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

skin masking techniques

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  #1  
Old 08-28-2008, 08:17 AM
KR1156 KR1156 is offline
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skin masking techniques

i've been crazy busy lately and haven't posted in a while, so let's see what's going on 'round here!

-this is more intended for working retouchers with a full time workload that just never ends....(no offense whatsoever to hobbyist or anything, just different circumstances!)

when working on images wether it be editorials, ad's, or whatever...and you need to crank the wheels...what are YOUR personal favorite ways of let's say masking out a good skin mask?

I know a dozen or so different ways it can be done efficiently....i'm more curious as to how you crank your masking out? and also, why you prefer to do it that way. granted on advertising we have a bit more time and budget, and the fact that it HAS to be done right. But what about the not so $$ jobs that still need to look great?

anyone wanna share?
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Old 08-28-2008, 09:08 AM
mayday mayday is offline
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Re: skin masking techniques

I often make a rough selection with the lasso. Then use colour-range to select the skin and quick mask to clean the selection up a bit.
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Old 08-28-2008, 09:30 AM
KR1156 KR1156 is offline
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Re: skin masking techniques

i use selective color a bit as well...but sometimes i find myself having to spend more time cleaning up, as i would have just painting in a careful mask in quickmask, soft edge.
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Old 08-28-2008, 09:56 AM
mayday mayday is offline
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Re: skin masking techniques

That is true depending on the background colours.
I really only make skin masks if its really important that the skin colour is very even. Or if there is a real problem with how even the tone is on the original.
Dont find there's time on editorials so much.

I also sometimes find it hard if I desaturate the skin to get back to the original colour.
I often have trouble with the red/cyan being to high.

What other techniques do you use KR1156?

Last edited by mayday; 08-28-2008 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 08-28-2008, 10:39 AM
KR1156 KR1156 is offline
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Re: skin masking techniques

i mainly brush my mask in wether it be in quickmask mode, or i use some temporary curve or color move o see the detail, whatever works best. usually 2nd to softest brush hardness. always on 100% opacity, no pen pressure.

sometimes i try and bang it out of channels, or calculations, but then again cleanup is necessary.

if it's super simple shapes, i might just lasso it, blur the mask. but i stay away from paths, too unatural.

but to be honest, it's usually a combo of things....whatever is quickest!

there really is no secret shortcut, just curious on what ppl like to use.
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Old 08-28-2008, 10:50 AM
mayday mayday is offline
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Re: skin masking techniques

I also sometimes find it hard if I desaturate the skin to get back to the original colour. I often have trouble with the red/cyan being to high.[/QUOTE]

Do you have this problem desaturate re-saturate KR1156?
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Old 08-28-2008, 11:10 AM
HughSteenk HughSteenk is offline
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Re: skin masking techniques

regarding Desat then Resat

I find that only in extreme cases is this a good idea to begin with. You are essentially tearing down the file and then trying to build it back up. Things can fall apart and the tones become too monotone. A slight bump to the yellows and to the reds can help, but anything above 10% is too much. It's image dependent, but try this to one of your images (pull out most or all of a color or two and watch your pixels break up/disappear/etc and check the channels and histogram. Better to isolate particular colors and adjust accordingly using your favorite flavor of tools.

On that note, selections of say, skin, using channels or color range selections etc. are much easier and require less clean up if adjustment layers are utilized to even things out for PS to grab from, ie. making all your reds and yellows a bright green or dark or light, etc. Take those adjustments that you use all the time and go extreme with them, make your selections and then throw those adjustments away. Think outside the box about what your image looks like raw or however you have it at the time and make it work for you selection wise by beating it into submission.
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Old 08-28-2008, 11:20 AM
KR1156 KR1156 is offline
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Re: skin masking techniques

i always use the hue/sat or selective color "temporarily" to give me a better starting point in my channels masking. it truly helps, and saves time, which is the main goal, a WHOLE bunch!
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Old 08-28-2008, 11:25 AM
KR1156 KR1156 is offline
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Re: skin masking techniques

mayday, i try to do as much color moves overall as possible. i tend to do the desat technique to areas like hands and feet, granted they are a complete mess.

if a photographer jumps through all the hoops to get a particular feel in camera, i.e. special lighting and stuff, i try to respect that and maintain his original feel and goal.
which, leads me to balance the overall image as close as possible, then make minor feathered selections of problem areas and fix them accordingly. keeping it as natural to the shot as possible.
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Old 08-28-2008, 11:27 AM
KR1156 KR1156 is offline
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Re: skin masking techniques

on "heyrad's" site...he has a tutorial about making complex selections using the brush instead of pathing a complex object. i try and use that same approach on my skin masks, or whatever masks i need to do on the fly.

http://www.imagemavericks.com/catego...ral-tutorials/
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