Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
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.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
180 Video lessons · 77167 Viewers
64 Video lessons · 94904 Viewers
86 Video lessons · 62280 Viewers
103 Video lessons · 31732 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.