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In this course, photographer, author, and teacher Chris Orwig details the tools every photographer needs to retouch portraits to make them look their best while remaining authentic. The course includes an overview of the retouching process and how to develop a plan for a retouching project.
After exploring techniques to improve the overall photo, Chris shares his techniques for reducing wrinkles, enhancing eyes and other facial features, improving hair, and retouching makeup. The course concludes with a look at retouching skin and reshaping portions of a portrait using transformations, the Warp tool, and the Liquify filter.
Now that we've finished cleaning up the flyaway hairs, here we're going to take a look at how he can enhance and bring out the color of the hair, and we'll do that by using a few different adjustment layers. We'll create a couple of curves layers, and also a selective color layer, and we'll be creating some masks in order to really dial in, or brighten up the vibrance of the hair. Well, first let's go ahead and click on our adjustment layer icon for Curves, and next what I want to do is just click and drag this curve up here to brighten this up. But rather than brightening everything, I just want to brighten or bring out the highlights of the hair.
To do that, we'll jump over to our mask, and here in the mask, we'll click on Color Range. With Color Range, we can then sample one of the highlights, and we want to turn off Localized Color Clusters. In doing that, you can see that this mask here is starting to bring in detail, or bring in brightness in these other areas of the picture. Now, one of the downsides of working with Color Range is that many times the mask, well it's just a little bit choppy. Yet, that's pretty easy to fix, and I'll show you how we can do that in just a minute. So here I am just going to go ahead and bring up my Fuzziness until I see some nice little white highlighting that I have this area selected. Next click OK.
Then what we want to do is Feather this out. In feathering that, it's going to then help us to really brighten up some of those highlights. You can see how those highlights are now standing out a bit more. If we want to add more to that effect, just click on the Curve icon, and then here, we can click and drag these points up in order to brighten those areas up even more. Again, here's that before and after. Well, the hair is looking a lot better, but I'm also brightening up a few other highlights in the image. I need to correct the mask, so that this is just affecting the hair.
To do that, you need to Option+click or Alt+click on the layer mask. That's Option+click on a Mac, or Alt+click on Windows. Then you want to grab your brush, and with your brush, you are going to paint with black. Here we'll make our brush nice and big by pressing the Right Bracket key. And by painting with black, we can paint away all of this from the other areas of the mask, so that these highlights now are just focused in on the hair. And in this view, you can really see how Feather is going to work. Here is the mask in this place, where we can see all of the areas that we've selected.
Then as we increase the Feather, you can see how it's just softening that. That then creates a nice transition, so that those highlights can really shine. Well next, Option+click or Alt+click on the layer mask to go back to the regular view, and then just dial this in so that that looks good. All right! Well, now that we've brought out a little bit of the shine, next I want to work on the color. In order to work on the color, though, I want to create a mask which is really just focused on the hair. So we'll click in the background, and then we're going to use Quick Select.
Quick Select allows us to paint over an area of our picture in order to build up a selection. So let's paint over this area here, and also this area down here as well. We want to have a nice generous selection of the hair. So again, I'm just painting over all of these areas, and that looks pretty good. Then what we want to do is we want to hold down the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on Windows, and paint away any area that we don't want to have selected. So if you brought in anything that you don't want to have selected, go ahead and just paint that away.
Next step is to go to Refine Edge. In the Refine Edge dialog, we can see that we have the hair selected, but our edges are a bit choppy, and we also have some of the blue of the background. To correct that, we'll turn on Smart Radius, and then bring up the Radius slider here. This will then help those edges. Next we're going to use this tool, which is called the Refine Radius tool. If you go ahead and just click and paint over these areas, it's going to tell Photoshop to pay a little bit more attention to these areas, and in doing that, you can see that it's removing some of the blue from our selection here. All right! Well that, then, looks pretty good.
After we've done that, we'll go ahead and click OK. All that we've done so far is just made a nice selection. Next what we are going to do is we are going to create an adjustment which is called Selective Color. So let's click on our adjustment layer icon down at the base here, and then just choose Selective Color. In doing that, you can see that we now have this adjustment here, and this adjustment allows us to target different colors. We're going to work on the Reds. And in the Reds, we can change the overall characteristics of those Reds. You can see that as we move these sliders, we can bring out some of this nice color here.
We can add this, so that we have this really deep and vibrant red, and we can also change the overall brightness of the color as well. Because this photograph is so much about color, I want to draw this out, and we can do this really effectively by working with Selective Color. Again, here's that before, then now here's the after. Let's click and drag this to the top of our layer stack, so that we can then have these two layers next to each other. You can see both of these are now brightening the highlights, and also helping us to bring out some of the color.
Now how far you go with the color is really up to you. You want to experiment a little bit with these sliders, and see what combination you can use to come up with a really bright or vibrant color, in this case, for this picture. Well now that we've done that, what I want to do next is create one more Curves adjustment, so here we'll click on the adjustment layer icon for Curves, and I am just going to click and drag up to create another brightening adjustment. But with this one, I am going to hand-paint this into the highlights. So here, we'll invert the mask, either by going to the mask itself, and clicking on Invert, or by pressing Command+I. Then we'll grab our Brush tool, we'll select white here in the foreground color, and we'll decrease our Opacity, and also decrease our brush size, so press the Left Bracket key to do that.
What I want to do is just kind of bring out some of the highlights, so I am just going to paint along the edges of the hair here, trying to follow the flow. In doing that, we are going to be able to create just a few little bright places in the hair; trying to kind of exaggerate or bring out a little bit more of the highlight in the hair. This is a fun way to add a bit of dimension or depth to hair. Two different techniques; one was we used that Color Range, this one is we're just hand-painting in these little adjustments. You can see the before, and now after.
With this one, we'll need to increase the Feather amount, just to hide our tracks a little bit for our brush strokes. Here it is before, and after. And here, as you can see, we've used these different adjustment layers to really bring out the hair. Here's the overall before and after when it comes to the hair color and tone. And then the overall before and after, we can view by holding down the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on Windows, and clicking on the eye icon of the background layer. When you do that, it turns off the visibility of all of the other layers, except for the layer that you click on. So here is our before, and then now here's our after.
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