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Some of the most compelling photographs are of people--portraits, family snapshots, wedding photos--and Photoshop helps make people look their best in pictures. In Photoshop CS3 Portrait Retouching Essentials, professional photographer and Photoshop expert Chris Orwig gives a hands-on tour of the retouching secrets used by pros. He demonstrates tricks for covering up skin flaws, correcting discrepancies in color and tone, removing backgrounds and other visual distractions, fixing teeth and hair, enhancing facial features, and sculpting body parts. This inspiring step-by-step training course is full of secrets that will help professionals and hobbyists alike create stunning photographs of people. Exercise files accompany the tutorials.
Those wishing to see these skills applied in greater detail may also enjoy Photoshop CS3 Portrait Retouching Techniques.
Welcome. In this movie, we will be working on the file skin1.psd. Go ahead and double click that one in Bridge, to open it up in Photoshop and press F to go to full screen view mode and then double click the Zoom tool to take the image to 100%. Then press the space bar and click and drag to reposition the image. We are going to work on softening the skin of this particular image and we are going to start off on a black and white image, so that we can learn some techniques that we will later apply to color images. Well, first things first, we need to clean up the small skin variations or small blemishes and then work on some wrinkles.
So let's go and create a new layer and let's do that by way of shortcut. On a Mac Shift+Command+N on a PC, Shift+Ctrl+N and we will call this layer basic retouch. Next, we are going to select the good old spot healing brush and I'm going to zoom in even further. Command+Plus on the Mac, Ctrl+Plus on the PC and I'm going to go ahead and just work on the small little blemishes. Now, ideally you want your brush to be pretty small. My brush size actually works quite well here. You wanted to be about the size of the blemishes that you are working on, or a little big bigger and I'm going to go ahead and do some small little detail work and then press the right the bracket key, a little bit larger brush now, to work on these areas that are little bit bigger.
Smaller brush, left bracket key there and I'm just clicking around the image, working on all of the little tiny details. A lot of times we need to do small detail work like this you think, is this really worth it to do all this little tiny work, well it is definitely is. So we are going to go ahead and work on the details and before you can soften skin, you need to clean it up. Clean it up. Clean up and then enhance. We are going to do our basic clean up work here and what we are looking to do is to reduce the skin variations that are showing up as a result of the white catching them.
So just show in smaller variations. Now, these blemishes arent that bad, yet by reducing them it will help us create skin that looks much smoother because you have less texture in it. Alright, let's keep going, press the space bar and then click and drag to reposition the image. let's work on these are little blemishes over here. Anything that we can do to reduce and simplify, clean up time, clean up time, it is definitely worth it.
You maybe thinking, is it really worth it? Yes it is. So I've zoomed in pretty far right on, so I'm going to zoom out, double click the Zoom tool. let's work out before and after. Here is before and after. Great clean up work. So far so good. Next press the J key to reselect the spot healing brush and I keep working on these small blemishes. Now, typically you don't want to click and drag too much, when you are working with this tool, although there are times when you can get away with it now.
I will do that on these wrinkles up here. I'm going to leave some of the wrinkles in, so I can show you another technique for dealing with those wrinkles. For the most part you want to do small little clicks, small tiny clicks to get rid of all the little blemishes and at this point, I think the image is in good shape. Before and after, great, great, great detail work. let's create a new layer, Shift+Command+N on the Mac, Shift+Ctrl+N on the PC and let's name this layer dodge. Take it to the blend mode of good old soft light, Fill with soft-light-neutral-color (50% gray) and click OK.
Next, select the dodge tool. Wed use mid tones. We are going to take our exposure up just a little bit here about 30% and then I'm going to zoom in and I'm going to work on these wrinkles up here, Command+Plus to zoom in on a Mac, Ctrl+Plus on a PC. Now, a lot of people will remove blemishes, solely by burning and dodging. This is the phenomenal technique, check it out. So we are going to make our brush pretty small. What I'm going to look to do is to dodge or to brighten these dark wrinkles. I'm going to start off with a real low amount of dogging, so it is real subtle.
Not much is actually happening here. I'm going to build this up little by little, being careful not to brighten after the highlight of the wrinkle because all wrinkles have a shadow and a highlight. We are just working on the shadow area. We are working to even out the tone. You see any other small blemishes in this area you want to go ahead and hit those as well, while you are there, and hit these areas. As you do this, you shouldn't see any dramatic lines, or any dramatic results.
So just begin to see the evening out of the tonality. Now, you can remove wrinkles with other tools like the healing brush. Yet a lot of the best retouchers use burning and dodging completely and solely because it maintains the pixel integrity and it just looks really good. it is takes a long time, but looks really good. let's look at our before and after, before and after subtly. Reducing that wrinkle, let's zoom out a little bit, again before and after. So far so good. let's zoom back again.
Now, let's crank up our exposure and we are going to hit this a little bit more drastically. I'm using a Wacom Tablet so I've pressure sensitivity, I still have that control. I want to take these wrinkles out even more. Keep in mind with wrinkle removal a lot of times you want to do is actually reduce wrinkle. You don't want to remove them all the way. You want a little bit of texture and a little bit of character in the face that's what makes things interesting. Of course, that depends upon the genre of the photograph in this case, we will remove quite a bit or this and I will zoom out a little bit to see how our wrinkles are coming along.
Before and after, before and after. Great. Next thing I want to do is, I want to darken up the highlight a little bit. So I'm on my mid tones and I take this down about 20% and on a Mac, if you hold on the Option key you can access the other tool in this set, which is the Burn tool or you can select it in the tool box on the PC that's the Alt key. So I'm going to go ahead and stay on the dodge tool then press the Option key on the Mac, Alt key on a PC and I'm going to lightly, lightly, lightly darken up these highlights.
You can see that those are being burned down, burning in some detail, darkening those up because what I want to do is even out the tone there, so it is one continuous tone, rather than a tone with a highlight and a tone with a shadow. In this case, I'm working on the highlight, working that out, just a little bit there, let's look at our before and after. Again, great. So far, so good, some good work. Getting this tonality a little bit more even. The nice thing about this as well is, we are doing this on a separate layer, so that if we make any mistakes we can always go back and work on this layer.
Use your eraser tool, create a mask, and lower the opacity. Alright, before and after. I think those wrinkles are looking pretty good. Next thing, that I want to do is work on the tonality of the nose here. So I'm going to take my exposure back up to about 30%. Make my brush bigger, right bracket key. Now, that I've a nice big brush, I'm just going to go along this area this area of the nose here. Small brush, left bracket key, work on the shadow underneath the nose. I'm going to brighten that up a little bit.
What I'm looking to do here is just to take down some of the darker areas of the image. I know some people, who like to flip the image upside down when they are doing their burning and dogging. it is a great way to look at the image without being distracted by the subject matter. Just thinking about how the light actually travels. Left bracket key, a little bit smaller brush. Work on this area underneath the lip and a bigger brush there.
Zoom out a little bit, work on these little areas, little by little. Keep going, keep going small detail work. let's look at before and after. We have before and then after, subtle work on the tonality of the image. let's look out of overall before and after. Double click the Zoom tool to take the image to a 100% then on the Mac, hold down the Option key, on the PC hold down the Alt key and click on the original layer. Here is our original image, some basic retouching and then a little bit of work on the tone and the wrinkles up there on the forehead.
Well, this image is in good shape, it is officially cleaned up. We are now ready to soften the skin and we will do that in the next movie.
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