Film School: Colour Correction: Skin Tones

The Simplest Way to Perfect Skin Tones | Color Grading Central The Simplest Way to Perfect Skin Tones | Color Grading Central

Between correction and grading, there is colour correction of skin – learn with these tutorials.

Colour Correction comes before Colour Grading. This entry is about correction – to learn about grading, head here and here too.


First, if you aren’t yet familiar with scopes, or don’t quite understand how to work with them to correct colour in your video work, we’ve collected some helpful, comprehensive tutorials:

Skin Tones

Once you’re more familiar with reading scopes, you’re ready to correct skin tones in five minutes (via Premiere Basics):

Hue vs Hue / Hue vs Sat

In three more minutes, learn two further steps for more detailed correction using more specialised colour adjustment tools (via TL;DR Filmmaker):


Spend a further ten minutes with Color Grading Central to learn a more precise focus on adjusting for skin tones:

Dr Nkeng Stephens offers this tutorial for grading darker skin tones in DaVinci Resolve:

Moving Mask

What about the skin tone on a moving person? Cinecom‘s technique involves masking a person’s face, tracking its movement, and then applying colour correction – all using Premiere Pro‘s stock features, without no third party plugins:

Further Viewing

While the skin tone line in the YUV vector scope is said to account for all skin tones, the same can’t be said of the film medium historically. Here’s a collection of topical discussions about film’s troubled history with dark skin, and what modern DOPs are doing about it:

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