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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.
Here we're going to do another mini project where the Liquify tool will really save the day. This is an editorial portrait, and I think that this picture captures a lot of the beauty of this person, who is a small restaurant owner in Texas. I love the natural light. Yet, let's say that the editor comes back to us and says, hey, can you remove that little garment strap right there? So we zoom in on the picture, and we start to focus in on that area of the photograph. To do that, we'll create a new layer, and then we'll name this new layer r1, for Retouch 1, and we'll reach for the Clone Stamp tool.
You can press the S key to select that tool, or just click on it in the Tools panel. We'll increase our Opacity here a little bit, and then the next step, of course, will be to go ahead and Option+click or Alt+click on a good area of the photograph, and then start to paint that in over this area that we want to remove. And by doing this, we can slowly kind of remove this little problem here. And what will happen is, when you have areas like this, when you have different levels of brightness, what we'll need to do is do a little bit of clone work here, but then after the fact, we're going to need to go back, and do a little bit of healing on top of that.
So we'll create a new layer, we'll name this new layer r2, and then we'll grab our Spot Healing brush, and make this smaller by pressing the Left Bracket key, and then just paint over that in order to create a little bit of a nice transition; a nice smooth tone there. All right. Well in doing that, we have a decent retouching job here, yet the trick is that we now have this divot in the shoulder. Well, whenever you have a shape that you need to correct, that's where the Liquify tool can really help. Yet, how can we work with the Liquify tool when we have layers on top? We can't go to the background layer; we need to go above.
Well here we need to merge everything to the topmost layer. To do that, press Shift+Option+Command+N, E on Mac; Shift+Alt+Control+N, E on Windows. Next, we'll go to the Filter, and then here we'll choose Liquify. In this filter, we'll zoom in a little bit, we'll use the Forward Warp tool, a nice small Brush Size, low Brush Pressure, and we can just start to click and drag, or push this around. I'm going to make my brush a little bit bigger, and increase the pressure there a little bit more as well, and I'm just going to look to kind of change this overall line here on this part of the portrait.
So I'll go ahead and click and drag a little bit, and then make the brush smaller, and click and drag up. Here, really, we're just looking to try to even things out a little bit. So just clicking back and forth, that's looking a little bit better. Just make my way over here to this side as well. Then we want to turn on the Backdrop view; the original. Here is where it was; now here's where it is. That's looking a lot nicer. Next step is to click OK in order to apply that, and then in our Layers panel, we can click on these layers, and see here is our before, and then now here is our after.
By making that adjustment, it helped us to improve this portrait. It simplified a few elements, so again, we can really focus in on the beauty of this person, and the character of this small restaurant owner, standing in her restaurant, illuminated by this wonderful warm light. And by using the Liquify tool in a way that isn't trite, or silly, we can make adjustments like this, which can really help us further our vision for our photographs.
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