Camera Raw/Lightroom: Skin based white balance

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This conversation has been merged. Please reference the main conversation: Lightroom 4: Add skin tone for to White Balance Selector

I love everything about what Adobe is doing with LR (CC), PS, etc.  The one tool I keep holding out hope for is a White Balance dropper setting that is based on clicking on the skin of a subject.  

Years ago, Apple Aperture had this function.  It was great and made nailing skin tones so much easier.  It wasn't perfect, but something about Adobe tells me they can pull it off effectively.  

This would also be a welcomed feature in Premier as well!  

I am affected by colorblindness and it isn't always easy to detect greens and reds in images; especially skin tones.
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Julian Rance

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Posted 8 months ago

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Andrew Rodney

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White Balance is just that and really has nothing to do with skin tone which is pretty easy to edit for better appearance using Lab as a target:

Looking over most of the good skin tone reference files I have, including the Roman 16*, aStar and bStar are often numerically very close and never more than 10-12 values difference. As seen here:

In Lab, the aStar and bStar values are key. Both should be positive values. Both should be within 10-12 values units of each other. If the B value is lower than A, skin starts to appear magenta or pink looking. When B is higher than A the skin appears more yellow. The closer to zero, the more pale.

You may also note that in ACR, the Temperature and Tint sliders are effectively the same as the A & B channels of LAB. The Temp Axis (blue-yellow) equates to LAB B and the Tint axis (Gren- Magenta) equates to the LAB A. 


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Marlon Bishop

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Correct me if I am mistaken, but you can't use this as a reference unless you know what your input values are - Color temp of light plus environmental, thus you would something like need a gray card shot taken in both environments, a reference photo with all the skin tones plus gray, and likewise done in your own - in order to actually correct a skin type for your own environment
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John MacLean

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If you’re shooting in controlled lighting conditions like a studio or outside without the sun in and out of the clouds, then I would highly suggest an X-Rite Passport setup. Shoot raw, have the chart in one of your test frames, click the light gray patch (below the green patch) with the LR WB Eyedropper, then sync the WB to the remainder of your shots in the same lighting. Works great and you can even build custom camera profiles, but the Adobe Portrait profile is actually very good.
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Andrew Rodney

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.DCP profiles are White Balance agnostics by design:

Everything you thought you wanted to know about DNG/DCP camera profiles:
All about In this 30 minute video, we will look into the creation and use of DNG (.dcp) camera profiles in three raw converters. The video covers:
What are DNG camera profiles, how do they differ from ICC camera profiles.
Misconceptions about DNG camera profiles.
Just when, and why do you need to build custom DNG camera profiles?
How to build custom DNG camera profiles using the X-rite Passport software.
The role of various illuminants on camera sensors and DNG camera profiles.
Dual Illuminant DNG camera profiles.
Examples of usage of DNG camera profiles in Lightroom, ACR, and Iridient Developer.
Low Rez (YouTube):
High Rez (download):
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eartho, Champion

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In video apps, they use a vectorscope to align skintones. Takes about 10 seconds to learn and is incredibly useful for color correcting skin. A shame raw processors don't make use of this...

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