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Hows my color?

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Old 07-27-2005, 05:55 PM
inskip inskip is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 84
Hows my color?

This color correction business is giving me a BIG headache. Does anyone else feel like they spend more time reading than working

Below is an image I'm working on, the first being what I started w/, and the second where I'm at w/ it. How does my color look? Still a little blue? Need a touch of yellow? I mean, the corrected one doesn't really look blue until I add a touch of yellow to it, but, thats just what I see on my monitor. You could really start to drive yourself nuts..I've been trying to wrap my head around the whole numbers thing??? I got my KE book out and it said babies should have equal amounts of M & Y (like 15%) and no C or K. She's not really a baby though??

#4(forehead)-20,29,25,0-should the Cyan be this high?
#3(white dress)-all 248 (RGB)

Are these acceptable numbers? I'm never quite sure where to sample from. For example, the white dress, in one spot all the RGB numbers match, but right next to it the blue(or other color) will be higher, it varies, even in areas that appear to be the same to my eye. So confused...

BTW it doesn't look like my samplers are showing up.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg _MG_0701.JPG (68.3 KB, 73 views)
File Type: jpg WKG#0701.jpg (72.4 KB, 76 views)

Last edited by inskip; 07-27-2005 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 07-27-2005, 08:29 PM
fat0n3s fat0n3s is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 62
I had some fun with some new things I'm learning. Hope you don't mind.

After a global color correction, there was alot of cyan left in her face. I selected the cyan color with the color range tool. Then used curves to correct.


Made a loose selection of her face. Opened up color range, and with the eye dropper, selected the cyan patches.

I saved the selection as a channel, and ran a 3.5 blur on the channel. Then used the channel as a mask with curves.

I am interested to see how others correct this one.

For fun, I added a glow to the picture in one, and a glow plus lighting fx in another.

BTW, this is a nice looking picture. I like the focus, and pose. When I opened you pics up in photoshop, your targets were still there.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg _MG_0701.JPG (68.3 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg _MG_0701-Color.jpg (91.5 KB, 43 views)
File Type: jpg _MG_0701-Glow.jpg (90.0 KB, 54 views)
File Type: jpg _MG_0701-Glow-Lighting.jpg (86.6 KB, 66 views)
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Old 07-27-2005, 09:12 PM
Craig Walters's Avatar
Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2005
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very nicely done, fats!

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Old 07-27-2005, 11:18 PM
inskip inskip is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 84
I agree, beautiful job. See what I mean, just when you think yours looks good...Did you work from the original or the processed one?

I like 2 & 3. Do you mind my asking how you added the glow?

I am not familiar w/ the color range tool, I guess I better check it out.
Mind sharing where you learned this technique? I would like to try it but think I will need more info.

What is considered a lot of cyan?

Thank You!

Last edited by inskip; 07-27-2005 at 11:36 PM.
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Old 07-28-2005, 07:27 AM
fat0n3s fat0n3s is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 62
Kraellin and inskip,

Thank you so much. I am glad you like it.

See what I mean, just when you think yours looks good...
I know exactly what you mean. I can think of at least 5 people, on this forum alone, who make me feel like that all the time.

I really didn't think your pic looked so bad inskip. It was the cyan patches in her face, that was throwing off the skin color.

Alot of the time, a global color correction alone will fix the skin color as well. In this pic, I had to select the cyan, after a global correction, to make it look more realistic.

I was typing out the steps I took in detail, but I have ran out of time. I will be back from work in a few to finish this up.
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Old 07-28-2005, 10:10 AM
inskip inskip is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 84
Yes, my version is vastly improved over the original, but I still had a feeling it wasn't quite right. Your's looks perfect to me
Did you work from the original?

I couldn't figure out how to get the cyan patches in the face once I was in color range tool. The whole image looks equally corrected, not just the face you selected???

Thanks for your reply, looking forward to hearing from you later on.
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Old 07-28-2005, 07:05 PM
fat0n3s fat0n3s is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 62
Ok, this might be a bit long, but I got on a roll.

I did work from the original.

Step 1:
Use a threshold adjustment layer to find the black and white points. Added color samples to each one to mark. After this, delete the threshold layer.

Step 2:
Add a levels adjustment layer, and set the black and white eye droppers to 13 black, and 246 white.
Now click on the black point you have marked with the black eye dropper, and click the white point with the white eye dropper. This color corrected the highlights, and shadows.

To color correct the midtones, I used the middle level sliders in each color channel, and adjusted by eye, until the picture looked right.

You could also find nutural grey, and use the grey eye dropper to correct the midtones. If there is no nutural grey in the image, you are going to have to do it by sight.

After the global color correction, her skin still looked wrong. To much cyan. If you are wondering what are some correct numbers when dealing with skin tone, check out this skin tone chart.

Open up the chart in photoshop, and run your cursor over the skin colors to see what the cmyk values are. Notice how much lower cyan is than magenta, and how much lower magenta is than yellow.

I used to be a "by the numbers" guy, trying to get perfect numbers. That has now changed.

Sometimes I will get the skin looking good in my mind, but the numbers are not perfect. To me, if the numbers are not perfect, but it looks good to you, then keep it the way it is. I mostly just use the numbers as a guide. If the numbers are way off, then the skin color might not be possible, and it will look fake and unreal.

Step 3:
I added two color samples to her face. One on her cheek, and another on her forehead to monitor the colors. I set these color samples to cmyk readouts.

To fix the unreal looking skin, I used color range to select the reds.
Select - Color Range - click the down arrow, and select reds. If a warning pops up, don't worry. Just click ok, and the reds are still selected. With the reds still selected, add a curves adjustment layer, and photoshop will automaticly create a mask for curves.

I added some red to remove some cyan. Added some green to remove some magenta, and removed some blue to add some yellow. I did this untill the her face looked more real, and the colors on parts of her face were in correct number range.

While doing this, I noticed her face had some cyan patches in it. To fix these, I moved on to step 4.

Step 4:
To correct the cyan color patches, I made a loose selection around her face, and used the color range tool again. This time I used the eye dropper, and clicked on the cyan patches. I moved the fuzziness slider over till I have all the cyan color selected, but not the good color that remained in her face.

Click ok to make the selection, and then saved the selection as an alpha channel. I then used a 3.5 Gaussian blur to sofen the mask.

Still in channels, I clicked on the rgb channel, and then CTRL clicked on the alpha mask to select it.

I added another curves adjustment layer, which automaticly made a mask of the alpha channel I had selected. I then adjusted the red, green and blue again, to bring the cyan patches in range of real color, and to match the rest of the color in her face.

Step 5:
I am grouping the finishing touches into step 5.

I then added a curves adjustment layer. In the rgb curve, I moved up the 1/4, mid, and 3/4 tones, to bring out some light in the image, and in her face.

I merged all the layers to a layer on the top, and used the dodge tool to bring out some color in her eyes.

To add the glow effect, select the red channel. Click select, then all, then copy. Go back to the layers pallet, and make a new blank layer, then paste. Change the blending mode to luminosity, and drop the opacity down around 10 - 30%. Add some contrast with curves to the luminosity layer. Now blur the layer with a 10 - 20 pixel Gaussian blur. Add a mask to the layer, and paint back some details you want to keep like eyes, mouth, and some of her hair.

All of this takes some practice to get the hang of. To be honest, I am just now starting to catch on.

I hope this helps.
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Old 07-29-2005, 01:09 PM
inskip inskip is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 84
THANK YOU for such a thorough explanation, I really appreciate it.
I'm sure others will too.
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Old 07-29-2005, 03:06 PM
inskip inskip is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 84
Reducing noise

The TIFF version is noisier than I'd like. If I were going to run NI where should I apply it in this workflow? I will probably use a mask w/ NI so that I don't soften the edges. The one thing I'm unclear on when it comes to masks is when I duplicate a masked layer it takes the mask w/ it, any new edits I make on this duplicate layer will be applied on top of the mask, correct? The mask wont hide the new edits will it?

For example, I run NI w/ a mask so that the filter won't soften the edges (esp the eyes). Now when I duplicate this layer to sharpen the eyes will the mask hide this edit or is it applied on top of it???
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Old 07-30-2005, 10:16 AM
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Duv Duv is offline
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Just a couple of thoughts after reading the posts here. In evaluating the original the only true grey point is the white of the dress. The shadow from the couch is certainly dark but should it be made black? If the couch is grey then yes, if the couch is tan then no. It can make a big difference in that one way will give you an overall "cool" look, the other "warm".
I don't think Eismann says that babies and young children should have no cyan but that cyan values should be very low relative to yellow/magenta. Additionally, cyan is a natural component of shadow so higher levels on the shadow side of the child's face should not cause panic. My own feeling was that global correction works pretty good but you have to raise the yellow/magenta percentages which will reduce the cyan in relative terms. Anyhow, you can see that by not adjusting the shadows to black it might give you more of that warm, cuddly feeling.

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