Monday, October 8, 2007

Curving RGB Color

Color correcting by numbers is a combination of art and science


With practice, this becomes easier, and you'll be able to make adjustments faster. Right now, you should work slowly, keep checking the numbers and observe the changes in the image. Move the cursor to different areas of the skin to check the balance of Magenta to Yellow throughout the tonal range. After a little sharpening, the final image has good contrast, clean whites and blacks and pleasing warmth to the skin color (Figure 17).


Here are the final Curves (Figure 18, 19 and 20).



Congratulations! If you were able to follow along with this tutorial, you've learned a valuable strategy for correcting color using an analytical “by-the-numbers” approach. Various Photoshop techniques were covered, including:

• Setting up and using the Info palette
• Finding black and white points with the Threshold adjustment layer
• Placing Color Samplers for black and white points
• Making a Curves adjustment layer
• Moving Curve points using the arrow keys
• Command/Control-clicking in the image to place points on the curve
• Using RGB curves to affect the CMY values

To see a more detailed discussion of Curves and an analysis of different skin tones, check out Lee Varis' latest book, Skin: The Complete Guide to Digitally Lighting, Photographing, and Retouching Faces and Bodies. Varis also has additional tutorials available on his Website,


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