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  • How to achieve these tones

    Hi guys,

    Hope you can help.
    If anyone knows how I could achieve these kind of skin tones, that would be amazing.

    edit.jpg

    Thanks

    Pete

  • #2
    Re: How to achieve these tones

    This refers only to the skintones, since that is what you asked. I think that's a good way to start. You can come back to other aspects later.

    1. Tone down any areas that are way too bright. You can see the upper chest was brought down a bit here to make the skin look more even. You have to pay attention to muscle and bone structure to avoid overdoing that.

    2. Add a hue saturation layer with saturation -20. This won't be permanent, but it might help you as a visual aid. Apply localized color adjustments targeting your blue and green channels so that it doesn't suddenly shift too green or magenta in any given area. You can usually use curves or color balance. I often use channel mixer, but it takes practice to get used to that and you have to use it very sparingly.

    3. Compare to this image to evaluate your progress.


    I see two common problems with skintones.

    People don't know how to even them out without making the image look weird. You should be harsh on yourself there. Click your layers on and off multiple times. Ask yourself if you made it look even a little weird.

    People are afraid to mask out skin, thinking it can all be done via global color correction. This is not always possible.

    They ignore the color of elements that offset the way we perceive the skintone. The background, eyes, hair, and lips all border skin, and your brain considers juxtapositions.

    They ignore shadow density. Grey shadows look ugly even when you have the right color, but you don't want them to be too blocked up. Note that these are soft.

    Good luck.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: How to achieve these tones

      Thanks so much for your reply Klev.

      I will give it a shot and play around with your suggestions.

      Cheers

      Pete

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: How to achieve these tones

        The way I do this is pick up color swatches just as a reference.
        Then roughly adjust elements and that means making masks. So i start pushing and pulling tones and colors until it looks sort-of like the final I want to achieve.
        Next I go into the actual retouching, fix all the distractions, refine those initial masks and at the end I deal with color both in terms of issues and achieving the look.

        It's a good idea to have the reference as an enlarged layer in your image, so that you can turn that on and off too, see how much it resembles your file.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: How to achieve these tones

          Originally posted by petesoul View Post
          Thanks so much for your reply Klev.

          I will give it a shot and play around with your suggestions.

          Cheers

          Pete
          You're welcome. Let me know how it turns out or how close you get to the desired results. There are details to it, so I mentioned some of the ones people seem to get stuck most often. It gets considerably more intuitive after a while.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: How to achieve these tones

            yeah not having much luck....

            Just can't get the balance right.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: How to achieve these tones

              Originally posted by petesoul View Post
              yeah not having much luck....

              Just can't get the balance right.
              Without seeing anything, I have to ask a few questions.

              -Did you darken any overly bright distracting patches before you started to adjust the skin?

              -Did you mask out the skin and adjust it independently of the rest of the image?

              -Did you mask out the skin and adjust it independently of the rest of the image?

              Is the skin too close to the background in brightness? That can make it look flat.

              -Did you glance at the reference image while working on yours?

              The kind of work you're aspiring to is going to be somewhat of an iterative process, and you should try to use an image that's at least similar at first. It will help you recognize certain things.

              The girl in your reference image is at least somewhat tan. They might have darkened some areas a bit, but she is tan. The lighting is large, but it has enough directness to produce a bright highlight over one area of the face (eyes and hair are lightened in post here, so don't pay too much attention to them for lighting cues). You should stay as close to that formula as possible if you want it to look similar. Otherwise you're trying to infer what this photographer would want under different conditions. If that isn't feasible, pick an image that more closely matches what you're working on.

              If you want to post a starting image and your results so far, I might be able to give a more direct comment on that one specifically or try to figure out where you went in the wrong direction.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: How to achieve these tones

                These are the tones I got so far.

                I actually don't mind them. I know the inspiration photo the girl is much darker than my model.

                I did mask out skin etc and softened the highlights separately with dodging and burning.

                Now need to work out how I can get the rest of the image to look similar to the inspiration.
                Attached Files

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: How to achieve these tones

                  Originally posted by petesoul View Post
                  These are the tones I got so far.

                  I actually don't mind them. I know the inspiration photo the girl is much darker than my model.

                  I did mask out skin etc and softened the highlights separately with dodging and burning.

                  Now need to work out how I can get the rest of the image to look similar to the inspiration.
                  I actually wouldn't soften highlights that much. The image that you like has very defined highlights in key areas of anatomical interest, such as the bridge of the nose and a bony structure in the forehead (forgot the name). What I meant was ensure the legs or chest aren't too bright relative to the face and that the jaw has some shape.

                  Note that what I did is pretty far off. I don't have my tablet out at the moment, and I think I mistakenly imported it as Adobe 1998 rather than sRGB. Note that at least part of the face should be sufficiently bright to catch the viewer's interest (or at least key points) and the details of the dress shouldn't be ignored. They look too flat in your image. The background could probably also use some work. It's random enough to be interesting in that image. Yours has large patches of high contrast, which I find a bit distracting.

                  Overall I think you could still improve upon this quite a bit, but I think you should reconsider parts where you may have toned down smaller highlights a bit too much (assuming they were there before).

                  Note that I'm way way off on parts, like the face. My goal was to have the shadow "seat" her a bit more, bring out dress detail, possibly eyes, bring more focus to face and hair, and get a better balance between legs, chest, arms, and face. (Also note I'm not using my tablet, just on my laptop at the moment. It means very sloppy masking.)
                  Attached Files

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: How to achieve these tones

                    First thing I see is that your whites are much lighter and cooler then the reference.

                    Comment

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