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Removing small details from the face

From: Photoshop for Photographers: Portrait Retouching

Video: Removing small details from the face

Now that we've taken a few chapters looking at how we can remove larger distractions in the frame. Here what I want to do is to start to focus in on those small details. This is a photograph of my daughter Annie, and I included this in my most recent book on people photography, and in order to publish this image what I needed to do is to not just evaluate the overall look and the feeling of this portrait, I needed to get in close and analyze and look at and correct the details. Let's do that here, and let's do that by double-clicking our Zoom tool.

Removing small details from the face

Now that we've taken a few chapters looking at how we can remove larger distractions in the frame. Here what I want to do is to start to focus in on those small details. This is a photograph of my daughter Annie, and I included this in my most recent book on people photography, and in order to publish this image what I needed to do is to not just evaluate the overall look and the feeling of this portrait, I needed to get in close and analyze and look at and correct the details. Let's do that here, and let's do that by double-clicking our Zoom tool.

That will take us to a 100% view. Here we can press the Spacebar key, and then we can click and drag to reposition the image. As you start working on the small details a lot of times what you're going to want to do is kind of move the image up a little bit so that you're looking up rather than down. That way you have good posture while you're doing your retouching. All right. Well next let's create a new layer by way of a shortcut. Press Shift+Command+N on a Mac or Shift+ Ctrl+N on Windows and here we will name this new layer clean up. What I am going to do is I am going to start off with the Spot Healing Brush and then finish this off using the Clone Stamp tool.

The Spot Healing Brush is a great tool to begin with. Press the J key and then Shift+J in order to toggle between or scroll between the different tools that you have here, until you see the tool with a Band-Aid and a little selection icon next to it. Next, you want to choose Content-Aware, Sample All Layers, and then finally you want to make your brush nice and small. You can do so by pressing the left bracket key. Once you have a small brush you want to go ahead and start clicking around the photograph. In doing this, you want to be careful that you don't work on one area too much.

In other word, you want to jump and hop around a little bit so that you can reduce anything or reduce any of these small little skin variations or blemishes that you want to remove from your picture. If you have a larger blemish, like up here, just paint back and forth over it, and then you can always go back over it again in order to clean it up even more. Next, press the Spacebar key and pan around your photograph, and again just continually look at how you can modify your image. Make your brush bigger if you have larger areas of texture that you want to clean up.

In doing this, you can see that we started off small. Now we are getting a little bit bigger, and we are cleaning up these small little areas. A lot of times this kind of work won't seem like you're doing that much until you look at your before and after. You can click off the Background layer to see all of the different areas you've retouched or you can click on the Eye icon for the top layer to see your before and then after. All right. Well now that we've made all of these nice adjustments, I am going to zoom in even a little bit more here to the mouth area. With the mouth you notice that I have these really small little blemishes along this high contrast edge.

The Spot Healing Brush won't be the best tool for those situations. Rather, if you want to heal you could use the Healing Brush, and then what you could do is you could hold down Option or Alt, click on an edge, and then align the edge so you have that same kind of contrast, and you can remove those type of elements. And here as long as I have that alignment there so that I have the same brightness value, it won't create any smudging. In this case with this little tiny blemish there, I need to make my brush even smaller and then go ahead and reposition that cursor in order to get that out.

Here, this one, it's just not working with this tool. So what next? What can you do? Well, next you can work with your Clone Stamp tool. The Clone Stamp tool works really well. Where the Healing Brush creates bleeding and just doesn't cut it, Clone Stamp kind of saves the day. We will Sample All Layers, turn Aligned on, and make our brush nice and small, and then tap the 4 key on your keyboard to lower your opacity. Why lower the opacity? Well, the Clone Stamp tool is going to bring the actual pixels over. So we want to do this a little bit less.

So it's not quite so strong, so we can kind of build up this effect. You may even want to go lower. Press 3 on the keyboard to go to 30%. And this way we can work on these different areas. We can brighten shadows. We can do a lot with the skin when working with this type of approach with a low opacity on our brush. And here you can see I've just cleaned up a lot of those small little blemishes. We can click on our Eye icon. Here is our before and then here is our after. The trick of course with working with skin is to spend a lot of time focusing in on these details.

Zoom in, work on small details, zoom out, take in the entire image, and kind of go back and forth and move your way around the image using these different tools: the Spot Healing Brush, the Healing Brush, and also the Clone Stamp together. And really when it comes to working with skin, it's this trio of tools which will really help you out.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop for Photographers: Portrait Retouching
Photoshop for Photographers: Portrait Retouching

85 video lessons · 25345 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 58s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. Using the exercise files
      54s
  2. 6m 49s
    1. Initial retouching considerations
      3m 51s
    2. Using a Wacom tablet
      1m 8s
    3. Exploring resources and finding inspiration
      1m 50s
  3. 37m 21s
    1. Where to begin?
      1m 19s
    2. Reviewing the basic cleanup tools
      3m 59s
    3. Removing small distractions
      2m 41s
    4. Using selections and cloning to remove distractions
      4m 26s
    5. Simplifying the background with the Clone tool
      5m 12s
    6. Removing a garment strap
      5m 17s
    7. Removing a distracting logo
      3m 43s
    8. Removing lint from a T-shirt
      3m 40s
    9. Cleaning up a backdrop with Content-Aware Fill
      2m 58s
    10. Cleaning up a backdrop with the Patch tool
      4m 6s
  4. 22m 31s
    1. Extending a real-world scene, part 1
      4m 6s
    2. Extending a real-world scene, part 2
      4m 20s
    3. Removing distractions for a creative effect
      4m 31s
    4. Using selections and Free Transform to rebuild image elements
      3m 44s
    5. Moving a person with Content-Aware Move
      5m 50s
  5. 28m 48s
    1. Removing small details from the face
      4m 50s
    2. Retouching skin
      4m 35s
    3. Reducing hotspots, part 1
      4m 32s
    4. Reducing hotspots, part 2
      4m 36s
    5. Reducing brightness with selections and curves
      3m 26s
    6. Using Hue/Saturation to minimize variations in skin color
      3m 45s
    7. Removing tan lines
      1m 53s
    8. Leaving imperfections in portraits
      1m 11s
  6. 37m 15s
    1. Correcting tone with curves and masking
      5m 39s
    2. Fixing exposure and color with curves
      4m 14s
    3. Correcting tone with blending modes and masking
      5m 22s
    4. Using Shadows/Highlights to improve exposure
      5m 28s
    5. Using Soft Light layer blending to burn and dodge
      4m 37s
    6. Exploring the burning-and-dodging workflow
      6m 35s
    7. Using multiple techniques to improve shadows and highlights
      5m 20s
  7. 22m 42s
    1. Reducing wrinkles with the Healing Brush
      7m 21s
    2. Working on wrinkles and details
      6m 51s
    3. Fine-tuning and making final adjustments on wrinkles
      3m 44s
    4. Quick wrinkle reduction with the Patch tool
      4m 46s
  8. 43m 27s
    1. Enhancing eyes with adjustment layers and blending
      4m 7s
    2. Adding sparkle to the eyes
      4m 38s
    3. Increasing color with Colorize and blending modes
      5m 37s
    4. Rebuilding the edge of the eye
      6m 34s
    5. Whitening eyes, part 1
      3m 54s
    6. Whitening eyes, part 2
      5m 42s
    7. Removing eye veins and sharpening eyes behind glasses
      7m 8s
    8. Correcting color and tone behind glasses
      5m 47s
  9. 11m 26s
    1. Trimming eyebrows
      5m 25s
    2. Darkening eyebrows
      2m 48s
    3. Adding mascara to darken eyelashes
      3m 13s
  10. 16m 47s
    1. Enhancing lip color and tone with curves and masking
      4m 23s
    2. Using Color Balance and blending modes to improve the look of lips
      7m 41s
    3. Improving the look of lips with the Burn and Dodge tools
      4m 43s
  11. 13m 49s
    1. Teeth whitening made easy
      2m 33s
    2. Exploring advanced teeth whitening
      5m 0s
    3. Automating teeth whitening with actions
      5m 9s
    4. A note on retouching facial features
      1m 7s
  12. 35m 22s
    1. Covering and correcting hair discoloration
      5m 48s
    2. Fixing the color of hair roots
      3m 3s
    3. Making creative color adjustments to hair
      2m 44s
    4. Patching a gap in hair
      4m 27s
    5. Removing flyaway hairs
      6m 18s
    6. Fixing flyaway hairs with a complicated background
      5m 57s
    7. Adding accents and creative color to a fashion photograph
      7m 5s
  13. 27m 22s
    1. Brightening shadow areas on the face
      4m 22s
    2. Adding color to the cheeks and eyelids
      4m 30s
    3. Modifying eye makeup color
      3m 52s
    4. Increasing color saturation and variety
      4m 17s
    5. Enhancing color with the Lab Color space
      5m 44s
    6. Using Selective Color to create vibrant color
      3m 29s
    7. Additional makeup resources
      1m 8s
  14. 23m 15s
    1. High-pass skin softening
      6m 48s
    2. Creating a mask for the skin
      4m 23s
    3. Softening and adding even texture to the skin
      5m 36s
    4. Adding a soft glow to the skin and details
      6m 28s
  15. 34m 36s
    1. Adding dimension using curves and masking
      3m 50s
    2. Reshaping a jawline with Liquify
      4m 30s
    3. Reshaping a shirt with Liquify
      3m 13s
    4. Reshaping a shoulder with Liquify
      3m 22s
    5. Reshaping the body with Liquify
      2m 35s
    6. Using the Warp tool to reshape a jawline
      3m 33s
    7. Modifying the body with the Warp tool
      3m 35s
    8. Changing shape with selections and masking
      8m 32s
    9. Tips for thoughtful portrait retouching
      1m 26s
  16. 36s
    1. Goodbye
      36s

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