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Like this article? We recommend Skin Tuning Workflow

Skin Tuning Workflow

The next step in the portrait enhancement process is to tweak the skin color and consistency of skin color. Turn the Skin Tune panel on and see what you get by default. Typically I find the results are too warm or too red for Caucasian subjects, but this is easily remedied. First you may need to zoom out a bit, so that you can see as much of the skin as possible.

Next, select the appropriate option from the Ethnicity pop-up menu, which acts as an “intelligent preset”, creating settings that typically work well with each skin type. Scale down the Strength setting a bit to see if the problem is related more to that, or to the actual color value being used. Here, decreasing the value to about 50 yielded a better result but more work was needed (Figure 9).

Figure 9 The Skin Tune panel may often “over-cook” the colors in a portrait, making the skin too warm or red. Reducing the Strength value will give you a good start point.

Next, experiment with the Warmth slider. Try values between about 20 and 40 and see if you can find a happy medium. Here I set the value close to 30 to make it more realistic, while still adding a bit of color due to this photo being taken during winter (no tan!). Use the Color Shift slider to determine the warming color. That is, will the warm tones be more brownish or more yellowish? Again, to make the color look a bit more like the real me, I moved the slider value just shy of 50.

Finally, the Evenness control is very useful as well, because it helps to even out the tones across the entire face (for example, to subdue rosy cheeks). While it would look unnatural to have the colors in someone’s face completely uniform, moving this value somewhere between 40 and 60 can do wonders for a portrait. The final result of Skin Retouching plus Skin Tuning is shown in Figure 10. If you want to remove bits of warmth or other toning, you can use the Skin Refine Brush, following the same steps we used earlier.

Figure 10 The final result of the Skin Retouching panel and Skin Refine Brush.

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