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PSPUG Tutorials Adjusting Skintones in Photographs

Created by: MMDM at Playing with Pixels
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PSP 7 has some great automatic adjustment for photos but sometimes they aren’t quite enough. I’m going to show you an easy way to manually adjust skin tones in photographs.

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Images used in this tutorial have been optimized for faster downloading and will not appear as clear as you should expect photographs.

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For this tutorial, you will need a photo with poor skin tones that you would like to improve, and another with good skin tones. If your poor photo was taken outside on a sunny day, look for a good photo taken in similar outdoor weather. If it was taken indoors, use an indoor photo for the good skin tone photo. They do not need to be photos of the same person, but should have similar complexions.

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Photo with bad skintones.

The first thing we will do is get our photographs open and duplicated so that we do not alter the originals

To duplicate an image:

With your image active, click [SHIFT+D]. An exact duplicate of your image will be created.

Duplicate both your bad skintones photo and your good skintones photo and then close both of the originals.

As you can see, the photo at left has too much yellow in the skintones. It is an old photo and could use other help as well, but we will start today by correcting the skintone. (In case you are wondering, that is a kitten on his head.)

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Good skintone photo to pick color from.

Move your good skintones photo to the bottom left so that it will not be covered by your dialog box later.

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Now we will use the Manual Color Correction tool to improve the skintone of our photograph.

To open the Manual Color Correction tool:

From your menu a the top, choose Effects, then Enhance photo, then Manual Color Correction.

To use Manual Color Correction tool:

The image on the left is your original image. The image on the right is the preview image and will show the changes that you make.

In the area between the images, there is a box named Freehand Selection. Put a check in this box. To the botton left are boxes to Preserve Lightness and Preserve Saturation. Put checks in both of these boxes.

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Now we will select an area of skin to tell the program what colors we want replaced. You don't have to select all the skin in the image. The program will automatically alter any similar areas.

To select an area of skin:

Use your cursor to make a draw around an area of skin on the left image. Make a fairly large selection without selecting anything other than skin. If your photo has areas of skin that are much lighter and some that are much darker, try to select a midrange tone.

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Now we need to choose a color to replace the skintones with.

To select a color:

Simply move your cursor over your good skin tone photo. Your cursor should change to the dropper and you can select a color from it. Try to get a midrange skin color here also.

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As you pick the color, you will immediately see the results in your preview image on the right side of the Manual Color Correction palette. If you don’t like the result, move the dropper tool to a different area and pick a new color. When you find one you like, click the OK button and your changes will take effect. Wasn’t that easy?