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04-11-2008, 07:46 PM   #1
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Pleasing skin tones...

Hey here,

I have a K10D, shoot PEF's and process in ACR. I have had a problem getting nice skin tones in my studio setup. There seems to be a yellow-brown cast to things sometimes. Does anyone have any suggestions for other RAW processing methods or suggestions for ACR itself? Thanks in advance!

Scott

04-11-2008, 08:46 PM   #2
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Try the white balance tool in the Develop module. Pick something in the image (doesn't have to be large) and use the little pen tool to click in it. It always seems to use the wrong end, but that is no doubt, my crazy eyes. It does a pretty good job of shifting the colours closer to accurate.

EDIT: I just realized you don't use Lightroom. Load the image in the Pentax editor (it is Silkypix v 2) and there is a white balance correction in there. I don't recommend spending $300 on Lightroom unless you really want it.

Last edited by Canada_Rockies; 04-11-2008 at 08:49 PM. Reason: Doesn't have the software.
04-11-2008, 11:27 PM   #3
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Editing in ACR and Lightroom are identical. The interface is different, but the tools and raw engine are the same. Skin tones can be tricky. If your overall WB seems good but skin tones are still off go to the Camera Profile section in ACR and try to manipulate the shadow tint. You can also use the HSL tab to play with yellows and oranges. Hope that helps.

Okay, just realized that I don't know which version of ACR you are using. That could put a wrench in my instructions. Versions before 4.0 didn't have all of this. It has been too long since I have used v3 so I can't remember what tools it has.
04-12-2008, 12:42 AM   #4
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I do have Lightroom, and use the white balance sample tool all the time, and I'm using ACR 4.0. After some work, I think a large problem ended up being that my overall saturation and contrast was just turned down slightly too low.

I do appreciate any other helpful suggestions for good skintone when the rest of the scene looks pretty close.

Also, does anybody know if ACR applies the settings to the picture that you set in the camera as far as how much bright, contrast & sharpening to apply?

04-12-2008, 07:27 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by proudtoshootpentax Quote
Hey here,

I have a K10D, shoot PEF's and process in ACR. I have had a problem getting nice skin tones in my studio setup. There seems to be a yellow-brown cast to things sometimes. Does anyone have any suggestions for other RAW processing methods or suggestions for ACR itself? Thanks in advance!

Scott
Using the bundled original Pentax Photo Lab and I bet you will get better skin tones. However, you will lose resolution after that.
04-12-2008, 07:48 AM   #6
Todd K.
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I had the same problem with Bibble.

I set a custom white balance and could still not get the skin tones to look good. So I tried Pentax photo lab. All of a sudden the skin looks perfect. Well, we all know how terrible the UI is so i tried Silkypix. PERFECT SKIN TONES and a nice UI! So I forked over $150 bucks and could not be happier. Hold on, thats not true. I would be happier of Pentax Photo Lab did not suck so bad that I had to buy another raw converter.
04-12-2008, 09:03 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Todd K. Quote
I set a custom white balance and could still not get the skin tones to look good. So I tried Pentax photo lab. All of a sudden the skin looks perfect. Well, we all know how terrible the UI is so i tried Silkypix. PERFECT SKIN TONES and a nice UI! So I forked over $150 bucks and could not be happier. Hold on, thats not true. I would be happier of Pentax Photo Lab did not suck so bad that I had to buy another raw converter.
Given that the Photo Lab is a bundled software, I will not ask for too much. Indeed, it is usable from my point of view and the colour accuracy is quite good (the only problem is the lower resolution and soft edge converted jpegs with K10D's RAW).

Once you have adopted to the "sucking" UI of the PPL, its just a good piece of software afterall! :-)
04-12-2008, 01:06 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Todd K. Quote
I set a custom white balance and could still not get the skin tones to look good. So I tried Pentax photo lab. All of a sudden the skin looks perfect. Well, we all know how terrible the UI is so i tried Silkypix. PERFECT SKIN TONES and a nice UI! So I forked over $150 bucks and could not be happier. Hold on, thats not true. I would be happier of Pentax Photo Lab did not suck so bad that I had to buy another raw converter.
PPL is Silypix, but v2 rather than v3. I'm tempted to look at the trial version, and maybe see if I can swing an upgrade price. After all, I have v2 on my computer.

04-12-2008, 09:45 PM   #9
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I downloaded a trial of Silkypix, and maybe I just didn't get familiar enough with it, but it seems that for large amounts of photos it wasn't as efficient as ACR.
04-13-2008, 07:05 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
PPL is Silypix, but v2 rather than v3. I'm tempted to look at the trial version, and maybe see if I can swing an upgrade price. After all, I have v2 on my computer.
I read a Taiwanese Forum (in Chinese) and got the following information:

There is a 3-licence scheme for SilkyPix. The first licence is still $150. The second and third ones are $25 each. So if three users group together, they pay $200 for 3 licences. It works out to be $67 per licence. Pretty good deal !!!

The 3-licence scheme is not displayed on the web page of Shortcut. One has to email Shortcut to buy the licences. 3 registration codes will be supplied under 1 user name.

Hope this helps!

Last edited by dancheng; 04-13-2008 at 08:08 PM.
04-13-2008, 11:14 PM   #11
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The easiest, and perhaps best solution is to white balance at the shoot. Trying to white balance every image after the fact is much more time consuming than white balancing before a shoot.

If you're consistently getting yellow/brown cast to your images, even when shooting RAW, it's probably your lights. What lights are you using? Are you shooting with/without flash?

Also, can you post a sample with full EXIF info so we can take a peek?
04-14-2008, 09:27 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by proudtoshootpentax Quote
Hey here,

I have a K10D, shoot PEF's and process in ACR. I have had a problem getting nice skin tones in my studio setup. There seems to be a yellow-brown cast to things sometimes. Does anyone have any suggestions for other RAW processing methods or suggestions for ACR itself? Thanks in advance!

Scott
Have you tried shooting in DNG instead of PEF, and then try ACR on the DNG file?
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