^Adjust Images for Perfect Skin Tone

Skin tones are a sticky subject in any print job. It's imperative that the "humans" in your images are portrayed with natural-looking flesh tones. Oftentimes, skin tones can tend to print with red overtones. If you request a round of prepress color samples from your printer or prepress professional, they will allow you to point out faulty flesh tones; in most cases, they will also adjust them as you request. There are, however, certain tips to which you as the designer can adhere to make sure your imagery is as accurate as possible.

TRY IT To adjust images for perfect skin tone, follow these steps:

1. Make sure you are in RGB mode.

2. Using the Lasso tool, select the flesh tones that you wish to adjust. (Hold down the SHIFT key if you wish to select more than one area.)

3. Feather your selections to allow for a gradual shift from the changed area to the unchanged area. While the areas are still selected (in other words, the ants are still dancing), choose Select | Feather and enter in a low value. If your image is a low-resolution image, you only need to enter a 1-pixel value. For higher-resolution images, enter in at least a 3 or a 5.

4. Choose Image | Adjust | Hue/Saturation. In the Hue/Saturation dialog box, choose Reds in the Edit box and move the Saturation slider to the left; this lowers the amount of red that appears in the skin tone. You can also adjust for other tones that appear "off" in your image by selecting the color tone you wish to adjust in the Edit box.

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