Next lesson playing in 5 seconds

  • Overview
  • Transcript

4.2 Skin, Hair, Eyes and Clothes

Picking good tones for skin can be tricky. In this lesson you'll learn how to colour eyes and hair, and how to use references for authenticity (like colours of uniforms in military pictures, for example). Colour can create new meaning in old images, so we'll also consider how to use colour in a balanced, truthful way.

4.2 Skin, Hair, Eyes and Clothes

Hi, I'm Marie Gardner for tuts+. Welcome back to archival photo restoration. In this lesson, I'll look at picking good tones for skin, how to color eyes and hair separately, and how to use references, if you're struggling for authenticity. Coloring people and clothes sounds fun, and it is. But if you are trying to be accurate, then you might need to consider things like hair. Would they have dyed it at the time, for example, old clothes, like soldier's uniforms. So for hair, eyes, skin, and clothes, obviously things can be a little bit different because if you strive in for authenticity, then you're gonna want things to look as they should. So we'll start with skin. Because I guess that's the easiest to authenticate, we can see that they're both white children. So we're gonna go for sort of a pinky colored skin. So, what you wanna do is select the skin like you did before using the Quick Selection tool. We'll start with the boy. Once again on the background, And then don't forget things like hands as well. And know that they might be a slightly different color to his face, but it's not going to matter too much. Okay and then because you don't wanna color the eyes obviously and the skin color because that would just look like they were strange alien children, you're gonna hit Q which is gonna change it to quick mask and then click on the brush. And we're just gonna paint over the eyes. Give him creepy, red, alien eyes. So that's just gonna stop any pink from going on to the eye balls. Okay, so then if you press Q again, you'll see that that's selected. And we're gonna add solid color layer like we did before. Now it might seem like, if you're going for skin, go for pink or peachy tones. You want to be really solid with this. You want to go for something really, really faint. And that looks pretty weird but then we change it to overlay or color, see which looks best. Gray color's gonna look best. And then we're just gonna bring the opacity back. Gradually. And I'm just gonna erase a little bit This pleat on his shirt. Okay, that doesn't look too bad, but what I'm gonna do Is just darken this a little. Okay, and the reason for that, is if you look at this close, you can say that they're full of holes. They're obviously a slightly poor or maybe working family. He's probably going to be helping Dad out in the fields. He's probably going to have slightly darker skin than his sister. Those are all kind of things that you want to think about. Now technically, you could could just color in over the girl's face as well. So as I've said they probably got slightly different color skin and the fact that she's a girl as well. As she's got a very fair hair, she's gonna be quite pale. So we're gonna do her separately. So we're gonna do the quick mask again. And let's not forget she's wearing a skirt, we wanna get her legs too And again, don't worry if it's not exact because you know that you can just adjust it when you put the color on. I'm just taking out the dirt here. Okay, that's not too bad, so then once again we're gonna press q for Quick Mask. And we're just gonna brush over, and we're just gonna brush over. Very narrow eyes. And we're gonna carefully brush over the eyes. And then while I'm here, you can see there's a little bit of hair poking over her cheek. So we just want to get rid of that. And a little bit of the sleeve, just there too. Okay and then press Q again, and that's gonna be selected. Adjustment layers are the solid color layer. We'll start with a similar color that we did with the boy. Change that to color. Okay, that doesn't look to bad for her. I think he is a little off, so we're gonna just Change that making a tad Darker and dropping opacity on it a little bit as well. Okay, so that's not too bad. .You can see he's a little more tanned than she is. Now lips, obviously aren't the same color as skin. So we're going to select his lips. And again you can, it's probably easier to do this with quick mask. So I'm just gonna hit. There we go. Hit Q again and then, And then pick the right color [LAUGH] and then just go. Over everywhere apart from his lips. Very thin lips. Okay. We're gonna go for slightly reddy brown color. And we're probably gonna need overlay this time, just to make it a little darker. And then just, ever so slightly, bring the opacity up cuz you don't wanna make it look like he's wearing lipstick. That's not too bad. And then you can try, on the mask, going over her's with the same color. And yeah, that doesn't look so bad so that's okay. That just saves us a little job of that so we're just gonna use the same color on there. Now when it comes to eyes of which you can only really see the boy's, you need to remember to only color in the iris. You don't wanna clear in the white of the eye, or the pupil. So we're gonna zoom right in for this. And. Switch our tool brush. Let's see if we can just see the eye a little bit better. I don't think the mask really helps too much with this, does it? Again, it's something that you can adjust afterwards so it's not too much of a problem. That left him with pretty much no eye here at all so we'll just open up our cloud. The eyes are not gonna be very noticeable on most pictures but in some you might just need a little hint of color. Okay, so let's try that. So you can see our very rough shape of the eye there. And if we go to a solid color layer again, he seems to be a fair-haired, fair-skinned boy, so we're gonna go for Blue eyes. Wow, that looks creepy. And we're barely gonna bring any color in here, just a very slight hint of a color. And then because you can see it went a little over the lid. I'm just gonna brush away any extra color. There we go. Now, his sister probably has the same color of eyes, assuming she's his sister of course. I think we can assume it is. So I'm going to use the same color. And again you can't really see this so it doesn't matter too much with her but just very hint of color. There we go. That's not too bad. So when it comes to hair, his is hidden which is a big bonus because you're not gonna have to do much. But try and think about again the color of the skin, potentially the color of their eyes, and what the time of the photograph is. If it's an adult and it's a really old photograph, obviously chances are their hair's not going to be dyed. So it's worth thinking about. But if you're gonna pick a natural color we can really safely assume that hers is blonde, I think, so we'll go with that. It's gonna be a little trickier because I'm not in the background layer but also because she's not got much hair on show. So we're probably gonna have to use a lot of quick mask for this. So I'm going to hit Q again. Oops, and then nothing happened. That's better. Color in everything that's not hair. So where it brushes over her forehead might be tricky, because you're not gonna want to paint color directly over her skin. But obviously you don't want her hair to be colored and then suddenly stop being colored in a certain place. So we'll just have to see how that looks. So then hit Q again and then that's selected. And we'll go for a solid color layer. I'm gonna go for, she's a very pale blonde. And we'll hit overlay on that. Oh and that looks bad, so let's try Color. Okay so that's a little too yellow, so we're gonna just Darken that down. That's still very yellow. Okay, I'm gonna switch that back to overlay. Okay, that's better. And we're just gonna drag this around until we find something that looks right. Okay, so that's not too bad and it doesn't interfere too much with the forehead color either. So it almost looks like it's not really colored, which to be fair, blonde hair doesn't. But you can see if we turn that on and off, it makes a difference. I mean, you can, you can see there's a bit of shadow here which I don't think looks too bad but you can blend that a little bit if you want to. So he doesn't have hair which is great, as I say, that saves us a job. So now we can think about their clothes. So what color clothes would they be wearing? Well. Probably, because they're quite poor and because of the time that the picture was taken, I'm guessing they're not gonna be too bright. It's probably a denim shirt underneath his jumper. So we'll probably go for a denim-ish dark blue for that. His jumper, it's hard to tell really, obviously a dark color. Probably tan color trousers, light brown suede shoes. She could have a tart and skirt on so I guess she could go for anything reds, or yellows, or browns. And the jacket again, could be blue, could be red, could be any color. So within reason you can have a little fun with the coloring. But if you're doing something like soldiers uniforms, for example, then you're probably gonna want to be really authentic with your colors. So what I would suggest in that case is that you start doing some research and Googling the kind of uniform it is, the time that it would have been worn and basically try and match up references to your picture. So once you've got the time nailed down of the photograph, and you've got the regiment that they were from and the battle that they were fighting, you can pretty much nail down a color, so whether it's khaki or whatever. For other clothes, civilian clothes, again, just think about the time, think about the kind of job they were doing, were dyes were readily available. If it doesn't matter, then brilliant, go for it, just color whatever you like. So that's what I'm gonna do right now. Okay now you've your got your colors done you can start to tweak the opacities down the side to get the result that you want. Cause I admit the background looks a little over saturated. They all look a little pale. So we're going to fix that now. Okay so you can see I've changed a few colors. The sky didn't look quite right in that pale blue. It was obviously more of a bright but overcast day so we've gone for a sort of really dark blue, almost gray in the background there. And apart from that, I think that looks pretty good. Maybe dull the green down on the trees a little bit but. You should by now have your colored image. And we can just flip back to where we started this lesson, which was just with this over-saturated background. And then. And if you've not done so already, which you should've been doing all the way through, then remember to save your work. Okay, so now you've restored an image and know how to color it accurately. You're well on your way to building up your digital archive. In the next lesson, I'll look at securing and sharing that archive. Thanks for watching.

Back to the top