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Smoothing blemishes while matching noise

From: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Smoothing blemishes while matching noise

Freckles are just a stand in for whatever densely packed luminance varied issue you are trying to take care of inside of your skin tones or throughout your image. I have gone ahead and saved my progress so far as Blurred surface.psd. This photograph comes to us from Renee Lee of iStockphoto.com. I'm going to turn off the surface blur layer to reveal the original freckled woman right here, and I'll select the Background layer to make it active. Let's press Ctrl+Alt+J again or Command+Option+J on the Mac to go ahead and jump the layer and name it at the same time. I'm going to call it D&S, which can only mean one thing, Dust & Scratches, which is the approach we are going to take this time. Click OK.

Smoothing blemishes while matching noise

Freckles are just a stand in for whatever densely packed luminance varied issue you are trying to take care of inside of your skin tones or throughout your image. I have gone ahead and saved my progress so far as Blurred surface.psd. This photograph comes to us from Renee Lee of iStockphoto.com. I'm going to turn off the surface blur layer to reveal the original freckled woman right here, and I'll select the Background layer to make it active. Let's press Ctrl+Alt+J again or Command+Option+J on the Mac to go ahead and jump the layer and name it at the same time. I'm going to call it D&S, which can only mean one thing, Dust & Scratches, which is the approach we are going to take this time. Click OK.

The idea behind all of these blur techniques is we are trying to do big work fast inside of an image. So we don't want to sit there and brush in an effect using the Healing Brush for example or we can't as in the case of this image right here, and we want to see how much stuff we can get done and how quickly we can do it. So it's quick and dirty stuff. But this effect right here is going to require some painting. I just want to warn you in advance. We are going to start by going up to the Filter menu like we do every single time in this chapter. And then go down to Noise and then choose Dust & Scratches. The reason we are choosing Dust & Scratches instead of Median is because Median will completely smooth over everything in the image and Dust & Scratches gives us that threshold function which allows us to keep the inherent digital noise. So go ahead and choose the Dust & Scratches Filter right there. And you can see we've got, whoa, kind of a weird effect at this point using a Radius of 16 and a Threshold of 30. But if I were to zoom in you would see that in addition to the weird style sort of averaging that's occurring, we are also keeping a lot of the digital noise and some low level details inside the image.

So the idea here, we've got a right side up Threshold value. If two neighboring pixels are less than 30 luminance levels different from each other they will not be affected, if they are more than 30 luminance levels different from each other they will be affected, just as is the case for Unsharp Mask. I'm going to go ahead and take that Threshold value way down because right now we are protecting some details that are as far apart from each other as 30 luminance levels, which is a pretty big difference. Let's go ahead and reduce this value to 15 luminance levels and then you will see, we are really just preserving the noise inside the image now, and we are obliterating all the details which is good, believe it or not. Now, let's go back to the Radius value and take that up to 25 for this image. I just really want to make those freckles, which I love so dearly, go completely away here.

And you can enter those values as well. Click OK. Now then, that's way too much right, I mean, not only are we smoothing over her face or averaging over her face really. But we are smoothing over her eyes and her nose and her mouth and her teeth and all kinds of details, her hair stuff that we are not interested in compromising at all. So here's what we are going to do, we are going to work with a layer mask. When you are working with a layer mask black represents temporary transparency that you are brushing at and then white represents opacity, so if you go too far with your transparency then you can turn around and brush in opacity with white. And if I was to add a layer mask by clicking on this little Add Layer Mask icon down here at the bottom of the Layers palette, I would get a white layer mask like we are seeing right here. You get that additional thumbnail and that shows you that everything in the layer is opaque because white represents opacity that's not what I want. I want to start from a position of transparency and build up because most of what I have done here, I don't want to keep.

All right, so Ctrl+Z, command+Z on the Mac to undo that modification. Press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click on this little guy here Add Layer Mask. And you will create an inverted mask, so it will be a black mask, which makes everybody transparent, and it's temporary. I can turn it on or off. I can brush inside of it and so on. So for example, if you want to turn it off, you Shift+Click on it, if you want to turn it back on you Shift+Click again, and you'll see the effects of turning it off and on there inside the image window.

All right, now let's get the Brush tool, go ahead and click on it, I want a bigger brush. So I'm going to increase the size of my brush by pressing the Right Bracket key and I want a really blurry brush, so I'm going to press Shift+Left Bracket a few times to get the blurriest brush possible. Then I want to brush with white. So press the D key just to make sure that you have those default colors and when you are working in a mask those default colors are white for foreground and black for background. So the inverse of what they are when you are working inside of an image. All right, now paint over her face like so in order to make those freckles go away.

You can paint over the top of the mouth a little bit into the lips just so that we have a smooth transition, but I don't want you to go on painting over things like the nostril, do paint over this area at the top. I just want to paint over the bridge of the nose, paint over here into the forehead. You can go ahead and paint over the hair that's perfectly fine to do that by the way and paint over this portion of the eye into the hair just little bit because we are going to be backing up this effect in just a moment. Paint next to the eyes, do not paint over the eyes that would not be a good thing at all, and then once you start getting unnecessary, you might want to reduce the size of your brush by pressing the Left Bracket key as I'm doing here. So I'm stopping painting for a moment and then pressing the Left Bracket key and then painting, some more of course.

All right and this looks just voonderbar, I think. Now, again you might think, Deke, are we looking at the same image? That doesn't voonderbar, that looks terriblar. But here's what's so golden about this. I'm going to zoom in on this and we are going to be backing off the effect in just a moment, don't you worry. But notice that here in the area that we have smoothed over and here in the area that we haven't smoothed over inside the mouth, we still have the same amount of digital noise going on. So there isn't a big abrupt transition. There isn't like a dead give-away that we have been inside this image other than we are sort of clod-hopping inside the image so far in terms of our editing.

And we'll now take care of that. Go head and switch back to the rectangular Marquee tool, and I want you to see something about the layer mask. If you Alt+Click or Option+Click on the layer mask, you will see the layer mask independently at the rest of the image and doesn't it look just like that scary guy from Scream, isn't that interesting? That transformation occurred in just a few seconds. Also note that the layer mask doesn't look very good. This isn't a piece of artwork you would hang on your wall for example presumably. It doesn't need to look good; it just needs to get the job done.

All right, Alt+Click or Option+Click on the Scream face again, to return Ctrl to the image or at least return visibility to the RGB composite and then with the rectangular Marquee tool selected, I'm going to press the 5 key to reduce the Opacity value of this layer to 50% and now check it out. This is what the image looks like originally; this is what it looks like with a dose of Dust & Scratches. Very deliberately applied, haven't lost any of the sense of film grain, we don't have any dead give away edits, this looks very naturalistic, we even brought back the hair that I just painted over, beautiful, wonderful, lovely, excellent! And if you want to downplay the freckles, why would you? Because freckles are beautiful. But if you want to downplay whatever you are trying to downplay inside the image, the more then you would also turn on your surface blur layer as I have done. And I would reduce the Opacity further, I'm going to take it down to 30% by pressing the 3 key and now we've got all these various layers working together and she is not mask, the surface blur layer doesn't really require mask. You could if you want it to, if you want to spend some time achieving an even more careful result you can, but this is great.

So this is the original image right here, if I Alt+click or Option+Click on the eyeball from the Background layer and this is the modified version of the image in which we've downplayed the surface variations. Thanks to the Surface Blur Filter working in concert with Dust & Scratches.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced
Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

218 video lessons · 24018 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 22m 32s
    1. Welcome to Photoshop CS4 One-on-One Advanced
      1m 43s
    2. Installing the DekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      6m 17s
    3. Resetting the function keys on a Mac
      3m 51s
    4. Installing the CS4 color settings
      4m 37s
    5. Setting up the CS4 color settings
      6m 4s
  2. 2h 43m
    1. Highlights, shadows, and midtones
      49s
    2. Low contrast, bad meter
      5m 57s
    3. Auto tone, contrast, and color
      8m 1s
    4. Cache levels and the Histogram palette
      7m 16s
    5. How the auto commands work
      10m 15s
    6. A first look at Levels
      6m 11s
    7. Target colors and clipping
      9m 6s
    8. Modifying input levels
      9m 44s
    9. Adjusting the gamma value
      7m 34s
    10. Previewing clipping
      7m 17s
    11. The futility of output levels
      4m 56s
    12. Channel-by-channel edits
      11m 54s
    13. When levels fail
      4m 34s
    14. A first look at Curves
      8m 46s
    15. Static Curves layer tricks
      7m 45s
    16. Dynamic Curves layer tricks
      7m 25s
    17. Correcting the composite image
      8m 30s
    18. Neutralizing a color cast
      6m 52s
    19. The Target Adjustment tool in Curves
      8m 29s
    20. Correcting an image in Lab
      10m 7s
    21. The Shadows/Highlights filter
      4m 18s
    22. Radius and tonal width
      8m 11s
  3. 1h 48m
    1. Edge-enhancement tricks
      1m 13s
    2. How sharpening works
      3m 48s
    3. The single-shot sharpeners
      4m 29s
    4. The Unsharp Mask filter
      7m 57s
    5. Understanding the Radius value
      6m 25s
    6. Gauging the best settings
      7m 47s
    7. Previewing how sharpening will print
      3m 37s
    8. Measuring and setting screen resolution
      6m 56s
    9. Tweaking the screen resolution
      4m 28s
    10. Sharpening the luminance data
      8m 23s
    11. USM vs. Smart Sharpen
      4m 23s
    12. Smart Sharpen's Remove settings
      5m 50s
    13. High-resolution sharpening
      6m 16s
    14. When to leave More Accurate off
      3m 48s
    15. When to turn More Accurate on
      4m 23s
    16. The advanced options
      7m 57s
    17. Saving Smart Sharpen settings
      4m 23s
    18. Accounting for camera shake
      7m 7s
    19. Sharpening with the High Pass filter
      9m 8s
  4. 2h 16m
    1. Why would you blur?
      1m 8s
    2. Fading after an undo
      3m 27s
    3. The "bell-shaped" Gaussian Blur
      5m 43s
    4. The linear Box Blur
      3m 6s
    5. Add Noise vs. Median
      4m 50s
    6. Despeckle vs. Dust & Scratches
      6m 31s
    7. Smart Blur vs. Surface Blur
      8m 13s
    8. The Motion Blur filter
      4m 33s
    9. Radial Blur's Spin and Zoom variations
      5m 48s
    10. Mixing filtered effects
      3m 56s
    11. The "Captain Kirk in Love" effect
      5m 4s
    12. Diffusing focus with Blur and Overlay
      8m 50s
    13. Simulating Vaseline and film grain
      8m 2s
    14. Filling a layer with a neutral color
      2m 55s
    15. Old-school contrast reduction
      3m 39s
    16. Three steps to diffused focus
      7m 36s
    17. Averaging skin tones
      9m 45s
    18. Addressing the stubborn patches
      5m 26s
    19. Combining Gaussian Blur and Average
      6m 1s
    20. Blurring surface details
      3m 2s
    21. Smoothing blemishes while matching noise
      8m 6s
    22. Reducing digital noise
      8m 47s
    23. Striking a smooth/sharpen compromise
      4m 36s
    24. Smoothing over JPEG artifacts
      7m 38s
  5. 2h 31m
    1. Independent layers of color adjustment
      1m 7s
    2. Undersea color channels
      4m 2s
    3. Inventing a Red channel with Lab
      8m 20s
    4. Mixing color channels
      6m 55s
    5. Making shadows with Levels
      7m 5s
    6. Applying small color adjustments
      6m 0s
    7. Further modifying Levels in Lab
      8m 50s
    8. Creating a dynamic fill layer
      4m 38s
    9. Brushing and blending color
      4m 42s
    10. Working with "found masks"
      7m 31s
    11. Saturation, sharpen, and crop
      8m 9s
    12. Mixing a monochromatic image
      7m 2s
    13. Masking an adjustment layer
      4m 45s
    14. Working with Opacity and blend modes
      3m 39s
    15. Adding a black-and-white adjustment
      5m 53s
    16. The Target Adjustment tool in black and white
      6m 12s
    17. Tinting a monochrome photo
      3m 19s
    18. Introducing Gradient Map
      4m 17s
    19. Adjusting both color and luminance
      5m 44s
    20. Infusing elements with different colors
      6m 22s
    21. Adjustment layers as creative tools
      4m 33s
    22. Inverting and brightening the background
      5m 14s
    23. Blurring live, editable type
      5m 43s
    24. Hue, saturation, and darkness
      6m 51s
    25. Filling type with a color adjustment
      3m 24s
    26. Using one adjustment to modify another
      3m 21s
    27. Breathing color into the title
      3m 38s
    28. The Hue/Saturation humanoid
      3m 44s
  6. 1h 48m
    1. Parametric operations
      1m 23s
    2. The power of blend modes
      6m 16s
    3. Changing the Opacity value
      5m 46s
    4. Opacity vs. Fill Opacity
      4m 37s
    5. Meet the blend modes
      6m 4s
    6. Blend mode shortcuts
      7m 8s
    7. Darken, Multiply, and the Burn modes
      6m 33s
    8. Tempering a Burn effect with Fill
      4m 43s
    9. Saving a blended state
      4m 18s
    10. Lighten, Screen, and the Dodge modes
      8m 22s
    11. Linear Burn = Add minus white
      5m 31s
    12. Overlay and the contrast modes
      6m 52s
    13. Fill Opacity takes priority
      6m 19s
    14. Difference and exclusion
      5m 21s
    15. Using difference for golden highlights
      4m 2s
    16. The composite (HSL) modes
      6m 8s
    17. The brush-only modes: Behind and Clear
      10m 31s
    18. Layer groups and the Pass Through mode
      8m 54s
  7. 1h 53m
    1. It's all about the presentation
      58s
    2. Moving a layer a specific number of pixels
      6m 59s
    3. Adding a pixel mask to a layer
      5m 48s
    4. Editing a layer mask
      7m 19s
    5. Combining layers into a clipping mask
      6m 19s
    6. Introducing the Advanced Blending options
      4m 45s
    7. Using the luminance blending sliders
      7m 26s
    8. Forcing through underlying luminance
      4m 32s
    9. Masking with a path outline
      5m 45s
    10. Refining a mask from the Masks palette
      7m 18s
    11. Creating and modifying a layer group
      3m 29s
    12. Establishing a knockout group
      5m 29s
    13. Fixing last-minute problems
      6m 23s
    14. Introducing layer comps
      6m 40s
    15. Exploring layered states
      6m 43s
    16. Deleting layers and updating comps
      6m 18s
    17. Saving a basic composition
      6m 21s
    18. Assigning and saving appearance attributes
      7m 15s
    19. Layer comps dos and don'ts
      7m 27s
  8. 1h 56m
    1. Type: The great imaging exception
      56s
    2. Establishing default formatting attributes
      4m 5s
    3. Saving formatting attributes as a preset
      8m 5s
    4. Making a point text layer
      6m 18s
    5. Editing size and leading
      6m 44s
    6. Working with vector-based text
      6m 12s
    7. Formatting area text
      4m 16s
    8. Creating a layer of area text
      3m 20s
    9. Resizing the text frame
      4m 34s
    10. Changing the anti-aliasing setting
      3m 58s
    11. Obscure but important formatting options
      6m 31s
    12. Text editing tricks and shortcuts
      8m 44s
    13. Creating a cast shadow
      6m 1s
    14. Blurred shadows and beveled text
      7m 16s
    15. Drawing a path outline
      4m 51s
    16. Creating type on a path
      6m 39s
    17. Flipping text across a circle
      3m 18s
    18. Vertical alignment with baseline shift
      4m 16s
    19. Warping text
      4m 57s
    20. Scaling your text to taste
      3m 33s
    21. Applying a custom warp
      6m 24s
    22. Creating an engraved text effect
      5m 11s
  9. 2h 17m
    1. Bending an image to fit your needs
      53s
    2. Creating a canvas texture
      6m 48s
    3. Masking objects against a white background
      5m 42s
    4. Scaling an image to fit a composition
      8m 9s
    5. Aligning one layer to fit another
      3m 51s
    6. Changing the Image Interpolation
      8m 10s
    7. Merging faces
      5m 32s
    8. Rotating the first clock hand
      7m 17s
    9. Adding hands and pasting styles
      6m 40s
    10. Series duplication in Photoshop
      4m 35s
    11. Masking objects against a black background
      6m 34s
    12. Skews and perspective distortions
      7m 57s
    13. Envelope-style warps
      9m 2s
    14. Old-school distortion filters
      8m 50s
    15. Introducing the Liquify filter
      4m 9s
    16. Reconstructing an image
      6m 55s
    17. Using the Warp tool
      5m 16s
    18. The Pucker and Bloat tools
      5m 53s
    19. Push, Turbulence, and Twirl
      6m 41s
    20. The Freeze and Thaw mask tools
      5m 45s
    21. Saving and loading a mesh file
      3m 59s
    22. Creating and applying a texture layer
      8m 30s
  10. 1h 28m
    1. Effects vs. styles
      1m 11s
    2. Of layer styles and masks
      4m 37s
    3. Everything about drop shadow
      8m 2s
    4. Adding a directional glow
      4m 39s
    5. Colorizing with Color Overlay
      5m 18s
    6. Stroke and fill opacity
      5m 48s
    7. Creating a multicolor Outer Glow
      9m 22s
    8. Introducing Bevel and Emboss
      7m 48s
    9. Contour and Texture
      4m 35s
    10. Simulating liquid reflections
      6m 28s
    11. Saving layer styles
      6m 18s
    12. Applying and appending styles
      4m 36s
    13. Saving and swapping style presets
      3m 16s
    14. The five effect helpers
      3m 47s
    15. Blending the effect before the layer
      5m 1s
    16. Colorizing a signature
      3m 30s
    17. Clipping an effect with a mask
      4m 5s
  11. 1h 50m
    1. Welcome to the digital darkroom
      1m 46s
    2. Opening Camera Raw in the Bridge
      5m 44s
    3. The Camera Raw 5 interface
      4m 39s
    4. Adjusting the white balance
      5m 0s
    5. Finessing and saving changes
      7m 55s
    6. Using the White Balance tool
      2m 43s
    7. Working with the Exposure controls
      7m 34s
    8. Straightening and cropping a raw image
      5m 53s
    9. Applying automatic exposure adjustments
      6m 6s
    10. Exposure warnings
      5m 44s
    11. Clarity, Vibrance, and Saturation
      4m 47s
    12. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      3m 33s
    13. Dodging with the Adjustment brush
      9m 24s
    14. Tone Curve adjustments
      6m 54s
    15. Using the Spot Removal tool
      2m 48s
    16. Removing noise and sharpening detail
      4m 5s
    17. Adjusting HSL values
      4m 18s
    18. Adjusting luminance, color by color
      4m 14s
    19. Black and white and split toning
      5m 16s
    20. Camera Raw tips and tricks
      7m 32s
    21. Correcting JPEG and TIFF images
      4m 42s
  12. 57s
    1. Until next time
      57s

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