Originally Posted by abdul10000
Pardon my ignorance, but what do you mean by a targeted curve? I am really interested in your end result because it looks much more natural than the end result presented in the referenced tutorial.
Thanks in advance!
The imperfections in the original image aren't really D&B problems. I guess you could say the reds tend to be darker than the clean skin, but really they're color variations and while you can solve some of the problem with any of the standard D & B techniques that are discussed, the one problem that keeps coming up with such approaches is the possibility of color drift. Since it's really a color correction problem, curves are the tool of choice.
I sampled a representative patch of clear skin, not the darkest or lightest and I likewise sampled a comparably representative bit of red skin.
In my curve adjustment layer, I set a midpoint in each of the three channel curves and simply plugged in the numbers to the input and output slots, designing a curve that pulls red skin toward clear skin. Mask out the layer and then paint back with white, the same way you paint in strokes with D & B. Everywhere you see red blemishes, hit them with a brush stroke, small, low opacity. Curves distribute the modification smoothly across the whole range of values, and since these tones are fairly close together one curve will do well for a fair range of corrections. It's not a complete fix. No tool is. But it's as good a way as any you'll find to deal with this kind of skin problem.
Note that the usual sequence in using curves to correct color is to mask out the problem region, use your mask in a curve layer and fiddle around till you get the color you want. This just reverses the process, starting with a fixed color shift based on the values already present in the image, and fiddling with the mask to get it right.