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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.
When it comes to retouching skin, it's all about the details. So let's go ahead and take a look at another example. In this case, we have a high-resolution file, so I'm going to go ahead and zoom way in on the photograph. We want to zoom in, so that we can really see the overall texture in the picture. Next, we're going to create a new layer. We'll do that by pressing Shift+Command+ N on the Mac or Shift+Ctrl+N on Windows. Sometimes what I do in my own workflow is I abbreviate the names. I call my layers c1, c2, c3 for clean up one, clean up two or clean up three.
Here let's name this one c1, and I'm going to start in a clockwise orientation using the Spot Healing Brush with Content -Aware and Sample All Layers turned on. What I mean by clockwise is I'll start up here at the top of the photograph, and what you want to do is kind of settle into this process. Put on some good music. You're going to make sure you don't have any tension in your shoulders and that you have good posture and just settle into focusing in on all of these little details. Click, click, and click again. Next, work your way down the image.
And by working clockwise like this, it just ensures that I go through the whole image and I'm also trying to go through this at a pretty good clip here. I am not spending too much time on one area. I made a mistake there, so I'll press Command+Z to undo that; that would be Ctrl+Z on Windows. If ever things get a little bit smudgy when you're working with this tool, what you will want to do is create a new layer and then change the opacity of that layer. I'll show you that in just one minute here, after I just reduce these a little bit.
Next, go back up to the top and here we have now removed or reduced a lot of these different little teeny blemishes. I'm just going to go back and hit a few that I missed. As we make our way through this and as we kind of work around the clock so to speak, we want to look at that before and after, so that we can evaluate how we've done, and how all of these little teeny areas of retouching have helped us improve our photograph. When it comes to bigger blemishes, like say the wrinkles or the little freckles on the face, you want to create a new layer.
Click on the New Layer icon and name this one c2, and with this new layer, what you're going to do is use a Healing or Cloning tool and then you're going to lower the opacity. What that will do is it will help you to just kind of diminish the problem. You also want to use a really small brush that's kind of appropriate for the size of the blemish that you're working on. You don't want to work on two large of an area because what this can do is it can kind of create a funny texture, in the sense that an area looks soft while the rest of it has nice detail on it.
Next, we will lower the opacity of that layer. That will just help us to kind of diminish those wrinkles up there and the other little blemishes that we see. If you still have a problem getting out something, you just can't get rid of it. Well, create a new layer; call this one c3. Next, grab the Clone Stamp tool. With the Clone Stamp tool, lower your opacity; lower it to about 20% or 30%. Turn on Aligned. Turn on All Layers. And then Option+Click or Alt +Click in an area where you have good texture.
Just paint that over that problem area, because when it comes to skin details like this you don't want to remove the texture completely. Rather, by cloning over it with different texture that doesn't have the blemish in it, as I'm doing here, it can help us to reduce a little blemish without creating that kind of a plastic type of a look. So here the skin still looks really nice and real. I'll just go ahead and make a few more little adjustments with that layer there. Well, after we've made all of those different adjustments using our various Healing tools or our Clone Stamp tool, we want to group these together, so click in one layer, hold down the Shift key, then click in the other, then press Command+G on the Mac, Ctrl+G on Windows; that will group those together.
I'm going to go ahead and name these clean up. Now I have these grouped. I can see that before and then after. And of course, you want to zoom out a little bit. Look at your before and after at different zoom rates, because it's critical that the retouching that you did here fits the rest of the photograph. You don't want to have one area that looks perfect while other areas don't look perfect, or one area that's smooth with the rest of the image that isn't. So in other words, we want to work on these small details, but we want to do so in a way that it improves the overall photograph.
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