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Reducing small blemishes

From: Lightroom 3 Advanced Techniques

Video: Reducing small blemishes

With this photograph, we are going to explore how we can clean up small details and also improve, or enhance, the skin. So first, let's zoom in on this image, so that we can see the details here. And one of the things that we notice is the eye is nice and sharp, except we have a few little skin variations we want to take out. Well to do that, press the Q key. That will enter your Spot Removal tool, which you can see here. You can also click on it in the Tool strip, and we have our brush size and opacity. We have cloning or healing. We are going to use healing because that blends things together nicely.

Reducing small blemishes

With this photograph, we are going to explore how we can clean up small details and also improve, or enhance, the skin. So first, let's zoom in on this image, so that we can see the details here. And one of the things that we notice is the eye is nice and sharp, except we have a few little skin variations we want to take out. Well to do that, press the Q key. That will enter your Spot Removal tool, which you can see here. You can also click on it in the Tool strip, and we have our brush size and opacity. We have cloning or healing. We are going to use healing because that blends things together nicely.

And typically what you want to do is you want to take your brush and hover it over a blemish you want to remove and then click and drag. And you see as I click and drag, I can choose from different areas. Like in this case, I am bringing in part of the eye into that or part of the shadow and the nose. We don't want that, so we want a nice clean area of skin. And then we will let go, and it will blend that in. You can always lower the opacity if you just want to just take the edge off of a blemish. That works as well. Another approach you can take is to have your brush about the size of the blemish and just click on it.

What this will do is it will auto- select an area for you in order to remove that particular blemish. Now in this case, you are noticing I am not showing the Tool overlay. Well, how do you do that? When you press the H key, and that toggles those little circles on and off. And I find in my own workflow those circles are just completely distracting, so I almost always turn them off. Nice, small brush. I just want to see if I am going in a good direction, and if I am not, I will turn it back on--like right there, that wasn't a good one. And then I will keep going and just make sure it's sampling a good patch of skin.

All right, well what about some of these other areas, let's say up on the forehead where we have this line? What you can do is simply click and drag and then just make your way through this, and you want to think of kind of overlapping these circles. Let me show you what I mean. Here I will press the H key. You can see that these are stacked up, the way that they are overlapped. Now if ever you have a circle that's overlapping, you can also increase its size. And you can see as I am hovering over the edge, I am increasing it. So I am healing on top of healing, which many times leads to even better results.

You can see again here an illustration of how we can do that. And again, I am just clicking and dragging to find nice patch of skin. And the trick with this, of course, is to have something good to sample from and then to go back around the other areas and sample some of the other small problems out and just keep going through this till you can remove that area that's distracting, or that's a bit of a blemish which needs to be reduced. Now here, I have the little circles turned on. Let's turn them off bye pressing the H key. Then press the Backslash key. Here's our before, and then here is our after--nice smoothing in that area of the face.

If we zoom out, it may be tricky to see, but we should be seeing an image that looks a lot better, just kind of reducing and simplifying some of those small little blemishes. Okay, well a couple others that I want to remove here. I am just going to go ahead and make my way through and see if we can take some of these out. A couple small ones down here, and what you'd really want to do is zoom in pretty close and take a little bit more time than I'm spending. But just work on some of the bigger areas that are problematic. Well, the next thing that we can do is combine what we've are you learned about skin smoothing.

So here I want to exit out of this tool, and I want to enter into my Adjustment brush. The easiest way to do that is to press the K key. Now once we are in the Adjustment brush, we can then select Soften Skin. That will have negative clarity, a touch of sharpening. We have seen this before. And here we will zoom in, so we can actually see how this is going to work. And we want to start with a low flow, just to experiment, be careful, and we are going to go across some of these areas. And we are just looking to try to reduce some of the texture, some of the variation that we are noticing in some of this area of skin.

Now it's critical that you do this after you have done your other work. You want to remove those small blemishes first, and then go over it with this negative clarity, because that will lead to better results. And I am just going to make my way up here as well. Now that I am seeing how this is working, I am going to increase my flow quite a bit. Again, I just like to test areas of skin. It's almost like--I don't know. If you are going to dye something, you test it on a small corner of the fabric, just to make sure it looks good. Then once you see that yeah, this is going to work for this image, you can go back with a little bit more, and you can really start to paint this in in new ways.

All right, well here just reducing this a bit, and what this will do is it will also make the eye seem a bit sharper, even though I haven't sharpen the eye. By softening things around the eye, it's going to then give the illusion that the eye is a little bit sharper in comparison to some of this other content that we are softening up here a bit. All right, well so far, so good. Let's zoom out here a little bit to evaluate. Press your Backslash key. And then we have this before and then now after. Now one of the problems with this that I am noticing is that it's having a little bit of problem with some colors.

So here I am also going to reduce some of the color saturation, just to take some of that out there--a few of those little areas. Then I am going to click on my color picker, and I am going to sample an area from the skin. So I click in the color picker and then I hover over the face. You can see the different areas. Let's see if we can choose a color like blue or something. Maybe that red. You can see how it's becoming really red. Now that red isn't something we want, but we might want a little bit of yellow-- not something quite so green or so saturated--just to try to blend them back into our skin tone color.

In other words, kind of remove a bit of the orange shift we had, then cover this up with a nice color here. And I am just going to drag around, see if there's something that might look kind of good with this image, just a small amount of color. You can see I am choosing something that's a little bit skin-tone like and then press the Backslash key. Here is before and then after. And it looks like this color is too strong, so I am going to lower the opacity there a bit more and just look at my before and after. See if we are going in a good direction. And I think we've done some nice work there. I will zoom out in and then press the Backslash key.

Here it is: before and then after. Next thing I need to do is to zoom in so that you can actually see it. And once again, here I will press the Backslash key. Before and then after. Nice work. Now whenever you get to the end of your file, after you've done that smoothing, you may discover other areas that need retouching--like up on the nose here for me, there are some areas. So I am going to press the Q key, and I am going to go back to these blemishes that I forgot to remove. They look kind of strange here, little orange dots or something, variation in the skin. So don't be afraid to go backwards. It's almost like you're going to an underlying layer underneath that smoothing, because it's really about combining all of these effects together, which are going to give us the best results.

All right, well in closing, I hope that throughout this movie you picked up a few tips that you can help you clean up some small blemishes and also make some skin enhancements.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Lightroom 3 Advanced Techniques
Lightroom 3 Advanced Techniques

91 video lessons · 17754 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 57s
    1. Welcome
      2m 11s
    2. Strategies for success
      1m 49s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 57s
  2. 39m 0s
    1. Understanding how Lightroom, Bridge, and Photoshop work together
      6m 25s
    2. Working with Lightroom, Bridge, and Photoshop
      6m 35s
    3. Maximizing compatibility with Photoshop
      4m 7s
    4. Resolving Camera Raw mismatches
      7m 47s
    5. Customizing external editor naming
      3m 54s
    6. Stacking multiple photos
      5m 25s
    7. What to do when Bridge isn't seeing the raw adjustments
      4m 47s
  3. 18m 30s
    1. Setting up an additional external editor
      6m 38s
    2. Should I work with TIFF or PSD files?
      1m 3s
    3. Setting up an export preset
      4m 4s
    4. Integrating Photoshop actions into Lightroom
      6m 45s
  4. 11m 46s
    1. What are catalogs and why do they matter?
      3m 38s
    2. Where are my images?
      4m 2s
    3. The nuts and bolts of catalogs
      1m 52s
    4. Understanding catalogs, collections, and folders
      2m 14s
  5. 15m 22s
    1. Working with folders
      3m 22s
    2. Working with collections
      3m 55s
    3. The collections workflow
      8m 5s
  6. 16m 5s
    1. Exporting and importing catalogs
      7m 52s
    2. Diagramming multiple catalogs and computers
      2m 10s
    3. When to use multiple catalogs on one computer
      3m 40s
    4. Cleaning up the catalog mess
      2m 23s
  7. 10m 55s
    1. Catalog backup defaults
      4m 7s
    2. Performing a better catalog backup
      3m 45s
    3. Restoring from a backup catalog
      1m 27s
    4. Optimizing catalogs
      1m 36s
  8. 12m 24s
    1. Hard drive options
      9m 50s
    2. Further resources
      2m 34s
  9. 9m 46s
    1. Setting up tethered capture
      3m 12s
    2. Custom tethered capture white balance
      6m 34s
  10. 43m 38s
    1. Enhancing eyes
      8m 59s
    2. Whitening teeth
      2m 51s
    3. Smoothing skin
      6m 45s
    4. Reducing small blemishes
      6m 56s
    5. Darkening or dodging with the Adjustment brush
      2m 29s
    6. Adding dimensions and contrast
      4m 53s
    7. Retouching workflow with Photoshop and Lightroom, pt. 1: Reducing blemishes
      7m 10s
    8. Retouching workflow with Photoshop and Lightroom, pt. 2: Smoothing skin
      3m 35s
  11. 21m 42s
    1. Understanding color space and preventing color profile mismatch
      3m 29s
    2. Monitor calibration with ColorMunki
      1m 5s
    3. Working with ColorChecker Passport
      59s
    4. Creating and exporting a ColorChecker Passport profile
      5m 44s
    5. Choosing and applying a profile
      6m 42s
    6. Saving a profile as a preset
      3m 43s
  12. 19m 0s
    1. Are your prints too dark?
      5m 47s
    2. Monitor brightness presets
      3m 4s
    3. Custom grid layouts
      3m 38s
    4. Importing and exporting custom presets
      2m 31s
    5. Exporting from Lightroom to Pictage
      4m 0s
  13. 20m 19s
    1. Designing a custom watermark in Photoshop
      7m 0s
    2. Implementing a custom watermark
      3m 54s
    3. Using a custom watermark for effect in a slideshow
      5m 54s
    4. Using a custom watermark for effect in a web gallery
      3m 31s
  14. 15m 28s
    1. Exporting images for a Blurb photo book
      6m 45s
    2. Downloading and installing Blurb BookSmart
      44s
    3. Building and designing a Blurb book
      7m 59s
  15. 17m 26s
    1. Publishing to the iPhone or iPad
      8m 45s
    2. Publishing to Facebook
      2m 24s
    3. Publishing to Flickr
      3m 19s
    4. Publishing to SmugMug
      2m 58s
  16. 17m 31s
    1. Web galleries and web hosting
      2m 52s
    2. Creating and uploading a gallery
      6m 29s
    3. Popular web gallery plug-ins
      3m 10s
    4. Installing and uploading a web gallery plug-in
      5m 0s
  17. 25m 44s
    1. Exporting to burn on DVD or Blu-ray
      5m 33s
    2. Exporting to a blog
      9m 16s
    3. Exporting for the web
      3m 26s
    4. Exporting and posting a slideshow or video
      4m 34s
    5. Creating a Lightroom screensaver
      2m 55s
  18. 10m 10s
    1. Creating a client web gallery template
      4m 1s
    2. Sending high-resolution images via FTP
      6m 9s
  19. 10m 23s
    1. Emailing images from Lightroom
      5m 31s
    2. Emailing images from Lightroom with Gmail
      4m 52s
  20. 11m 59s
    1. Installing plug-ins
      6m 17s
    2. Accessing plug-ins
      3m 10s
    3. Creative plug-in resources
      2m 32s
  21. 45m 6s
    1. General navigation shortcuts
      6m 21s
    2. Importing shortcuts
      5m 49s
    3. Library module shortcuts
      8m 15s
    4. Develop module shortcuts, pt. 1
      4m 42s
    5. Develop module shortcuts, pt. 2
      4m 29s
    6. Develop module shortcuts, pt. 3
      5m 24s
    7. Develop module shortcuts, pt. 4
      3m 39s
    8. Develop module shortcuts, pt. 5
      5m 11s
    9. Shortcut resources
      1m 16s
  22. 6m 13s
    1. General tips
      2m 28s
    2. Increasing the cache size for greater speed
      3m 45s
  23. 55s
    1. Goodbye
      55s

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