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Retouching a photo the step-by-step way

From: Photoshop Elements 10 Essential Training

Video: Retouching a photo the step-by-step way

One of the most practical of the Guided Edits is one that walks you step by step through the process of retouching a portrait, to make it look better. I've opened this portrait into the Guided Photo Edit workspace in the Editor, as I showed you how to do in the last movie. And to access the portrait retouching Guided Edit, I'll go to the Advanced Edit section of the Guided Edits. I think this section is unfortunately named because you don't have to be an advanced user to walk through the retouching technique known as Perfect Portrait. This technique not only shows you how to retouch a photo, it also suggests things that you can do to make the photo look better.

Retouching a photo the step-by-step way

One of the most practical of the Guided Edits is one that walks you step by step through the process of retouching a portrait, to make it look better. I've opened this portrait into the Guided Photo Edit workspace in the Editor, as I showed you how to do in the last movie. And to access the portrait retouching Guided Edit, I'll go to the Advanced Edit section of the Guided Edits. I think this section is unfortunately named because you don't have to be an advanced user to walk through the retouching technique known as Perfect Portrait. This technique not only shows you how to retouch a photo, it also suggests things that you can do to make the photo look better.

I'll click the Perfect Portrait Guided Edit and now I see instructions for this Guided Edit here in the Task pane on the right. As with every Guided Edit, all I have to do is read through this narrative, following the instructions here and using the tools supplied. The first step is to enhance the texture of the skin, and that's done by applying a smart blur. As instructed, I'll click the Apply Smart Blur button right here, and that opens the Smart Blur dialog box. Here I can see a preview of the subject, and I want to be sure that I can see her skin in the preview.

And then I'll go down to the Radius slider and I'll drag it slightly to the right. You don't want to go too far with the Radius slider. The idea is just to blur the skin so that it smoothes out any wrinkles or other rough patches. And I'll click OK. Now as you can seem the entire photo looks blurry. I'll go to the next step, which is to reveal the original photo through this blur, by clicking the Reveal Original button. And now I'm going to paint that blur back in just where I want it. Before I do that, I'd like to see a larger view of the photo, so I'm going to double-click the Project Bin tab here to collapse the project bin.

And then I'll select either the Zoom tool or the Hand tool, and in the Options bar for those tools, I'll click Fit Screen, to zoom the photo in, to fill the whole document window. And now I'm going to go back over to the Guided Edit and select the Blur brush. I'll follow this tip, which tells me to use a soft brush and to set the brush opacity to just 50%. That's done up in the Tool Options bar. I'll go to the brush picker and click the arrow to the right of the brush picker, and I want to make sure that I have a soft brush selected.

I'll click in the tool Options bar to close the brush picker, and then I'll go to the Opacity field and I'll make sure that's set to 50%. If it isn't, you can just select the percentage and type in 50. Now I'll move in to the image, and I'm going to start painting that blur back in, just where I want it. Notice that I'm painting on her skin, but I'm avoiding her eyes and her eyebrows and her hair and her lips and all of the other parts of the photo that I want to remain crisp. I just want to soften her skin with some of that smart blur.

And as I paint, I'm changing the size of my brush by pressing the left bracket key on my keyboard--that's right next to the P key--to make the brush tip smaller, or the right bracket key next to the left bracket, which will make the brush tip larger. When I am done painting in that blur, I'll move down to see some other instructions here. The next instruction tells me that I can increase the contrast in the image by clicking this button. I am going to click the button, and if I don't like that result, I can go up to the Edit menu and choose Undo.

You can do this with a lot of the steps in this particular Guided Edit. Next, the instructions in the Guided Edit show me how to enhance facial features. All I have to do is select a tool, read the description, and apply it. So this first tool is the Spot Healing tool that I can use to eliminate blemishes in the portrait. I'll move into the image and click right on top of that ornament and it disappears. And here I see a little mark on the face. I'll do the same over there to eliminate that mark, and this one, and there is a little mole down here.

I want the size of my brush tip to just cover these spots. And again, I can use the left and right bracket keys to size the tip. The next tip, the Red Eye Removal tool, is used if you have red glow in your subject's eyes as a result of having used flash on your camera. I don't have that problem in this photo, so I'll move on to the next tool, which is the Dodge tool. The instructions tell me I can use this tool to brighten the eyes a little bit. So I'll select the tool, I'll move over an eye, I'll make sure that my brush is the right size to fit inside the pupil, and I'll click to brighten that eye and this eye.

Each time I click, the eyes will get a little brighter. Next there is a Burn tool. This tool will make areas of the face darker. So I can use these to make the lashes and brows a little bit darker. I'll select the Burn tool, I'll move in to the image, and with a small brush tip I'll drag over the eyebrows to darken them, and this makes them a little bit more dramatic. I can do the same thing on the eyelashes. I will use the left bracket key to make my brush really small, and then I'll just paint a little bit over the lashes, almost like I am adding some mascara.

I can do that under the lashes too, and that will emphasize the eyes a little bit. Almost everyone's teeth can benefit from a little whitening in a portrait, and there is a Whiten Teeth tool right here that will do that for me. I'll select that tool, and then I'll come into the image and with a very small brush, I am going to click and drag over the teeth. This brush both selects the teeth based on their color and tone and whitens at the same time. Now, if I go too far, as I did here, and include some of the lip in the selection, I can subtract from the selection by going up to the Options bar for this tool and clicking on the Subtract from selection option, and then coming back in and dragging over the lips to remove the selection from them.

I am going to scroll down to see the third part of the instructions, which has to do with special touch-ups. I could just leave things as they are, or if I want, I can add a kind of glamour glow to the portrait. I'll click Add Glow, and that opens the Filter Gallery to the Diffuse Glow Filter. Over here is a preview of the photo with this Glow effect. I can use the Graininess slider to add a little bit of grain. I can control the amount of the glow, a lot, or just a touch, and I can control the amount of the photo that is clear of this glow.

And then I'll click OK and I can see that glamour glow reflected on the portrait. There is one more option here. Again, this is just optional, but if I want to make the subject a little bit slimmer looking, I can click the Slim button and that narrows the face. And each time I click, that will increase the effect, as it tells me here. Now I'd like to compare the results of going through this Guided Edit with the original. So I'll come down to the View menu, underneath the document window, and from there, I'm going to choose Before & After, either Horizontal or Vertical. I'll go with Horizontal.

And now I can see the corrected portrait on the right and the original on the left. If I don't like this result, I can go down here and click the Reset button, and that will take me all the way back to the beginning of the Guided Edit instructions, and I can go through those again, applying the tools with different settings. Or I can cancel out of the Guided Edit altogether, or I can click Done, and that takes me back to the list of all the Guided Edits. All that's left to do would be to close and save the image, as I showed you how to do in the last movie.

So even if you have no experience with portrait retouching, walking through the instructions for the Perfect Portrait Guided Edit and using the tools that are there at your fingertips can improve the appearance of your photographs of people.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Elements 10 Essential Training
Photoshop Elements 10 Essential Training

140 video lessons · 9521 viewers

Jan Kabili
Author

 
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  1. 23m 48s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. Getting around Elements
      6m 9s
    3. Exploring the differences in Mac versions of Elements
      5m 41s
    4. Working with Organizer catalogs
      6m 16s
    5. Using the exercise files
      4m 44s
  2. 21m 39s
    1. Touring the Organizer
      5m 35s
    2. Importing photos from a camera
      4m 44s
    3. Importing photos from a computer
      3m 1s
    4. Importing photos from an iPhoto library
      5m 27s
    5. Importing photos from external drives
      2m 52s
  3. 31m 24s
    1. Working in Thumbnail view
      4m 10s
    2. Working in Folder Location view
      4m 33s
    3. Reviewing photos in Full Screen view
      4m 55s
    4. Editing and organizing in Full Screen view
      7m 20s
    5. Comparing photos in Side by Side view
      4m 10s
    6. Displaying photos in Date view
      2m 40s
    7. Viewing photo information
      3m 36s
  4. 47m 47s
    1. Using keyword tags to categorize photos
      6m 42s
    2. Organizing keyword tags
      4m 25s
    3. Finding photos by keyword tag
      3m 39s
    4. Automatically tagging people
      8m 21s
    5. Using automatic smart tagging
      5m 36s
    6. Assigning ratings to photos
      4m 9s
    7. Creating albums to organize photos
      5m 7s
    8. Creating smart albums
      5m 52s
    9. Stacking photos to reduce thumbnail clutter
      3m 56s
  5. 24m 35s
    1. Finding photos that are visually similar to each other
      4m 3s
    2. Searching for an object in a photo
      3m 45s
    3. Finding duplicate photos
      4m 50s
    4. Searching by text
      5m 59s
    5. Exploring the Find menu
      4m 27s
    6. Finding photos in the Timeline
      1m 31s
  6. 22m 41s
    1. Deleting photos
      4m 30s
    2. Renaming photos
      2m 24s
    3. Moving photos
      3m 58s
    4. Reconnecting missing files
      4m 37s
    5. Changing photo dates
      4m 29s
    6. Backing up
      2m 43s
  7. 16m 14s
    1. Choosing an editing workspace
      4m 37s
    2. Autocorrecting with the Organizer's Photo Fix options
      3m 47s
    3. Photo finishing with the Organizer's Photo Fix options
      4m 2s
    4. Changing a Photo Fix adjustment
      3m 48s
  8. 22m 10s
    1. Editing with assistance: the Guided Edit workspace
      6m 27s
    2. Retouching a photo the step-by-step way
      7m 55s
    3. Creating a dreamlike Orton effect
      1m 8s
    4. Simulating shallow depth of field
      4m 11s
    5. Creating a collage using Picture Stack
      2m 29s
  9. 29m 26s
    1. Quick improvements: introducing the Quick Edit workspace
      3m 28s
    2. Applying Quick Edit corrections
      4m 8s
    3. Adjusting lighting
      4m 0s
    4. Correcting color
      4m 20s
    5. Fixing red-eye, improving skies, and touching up photos
      6m 28s
    6. Sharpening images
      3m 10s
    7. Saving in Quick Edit
      3m 52s
  10. 41m 16s
    1. Full control: introducing the Full Edit workspace
      5m 19s
    2. Tips for using the editing tools
      3m 50s
    3. Customizing panels
      5m 10s
    4. Undoing your work
      6m 22s
    5. Zooming and navigating
      4m 41s
    6. Saving images and examining file formats
      4m 50s
    7. Working with multiple documents
      4m 0s
    8. Creating a file from scratch
      2m 57s
    9. Customizing Editor preferences
      4m 7s
  11. 25m 42s
    1. Understanding layers
      7m 3s
    2. Managing layers in the Layers panel
      7m 19s
    3. Tips for working with layers
      4m 25s
    4. Understanding layer masks
      6m 55s
  12. 29m 59s
    1. Understanding selections
      6m 49s
    2. Using manual selection tools
      4m 42s
    3. Modifying selections
      4m 20s
    4. Using the automatic selection tools
      7m 11s
    5. Refining selections
      4m 50s
    6. Saving selections
      2m 7s
  13. 23m 52s
    1. Retouching blemishes with the Spot Healing Brush tool
      2m 50s
    2. Retouching skin with the Healing Brush tool
      6m 7s
    3. Retouching with the Clone Stamp tool
      1m 58s
    4. Using the Content-Aware option in the Spot Healing Brush to remove content
      3m 13s
    5. Touching up photos with the Smart Brush tools
      7m 22s
    6. Using the Dodge, Burn, and Sponge tools
      2m 22s
  14. 1h 0m
    1. Understanding color management
      7m 23s
    2. Understanding adjustment layers
      6m 49s
    3. Adjusting part of a photo
      6m 16s
    4. Correcting contrast and brightness using Levels controls
      5m 6s
    5. Enhancing color with Hue/Saturation
      4m 32s
    6. Improving shadow and highlights using Shadow/Highlight
      2m 36s
    7. Adjusting lighting and color using Color Curves
      3m 53s
    8. Removing a color cast
      2m 11s
    9. Converting color to black and white
      3m 15s
    10. Reducing noise
      3m 53s
    11. Sharpening images
      6m 43s
    12. Processing multiple photos
      8m 19s
  15. 23m 6s
    1. Resizing and changing photo resolution
      7m 1s
    2. Cropping photos
      5m 35s
    3. Straightening photos
      2m 35s
    4. Adding canvas around photos
      2m 43s
    5. Changing a photos orientation using the Recompose tool
      5m 12s
  16. 23m 50s
    1. Combining photos using the Place command
      5m 21s
    2. Using a layer mask to hide a background
      6m 26s
    3. Blending images using a gradient
      8m 18s
    4. Blending images using Blend modes
      3m 45s
  17. 24m 2s
    1. Creating text
      6m 22s
    2. Editing text
      3m 49s
    3. Creating text on a selection
      6m 1s
    4. Creating text around a shape
      3m 51s
    5. Creating text on a custom path
      3m 59s
  18. 22m 43s
    1. Applying filters
      5m 24s
    2. Adding effects
      2m 6s
    3. Adding layer styles
      7m 38s
    4. Making shapes
      5m 17s
    5. Using the Cookie Cutter tool
      2m 18s
  19. 42m 14s
    1. Understanding Camera Raw
      3m 35s
    2. The Camera Raw interface
      5m 16s
    3. Adjusting color using the white balance controls
      4m 41s
    4. Controlling lighting and contrast
      6m 26s
    5. Enhancing photos with the Clarity, Vibrance, and Saturation controls
      2m 39s
    6. Cropping and straightening
      2m 12s
    7. Reducing Noise
      2m 24s
    8. Sharpening
      6m 46s
    9. Outputting from Camera Raw
      4m 43s
    10. Processing multiple photos in Camera Raw
      3m 32s
  20. 56m 43s
    1. Creating a photo book
      6m 50s
    2. Completing the photo book
      10m 5s
    3. Creating a photo calendar
      8m 19s
    4. Creating a photo greeting card
      5m 17s
    5. Making other photo creations in the Create workspace
      2m 8s
    6. Outputting photo creations from the Create workspace
      2m 50s
    7. Creating a photo slideshow in Windows
      8m 45s
    8. Completing the photo slideshow
      3m 31s
    9. Making a scrapbook page from scratch in Full Edit
      8m 58s
  21. 41m 34s
    1. Printing photos
      8m 30s
    2. Printing contact sheets and picture packages in Windows
      5m 23s
    3. Printing contact sheets and picture packages on a Mac
      8m 33s
    4. Ordering prints from the Organizer
      4m 22s
    5. Sharing photos by email from the Organizer
      3m 46s
    6. Sharing photos with Photo Mail in Windows
      5m 3s
    7. Sharing photos on Facebook from the Organizer
      3m 42s
    8. Sharing photos on Flickr from the Organizer
      2m 15s
  22. 7m 34s
    1. Signing up for an Adobe ID
      2m 20s
    2. Sharing online albums from the Organizer to Photoshop.com
      5m 14s
  23. 40s
    1. Goodbye
      40s

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