Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

Lightroom 3 Advanced Techniques
Illustration by

Smoothing skin


From:

Lightroom 3 Advanced Techniques

with Chris Orwig

Video: Smoothing skin

With this photograph, we are going to explore how we can soften skin using Lightroom's Adjustment brush. First, let's go ahead and zoom in on this photo. To do so, I am going to go to the Navigator panel and click on 1:1 to take this to 100%. Now in this case, the skin looks really good, yet let's say that what we want to do is just take the edge off of the texture of the skin. We want to add a bit more of a smoothing effect in order to make a beauty enhancement. Well, here what we can do is press the K key in order to select the Adjustment brush, and then from the Effect pulldown menu, we can choose Soften Skin.
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

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
please wait ...
Lightroom 3 Advanced Techniques
6h 45m Advanced Nov 23, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Photoshop Lightroom 3 Advanced Techniques, photographer Chris Orwig shows how to master the subtleties of Lightroom 3 and maximize its efficiency. The course begins with an in-depth exploration of Lightroom catalogs to keep track of photos, collections, keywords, stacks, and more. Along the way, Chris shows how to integrate Bridge and Photoshop in the Lightroom workflow and shares advanced techniques, including image editing with the adjustment brush, automating actions, using plug-ins and extensions, exporting to email or an FTP server, and more. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Maximizing file compatibility
  • Speeding up the workflow with automation
  • Working with catalogs, collections, and folders
  • Diagramming multiple catalogs and computers
  • Performing and restoring backups
  • Setting up tethered capture
  • Advanced retouching techniques, such as eye enhancement and blemish reduction
  • Working with color profiles
  • Perfecting prints from Lightroom
  • Creating custom watermarks
  • Making a custom web gallery
  • Exporting and publishing photos
Subject:
Photography
Software:
Lightroom
Author:
Chris Orwig

Smoothing skin

With this photograph, we are going to explore how we can soften skin using Lightroom's Adjustment brush. First, let's go ahead and zoom in on this photo. To do so, I am going to go to the Navigator panel and click on 1:1 to take this to 100%. Now in this case, the skin looks really good, yet let's say that what we want to do is just take the edge off of the texture of the skin. We want to add a bit more of a smoothing effect in order to make a beauty enhancement. Well, here what we can do is press the K key in order to select the Adjustment brush, and then from the Effect pulldown menu, we can choose Soften Skin.

Now what Soften Skin, or what this preset will have is negative clarity and a little bit of increased sharpness. Now why is that? Let's deconstruct how these two controls work together. First, let's experiment by adding clarity. Now this isn't going to look good, but I am going to do this for demonstration purposes. Here I will increase my f low a little bit. I have a nice big brush. And I am just going to paint across an area of the image. You can see that as I paint across this area, it becomes more textured. Let's zoom in even further.

Here is before and then after. Okay, well that's positive clarity. It add some mid-tone contrast. What about negative clarity? When I drag this down to negative what happens is we have this nice softening effect. It looks really good. Take a look. Before and then after. Nice smoothing. You can see when I painted over the hair over here, the hair doesn't look very good, but you see what's happening is it's removing contrast. It's removing texture. The skin, on the other hand, looks really nice. Okay, well that's clarity. What about sharpness? Why increase sharpness when you want to soften an image? Well, if we zoom out a little bit and if I decrease my sharpness for a moment-- and let's exaggerate here-- you can see I have this weird patch where everything is just completely blurred out.

So when I have that negative clarity amount, what's happening is as I am adding a lot of blur to this area. And that could look good, but sometimes you need to bring back just a touch of detail, so that it looks realistic. Keep in mind that when you're retouching, you don't want to overdo anything so that's exaggerated; rather, you want something to look realistic and nice. All right, well let's then reset this image and do some skin softening for real. To reset the photo, press Shift+Command+R on a Mac. Press Shift+Ctrl+R on Windows.

Next, let's go ahead and go back to our Effect pulldown menu and here just choose something else and then go back and choose Soften Skin. And I am doing that just to make sure I have those default settings dialed in. Now in regards to our brush size, we want a size that's relatively small. I am kind of hesitating with that, because not too small. We want something that can cover over areas, and we also want a flow that's typically 50 or less. We don't want to overdo this as we are working on skin smoothing. Next thing that we are going to do is just start to paint over some of the areas of the skin that we want to soften up. And what you will notice is as you do this, it's going to do something kind of interesting with your highlights and your shadows as well; and what I mean by that is it's going to soften those out a bit.

Now here I have made a few brush strokes, and on my monitor at least, this is looking nice. Press the Backslash key. Here is my before and after. And there you can see where it's softening out, like that shadow there and the corner of the mouth over here. So it's removing the contrast, actually brightened up that dark spot right there, and that's kind of a nice adjustment. You just have to watch out for the situations where you don't want this. All right, I will make my brush a little smaller by pressing the Left Bracket key, so I can get into some of the edges here, and get into some of the smaller areas. And as I am working on this, I am not really sure if I am missing any areas.

I am not sure if I am going in a good direction, or if I am overdoing this. Well a great technique that you can use is to turn on your mask overlay. First though let's hide the Pen. Press the H key. That pen now is gone, which was right there. Then press the O key, and this shows me my overlay. Now when I see that, I all of a sudden realize, oh my gosh! I missed this entire area right here, and up here on the forehead, I missed that as well. I was pretty heavy handed over here on this side. And sometimes this overlay can reveal to you problems.

For example, I don't want to soften out that shadow, so I hold down Option or Alt. That changes my brush, takes me to the Eraser tool, and then here I can go ahead and paint back and forth across this. And you can see that what I am doing is erasing that effect from this area. Or what I could do is perhaps I have a little bit less flow, a little bit bigger brush, and just soften up some of these adjustments along the edges, or in certain areas where I felt like I was perhaps a little bit too heavy handed. I am just trying to equalize things up a bit. I can also use my normal brush-- let's go with a touch bigger size-- and just work on these areas that I missed. And you can see that as I am painting on these areas, it's filling in this mask overlay with red, so as to have a little bit more continuous effect across the skin, so it's not quite so splotchy or overdone in any one area.

I also completely neglected the chin because I had zoomed in too close. And those kinds of things happen to all of us, right? Where we make mistakes. And this overlay can really help us see where we are going. Now the problem with the overlay of course is that it's overdone, right? The red is too strong. It's too much. So what we want to do is press the O key to hide that again, so we can see how we are doing in regards to the image. It's also helpful I think here to zoom in closer. I will go to 3:1 and then press my Backslash key.

Here is before, and here is after. It's a subtle adjustment, but I am looking for something subtle yet significant. You should see a little less texture in this area. Now whenever you work on this, experiment with your sharpness. For example, I am going to take this down a little bit. So I am going go down let's say to 15 or 10 or something along those lines, and then see what happens when you do that. Press your Backslash key. Or for that matter, take it even further. You can go past zero, if you want a little bit more of a softening effect, and then zoom out, so we can see that. Here is before and after, and we have a little bit more soft beauty type of a look.

Now what I find with these two sliders though, is that you want to experiment with your clarity amount, with your sharpness amount, and just be careful to not do something like this, where skin is smudged. So the sharpness one is just--you think of moving this in small increments. Clarity, you can get away with a lot. I mean if you increase that really high or decrease it quite a bit, it's not making huge, drastic, horrible adjustments, where sharpness really can. So again, you want to work with both of those controls together, and by doing that and then by painting in this adjustment into particular areas, you can come up with some really stunning skin-smoothing enhancements.

There are currently no FAQs about Lightroom 3 Advanced Techniques.

 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.
Upgrade now


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

join now Upgrade now

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Lightroom 3 Advanced Techniques.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Notes cannot be added for locked videos.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.