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  • Blending skin tones, Help please!

    Hi all, I'm new here, just joined this morning, I've joined this forum because I started learning retouching in January, and I feel i could learn a lot from like minded people.

    I am very very stuck on one particular thing when it comes to retouching, and that is blending skin tones. For example, I am currently working on an image where the model has uneven skin tone, and some red blotchy patches, my images is a RAW file and a close in beauty shot, so of course the skin tone matters for this particular style of image.

    I've tried building the skin tone with a 5% opacity brush, it just doesn't look good in my opinion.
    I have cloned on an empty layer with a soft brush and 30% opacity, doesn't work either and I have tried other opacities.
    I cannot seem to work out gradient maps, how confusing!!

    I feel like I've reached a dead end to be honest, this makes me sad.

    I use the frequency separation technique, is there anything I am missing to blend skin tones using this technique or any other?

    I've wanted to try the dodge and burn retouching technique but I don't want to learn that until I've learned F.S properly, as I still haven't completed any image to a standard that I am happy with.

    Any advice/techniques/tutorials will be a blessing!!

    Thanks so much

  • #2
    Re: Blending skin tones, Help please!

    Good place to start would be to present us with the image(via link, posting here results in really low quality), or a portion of the image that you find problematic.

    Gradient map really is something you do here and there, rarely all over, but let's first deal with the tones.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Blending skin tones, Help please!

      Hey Thanks so much for your reply, here is the link to the unedited image so you can see the problems I am having. Thank you.

      http://postimg.org/image/6v8qqxf5v/

      Please do let me know if there are any problems with the link.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Blending skin tones, Help please!

        Main issue I see here is that she is not a model, but the image is asking for one. So the task no.1 would be to "doll her up". And get make up to a point where it makes a bit more sense, like the fingers/nails really need to be more pretty and less portrait, stones need to be further away from the lashes ,and the lashes need to be longer.

        Skin has very few issues.
        Last edited by skoobey; 04-11-2016, 08:13 AM.

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        • #5
          Re: Blending skin tones, Help please!

          Originally posted by skoobey View Post
          Main issue I see here is that she is not a model, but the image is asking for one. So the task no.1 would be to "doll her up". And get make up to a point where it makes a bit more sense, like the fingers/nails really need to be more pretty and less portrait, stones need to be further away from the lashes ,and the lashes need to be longer.

          Skin has very few issues.
          I'm confused, she is a model, I know her personally but I didn't take the photo myself. I will indeed do all those things but I am stuck on the skin tones right now and that's what I need help with, Thank you.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Blending skin tones, Help please!

            Well, it could be the angle/lens combo. I know I've never worked on a beauty model with nose that prominent. Irrelevant, let's get to helping you with the image as is.

            I did some quick fixes so we can go on with the tones. RETOUCHED IMAGE

            Did you have any looks in mind?
            P.S. I notice you said you're not using DNB? How did you blend the skin tones so far?
            Last edited by skoobey; 04-11-2016, 11:16 AM.

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            • #7
              Re: Blending skin tones, Help please!

              Wow, That is amazing, I am very impressed!!

              The model isn't a beauty model, I am just thankful to be given some images to practice on. Lens and angle, I have no idea sorry.

              May I ask which skin technique you're using? You've done a great job, but I dont want to change the way she looks (as in the shape of her nose) as I will be sending her the final images once I'm done for her to use in her modelling portfolio, she will want the photo to reflect what she really looks like.

              Ok so I have not managed to sort out skin tones so far That's why I am asking for help, I've tried many things!

              P.S thanks for your help

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Blending skin tones, Help please!

                I've just done some basic cloning and DNB, a couple of curves for color.
                You don't necessarily need to change the shape of her face, you can liquify in the end, rather then at the beginning, so you have both versions. It just reads more as beauty (to me at least) this way. And, yes, I know I might have went overboard, as well as that the hair and nails could be sorted out :P

                Not so sure what do you mean about the tones,you can download PSD here , maybe you can ask me about a particular step?
                Last edited by skoobey; 04-11-2016, 12:15 PM.

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                • #9
                  Re: Blending skin tones, Help please!

                  Thank you, I have some questions, Could I direct message you ?

                  The link didn't work unfortunately, would have been superb if it had!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Blending skin tones, Help please!

                    I fixed the link! Sure, you can PM me, but it's great when you post here, because it's beneficial to everyone.
                    Last edited by skoobey; 04-12-2016, 03:03 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Blending skin tones, Help please!

                      Please excuse my late reply, I've been thoroughly looking at the PSD and have been trying to work out how you have done certain things.

                      And yes, I totally understand it would be beneficial to post here, so I will not PM you.

                      I have a few questions in regard to the PSD, if you wouldn't mind answering


                      1. I see you have made 2 'DNB' groups, can you tell me why you would do the dodge and burn in two sections and also what is the difference between the first and the second group. I can see on the in the second dnb group, you have applied it heavier, how did you do this?

                      (For me, It seems to get to a point where I cannot apply anymore dodge or burn after doing multiple strokes in the same area, this is confusing.)

                      2. why do you have 1 burn layer and 2 dogge layers in the dnb groups?

                      3. How on earth did you do the eyelash? as in make is longer as the stone is in the way and it has been a nightmare so I gave up, I wish I knew!!

                      4. I can see you have totally fixed the skin tone that I was having massive issues with, I also see you used dnb, why would you use dnb over the gradient map for skin tones?

                      P.S... I have managed to learn DnB since I was last here, it works to an extent, I wonder what I am doing wrong......

                      Thanks so much!!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Blending skin tones, Help please!

                        My question is about the help layers; do you use desaturate, multiply(1), screen(1) and treshold all altogether and then add multiply(2) + screen(2) to add the contrast and help visualize the problematic areas?

                        Thanks

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                        • #13
                          Re: Blending skin tones, Help please!

                          Originally posted by LaylaLeigh View Post
                          1. I see you have made 2 'DNB' groups, can you tell me why you would do the dodge and burn in two sections and also what is the difference between the first and the second group. I can see on the in the second dnb group, you have applied it heavier, how did you do this?
                          I make multiple layers because I want to be able to edit later. If I did all the dodging on layer, I wouldn't be able to simply lower the opacity for that part of the image. I have an action for the group, so that's why there are TWO groups, it can be one, same thing. I also tend to have one group for blending things(fixing and local work, small brush) and another is for a certain type of effect or more global adjustment. This way I can affect the global without affecting the local and vice versa.

                          (For me, It seems to get to a point where I cannot apply anymore dodge or burn after doing multiple strokes in the same area, this is confusing.)[/QUOTE]
                          Yes, one more reason why I have multiple dodge curves for example. They max out at a certain point, and if you push them all the way they clip, or are way too harsh, so I just make a couple.

                          Originally posted by LaylaLeigh View Post
                          2. why do you have 1 burn layer and 2 dogge layers in the dnb groups?
                          Wanted to be able to go back, and in general I wished to make things lighter.

                          Originally posted by LaylaLeigh View Post
                          3. How on earth did you do the eyelash? as in make is longer as the stone is in the way and it has been a nightmare so I gave up, I wish I knew!!
                          I cloned from the bit where there were no stone, and painted the ends in, basically drew a couple of lashes. Zoom in, they are obviously painted, I tried to make it look "plausable".

                          Originally posted by LaylaLeigh View Post
                          4. I can see you have totally fixed the skin tone that I was having massive issues with, I also see you used dnb, why would you use dnb over the gradient map for skin tones?
                          I have discussed this before in another thread. Because gradient map replaces the existing color with new, and curves just push the tones(or color, or both). Color was mostly good, so I didn't feel the need to replace. Also, I think you are referring to color. Tone is how light something is, and other 2 properties of color are hue and saturation. Also, I played with the file a bit more after I posted, so color is blended a tad better now, but it's okay as seen in PSD I posted as well, I guess.

                          Originally posted by LaylaLeigh View Post
                          P.S... I have managed to learn DnB since I was last here, it works to an extent, I wonder what I am doing wrong......
                          To answer that, you would need to post your progress. There are really no hidden steps in my psd, so you can try to emulate, and you'll learn along the way.

                          Originally posted by marameo View Post
                          My question is about the help layers; do you use desaturate, multiply(1), screen(1) and treshold all altogether and then add multiply(2) + screen(2) to add the contrast and help visualize the problematic areas?

                          Thanks
                          I use desat+screen(one or more screens. Same for multiply. I don't combine screen and multiply, that would defeat the point. I use the linear curve one(on top to clip things/see where the shape is, do a radical check on the tone transitions). So everything is combined with desat, or the same kind, but not with other layers.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Blending skin tones, Help please!

                            Thanks very much for your help scooby, May I ask how to attach my PSD?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Blending skin tones, Help please!

                              I can tell you what I did. Posted the PSD on dropbox, then clicked share, and copied that link using the little globe iconcreatelink.gif, and just pasted the address into the window that pops up

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