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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.
Another way that you can change the shape or the structure of your photographs is by working with selections and masks. And here we're going to explore how we can change the shape of this picture by using these techniques, and also, at the end, we'll merge everything together, and we'll add a little bit of height to this photograph. Well first, what I want to do is I just want to bring in both the left and the right side of this picture, so first, we need to make a selection. Let's make our first selection with the Rectangular Marquee tool, and let's increase our Feather amount. Here, we'll bring it up to about 4 or 5.
Next, go ahead and click and drag over this side of the image. We want to make a pretty rough and big selection over this part of our photograph here. Then we're going to copy this to a new layer. To do that, press Command+J on a Mac, or Control+J on Windows, and let's name this new layer right, for the right side. Then press the V key, or select the Move tool, and just use your arrow keys. If you press the left arrow key, you can kind of see how we can nudge that over a little bit. Here's before, and then after. What I'm looking to do is to just kind of subtly bring that side in there a little bit.
That looks nice. Next, we need to mask that in. To do that, we'll go ahead and click on our Add layer mask icon. Then, do you remember the shortcut to invert the mask? The shortcut for doing that is Command+I on a Mac, or Control+I on Windows. The next step will be to work with our Brush tool. Press the B key to select the Brush tool, you want to work with 100% Opacity, and you want to paint with white. We also want a nice soft-edge brush, so no Hardness there, and here we'll go ahead and just start to click and paint over this side of the image.
And really, what I'm looking to do, again, is just to change the structure or shape, and this works on all different areas of your portraits. The great thing about this is, it just enables us to kind of bring things in a little bit, and sometimes, you can do this with your camera. You can shoot with a longer focal length lens. Here, though, I was using a shorter focal length lens, so I'm just trying to bring this in, in order to change kind of the overall shape, or dimension. Well now that we've worked with one side of the picture, we also have to work with the other. So let's go back to the Background layer; click in that layer.
Next let's press the L key to choose our Lasso tool, and then we'll go ahead and increase the Feather amount. And this time, we'll make a selection with the Lasso tool. Here we'll go ahead and click and drag over this part of our photograph, and we're just going to make a really rough selection. We don't have to be too concerned about how good our selection is, because we'll be masking this in in a moment. Then press the shortcut to jump these contents to a new layer; J for jump. That's Command+J on a Mac; Control+J on Windows.
Here, we'll name this one left, and then we'll click on our Add layer mask icon. And by this point, I'm sure you remember the shortcut; it's Command+I, or Control+I, which allows you to invert that mask. All right! Well here with this layer, what we need to do is click into it, and move it over a bit. So we'll select the Move tool, then I'll just tap the right arrow key a few times to nudge that over. Now that we have that in a better spot, we can go to our mask, and with the Brush tool, we'll go ahead and paint this in.
And here, you can see I'm just painting in this edge. Now, in this case, you saw that what we did was, I kind of moved it without really seeing where I was bringing this into the picture. The reason why sometimes you might want to do that is, you can just work on this edge, or create this nice edge here, and then you can go to this layer, and just use your Move tool to nudge it around, even after the fact. So here, we can push this around a little bit, so that we can have a nice spot for that. We can kind of determine how far we want that to go in, and then, of course, we can work with this mask to try to work out what we're going to mask in, or what we're not going to mask in.
And here with this image, we're just kind of bringing that over there a little bit. One of the things that I'm noticing in mine is that I kind of have a problem. With my selection, I didn't create a big enough selection, so I kind of have this duplicated hair right here, so I'm going to redo that. Here, I'll click and drag this to the Trashcan icon. Then I'll grab the Lasso tool. This time I'm going to make a bigger selection around all of this area. Now that I have that, I'll copy that to a new layer; press Command+J on a Mac, Control+J on Windows. We'll name that one left.
Then I'll select the Move tool. Here, I'll use the arrow keys to nudge that over a little bit, and that's really important, because now that's going to cover up the background there. That will help me out a little bit more. So in working with this technique, obviously, if you make a mistake, like I did, no big deal. Just go back, reselect and kind of redo this, until you get it right. Next step, click on that Add layer mask icon, press Command+I on a Mac, Control+I on Windows to invert, then grab the brush, and here we'll paint with white, and we'll see how this works this time.
And in this case, it's working a little bit better for me. Here we can start to bring that in, and also mask out the other kind of repeating patterns that we had there, so that the background looks a little bit better. Now, as you work with this technique, if ever you discover that you have a background that needs some cleanup work, just create a cleanup layer. Here, we'll click on the New layer icon, and we'll call this clean up. We could use any of our cleanup tools. We could try using the Spot Healing brush, the Clone Stamp tool; any of these will work well. We can just go ahead and click and drag over any kind of details, like maybe we have some kind of strange repeating patterns we just kind of want to disguise a little bit.
And this way, I'm just painting over these areas roughly, in order to hide my tracks a bit, to hide what we've done in regards to changing these background elements. I think that looks fine. It's pretty out of focus, so it doesn't matter that much with this picture. But still, it's worth highlighting that, so that you know you can do that in your own photographs. All right! Well next let's go ahead and take a look at how we've done. Here's the before, and then now, here's the after. All right, well great! Let's group these layers together. So click on the topmost layer, and hold down the Shift key, and click in the bottommost layer, and press Command+G on a Mac, or Control+G on Windows, and we'll name the group shape.
Here it is; our before and after, so far. And again, you can use this technique in all different areas of your photographs, whether you're working on someone's arms and shoulders, like this, or different parts of your pictures as well. Well last, but not least, with this photograph, what I want to do is increase the height a little bit. To do that, we need to merge everything to the top. Press Shift+Option+Command+N, E to do that on a Mac. On Windows, press Shift+Alt+Control+N, E.
This one, we'll go ahead and name height. This technique works really well with people photography, again, just to give them a little bit more height; sometimes that can create a more flattering look. To do that, we'll press Command+T on a Mac, or Control+T on Windows, and then just click and drag the middle point here up a bit. You can get away with doing this all the way, maybe, to 3% or 4% more. In this case, I'm going to keep it kind of subtle; this is a nice natural portrait. I'm just going to increase my height a couple of percentage points.
Then press Enter, or Return to apply that. Here you can see, with this last adjustment, basically we're just, again, kind of increasing the height a little bit. And if ever you don't like that, or you want to change that, you don't want to re-adjust this layer. Rather, delete it, then press Shift+Option+Command+N, E on a Mac, or Shift+Alt+Control+N, E on Windows, and then re-transform it. And the reason why you want to do that is because if you re-transform a layer multiple times, it's going to fall apart.
So again, if that adjustment didn't work, delete that layer, then go through those steps again, and apply that Free Transformation to a new layer. All right. Well, with this new layer, with just a little bit of extra height there, we'll name that one height. Then we can click on these eye icons, and you can see here is our before, and then now our after. And throughout this movie, we've picked up some valuable techniques that we can use to change shape or structure, which involve using selections, and masks together. And then, of course, finally, we looked at how we can merge everything to the top in order to increase the overall height in this photograph.
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