Adobe Photoshop CC - Advanced Training

Fixing & retouching skin tone in Adobe Photoshop

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi there, this video is all about how to make really quick selections for skin. So in this case we just warmed up her skin a little bit, and this one here, we removed a bit of the red cast from her face. It's all about how to get this really quick skin selection using Adobe Photoshop. 

First thing, is in '10 Retouching', open up 'Skin Tone 1' and '2'. So Skin Tone 1, we're just going to select and just warm up the skin, and Skin Tone 2, we're going to remove just a little bit of red cast. We're going back to a tool we've used before. I kept it in the retouching section. It's hard to know where to split these things up, but I figured if you're coming back to this, retouching is a good place for it. 

So what we want to do is select all the skin tones. And under 'Select', 'Color Range', we've kind of ignored it earlier on, there's an option that says Skin Tones. That works pretty good, there's an option that says Detect Faces, and I find that can be good and can be bad. I find in this case, it's not working as well. I want some of this kind of mid tones here in the skin. Play around with the fuzziness, high, low. I don't want to get it so that it's getting a lot of the skin, but not too much at the background. So this thing here, think of it less as detecting faces, and think option 1, option 2. Option 2 is fine for me now. If yours isn't doing the same as mine you can select to gray scale down here. And let's click 'OK'. 

With that selection I can go to 'Adjustments', and let's say I want to warm it up, but I find the most handy, it's using Color Balance, there's this little scales here, this balance one. You can play around with all three of these. Probably mid tones is going to give us our most adjustment. I'm just going to warm up so I go from blue to yellow. From cyan, just a little bit red. Turn the Eyeball 'on' and 'off' just to warm up the skin. Now what you'll also notice is that it grabbed a lot of the background. A nice easy way to fix that is to paint it out on the mask, but we're going to use our trick, we hold down the 'Option' key on a Mac, or the 'Alt' key on a PC and just click on the mask. Goes fully black and white, then when we're using our Brush Tool, black is my foreground color, mega size, hardness, pick that, because what I want to do is I want to leave the skin tones, but I don't want to mess around with the kind of warm colors that are in her clothes, that are in the brickwork. 

Make sure it's not set to Overlay, set to Normal. Overlay can be handy, we looked at it earlier on, but in this case I just want to kind of, like belt out this real quick. Let's zoom off to the side even. At the moment I'm just removing from the mask, so that it's only working on this skin. Now when we turn it back on, the same thing, hold down the 'Option' key on a Mac. 'Alt' key on a PC. Now it should only be affecting the skin. Did she have yellow skin? A little bit too much. In this tutorial, I guess I'm trying go-- we'll go a little bit too far. So I'm going to click on it again, lower this down a bit. You may even turn down the opacity of this whole layer. So 'Opacity', slide it down just to warm it up. It was a bit gray before, I'm happy with that. 

Let's look at another way of doing it, so Skin Tone 2. This happens a lot when you're shooting on something like a cell phone, where you get some kind of reds in the skin. I'll show you a little trick for this, so we start the same way. We go to 'Select', we go to 'Color Range', we pick 'Skin Tones'. Detect Faces, in this case works really good. Fuzziness, maybe where it was. Click 'OK', so I've got a selection. Now it's up to you, whether you're a curves or a levels person. I'm more of a levels man myself. 

What we're going to do is instead of trying to adjust the whole thing, we work on just the red channel. There's information on all three of these channels. You can see, green and blue are kind of in the middle here, but red, it kind of lumps to the side so what we can do is kind of shift it. We can shift the mid tones, and maybe even some of the darker ones, just to remove some of the red. On, off. It's pulling some of the color out of it here. So I'm going to use my 'Option' or 'Alt' key, and just paint out the bits that I don't need. 

There's an easy way to select skin, and a few little extra tricks to work on your mask. You can move on now while I spend a while just clicking. Nice and big, paintbrush, remember that shortcut, still can't remember. On a Mac, 'Ctrl Option' key, drag left and right. If you're on a PC, hold down the 'Ctrl' key, and click and drag the right mouse button. The weird one, the right click. Click, hold, and drag it left and right, up and down is the hardness. Option, click it again, so just the skin. Just working on the red channel. And in this case I remove too much from the hand as well. I close it down here, it's a bit of red in it, so what I'm going to do is paint the other way. So a smaller paintbrush. I'm going to hit 'X' my keyboard to bring white to the front. I'm going to paint that out. 

Again, when you get into the corners again, I do that, and then toggle 'X' to go back to the black key. Just paint it in because-- it's quite forgiving, because it's over this black stuff here, so paint that out. And I'm not even going to worry, maybe that bit there. So that's how to select Skin Tones. You might be warming it up with Color Balance, you might be removing some of the reds. If it's got a cyan cast or a green cast, you do the same thing, but we got the green channel in levels, or blue, or green, or red. That's it for this one, I will see you in the next video.