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Flesh tone experts - help!

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  #1  
Old 02-19-2005, 03:58 PM
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Rexx Rexx is offline
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Flesh tone experts - help!

I surrender. I give up.

The enclosed picture was shot under horrible fluorescent light and incredibly ugly walls. The camera (in this case a Canon 10D) has blown the red channel over most of the face.

What I've tried:
Reconstruct the Red channel from approx 75% R, 10% G.
All sorts of Levels, Curves, Hue/Saturation, Color Balance, Overlay, Multiply, Screen, Masks...

There is no way I can get this face to take on a natural flesh colour! Whatever I try looks grossly unnatural to me. I am not good with colours, sigh. Usually there is some grey spot for adjusting WB. Not here.

She is an average Northern European woman, in other words, fair skin. Her husband says her eyes are a dark green, but the way the light comes here, I guess "any green" will do.

Please!!??
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Old 02-19-2005, 04:09 PM
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Stroker Stroker is offline
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Shifted hue about -7.
Tweaked the saturation with Curves.
And messed with the luminosity a little bit.

Not sure about when I'll be able to post more details about what I did.
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Old 02-19-2005, 04:15 PM
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Janet Petty Janet Petty is offline
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I'm by no means a color expert but I had to try this just to see if it could be done.

I used levels to do the major adjust. The blue channel was the one with the problem. Once it was adjusted, everything else pretty much fell into place and only needed minor adjustments with hue/sat. The numbers I got in the finished picture looked pretty good, so here it is.

Janet
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Last edited by Janet Petty; 03-31-2005 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 02-19-2005, 04:46 PM
Ken Fournelle Ken Fournelle is offline
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Nice work Janet!

My quick try:

1. Duplicated the background layer
2. Ran Levels Adj. Layer on each channel
3. Curves Adjustment Layer
4. Color Balance Adj. Layer
5. Selective Color Adj. Layer--to reduce the yellow
6. Empty Layer set to Color Blend Mode, sampled some good flesh tone and painted with a soft brush @ 10-20% opacity
7. Empty Layer set to Softlight Blend Mode, soft black brush @ 10-30% opacity
8. Empty Layer with the Healing brush to reduce the shine and highlights and to perk up her eyes.
9. Flattened and applied USM

K
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Old 02-19-2005, 04:47 PM
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Rexx Rexx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stroker
Shifted hue about -7.
Tweaked the saturation with Curves.
And messed with the luminosity a little bit.

Not sure about when I'll be able to post more details about what I did.
Not bad at all! Now if only "tweak" and "mess" colud be quantified...
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Old 02-19-2005, 04:49 PM
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Rexx Rexx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet Petty
Oh DRAT, the post is really red. Doesn't look red on my monitor and the numbers were ok. Guess it is back to the drawing board for a few more tries. BRB.
Right. Been there, done that. Again and again...
Exactly what I got too.
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Old 02-19-2005, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Fournelle
6. Empty Layer set to Color Blend Mode, sampled some good flesh tone and painted with a soft brush @ 10-20% opacity
Aha! I have some good sunshine head shots of her daughter...

Your result looks too red on my monitor.
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Old 02-19-2005, 04:58 PM
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Rexx Rexx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet Petty
The blue channel was the one with the problem.
The red channel is blown. The blue channel is very noisy. In the area that has been cropped away, there is severe noise banding. 1600 ISO.
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  #9  
Old 02-19-2005, 05:00 PM
Ken Fournelle Ken Fournelle is offline
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Rexx,

The posting matches my monitor. mmmmm? It may be a bit too much on the magenta side though. I think I could make it a bit "flatter" and put in some flesh tone colors from the Skin Tones Color Chart stored elsewhere on this site.

K
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Old 02-19-2005, 05:36 PM
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Stroker Stroker is offline
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Quote:
Not bad at all! Now if only "tweak" and "mess" colud be quantified...
Bah! Bleh!

I'm a big fan of tearing photos apart in various ways. One of my favorite ways is Hue, Saturation, and Luminosity.

If you have PC/Win, I have some simple plug-ins to help with this: http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/software/9839-pc-win-silly-lil-plugs-stroker-style.html

Or I can show how to use stock tools to do those things.

Hue
Extract Hue to colour (probably not necessary for this photo, but I generally do it anyways).
My general rule for this is fleshtones are red/orange and maybe a hint of yellow.
That is my starting point.
Far too much yellow and needs to be shifted a bit more towards red.
Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation
and use Hue to around -7 or so.
Doesn't take much.

Saturation
Extract the saturation to the Red channel in Channels palette.
Green and Blue channels are black.
Clip a Curves adjustment layer, use drop-down to go to Red channel, and tweak away.
My general rule for this kind of photo is that saturation should be under 50%.
That is my starting point.
For the given photo, I think sat is way to high and tweak it down with Curves in the Red channel.
Then I tweaked the low sats a little more.

Luminosity
Extract the luminosity, clip a Curves adjustment layer, and tweak away.

Ah...

---Curves ad-layer to tweak Lum, clipping group
-Extracted Luminosity set to Luminosity blending mode
---Curves ad-layer with tweaks in Red channel, clipping group
-Extracted Saturation in Red channel set to Saturation blending mode
-Hue/Sat ad-layer with Hue = -7
-Original photo

That's my general flow and it works very well for me for a wide range of 'bad' photos.
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