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Skin retouching is really all about reducing variation, and you know, it's light, it's the brightness of light, and also the shadows which kind of bring out these different variations that we have in skin. So one thing that we can do is we can try to reduce that, especially in extreme situations. Like when I was capturing this portrait I hadn't realized how bright this spot was here on his forehead and also on his nose. I want to reduce or diminish this hotspot or this bright area of the picture.
To do that, we can use this interesting technique which involves copying the background layer, and then using the Clone Stamp tool on a blending mode. Well, let's take a look at how we can do this. Let's copy the Background layer first by pressing Command+J on the Mac, Ctrl+J on Windows. Then we'll name this new layer retouch. Next, select the Clone Stamp tool. You can press the S key to select that tool or you can click on it in the Tools panel. Then in the options bar you notice we have some options for blending.
Here we're going to choose a blending mode which will allow us to darken a certain area of the picture. We're going to select Multiply. Next, we need to lower our opacity, and we need to take this way down, way below 20 probably. Here I'm going to go down to 15%. In having a low opacity, this will make the adjustment a bit more delicate. Now with this image, because I don't have very much of an area to sample, I'm going to turn off Aligned. In that way if I choose a sample area it will always go back to that as it brings that darkening effect into this area.
Next, what you want to do is change your brush size here. I'll go ahead and decrease my brush size by pressing the left bracket key a bit. Then Option+Click or Alt+Click on a good sample area, and with the Clone Stamp tool if we start to paint what will happen is this will only affect the darker pixels. In other words, if the pixels are the same brightness value as where we sampled it won't affect those. Here let me build this up even a little bit more. This is going to be a bit exaggerated, but we'll start to see how we're darkening this part of our picture.
Now even at this exaggerated amount this final effect is going to work well. Just stick with me for a second until I finish it off and you'll see how we can make this look better. Next, for the nose I'll decrease my brush size by pressing the left bracket key, and then Option+Click or Alt+Click on a nice sample area and then you can go ahead and paint in that same darkening effect on that highlight as well. Well, now that I have done that, all of these adjustments are too strong. Yet, I'm not too worried about that, because I can lower my layer opacity.
If we decrease this all the way to 0, you can see there is the image with those hotspots. Let me zoom in a little bit so you can see those, and then as we click and drag this to the right, you can see how we can just diminish those. Really, what I'm looking to do is to kind of take the edge off of the brightness that we see there in that part of our image. By using this technique with a nice low opacity we can subtly just take that area down. You can go ahead and go back and clone over it again. Press Option or Alt and you can build this up even more. And by doing this multiple times you can darken it more so that this then, this effect, pulls back even more.
Last but not least, you will want to create a new layer. This one we'll go ahead and name retouch - 2, then select your Clone Stamp tool again, or make sure you have that selected. This time we're going to use a blending mode of normal. Here we'll Option+Click and Alt+Click and then we'll go ahead and just paint over it. By doing this we can bring in some of that original color. So if we've darkened it too much or if we've changed the hue, this will help us to bring back some of that original color there. This is pretty slight; just kind of adding a little bit of that on top of that area.
Once we've done that you can see that before and after with this adjustment. Here we're going to change our layer blending mode to Color. This color blending mode will help this; just diminish that color shift that we may have created in that part of our picture. Here is the before and then now here's the after. Now how far you will want to take this is obviously up to you. You could go even further. If you wanted to reduce or remove that more there are other techniques that you could apply above and beyond what we've done here.
So let's go ahead and take a look at how we could continue to remove this effect if we wanted to reduce it even more, and let's do that in the next movie.
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