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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> how to do good skin toning
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03/23/2011 02:03:44 AM · #1
Hi everyone,

I participated and was closely following In style of Librodo challenge

My entry was ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1358/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_940677.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1358/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_940677.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

There was a big difference in skin toning of my entry and others.
I read a tutorial somewhere on skin toning and have been using it since.
(IN short : make a layer copy in overlay mode, invert, then do high pass filter, then gaussian )...
It work's but does not get that shine and glow on the face.

More over if the original skin has some rashes and I fix it, skin toning after that doesn't look good.

Do let me know what is the method, I can use only photoshop.

Thanks in advance
03/23/2011 02:12:08 AM · #2
this is what i usually do for the skin tone..

· remove the blemishes first.. using spot healing, patch tool and clone stamp..
· select portion of the skin, you want to soften using whichever selection tool you want to use..
· copy the selection to new layer, then use surface blur according to your taste.. then, change the fill.. so that you could recover some of the details..
· merge them to one layer, duplicate then highpass the duplicate layer according to your taste.. then set to overlay..
· i use hue/saturation and color balance when playing with the colors..

i hope this one helps..:)
03/23/2011 02:23:23 AM · #3
Originally posted by jazul02:

this is what i usually do for the skin tone..

· remove the blemishes first.. using spot healing,


i do that but I have a filter called Digital Gem airbrush, it's only the 1.0 version so it has probably improved greatly but it does a nice job. I usually run it at about 45-55% so the skin does not look too fake

Message edited by author 2011-03-23 02:23:40.
03/23/2011 07:06:17 AM · #4
bump
03/23/2011 07:54:43 AM · #5
For my Librodo image I used (and often use) a free action from totally rad called super fun happy. That gives me some nice softness and glow (after tweaking some of the layers) that is a good base. Afterwards a variety of tools. Healing brush and cloning tool work wonders followed with some neat image or gaussian blur faded out to try and keep some realism to it (yeah I went a bit heavy handed on mine but felt the challenge could handle it). After that a gentle hand with dodging and burning to accent some gentle contrasts in the skin plus selective color layers to tweak color tones. I dont often use the various blending modes on layers.
03/23/2011 09:08:30 AM · #6
Originally posted by timfythetoo:

For my Librodo image I used (and often use) a free action from totally rad called super fun happy.


HAHA! I totally thought you were making that name up, I had to Goggle it.
03/23/2011 10:15:07 AM · #7
Just make the skin look like plastic, that seems popular.
03/23/2011 11:09:59 AM · #8
I like to use topaz adjust's filter simplify. But it is waaaay to strong on the preset so you have to use the sliders to adjust it some. I also like to use it on a separate layer so I can go back and mask over things I don't want smoothed out, like the eyes. After that I like to do some spot healing and cloning to take out the small imperfections. Occasionally I will use a very light dodge and burn, but I get nervous using those tools too much on the face so I don't use them often on the skin (eyes are another matter, if it is advanced editing I almost always use dodge and burn to enhance them)
03/23/2011 01:15:15 PM · #9
When we talk about "toning" we are usually talking purely color balance, and I think you did a good job with that. "Correct" toning falls in a range, not a precise value and there are diverse, strong opinions on what is "right." Take it all with a grain of salt.
Now, as far as processing outside of pure color correction, that is, getting the amount of detail correct and correcting for blemishes, the basic Ps tools are just fine, and in fact I encourage folks to use them instead of relying on third-party tools. Use of the Ps tools may not take any longer, and *will* give you more control, flexibility and most importantly understanding of what you are doing.
Control of detail in skin is a little bit of art, but the basic process is one of introducing controlled blur to deaccentuate fine texture, and to produce a "glow." Both effects are the result of applying blur. the keys to success are:
- Applying the right radius of gaussian blur
- Getting the proper opacity of the blur (100% is not the proper opacity!)
Best practice for this is to do the blur at full image resolution (before any downsizing for web). The proper radius depends on the resolution and the strength of effect desired. the usual range is from 2 to 8px. The proper opacity is usually between 25% and 50%. The blur can be applied on a separate layer and the opacity reduced (best practice0 or applied directly to the image and Edit>Fade to the desired opacity (destructive edit, not preferred).

Message edited by author 2011-03-23 13:16:12.
03/23/2011 02:14:26 PM · #10
thanks everyone for the inputs
03/23/2011 02:36:47 PM · #11
An area where I still yearn to improve. So thanks to those who have shared their advice here. I recently read an article on skin toning by a pro portrait photographer; she smoothed the skin to porcelain and then added subtle uniform texture using noise and blending modes.
03/23/2011 03:41:26 PM · #12
Originally posted by hesitant:

...I recently read an article on skin toning by a pro portrait photographer; she smoothed the skin to porcelain and then added subtle uniform texture using noise and blending modes.


I really fail to see the benefit of removing the skin's natural texture completely and adding something fake to replace it. Perhaps I'm a nitpicking purist, but I see so much of the "plastic look" and I don't think it is flattering to the models at all.

ETA: In the interest of fostering learning in this area, I'll make the following offer; if anyone wants to post examples of portraits where they think the skin needs work, I will be more than happy to edit to my taste. Others can do the same, and we can have an ongoing discussion of technique. For this to be of maximum value, we should be posting high-resolution files to work with. Post 'em to an external site or to your Workshop folder so that they can be downloaded.

Message edited by author 2011-03-23 15:46:17.
03/23/2011 03:51:26 PM · #13
Originally posted by kirbic:


I really fail to see the benefit of removing the skin's natural texture completely and adding something fake to replace it. Perhaps I'm a nitpicking purist, but I see so much of the "plastic look" and I don't think it is flattering to the models at all.


Then you probably don't like the current move towards programs that resculpt the face closer towards a digital ideal, moving parts of a person's face around in an attempt to flatter them. Of course the results don't really look like the subject, but they are pretty. I would prefer to try to find a beauty within a subject, but its much harder that buying a program to re arrange the outside.
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/475/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_316307.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/475/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_316307.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
Not pretty, but beautiful
03/23/2011 04:00:30 PM · #14
Originally posted by kirbic:

Originally posted by hesitant:

...I recently read an article on skin toning by a pro portrait photographer; she smoothed the skin to porcelain and then added subtle uniform texture using noise and blending modes.


I really fail to see the benefit of removing the skin's natural texture completely and adding something fake to replace it. Perhaps I'm a nitpicking purist, but I see so much of the "plastic look" and I don't think it is flattering to the models at all.

ETA: In the interest of fostering learning in this area, I'll make the following offer; if anyone wants to post examples of portraits where they think the skin needs work, I will be more than happy to edit to my taste. Others can do the same, and we can have an ongoing discussion of technique. For this to be of maximum value, we should be posting high-resolution files to work with. Post 'em to an external site or to your Workshop folder so that they can be downloaded.


Sounds fun I would love to give it a go. So who is going to be the first to download an image?
03/23/2011 04:01:30 PM · #15
Originally posted by BrennanOB:

Originally posted by kirbic:


I really fail to see the benefit of removing the skin's natural texture completely and adding something fake to replace it. Perhaps I'm a nitpicking purist, but I see so much of the "plastic look" and I don't think it is flattering to the models at all.


Then you probably don't like the current move towards programs that resculpt the face closer towards a digital ideal, moving parts of a person's face around in an attempt to flatter them. Of course the results don't really look like the subject, but they are pretty. I would prefer to try to find a beauty within a subject, but its much harder that buying a program to re arrange the outside.
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/475/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_316307.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/475/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_316307.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
Not pretty, but beautiful


Oh yeh, I think we're on the same page ;-)
Heck, why have a real subject (or camera) at all? We can just create a perfect one using CGI :-P
03/23/2011 04:12:09 PM · #16
I don't think there is one best method for smoothing skin texture. I've got two different techniques that I use of a fairly regular basis and where one sometimes fails the other will work. I think the biggest different is that one uses some artificial texture and the other doesn't. I will also support the last couple of posts by saying that I try to only fix skin problems that are temporary in nature, such as blemishes, or that might have been introduced by my photographic technique.
03/23/2011 05:05:14 PM · #17
Prashant why not put up the image of your sister in your workshop (bigger than the 800 pixel size) and post a link. It might be interesting to see what folks could do with it.

One thing that strikes me about the image is the lighting. It is pretty straight on, much like the dreaded camera mounted flash, and it results in less modeling of the facial contours and a resulting reliance on skin texture to create the primary impact. Take a look at Librodo's stuff, he usually uses strongly angled light to create drama and highlight certain features. Once you have the lighting right,it makes fixing the skin a whole lot easier.
03/23/2011 11:33:58 PM · #18
Originally posted by BrennanOB:

Prashant why not put up the image of your sister in your workshop (bigger than the 800 pixel size) and post a link. It might be interesting to see what folks could do with it.

One thing that strikes me about the image is the lighting. It is pretty straight on, much like the dreaded camera mounted flash, and it results in less modeling of the facial contours and a resulting reliance on skin texture to create the primary impact. Take a look at Librodo's stuff, he usually uses strongly angled light to create drama and highlight certain features. Once you have the lighting right,it makes fixing the skin a whole lot easier.


Cool, I have put 2000 pixel size image
here it is ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/110000-114999/110108/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_942451.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/110000-114999/110108/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_942451.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
Here is my edit ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/110000-114999/110108/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_942452.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/110000-114999/110108/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_942452.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Actually we grew up seeing plastic skin in pics all around us...
for new ones like me it take the phase-out those impression and create something of my own..it just takes time I guess :)

About the lighting, you are quite right, I used reflected sunlight, straight on...
I wd use your advice on angled lighting, I wd be doing on shoot for my friend this saturday


Message edited by author 2011-03-23 23:35:48.
03/23/2011 11:59:16 PM · #19
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03/24/2011 12:10:26 AM · #20
Lovely model and image!

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03/24/2011 12:58:18 AM · #21
Originally posted by FocusPoint:

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/55000-59999/58785/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_942454.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/55000-59999/58785/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_942454.jpg', '/') + 1) . '


I like this edit better than mine,

more real looking skin with warmer shade, somehow feature are sharp too...

what are the editing steps ?
03/24/2011 06:08:59 PM · #22
Originally posted by hesitant:

An area where I still yearn to improve. So thanks to those who have shared their advice here. I recently read an article on skin toning by a pro portrait photographer; she smoothed the skin to porcelain and then added subtle uniform texture using noise and blending modes.


Since posting the above I have revisited one of my old studio shots and carried out retouching/skin toning following the method mentioned above, but to my taste. The tutorial appears in issue 80 of Advanced Photoshop Magazine. (the current issue).
Here's the result: please take a look and feel free to leave a comment...
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/90000-94999/92577/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_942515.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/90000-94999/92577/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_942515.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
03/24/2011 06:17:41 PM · #23
Originally posted by prashant_168:

Originally posted by FocusPoint:

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I like this edit better than mine,

more real looking skin with warmer shade, somehow feature are sharp too...

what are the editing steps ?


Extremely hard to say: there is gain and a loss in each one of the edits. Remains a great "picture with a soul" and not just posture, poise and technique
03/24/2011 06:28:51 PM · #24
Ah, cool! I will take a crack at these in a bit...
03/24/2011 07:36:04 PM · #25
Here's one:
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/0-4999/2333/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_942526.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/0-4999/2333/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_942526.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

This is about a 15-minute edit, with workflow as documented in the image comments
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