Learn an easy technique to match skin tones in Photoshop with the Curves Adjustment Layer.
In photography, human skin is one of the most difficult elements to get right. Sometimes it’s easier to take the skin tones from a great image and apply them to your photo. But it’s not as easy as changing colors in Photoshop. Skin is much more complex.
In this tutorial, you will learn how to quickly and easily match skin tones in Photoshop to take your photos to the next level.
This easy-to-follow Photoshop tutorial will teach you a process that can help you colorize the skin in a portrait or match skin tones in uneven areas.
Match Skin Tones in Photoshop
Time needed: 4 minutes.
This step-by-step tutorial will help you match skin tones in Photoshop by using the Curves Adjustment Layer.
- Select the Color To Sample
Find an image with skin tones that you like. Analyze your image and find a color that best represents the skin tones. Avoid highlights or shadows.
You can then use the Color Sampler Tool (nested under the Eyedropper Tool) to sample the color.
Make sure that from the Options Bar you set the Sample Size to at least 5×3 to get a better representation of the color you sample.
From the Info Panel, you will now see the color you sampled. Take note of the RGB values.
- Select the Target Color
Next, sample the color in your image that best represents the skin tones. Again, avoid highlights or shadows. Use the Color Sampler Tool to sample the color.
- Create a Small Selection Around The Skin
Use the Lasso to create a selection around the skin. No need to be precise at this step.
- Create a Curves Adjustment Layer
Make sure that the Curves Adjustment Layer is on top of all the layers in your document.
- Set the RGB Values in Each Channel of The Curve
From the Properties Panel, enable the On-image Adjustment Tool.
Click on the color that represents your target’s skin tone. while holding Shift Ctrl (Windows) Shift Command (macOS).
- Match the RGB Values
From the RGB dropdown select Reds. Then set the Output box to the “R” value of the sample color. Found in the Info panel. Then repeat this process with the corresponding values in the remaining channels.
- Selectively Apply The Effect with a Layer Mask
You can now fill your mask with black to hide the effect from your image entirely. Then with the Brush Tool, you can paint with white to selectively reveal the effect.
Make sure to also watch my tutorial on softening skin in Photoshop!
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