Natural Skin Tones Every-time

Today I want to talk about a common mistake that a lot of people make when color grading.

Too often I see videos where the creators simply apply a color grade effect or LUT to the whole image, which even though it creates a nice stylized look it also changes the skin tones to unnatural colors. Once the skin has unusual colors in it then the whole image looks natural. It’s just the way our brains work. We are used to seeing and watching human beings and we know what their skin is supposed to look like, so we right away notice that something is not right when the skin has weird shades of colors. You can have all sorts of funky colors in the whole scene, on the walls, floor, props, clothes etc but not the skin. That is the reason why it’s important to try to keep the skin colors as close to the natural tones as possible in your shot. Of course if you are doing a shot where the lighting is colored, like sunset or police lights etc then it’s normal that the skin will have different shades of color. In those few cases the audience expects those colors and so their brain doesn’t right away tell them that something is off.

If you’d like to follow along with the tutorial then download the footage I used here.

Also make sure to get some of my LUT’s that I use in the tutorial by going here.

In the past I did lots of different color grading tutorials. So if you want to learn about some of the other techniques of good color grading then please watch those videos below.

One thought on “Natural Skin Tones Every-time”

  1. Just found your site and I’m really impressed. Most of my life I’ve been an accountant – boring and energy draining at the same time. I quit my job a month ago and I’m still struggling to get a videography and photography business going. My Nikon D800 does good at photos but really sucks with video. Not much left in the bank and still need to support a wife and a 12 year old daughter. We live in Las Vegas and there seems to be plenty of opportunities for good photos and video. Anyway best wishes.


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