RetouchPRO

Go Back   RetouchPRO > Technique > Photo Retouching
Register Blogs FAQ Site Nav Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


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

Skin tones

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #11  
Old 02-07-2011, 11:11 AM
Repairman's Avatar
Repairman Repairman is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Bristol UK
Posts: 683
Re: Skin tones

That's a really useful chart Ray, thanks for the link.
R.
Reply With Quote top
  #12  
Old 02-07-2011, 06:39 PM
Shoku Shoku is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 302
Re: Skin tones

I assume the RGB is sRGB and the CMYK is SWOP v2?
Reply With Quote top
  #13  
Old 02-07-2011, 08:18 PM
ray12's Avatar
ray12 ray12 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: NYC
Posts: 320
Re: Skin tones

Hi Shoku,

Yes, the skin color chart above has been optimized for the sRGB Color Space for use here on the web. Also, as you most likely know, most commercial print houses that produce our 4x6 and 8x10 and 16x20 prints have printing machines and chemical processing machines that are optimized for the sRGB Color Space too...so that is good.

Some really high-end photographers however, set their cameras, and their Lightrooms and their Photoshop Color Spaces for color gamuts and color spaces that are much wider than what a web browser can reproduce accurately... or your print house can perfectly render on paper. These pro photographers want a much wider spectrum of colors for their images. Those that are using the wider "Adobe RGB" or "ProColor" color spaces, for example, will need to take that into account when dealing with web output or a print house. Ive seen pro photo galleries on the net here where the colors and the brightness levels are terrible looking... because the photographer published his images in a very wide color space... instead of reducing it down to sRGB for the final end usage for the image.

SWOP2 is the general printing press color space if you are into having your works or retouches being published in print.

At some point, as we get more serious about color accuracy, we will become more aware of color spaces and what they can do to flesh tones. For now...dealing in the sRGB color space is the easiest baseline to deal with...but obviously a bit limited in some ways. Every professional is going to have to eventually deal with harmonizing the color space conundrum if they want the most predictable and consistent flesh colors possible.

So for now, sRGB is a pretty good, generic, somewhat universal, web and print color space for many new people. So yes, its sRGB. Apologies to the big guys.

Cheers

Ray12

Last edited by ray12; 02-07-2011 at 10:24 PM.
Reply With Quote top
  #14  
Old 02-08-2011, 07:41 AM
Karlington Karlington is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Posts: 50
Re: Skin tones

Quote:
Originally Posted by ray12 View Post
Hi RayLisa25,

You were asking for a skin color pallet.

Here is a download link to an earlier version Skin Color Reference Chart we have been using. Its not comprehensive... but it does have a lot of very useful detail in it

The purpose of this chart was to capture the skin colors of several ethnic groups as well as the traditional American Caucasian " preferred skin tones" that you would find in skin related magazines. We wanted a reference where we could pick off the colors, match the colors, or use the numbers method to apply the colors. This particular version of the chart does not list the ethnicity and some other information unfortunately... but its pretty easy to guess what is what.

We also included the RGB and CYMK skin color numbers on each color chip. Sometimes just seeing these numbers is enough to get you into the correct color range if you are trying to create colors or correct a skin tone. Some people go by the numbers... and some go by the way it looks. Obviously ethnicity changes the base numbers... and we wanted to be able to numerically analyze that. We also wanted our own database of numbers to be able to analyze the ratios between the colors...in the Lee Varis style of skin coloring.

During our research for creating this chart, we noticed that there was not just one color that we should be referencing in an image...but there were actually 5 key flesh colors on a face or arm for example that were significant.

The Highlight Flesh Color - which is the lightest shade or color on the skin. You would use this color to paint in the brightest part of the skin where the lights are actually hitting the edge highlights of the skin directly.

The General Skin Color - is the average flesh color in the face or body and is the most predominant average base skin color.

The Cheek Color - We noticed that the cheeks of most faces contained a slightly redder skin color than the general skin color...that is due to the "blush colored makeup" that is usually applied to a beauty or glamour image...so we included the typical makeup artist blush colors and numbers separately in the pallet. There were times early on when we picked the false cheek color for the average skin color...and that threw our numbers way off into the red area.

Dark Flesh Color - there are the places on the face and arms or legs that are beginning to go into shadow and this color is the transition color before it hits its lowest value. These colors are also great for glamour contouring on the face to make it look more 3 dimensional.

Deep Shadow Color - This is the skin color that is the darkest in the image and it is applied in the shadow areas. Deep shadow areas in perfectly exposed images were not always black as expected...but some very low base skin color. Using "actual black" instead of this lower value color in the retouch is sometimes not the correct color you will want to use in the shadows.

When retouching faces it is not best to use just one color everywhere...it is best to use 3 to 5 shades for the most realistic colorations.

The skin colors should be applied non-destructively so they are transparent and do not cover over any existing skin pore detail, and they should be blended together so there are no harsh edges between the colors, and they should follow the underlying black and white outlines in the underlying B+W part of the face image. ( Since non-destructive adjustment layer colors are transparent and not opaque...and because they actually blend in with the underlying value or color...it is sometimes necessary to adjust these underlying black and white part of the image so the blended skin colors look correct. A dark underlying base value in the image would take a lighter skin tone and make it look darker...so you have to be aware of how both the luminance of the underlying base image and the color of the overlays work interactively). In the original posters image you can see that he did a great job of "darkening" the nurses hand in addition to changing the "color" as well...that is the the way to approach it...so sometimes you also need to deal with the underlying base B+W image using curves, levels, or D+B so the skin tones come out properly.

Here is a hi-res link to the chart:

http://www.glamourretouching.com/dow...nReference.jpg

Cheers,

Ray12
Thanks for this great source of information.
One question though. When I color correct skin I always do it "by the numbers". After looking under the General Skin coloumn no color seem to have its traditional formula (C=~1/3 of M, Y a bit more than M). Can you please explain why this is the case?

Kind regards,
Karl
Reply With Quote top
  #15  
Old 02-08-2011, 02:09 PM
RetWannabe RetWannabe is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 38
Re: Skin tones

Thanks for the chart Ray. Very useful tool.
Reply With Quote top
  #16  
Old 02-08-2011, 04:01 PM
drode drode is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Aurora, Ohio
Posts: 70
Re: Skin tones

Thanks for posting the chart. Very useful reference. I wish it had the ethnicity listed. hopefully, I can ferret that part out myself.
Reply With Quote top
  #17  
Old 02-08-2011, 06:47 PM
ray12's Avatar
ray12 ray12 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: NYC
Posts: 320
Re: Skin tones

Hi Karlington,

I hear you!

Trying to do skin tones primarily by the numbers can sometimes be very challenging!

Let me ask you this...What kind of skin tone do you personally like? Do you like reddish skin, or yellowish skin, or a nice brown tan color? Do you like the orange Playboy numbers?

Wouldnt the numbers be different for each kind of skin....and even the ratios?

If you factor ethnicity (tints) into the numbers...now you may be dealing with a significant "color cast" and it will definitely give you numbers and ratios that are different than the very nice and pretty "Caucasian White Vogue Female" numbers we all know and love.

Thats why you need to do a study on your own sometimes. You may have different tastes and preferences than your art director or your client does. Between the three of you...each of you may have different ratios that they prefer the best. This makes it crazy. Thats why Lee Varis and his great methodology has such a challenging time sometimes.

Its tough to precisely peg people by the numbers... because we are all so different... and our equipment (lights, ambient color and cameras and F stops even) can change things too, and the Makeup Artist can change things with foundation colors, and post processing is the biggest variable of all. Now where are we at?

For us, what we wanted to do is to create a collection of the actual numbers that we found pleasing... and to makeup our own rules and observations. We now know the numbers that we like to see...and what the numbers might be for some other kind of looks.

The numbers can get you into the ballpark of that beautiful white Caucasian model skin possibly...but from there...sometimes you have to use advanced adjustment layer curves to create the look that your client is happiest with. Maybe your client is not Mr Joe Ratio! Maybe he likes his models with the tanned look, or the pinkish pinup look, or the dark bronze cast, or the high ley white skinned desaturated model that doesn't exist in reality very often (unless she has just seen a ghost!).

Trying to put some "science and order" around artistry and personal subjectivity...and to end up with a repeatable number of all things...is an inexact science you might say. LOL.

We usually try to get into the ballpark with the numbers and ratios where possible...and then we get onto second base with a color correction factor visually using curves...but the way to get onto third base or to get a home run...is to have the client sit down together with you on your calibrated monitor and say...thats it...I like that best. Hello Science.
Reply With Quote top
  #18  
Old 02-09-2011, 04:36 AM
Karlington Karlington is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Posts: 50
Re: Skin tones

Thanks for taking your time!
I see what you mean and of course I agree with you that personal taste should go "before" sience of numbers or what have you. Since I don't have an Eizo monitor (just a plain old Cinema screen) I more than often have to rely on the numbers. Therefor, in my case, the "By the numbers" trick often comes in handy to get me in the ballpark, as you say. Conclution: I now see why you don't have a By the numbers-mix in your color palette – it's more about personal taste.

Kind regards,
Karl
Reply With Quote top
  #19  
Old 02-09-2011, 09:04 AM
ray12's Avatar
ray12 ray12 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: NYC
Posts: 320
Re: Skin tones

Hi Karl,

You are pretty much correct. The generalized numbers and the ratio formula will indeed get you into the ballpark...the White Middle America Model ballpark. But what if you are one of our Asian friends, or our South American friends, or our African friends? Their ratios are different.

What if our same New York City model has been indoors all winter and feels like she looks terribly pale or like Snow White...so then she goes outdoors and gets a sunburn... and turns lobster red...and then later in the season she gets that coveted well oiled bronze tan finally. Her flesh tone numbers will have looked different at each stage. Your ratios would be all over the place. What if we photographed her at each stage... and also had our makeup artist work on her foundation color for each shoot...and then try to match up her makeup pallet to match her dress color or eye color? Now we have a completely different look. Furthermore, what if I photograph her outdoors in the magic golden glow that happens at 6 am, or the blue color of high noon, or with a firery red color at sunset? Her flesh colors would all be different numbers...but they would look appropriate for each setting...the ratios however would skew toward the yellow in the morning, the blue at noon, and the red at sunset.

In the pallet I was able to share above...that pallet was a collection of what some general popular sikn values would be for different kinds of looks...the American girl, the Asian, the Brizillian beauty, the pinup look, the bronzed goddess, the woman of color etc. Its a nice chart in that it has a number of representative flesh color schemes that can be used for a reference... and for general color correction. What it also taught us at the time was to be careful where you pick your skin colors from...because there can be many skin tones on one face depending on where it is.

This chart should not primarily be used to validate one ratio system...but... to ALSO show that there are different ratio systems...and that it is OK to have different ratios... for ethnicity, for special intended looks, and what colors people like to see in skin related publications for example. It was a chart used to teach us what some of the most popular skin tones were within certain types of groups or genres. So yes...the whole world didnt exactly fit into the generalized formula we were using at the time!!! And yes Karl, you are right on...the formulas are a good tool...but not the ultimate simplistic answer.

Eventually...it depends on what product she is selling...and the visual intentions of the art director. Eventually it finally comes down to what "YOU" like to see...so that you BUY the product. It has got to match up in your brain... and create a certain chemical reaction...to like what you see so much...that you choose to buy the look or product. We dont want our pretty model looking blue down on the beach! Youre not going to buy a ticket from that cruise line!

Last edited by ray12; 02-09-2011 at 12:10 PM.
Reply With Quote top
  #20  
Old 02-09-2011, 10:48 AM
julianmarsalis julianmarsalis is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 333
Re: Skin tones

Ray,
Most excellent break down thanks....
Reply With Quote top
Reply

  RetouchPRO > Technique > Photo Retouching


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
i need help correcting skin tones. nebulaoperator Photo Retouching 9 02-02-2011 07:19 PM
CMYK skin tone problems/help nikeskate875 Photo Retouching 10 01-14-2011 01:53 PM
Skin tones chilled35 Photo Retouching 3 10-24-2010 08:25 PM
How to get these skin tones figueline Photo Retouching 2 10-11-2010 12:42 AM
Matching skin tones jeaniesa Photo Retouching 4 09-22-2004 12:25 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:21 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright © 2016 Doug Nelson. All Rights Reserved