hans_vos_5167626's profile

5 Messages

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174 Points

Thu, Jan 24, 2013 8:36 AM

Lightroom: Skin-tones in LR not pleasant or natural

I'm sure you've seen the review of three main Raw Converters by DPReview.com?
http://www.dpreview.com/articles/8219...

The comparison in skintones stood out for me, as I totally recognize the quite flat results that is produced by LR4 (and 2 and 3). I've hardly ever found LR to be processing skin-tones in a pleasant, natural way. DP Review describes it like this:
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In processing dozens of portraits shot on a variety of cameras, however, I've found that both Capture One Pro 7 and DxO Optics Pro 8 offer consistently more accurate (and pleasing) results than Lightroom 4. Your mileage may vary of course, depending on the camera(s) you shoot with.
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And honestly... I agree with them. Can you please work on improving the skintones of images? It's what stands out to people the most and is most noticeable.

Thanks,
hans

Adobe Administrator

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16K Messages

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296.7K Points

9 y ago

What are you using for your Camera Profile setting? Adobe Standard? Camera Neutral?

5 Messages

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174 Points

I assume you mean the Camera calibration settings in the Developer module, right? It's set to Adobe Standard. And don't see other profiles listed there.
In the reply, 2 down, Butch is suggesting creating a profile. I'm getting back to that in a reply to him.

Champion

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36 Messages

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1.3K Points

9 y ago

The comments are filled with talk of profiles, something that does make a big difference to Lightroom's color rendering.

322 Messages

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7.5K Points

9 y ago

When it comes to color of skin tones ... results are purely subjective ... especially when you compare "default" results ... for every user you can find that prefers one rendition ... with little effort, you can also find an equal or greater number who disagree ...

The beauty of Lr/ACR ... is that users don't have to settle for such "default" settings ... with a minimum of effort and expense ... you can fine tune and establish your preferred rendition of color and tone that best reflects your vision ... not what a software engineer thinks you should have ...

You can quickly create a custom Camera Calibration profile using a color checker chart and the free DNG Profile Editor from Adobe Labs (keep in mind you do not need to convert all your images to DNG, only those images used for the creation of the profile) ... using the editor ... you can even take it a step further and match (or nearly match) color output across multiple camera bodies ... even different models or brands ... set the resulting profile as default for that camera ... and it is applied upon import. Couldn't be easier to get what YOU want.

Quite honestly ... this is the only feature that keeps me using Lr ... for if the competition would offer a similar feature to fine-tune color and tone this easily ... I would be tempted to stray from the order ...

5 Messages

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174 Points

I totally agree with you, results are very subjective, but would love to see the 'defaults' better matching my own subjective views :-)
And when seeing the default settings of DXO and Capture One, I'd love to see those default settings in LR.

I like your suggestion for creating profiles, honestly I have seen the option but never seriously tried using it.
My reason for not trying is that I fear that once you start fiddling around with default settings, it might match the pictures you are processing at that moment, but will give a dramatic effect on pictures taken in another setting or situation.

Pictures I take are weddings, portraits, wildlife, landscape, travel etcetera, so.. I'm wondering; should I start creating profiles for all types of situations? or do you work with only one custom profile?
In other words, if I set a profile for portraits, would that also influence landscapes in a noticable - possibly negative - way?

I (we) make use of three bodies, a Canon 60D, 7D and 5dmkII, so what you write about multiple bodies sounds interesting.

All in all, thanks for your reply, still interested in a reply to my question above, but thanks for now!

322 Messages

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7.5K Points

"And when seeing the default settings of DXO and Capture One"

Sure ... then the next ten users will complain they don't like the default results of DXO or Capture One. Which user is Adobe to please? Thankfully, they made a great strides to try and please everyone.

Keep in mind ... Lr/ACR has multiple "default" Camera Calibrations profiles available ... which is what Jeffrey was referring to ... these are created for each individual digital camera supported by Adobe ... it is quite likely if you experiment with them, you'll find at least one of them closely matches your expectations ... again they are all subjective in the end.

For my own purposes ... I created my custom profiles using the color checker by photographing it outdoors on a clear day with full on sunlight and just let the editor software do it's thing and apply that as my default profile. Then I created four other custom profiles under specific lighting conditions ... 1) My strobes in the studio with the softboxes I use most often, 2) My SB800 on-camera flash units, 3) The indoor sports venue I shoot the most, 4) The outdoor night time venue I shoot most.

If for some reason, after adjusting the WB of an image in the Develop module I am not satisfied with the color rendition using my custom default profile, I simply test the other profiles ... then sink all similar images to those adjustments as needed ... That way I easily and quickly get what I want ...

Adobe Administrator

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16K Messages

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296.7K Points

That's correct. Where to start is a subjective thing. Camera Profiles are the secret sauce for allowing users the flexibility to match either the in-camera processing recipe, or another starting point all together.

Sr. Product Manager, Adobe Digital Imaging

Champion

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677 Messages

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8.7K Points

9 y ago

Regarding the profiles and ability to adjust color...

When it comes to getting "pleasing color" in Lightroom/ACR, there are two aspects of the pipeline that the user cannot control and they are critical:
1. Luminosity-dependent hue shifts built into canned profiles. The are the key to pleasing color and the user cannot edit them when creating CC passport profiles.
2. The hue-locked nature of tonal adjustments (Basic panel sliders or Curves). Unlike Photoshop, ACR's "protects" the hues from shifting when manipulating the curve. This is generally considered a good thing by most people, but for me, is one of the reason to still not like Adobe color. So, even if the profile has good color at defaults, a strong tonal adjustment may ruin it for me.

4.5K Messages

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76.3K Points

9 y ago

Camera Profiles allow HSL (Hue, Saturation, & Luminance) to be tweaked based on H&S (not L). To tweak H&S based on L, you need RGB curves, or split toner.

68 Messages

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1.4K Points

9 y ago

The problem for me with skintones is clarity. Previous clarity (2010 develop process) was working well with skin tones, a kind of "smooth punch", the new is perfect for landscape but for portrait, it gives an ugly "hdr" look, it is not subtle at all. Maybe we need a specific tool for skin tones.

4.5K Messages

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76.3K Points

Hopefully Adobe hears you, and who knows what the future may bring...

In the mean time, an option for using PV2010 clarity on PV2012 edited files is to export (PV2012 files) back to catalog as tif or jpg, then (change exported PV to 2010) apply PV2010 clarity to the exported copy.

I have a plugin which automates this, but it's not worth much, since doing manually does not take many steps. (let me know if interested).

I sometimes export back to lightroom to access old clarity, apply sharpening at different settings, double-overlayed vignettes...

Cheers,
Rob

Champion

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36 Messages

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1.3K Points

The difference between PV2010 Clarity and PV2012 is that 2012 is twice as strong for the same amount.

4.5K Messages

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76.3K Points

Yeah, that's one difference. But they also have different effects too - different algorithms... - similar, but significantly different...

There was a fair amount of discussion about the differences during the beta.

322 Messages

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7.5K Points

I agree with Sean ... clarity has everything to do with texture ... not color except where contrast may come into play with over adjustment ... there is a huge difference between skin color and skin texture ...

If the skin texture is looking too HDR ... the problem is not with default color but more likely with excessive application of Clarity and/or Sharpness sliders.

4.5K Messages

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76.3K Points

I don't think Eric was suggesting that clarity significantly impacts color. But the look of skin with clarity applied is different in PV2010 vs. PV2012, even taking the strength difference into account. Different algorithms, different effect => different look...

Dunno if Eric just needs to reduce the amount applied, or if it's the inherent differences which are at issue.

Champion

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36 Messages

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1.3K Points

9 y ago

The differences are not that pronounced, mainly that Clarity interacts with Highlights and Shadows (which weren't there in PV2010). Butch's reference to colour is because this thread is on skin tones, not texture.
Negative clarity should be exactly the same in PV2010 and PV2012 anyhow, it was only Positive Clarity that was changed.