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In Photoshop CS5: Athletic Retouching Projects, Chris Orwig demonstrates how to use Photoshop CS5 to add energy, motion, and strength to portraits and shots of athletes in action. This course covers removing blemishes from the subject and the background, adding motion blur, enhancing muscle tone, and making adjustments to photos shot in outdoor lighting conditions. Sections on underwater portraits and working with multiples subjects are also included. Exercise files accompany the course.
At this stage, what I want to do is simply clean up some of the small details. So, to do that, let's zoom in. Press Command+Plus on a Mac, Ctrl+Plus on Windows. Next, let's create a new layer, and let's name that new layer. We can do so by pressing Shift+Command +N on a Mac, Shift+Ctrl+N on Windows. We'll go ahead and name this details. Press Enter or Return to create that layer. Next, let's use one of our retouching tools. For example, we could go ahead and simply use our Healing Brush. I want to make sure we're sampling to all layers, and we also want to have a nice small brush.
Next, we Option+Click or Alt+Click on an area that has good skin there, nice detail, and then we just look to try to reduce and simplify. We want to reduce all the little skin variations and blemishes that we're seeing. Whenever you do this, you always want to sample from different areas. We've talked about this before, but it's just worth noting that, again, what you'll do is you'll click, and you'll retouch an area from one angle or one perspective, and then you'll go edit from another. You'll constantly move around the frame, and it's almost like the more that you can move around, the better off you'll be, so that you can revisit little areas that you've retouched again and again to really get the edges looking good, the shadows looking great, and just to reduce and simplify, so we're removing all of these little variations.
A lot of times this kind of work is essential in portrait photography, because we notice things, when we have a still frame, that we don't really see in real life. So, we're just looking to try to bring that back to little bit more of a realistic view even though what we're doing is we're doing is we're reducing blemishes. The fact of the matter is you don't really see those blemishes. It's almost like the camera brought out the blemishes by pausing the frame and by stopping the motion. Well, in either case, what I want to do though with this image is I want to create even a little bit more of an idealized image too, so I'm going to go ahead and reduce these little blemishes here.
I'm thinking about blemishes in regards to tonality, also in regards to just any kind of a change in the skin that I'm seeing that I want to get rid of. Change my brush size and work on the little red area in the eyes there just to try to clean that up a bit, and also over here as well, get rid of some of those veins. Let's zoom in closer. Now, when you have veins like this that you can retouch one at a time, it's great, because you can just get in there and retouch one little vein. Yet whenever you get near an area of contrast, just make sure your brush follows that line of contrast.
So, position the brush so that it's along that same edge, so that you can remove that particular problem. Otherwise, you may get it so that it's bringing in a little bit more of a problem than was actually there. So, here you can see I'm just following that edge, and then I'm following that line and then retouching it out that way, so we can start to remove those little areas of the image, which are distracting. We'll go ahead and just work on a couple other areas of the eye as long as we've zoomed in here. Be really careful with this. We want to be really close as we're doing all this detail work, and we want to make sure to go back and forth across the different areas we've retouched.
Press the Spacebar key and you can click and drag around, and it's nice to use a small brush just a little bit bigger than your blemishes, because that helps you have that precise control over how something will be cleaned up. All right, let's just keep doing this, a few more little blemishes here to remove and to get this looking as good as possible, and just a couple more little things here. All right, well, so far so good! I think we're doing a nice job on reducing and simplifying. There's always more that you could do with this, but again, for image like this, I think we're at a pretty good stopping point.
Let me zoom out just to make sure we're going in a good direction. Here it is, our overall before and then after. I think that looks nice. The last thing I want to do before I leave my detail work is I want to work on the shadows here underneath the eyes. So, in order to do that, I'm going to go ahead and merge to top, press Shift+Option+Command+E on a Mac, Shift+Alt+Ctrl+E on Windows. Let's name this eye shadows. Next, press the S key to grab your Clone Stamp tool. We're going to go to blending mode of Lighten.
Because we have the image on this layer, we can use this blending mode which in turn will sample an area of skin, Option+Click or Alt+Click, and then it will say if there is an area that's darker underneath where I'm painting, go ahead and brighten that up a little bit. That brings a nice texture here as we do that as well. So, it's going to help us really just brighten up this little shadow area that was brought in from that other frame so that we can have just a touch brighter view there. Make the brush a touch smaller to get into the little detail area, and try to have a real nice consistent and cohesive line there.
We don't want it to be standing out in any way, shape, or form. Then we'll just make our way down as we go across this area of the image, kind of back and forth, a little bit bigger brush now, just helping me to really brighten up those shadows underneath the eyes, and just a little bit more there. Here is that before and after. Another nice thing about this is if you feel like you've gone too far, you can always lower the Opacity. Let's zoom out. Here, what I'm going to do is simply lower the Opacity just a bit there. Bringing that little bit of that shadow is fine. All right, so far so good! I'm zooming back in so we can evaluate our progress.
Here it is, our overall before, and then after. So far so good!
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