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Toning Ruddy Red/Yellow Blotchy Complexion Questions

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  #1  
Old 11-18-2005, 08:47 PM
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rnbluvva rnbluvva is offline
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Toning Ruddy Red/Yellow Blotchy Complexion Questions

Hey gang!

Wow, this new image I am working on is a real challenge for me! I posted yesterday about bumping up a 72dpi cell phone photo and have managed to get it to 8x10 150dpi. But now that I am color correcting and sharpening I notice some huge blotchy skin issues. That is one of the huge things my friend wants me to fix.

I will do a healing process on the skin, but I was wondering, would you go in and tone down the red and yellow before you did the smoothing of the skin? My friend said she wants the skin to look as perfect as it can. I just don't want to loose the texture and I also am having a hard time knowing what overall tone the baby should be.

I know that in that part of Africa (Uganda) where the baby was born, the people have reddish undertones and fairly darks skin. I know the baby should be a much lighter tone with reddish undertones but I am seeing a lot of yellow in the eyes, lips and chest area.

Any ideas on how to treat this image color correction wise before going ahead and smoothing the skin?

Thanks
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File Type: jpg isaac_enlarged_sharp2.jpg (97.8 KB, 86 views)

Last edited by rnbluvva; 11-18-2005 at 09:44 PM. Reason: Add Image
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  #2  
Old 11-19-2005, 06:35 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Hi rnbluvva,

I had a go at your picture.

Before starting with the colour correction, I brightened it up using Shadow/Higlight and a Brightness&Contrast AL.

To minimize the worst 'blotches' and discolorations, I used Blank Layers set to Lighten, Darken and Color and, after sampling from surrounding areas, using a very soft brush (opacity 10-40%) I carefully painted on the problem spots.

I used Selective Colors to fix the overall colours.

Neat Image (soft settings) for the noise.

USM to increase contrast and sharpness.

Hope this helps.
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File Type: jpg F_isaac_enlarged_sharp2.jpg (99.9 KB, 97 views)
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  #3  
Old 11-19-2005, 08:50 AM
Ken Fournelle Ken Fournelle is offline
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Flora, welcome back!!!!!!!

k
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Old 11-19-2005, 03:36 PM
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rnbluvva rnbluvva is offline
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Thumbs down Excellent! A few questions though...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flora
Hi rnbluvva,

I had a go at your picture.

Before starting with the colour correction, I brightened it up using Shadow/Higlight and a Brightness&Contrast AL.

To minimize the worst 'blotches' and discolorations, I used Blank Layers set to Lighten, Darken and Color and, after sampling from surrounding areas, using a very soft brush (opacity 10-40%) I carefully painted on the problem spots.

I used Selective Colors to fix the overall colours.

Neat Image (soft settings) for the noise.

USM to increase contrast and sharpness.

Hope this helps.

Flora,

Yes this helps me tremendously! I really appreciate you taking the time to tackle this. Very kind of you

What I had done is enlarged the image via Bicubic resampling and then I ran the noise reduction filter before doing some sharpening. But you were able to use Neat Image to get a lot more of the noise out of the image. I just got Neat Image the other day, but have really not had time to play with it.

A few questions:
1.) What settings did you use in the Shadow/Highlight and Brightness/Contrast? I tried a combination of Levels, Curves and slome Lab color mode tweaking to try to bring more warmth to the tones and I also used Variations to boost the reds a bit. But then as you saw, the reds and yellows became very apparent. The original image was terribly ashy, so at least now there is warmth.

2.) Can you explain how you used Selective Colors on the image? I have not delved much into that PS feature and would really be interested to know how you used it on the image.

3.) Neat Image: I just got this and am still working on how to use it. Did you use it on manual settings or one of the presets?

4.) The coloring you got was brilliantly even. I am wondering how I can make the baby's skin tone darker? The baby is from Uganda and they are generally darker/redder and less pink. The newborns tend to have a lot of ashy/reddish/blackish tones. I have included a few images for reference of a different baby from that area. I know you sampled tones from the existing image. Would I just need to sample and use the darker tones to get the darker skin coloring throughout using the lighten/darken/color layers you mentioned?

5.) I did do serveral TLR Sharpening passes to the image before I posted what I had here, but I see you sharpened it using USM after the retouch. Do you mind telling me what settings you used for the USM pass?

I can't thank you enough for the help Flora! This is indeed the most complex project I have undertaken and I want to get it as great as possible because it is a very special image for the mother.

Thanks
Attached Images
File Type: jpg reference1.jpg (73.4 KB, 26 views)
File Type: jpg reference2.jpg (67.8 KB, 26 views)
File Type: jpg reference3.jpg (70.3 KB, 28 views)
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  #5  
Old 11-20-2005, 12:09 AM
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rnbluvva rnbluvva is offline
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So Far

Flora: I used some of your steps to achieve the look below.
I used the Shadow/Highlight and Brighten/Contrast AL to lift the shadows a bit.

I also made a feathered selection of the baby and then used 2 Color adjustment layers on low opacity settings to tone the baby to a more brown color. I used colors I sampled from the other baby I referenced in my post.

To smooth the skin I used the clone stamp to get rid of the bigger blotches on the forhead and cheeks then I ran a DS/Gaussian Blur/Grain set of filters and used an inverted mask to paint in the smoothness.

I am wondering if there is possibly a way to get the skin even smoother?

I also tried out Neat Image. It IS really neat!

What can I do from here to make the image smoother and how should I go about sharpening for output?

Thanks so much!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg isaac_retouch_smooth_natura.jpg (87.8 KB, 36 views)
File Type: jpg isaac.jpg (83.5 KB, 25 views)

Last edited by rnbluvva; 11-20-2005 at 12:16 AM. Reason: Post Original Image
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  #6  
Old 11-20-2005, 02:19 PM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Hi Ken!!!!!

Thank you so much for your warm 'Welcome back!!!'

Hi rnbluvva,

sorry for not reacting earlier ....was busy during the week-end ...
So glad I could help .... silly of me not having clicked on the fact that it is an African baby... His little nose should have been a 'dead giveaway' ... but, somehow I missed it ...

Anyway, to your questions:

1.) What settings did you use in the Shadow/Highlight and Brightness/Contrast?

Shadows:
Amount: 63
Tonal Width: 52
Radius: 30

Highlights:
Amount: 6
Tonal Width: 50
Radius: 30
____
Brightness&Contrast:

Brightness: +23
Contrast: +16

2.) Can you explain how you used Selective Colors on the image?

I'm a biiiig fan of Selective Colors Adjustment Layers since it lets you make changes inside each single colour.. When a picture needs colour adjustment, there is where I go first and try the following:
I swap in turn to each individual colour dialog box and tweak the Black slider first just to determine which colours are present (and therefore can be corrected) in my picture ... Once I got that, I go about it in a 'trial and error' way ... I'm not a 'Numbers' person ... I simply 'eyeball' the effects of my tweaking and stop when I'm satisfied with the result... (Sorry I can't be more precise... but that's how I go about it ... )

3.) Neat Image: I just got this and am still working on how to use it. Did you use it on manual settings or one of the presets?

I usually start out with the 'Default' Preset which, in my opinion, is very, very strong ...(I personally hate the 'plastic' look some 'oversmoothed' pictures get ...)... and again tweak each individual setting, particularly in the 'Noise Reduction Amount' until satisfied .... Sometimes, to get where I want is some parts of the picture, I have to 'destroy' details in other ... that's where I use Layer Masks and, if necessary, repeat the procedure.

4.) The coloring you got was brilliantly even. I am wondering how I can make the baby's skin tone darker?
Thanks!! ... When dealing with very 'blotchy' images, for 'evening out', I go for blank layers set to: Lighten, Darken, Soft Light or Overaly and with either black or white Brush or with colours sampled from surrounding areas (always using very soft/fuzzy brushes, Opacity = 10-40%) I carefully paint over the problem areas until the problem has been minimized in a natural way .... Don't forget to add some noise to the corrections!

5.) I did do serveral TLR Sharpening passes to the image before I posted what I had here, but I see you sharpened it using USM after the retouch. Do you mind telling me what settings you used for the USM pass?

I got the following USM values from somewhere in Internet ... "The Luminous Landscape" if I remember right (excellent site by the way!!!)... but, being me, I tweak those as well ... and always until I like what I see...)

Contrast:

Amount: 20
Radius: 50.0
Threshold: 0

Sharpening:(Very subtle, but an excellent starting point)

Amount: 50
Radius: 1.0
Threshold: 0

Hope this clears some of your doubts ...(you know where to find me should you have more... )

I corrected my previous restoration for colour ... but I'm not sure if it could be acceptable...
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File Type: jpg F1_isaac_enlarged_sharp2.jpg (95.7 KB, 30 views)
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Old 11-20-2005, 02:27 PM
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rnbluvva rnbluvva is offline
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Flora,

Oh no worries at all about taking time. I know you have a life apart from here! The weekend is for resting!

Wow, thanks for explaining all that to me. As you see I was tweaking yesterday. I prefer the darkness that you got in your corrected version. What did you do to get that?

Also, I am a bit confused on how you know when to use the Lighten/Darken Color etc. I used Color overlays to achieve what I did in the image I posted last night. I actually mixed two Color Overlay layers. But as you see his skin is still somewhat blotchy. Not that this is unrealistic. As a natural touch I would be OK with this, but my friends wants smooth even though I told her it may look unatural.

If you could go into more detail about when you used Lighten and Darken that would be so helpful. Don't the layers affect each other as they are stacked? I wonder if you would email me the PSD file so I could see how you did it? If you would be willing to let me know and I can PM you my email address. Or if you could post a screen shot of your layers pallette then maybe I can understand better what you mean. Do you paint the lighter areas and darkers with neighboring colors to even the overall tone more?

Also, would you mind telling me how you got such a smooth complexion? Did you just do that with the Lighten/Darken/Color layers or did you run a DS/Gaussian Blur etc filter and then invert a mask and paint in the smooth texture?

Right now I have the image looking fairly realistic, but my friend said she wants the skin smoother.

Thanks again!

Last edited by rnbluvva; 11-20-2005 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 11-20-2005, 07:32 PM
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rnbluvva rnbluvva is offline
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My Attempt

Well, I have been working on this today and I think I have achieved a believable yet smooth and toned look.

Any feedback is appreciated!
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File Type: jpg Comparison.jpg (98.3 KB, 34 views)
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Old 11-22-2005, 03:51 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Hi rnbluvva,

I think you've done a terrific job with this picture .... surely not the easiest one to fix!

You got the skin nice and smooth and an even colour, the one point I'd make is that, in my opinion, it looks a tad 'flat' ... part of its 3D 'feeling' has been lost ...

Since I've been asked by others about 'my blank Layers Technique' (the Lightening/Darkening/etc. ones), the 'smoothing' thechnique and because of the 5 Attachments limit in any post, I thought of writing a 'mini' Tutorial on a 'cocktail' of my methods for restoring pictures .... I wonder if I could use your picture for it ....
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Old 11-22-2005, 03:30 PM
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rnbluvva rnbluvva is offline
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Thank you Flora. Yes it was very difficult. I agree about it looking flat. This was the hardest part for me to fix after smoothing the skin.

I think your tutorial would be a fabulous idea! The original is here:
http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/att...chmentid=26721
Or let me know if you want me to email you the original. I can do that also.

Thanks for all your pointers and tips. It sure did help me get thru this project.

I am looking forward very much to your tutorial!

Last edited by rnbluvva; 11-22-2005 at 09:30 PM.
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