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Black skin? Make caucasian look tanned?

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  • Black skin? Make caucasian look tanned?

    So, I'm trying to make these models look super tanned, even tough they're pretty much as white as it comes.

    So, is there a smart way of doing this or?

    Basically, I am now brushing slowly, DNBing them to look tanned.

    I was wondering, is there something else I can do?

    What I find disruptive with multiply, applying layers to one another and other darkening methods, is that they all retain the same light dynamic, just flatten the image or add contrast to it.

    And the result is muddy looking thing.

    I am going for something more like this:
    Attached Files
    Last edited by skoobey; 08-07-2013, 05:10 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Black skin? Make caucasian look tanned?

    This tip from the RetouchPro Tutorials might help


    • #3
      Re: Black skin? Make caucasian look tanned?

      you can achieve almost anything using curves. Since you're only showing someone else's final work and not the image you're working on- I'm assuming you didn't shoot the images you're referring to Anyway... an example image of your photography or your clients would help explain the process

      Either way, when asked to make the model more "tan", it's advised to keep it looking natural. Curves and maybe the need for some masking will work fine. If you have to go too far, it'll look fake. I promise you... the shots your referenced and the subjects in them were not pale



      • #4
        Re: Black skin? Make caucasian look tanned?

        Originally posted by heyrad View Post
        you can achieve almost anything using curves.
        I used to try that, but it's very difficult as you're altering values, not the physics that initiated the reflected light that would create such an image. I mean you have so much really specific stuff. Bright highlights in skin tend to be closer to the temperature of whatever is creating them where the darker values in tan skin pick up a lot of color from the partial transparency inherent to it. You get less red there due to less reflection from actual blood vessels compared to fairer skin. Looking at these, like you said none of these girls were pale from the start. Most of them appear to have some body makeup too. The skin definitely looks masked in the black and white ones. I covered the eyes to make sure I wasn't just thrown off by the heavy work there. There are signs of what was done, like number 2 the shadow is quite saturated considering it's that dark. It would pick up that kind of saturation due to transmitted light and reflection, in which case it would be a bit brighter. Unless it's just a scan, number 1 looks like it was adjusted quite a bit, as the brightest highlights are a tad saturated beyond what I would expect. @Skoobey On 4 through 10 the eye adjustments are really heavy, so it's important not to be thrown off by that.

        Also in case of mods, apologies for the doppelganger account. I don't have access to reset the password, so I signed up again, or actually found that my other email had an account, probably due to something similar.

        Back to the main topic, if I had to approach something like that, I would probably block it out part of the way using channel mixer. I would definitely drop a black solid color layer over the eyes, just because they'll be so obviously wrong in context that it would throw off my adjustments. It's good to have some unretouched samples of very tan people for reference so you could see where one might start relative to the other. Highlights are going to be slightly different, but not much. Mostly they won't get darker like the rest of the skin. In terms of shading it's important to look at how shadows collect on a really tan person. Muscles are just much more defined. That's why body builders are all tan. It shows off buffness. The problem is that retouched images make horrible reference for this as they had an entirely different pass after the initial one. If the person starts out kind of pale, you won't get to that level. You can probably do something, but unretouched reference is much more valuable.


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