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Converting Skin Tones

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I recently showed in the alt thread how photoshop can be used to easily convert the amazing renders by Sebsplex that were originally from his GDSverse into having skin tones that fit more with the rest of the C-verse renders and the Cverse blue background.


The following is a rough guide on how to do this.


Please note. I have chosen to use quick and easy tools over more precise and complex ones to save on time.


BIG NOTE: This process will be slightly different depending on each render. For example Abattoir will need a larger reduction of saturation as he goes very pink when you lower his contrast.


How to Convert Skin Tones


1: Load the image you want to convert in photoshop (Im going to use Hugh Ancrie at random)


2. Next load someone else for a reference point of what skin tone you’re aiming to reach. Id suggest James J McMinister as he’s a good example of what Seb’s renders look like when done for the C-verse background.


3. You need to section up your image to avoid contaminating other parts when you’re playing around with colours. The main two parts I suggest sectioning are the background and the skin. This is easily done using the following tool from the menu:


Select > Color Range.


Set fuzziness to 30 and then click somewhere on the blue background of your image.


It should look something like this..




Then select the Pippette button with the + icon (I have circled it in red in the picture). This will allow you to add more colours to your selection. Then click and drag your mouse slowly down over the blue background.. you should see the background in the little window go entirely white – (The white part is the part you have selected)


It should look something like this.




Once you’ve gotten all the background to come up white without selecting any of the wrestler, press Ok and you should find that photoshop has provided you with an outline selection of all of the background. Copy and Paste this into a new layer ontop of the old one.


Next we need to do this all again but for the skin..


This is much more tricky as the skin can sometimes be the same color as other parts such as blonde hair, or clothing. If you’re having a lot of trouble, try reducing the fuzziness first to make it more accurate and to minimize the amount of other parts you end up selecting, then edit out any remaining bits afterwards.


Anyway repeat the process as with the background, but this time click on a part of the skin, then select the pipette + function, and then click and drag your mouse around on the skin of the picture.. until most of the face is shown up as white in the small window (be careful not to drag over dark spots like eyes or lips etc.) It may take a bit of clicking/dragging around to get most of the skin selected. Have a play around until you’ve got something youre happy with.


This is what I ended up with.




Note some of his hair got selected so Im going to have to edit that out now..

Hit ok and Copy and paste all the skin into a new layer too.


Now if you hide the two previous layers and show just the skin layer you should see something like this.




Next grab the Eraser tool (E) and rub out the hair carefully and youll have this..




Make all the layers visible again and you wont be able to tell anything has been done but you now have the image in three happy layers/pieces.





4. Now comes the bit more fun part. Make sure your skin layer is selected and then go to..


Image > Adjustments > Brightness / Contrast


Take the contrast down to 50, press Ok and then repeat the same process (50 again)




Then> Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation > Set Saturation to be -7 and Lightness to be -10.




Then > Image > Adjustments > Photo Filter > Warming Filter (85) > Density of about 45% (This can be changed depending on how tanned you want them to go)





5. Next comes the artistic bit, get the eraser and set it on a opacity about 60, size 8, and 0 hardness. Then use it on the skin layer to remove parts that have become fainter because of the process which you want to return to the original layers darkness.


Eyebrows are the main focus but also beards, lips, chin line and around the eyes are possible areas you might want to work on but be gentle.

Finally I find a quick run over the sides of the face to bring out the shadow found there. This area..




6. Finally you can use any of the previous tools, Hue/Saturation, Photo filter, Brightness/Contrast etc to tweak the skin tone til your hearts content. I have yet to find an exact figure for each of these numbers so Im sure someone can find a better equation, but this is a start.


You should now have a lovely new version of your picture…


Before and After



Finally upload and share.

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After some consideration, the first step in this process (making the blue background into a layer) is not necessary. However its a good way to learn how to use the select color tool before using it on the skin which is harder.


In the past hour Ive managed to apply this technique to 8 renders.



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