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In this movie, we're going to take a two step approach to improving the lips. We'll first look at how we can use our burn and dodge technique that we've learned previously in order to add, perhaps, a bit of dimension to the photograph. Then we'll explore how we can clean up some of the edges or elements of the lips, and we'll do that on a separate layer. All right! Well first, let's create our burning and dodging layer. To do that, press Shift+Command+N on a Mac, or Shift+Control+N on Windows; we'll name this burn and dodge. Next, we want to change our layer blending mode to Soft Light.
In doing that, we can then paint with black or white in order to brighten or darken our photograph. Then we'll grab our Brush tool. Here we want to choose a brush without any Hardness. We want a nice, soft, small brush there. Next, we're going to go to our Opacity, and we'll take this down below 50%. We're going to go to about 30%, and see how that might work. Next step is going to be to paint with black or white. Let's start off with white, and what I mean by dimension is I want to add or exaggerate this highlight, and also add a few shadows around the edges.
So if we paint with white over this area, what we can do is start to brighten up that part of the picture. We want to keep our brush strokes pretty simple, and pretty thin, because we'll be softening them out in a moment. Next, choose black, and here with black, what we're going to do is just darken up some of our edges, so you can go ahead and go around these edges here. At this point, my edges are really kind of prominent, noticeable; well we'll be softening those in just a minute here. I'm going to paint on the inner edge of the lip as well. And by doing this, what we can do often is we can add just a sense of kind of depth, or dimension. All right! You can see we have those little brush strokes; those brush strokes are way too harsh, almost kind of strange, or weird-looking.
We're going to save that, or correct that by going to the Filter for this layer, and choosing Convert for Smart Filters. This will then convert this layer to a smart object. Next step, choose Filter, and then Blur, and Gaussian Blur. The reason why it's nice to do this as a smart object is you can dial in your Radius here, say, right there, and click OK, and if that isn't right, or enough, just double-click the Gaussian Blur name, and then crank it up, and so you have this flexibility to kind of make these changes as needed.
Here we can see that before, and after; looks a lot better with that blur. All right! Well here is our before, and our after; just kind of brightening the middle a little bit, darkening some of those edges. Finally, I'll decrease my Opacity just a touch here. And after having done that, I also want to go back to the Gaussian Blur filter, and then decrease that Radius. So in having this extra flexibility, it kind of helps us to work with both of these amounts together. All right! Well next, I want to fix some of the gaps here. If we zoom in, we notice that, sure, we have a little bit nicer dimension here, but there's all these strange gaps.
So let's fix those. Create a new layer; we'll call this new layer clean up. Press the S key to select the Clone Stamp tool. Here we'll decrease our Opacity down to about 30%; press the Left Bracket key to make the brush smaller, and then Option+click or Alt+click, and make sure Sample All Layers, and Aligned is on. Let's just go ahead and start to clean up some of our edges. In doing this, what I'm going to do just make my way through this photograph, and try to kind of tighten up the edges a little bit.
I'll decrease my zoom rate here, so I can see how these edges fit together, and I'm just going to go ahead and Option+click or Alt+click in a couple of areas. I'm looking to basically tighten up these edges. They were a little bit too wide, or too big. So I'll just go in here, work on that edge there, softening up that a little bit, painting back and forth, also this edge over here. And really what this is about is just trying to get a cleaner edge for the lips.
Next, we can also work inside of the lips. So we can select a part of the area inside of the lips to try to fill in any little gaps that we might have here. So we'll go ahead and just fill those in to either darken, or brighten, or whatever the lips need really, just to try to kind of bring out a little bit of what we have here. I'm just going to make my way through, doing all this little detail work. It's always the detail work that matters, right? Well I think that's enough detail work to kind of give you the idea. It might be nice to keep working at that a little bit more, but again, I just want to give you the idea of how we can start to work with this technique. All right! Well, let's take a look.
Here is our before and after with that clean up layer, which really just helps us create lips that have nice shape, and then here's the one which helped us to add a little bit of dimension. Together, here you can see, there is before, and then now here is after.
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