Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Cleaning up the small details, part of Photoshop CS5: Athletic Retouching Projects.
Now that we have done some really basic tone work, what I want to do next is clean up the small details. So, let's create a new layer. When we create this new layer, let's name it along the way. So, press Shift+Command+N on a Mac, Shift+Ctrl+ N on Windows, and we'll call this clean up-1. From here, we'll grab one of our cleanup tools, like the Spot Healing Brush or the Healing Brush. What I am going to do is actually clean up some of these elements in the background. I should also point out, with all of these tools we almost always want Sample All Layers turned on, and that way we can do this retouching to a separate layer.
Now, because the background is out of focus this isn't essential to do this little retouch work here. But nonetheless, I just want to reduce and simplify as much as possible, because we know that the eye goes to areas of brightness and also areas of contrast. We don't want anything competing, really, with this area of the photograph. Well, just again just retouching these little background elements. I think that's fine. Next, let's zoom in on the face. We want to get really nice and close here. First thing I am going to work on is this little birthmark.
I'll go ahead and remove that. I select the Healing Brush, Sample All Layers, Option+Click or Alt+Click, and we'll go ahead and just remove that out there. Now, I mentioned before that we are going to need to work on the overall tone. We'll be doing that in just a minute, but for starters I am going to work on these little teeny details. I'll just make my way through the image with a nice, small brush looking to try to reduce and simplify here, as much as possible. So, let's go ahead and just work on little teeny blemishes, anything that we think is going to distract from the overall intent of the image.
Now, one thing I should point out that because this is a guy, and because this is a person who is an athlete, we don't want to soften this up too much. You want to leave some blemishes here. You want to make the person seem real, because a lot of times athletes have that edge to them, and we don't want to soften that. So, again, as I reduce and simplify, I am looking to create a stylized perspective of this person, but I don't want to create something that's surreal. So, we'll just look at how we can reduce and simplify here as much as possible without going to overboard.
Whenever you're doing this detail work it's always a good idea to put on some good music, and also you may be noticing that as I do this, I'm pressing the Option key quite often to sample from different areas. I want to do that so that I don't ever sample from the same area more than just a couple of times, because in a real workflow I need to be incredibly careful that I'm not repeating any patterns or textures that's going to become noticeable later. So again, just doing a lot of little teeny work, but trying to have my sample area come from different areas, so that we can hide this as much as possible.
The trick with this, of course, is that right now we are zoomed way in. What we need to do pretty soon is zoom out, because sometimes you can zoom so far in that you're really missing the overall point, or that you focus too much on little details that you missed some of the bigger details. We also want to be asking our self, as we make these adjustments, are they improving the image - not are we doing them just because Photoshop can, but rather, does this improve our vision for the photograph? Is this leading us somewhere? I'll go ahead and just remove some of these up here, and I am going to zoom out.
I want to see how we are doing so far. I think we're doing pretty good. If we look at our before, here's before, and then there's after. It's not surreal. It's not unrealistic, but it just reducing and simplifying this a little bit. It's creating a look that has a little bit more soft light. Now, I like that there are still some skin variations here, and with this image I'm not interested in softening the skin out so that it looks like a beauty or fashion shot or something like that. I want to have a bit of grit. Yet, it is nice how we've reduced and simplified.
I think it's a little bit more of a flattering look. I think that Chris would actually like this, knowing Chris. He is into looks that are authentic, that are real, that capture a bit of who he is. So, let's zoom out just a touch more here. We have our before and after. Overall, here's our before and after. Stage two is now complete. I'll catch you in the next movie.
- Creating and combining multiple exposures
- Repositioning subjects
- Enhancing color and tone
- Removing unwanted background elements
- Simplifying with selections
- Improving composition with cropping
- Toning with the High Dynamic Range (HDR) Pro toolset
- Enhancing eyes
- Changing shape and sculpting muscles with Liquify
- Increasing height
- Sharpening and creating final layer comps
Skill Level Intermediate
Photoshop CS5: Fashion Retouching Projectswith Chris Orwig4h 30m Intermediate
Photoshop CS5: Portrait Retouchingwith Chris Orwig11h 2m Intermediate
1. Outdoor Portrait
5. Gym Workout
8. Indoor Track Sprint
9. Enhancing Strength
10. Surfer Portrait
11. Underwater Portrait
13. Father and Son Portrait
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