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Help with even skin tones

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  #1  
Old 04-14-2011, 06:19 AM
shizam1 shizam1 is offline
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Help with even skin tones

Hi, I'm trying to get better at beauty retouching and one thing I need to improve on is even skin tones.

Currently, I can remove small problem areas, like red spots around a pimple by paintint over the color with frequency separation, and that keeps the detail.

I can also do a gradient map, and that helps somewhat, though too much opacity and the colors don't look realistic any more.

Are there any other techniques? If I'm working on a photo with a large patch of messed up color, and no good sample area, I get kind of stuck...
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:41 AM
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MacBurg MacBurg is offline
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Re: Help with even skin tones

Spend a bit more time with the gradient map, every image will require different amounts of hue/sat and brightness for each stop you use. When you really get the gradient map dialed in it can be used at 60%-80% opacity and look really good.

There must be some part of the skin in the image that has a good tone to sample off, often if you get the white balance wrong out of a Raw conversion it can make a mess of skin tones too. If you are shooting in a studio or with your own flash system you should have a white balance reference for your particular lights, also shooting a grey card is a good base to start white balance with.
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:47 AM
shizam1 shizam1 is offline
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Re: Help with even skin tones

Ok, maybe my gradient map skills need more work then. Any tutorials out there? The only knowledge I have is from the Natalia retouching DVD, which basically shows to pick the darkest skin tone, and the lightest, push it out a bit further, make a gradient map with color blending mode, and apply a curves to it, etc.

The white balance should be spot on, since I was shooting studio and used a gray card every time I changed the lightring.

The problem I have with a sample, is around the cheek near the nose, there is a pretty large spot ( 2-3 inch square area, in real life ) that has an orange cast due to bad makeup application. Around that area the skin tones are good, but wrong luminosity, so I can't just sample and paint.
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:48 AM
julianmarsalis julianmarsalis is offline
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Re: Help with even skin tones

In that case I would separate the image using frequency separation and paint the color back in below the texture see this video from flexmanta http://newdirection.co/2010/08/18/re...y-separation-2
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:54 AM
shizam1 shizam1 is offline
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Re: Help with even skin tones

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Originally Posted by julianmarsalis View Post
In that case I would separate the image using frequency separation and paint the color back in below the texture see this video from flexmanta http://newdirection.co/2010/08/18/re...y-separation-2
I'll have to watch that video tonight ( blocked at work ), but I'm guessing it's what I already know how to do. I do that for small mis-colored areas, where there is a proper color next to the area.
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:06 AM
julianmarsalis julianmarsalis is offline
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Re: Help with even skin tones

Cool the key I find is sample the color you like and build it up from using a low opacity brush around 10% on a layer and do the same with hue at 5% if needed on a layer above that one both above the color separation and below the high pass texture layer.....
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:10 AM
shizam1 shizam1 is offline
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Re: Help with even skin tones

Now when you say "do the same with hue", what are you describing?

I normally do a clone tool, at 25% on a layer between the separation, sampling the color portion.
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:29 AM
julianmarsalis julianmarsalis is offline
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Re: Help with even skin tones

I will use the sample color on a layer set to Hue Blend mode and brush it in at a low opacity if needed. Depending on how hard a time I am getting in matching the tones its just more control.
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:39 AM
shizam1 shizam1 is offline
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Re: Help with even skin tones

Thanks for that, I'll play around tonight and see how that works for me
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:43 AM
shizam1 shizam1 is offline
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Re: Help with even skin tones

Man do I need to learn about blending modes. Hue blend mode sounds perfect, it will retain the luminosity but only affect the color.
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