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Photo Retouching "Improving" photos, post-production, correction, etc.

Natural looking colorization??

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  #21  
Old 03-15-2002, 09:06 AM
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OhThatGirl2001 OhThatGirl2001 is offline
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Natural Colorization

I don't think your colorizations are that bad. I would have added a new level layer adjustment to bring out the color and add a little pop as it is a bit washed. There were a few bricks next to the bush that weren't colored and perhaps coloring the boots and pants of the man would be a nice touch. As far as the skin tone, perhaps you can fool around with the blend mode and try multiply, or color, overlay on a picture like this would look too light. I fool around with the blend modes until I get the color I want. I also add a small amount of blush and highlights with the airbrush set to a very low opacity. It give the facial area more depth. The baby's hair is a bit dark, but it's the same thing... fool around with the opacity and blend mode until you get the look you want. Honestly, I don't think it's that bad!

Lisa
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  #22  
Old 03-15-2002, 01:09 PM
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jeaniesa jeaniesa is offline
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Hi Gina,

I also don't think your colorizations are all that bad. I think they just need a bit more "pop". One way to do that is to do a levels adjustment - that is particularly needed on the one with the man and young girl IMO. Also, your skin tones look just slightly off. I played around with both photos and selected just the skin tones. I added some red coloring and increased the saturation slightly and to my eyes it looked more natural.

In the one with the girl sitting in the chair, I also think a little "blush" on the cheeks, tip of the nose and chin helps too. I like to use an airbrush at a very low opacity in color mode.

I took the liberty of working on the other photo for a few minutes. What I did was:
1. levels adjustment
2. improve the skin tones like I mentioned above (copied the selections to their own layer)
3. increased the saturation of the rest of the photo significantly (something like +40 I think).

I've attached that photo here so you can see the difference.

One other thing... The photos themselves look like there isn't much detail in the highlights. I think that makes it difficult to make the photo look like a really high-quality color photo. I could be wrong and would appreciate hearing other's ideas on that.

Jeanie
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File Type: jpg colorization-bad1a.jpg (30.8 KB, 68 views)
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  #23  
Old 03-15-2002, 08:24 PM
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Sharon Brunson Sharon Brunson is offline
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Gorgeous Nik.
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  #24  
Old 03-16-2002, 02:37 AM
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OhThatGirl2001 OhThatGirl2001 is offline
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Natural Colorization

Hi Gina,

I would agree with Jeaniesa, just needs a little more pop. I worked on it for a bit, but the image size is very small and the fine details were hard to see. However, while I was working on it, I wondered what method you used to color it. I notice around the mans hand is pretty rough, also around the bricks and leaves. I am lousy at using masks, so I tend to make a selection and then make a new layer and add to color there. That way I can fool around with the blending mode till I get what I want. As well as having the selection, I can use variations or hue/saturation or contrast, etc. adjust on the selection.

Here is the same picture with a level adjustment and my coloring the mans pants, and boots. When I finished a merge the image and did a overall saturation +20 - just to enhance the color. Again, it was too small of an image to get into the fine detail.

Lisa
P.S. The skintone on my one is a little too orange. I wasn't happy with the skintone, but I wanted you to get the idea.
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  #25  
Old 03-16-2002, 03:09 AM
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OhThatGirl2001 OhThatGirl2001 is offline
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Natural Colorization

Hi Again!

I found a great tutorial on colorizing that might help you. It involves the process of masks but is very easy to follow.

Let me know if this helps you.

http://www.debdsweb.com/files/colortut.pdf

Lisa
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  #26  
Old 03-16-2002, 07:25 AM
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Lisa
thanx 4 that link.
One of the things I like about PShop is that the same effect can be achieved in more than one way. Colourising is a good example
  • using variations
  • painting in color mode
  • with fill layers
or a technique I've started using...hue/sat adj layers. Basically I make a selection of the area I want to color & create a new adj layer for each area. Using the mask I can refine my selections.
Also, using layer masks means I can 'hide' backgrounds etc to drop new ones in. This is my (current) preferred way of working.
Here's an example attached.

BTW Gina I find that if you partially colour an image it works best if you are using the colour to add a dramatic or subtle effect. If I recolour I'm usually asked by the client to "make it look like a colour photo" so I tend to work the whole image. And don't put down what you have done, we are all here to learn & share, there are no rights or wrongs which is what is cool!
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  #27  
Old 03-18-2002, 09:36 AM
G Mantero G Mantero is offline
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Thanks to all for the suggestions--I agree that it needs more "pop"; however, the problem I am having is that when the image has more pop, the skintones simply aren't believable when printed.

I know my masks are somewhat rough--generally speaking I spend much more time on them to get them perfect. I kind of threw these on here to illustrate the "one-tone wonder" that I think my colorization has.....

What I guess I'm asking is, do you all use layer upon layer of various colors at different levels to get a natural-looking skintone? When I look at my own skin, it's pretty smooth; however, it's not all just one color--there are different shades here and there. How can that be duplicated on a photo? Does it boil down to taking a hand-coloring course in order to get the finer points?

Take, for instance, the image of the young girl--I want to use very subtle colorization here, to replicate the type of hand-coloring that was available in that time period. I added a wash of pinky-peach to her cheeks (not really visible in the small file size I downloaded, but just visible on the print, which is just what I wanted). I also worked in some small highlights in her hair (also not visible on the web).

I'm having problems with the skin and hair on the man/baby picture. When I use the same basic technique as I used on the little girl, the skin just looks.....plastic or fake or something. Just not REALISTIC! Do I just need to keep plugging away? Am I close-ish but just don't know it?
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  #28  
Old 03-18-2002, 10:38 AM
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CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
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Gina says: "the problem I am having is that when the image has more pop, the skintones simply aren't believable when printed."

Don't know exactly what you mean by this -- if you apply the adjustment layer (Levels, Curves, etc.) before you add the color, then the contrast will be improved without affecting any colorization. Or is there something about coloring a higher-contrast image that makes it look unnatural to you?

Count me among the folks here who look forward to seeing NIK's tutorial and learn about "isolating the shadow areas using the alpha channel". NIK also uses "other photos to create my colors". Choosing an appropriate hue and saturation level of color is certainly part of the equation, and using colors from other images that we admire is certainly one strategy to making an acceptable choice.

Your skin color choices looked pretty good to me -- adjusting the saturation level down (or up) can assist in making skin tones look more realistic.

I enjoy colorizing, but have a great deal to learn. I'm a fan of Kim Anderson's work (the B/W children's photos with just one or two colorized elements), and hope to learn by viewing many of his works. There are a number of hand coloring books listed on that handcolor.com site recommended to you.
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  #29  
Old 03-18-2002, 01:45 PM
G Mantero G Mantero is offline
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Question skintones

I know I'm not explaining myself very well, but there's just a feeling I get when I look at a beautifully colored portrait--it looks natural and believable.

Adjustment layers are some of my best restoration friends It's not coloring a higher-contrast image that looks unnatural--it's trying to get those differing shades and nuances that real skin has so that the digital images do not look "fake." I think that when I begin to color, I end up washing my colors out in an attempt to keep them from looking plastic. Obviously this is not an absolute must; I see gorgeous digitally tinted photos all the time. I, like Nik, use other photographs from which to choose my colors--if it exists in nature, who am I to use the color picker? The problem is that using the color blending mode with a particular color leaves everything selected as that color. I need to find methods to add some life to my colorization.

***Hence, my question as to whether folks layer colors/masks/etc. on top of each other using different modes and colors in order to find a true, realistic color.***

Skintones give me the most difficulty--people will accept almost any other color in a portrait as long as the skintones look natural and believable to them.
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  #30  
Old 03-18-2002, 03:18 PM
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jeaniesa jeaniesa is offline
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Gina,

I don't think you're as far off as you think you are. To get the color I want, I usually fool around with the skin tone charts in the Resources section:
http://www.retouchpro.com/pages/colors.html
But I often have to fool around with the opacity and sometimes the Hue in addition. I use a separate layer for each color that I paint so that I can adjust each one separately. That also allows me to change the opacity for each one to get just the shade I want. (My experience is that I usually drastically reduce opacity of the layers with the skin tones, but not so much other colors.)

To get the variations in skin tone, I use both the dodge/burn tools (at very low opacity) as well as hand painting in additional color - esp. on faces. For example, I usually at a little pinkish-red to the cheeks at least. And depending on the setting, sometimes the nose, chin and forehead also (very slight). I use an airbrush at very low opacity.

I think when there is a lot of contrast in a photo, the subtle shading sometimes gets lost, so the way I deal with it is to paint the shading back in by hand. I've never tried blending layers with multiple colors, so don't know how that would work.

Hope this helps a little.
Jeanie
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