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Photographer
Stephen K Photography
Posts: 144
Sacramento, California, US


I've been puzzling over things like this for a while, I really just am dumbfounded when it comes to getting nice skin tones like these, both the really natural ones and also the ones that look harsh in the sun. I'm not so much concerned about the texture, but rather the color, the tones of the skin.

Any ideas on how to do them or does it mostly have to do with the way they're lit?

Beautiful, natural skin:
http://www.kleinphotographen.com/media/galleries/17beauty-1335181146.jpg
http://www.kleinphotographen.com/media/galleries/11ellespain-1335181140.jpg

And then ones with the sunny look like this:
http://ninaklein.com/typo3temp/pics/florian_sommet05_04_beae69170e.jpg
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6UNZ4SXPSqE/UBYlPL6TyFI/AAAAAAAANf4/c6hcTXfCFy0/s1600/Unbenannt4.jpg

Any insight appreciated, thanks!
Nov 13 12 08:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
William Kious
Posts: 8,841
Delphos, Ohio, US


Stephen K Photography wrote:
Any ideas on how to do them or does it mostly have to do with the way they're lit?

It usually starts with good, clean lighting. After that, it's a lot of selective saturation (posterizing, essentially), pulling back the reds (generally) and eliminating unwanted tones.

Stephen K Photography wrote:
Beautiful, natural skin

Beautiful, yes... but there's really nothing "natural" about it. smile No one's skin looks like this naturally.

Nov 13 12 09:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jesse Villa
Posts: 29
Downey, California, US


First two is plenty of Dodge and Burn.
Nov 13 12 09:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Paul Ferradas
Posts: 110
San Francisco, California, US


The second image must have taken FOREVER to complete. Does anyone know the retoucher?
Nov 19 12 06:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Chuckarelei
Posts: 9,372
Seattle, Washington, US


William Kious wrote:
Beautiful, yes... but there's really nothing "natural" about it. smile No one's skin looks like this naturally.

3 months to a year old babies. Even better looking skin than that.

Nov 19 12 08:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
AshleyDay
Posts: 29
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, US


there is multiple styles here and tones lol

The goldish brown ones I know Peano has a tutorial for

The super light one at the top calvin hollywood has the tutorial for on here as that is desaturation
Nov 20 12 12:02 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Peano
Posts: 4,106
Lynchburg, Virginia, US


For the lighter tones, try the approach described here.

I'm working this old gal overtime today!
http://img717.imageshack.us/img717/5062/skin3a.jpg
Nov 20 12 09:19 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Adam-Doyle
Posts: 76
Atlanta, Georgia, US


Peano wrote:
For the lighter tones, try the approach described here.

I'm working this old gal overtime today!
http://img717.imageshack.us/img717/5062/skin3a.jpg

I'm cracking up at how many times I've seen this posted now smile

Nov 20 12 09:36 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Peano
Posts: 4,106
Lynchburg, Virginia, US


Adam-Doyle wrote:
I'm cracking up at how many times I've seen this posted now smile

Might as well give her one more whirl, then. The method described above will also work for the darker
skin tones (had to use a second selective color layer to push the numbers far enough) ...

http://img855.imageshack.us/img855/7643/redskin.jpg

Nov 20 12 01:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Dimitri_W
Posts: 13
Ratisbon, Bavaria, Germany


Peano wrote:

Might as well give her one more whirl, then. The method described above will also work for the darker
skin tones (had to use a second selective color layer to push the numbers far enough) ...

http://img855.imageshack.us/img855/7643/redskin.jpg

I tried it out quickly with the pictures above but can't get it as close as yours.
Only used the reds in selective color layer, also had 2 of them but not as good as
yours.

Would you mind to provide us the .psd file ?

Also did you do the changes in RGB oder CMYK mode ?

Thanks : >

Nov 20 12 01:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Peano
Posts: 4,106
Lynchburg, Virginia, US


Dimitri_W wrote:
Would you mind to provide us the .psd file ?

This should work: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/46624371/redskin.psd

Also did you do the changes in RGB oder CMYK mode ?

No, just change the readout in the info panel. Click the little dropper icon and you'll get a flyout menu.

http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/7191/iconoy.jpg

Nov 20 12 02:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Dimitri_W
Posts: 13
Ratisbon, Bavaria, Germany


Peano wrote:

Sure: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/46624371/redskin.psd


No, just change the readout in the info panel. Click the little dropper icon and you'll get a flyout menu.

http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/7191/iconoy.jpg

Thx.

Link is not working yet, maybe still uploading ?

Edit: Just took a look at the .psd

So how do you decide/know if you have to work in red or yellow channel and if you have to change the blacks also ?

Nov 20 12 02:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Peano
Posts: 4,106
Lynchburg, Virginia, US


Dimitri_W wrote:
So how do you decide/know if you have to work in red or yellow channel and if you have to change the blacks also ?

Reds are dominant in skin tones, so start there. If you can't squeeze out enough magenta
or yellow or whatever, then go to the yellows and work there.

Generally, increase blacks if you want to darken the skin tone.

Nov 20 12 03:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Redge Photo
Posts: 19
Springs, Gauteng, South Africa


William Kious wrote:

Stephen K Photography wrote:
Any ideas on how to do them or does it mostly have to do with the way they're lit?

It usually starts with good, clean lighting. After that, it's a lot of selective saturation (posterizing, essentially), pulling back the reds (generally) and eliminating unwanted tones.


Beautiful, yes... but there's really nothing "natural" about it. smile No one's skin looks like this naturally.

Your talking about "posterizing" can you please explain a technique or demonstrate how you meant posterizing

Nov 21 12 05:27 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Benski
Posts: 997
London, England, United Kingdom


Paul Ferradas wrote:
The second image must have taken FOREVER to complete. Does anyone know the retoucher?

Just some light healing and some inverted-high-pass - you could do the lot in 20 minutes at a relaxed pace

If you've good control over your frequency separation techniques, there's no reason to bother with pixel-level dodge and burn or any of that nonsense

Nov 21 12 09:36 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Paul Ferradas
Posts: 110
San Francisco, California, US


Benski wrote:

Just some light healing and some inverted-high-pass - you could do the lot in 20 minutes at a relaxed pace

If you've good control over your frequency separation techniques, there's no reason to bother with pixel-level dodge and burn or any of that nonsense

So inverted High Pass and Frequency Separation are two different methods correct? Who can you point me to for the Inverted High Pass? I've seen Calvin Hollywood, is that good enough?

Nov 21 12 12:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Benski
Posts: 997
London, England, United Kingdom


Paul Ferradas wrote:

So inverted High Pass and Frequency Separation are two different methods correct? Who can you point me to for the Inverted High Pass? I've seen Calvin Hollywood, is that good enough?

I'd imagine Calvin Hollywood's approach in general is possibly a little on the unsubtle side for fashion

What I do, once I've zapped any obvious problems with the healing brush, is:

1) Duplicate your image layer
2) Select top layer and change blending mode to Linear Light; Opacity to 50%
3) Add an Invert adjustment layer
4) Attach it to the Linear Light layer as a clipping mask (Alt+click in between the two layers in the layers palette)

*You should have a blank grey screen*

5) With the Linear Light layer selected: Filter Menu > Convert to Smart Object
6) Ensure your image is zoomed to a level approximate to how it'll be viewed - i.e. fairly full screen (not zoomed in too close)
7) Filter Menu > Other > High Pass
8) Set a Radius which just smooths the surface enough - ridding it of grungy bumps or messy textures, but not so smooth that it loses definition from shadows/highlights/form
9) Filter Menu > Blur > Gaussian Blur ... Now the rule of thumb is to set this radius to 1/3rd of the High Pass radius - I think it should usually be higher, but use your judgement - you want to see just enough surface texture at full zoom (so the skin doesn't look like plastic)

10) Select the Mask on the Linear Light layer and invert it (alt+I on a Mac, I think)
11) Now paint the effect back in on the mask with a soft white brush ... This is one of the key points - I use a fairly low flow, so I can paint the smoothing in organically ... The important thing is to avoid smoothing over any details, or fuzzying shadows/highlights ... some guides advise smoothing every patch of skin, but I'd say: only where needed, and only as much as needed

Then you can go back and adjust your HighPass and Blur radiuses if you want more surface texture (raise the Gaussian Blur) or more structural definition in the skin (lower the HighPass)

The space between the highpass radius and blur radius is what you're knocking out, so it's really just a case of finding the right frequency band - one that smooths skin, preserves texture, and preserves shadow/highlight structure ... You can see in the arms of the girls on that pic above, there's still good definition in the specular highlights - so those are the kinds of things I'd avoid smoothing over

Nov 21 12 01:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Paul AI
Posts: 1,046
Shawnee, Oklahoma, US


Benski wrote:

I'd imagine Calvin Hollywood's approach in general is possibly a little on the unsubtle side for fashion

What I do, once I've zapped any obvious problems with the healing brush, is:

1) Duplicate your image layer
2) Select top layer and change blending mode to Linear Light; Opacity to 50%
3) Add an Invert adjustment layer
4) Attach it to the Linear Light layer as a clipping mask (Alt+click in between the two layers in the layers palette)

*You should have a blank grey screen*

5) With the Linear Light layer selected: Filter Menu > Convert to Smart Object
6) Ensure your image is zoomed to a level approximate to how it'll be viewed - i.e. fairly full screen (not zoomed in too close)
7) Filter Menu > Other > High Pass
8) Set a Radius which just smooths the surface enough - ridding it of grungy bumps or messy textures, but not so smooth that it loses definition from shadows/highlights/form
9) Filter Menu > Blur > Gaussian Blur ... Now the rule of thumb is to set this radius to 1/3rd of the High Pass radius - I think it should usually be higher, but use your judgement - you want to see just enough surface texture at full zoom (so the skin doesn't look like plastic)

10) Select the Mask on the Linear Light layer and invert it (alt+I on a Mac, I think)
11) Now paint the effect back in on the mask with a soft white brush ... This is one of the key points - I use a fairly low flow, so I can paint the smoothing in organically ... The important thing is to avoid smoothing over any details, or fuzzying shadows/highlights ... some guides advise smoothing every patch of skin, but I'd say: only where needed, and only as much as needed

Then you can go back and adjust your HighPass and Blur radiuses if you want more surface texture (raise the Gaussian Blur) or more structural definition in the skin (lower the HighPass)

The space between the highpass radius and blur radius is what you're knocking out, so it's really just a case of finding the right frequency band - one that smooths skin, preserves texture, and preserves shadow/highlight structure ... You can see in the arms of the girls on that pic above, there's still good definition in the specular highlights - so those are the kinds of things I'd avoid smoothing over

The main difference with Calvin Hollywood's technique is that he uses Vivid Light as the blend mode and roughly an 8:1 high-pass-to-gaussian ratio.

Nov 21 12 01:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WIP
Posts: 15,406
Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom


Paul Ferradas wrote:
The second image must have taken FOREVER to complete. Does anyone know the retoucher?

I think the photographer may have contributed.

Nov 21 12 03:05 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jouissance Images
Posts: 744
Bloomington, Minnesota, US


Photoshop run amuck.
Nov 21 12 03:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Benski
Posts: 997
London, England, United Kingdom


Paul AI wrote:
The main difference with Calvin Hollywood's technique is that he uses Vivid Light as the blend mode and roughly an 8:1 high-pass-to-gaussian ratio.

Whoa! That explains why so many people think of it as kind of unsubtle then

The other thing I think is really important is to avoid any sharpening whatsoever until all the skin and tone work's done ... You don't want to sharpen grunge - it can make any IHP look kind of messy close up

Nov 21 12 03:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ev Murkov
Posts: 24
New York, New York, US


Peano wrote:

Might as well give her one more whirl, then. The method described above will also work for the darker
skin tones (had to use a second selective color layer to push the numbers far enough) ...

http://img855.imageshack.us/img855/7643/redskin.jpg

I've been a MM for a while and never really checked out the forums....but I've been visiting a lot lately (a lot of you guys/girls are very helpful and have some great techniques), but I just gotta say....you're awesome Peano. You regularly answer just about everyone's questions with good/valid and well thought out responses. You've been on just about every post I've read and always have great advice. I've actually run into a few $hitheads, who all post regularly and think they're retouching GODS (with nothing but sub-par ports to show). Which just makes us all that much more appreciative for posts like yours. Unfortunately there are a lot of know-it-alls in the photo world that share very little aside from their ego and bad attitudes...I think we all know THAT guy. So just came to show some appreciation....thank you.

Nov 22 12 07:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Angelo Dau
Posts: 133
Sassari, Sardegna, Italy


just a speed-try

make a empty level, apply image (blue channel) in normal blend
apply image on same level (blue channel) in multiply
solido color in color blend

end

http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/7643/redskin.jpg
Nov 23 12 09:28 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Awesome Headshots
Posts: 2,367
San Ramon, California, US


Paul Ferradas wrote:
The second image must have taken FOREVER to complete. Does anyone know the retoucher?

No, but now we know what happened to Robert Palmers back-up band.

lol

Nov 23 12 09:34 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
dirkschmitz
Posts: 11
Trier, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany


Awesome Headshots wrote:

No, but now we know what happened to Robert Palmers back-up band.

lol

Ok, doing a little research on the URL points me to this young german photographer:

http://www.kleinphotographen.com/photog … met/about/

his website:

www.floriansommet.com


Florian did some beautiful work there.


Dirk
www.dirkschmitz.de

Nov 24 12 12:46 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Grant Foto
Posts: 20
Houston, Texas, US


Peano wrote:

Dimitri_W wrote:
Would you mind to provide us the .psd file ?

This should work: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/46624371/redskin.psd


No, just change the readout in the info panel. Click the little dropper icon and you'll get a flyout menu.

http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/7191/iconoy.jpg

This is probably going to sound really dumb but HOW do you change the read out in the info panel?? I've been trying to mess with it and cannot figure out how to change the #'s for RGB =/

Nov 25 12 07:47 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jouissance Images
Posts: 744
Bloomington, Minnesota, US


William Kious wrote:

Stephen K Photography wrote:
Any ideas on how to do them or does it mostly have to do with the way they're lit?

It usually starts with good, clean lighting. After that, it's a lot of selective saturation (posterizing, essentially), pulling back the reds (generally) and eliminating unwanted tones.


Beautiful, yes... but there's really nothing "natural" about it. smile No one's skin looks like this naturally.

Ain't that the truth!

Nov 25 12 07:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Peano
Posts: 4,106
Lynchburg, Virginia, US


Peano wrote:
http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/7191/iconoy.jpg
Grant Foto wrote:
This is probably going to sound really dumb but HOW do you change the read out in the info panel?? I've been trying to mess with it and cannot figure out how to change the #'s for RGB =/

Did you click on that little dropper icon? The one that the big red arrow is pointing to?

Nov 26 12 04:26 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Grant Foto
Posts: 20
Houston, Texas, US


Peano wrote:

Peano wrote:
http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/7191/iconoy.jpg

Did you click on that little dropper icon? The one that the big red arrow is pointing to?

Yes and it just gives me different options to put a check mark by but nothing that will let me change the #'s of the RGB.

Nov 26 12 07:49 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Peano
Posts: 4,106
Lynchburg, Virginia, US


Grant Foto wrote:
Yes and it just gives me different options to put a check mark by but nothing that will let me change the #'s of the RGB.

I was responding to a question about how to change the readout on the info panel from RGB to CMYK.
If you're asking how to adjust the color values, download the psd file. I used selective color,
but you could also use curves or levels.

Nov 26 12 08:47 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Grant Foto
Posts: 20
Houston, Texas, US


I feel like a dumbass, lol. I tried to download the psd file but it just gives me the photo that is posted above is that what the file is supposed to be or instructions? I'm sorry I feel like I'm being a pain in the ass with dumb questions =/
Nov 26 12 09:08 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Peano
Posts: 4,106
Lynchburg, Virginia, US


Grant Foto wrote:
I feel like a dumbass, lol. I tried to download the psd file but it just gives me the photo that is posted above is that what the file is supposed to be or instructions? I'm sorry I feel like I'm being a pain in the ass with dumb questions =/

If you open the psd file in Photoshop, you'll see all the layers.

http://img600.imageshack.us/img600/2031/layersj.jpg

Nov 26 12 09:15 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Grant Foto
Posts: 20
Houston, Texas, US


Ah ok thank you!
Nov 26 12 09:16 am  Link  Quote 
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