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Retouching workflow with Photoshop and Lightroom, pt. 2: Smoothing skin

From: Lightroom 3 Advanced Techniques

Video: Retouching workflow with Photoshop and Lightroom, pt. 2: Smoothing skin

In the previous movie, we explored how we could use Photoshop in order to clean up small blemishes. We then saved the file and brought it back into Lightroom. Now, when we zoom in on this in Lightroom, one of the things we'll notice is the skin looks really good. We have nice detail there, or at least reduction of details, and everything is looking great. Yet, let's say that we want to smooth the skin, because this is this idealized beauty photograph. Well, in Lightroom, you can use the Adjustment brush to achieve skin smoothing more efficiently, and many times with much better results than you can in Photoshop.

Retouching workflow with Photoshop and Lightroom, pt. 2: Smoothing skin

In the previous movie, we explored how we could use Photoshop in order to clean up small blemishes. We then saved the file and brought it back into Lightroom. Now, when we zoom in on this in Lightroom, one of the things we'll notice is the skin looks really good. We have nice detail there, or at least reduction of details, and everything is looking great. Yet, let's say that we want to smooth the skin, because this is this idealized beauty photograph. Well, in Lightroom, you can use the Adjustment brush to achieve skin smoothing more efficiently, and many times with much better results than you can in Photoshop.

You already know how to do this. Here we press the K key. We then go to the Effect pulldown menu, and we choose Soften Skin. Now, because this is a glamour or beauty photo, we want to bring our sharpness down. We want even more of a smooth look. Our f low, we'll leave right about 65 or so. And then we want a nice-sized brush, lots of feather there to transition this out. We're going to go ahead and just paint across these areas. Now, what we'll be able to do by painting across these areas, like I said, is add some smoothing to the skin that really wouldn't be able to be achieved in Photoshop.

Even with some of the best Photoshop techniques, what ends up happening is many times the skin looks a little bit smudgy, yet here what we can do is really kind of honor the pixel structure and not smudge things out so much as remove that midtone contrast. Now, when you work in Photoshop and when you work on skin, a lot of times you can come up with good results, but those take a lot of time. And here, we're going to use Lightroom because we can achieve great results without investing a huge amount of time. I'm just going to go ahead and paint around the image, or paint this effect in, which essentially blurs or softens the skin here. And I'm looking to be pretty consistent. Change my brush size to work above the eye there.

The nice thing about this is because we took the time to work in Photoshop to reduce and simplify--to remove all those little blemishes--we can now do really quick skin smoothing inside of Lightroom. In other words, what we're trying to do, or what we're starting to do here, is take advantage of the best of both worlds. Now, it would be a little bit tricky for you to see the results because these movies get small, yet here I'll press the Backslash key. Here is before and then after. I'll zoom in. Why don't I zoom way in up to the forehead here, so you can actually see this? And then press the Backslash key.

There is before, so you see a lot of structure there. There is after: nice, smooth skin. The less sharpness, the less texture you'll have. Also, if you want a little more texture, bring your sharpness up and your clarity up a bit. But here we want to have a relatively low amount of texture because we're going for a little bit more of an idealized look. All right! Well, now that we've done that, we could then continue our post-production workflow. Let's say that the vision for this image is to make it a little bit muted, so we have muted colors, with maybe some nice yellows on top of it.

So let's go ahead and do that. Press the K key to close the Adjustment brush. Then go into the Basic panel. Here I'm going to add a little bit of fill light, also some contrast, some clarity there. And then I'm going to go down to my saturation slider, and I'm going to remove some color there, so I have this kind of muted look, and then add a bit of warmth, which will add kind of a uniform look across the image. Here we have before and then after. Subtle, yet you get the point. And the point is you can work in Lightroom and Photoshop together, and you can take advantage of both of these programs in order to come up with really stunning results.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Lightroom 3 Advanced Techniques
Lightroom 3 Advanced Techniques

91 video lessons · 17780 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
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  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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