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colors for gradient layer?

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  #1  
Old 12-04-2012, 09:20 PM
frankg frankg is offline
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colors for gradient layer?

I just posted looking for direction in creating this kind of vintage look and suggested that it may be a high contrast b&W layer on top of col but reading some other threads it seems it may be a gradient layer. But to get this range of skin tones what colors do you think to use - is there a way to sample these to get an idea?
http://www.billyundhells.de/Seiten/Pictures.html
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:54 AM
redcrown redcrown is offline
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Re: colors for gradient layer?

Those images have a "signature" characteristic. Look at some histograms to analyze.

1. They are all "low key", meaning there are few if any tones in the right 1/3 of the histogram. In other words, they are just dark.
2. They have fairly low saturation.
3. They have "crushed" blacks.

To approach the emulation of this style, take a "normal" image and:

1. Add a Levels adjustment layer, drag the middle slider to the right to darken midtones,
2. Add a Hue/Sat adjustment layer and desat.
3. Add a Selective Color adjustment layer and add black to the Blacks channel. (Many ways to crush blacks, this is just one quick way).

Once all 3 layers are in place, go back and play with their strength because they affect each other. Results depend on what you start with, of course. This photographer may have started with a low exposure image.

As for skin tones, use the Color Picker and Info Pallet and look at CMYK values. The few I looked at had cyan, magenta, and yellow values fairly close in range. That is a natural result of low key and low saturation. But if your adjusted image needs more, add a color sample point somewhere on your skin tone and use adjustment layers (Curves, Hue/Sat, Selective Color) to move your CMYK values to (apporximately) match the values from the target image.
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:52 PM
frankg frankg is offline
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Re: colors for gradient layer?

Thank you for this.Gonna give it a whirl
Curious why you'd read the cmy values and not the rgb values? I have adobe rgb as my working space.

Last edited by frankg; 12-05-2012 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:57 PM
frankg frankg is offline
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Re: colors for gradient layer?

A bit of a struggle to match these skin tones with the usual and suggested adj. layers, but if I d/l a few samples from the web and use the col picker, & read the cmy as you suggest, I find that they''re around 36, 36, 36 and the k is around 1 or 2 (as you already said) . So then I created a col fill layer with those cmyk values. I laid this over an image (of mine) and set the blend mode to Saturation. As long as I keep the opacity at 100% then I think I get into the ballpark. Comments?
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:31 PM
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jbedford jbedford is offline
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Re: colors for gradient layer?

I'd guess 1 stop underexposed photo, followed by a duplicate layer that has been converted to black / white and had the 'clarity' slider ramped up quite a bit, as well as bringing the shadows up quite a lot, keeping the blacks deep tho (I'm referencing ACR / Lightroom sliders here). This layer is then flipped to softlight or something to further intensify the blacks and it's opacity reduced to find some sweet contrast. The b/w layer may get duped again with reduced opacity on 'normal' to desaturate the overall image. Again, just a guess.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:05 AM
redcrown redcrown is offline
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Re: colors for gradient layer?

frank,

I looked at CMYK values instead of RGB in the samples only because you asked about skin tones. Judging skin tones is much easier and more common in CMYK than RGB, although you can use either.

There is an old and common guide that says in "perfect" caucasian skin tone the Cyan value shoud be 1/3 to 1/5 of the Magenta value, and the Yellow value should be no less than Magenta and 5 to 10 percentage points higher for warmer, healthier looking skin. A lot of people follow that guide, but a small number of people reject it in favor of just using your eyes.

But a quick glance at CMYK values can tell a lot about skin tone. The Cyan/Magenta ratio is not too important, but if Yellow is less than Magenta that's a sign of red, sunburned skin. And if Yellow is much greater than Magenta, that's a bad sign too. Glancing at RGB values for skin tones, it's difficult to evaluate. You have to calculate percentages or differences in your head, and then remember what the good RGB ratios are.

You say you added a color fill layer in saturation blend mode and that worked for you. If it did, you were lucky. A color fill layer in saturation mode will only change the luminosity, making the overall image lighter or darker. It will not change the color. Add a green saturation mode layer on top of a red layer, and all you get is a different shade of red. No green color will be introduced.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:16 AM
frankg frankg is offline
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Re: colors for gradient layer?

Thank you for the info about reading col off the cmyk values. I just read it off one of the images in the link I posted, a rather flat & front lit image, & it is 28, 30, 30, 0.
I am embarrassed to say that I didn't know what I was talking about re the col fill layer set to Sat mode. You are 100% right. It does nothing to get me there. I just tried it again on one of my images by going Layer>New Fill Layer>Solid col> & inputting the above cmyk values.
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  #8  
Old 12-09-2012, 08:20 PM
adtechniques adtechniques is offline
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Re: colors for gradient layer?

I like his effect, it's look like painting. How can get this look?
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