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A portrait can be a cherished possession for a lifetime, and now making perfect portraits is just one Photoshop course away. Professional photographer and instructor Chris Orwig uses his vast knowledge of Photoshop to focus on the specific tools every photographer needs to adjust images and keep them looking genuine. Photoshop CS4 Portrait Retouching Essential Training explores this program's deep resources and inspires photographers to do their creative best with everything from blemishes to backdrops. Exercise files accompany the course.
Now that we have taken some notes and determined what we actually want to clean up, let's try to begin the clean up process. So we will press Command+Option+0 on a Mac, on the PC that's Ctrl+Alt+0 in order to zoom in to 100%, then you press the spacebar key to pan around the image. Now couple of things that I want to do, I'll go ahead and work on this eye here. I'm going to zoom in even closer, Command+Plus on a Mac, Ctrl+Plus on the PC. One of the things that I want to do is just do a little bit of clean up work here on the eye. Also noticing there is a little yellow spot in the eye there, might as well clean that one up as well. So let's create a new layer. Shift+Command+N on the Mac, Shift+Ctrl+N on a PC. We will name this Clean Up1. All right, let's turn off the notes layer, and now that that is off, we are going to look at this and we'll go ahead and press the 'S' key to grab our clone stamp tool. I'm going to zoom in even further, so I can really do some nice detail work here, make my brush a little bit bigger there, make sure I have 100% Opacity on, aligned is checked, Sample all layers is on, great, and now I'm ready to do a little bit of cloning here. I'll hold down the Option key if I'm on the Mac, Alt key on a PC, and I'm just going to look to start to paint over this and I'm just going to subtly make my way through this.
The trick with doing small little detail work is just to take your time and to do little details one bit at a time. I made a mistake there. Press Command+Z to undo that mistake. I'll zoom in even further. So I can see how this is going, nice sample area right there. And I'm just looking to remove this small little blemish. Again, this is just going to be - that's a little detail work. I'm Option-clicking from different areas of the eye, and I'm doing that in order to mix it up a little bit and get that going. Let's see how we are doing there, here is our before and after, and then we will zoom out a little bit. See how that looks, before and then after, so far so good, we remove that blemish there. We can of course always lower the opacity a bit, and sometimes that helps to get little bit of the shape back into the mix of things. So we have that little bit of that contour in the eye there. That looks pretty good.
All right, well, let's just do a little bit more cleanup work. And because I have lowered the opacity here, I'm going to create a new layer. Shift+Command+N on the Mac, Shift+Ctrl+N on a PC clean up to. Most likely we will be merging these layers together, but it is kind of nice to have a new layer right now, just as a I progress through this so I can see what I'm actually doing. Okay, well, we noticed there is few little divots here, few problems, let's go ahead and use our Healing Brush, go ahead and select that. We have sample turned on, our layer is great, and make our brush a little bit bigger by pressing the right bracket key, and at this junction all that we need to do is simply paint over these areas, just looking to try to bring down some of these small little blemishes, and this is going to work through some of these small little skin variations that I'm seen around the eye, and just go ahead and work those out a little bit, and make my brush a little bit bigger here. I'm going to take down wrinkle around the eye I'm seeing there, just a subtle improvement, and let's zoom out a little bit, see how that eye is looking. Here is our before, and an after. So nice cleanup work there. I also forgot to deal with that little spot there on the eye, so hold down the Option key on the Mac, Alt key on the PC, we'll try healing that, it may not work, and in this case it didn't, see how it brought in some of the darker tone there. So I'll zoom back in on that. I'll grab my clone stamp tool, and because I just need to kind of cover that up, I'm going to lower my opacity significantly there, because I just need to cover that little spot up, just a touch, and I don't want to over do it. Looking at the before and after there, again, just trying to get that out. And I might as well clean up the eyes just a bit here as well.
So I'll grab me healing brush, and heal over few of those little areas there, all right, before and after, just kind of trying to clean up a little bit there, before and after, okay, great. Now those little details are nice and clean, and we have some more work to do, what else do we need to do? Well, let's turn on our notes, right; it is easy to be distracted with what's happening. Need to do a little bit more underneath the eye and this side, so we might as well work on that while we are in this cleanup layer. Go ahead and use this healing brush, I'm just going to go through and remove these small little skin variations that I'm noticing, and you are noticing that I'm zoomed way in for this little tiny detailed work. Now that is really important, because when we are doing little detail work, we want to be real close so that we can see what is actually happening here, see how our details are beginning to shape up, and you know, a lot of times the best results in regards to skin comes from getting there really close and just finding these small details.
Another tip for you is when you are doing work like this is to flip your image upside down, so you are not really thinking about the content necessarily, but you are just trying to identify variation, and sometimes by flipping the image upside down you can do that. So that would mean just going to image, and then image rotation, and then flipping it. I'm not going to do that here, but sometimes that's kind of helpful to do. All right, we have few little areas up here, and the eye brows we want to clean up, so I'll go head and do that as well, and just keep doing our detail work, details, details, details, okay, we don't have to overdo it here, but it is nice to get some of these little skin variations cleaned up, and I'm just going to go ahead and do that. Where else do we want to work on this image? We will go head and work on the left side of the face here, make my brush a little bit bigger, Option-clicking just clean up this area, and over here as well. Healing brush does amazing work. The nice thing about doing this on its own layer is that we can always undo this at a later time if we have gone too far, if we have made a mistake, we can always undo it as we are making it or we can simply erase aspects of this layer. All right, what we are doing, again, some nice little clean up work here, here is our before, here is our after, it is subtle, it is simple. Yeah, that is important at this juncture, what else do we have to do here? Well, now that we have done a little bit there on the face in these areas, we have some fly way hairs up here, a little bit of work up there, let's go ahead and do that really quickly, and then we are going to move to some new areas of this image, and we will do that in the next movie.
So go ahead and turn off my notes layer for a second, and in this case I'm going to make my brush nice and small, and just look to get out this fly away hair, and that looks pretty good, and then these little fly away hairs, you know the trick with demoing this, or teaching this, is that it's just a lot of little detail work, right? And so, I'm going to try to talk through it, and keep us going as we make our ways through it, and as you begin to do your own detail work, just keep that in mind that a lot of times what happens is when you are doing this, you may think is this really worth it, this is just a lot of little tiny detail work, how can make this image better on this level? Well, all these little details really pay up, and keep in mind that some of the best retouching in Photoshop is a result of subtle, yet significant improvements or enhancements to the photograph. All right, okay, that looks pretty nice, and if we look at this layer by itself, by holding on the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on a PC, we can then see all the different little brush strokes that we have made. In this case I'm using the Wacom tablet, so you can see it's a little bit more fluid brush strokes. Although you could do this as well using a mouse. All right, well, our clean up is looking really nice, so far here is where we started, and here is were we are. I'll zoom in a little bit further, so you can see some of those details. Again, here is before, and then here is after.
All right, we have more cleanup work to do, and we will do that in the next movie.
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