Skin tones

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Koyaanis
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Re: palettes

Post by Koyaanis » Sat 20 Oct 2007 17:12

lutz wrote:Are these the Palettes you were looking for?
However, I could only find the image files.

http://www.retouchpro.com/pages/colors.html

another one:

http://www.trimoon.com/skintones.jpg
Well, thanks for checking again. That first page I went to but the whole site was down when I was checking. All I could do was pull up a google cache. I just got the palette files from there too. Funny thing is, I found those same charts on other places online, and used those tones in the PL32 palettes I built up from various graphic files. So, now I have hundreds of human-tones with those included. :-)

Thanks for the bigger chart too. I may have to assemble some smaller *.pal files from that. I agree that more than 20 or 50? is overkill. It's just nice to have those options. So much depends too on ambient lights and reflections in a photo. Sometimes a face is supposed to have a bluish or greenish cast if they are near a blue or green object. Making photos "picture perfect" is a good way to destroy any realism. Just because you can give someone a perfect fleshtone in the digital age, doesn't mean you should every time. :-) My 2-cents on the subject.

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Post by Koyaanis » Sat 20 Oct 2007 17:38

greenmorpher wrote:Hi Lutz

Those are interesting. Where do those dark reds come in, though? To say nothing of the black (0000). Those aren't skin tones to me.
I tend to think a lot of these human-tone palettes are built up the same way I was building mine. But instead of using swatches of colors, they just used images of human faces and bodies, then rendered whatever colors they found in those images. Since most of these palettes are used by fashion industry, I would hazzard a guess that those reds and blacks are for lipstick makeup and hair or eye color too. Then too, the really dark values might be used to rebuild a beauty-spot (mole)? That after all is still a human flesh-tone. Keep in mind too, that the luminosity of those colors isn't what is used, it's the HUE (color) that is used. Black is devoid of color and could just as easily be used to adjust for shadows on teeth or corners of the eyes.
I suppose, in concept, we are looking for something like the wand tool which selects a tonal range within a certain colour when you click on a reference point, and replaces or corrects the underlying colour with the same kind of tonal range.
Oooo, I think he's starting to see the light.
But then there is also the problem of how to apply it to a face area and not to overlap into hair, clothing, background, etc. Oh! And it is not just face, of course ... there are other areas of flesh starting with the hands and moving right on from there ...

Or maybe a key is you click at the lightest and darkest points of that colour to set the range. Then ...
Oooooo. he's so close to figuring it out!

Hint: Automask, set tolerance, hold shift key to add regions, hold ctrl key to subtract regions. Set contiguous-areas if you don't want to select sand in the background or foreground parts with just one click on a face. Set soft edge to feather the edge so there's no harsh seams, select fill-holes in case there's lots of fiddly bits where antialiasing in the image might miss some little spots around sharp edges. There's tons of options and combos to select just those features that you want to work on.

Select areas with any masking methods you know well, apply the flesh tones to just those areas. My previous method of using the "range" feature of the Hue/Saturation tool was a more simple work-around from doing the masking manually. Using its abilities to pick out hue ranges from the image and blending the hue shift with the original images' intensity/luminance values so you're not just applying a new solid color everywhere (and end up making it look like the fleshtone was painted on as a solid color). The original shadows and lights remain intact, just the hues change.

The second method I suggested using the ColorWasher plugin might depend on you masking out all but the flesh-tone areas that you want to change into more pleasing tones. Just load up one of those fleshtone palettes that I uploaded for sharing into your color-list palette (right click on a blank area and choose "load"). You'll have hundreds of pre-defined fleshtones to apply.

Really, if you practice with these tools you'll find so many other uses for them. They're not that hard to use and are the mainstay to any respectable editor. (You DO want to be respectable one day, don't you? :D) Using these things are just intimidating to someone that's never used them before. The worse you can do is have to start over. It's not like you're going to harm anything by trying (as long as you always keep the original backup image safe somewhere).

You can mask out all but the flesh-tones in an image in a matter of moments, and then apply a hue shift to all of it in even less time. It would have taken you less time to learn how and do it fast everytime than the time you spent trying to find someone to find a 1-click version for you. :-) But again, thanks for not knowing how. I found a new use for my ColorWasher plugin and these skin-tone palettes I made in trying to find an easier solution for you. (My new 1-click solution that I'm very comfortable having. And not because it can't be done manually with just what's in PL32, but I rarely shoot images in standard lighting situations, so the photos I do have to edit can be a real challenge. Any new tool or tool combo/method just adds to the ways to approach it.)

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Post by greenmorpher » Sat 20 Oct 2007 22:29

Hiya Koyaanis

I appreciate your encouraging words, but you still don't get it.

For me, one click is where it is at because image work is an important but small part of my work. Most of my work is writing and DTP. I don't need to fix faces and stuff that often, but when I do, I need to do it badly, e.g. for a travel photo which, by its very nature, precludes me going back to take the pictures again.

I have a tenuous grasp at best of what is happening with masks and stuff, I don't want to select from hundreds of possible skin colours and in particular, I don't want to do stuff the hard way when I know an easier way exists and I am actually working with a program which clearly has the makings for implementing an easier way.

Because I don't use this stuff all the time, the more "auto" Gerhard and Martin can make it like this, the better. I don't do it frequently enough to develop a good eye for colour or for selection ranges or a deft hand for selection. I'm really at amateur level here -- in fact, a lot of amateurs would do more work on photos than I do.

And that leads to something else. I haven't taken a picture with a red eye problem for a while, but I do get them from time to time. Hence I haven't used the PL32 Red Eye tool. I have looked at it in the manual, however. That is simply not good enough! Real kiddie-pix applications that come with really cheap digital cameras have better red eye tools than PL32. PL32 is demanding that the user use the lasso to select the red area(s). Your typical red eye tool doesn't require this -- you simply click in the red eye areas and it does the selection and changes the colour automatically in accordance with the surround area. I presume it is a variation of the healing wand kind of thing.

So how about it, Gerhard and Martin? :)

Cheers, Geoff

Geoffrey Heard, Business Writer & Publisher

"Type & Layout: Are you communicating or just making pretty shapes" -- Revealed! The secrets of how you can use type and layout to turbocharge your messages in print. See the book at http://www.worsleypress.com

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Post by greenmorpher » Sun 21 Oct 2007 01:07

In fact, I just dug out an old red-eyed photo and tested Red Eye correction. As I surmised from reading the manual (which basically tells me very little) it is pretty much next to useless.

Sorry to have to say that, Gerhard & Martin, but it is. I hope you are improving this feature for the next upgrade. It really, really needs work so that people can just click in a red eye with confidence and the feature selects the red in the eye and replaces it with the target colour (which the user should be able to select from a small menu of eye colours when the dialog box first opens). In addition, the replacement colour should be dithered.

Cheers, Geoff

Geoffrey Heard, Business Writer & Publisher

"Type & Layout: Are you communicating or just making pretty shapes" -- Revealed! The secrets of how you can use type and layout to turbocharge your messages in print. See the book at http://www.worsleypress.com

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Post by lutz » Mon 22 Oct 2007 07:48

I do agree with Geoff on the importance of automated or half-automated tools quick tools; although they obviously might not deliver the best possible results.
The most impressive approach to color correction I have come across is the Color Mechanic plugin ( http://www.dl-c.com/cmtour1.html ); unfortunately the latest version does seem to work only with photoshop and it is pretty pricey anyhow. Nevertheless it allows the adjustment of specific colors (protecting nearby hues) as well as more far reaching adjustments - and everything more or less interactive. Although lacking skin tone palette it should be easy to work around that.

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Post by greenmorpher » Mon 22 Oct 2007 10:00

lutz wrote:I do agree with Geoff on the importance of automated or half-automated tools quick tools; although they obviously might not deliver the best possible results.
Exactly! Thanks, Lutz.

Speaking of automated tools and and best results -- I have had excellent results using the healing brush but today I struck a problem with it. I have struck it before, in fact, but it didn't make much impact on what I was doing.

In this case, I was trying to heal a bit of wrinkled neck next to a dark coloured collar.

The reference point for the healing brush was far from the collar. But as the application of the brush got near to but did not overlap the collar (according to the representation of the brush on screen), the result was darkened -- and darkened far too much. The skin tone I was healing had quite a significant element of black introduced into it.

This is a bit of a bug, I think.

Can we do something about that, Gerhard & Martin?

Something I particularly like about the healing brush is that when you set the reference point, it is absolute. You move the brush but the reference point stays the same. Great.

But with the duplicating brush -- the healing brush's brother -- the reference point is relative. You set it, then when you apply it, you set the relative position. Move the duplicating brush and the reference point moves in parallel so you have to keep an eye on it all the time when you are copying a number of times.

I would like to see this to be fixed by default, as the healing brush reference point is so that I could be sure that I am duplicating.

Perhaps both could benefit by having an absolute point of reference as a default, with an option for it to be relative.

Cheers, Geoff

Geoffrey Heard, Business Writer & Publisher

"Type & Layout: Are you communicating or just making pretty shapes" -- Revealed! The secrets of how you can use type and layout to turbocharge your messages in print. See the book at http://www.worsleypress.com

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Post by Koyaanis » Mon 22 Oct 2007 14:12

greenmorpher wrote: The reference point for the healing brush was far from the collar. But as the application of the brush got near to but did not overlap the collar (according to the representation of the brush on screen), the result was darkened -- and darkened far too much. The skin tone I was healing had quite a significant element of black introduced into it.

This is a bit of a bug, I think.
Not really, this is just unfamiliarity with how they work. Every time you start painting again with the brush, each new left-mouse click, it starts again from the origin you set. If you drag the brush far enough during one brush stroke it will copy those textures relative to your origin that you set. You just dragged the brush too far without letting up and clicking again to reset the painting data from the origin.
Something I particularly like about the healing brush is that when you set the reference point, it is absolute. You move the brush but the reference point stays the same. Great.

But with the duplicating brush -- the healing brush's brother -- the reference point is relative. You set it, then when you apply it, you set the relative position. Move the duplicating brush and the reference point moves in parallel so you have to keep an eye on it all the time when you are copying a number of times.

I would like to see this to be fixed by default, as the healing brush reference point is so that I could be sure that I am duplicating.

Perhaps both could benefit by having an absolute point of reference as a default, with an option for it to be relative.
Look on your Tool Settings dialog for the clone brush, there is the option to check for "keep distance". This moves the origin relative to the brush, keeping the same distance. Uncheck it and it behaves like the healing brush.

Since the repairing (healing) brush is most often used to copy a texture from just one small area, and applying it a larger area or vastly different areas (say in spotting out skin blemishes all over a face), there's no need to have the relative "keep distance" option for it. Say you wanted to clone some fur texture from your fuzzy doggy to your hairless chihuahua. You click the origin as fur on the fuzzy doggy, then brush that around the places you want more fur texture on the hairless one, with small strokes in individual clicks so you are always resampling from the origin no matter how far you move the brush. If you move the brush too far during a single brush-stroke you're off the dog that you sampled the fur from. The "bug" that you had happen above would happen all the time if there was a relative "keep distance" option for it. It's better to have the origin absolute on the healing brush with each new click. If you do need to have it act as relative origin, then just don't let up on the mouse-click and it'll follow along the length of your brush stroke.

The reason a "keep distance" relative-origin is always an option in clone brushes is that many many times you have to clone out a geometrically straight item that runs a long distance in an image, or rebuild a long edge from one that's not damaged, all aspects of the image need to be copied, not just the texture and details (as in the repair brush). Objects like a fence-rail or telephone line, sampling right alongside it while overwriting with similar image data in the same area, the nearby background data which will change drastically along the whole length of the object that you are cloning out. Many times applying the same data in several brush stokes that can be duplicated to apply it with a little more intensity each time. I've never run into a situation where that's needed for any "healing brush" type of work.

If you absolutely must have a relative-origin healing brush (that's not as effective), you can use the Channels option in the Tool Settings dialog for the clone brush, select the Lab or HIS channels, then DEselect the "ab" channels if in Lab mode, or the HS channels from the HIS mode. Then you will only copy the "Luminance" or "Intensity" from the clone/copy-brush's moving relative-origin.

You just need more practice with painting tools. I didn't realize when replying to you earlier about the skintones that you were more into DTP and had so very little experience with actual photo editing tools. This explains the incongruencies of importance we each find in these tools. I use the DTP options of PL32 so rarely that I don't even know most of their more intricate workings, I even forget that people use it for that. Gerhard even had to explain to me why I was getting some weird border around my photos using one tool, because I totally forgot about (didn't know about) setting some default "document" size options.

I agree that a preview-brush mode (like the clone brush has) would be nice for the healing-brush (repair brush), but because of how healing/repair brushes work, having to work off of an intermediate mask (see the mask color as you paint with it?) and do several other complex cacluations between origin and result, I don't think a preview-brush mode is possible for it. I've asked in the past if it could be done and it wasn't addressed in replies to other questions I had at the time, probably because I had already answered my own question when asking it (referencing how it works, as I just did again).

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Post by greenmorpher » Tue 23 Oct 2007 00:29

Koyaanis wrote:
greenmorpher wrote: The reference point for the healing brush was far from the collar. But as the application of the brush got near to but did not overlap the collar (according to the representation of the brush on screen), the result was darkened -- and darkened far too much. The skin tone I was healing had quite a significant element of black introduced into it.

This is a bit of a bug, I think.
Not really, this is just unfamiliarity with how they work. Every time you start painting again with the brush, each new left-mouse click, it starts again from the origin you set. If you drag the brush far enough during one brush stroke it will copy those textures relative to your origin that you set. You just dragged the brush too far without letting up and clicking again to reset the painting data from the origin.
I wasn't like that, Koyaanis. It was clearly adding black from the black adjacent to the target area. There was no black adjacent to the reference point and it was not adding black when clicked on target areas a bit further away from the dark area.

What we need is the ability to upload graphics to this forum so we could show each other what we are doing rather than just talking about it.
Koyaanis wrote:
greenmorpher wrote: ... with the duplicating brush -- the healing brush's brother -- the reference point is relative. You set it, then when you apply it, you set the relative position.

I would like to see this to be fixed by default, as the healing brush reference point is so that I could be sure that I am duplicating.

Perhaps both could benefit by having an absolute point of reference as a default, with an option for it to be relative.
Look on your Tool Settings dialog for the clone brush, there is the option to check for "keep distance". This moves the origin relative to the brush, keeping the same distance. Uncheck it and it behaves like the healing brush.
Ah! Tool settings! Right in front of me! And I, of course, was looking for some hidden setting! :D

As for DTP -- PL32 has some useful tools, but for DTP I'll continue to use Canvas which is clearly superior in that area -- and ought to be since that was one of its primary focusses. PL32 is clearly superior to Canvas in image work; that was my whole reason for buying it and it is working out even better than I expected it to.

Cheers, Geoff

Geoffrey Heard, Business Writer & Publisher

"Type & Layout: Are you communicating or just making pretty shapes" -- Revealed! The secrets of how you can use type and layout to turbocharge your messages in print. See the book at http://www.worsleypress.com

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Post by Koyaanis » Wed 24 Oct 2007 12:04

greenmorpher wrote:I wasn't like that, Koyaanis. It was clearly adding black from the black adjacent to the target area. There was no black adjacent to the reference point and it was not adding black when clicked on target areas a bit further away from the dark area.

What we need is the ability to upload graphics to this forum so we could show each other what we are doing rather than just talking about it.
Thanks for the clarification. Then it might indeed be some kind of bug that happens under certain circumstances.

I have suggested a module that they could install to this forum that would allow for attachments to posts, but installing it is not for the faint-of-heart. It practically rewrites the whole phpBB operating system. (I've hand installed one in the past on my own forums, it's a challenge and can take many many hours of work and testing.) Combine that with their concern about security issues (this addon allows uploading of any filetype if not configured properly to severely limit its use), and they voted against it. I tended to agree. The best we can do is open up a free account at flickr or something and post photos there with links to them. In case you ever absolutely must include an example in the future.

Using the [IMG]...[/IMG] tag in your post allows embedding images right in your post, it just points to an external link and retrieves the photo from that. (keep sizes in mind so you don't break the forum's formatting and so as to also not annoy those of us still on dialup :-) 640 is a nice max dimension)

Example, here's the PL32 logo from their download page (right click, copy image address, enclose it in the IMG formatting tags).

Image
As for DTP -- PL32 has some useful tools, but for DTP I'll continue to use Canvas which is clearly superior in that area -- and ought to be since that was one of its primary focusses. PL32 is clearly superior to Canvas in image work; that was my whole reason for buying it and it is working out even better than I expected it to.
Yep, Canvas is a great program to keep installed for those things I need that PL32 can't do. (I sometimes use it for opening unique geo data files that no other program can touch.) But I find Canvas just as, if not more, confusing as you find PL32 at times. :-) It all boils down to experience and familiarity.

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Post by greenmorpher » Wed 24 Oct 2007 13:40

One of the Canvas users set up his own forum years ago, called the Wiaerd's Forum. http://www.wizaerd.com/forum/index.php? ... ow&Start=0

You can upload a JPG or GIF of up to 100 kb. It is really helpful when working through a process. Lots of times, we get a developing tutorial going.

Look at this recent thread "Drawing cartoon style" where Peter Lembrechts (from Belgium) is talking 3D and cartoon figures: http://www.wizaerd.com/forum/index.php? ... 0&Msg=5282

I keep nudging Peter, incidentally, to have a look at PL32, but right now his interest is really in using Manga and other cartoon stuff to animate.

Cheers, Geoff

Geoffrey Heard, Business Writer & Publisher

"Type & Layout: Are you communicating or just making pretty shapes" -- Revealed! The secrets of how you can use type and layout to turbocharge your messages in print. See the book at http://www.worsleypress.com