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Why is skin/face so difficult?

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  #1  
Old 02-02-2004, 07:24 AM
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Rexx Rexx is offline
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Why is skin/face so difficult?

Here is a picture that was shot in a hotel room using only available light, probably a sick mixture of various temperatures.

Here's what I did.
- De-noised
- Using Doug's Colour cast quick fix (http://www.retouchpro.com/tutorials/?m=show&id=54) I picked the yellowish tone from above the woman's head, inverted it (deep blue) and applied it in a layer, Mode Color with approx 45% Opacity. The picture turned neutral, sort of.
- Created a Curves adjustment layer, Mode Screen. Masked everything but the woman. Lifted midtones a little.
- Various Adjustment layers, Curves.

Her hair has started to turn grey, so it should not be dark. It looks more or less right. But her skin looks doughy and grey. I'm unable to give the skin a fresh glow, looking natural.

Why is this so difficult, sigh?

Is it because I'm not doing it right, or is it due to camera limitations? The Blue channel looks absolutely horrendous in the original to the left. Try, and shudder!
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File Type: jpg Face_6.jpg (56.7 KB, 95 views)
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  #2  
Old 02-02-2004, 11:14 AM
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venivedi venivedi is offline
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I think, using "fill-flash"(or reflecter)...you can get more desired result.
# Her head looks quite under-exposed.
# the wall is much more bright than her.
(I think in this case...just lifting ISO values make a washed out BG)
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  #3  
Old 02-02-2004, 11:21 AM
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Well yes of course
But then I wouldn't have had to retouch it!
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  #4  
Old 02-02-2004, 11:55 AM
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venivedi venivedi is offline
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Sorry, I hope you don't get me wrong. I didn't meant for hurt your feeling.
In my case, before color-correction, I do exposure adjustment.

To reduce contrast between a figure and background.
I often use a layer mask like below.

1. Ctrl+Alt+~ 2. Enter Quick Mask mode 3. Invert and Gaussian Blur
4. Exit Quick Mask mode...then make an adjustment layer.

Reference tutorial : No shadow(AKA 'Fill-Flash effect)
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  #5  
Old 02-02-2004, 01:54 PM
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Leah Leah is offline
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I think it's that blue channel that is really messing up your attempt - it is in a very bad way, isn't it?

I did a partial replace on the blue channel - blurred the head area of the blue channel to reduce the banding and then combined with around 25% opacity of the red channel to create a new blue channel. That didn't make the image look that different at that point, but it did make it easier to apply a colour correction afterwards.

As far as the colour correction goes, I just used Variations (Midtones, slider somewhere around the middle, 1 x More Blue and 1 x Lighter). It's very very far from perfect, but I think it's better.
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Old 02-02-2004, 04:04 PM
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I made a highlight curves adjustment in RGB to neutral 237. Converted to CMYK and sampled light portion of neck. Changed values to 24% 43% 52% 2%. This should give you a good "base" for Caucasian skin. With the lower magenta and yellow values to Leah's, you also get a bluer white stucco background.

Cheers
Duv
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File Type: jpg D-Face.jpg (35.0 KB, 28 views)
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  #7  
Old 02-02-2004, 04:36 PM
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CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
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I replaced the ugly Blue channel with the Lightness channel from a duped image changed to LAB mode. Then I did a "version of flash-fill" - I just duped a layer of the newly corrected image -> Gaussian blurred pretty strongly and inverted and set it on Soft Light layer blend. I merged those layers and then ran a Levels adjustment to lighten the image and bring up the yellow tone a bit. I copied the Red channel from the corrected image and added it as a separate layer set to Luminosity layer blend (read that at CreativePro.com, I think) to give her complexion a bit of a glow.
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File Type: jpg woman-colcast1.jpg (37.0 KB, 42 views)
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  #8  
Old 02-03-2004, 01:17 AM
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Thanks, folks!

My wife says I tend to stick too long to established thought patterns
That is why it's so incredibly useful with all these impulses. Gets me going on a new tangent.

@venivedi
For a long time I have thought that such a technique might be possible, but haven't managed to create it. You had the tutorial link! Vici!

@Leah
As much as I love my Olympus, the noise it produces under low light conditions is ... sad. Now if only Minolta could get their act together on the A2 (heat sink!!!). I have thought many times about reproducing the offending channel (sometimes it is Red), but the task is too daunting. Ok, it can be done. Thanks!

@Duv
Reference point for Caucasian skin. Of course! I KNEW that, and had forgotten! I also have several flash photos of her, even from he same chair, so a reference was readily available. Duh! Beginner's fumblings.

@C.J.
Another way to reproduce the worthless Blue channel and lots of ideas! I particularly liked the "glow" treatment.

@All
There are so many impulses here that I'll be stuck for days just digesting. I need to look into the nature of skin too. And ...
1) My Katrin Eismann book arrived from amazon.co.uk yesterday. Yessssss!
2) The piano tuner will be here in an hour
3) I've promised to play Vivaldi with the orchestra tonight and I haven't yet taped the notes! (Let alone practised...)
4) Doug just informed me that the Tutorial System should be up and running again. I have a tutorial to publish, believe it or not!
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  #9  
Old 02-03-2004, 01:49 AM
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roger_ele roger_ele is offline
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Hi all,

Lots of good responses, I have been busy but popped in for a minute and could not resist putting in my two cents (I have missed you guys) ...

-Used Apply Image to past 70% of the RBG combined image into the Blue channel in screen mode.
-Curves adjustment in screen mode to lighten

Roger
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File Type: jpg Face_6_after.jpg (20.9 KB, 29 views)
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  #10  
Old 02-03-2004, 02:26 AM
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Rexx Rexx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roger_ele
-Used Apply Image to past 70% of the RBG combined image into the Blue channel in screen mode.Roger
Oooooh, that was devious!!!

And I forgot to add in my last post:
This was a veeeeeeeeery easy image. I have some real disasters that I simply have to repair. Shot at 1/60 when the correct should have been 1/10, fluorescent lighting, same camera. So I need all the help I can get. I think the reconstruction of channels is probably the only way to go, as I've tried "everything else". Fortunately, the first shots in the series were correct, so I have a colour reference.
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