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Color Editing the Skin tone at DaVinci Resolve

Skin tones are the most important part of your image. It gives life and meaning, and it also defines the character of a person. Most importantly it establishes the story. In this entry, shows you how to isolate the skin of your actors/talents in a nicest and simplest way possible.

Qualifier Window

Choose the qualifier and click the actor’s skin. The image shows you how it should look like after you clicked it. Make sure that the highlight/effect is turned on to be able to see the changes and the selected areas on the image.

Since the skin looks dirty, you have to clean it using the qualifier window. Adjusting the lows and highs of the HSL will help you achieve the clean look that you want. The negative picker on the upper right corner is used to remove unwanted selection while the positive picker is for adding selections that are not selected. Every time you fix the skin of the actors, you should always clean the blacks and white then add some blur to have a very smooth skin selection. You have to make sure that you’re not overdoing it because sometimes it leaves a halo effect in the skin which makes it look warped.

After Cleaning

You have to make sure as well that when you select the skin, there are no other elements that are also selected. There are times that some parts of the clip are being selected because it has the same value as the skin.

After you fixed it, you can finally edit it. But always remember that you should balance your image first, then next step is to fix the skin, after that, you can now apply the look that you wanted your film to have. It is very difficult to fix a graded skin because values of the other present colors might affect the entire image.

Other Ways

You can also edit the skin with the use of power window. But unlike the qualifier, the power windows are a bit difficult to manage and you have to track it in order to have an effective effect to the skin. It consumes time more than the qualifier.

Or you can make a curve key selection to separate the skin and the background then clean it up using the qualifier.


In color grading, it’s important to be aware of the original skin tone of the subject so that you won’t over grade them. You have to remember as long as the skin tone looks healthy and classified as a human skin it’s okay. Only the hue and saturation are fairly subjective depends on the mood or the preference of the client.

The skin color is one of the hardest parts to edit. There is no particular requirement when it comes to coloring the skin as it varies differently depending on what skin color the talent has. Whatever color it is, it’s still a bit challenging because you have to have the right tone that matches your entire look.

Here’s a sample of how to correct skin tone. By adjusting to its environment

A. After balancing the overall image, the actor’s skin looks like this. His skin looks a little pinkish than what it should be. Since the shot was taken on the beach and it’s sunny, he should appear warmer.


B. Next part, mix the orange temp to the magenta tint to achieve a warm neutral look. After getting the desired look, you could then use the mid-tone detail to soften his skin so he won’t look very rugged or old.

C. Lastly, use the hue vs. sat to decrease the colors to prevent it from being crushed. Specifically picked the skin tone color so that the other colors that are present in the image won’t be affected.

Fixing the skin tones varies differently, depending on what skin color he/she have. But whatever race or color they are, skin tones are still very important. Other than the looks of the film, skin tones are one of the elements in an image that catches the viewer’s attention. It’s one of the elements that gives definition to the viewers.

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