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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.
In the previous movie, we looked at how we can clean up flyaway hairs when we have a simple background. Yet what about those situations like this? In this fashion photograph, we have this incredibly complicated background. If we zoom in, we can see that these flyaway hairs, they're cutting across all of these complicated details, and if we get even closer, we can start to think about, well, how can we retouch these? We could try the Spot Healing brush, the Clone Stamp tool, the Healing brush, but that would be incredibly tedious.
It would take a ton of time, and you know what? Eventually, it just wouldn't look very good. There has to be, obviously, some sort of a better way. But when it comes to textures, there definitely is. What we can do is make a selection of the texture, and then copy that to a new layer, and then mask it in, in order to cover up those flyaway hairs. Let me show you what I mean. Well, here we'll press the L Key to select our Lasso tool, or you can click on it in the Tools panel. Then you want to increase the Feather amount a little bit, just so you can have some soft edges on your selection.
Let's increase these to about 5 pixels. Next what we're going to do is make a selection basically around the edge of the image. Here it doesn't matter if our selection isn't perfect, but we just want to get kind of close to the subject here. You notice that I'm selecting a lot of those flyaway hairs; that's okay. Then we'll go ahead and select all the way outside of the photograph. By doing this, we're basically selecting that background, and then I'll make my way back around, and you can see how we have this area selected. Next what we want to do is copy that to a new layer.
Press Command+J on a Mac, or Control+J on Windows in order to do that, and let's name this new layer textured bg, for background. Now that we have this on a separate layer, you can see that we've just selected this part of the image. Well, what I want to do with that part is use my Move tool, and click and drag this down to reposition that. And I want to reposition this so that we can then reuse this content, and kind of mask away those flyaway hairs. Well here, obviously, we're covering up part of the subject; we'll deal with that in a moment.
Yet first, I want to make sure my alignment is good. A great way to do that is with the blending mode which is called Difference. This blending mode will highlight or show you when you're alignment is off. If you use your arrow keys, you can see I can nudge this around, and when you see more white area, or when it's brighter, kind of shining through, that shows that your alignment is off. If you use the arrow keys to nudge this down, so that everything becomes relatively dark, that, then, is showing you that your alignment is really good.
You want to move around a little bit, and make sure that you have nice alignment in the important areas right around the edge of the head there, and that looks great. So again, we're just using this blending mode to figure out how and where to position the texture. Now that we've done that, we'll take the blending mode back to a Normal blending mode. All right. Well here's where things get kind of interesting. What we need to do is create a mask, so to do that, hold down the Option Key on a Mac, or Alt Key on Windows, and click on the Add layer mask icon. That will create a mask which is filled with black.
Next, press the B key to select the Brush tool. Here we want to paint with white. We want to paint with a pretty high Opacity; I'll take this up almost 100%. Next, I want to tap the Right Bracket key to make my brush a little bit bigger, and then just start to paint away those flyaway hairs. As you do this, it almost seems like magic. How is this possible that we're able to paint these away? well really all that we're doing is just bringing in more of that background that we've then copied to this part of our photograph.
Once we've dealt with some of the bigger flyaway hairs, what you'll want to do is press the Left Bracket key a few times to change your brush size, so you can deal with some of these smaller flyaways. You want to change your brush size as you get closer to the edge of the hair. That way you won't have an edge which looks really soft, or kind of unnatural. Here I'm also going to change the shape of the top of the head there a little bit, and then just go ahead and paint around this part of the image. Now at this point, let me show you what this layer looks like, so that you get an idea what we've done.
If we turn off the Visibility of our background layer, here you can see that all that I've really done is I've started to bring in this new area of texture, and in a sense, I'm trying to match this up. Certain areas, what you might need to do is to paint it in over the entire area of some consistent texture, and by doing that, it can help to make this clean up work look that much better. So just keep that in mind. Let's turn on the Background layer, and take a look at how we can do that. Here I painted in too much, so I'll press the X key. That allows me to mask that back out.
Next, let's move over to this side of the image, and in this side of the image, I'll press the Right Bracket key to make my brush nice and big. I'll press X to make sure I'm painting with white, and here I'll just paint over this area. Because this area is a little bit darker, I'm going to need to paint in some bigger brushstrokes. So I'll go ahead and do that all the way down here. Again, just working with a bigger brush first, and then after I've used that bigger brush, press the Left Bracket key to work with the smaller brush, to get rid of some of those little flyaway hairs.
And here, if we zoom out a bit, and evaluate how we've done, we can see that we've made some great progress. There're some flyaway hairs over here on this side I need to deal with, but really, we've dealt with these flyaway hairs in an incredibly quick way. Can you imagine how long that would have taken if we had used the Spot Healing brush, the Healing brush, or the Clone Stamp tool? So if ever you can use something in your photograph, copy that onto a new layer, reposition it, and then mask it in. Many times, it can make the overall end results look better, and also, you can accomplish those results much more quickly.
All right. Well now that we've dealt with those flyaway hairs, let's go ahead and keep this image open, because we'll continue to work on it in the next movie.
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