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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.
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.
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