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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.
In the previous movie, we looked at how we could add some detail and also brighten the eyes. In this movie, what I'm going to do is add a little bit more of a brightening effect as well as darken a specific area of the eyes. So this brightening effect, you may be thinking, initially isn't very interesting, but stick with me on this one. Here is what we are going to do. We are going to go ahead and click on the Adjustment Layer icon and then choose Curves. Now in Curves all that I'm going to do is just bring up the midpoint. I'm just going to brighten the image generally. Okay, well now I want to invert the mask. I'm going to invert that mask by clicking on word Mask and go to the Mask panel and then going to Invert. Now that I have concealed all of this brightening effect, I'm going to bring it back in just to the area of the eyes.
So I press the B key in order to select the Brush tool. Make a brush that's pretty big. A little bit bigger than the eyes and I'm going to go ahead and paint with white here, with about 80% Opacity or so. Quite a bit of intensity here. And I just want to click a few times, so I want to get this pretty equal. Now at this juncture, the brush strokes that I have made are too intense or too noticeable. So I'm going to navigate to the Filter, Blur, and Gaussian Blur. I'm going to blur that out. There are a number of different ways that we can blur this mask. This is one. All that I'm interested in doing is just softening the edges there. You will notice that it will become a little bit more gray or a little bit more concealed. I'm just interested in bringing some light into this area of the face. So I'll go ahead and lower my Opacity here and then click on my before and then after. And then I'll bring it up perhaps so you can see it a little bit more directly. Here is our before and then after.
So we are just redirecting the way that the viewer is looking at the image, brightening up the area around the eyes, as well as the eyes themselves in order to create a little bit more visual interest. Here is our before and after. It's subtle, yet one of those significant enhancements. Try it out on your own photographs. I think that you will see that this technique is actually quite interesting. All right, well the next thing that I want to do is I want to darken an area of the eye, so in particular I want to darken the edges of the eyes. Now this is really common in a number of different genres of Photoshop Retouching and particularly in fashion photography or different cases where you really want to make this eye stand out, because it's that dark edge which adds so much definition to the eyes. Well, how can we do that? There are a number of different techniques that we can use. One simple technique is to create a new layer by clicking on the New Layer icon and we will go ahead and name this layer, edges and next we are going to take this to a blend mode of good old Soft Light, because that's the blend mode where we can do some really good Burning and Dodging.
I will grab my Brush tool and with the Brush tool selected I'm going to make my brush really nice and small and I'm going to zoom into the eyes even further and I'm just going to go ahead and hold down the Option key and I'm going to click to sample one of these tones. Notice the tone is in black. I'll then go ahead and open up my Color Picker and I'm going to darken that tone up a little bit. It has a little bit of hue in that and it follows the hue of the eye which is nice and then I'll just go ahead and start to paint with that. Now a lot of times when we paint with this, we want to be careful that we don't go too far and we also can keep in mind that we can always lower the opacity of this, right. So sometimes I like to do things when I'm retouching at a high intensity so I can see the edges. So I can see my mistakes and then I can go back and modify them later, right.
So I'm going to go ahead and bring this in a little bit too strong here and I'm going to do that around the eyes. Then I'm going to make my brush nice and big, right about there I would say I'm going to click on the Add Layer Mask icon and I'll paint with black. What this will allow me to do is as I slowly add this brush stroke here, a little bit smaller perhaps to go around these edges, I can just bring this edge back a little bit. I'm going to press 0 to go to 100%. So I can bring that back even further. Again, just looking to limit where that is and one of the things I found is if you have that small brush in the inside, you can create a little bit better of a shape around the eyes than you can when you just painted it in. Well, let's look at our before and after. Here is before and after. So far so good. Let's work on the other eye.
So I'll click in the actual layer. In this case, we are going to go ahead and grab our Eyedropper. Make sure we have a nice tone that we can paint with and here we are going to make our brush nice and small and I'll go ahead and just track along the edge of the eye here. Now this is too strong to do on both eyes. I haven't lower the opacity of this layer yet. That will be coming. So I'll go ahead and make my way around this and just clean that up a little bit there. All right, that looks good. So far so good. Again, I could do a little bit of masking. The other technique I always like to do is to blur things out a bit. So I'll go ahead and click in the layer itself, Filter, Blur, Gaussian Blur. And you will find that this Gaussian Blur will give us ability just to soften my brush stroke significantly and look at both eyes there. Look at our before and then after. This makes it look less hand-painted. Then let's zoom out a little bit and see how we are doing.
Here is our before and then after. It's subtle, yet significant way to darken those edges and add some detail back to those eyes, make them really snap, give them a little bit more of a edge definition. Try a blend mode of Overlay for a little bit more intense effect or just Soft Light that will give us that effect there. Then finally I'm going to lower the Opacity just a touch. Before and after, just looking for a little subtle darkening of those edges and certain eyes will need more of this or less of this. With Annika's eyes here, well she has pretty dark edges already, right, so I didn't need to go too far.
Now let's take a look at our overall before and after with this image. Here is before and there is after. Really interesting and engaging way to brighten the eyes. Sometimes all that you want to do is perhaps one of these techniques. Like simply just bring in a little bit of brightness in there is interesting or perhaps we will go back to that group and we will turn off one of these other layers that Brightening layer there and we can come up with still some pretty interesting effects on those eyes, and again there is our before and after. So as you can see you have a number of different options in order to enhance and improve eyes.
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