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Here we're going to continue to work on this mini project, and what I want to do next is I want to remove some of the small little variations that we see in the skin, so that we can finish this project off and so that we can darken those highlights even more. The next step is going to be to create a new layer. I'll click on the New Layer icon and I'm not going to name this layer and you'll see why in a minute. Next, let's select our Spot Healing Brush and what you want to do is just do some of your basic spot healing. We need to do this before we perform the next step, because it will be important that we've a couple of good clean areas of skin to work with.
So again, I'm just going to go through and work on a couple of these small little blemishes. This is the typical thing that we do when we start off with our retouching. We just clicked through any little variation or blemish that we want to reduce or remove. There it is before and after. Next, we'll decrease the opacity a little bit there, just to diminish those small little elements. Well now that I have done all that, I want to merge all that I've done to a separate or new layer. To create a new layer, we're going to do this by way of a shortcut. It's a really long shortcut but it's one of those shortcuts you just have to learn for people retouching. Here it is. Press Shift+Option+Command+N, E on the Mac, or Shift+Alt+Ctrl+N, E on Windows.
This then merges everything we've done to the top. Now that we've done that what I want to do then is I want to flatten or merge together all of these underlying layers. The reason why I needed to do this is because this layer had a certain opacity; it was a low. These other layers had low opacities as well. So we merge to top. Now we click on the layer. Hold down the Shift key and click on the bottom layer, and then we're going to flatten these or compress these, so that these are now going to become only one layer.
To do that, press Command+E on the Mac or Ctrl+E on Windows. Next, we'll rename this retouch. So this then contains all that we've done so far. Well, in order to finish this project off, what I'm going to do then is duplicate this. We had to do those somewhat complicated steps of merging and flattening so that we could then finish this off and have a copy of all that we had done, and also so we could kind of simplify our layers here. Here in this topmost layer, I'll go ahead and name this one hotspots, and then I'm going to select the Patch tool. The Patch tool does a phenomenal job at selecting large areas and helping you to adjust those.
So here what we're going to do is make a selection of these brighter tones on the forehead, and then we'll click and drag down. That's why we needed to clean up this area of our photograph. Next, deselect by pressing Command+D or Ctrl+ D and then make some more selections to try to fix up your edges. Now if this looks a little bit overdone or if it's kind of changed the overall shape of your image, don't worry too much about that because we'll be fading this adjustment in just a few minutes. Here I'm just circling a few different areas to try to even things out.
Next with the nose, I'll go ahead and select that hotspot and then click and drag to a darker area of the image, may be over here, and then also on that area as well. So again, just making a few little selections over these brighter tone areas and then deselect by pressing Command+D on the Mac, Ctrl+D on Windows. Now I know right now it doesn't look very good. Here is our before and after. But once again, we're going to decrease opacity, and by decreasing opacity with this patch, you could really start to have nice texture and tone up here.
Take a look at that before and then now after. We were able to dial back the brightness of that area and what this does is it almost acts kind of like a little bit of powder. If you had powdered that bright or shiny spot on someone's face, and this works on all different types of situations. While this technique is a little bit involved, it does lead us to really helping to be able to remove that, so that if we zoom out a little bit, now we can focus a bit more on the eyes. There isn't as much competing light kind of taking our attention; these hotspots aren't attracting our eyes as much. And as you create effects like this, of course, you will want to experiment with your overall opacity, because sometimes you can find that you can remove too much of that. It can remove a little bit of the drama of the picture. Here it is our before and then now our after.
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