Forums > Digital Art and Retouching > Blotchy Black Skin

Retoucher

IvanOuterbridge Retouch

Posts: 163

Hamilton, Hamilton, Bermuda

So, here is a common problem on black skin. Other than the sometimes laborious D&B techniques. I am aware of the selective color range but that sometimes causes a color shift. This  and color correction would be the biggest thing I struggle with. I am sure there are more that are in the same boat. What are some methods of best tackling this issue. Please review image
https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5299/5405533261_8f784b4906.jpg

I am not trying to get away from the D&B technique just looking for other ways of achieving good even skin tones on black skin.

Jan 31 11 03:29 pm Link

Retoucher

Lanenga

Posts: 843

Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands

Frequency separation might work.
Some good old painting would work too.
Sure there are some that are going to suggest portraiture.

But what you are asking is like asking:
"I would like to sow some fabrics together, but I am trying not to use needle and thread... what other ways are there" big_smile

I would just stick to some D&B. This can be done pretty fast.

Jan 31 11 04:06 pm Link

Retoucher

IvanOuterbridge Retouch

Posts: 163

Hamilton, Hamilton, Bermuda

Lanenga wrote:
Frequency separation might work.
Some good old painting would work too.
Sure there are some that are going to suggest portraiture.

But what you are asking is like asking:
"I would like to sow some fabrics together, but I am trying not to use needle and thread... what other ways are there" big_smile

I would just stick to some D&B. This can be done pretty fast.

LOL, Thanks, i am getting some color shifts when painting so it it ends up looking slightly unnatural. (I know it takes practise.) I have been using the frequency sep. method for a while now but I am still looking to get my retouching to look as much as I can get it, to look like it was NOT retouched.  I do not want the painted look. and no I prefer not to use portraiture.
My Avatar is one of my better black skin retouches, but I still feel it has a slight painted feel to it.

Jan 31 11 04:25 pm Link

Retoucher

Krunoslav Stifter

Posts: 3884

Santa Cruz, California, US

Lanenga wrote:
Frequency separation might work.
Some good old painting would work too.
Sure there are some that are going to suggest portraiture.

But what you are asking is like asking:
"I would like to sow some fabrics together, but I am trying not to use needle and thread... what other ways are there" big_smile

I would just stick to some D&B. This can be done pretty fast.

+1

If you divide blotchy skin into color variations or patches and brightens patches, generally you might have easier time fixing it.

Jan 31 11 04:29 pm Link

Retoucher

Ishpho

Posts: 430

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

curves adjustment
select the curve (not the mask)
double click the the white dropper
when the color dialog pops up, select the light tone that youd like the dark tones to become
click ok
Now while the white dropper is still selected, click the dark tone.
It should color correct and expose it to look like the light tone
invert the mask
brush in at low %
voila

Jan 31 11 04:38 pm Link

Photographer

Faze1 photography

Posts: 579

Lawndale, California, US

Eye Designz wrote:
So, here is a common problem on black skin. Other than the sometimes laborious D&B techniques. I am aware of the selective color range but that sometimes causes a color shift. This  and color correction would be the biggest thing I struggle with. I am sure there are more that are in the same boat. What are some methods of best tackling this issue. Please review image
https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5299/5405533261_8f784b4906.jpg

I am not trying to get away from the D&B technique just looking for other ways of achieving good even skin tones on black skin.

I've asked this same question and the few answers I've gotten was very vague. I've felt like it's asking aunt Lucy for her peanut butter cookie recipe. You get a smile and told that's not quite it, your almost there and the subject change. Lol

      I've gone as far as letting someone pick through my images here on mm that said they want to do a tutorial on dark skin models to help resolve this problem. After picking 2 or three images I never heard anything back from that person.
                                         
                            patchy discolored skin
    I've had the same problem even when using a frequency separation and painting in the low pass. I've notice it's the High frequency layer that has the texture thats causing me the problems. I've tried moving the texture around trying to keep it from looking so uniformed but sometimes there is no easy fix. D&B at pixel level is time consuming when your shooting at 21 megs and up. So I guess in the end it's still D&B and being patience. sad

Jan 31 11 06:19 pm Link

Photographer

Julian Marsalis

Posts: 1191

Austin, Texas, US

Ishpho wrote:
curves adjustment
select the curve (not the mask)
double click the the white dropper
when the color dialog pops up, select the light tone that youd like the dark tones to become
click ok
Now while the white dropper is still selected, click the dark tone.
It should color correct and expose it to look like the light tone
invert the mask
brush in at low %
voila

Combined with frequency separation clean up works wonders for evening out tones...

Feb 01 11 03:20 am Link

Retoucher

IvanOuterbridge Retouch

Posts: 163

Hamilton, Hamilton, Bermuda

Thank you all for your replies. It has helped me very much.

Feb 01 11 03:26 am Link

Photographer

Julian Marsalis

Posts: 1191

Austin, Texas, US

If you could provide a high res sample of the skin I think using a combination of methods would work best yes pixel level d&b can do it but damn that's super time consuming and for me a last resort lol.

Feb 01 11 06:23 am Link

Retoucher

Natalia_Taffarel

Posts: 7665

Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Faze1 photography wrote:
I've had the same problem even when using a frequency separation and painting in the low pass. I've notice it's the High frequency layer that has the texture thats causing me the problems. I've tried moving the texture around trying to keep it from looking so uniformed but sometimes there is no easy fix. D&B at pixel level is time consuming when your shooting at 21 megs and up. So I guess in the end it's still D&B and being patience. sad

The problem is

I will tell you, I'd do a few inverted HP and then some D&B maybe a gradient map to even out color.

And even tho you can do all 3 - you will still be saying 5 minutes later: Why won't someone tell me!!! ????  What's the secret????!!!  ¬¬

The secret is a book in retouching there's no secrets
We are, we do, we have.

Practice now, and then practice some more.... it doesn't matter how many times people explain it to you (not you Faze, you in general tongue ) you won't be able to do it till you DO IT smile

Feb 01 11 06:39 am Link

Retoucher

Natalia_Taffarel

Posts: 7665

Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Eye Designz wrote:
https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5299/5405533261_8f784b4906.jpg

Post that same crop in hi res

x

Feb 01 11 06:40 am Link

Retoucher

IvanOuterbridge Retouch

Posts: 163

Hamilton, Hamilton, Bermuda

Wow, many thanks for the replies. I hold all of you in very high regard and value your opinions. Many of you are like a mentor to me (although you may not know it). Thank you. I do not mind putting in the work. I am self taught so I am working on best practices that produce the best quality of work. I know it takes time, and I have a good bit of it.

Natalia here is the file you requested. Photo by me so you definitely have permission to edit.
http://www.eye-designz.com/images/DSC_1701.JPG   (full body shot)
http://www.eye-designz.com/images/Ebony_RGB8_BACK.jpg (Just Back Cropped)
http://www.eye-designz.com/images/Ebony BACK.psd

Feb 01 11 07:05 am Link

Photographer

Douglas G Photography

Posts: 2

Pasadena, California, US

I'd like to give it a try as well. Email me a crop of that please. 10Mb max. [email protected]

Feb 01 11 07:10 am Link

Retoucher

Rob Mac Studio

Posts: 1105

London, England, United Kingdom

Did this using all the techniques mentioned in this thread. I don't think it is possible without  some dodging and burning.

https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5252/5408435144_c6e6686f75_z.jpg

Feb 01 11 08:28 am Link

Photographer

Julian Marsalis

Posts: 1191

Austin, Texas, US

Rob Mac Studio wrote:
Did this using all the techniques mentioned in this thread. I don't think it is possible without  some dodging and burning.

https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5054/5407441419_93c9d32364_z.jpg

Nice Yep yep always some room for D&B just for me not hours at the pixel level lol....

Feb 01 11 08:32 am Link

Retoucher

Natalia_Taffarel

Posts: 7665

Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

This was done in 15 minutes - no healing or cloning, that's your job smile

https://www.nataliataffarel.com/Ebony_RGB8_BACK.jpg

here's the psd www.nataliataffarel.com/Ebony_.psd.zip

with just one steep you can get rid of that deeper annoying texture smile

x

Feb 01 11 08:49 am Link

Retoucher

IvanOuterbridge Retouch

Posts: 163

Hamilton, Hamilton, Bermuda

Natalia, I feel honored. Thanks I will review.
Nicely done @ Rob Mac Studio

Feb 01 11 08:59 am Link

Retoucher

Natalia_Taffarel

Posts: 7665

Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Eye Designz wrote:
Natalia, I feel honored. Thanks I will review.
Nicely done @ Rob Mac Studio

who is the original? could u ask if I can use a crop for a video?

Feb 01 11 09:07 am Link

Retoucher

IvanOuterbridge Retouch

Posts: 163

Hamilton, Hamilton, Bermuda

I have the original and am the photographer. And by all means you can. The top link is the full lenght image

Feb 01 11 09:15 am Link

Photographer

Julian Marsalis

Posts: 1191

Austin, Texas, US

Natalia_Taffarel wrote:

who is the original? could u ask if I can use a crop for a video?

Now I can't wait to see that video!!!!!!

Feb 01 11 09:24 am Link

Retoucher

IvanOuterbridge Retouch

Posts: 163

Hamilton, Hamilton, Bermuda

Julian Marsalis wrote:

Now I can't wait to see that video!!!!!!

neither can I.

Feb 01 11 09:28 am Link

Retoucher

Krunoslav Stifter

Posts: 3884

Santa Cruz, California, US

This is a good image to combine the techniques mentioned in the thread.

- Inverted High-Pass
- Cloning/healing
- D&B
- Portraiture
- standard color correction

Not necessarily in that order.

EDIT: Nevermind!

Feb 01 11 10:40 am Link

Retoucher

IvanOuterbridge Retouch

Posts: 163

Hamilton, Hamilton, Bermuda

Here is my go at it.

https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5218/5407897591_16ddf4d60c.jpg

Techniques used:
- D&B
- Minor Healing (pimples)

** This was just an exercise in fixing blotchy skin.There is still much work to do to finish this image.**

One note is that I never thought to use more than two D&B layers (one for dodging and one for burning). Thanks Natalia.
@Natalia - What are the values IHP 45/15 on the two layers represent?

Feb 01 11 11:39 am Link

Retoucher

Natalia_Taffarel

Posts: 7665

Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Eye Designz wrote:
@Natalia - What are the values IHP 45/15 on the two layers represent?

It's a Apply image based HP of 45 with a GB applied at 15 (rule of 1/3 even if Sean won't accept it wink ) inverted and blended linear light.

x

Feb 01 11 11:49 am Link

Photographer

Faze1 photography

Posts: 579

Lawndale, California, US

Natalia_Taffarel wrote:

The problem is

I will tell you, I'd do a few inverted HP and then some D&B maybe a gradient map to even out color.

And even tho you can do all 3 - you will still be saying 5 minutes later: Why won't someone tell me!!! ????  What's the secret????!!!  ¬¬

The secret is a book in retouching there's no secrets
We are, we do, we have.

Practice now, and then practice some more.... it doesn't matter how many times people explain it to you (not you Faze, you in general tongue ) you won't be able to do it till you DO IT smile

As for me I'm a visual person. Just as if a person told me their name I forget in two minutes. Now a face I never forget. So, giving me written instruction will allow me to set the image up correct but if I don't know the cause and effect it's pointless. Seeing you work and watching what happens from a person who has an developed eye will help your development. You get a chance to see what options or different ways a method can be used. Watching also let's you know where you went wrong and where the problem exist. With that being said I want to thank you for creating a video. You again are one of the best!

Feb 01 11 11:57 am Link

Photographer

Julian Marsalis

Posts: 1191

Austin, Texas, US

I took a shot still trying to get an eye this is something I am challenged with myself:

https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v646/JulianMarsalis/Ebony_BACK.jpg

https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v646/JulianMarsalis/Layer-stack.jpg

Feb 02 11 04:38 am Link

Retoucher

Benski

Posts: 1048

London, England, United Kingdom

^^ really great job all around

Hope you don't mind, but my only thing is the skin pores are so sharp now it looks digitally manipulated and overwhelms the rest of the image a bit.

Feb 03 11 03:21 am Link

Retoucher

Aiden Hart

Posts: 506

Sunnyside, Washington, US

Benski wrote:
^^ really great job all around

Hope you don't mind, but my only thing is the skin pores are so sharp now it looks digitally manipulated and overwhelms the rest of the image a bit.

he can always use the noise reduction on the skin, then highpass the layer to about 2-3 and change the mode to linear light to bring back what was lost.

hope that makes sense? fml

Feb 03 11 03:23 am Link

Retoucher

Benski

Posts: 1048

London, England, United Kingdom

^^ Imagine that'd do it well!

Just had a go. Here's a my REALLY cheap way to do it:

https://img638.imageshack.us/img638/9375/benskiebony.jpg

2-3 minutes - no healing yet

Frequency separate -> Surface blur low frequency layer -> Run a paint brush over it just to quickly contour -> Gradient map (got that idea off Natalia's! only mixed in a bit - should've masked it) and a little Vibrance (which I never normally use). Mixed the HF layer in at about 84% to soften the pores. (Looking at it now I prolly should've turned that up a little more.)

Feb 03 11 03:46 am Link

Retoucher

THE SHADOW STUDIOS

Posts: 1

Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka

an i also try to do this

Feb 16 11 12:44 pm Link

Retoucher

Rafael Alexander

Posts: 395

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Krunoslav-Stifter wrote:

+1

If you divide blotchy skin into color variations or patches and brightens patches, generally you might have easier time fixing it.

+1

Feb 16 11 03:21 pm Link

Photographer

Allure Image

Posts: 709

Des Moines, Iowa, US

All I have to say is "you folks are amazing..."

Feb 17 11 12:10 am Link

Photographer

Adam Coss

Posts: 367

Ogden, Utah, US

damn... some good work in here.

I've never shot a dark skinned model... just realized that...

I better do one so i dont look like a bigot haha... then I might have to revisit this thread smile

Feb 17 11 12:23 am Link

Retoucher

George Thomson

Posts: 699

Concord, California, US

or you can try this:

http://mobilefiles.ca/SkinSmooth/smooth-v3.php

https://mobilefiles.ca/SkinSmooth/PT_skinSmooth_v3.jpg

edit: a very quick fix ~ 60sec. adjustment at full rez
(after that downsized and sharpened for the web)

https://mobilefiles.ca/SkinSmooth/Ebony_RGB8_BACK_re.jpg

Feb 17 11 08:20 am Link

Photographer

Sean Baker Photo

Posts: 8044

Fort Knox, Kentucky, US

Natalia_Taffarel wrote:

It's a Apply image based HP of 45 with a GB applied at 15 (rule of 1/3 even if Sean won't accept it wink ) inverted and blended linear light.

x

Troublemaker!

And for the record, I like 1/3 as a guideline or starting point - just not as a hard & fast rule.  So tongue.

Feb 17 11 02:21 pm Link

Photographer

Carlton Primm

Posts: 304

Dallas, Texas, US

Very useful thread....thanks

Feb 17 11 02:30 pm Link