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  • Workflow for uniform skin color across the image?

    I was just wondering, what is your workflow in order to get uniform skin color across the image?

    I found a few issues:

    OK, I've DnBed and healed and done composited where needed, etc, now I want to make the image "my own".

    I have a couple of adjustment layers on top, but they're messing up the color. (Contrast curve is messing up the color, black and white at multiply is also doing it, so are the contrast, and many other adjustments that I apply to give punch where needed).

    I can make a gradient map that fits things pretty well, and then fix it where it's off(basically colorize the image).

    Or should I try to put color under control with a hue sat/curves adjustments for each and every one of those luminosity adjustments?

    If I do it the first way, it tends to be overly uniform in most cases, but is much faster, and if I do it the second way, I have to fix the color mess adjustments made(and even if I do it as I make the adjustments, it still doesn't neutralize the saturation offset), and I have to fix what needed to be fixed from the start...

    I am confused, how do you go about this?
    Last edited by skoobey; 11-09-2013, 06:21 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Workflow for uniform skin color across the ima

    Care to post an example? You're making this into something overly complex. The issues you encounter relate to a couple things. One is physics. Another is the quirky way image editors handle color which is just part of their underlying design.

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    • #3
      Re: Workflow for uniform skin color across the ima

      If you spend a bit of time sorting out the saturation after your tone/contrast moves, then you should find adjusting the colour more controllable. When you are modifying the colour, using Hue mode will help to avoid an unnatural colorised look in the shadows and highlights.

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      • #4
        Re: Workflow for uniform skin color across the ima

        Originally posted by klev View Post
        Care to post an example? You're making this into something overly complex. The issues you encounter relate to a couple things. One is physics. Another is the quirky way image editors handle color which is just part of their underlying design.
        Exactly, I am asking a general question.

        Originally posted by AKMac View Post
        If you spend a bit of time sorting out the saturation after your tone/contrast moves, then you should find adjusting the colour more controllable. When you are modifying the colour, using Hue mode will help to avoid an unnatural colorised look in the shadows and highlights.
        True, but if I do a contrast curve, and blend it to darken, if I desaturate the mask, it will even desaturate the non-affected areas? I know i can make a difference mask, once I am satisfied with everything else... hm...

        You mean using hue blending mode on curves when colorizing or? I do sometimes use both hue and saturation curves to adjust color.

        P.S. I found that when you do a dramatic curve trough channels (pull blues up for example) you can overwhelm the other colors, and you do get a sort of monotone (blue eyes gone bluer, blue sky gone bluer). And, I found that ranking up saturation, really does that as well, but it also makes a hard distinguishing line between the hues... Is the best way to pump up the color to pull in end points on a straight curve?
        Last edited by skoobey; 11-10-2013, 07:10 AM.

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        • #5
          Re: Workflow for uniform skin color across the ima

          What I meant was to ignore colour/saturation shifts until you've done all your tonal/contrast adjustments; then bring the saturation up or down locally before moving on to final colour adjustments. I know this is an oversimplification, and workflows are just rules made to be broken, but I find Tone > Saturation > Hue to be the best rule of thumb.


          Re. the use of Hue Mode - Once you've got your tone and saturation the way you want them, the only remaining element is Hue, so why not work in Hue Mode? If you use Color Mode it will change the Hue and Saturation values, and you can end up with an unnatural colorised look because you're cancelling out the natural fall-off of saturation in the highlights and shadows.
          Last edited by AKMac; 11-10-2013, 09:20 AM.

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          • #6
            Re: Workflow for uniform skin color across the ima

            Originally posted by skoobey View Post
            True, but if I do a contrast curve, and blend it to darken, if I desaturate the mask {Huh?}, it will even desaturate the non-affected areas? I know i can make a difference mask, once I am satisfied with everything else... hm...

            You mean using hue blending mode on curves when colorizing or? I do sometimes use both hue and saturation curves to adjust color.

            You can make this stuff as complicated as you want, but something tells me you be better served by simpler approaches.

            Start fresh. What is it you're trying to do again? Best I can ascertain from your original post is that you're stacking up a ton of adjustment layers to change contrast and color, but then you're not happy with their affect on saturation and color, so you want to know what additional layers and masks to add atop.

            Originally posted by skoobey View Post
            I have a couple of adjustment layers on top, but they're messing up the color. (Contrast curve is messing up the color, black and white at multiply is also doing it, so are the contrast, and many other adjustments that I apply to give punch where needed).

            I can make a gradient map that fits things pretty well, and then fix it where it's off(basically colorize the image).

            Or should I try to put color under control with a hue sat/curves adjustments for each and every one of those luminosity adjustments?
            I find a good general rule to be to work pixels first, then tone/density/contrast, lastly color (hue/saturation).

            (Note how in RAW programs like ACR exposure/contrast/clarity comes well before HSL or split toning, or how BW "help" layers are used when D&B'ing)

            By all means, throw up fill layers and play with blend modes and convoluted masks, etc, to experiment and see what you can come up with. But after a while your results will probably get a bit random, and no one can tell you how to tame the beast without seeing what you've created and where you're trying to go with it.

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            • #7
              Re: Workflow for uniform skin color across the ima

              AkMac got what I was trying to ask.

              So, basically, I can use both approaches, depending on how fas I want to be done. Smart thing I learned just now is to actually put color ABOVE the tone/contrast layers, and to put hue on top of that. THANK YOU.

              @Flash tones

              Either way it end's up looking the same, it's just a workflow/speed issue.

              Now I know how to work more efficiently, as I do gradient map and skip step by step saturation fixes(if there are a lot of tonal adjustments)when it's a look book or some sort of similar job. I try to avoid devoting to the look in RAW too much, mostly basic color/exposure tuning.
              Last edited by skoobey; 11-10-2013, 12:42 PM.

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              • #8
                Re: Workflow for uniform skin color across the ima

                I do:
                1) General color correction
                2) Gradient map on skin
                3) Saturation normalization (with saturation mask fron S Channel of an HSB conversion)
                4) Mood color toning

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