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

Skin tones

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  #1  
Old 02-04-2011, 08:58 PM
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daygraphics daygraphics is offline
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Skin tones

In today's day and age, many images for web and print production are selected from stock sites. While the approximate image content and right sentiment can often be found and purchased, it rarely goes to final distribution without some retouching or color correction. I oftentimes find myself simply color correcting an image to achieve what the Art Director and photographers would have done had they photographed and produced the actual shot. Here are some examples of simple skin tones and flesh color that can make a big difference in the final rendition.

www.daygraphics.net//HANDTONE_ORIGINAL.jpg

www.daygraphics.net//HANDTONE_A.jpg

www.daygraphics.net//HANDTONE_B.jpg

www.daygraphics.net//HANDTONE_C.jpg
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2011, 10:13 PM
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Re: Skin tones

I having problems understanding the point of the thread... could you expand?

x
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  #3  
Old 02-05-2011, 11:08 AM
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Re: Skin tones

The point is that sometimes designers are looking for an ethnic image with two hands holding each other in a caring environment. Finding an image that is almost "perfect", they are disappointed that the models are not the ethnicities that they had hoped - and if they had Art Directed and hired models they would have chosen models of differing races. But they love the image. If you look at the images, you will undoubtedly note that although there is no real retouching, the care givers arm has been isolated and with a good understanding of color and the associated correction tools available (selective color, channel mixing, etc.), one can adjust the image very realistically to the Director's liking. Each of these images - on its own - stands as a believable, and useable image. Now the Art Director has his choice for a final ad image.
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Old 02-05-2011, 12:06 PM
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Re: Skin tones

I'm pretty sure people are aware of this, but I might be wrong.

I do see your point now
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Old 02-05-2011, 01:03 PM
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Re: Skin tones

Godmother... thank you for your input. I'll bet you are right, but being new here, I see a very broad range of talent of expertise and having just recently completed this project - I thought it noteworthy to mention that not all retouch/color correction has to be all that complicated or sophisticated to be of significant value to the real world. After 25 years as a retoucher, starting as an airbrush artist, negative dye retoucher, etc., and riding the digital wave from hi-end proprietary workstations to todays desktop platform, I have recently gone corporate - and taken my services in-house. I guess I just marvel at how long designers will continue to look for that alternate image, when they have found an acceptable and completely useable one rather quickly. They still think that retouching something like this will be expensive or take a long time. "You" - probably being an accomplished pro, know that all three variations of this image took a total of 20 minutes. Sorry if I misused the space and posted the obvious!!!
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Old 02-05-2011, 01:52 PM
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Re: Skin tones

20 mins DG! - you slacker!
Now get that image on to mag tape and get me the film seps, RRESD please!
R.

Last edited by Repairman; 02-05-2011 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 02-05-2011, 02:26 PM
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Wink Re: Skin tones

RM...

you sure you want it RRESD? It's replacing an image from archive flats, and the table guys got to make duplicate separation sets.
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Old 02-05-2011, 02:57 PM
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Re: Skin tones

Ha! Never mind that, they've been grumpy since we removed the table bulbs!
R.
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  #9  
Old 02-07-2011, 05:17 AM
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Re: Skin tones

Quote:
Originally Posted by daygraphics View Post
In today's day and age, many images for web and print production are selected from stock sites. While the approximate image content and right sentiment can often be found and purchased, it rarely goes to final distribution without some retouching or color correction. I oftentimes find myself simply color correcting an image to achieve what the Art Director and photographers would have done had they photographed and produced the actual shot. Here are some examples of simple skin tones and flesh color that can make a big difference in the final rendition.

www.daygraphics.net//HANDTONE_ORIGINAL.jpg

www.daygraphics.net//HANDTONE_A.jpg

www.daygraphics.net//HANDTONE_B.jpg

www.daygraphics.net//HANDTONE_C.jpg
you can explain how did you do it. many of us like me are newbies
when it comes to retouching . for sure there are members here
who will definitely apperitiate it.
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  #10  
Old 02-07-2011, 10:47 AM
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Re: Skin tones

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
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File Type: jpg SkinReferenceSmall.jpg (36.3 KB, 246 views)

Last edited by ray12; 02-07-2011 at 11:28 AM.
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