I've that I will go ahead and bring my Hue slider back to zero. Next, desaturate, you know where we are going with this, right? Warm this up a little bit, that looks pretty good. Click OK to apply that. Now let's click the eye icon in the Layers palette to see our before and after. that's a subtle yet very important adjustment. Now, if I notice that there are other areas of my image that this adjustment layer is affecting, I would then want to mask those off. One easy way to do this would be to press Command+I on a Mac, Ctrl+I on a PC, press the B key or select the Brush tool in your toolbox and then paint with white so that we can just paint in the adjustment to those areas, I'm going to bring my Opacity all the way up to 100% there, so I can bring those reds down a little bit on his arm, there it would be nice, on his neck and there we have our before and after and we've evened out the tonality of the skin, the image looks much better.
Yet, the only problem is, is that this image is a little bit neutral. It was shot about at the middle of the day so we have some pretty harsh lighting situation. Yet it is a nice moment. it is a nice moment between my daughter and my dad so I want to warm this up. Heres where the subjectivity comes into play. let's click on the curves adjustment layer icon and then select Curves and we are going to go to two channels here. I'm going to minimize my Curve Display Options, I don't need that right now. we are going to go to our Red channel; we are going to increase the reds a tad bit. we are going to go then to the blue-yellow channel, bring in some yellow so just click and drag that down and then click OK.
Now let's look at our before and after, this final curves adjustment. What it did is it warmed that image; it made it a little bit more inviting. Now how do I made this image a little bit more inviting and I shifted that color tone without my Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, I would have been in trouble. let's take a look at that; without that adjustment layer, the face just becomes too red. Now with that adjustment layer, it looks much better and I will click in that adjustment layer and if I find that that adjustment was too intense, I'm of course going to lower my opacity.
If it wasnt enough, I'm simply going to double click the icon for the Adjustment Layer go back to those reds, perhaps pull even more of those reds out, few more there, click OK in order to correct it even further. Alright, well I think that image is in good shape and keep in mind that this is an incredibly valuable technique in all kinds of situations, especially when you have skin that has variation and we are going to look at this in a few other movies.
Those wishing to see these skills applied in greater detail may also enjoy Photoshop CS3 Portrait Retouching Techniques.
- Strategizing a retouching workflow
- Correcting color and tone
- Cleaning up images in Camera Raw
- Removing distractions
- Enhancing structure and symmetry
- Reducing and removing wrinkles
- Sculpting facial features and body parts
- Whitening and brightening teeth
- Changing eyes
- Smoothing skin
Skill Level Intermediate
Photoshop CS3 Portrait Retouching Techniqueswith Chris Orwig8h 35m Intermediate
Beyond Skin: Going Deeper with Photoshop CS3with Lee Varis3h 56m Intermediate
Photoshop CS3 Creative Photographic Techniqueswith Chris Orwig10h 58m Intermediate
1. Retouching Roadmap
2. Correcting Color and Tone
3. Cleaning Up Images in Camera Raw
4. Cleaning Up Images in Photoshop
5. Structural Image Enhancements
6. Reducing and Removing Wrinkles
7. Enhancing Eyes
8. Enhancing Eyelashes and Eyebrows
9. Improving Hair
10. Improving Faces and Bodies
11. Fixing Teeth
12. Improving Makeup
13. Enhancing Skin
14. Softening Skin
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