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A quick portrait retouching technique using Clarity

From: Photoshop CC Essential Training

Video: A quick portrait retouching technique using Clarity

Let's take a look at another technique that can save you time by quickly softening skin and sharpening eyes and lips. We're going to use the Adjustment Brush in Camera Raw because we want to control exactly where the effect is applied. We'll select both the waterfall and the Icelandic girl image, and then use Cmd+R or Ctrl+R in order to open those files in Camera Raw. Now, if you weren't following along with the last video, and the girl still has some little freckles and moles, if you want the image to look the same as what we're looking at, then scoot over to the Snapshot panel and simply click where it says Spots Removed.

A quick portrait retouching technique using Clarity

Let's take a look at another technique that can save you time by quickly softening skin and sharpening eyes and lips. We're going to use the Adjustment Brush in Camera Raw because we want to control exactly where the effect is applied. We'll select both the waterfall and the Icelandic girl image, and then use Cmd+R or Ctrl+R in order to open those files in Camera Raw. Now, if you weren't following along with the last video, and the girl still has some little freckles and moles, if you want the image to look the same as what we're looking at, then scoot over to the Snapshot panel and simply click where it says Spots Removed.

Then, we'll return back to the Basic panel. Then, will select the Adjustment Brush by tapping the K key on the keyboard. Were going to reset all of the other sliders to neutral, by clicking the plus or minus button next to clarity. In this case, we'll click minus, you can see all of the rest of the sliders are reset to zero. And then, I'm going to increase the negative clarity amount to maybe somewhere around 60. Now, we need to check our brush for a moment. So, let's scroll down and make sure that our brush has a large feather on it.

And I want to change the flow, I want to lower it down, so that it takes multiple paint strokes in order to build up the skin softening effect. You might also want to show the mask while you're painting. That's up to you it will just show an overlay. In this case, I have it set to the default color which is white. I'm also going to zoom in once by using the Cmd+Plus icon or Ctrl+Plus icon on Windows, and then I'll use the space bar in order to center the girl more closer towards the center of the frame. Now, I've got a large brush and every time I paint with the brush, you can see what's happening.

I'm slowly building up this adjustment and everywhere that we see that white that's the mask that's showing. So again, I'm going to slowly build up the adjustment. Of course, I can get a smaller brush here. And I can go into different areas. And I'm not really worried about whether or not I paint over the eyes and lips because I can always remove that in a moment. So, let's say I've got that painted up the way I want. Now, in order to erase the effect from the eyes, all I need to do is old down the Option key. Now, when I hold down the Option key, my paintbrush is too large, so I'll use the left bracket in order to decrease the size of the brush. And I also need to decrease the feather amount.

So, let's go ahead and drag that feather down to, maybe just nine or ten here. This is going to give me a much harder edged brush. So again, I'll get a little bit smaller brush. And you'll notice that when your brush gets really small, when it's smaller than those cross-hairs, the round circle part of the brush actually disappears. If we wanted to, we could zoom in. We could use Cmd+Plus. In which case, now the brush would appear bigger. But remember, if you let go of the Option key or the Alt key, you're back to painting with the adjustment brush, not erasing.

So, don't forget to hold down that Option or Alt key. And in this case, my brush is even still too small. But watch what happens when I start painting over the eye area here. You can see that, it's basically cutting a hole in this mask that I've created. And of course, if you make a mistake, just use Cmd+Z or Ctrl+Z to undo that. And then, remember to hold down the Option or the Alt key. Or if you don't want to do that, just click over here, where it says Erase. And then, we can paint with the eraser. Basically again, we're just punching a hole in the mask. And I'm going to paint several times right around the eye area here, maybe also in the eyebrow area to make sure that those eyebrows, all those little hairs stay sharp.

Then, we can move to the right hand side. Again, I'm just cutting a hole in the mask, because remember when I started painting here, I was painting with a negative clarity, and that's going to help soften the skin, but I don't want to soften her eyes. We can also come down here to the lip area. I probably don't want the lip softened either. And we'll just paint. I have kind of a hard-edged brush. I'm just going to continue painting. If I wanted to get a softer-edged brush, all I need to do is increase the feather a little bit, and then paint.

If I've made a mistake here, we just need to change from the eraser to the Add option, and we can come in and just add this. And then, a little more delicately right there. You can swap back and forth as many times as you want, of course. Now, let's go ahead and hide the mask for a minute, by unchecking it. And I'm going to zoom in one more time using Cmd+Plus or Ctrl+Plus to make sure that we can see the difference here. I hold down the space bar in order to move the girls face into the center of the screen. And now, we can tap the P key in order to toggle on and off the preview.

So, the great thing about using the negative clarity is that it works without removing any detail. It's not smudging any pixels or covering up any pixels, it's just decreasing the contrast in those areas. So, you can see where there was kind of deeper shadows under the eyes and around the mouth here. When I tap the P key, those are hidden. It's almost like someone's holding a little reflector right in front of her and bouncing up a little bit of light into her face, making that light a little bit softer. Of course, we can also do the opposite effect if you happen to have a picture of a very weathered looking fisherman or you're looking for that kind of gritty athletic look.

Instead of decreasing the clarity, we can go up here and increase the clarity. And that of course increases the shadow. Not at all the look that I want for this girl, so I'll leave it back down to a negative 60 or 70 clarity. Of course, I can amplify that effect even more by creating an new adjustment and loading it with a positive clarity. Now, here, I wouldn't want to paint in her skin, but what I could do is, making sure that my flow is set down, I could simply paint over her eye area, and maybe over her eyebrows.

And you can see that it's helping it to look a little bit sharper. Maybe down here in the lip area as well. It also made it a little bit darker, though. So, I'm just going to scroll up a little bit. And then, maybe increase my shadow slider a little bit. To just lighten those eyes. So again, we'll tap the P key to preview that before and after. We think it's too much of an effect, we can decrease the positive clarity, decrease the shadows a little bit, and then again use the P key before and after. I should also mention that if you've take the time to set up a variety of different adjustments here. And you think that you're going to use these adjustments over and over again, you can use the Flyout menu here next to the Adjustment brush. And you can save this as a new local correction setting. It's almost like you're saving a preset for the brush. So, in this case, I might want to save this as Add Clarity and Increase Highlights, and when I click OK, you'll notice that the next time that I select that list you can see that preset.

So, this way I don't have to go in every single time and adjust all of my options if I use the same options over and over again I would simply save a preset. Before we wrap up, I'll just move over to the waterfall image for a minute. I just want to point out that you can also apply a positive or negative clarity slider to an entire image. So, I'll put back the brush by tapping the K key. Now, I'm back to the Basic panel here. And I can use my Clarity Slider to either increase the clarity in order to add contrast in that mid-tone area. Or I can use it to decrease clarity and of softening the whole image and giving it kind of a dreamier look.

But since I typically like more control over the areas that have this decreased contrast applied to it, I'll typically use the Adjustment Brush in a selective adjustment as opposed to the clarity slider, here, as a global adjustment.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CC Essential Training
Photoshop CC Essential Training

164 video lessons · 53718 viewers

Julieanne Kost
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 42s
    1. What is Photoshop?
      1m 42s
  2. 4m 18s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. Using the exercise files
      25s
    3. Installing Adobe Bridge
      1m 23s
    4. What's new NEW
      1m 26s
  3. 40m 58s
    1. What is Adobe Bridge?
      3m 3s
    2. Getting photos from a camera
      6m 0s
    3. A tour of workspaces in Bridge
      8m 30s
    4. Customizing how thumbnails are displayed
      4m 42s
    5. Changing file names and batch renaming
      4m 39s
    6. Adding basic metadata with metadata templates
      4m 46s
    7. Creating and applying keywords to images
      7m 1s
    8. Viewing images in Full Screen Preview mode
      2m 17s
  4. 27m 23s
    1. Using Review mode to filter out rejected images
      5m 32s
    2. Saving images in collections
      3m 52s
    3. Rating and labeling images
      4m 31s
    4. Using the Filter panel to view different subsets
      3m 7s
    5. Using smart collections
      3m 39s
    6. Viewing final selects in a slideshow
      2m 50s
    7. Organizing groups of images into stacks
      3m 52s
  5. 29m 57s
    1. Comparing raw and JPEG files
      5m 5s
    2. Starting in Camera Raw instead of Photoshop
      4m 1s
    3. Touring the Camera Raw user interface
      5m 29s
    4. Previewing before and after adjustments
      3m 18s
    5. Toggling onscreen Shadow/Highlight clipping warnings
      4m 44s
    6. Choosing output settings
      3m 34s
    7. Saving a copy without going to Photoshop
      3m 46s
  6. 56m 7s
    1. Using the nondestructive Crop tool: Door and window with ramp
      3m 42s
    2. Correcting a tilted horizon line with the Straighten tool
      4m 12s
    3. Fixing color casts with the White Balance tool
      3m 52s
    4. Fixing blown-out highlights UPDATED
      5m 42s
    5. Revealing hidden shadow detail
      4m 36s
    6. Reducing distracting color noise with Noise Reduction
      5m 55s
    7. Correcting lens distortion
      5m 17s
    8. Making perspective corrections to images
      5m 51s
    9. Removing chromatic aberration
      3m 32s
    10. Sharpening details
      7m 23s
    11. Making an average photo great
      6m 5s
  7. 1h 3m
    1. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      5m 39s
    2. Adding a radial gradient
      6m 35s
    3. Making local adjustments with the Adjustment Brush
      11m 19s
    4. Retouching blemishes with the Spot Removal tool
      4m 35s
    5. A quick portrait retouching technique using Clarity
      7m 49s
    6. Converting to black and white
      3m 17s
    7. Editing images directly with the Targeted Adjustment tool
      3m 56s
    8. Selective coloring effects with the Adjustment Brush
      5m 56s
    9. Easy sepia and split-tone effects
      4m 11s
    10. Adding digital film grain texture effects
      2m 27s
    11. Adding vignettes and border effects
      4m 24s
    12. Saving variations within a single file with the Snapshot command
      3m 27s
  8. 19m 16s
    1. Copying and pasting settings across files
      1m 52s
    2. Processing multiple files in Camera Raw
      4m 22s
    3. Saving and using a library of Camera Raw presets
      5m 47s
    4. Saving multiple files in Camera Raw
      3m 36s
    5. Using Image Processor to batch process multiple files
      3m 39s
  9. 27m 6s
    1. Opening files from Bridge
      3m 9s
    2. Customizing the interface in Photoshop UPDATED
      5m 16s
    3. Managing panels
      5m 1s
    4. Switching and saving workspaces
      3m 45s
    5. Switching tools using the keyboard
      3m 21s
    6. Customizing the keyboard shortcuts
      6m 34s
  10. 22m 49s
    1. Working with tabbed documents
      2m 51s
    2. Arranging documents
      3m 37s
    3. Stopping Photoshop from tabbing documents
      2m 49s
    4. Panning, zooming, and using the Rotate View tool
      9m 51s
    5. Cycling through the different screen modes
      3m 41s
  11. 26m 19s
    1. Understanding file formats
      8m 26s
    2. Choosing the resolution you need
      5m 15s
    3. Understanding Resize vs. Resample
      9m 40s
    4. How big a print can you make with your image?
      2m 58s
  12. 59m 15s
    1. Using Undo and the History panel
      6m 40s
    2. Using crop options
      4m 20s
    3. Understanding Hide vs. Delete for the Crop tool
      3m 52s
    4. Cropping to the perfect print size
      3m 51s
    5. Making the canvas bigger with the Crop tool
      5m 2s
    6. Making the canvas bigger using the Canvas Size command
      4m 57s
    7. Straightening a crooked image
      4m 21s
    8. Removing keystoning from buildings
      2m 6s
    9. Using the Perspective Crop tool
      2m 4s
    10. Scaling, skewing, and rotating with Free Transform
      8m 29s
    11. Nondestructive transformations with Smart Objects UPDATED
      3m 56s
    12. Warping images UPDATED
      4m 48s
    13. Preserving important elements with Content-Aware Scale
      4m 49s
  13. 41m 55s
    1. Exploring layer basics UPDATED
      13m 25s
    2. Loading, selecting, and transforming layers UPDATED
      9m 28s
    3. Organizing layers into layer groups
      8m 47s
    4. Merging, rasterizing, and flattening layers
      10m 15s
  14. 1h 15m
    1. Using the Marquee and Lasso tools
      11m 41s
    2. Combining selections
      6m 40s
    3. Converting a selection into a layer mask
      7m 40s
    4. Using the Quick Selection tool and Refine Edge
      7m 12s
    5. Selecting soft-edged objects using Refine Edge
      9m 28s
    6. Touching up a layer mask with the Brush tool
      5m 42s
    7. Changing the opacity, size, and hardness of the painting tools
      9m 9s
    8. Blending images with a gradient layer mask
      4m 55s
    9. Combining multiple exposures with layer masks
      5m 5s
    10. Making selections with Color Range NEW
      5m 17s
    11. Selecting with Focus Mask NEW
      3m 10s
  15. 42m 5s
    1. Introducing adjustment layers
      3m 29s
    2. Starting with a preset
      2m 36s
    3. Improving tonal quality with Levels
      7m 32s
    4. Increasing midtone contrast with Curves
      5m 7s
    5. Removing a color cast with Auto Color
      2m 37s
    6. Changing the color temperature with Photo Filter
      1m 56s
    7. Shifting colors with Hue/Saturation
      5m 39s
    8. Making washed-out colors pop with Vibrance
      2m 7s
    9. Converting color to black and white
      3m 32s
    10. Creating traditional darkroom toning effects
      2m 51s
    11. Controlling which layers are affected by an adjustment layer
      3m 49s
    12. Three different ways to add an adjustment layer
      50s
  16. 24m 41s
    1. Adjusting shadows and highlights
      5m 49s
    2. Replacing color using Selective Color
      5m 39s
    3. Using fill layers to create a hand-painted look
      7m 18s
    4. Using a gradient fill layer to add a color wash
      5m 55s
  17. 40m 53s
    1. Removing blemishes with the Healing Brush and Patch tools
      10m 21s
    2. A quick technique for smoothing skin and pores
      3m 4s
    3. Making teeth bright and white
      2m 47s
    4. Brightening eyes, to make a person appear more alert
      6m 31s
    5. Taming flyaway hair
      4m 53s
    6. De-emphasizing wrinkles with the Healing Brush
      1m 53s
    7. Body sculpting with Liquify UPDATED
      5m 6s
    8. Removing unwanted details with Content-Aware Fill UPDATED
      6m 18s
  18. 22m 47s
    1. Creating panoramas with Photomerge and Auto-Blend
      5m 50s
    2. Combining multiple frames of an action sequence
      6m 21s
    3. Swapping heads in a family portrait
      4m 3s
    4. Working with bracketed exposures (HDR)
      6m 33s
  19. 1h 0m
    1. Overview of filters UPDATED
      3m 3s
    2. Applying filters nondestructively with Smart Filters UPDATED
      5m 56s
    3. Straightening images using the Adaptive Wide Angle filter
      5m 28s
    4. Creating a soft glow with the Gaussian Blur filter
      3m 23s
    5. Creating an infrared look with Diffuse Glow
      5m 4s
    6. Adding noise with the Add Noise filter
      7m 7s
    7. Sharpening an image with Unsharp Mask and Smart Sharpen
      7m 22s
    8. Giving an image texture with the Texturizer filter
      1m 53s
    9. Using the Field, Iris, and Tilt-Shift Blurs UPDATED
      6m 9s
    10. Using the Spin and Path Blurs NEW
      7m 38s
    11. Applying the Camera Raw filter
      2m 48s
    12. Applying a filter to multiple layers
      4m 11s
  20. 24m 3s
    1. Cycling through the blending modes
      5m 24s
    2. Scanning or photographing paper to add a deckled edge
      4m 55s
    3. Adding texture with blend modes
      1m 58s
    4. Making a cast shadow more realistic with Multiply
      5m 57s
    5. Sharpening an image with High Pass and Overlay
      2m 49s
    6. Adding a realistic off-center vignette
      3m 0s
  21. 35m 37s
    1. Exploring character (point) type UPDATED
      11m 58s
    2. Adding paragraph (area) type
      4m 7s
    3. Adding type on a path
      7m 3s
    4. Clipping an image inside type
      3m 41s
    5. Warping type
      2m 36s
    6. Defining character and paragraph styles
      6m 12s
  22. 24m 13s
    1. Using the shape tools
      13m 45s
    2. Custom shape layers
      6m 15s
    3. Adding a keyline to an image
      4m 13s
  23. 24m 48s
    1. Adding a drop shadow effect
      8m 57s
    2. Adding edges, textures, and color overlays using styles
      5m 11s
    3. Creating a transparent logo or watermark
      4m 46s
    4. Knowing how and when to scale layer effects
      5m 54s
  24. 11m 43s
    1. Creating contact sheets
      4m 29s
    2. Creating PDF presentations
      3m 25s
    3. Saving for the web
      3m 49s
  25. 23m 9s
    1. Working with video clips
      12m 14s
    2. Adding special effects to video files
      5m 56s
    3. Adding pans and zooms to still images
      4m 59s
  26. 1m 4s
    1. Next steps
      1m 4s

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