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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.
When you're photographing people, very rarely is the hair in the perfect position. Like with this picture, you can see there's a gap between the hair here, and let's say we want to fill this in. In order to do that, we're first going to select a piece of good hair right here, we'll copy that to a new layer, and then we'll also work with the Patch tool and we'll blend both of these together in order to correct this part of the picture. So first, select the Lasso tool, then increase the Feather, maybe about 1 or 2 pixels there, and then go ahead to make a lasso selection, which is really rough, around this area of hair here.
Most important with this step is that you select too much of the hair, rather than too little. Next, press Command+J on a Mac, or Control+J on Windows, and what you'll see is that we now just have this on a separate layer. Because that's on a separate layer, eventually we'll be to move that to kind of cover up that problem area, but that will come later. Let's go and turn off the visibility of this. We'll name this new layer hair. Next, let's click into the Background layer, then duplicate the entire Background layer by pressing Command+J on a Mac, or Control+J on Windows, and we'll name this layer patch.
We'll then navigate to where we can find our Patch tool underneath the healing brushes, and with the Patch tool, we want to turn it to Normal, choose Source, and what I want you to do is to now select this problem area. So I'll make a good selection of that, and then we'll click and drag this to the right. By doing that, we can then sample this area of hair, and it will blend that into the other area. Next, choose Select, and Deselect. All right. Well, you can see it has started to patch that area in, but not perfectly.
So what I want to do is I want to mask this in, and then I also want to mask in the top layer. In other words, it's like we're using two different pieces of hair, or two different techniques together, which will give us some good results. So hold down the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on Windows, and click on the Add layer mask icon to create a mask filled with black. Next, grab the Brush tool, paint with a pretty high Opacity, and just go ahead and paint over that little gap there. In doing that, you'll start to be able to bring in this nice little selection of hair.
Next step, we're going to click on our topmost layer here, and do the same thing; hold down the Option or Alt key, then click on the Add layer mask icon. Here, we can then use this top patch in order to fill in a couple of the areas that didn't quite work very well. So I can go ahead and just kind of paint down over those areas. What I'm trying to do is use both of these, in a sense, to hide some of my tracks. All right. Well, we have a pretty decent patch, except that you can see we have these repeating patterns right here. There're two little gaps, and then two gaps repeated.
So last but not least, we need to create a new layer. This new layer, we're going to do some clone work, just to heal those up, or some healing work. We could use any of those tools really; we could try the Spot Healing brush, and just click and paint over those little problem areas, where we're seeing that repeating pattern. Or, we could use the Clone Stamp tool, and then here, we could Option+click, or Alt+click, on a nice area, and paint over that little problem area. In doing this, what we're trying to do is really just hide our tracks, so that this doesn't look like a repeating pattern here. And in this case, you can see, it's a little bit too smudgy, so I'll just decrease the Opacity there. And then, by having these different layers, and by combining them together, well, they can help us to fill in this part of the photograph.
Last, but not least, you may want to burn and dodge a little bit there, so the light isn't just perfectly even. So create a new layer, go ahead and name this one, burn, which is darken, and then we'll change the blending mode to Soft Light. We're going to paint it with black, with our Brush tool, and make the brush nice and big, and we'll decrease our Opacity; take it down to 30% there, and just kind of darken that up. In doing this last step, it can kind of help us as well to kind of hide what's happening here, so that, again, we just have a little bit of built-in variety, so it doesn't look like we just took something, and put it on top of something else.
This step, then, helps that to kind of follow this overall pattern of the hair, so that then we're really focused in on the eyes, so we can absorb this whole portrait, rather than being distracted by the hair. And if we click off the eye icons, you can see here's our before, and then now here's our after.
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