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Flesh tone experts - help!

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  #21  
Old 02-20-2005, 10:08 AM
Gary Richardson's Avatar
Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Hi Rex, I'm working on an LCD screen at the moment. There was a little outside light on the screen when I worked on your image, I think thats what's thrown things. I've upped contrast a little, and dimmed exposure, how does this one post?
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  #22  
Old 02-20-2005, 10:38 AM
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Hephaestos Hephaestos is offline
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Hi Rexx!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rexx
Hephaestos
I think the colours might have been good, had it not been so overexposed. Another Mac user?
Yes I am on a Mac. And I've been having some issues with monitor calibration, which is one reason I submitted to this, to see how far off it really is. I really don't have a knack for getting it right I'm afraid.

You're also right about the red channel in the original having too much 255 in it; I didn't even notice on the first go-around. I'll fool with it some more today with that in mind.
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  #23  
Old 02-20-2005, 11:26 AM
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I was going to apply my little Color-Declipping tutorial (which I think would be regarded here as cheating) but in the process I observed that the colour problems are different in the light and dark regions. The lights being too yellow and the darks being too red. That way it's difficult to apply a general fix to the image.

(Disclaimer - I am not a colour expert)- Applied channel mixer with 20/80/-10 monochrome to get a good greyscale image;
- Mixed this back in as luminosity;
- Selected luminosity (<ctrl><alt><~>) and used as mask for a Hue/Saturation layer, selected "yellows" and eye-dropped from the bright forehead, set Hue -10 and Saturation -10;
- Copied this layer, inverted the mask, cleared the settings <alt><Reset>, selected Reds and eye-dropped from the red shadows, set Hue +20, saturation -30 (thus balancing light/dark areas);
- Added another H/S layer, without a mask, setting Hue -7, saturation -22;
- Levels layer, Auto "Enhance per channel contrast", backed off opacity to 60%;
- byRo Brightness/Contrast, brightness -10 contrast +10.

Phew!
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  #24  
Old 02-20-2005, 12:49 PM
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Rexx Rexx is offline
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My second attempt

I also have this 3%-5% Yellow over Magenta in the book in front of me, but I cannot for the life of me make this happen. Whenever I adjust a curve or three so that this ratio is getting close, the face looks like something out of a horror movie.

As I said, I have some good shots of her daughter in sunshine. I pulled them up side by side, and even if the readouts were close, the daughter looked lovely and the mother ... well...

Apart from all the jokes you can make on that one, I started looking at the background. The daughter was shot against a blue autumn sky, whilst the mother had this absolutely incredibly ugly wall behind her.

So I changed the colour of the wall... That did the trick.

My steps.
1) Noise Ninja on Blue channel only
2) Noise Ninja again on all channels
3) Paint away slits in ugly wall
4) Repair Red channel as 70% Red, 20% Green to gain some contrast
5) Reduce Green and Blue to 90% as well
6) Use Levels to balance RGB slightly
7) Hue/Sat with a Mask to de-sat hair and other dark areas. Too red
8) Fake shadow on wall, using adj level and mask
9) Slight Hue/Sat correction
10) Tiny masked adj layer to brighten up green eye in the shade
11) Curves for a slightly darker image
12) Hue/Sat to change colour of abominable wall

All of the above in separate layers of course. No USM.

This will not make it to the cover of Vogue, but considering the rather hopeless starting point, I think this is not too bad. Interestingly, the flesh tones are not what the book says they should be, but on my monitor, this looks ok.

Lessons learned:
- Levels are also useful, not only Curves
- CMYK flesh values are not hewn in stone
- Background severely corrupts your colour sight
- Stick to sunlight or flash

Now how does this look on your monitors?

A heartfelt Thank You! to all who volunteered to help. I was going to give up, but then I saw what could be achieved.
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  #25  
Old 02-20-2005, 12:54 PM
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Now where did the attachment go?

Aha. It was too large. Re-compress...
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  #26  
Old 02-20-2005, 01:03 PM
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byRo byRo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rexx
Lessons learned:
...- CMYK flesh values are not hewn in stone
....
To me that's the most important. Must be one of those things our little brains do automatically when we look at an image. Doesn't matter much what the numbers say - if it looks wrong, it is wrong.

Thanks Rexx for an interesting thread.

Last edited by byRo; 02-20-2005 at 01:04 PM. Reason: carnt spel wright
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  #27  
Old 02-20-2005, 01:20 PM
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Hephaestos Hephaestos is offline
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Red face Now I'm the one giving up. :)

Just finished recalibrating my monitor, and Rexx's second attempt looks way too dark on it. (The option for "native gamma" came up as 2.1, so I went with that.) I put a screen layer copy on top, and it looked better to me.

Going by what Ro noticed, I then used color balance to bump the red down on shadows and the yellow down on highlights. Also bumped red and green down in the midtones. Does this look as bad on other people's monitors as I suspect it does?
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  #28  
Old 02-20-2005, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hephaestos
Just finished recalibrating my monitor, and Rexx's second attempt looks way too dark on it.
This has also struck me. I think every attempt here has looked too bright! But when looking at other faces I have shot, even from that same evening, same camera, they all look lighter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hephaestos
I put a screen layer copy on top, and it looked better to me.
Yes, my standard trick for exposure compensation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hephaestos
Does this look as bad on other people's monitors as I suspect it does?
Yes
It looks blue here. But I think the main reason for that is her hair. I took care to desat the hair. When you tweaked the overall colour balance you must have re-introduced colour (blue) to her hair. But her lips look violet. That cannot be right?

I think it's time I get that Gretag bug... My colleague discovered a course on colour management, and the bug goes with it.
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  #29  
Old 02-20-2005, 02:07 PM
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venivedi venivedi is offline
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I just want to participate.
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  #30  
Old 02-20-2005, 02:38 PM
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Rexx Rexx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venivedi
I just want to participate.
Seoul... you're 10? hours ahead of me. Haven't you gone to bed yet or are you up extremely early?

Apart from that, you're apparently the only one around here with a monitor calibrated the same as mine. That one looks better than mine! You were able to preserve the structure of the skin. This looks real!

What about a short narrative?
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