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Deke's Techniques is a collection of short Photoshop and Illustrator projects and creative effects that can be completed in ten minutes or less. The series is taught by computer graphics guru Deke McClelland, and presented in his signature step-by-step style. The intent is to reveal how various Photoshop and Illustrator features can be combined and leveraged in real-world examples so that they can be applied to creative projects right away.
Hey gang! This is Deke McClelland. Welcome to Deke's Techniques. This week we'll talk about retouching a photograph. So the ideas is this. I started off with his portrait photo. Lovely young woman, but we have got some skin stuff going on. So I went ahead and healed that away, but I still wasn't satisfied. I wanted to get rid of the pores, smooth over some of those skin tones, and I ended up achieving this effect here with this just silky smooth skin. Here, let me show you, exactly how it works. Just for the sake of reference, we are looking at a magnified detail of the original portrait shot from photographer Matt Dula.
And here's the hand-retouched version of the image that I came up with using a combination of Content Aware Fill and the Healing Brush. And then finally, here are the softer skin tones that I am going to show you how to achieve in this movie. So if you're working along with, go ahead and click on the background and then Shift+Click on the retouched layer and in order to select both of them. And then go up to the Layers panel flyout menu and choose Convert to Smart Object, and that will allow us to smooth over the skin tones using a Smart Filter. Now select the skin tones. And if you're working inside Photoshop CS6, you have access to a great skin- tone-selection function.
Go up to the Select menu and choose the Color Range command and then change the Select option from Sampled Colors to Skin Tones, and that will go ahead and roughly select all the skin tones in the image. I went ahead and also cranked the Fuzziness value up to its absolute maximum, which is 200. There is no need to turn on that Detect Faces checkbox because they're just one big face inside this image. All right! Now go ahead and click OK. Now I am going to go ahead and modify the selection a little bit by zooming out from this image, and I'll grab my Polygonal Lasso tool.
And then I will press the Shift key and click, and at this point I can go ahead and release the Shift key. And I am clicking around the eye, as you can see here, in order to select some of these shadow details inside this image. And I'm trying to avoid the hair, and then I'm going to click roughly down the side of her face as well. She is not really a polygon shape, but this will do the trick for us. And then I will go ahead and click around the mouth, as I am doing now, and then back over to this section of the mouth and over and up, and then go ahead and double-click right out there. I am going to leave this section of the nose deselected for now, and then I will go ahead Shift+Click right about there to add this region of her forehead to the selection.
And we'll take care of the fact that too much is selected in just a moment, but first go up to the Select menu, choose Modify, and then choose the Feather command. And I am going to go ahead and set the Feather value to 6 pixels, where this image is concerned. This isn't a particular high-res image. If you were working in a high-resolution image, then you would probably go ahead and bump this value up. Anyway, I am going to click OK in order to accept that change. Now to apply the Smart Filter, I will go up to the Filter menu, choose Blur, and then choose Gaussian Blur. And I have gone ahead and cranked the Radius value up to 20 pixels.
You want it high enough so that you're not seeing any detail left in the selected region of the image. Again, if you're working in a higher resolution image, you will probably need to raise that value. Now go ahead and click OK to make that change. Now obviously that's a little bit too much blur, but I'm going to leave it that way for now so that I can clearly identify the areas that need to be masked away from the filter. And notice that I still have my Polygonal Lasso tool. So I will go ahead and click around the right eye, as I am doing here. And then I will Shift+Click and click around the left eye--her right eye of course.
And once I get that done, then I will drop down to the mouth and do the same thing. And so it's entirely okay to keep your selections very rough, because we are going to end up doing a little bit of painting inside the mask as well in just moment. And that almost takes care of it. We do have some areas inside the hair though, that are getting blurred. So I will go ahead and Shift+Click at the outset here and then I'm going to just sort of click around the entire hair, all the way down around her neck, down here near the base of the image, and into her outfit as well.
And then I will come back up. And you can see that Photoshop is helpfully auto scrolling all over the place. And I now have the area selected that I want to remove from the filtering effect. So I'll click on that Filter Mask thumbnail there inside Layers panel, and before I fill this selection, I will go up to Select menu, choose Modify, and once again choose the Feather command. That same Radius value of 6 pixels is going to work out just fine, and now I will go ahead and click OK. Now my foreground color is set to black, so I will press Alt+Backspace for Option+ Delete on the Mac in order to fill that selection with black, and then I will press Ctrl+D, Command+D on the Mac in order to deselect the image.
Now let's go ahead and back off the blur effect. Drop down to this Gaussian Blur item, here inside the Layers panel, and double-click on the little slider icon next to it in order to bring up the Blending Options dialog box. And all you need to do here is just take the Opacity value down to 50%. We don't need any blend mode. In fact, applying a blend mode would mess up the effect. So now I will go ahead and click OK. And now it's just a question of brushing back in the good details that we want to keep. And to do so, go ahead and select the Brush tool, which you can get by pressing the B key.
And in my case, if I right-click inside the image window, you can see that the size is set to 80 pixels--you can change the size to anything you want--but it's very important that the Hardness is set to 0%, as it is for me. And then click inside that filter mask thumbnail in order to make it active once again. Make sure that your foreground color is black, as it is in my case, and that for now the Opacity value is set to 100%. And then paint around details like the nostril and under the nose; these are all very important characteristics of a person's face. Also, I recommend that you can paint around all the creases and wrinkles.
So you may feel, depending on the subject of your photograph, like you want to leave some of those wrinkles blurred away, but generally speaking, wrinkles and creases convey emotions. So what we are really trying to accomplish here is not getting rid of age; we are just trying to get rid of pores and other surface details. I am going to paint away the eyebrows a little bit here, just to make sure that they're not getting interfered with. And that looks pretty darn good. Now I could bring just a little bit of surface action back around the eyes, because we do want to be able to clearly see what's going on in those eyes.
And really, that's it. I will go ahead and press the M key to switch back to the Rectangle Marquee tool, and I will press the F12 key so that you can see the original version of the photograph, altogether unretouched. And this is the image after retouching it and smoothing over those skin tones, here inside Photoshop.
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