The BEST Way to Color Correct Skin in Affinity Photo!
The BEST Way to Color Correct Skin in Affinity Photo!

Today, we’re going to learn the best way to
color correct skin, all with the power of Affinity Photo. If you’d like to follow along with me, I’ve left a download link for the photo I’ll be
using in the video description. Just by looking at this photo, we can see that it has a blue color cast. We know that we’ll need to remove blue from
the photo to color correct it, but how do we know how much blue to remove? And do any other colors need to be removed? Should any colors be added? It can be really tricky to know which colors to change when doing color correction. Fortunately, the technique we’ll learn in
this video allows us to do precise color correction. What we’re going to do is match this woman’s skin tone to a pre-made skin tone pallete. By using a skin tone pallete, we can make
sure the color of the woman’s skin is correct, which will also color correct the rest of
the photo at the same time. If that doesn’t make sense right now, that’s okay. Just stick with me, and it will all be clear
in a minute. The first thing we need to do is a get a sample of the woman’s current skin color. To do this, we’ll make a selection around
a neutral part of her skin. By neutral, I mean we’re not going to make
a selection of shadows or highlights in her skin, just the regular midtones of the skin. To do this, get out the Free Hand Selection Tool, and make sure your feathering is set
to 0 pixels. Then click and drag to make a selection. Then duplicate that skin onto its own layer by pressing Command or Ctrl J. Then de-select by pressing Command or Ctrl
D. Now we have a layer with a small patch of neutral skin. But even this neutral patch has color variation
inside of it. We want a single color to represent her skin
tone, so we’re going to average all of the colors in this duplicate layer. To do this, come to the Filters menu, then go to Blurs, and apply an Average Blur. By averaging all of the colors on our duplicate layer, we now we have one color to represent
the average tone of all her skin. Next, we need to bring in a skin tone pallete, which will give us a variety of color corrected
skin tones. There’s a lot of skin tone palletes on the
internet, because there are a lot of skin tones in real life. I’ll leave a link in the video description for the one I’ll be using, but feel free to
search around to find one that you like. Once you’ve downloaded a skin tone pallete, come up to File, and then down to Place. Then select the skin tone pallete, and click
and drag to bring it into Affinity. Now comes the trickiest part of the whole process. We need to decide which one of the colors
in the skin tone pallete best represents what this woman’s skin tone should be. This can take a little practice to get right, but after some trial and error, you’ll get
better and better at knowing which skin colors to use. For this example, I’ve already played around with a few of the skin tones, and I like the
way this color looks. The next thing we need to do is find the exact color formula for our averaged skin tone,
as well as the color from our skin tone pallete. To do this, we’ll use the Info panel. You can find the Info panel by coming up to
View, down to Studio, and then select Info. The Info panel allows us to see the exact color formula that’s being used to produce
any color in our photo. Right now though, the Info panel is showing us the RGB value for one color, and the CMYK
value of another color. We need both colors to be shown in the same
color space, so let’s change the CMYK side to RGB. To do this, just press on this circle, and
then select RGB from the pop out menu. Now both sides are using RGB. Now we need to sample the color from the skin tone pallete, as well as our averaged skin
tone color. To sample a color, click and drag on this
cross hair icon, and place it on top of the color you want to sample. Then do the same with the other cross hair icon. Now we have the exact RGB values that are producing each one of our sampled colors. As you can see, the color from the skin tone pallete has a more red, less green, and a
lot less blue. Our goal is to make it so the average skin tone in this photo matches the skin we selected
from the pallete. To match their RGB values, we’re going to
use a curves adjustment. You can apply a Curves adjustment from the adjustments icon, or you use the shortcut,
Command or Ctrl M. Then place the Curves adjustment layer so it’s beneath the skin tone pallete’s
layer, but above the average skin tone layer. Then we’re going to change the Curves from Master, to just the Red channel. We need to increase the Reds in our photo, but we also need to make sure we move the
right part of our Curves. To do this, we’ll use the Picker feature. To learn more about curves and the Picker,
you can check out our complete guide to Affinity Photo in the video description. For now though, just press on Picker, and then click and drag on the average skin tone
we created. As we do so, we’ll move our Curve up, adding
more red to the exact part of the photo that we need. Try not to lift up your finger until you’ve perfectly matched the red value of each sampled
color. If you do accidently lift up your finger though,
that’s not a problem. Just click on the node we created, and then
use the arrow keys on your keyboard to nudge it up or down. Perfect! We’ve now matched the red value for each of
our sampled colors. Now we can move on to the Green channel. Once again, press on Picker, and then click and drag on the average skin tone. This time though, we’ll need to decrease the
green in our photo. Our Greens are now perfectly matched, but our photo looks worse than it did when we
started! Don’t worry though, because we’re not done
yet. We still need to do the Blue channel. Just as before, press on Picker, and then click and drag on the average skin tone to
bring the Blues down. Great! Now the RGB values for both our sampled colors
match perfectly. Now we can exit out of Curves, and turn off
our other layers, so we can see how the Curves adjustment is affecting the photo. And if you’d like to get rid of the cross hair icons, just press on these Arrows. Then you can exit the Info panel. Now we can turn Curves off to see our original picture, and here it is with the color-correcting-curves
applied. As you can see, this has made a huge improvement
in our photo! But don’t feel like you have to stop here. All we’ve done is match the RGB value of a
skin tone pallete with the average skin tone in our original photo. There’s no rule saying this is the “perfect
color correction”. Feel free to continue modifying your Curves adjustment, to improve the photo even more. Using the skin tone pallete is simply meant
to give you a good starting point. For example, I think I’ll double click on the Curves adjustment to bring it back up,
and then increase the Master curve, to brighten the photo a little bit. I’d say this photo has now been successfully color corrected! I know this technique might seem a little tricky right now, but really, it’s easy to
do once you get the hang of it. Let’s quickly do one more example together,
so you can review how this technique works. I’ve left a download link in the video description for the 2nd image we’ll be working on. If you’d like, you can pause the video here
and try color correcting the image on your own. Or if you’re still feeling a little overwhelmed,
just keep watching, and I’ll walk you through the process. First, we need to sample a neutral part of her skin, using the Free Hand Selection Tool. Then duplicate the selection onto its own layer by pressing Command or Ctrl J. Then
press Command or Ctrl D to de-select. Now we’ll average the skin tones in our duplicate layer by applying an Average Blur. Then we’ll bring in our skin tone pallete. Now choose the skin tone that you think best matches what the woman’s actual skin color
is. I’m going to use the 5th sample from the bottom,
on the far left side. Now we’ll bring out the Info panel, so we can get the RGB values of the skin tone pallete,
and our averaged skin color. Remember to set both sides of the Info panel to RGB. Then place the cross hairs on each of the colors we want to sample. Now make a Curves adjustment layer, and place it underneath the skin tone pallete layer. Now we’ll come to the Red channel, and use the Picker to match the red value of each
sampled color. Then we can move on to the Green and Blue channels. Now we can turn everything off, to see how our photo is looking. Once again, I think I’m going to brighten
the picture a little bit. Now we can turn off the Curves adjustment to see the original photo… And here it is with our color correction applied. As you can see, this technique works incredibly
well, even for photos that need serious color correction. As a final tip for you, you may encounter times when you need to crush the Curve’s spline
in order to match the RGB values in the Info panel. My recommendation is to never do this. It can often make the coloring in your photo
worse. Instead, use the arrow keys to nudge the node up until the spline is just barely above the
bottom. Matching RGB values isn’t worth crushing the
spline. Thanks for watching my friends, and I’ll see you in the next Affinity Revolution tutorial!

84 thoughts on “The BEST Way to Color Correct Skin in Affinity Photo!”

  1. Fiz in Japan says:

    What happened to your voice

  2. Fiz in Japan says:

    Please get well

  3. Enrique says:

    After researching a few photo editing programs I’m going to get Affinity Photo (in part because of your tutorials, and I definitely don’t want to pay a monthly fee), my question is if I can buy it through you channel so that you get a commission (I’m sure it’s not very big LOL)

  4. MakeupByYao says:

    Awesome technique! Can't wait to try it out

  5. linda1541 says:

    Could this be done on the iPad?

  6. Greg Hartwick says:

    This has been déjà vu all over again. I don’t think I can do this with my iPad version – no info panel, no color picker in the curves adj. Yes?

  7. Rick Grunwald says:

    Another awesome video. Thank you so much

  8. Nyakeh Charley says:

    Awesome video

  9. Health me Food says:

    You guys are awesome!

  10. Michael Coleman says:

    This is one of the most useful tutorials yet, at least for me. Fixing skin tones has been a great source of frustration for me, but with this info, I don't think I'll be nearly as troubled now. Thanks!

  11. Kevin aw says:

    This is awesome !!! thank you!!!

  12. TheDoberNut says:

    great video. is there a way to get the info tab up on the iPad version of affinity ?

  13. Darya Said says:

    Thank you so much, very smart method to colour correct an image.

  14. cees visser says:

    very useful, thank you!

  15. neil kelly says:

    Brilliant, thank you

  16. Richard Davidson says:

    Brilliant tutorial thank you !

  17. Seb Julien says:

    Just a small comment about Ezra's voice. I was a singer but I had to stop because of the meds I take for Lyme disease. But since I take CBD oil my vocal cords are totally back, maybe it can help him. Good luck.

  18. Ege Güngör says:

    thank you

  19. Mia cardillo debono says:

    Hey love the video, thanks!! Could your next video be about how to shape a clout into any shape!!!!!! Please

  20. Mike Conte says:

    Very nice, thank you. Hope you get better soon.

  21. Enrique says:

    Ok, I just purchased Affinity Photo and it works great (even if I don’t know how to use it yet LOL), honestly it looks much better than I expected for $39.00

    Now I want to buy your course but I’m not sure how it works, is it a real book, does it install on my computer or is it web based. (sorry to be a pain).

  22. Andrea Farris says:

    Very nice video, i'm waiting the same for the i-pad version, thanks

  23. Pacoavivar says:

    Hi awesome tuto!! But the same work can make in the version for iPad? I have affinity Photo for iPad! Greetings from México 🇲🇽 why not make two version of your videos one for iMac and another for version for iPad ? 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🤗😊😀

  24. Kent Ellis says:

    Wow very nice like a pro. 👍

  25. Freund der Berge says:


  26. eduardo cardona says:

    Do a full course on photo manipulation and photo composite on affinity photo on the ipad

  27. greg Botlin says:

    Really like your video's and am a subscriber, however can you please, please, please stop uptalking.

  28. cooleshaka says:

    Very useful tutorial, thank you very much!

  29. Stampin Craze says:

    Hi Ezra, we love your wife doing voice overs and helping you out while you are ill, but we are worried about you. Hope you are healing well, please update us.

  30. Nessunego says:

    I would suggest to apply a black mask to the curves adjustment and then use white brush to uncover the curves adjustment just on the skin as not to affect the colours of hairs lips and environment.

  31. Wayne Goss says:

    That is so CLEVER! Thank you!

  32. Susan Fowler says:

    You guys are the BEST instructional videos out there.
    Does this work the same on an iPad Pro?

  33. Darya Said says:

    Thanks so much. I followed your tutorial, however when I select the picker, it is not doing any changes to the image!!! Any idea? Thanks.

  34. lendumore says:

    Hey, how’s Ezra doing? Hope everything’s ok.

  35. Lee Ahegg says:

    Does it work for iPad Version?

  36. Tarji Band says:

    Wouldn't it be easier if you just used the white in her eye to color correct?

  37. Richard Rykard says:

    Nice tutorial I was scratching my noggin for a moment but it became progressively clearer 😊

  38. Ian Graham says:

    fantasssstic! Much easier for me than Photoshop

  39. Maximilan Williams says:

    WOOOOOOOOOW… This was the first channel I found when I was learning AP and till this day you still continue to teach me new stuff every single time. Thank you for the time and effort you put into these videos. Hope Ezra and the family are ok.

  40. Jonas Barakat says:

    Does this work on iPad as well? I can’t find the color info picker.

  41. Alireza Barkesh says:

    Thanksssss ♥️

  42. reggie90009 says:

    Just wanted to say Thank you for this technique. I've used it to match skin tones from two different pics, first getting the average colors from both pics, then using the Info, and Curves to match them. The only difficulty I've encountered is in trying to match the color data without crushing the curves. I assume that when this happens, the two colors are just too out of range to meet. Anyway, thanks again for this video.

  43. Mark Jimenez says:

    Can this be done on the iPad? Are all those tools on the iPad version of affinity photo?

  44. Patrick McDonald says:

    Thank you, this is brilliant. Perfectly explained, too.

  45. Martin Conrad says:

    INCREDIBLY helpful, useful, and informative! Best example of the power of the curves adjustment I've seen in ANY video on Affinity Photo!

  46. Yannis Maragakis says:

    Very good! Thank you!

  47. David Zamorano says:

    great tutorial! thank you!

  48. Sugar Plum Fairy says:

    Love everything about your video! Very informative, easy to understand and follow, and a truly great approach to editing skin tone! Thank you!

  49. Motta Motta says:

    ipad pro please!!!!!

  50. Longkat Kumshi says:

    how do I get the software

  51. Jim Patrick says:

    Wonderful just gets better. As a newbie to affinity Photo, I am discovering how powerful it.

  52. CamyolaCola says:

    Wow! Extremely helpful😃!

  53. Jan Willem Smit says:

    I can use this method for lots of combining picture and colours. Thanks!!

  54. Valeri Sollitto says:

    This was the most helpful processing tutorial I have ever watched in my life omg

  55. YeshuaMyLove says:

    This was fantastic!!
    Thank you so very much! ❤️

  56. Steven Jeanrolus says:

    Great tutorial. Very helpful and easy to understand.

  57. Paco BerCa says:

    What a simple, clear and easy step by step color correction skin on a tutorial. thanks a lot!

  58. PixMotions says:

    Great Tutorial! Keep up your good work and thank you!

  59. Steven Kirchner says:

    Is that also on iPad with Affinity Photo?

  60. Waldir Borba Junior says:

    OMG, another super tip. Show Perfect

  61. Paul Reid says:


  62. BigMan tube says:

    Now I see Affinity Photo is a great app ! OMG

  63. Jeff Galpin says:

    Awesome! Thanks for the great video, I am just starting to switch to AP from Photoshop and you are helping a ton!

  64. Colin Adams says:

    Very helpful, thank you. This has reminded me of a problem I see often – because of cosmetics the model's skin tone on her face & neck is very different to her shoulders & arms, perhaps you can produce a tutorial on how to solve?

  65. Derek Lowry says:

    Brillant !!!

  66. Joe Malham says:

    I can’t express how grateful I am for your Affinity tutorials. Thanks.

  67. Joe Malham says:

    Question. If you have multiple photos all shot under the same light, can you copy the formula to other photos?

  68. Bill Fried says:

    Terrific, thanks!

  69. Luther okenge says:

    This way correct not only skin but the background too, how to correct only skin without any correct on background?

  70. Jim Air says:

    A group of us, here is New Zealand, were using your video tutorial today, Ally and Ezra. We are big fans. However, things did not work out, which seems not to be a fault in your process. You are using an earlier version of Affinity Photo (on a Mac, thought we use Windows). All of us had the same problem, when we had selected both the Average Selection and the Target Skin Tone, we then chose the Picker and started to move the values of the right hand of the Info Panel. However, seemingly because we are using V 1.7.2 it seems to be a flaw (bug) that the values on both sides of the Info Panel move. This did not happen with just one of our members, but seemingly all of them. Late this afternoon, I have checked this and it happens on our home PC too. Very disappointing, because we love and practice your video tutorials.

  71. lendumore says:

    What happens if you delete the layers? (the ones used to pull color samples)

  72. kevin anton says:

    It changes my entire image making it way too bright…how do we apply these changes to just the skin?

  73. Affinity Revolution says:

    If you want the color correction to ONLY be applied to the skin (and not to the rest of the photo), here's what you should do.

    1. Follow the steps in this video to set up your color-correcting-curves adjustment layer.
    2. Invert the curves adjustment layer.
    3. Paint in white on the adjustment layer's mask to reveal the color correction on just the areas you paint.

    Have fun!

  74. kevin anton says:

    On soft proof for headshots, which PROFILE should you/ do you use? Thanks!

  75. Jay Choi says:

    What a nice trick to color correct skin tone!

  76. YvetteKaur says:

    Any plans on adding the Info Panel to the iPad version? How can we color correct skin tone on iPad without this panel?

  77. Hermann Schmidt says:

    I am more and more amazed by this product. Glad I bought it recently.

  78. Azmi Osman says:

    Amazing 🌷👍👍

  79. Azmi Osman says:

    Can this be done in ipad?

  80. Mihai Mihai says:

    Newbie question:
    How could apply RGB on curves only at a selection zone, not to all image?

  81. Allan Marshall says:

    A beginner would get lost trying to follow this.

  82. Devin Hashemi says:

    I try to use that rope option but it won't allow me to do anything than to grab the entire picture. When I click on the rope all I get is a hand that's ready to grab. Help please =)

  83. Lynn Cocksedge says:

    I have a problem. I have watched this tutorial over and over. I downloaded the skin colour palette as you suggested, and I have followed your instructions step by step. I cannot get the colour palette to appear on my workpage where I have the image I am working on. All I get is an empty box with corner handles to adjust. I have even tried downloading other colour palettes and using them.
    I tried this initially on the RAW image, and since have tried it on the jpg image and no change

  84. Taisia Bobrova says:

    Where to find this info panel in affinity app on iPad? Could you help please?

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