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Colour correcting skin

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Victor Hugo FernandezColour correcting skin
by on May 4, 2010 at 2:06:02 pm

Hi guys

I've corrected the colours on a video and I'm happy with everything but with the guy's skin, it's just too dark. Is there any way to colour correct his skin to make it a bit more visible or will I have to create a mask over his face and adjust it frame by frame?

Here's a frame from the video so you can see how it looks:


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Dave LaRondeRe: Colour correcting skin
by on May 4, 2010 at 2:46:44 pm

You might be able to get away with correcting the skin tones on a separate layer, then animating a feathered mask around the subject's face.

But I have to admit, there are a lot of things working against you. Namely, the light source is behind the subject, casting his face in shadow, and he's wearing a hood, thus blocking even more light and making matters worse.

Didn't anyone on the crew who shot the video know about a remarkable technological advance called a REFLECTOR?




Dave's Stock Answer #2:

When you're out on a shoot, and you say, "we'll fix this in post" without knowing PRECISELY HOW you're going to fix it in post, don't shoot it! You'll only end up shooting it over again.

Since post typically costs three times the cost of production, fixing something in post is not a way to save money, but rather a way to spend more of it.

And, before you say "well fix it in post," always consider who's doing the work, especially if you're the one doing the work.


Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Victor Hugo FernandezRe: Colour correcting skin
by on May 4, 2010 at 4:12:46 pm

I appreciate the advice but I swear, not my fault. I'm doing some effects for a short film and a couple of days ago the guy I'm working for asked me if I could improve one of his music videos. I've been doing my best but you can see what I have to work with.

Let's hope they've heard my advice about how to shoot the short film so I don't have to go throught this again...


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Dave LaRondeRe: Colour correcting skin
by on May 4, 2010 at 5:01:20 pm

You will only be as successful as the footage will allow you to be. I can't even see the subject's eyes! If there is no detail in the dark sections, your task will be extremely difficult, if not downright impossible.

I suspect you won't be able to do much: AE can help underexposed footage a bit, but it can't work miracles. I think your friend will be disappointed with your best effort, and it will be his/her own fault for not planning the shoot properly.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Steve RobertsRe: Colour correcting skin
by on May 4, 2010 at 7:21:08 pm

Just overexpose the shot, using levels and see if you can get any detail in there. The thing is, the most detail is in the midrange of a shot, with less detail in the highlights and shadows. Generally. So if you bring up a shadow area like that face, you'll probably get a flat gray blob with a little bright mouth.

If detail wasn't recorded in the first place, you can't invent it. Unless you're an illustrator, and draw a new face in there.

Your friend should fire the DP.



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