Photoshop tutorial: How to select skin tones in Photoshop

Tigz Rice shows you how easy it us to select a model’s skin tones in Photoshop in just a few quick clicks, ready for retouching.

Intro


Sometimes you need to select only a person’s skin tones to adjust their hue, brightness or texture – usually in reaction to a colour adjustment you’ve applied to the rest of the photo.

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In this tutorial, burlesque photographer Tigz Rice reveals how you can do this a few simple steps in Photoshop using the Select Color Range dialog’s Skin Tones option.

This automatically selects skin tones – from any ethnicity – to save you having to manually, accurately choose the correct range for your model’s precise skin colour.

So load up a model shot you need to work on and let’s get started.

Software needed

Photoshop CC

Time to complete

1 minute

Step 1

STEP 1

Open your chosen image in Photoshop and go to Select > Color Range… to bring up the Color Range dialog box.

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Step 2

STEP 2

In the Select dropdown menu at the top of the dialog, choose Skin Tones. This will automatically detect any colours within the skin-tone range.

See also: 86 Best Photoshop tutorials

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Step 3

STEP 3

Now go to the Selection Preview dropdown menu (at the bottom) and choose Grayscale. This will give you a much better view of what areas you’re selecting.

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Step 4

STEP 4

Next, slide the Fuzziness slider until all – and only – the skin is selected. You may wish to turn on Detect Faces, although results may vary depending on your image.

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Once you’re happy, press OK to confirm the selection.


Step 5

STEP 5

Back in the main Photoshop screen, choose an Adjustment layer from the Adjustment panel to apply the skin masking automatically to that effect.

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Step 6

STEP 6

Otherwise, simply click on the Add Layer Mask button to create a layer mask.

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Continue Editing as normal.