A Simple Trick to Get Perfect Skin Tones Every Time in Post

Skin tones are incredibly important to the overall look of your film. Here's how to make them look the way you want.

You can spend an agonizing amount of time fine-tuning the look of your film during pre-production. Filmmakers pore over dozes of references, anything from Renaissance-era paintings, photos from a time past, aesthetically similar films, and even the random postcard that captures the right hue.

The look of your project can speak volumes to the story and immerse viewers in a subliminal way.

When it comes to skin tones, what look is right? Well, that too, can be subjective.

The Matrix trilogy leaned on green. Daybreakers with Ethan Hawke went with a more blueish warm. Amelie, red and green. Her, more muted with less saturation. 

But how do you know if your skin tones are at standard color levels?

Mark Boone walks you through a simple trick to get you to square one. Check it out below. 

Firing up Premiere Pro, Boone dives into the "blood line" on the Lumetri scopes, which is one of the most important tools when it comes to color correcting footage.

By selecting a portion of the skin using a mask, you can see where the color falls on the scope. Then by simply adjusting the tint, mid-tones, or secondary colors, you can set the scope so that it aligns to the blood line of the scope. Once set, your skin tones will have a natural look to them. 

Have any tips on perfecting skin tones? Let us know in the comments below.     

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7 Comments

0342311448

October 21, 2020 at 9:04PM

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Thuê xe máy Phan Thiết
Thuê xe máy Phan Thiết - Thanh Lâm
73

Dịch vụ cho thuê xe máy Phan Thiết - Thanh Lâm giá rẻ nhất thị trường Phan Thiết, với đội ngũ chuyên nghiệp uy tín và tận tâm với nghề.

October 21, 2020 at 9:05PM

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Thuê xe máy Phan Thiết
Thuê xe máy Phan Thiết - Thanh Lâm
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Nice

October 22, 2020 at 9:44AM

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Recently (pandemic related) we’ve had to pump content out pretty quick. A trick I found that gets you pretty close in Premeire is to take the saturation slider and pump it all the way to 200% then adjust your WB and Tint until you have roughly equal parts teal, orange, green and magenta represented in your faces. (The saturation boosted all the way makes this more obvious). Once you get the balance bring your saturation back down to 100%. Your basically there after that

October 22, 2020 at 11:32AM

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Nathanael Neveux
Cinematographer, Editor
102

BTW the Video ColorChecker Passport (and its bigger sibling) have skin tone patches, and you can use them in Resolve like this:
https://youtu.be/Gm0HWEql3z4?t=379

October 22, 2020 at 1:46PM

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Whatever method gets you there fastest is great!
Lots of people struggle with this.
In tricky situations I also boost colors to 200+% saturation, since it really exagerates the balance. Dial it in and then back off saturation for good skin tones.
Also helps to film with a good monitor (I have used my SmallHD 7") with a LUT on it to preview your footage. I have considered using my Atomos but its heavier.

October 23, 2020 at 5:32AM

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Travis Johansen - Minneapolis
Director of Photography & Producer
283

Is it really matter? You get the perfect skin tone then you try be creative by color grading your footage by making it sepia, neon or pale and you loose your skin tones again.

October 26, 2020 at 1:34AM

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Regis.U
Filmmaker
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