Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Reducing shadows around the face, part of Photoshop CS4 Retouching: Fashion Photography Projects.
In this movie, we are going to continue to work on the shadows. In particular, I want to work on the shadows around the eye a little bit and also underneath the lips here. I'm going to show you another technique. So let's go ahead and create a new layer. Shift+Command+N on a Mac, Shift+Ctrl+N on a PC. We'll call this one shadows actually and we are going to take this to a blend mode of Soft Light. Now we can use this blend mode of Soft Light to do some burning and dodging. Let's go ahead and click OK in order to create that layer. Now what would happen here as we grab our Brush tool, I'm going to make a bad adjustment here but I'm going to paint with black at 100% Opacity. Now as I do that I can darken. Now if I paint with white, I'll go ahead and choose white and I'll paint another area, I can brighten.
You notice that there is a little bit of a color shift there which is kind of interesting. We don't necessarily want that strong of a color shift. So there are a number of things that we can do. We can burn and dodge at less intensity so I can go ahead and take this down or we can actually burn and dodge with the particular color. All right, well let's go ahead and delete what we have there. So in my case, I'll press Command+A on a Mac, on a PC that's Ctrl+A then hit the Delete key in order to delete those little brush strokes that I made. Next let's deselect by pressing Command+ D on a Mac, Ctrl+D on a PC or choosing Select > Deselect. All right, well how we can actually do this? With your Brush tool, what you can do is hover over your image. Check this out. Hold down the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on a PC. That gives you the eyedropper. Sample a color.
You notice I sampled that particular color to one of the colors in the image. It's a little bit too strong there, so I'm going to take my Opacity back. But now with this blend mode, Opacity about 20% or so percent, I'm just going to start to paint this color over these shadow areas, looking to brighten them up just a bit, couple of little shadows on the ear and the eye, make my way over here, just painting carefully across these areas and if there is an ever an area where you think you want to change the color that you are adding in, you can just sample a new color. And all that you need to do to sample a new color is simply hold down that key.
Now the nice thing about this is currently what's happening is we are bringing in a little bit of this brightening effect and it's pretty subtle and it's mostly subtle because we have a nice color we have selected in an addition because we are doing this on its own layer. We have a low opacity, right, so we have just nice blending here and in this case, I'm using a Wacom tablet, although that's not essential. But as you'll soon discover having the pressure sensitivity in order to control how the slide comes in, can really help out. Now in this case, the only downside with the technique right now is that my overall intensity of this effect is controlled by this one layer, right.
So I can't necessarily increase this if I want to. So if I wanted to increase it anyway, I would have to create a new layer, but let's see how we are doing. Again I'll just make my way through here just a touch, my brush a little bit bigger underneath over here, brighten this up, just a bit. All right, well let's take a look at our before and after. Here's our before and then here's our after. It's pretty subtle, right, but kind of evening out the shadows and what not. And again the nice thing about this is we can control the overall opacity here, we can bring this down or bring this up. As we bring it up, let's take a look at what we have here.
So we have all these different brush strokes. Now it may happen that you have these different brush strokes and when you bring it up, you realize, okay, I have missed an area, this part of the eye. I want to bring a little bit more into that area or I want to bring some of this in or I noticed that my brush strokes may be a little bit too harsh or too hard. Well, no problem. You can always smooth those out by going to Filter > Blur, and then Gaussian Blur, and this is especially helpful if you don't have a Wacom tablet or pressure sensitivity. So when I increase the blur, you can see that it's just softening out the transitions, even at this 100% Opacity. That's starting to look semi-okay.
Now it doesn't look good, but you are starting to see how this works, right? So I can do that and then, of course, lower the Opacity. So I'll just bring this down until I find a sweet spot. Remember we are in the 20s before or so. And with burning and dodging, you typically want to go at pretty low amounts, but here we have a much smoother or softer effect. The nice thing about having this on a layer is if there are any mistakes we can erase those mistakes or for that matter we could create a mask and mask in the effect to different areas. And let's say though that we want to have a little bit more control. Let's take a look at another technique we can use here.
Create a new layer, Shift+Command+N on a Mac, Shift+Ctrl+N on a PC. This time, a blend mode of Soft Light. We'll go ahead and called this one shadows 2. Now we are going to grab our Brush tool, we already have that, hold down the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on a PC, sample an area, we are in the nice bright area of skin. Now currently I'm going to paint at 100%. Let's say I want to brighten up this area underneath the mouth here a bit. So I'm going to go ahead and start to paint on this area and as I do, I kind of like the brighter effect over here but I want it to go down in opacity as I move over this way.
Well, I could of course change the way my brush works or I could simply press the 4 key to go to 40% opacity. Now that I'm at 40% opacity, I could paint over here or I press 2 or 3 to go to 20 or 30 and then paint in a different amount over there and again that gives me a little bit more of a transition and it allows me to paint in effect that's going to look a little bit more realistic. Now in this case, I'm going a little bit too hard with my shadows but I do that a lot of times, so that I could then later have the control to back them off. I always want to have a little bit more because I can back that off that a little bit less because it helps me see problem areas in my edges. It also helps me realize like right here I should have a bigger brush as I work on that side of the face and also down here and this isn't the smoothest adjustment that I have ever made. And it's looking okay. Let's look at our before and after.
Here is before and then here is after. Okay well, it's too strong. It's not quite smooth enough. You know what to do, right? Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. We can blur out those edges here, we can see the edges when we decrease the radius and then increase it. We can see how we'll slowly soften those edges out and we'll click OK and then lower the Opacity on that layer. So just to soften it up a bit. Here is our before and then after. Subtle yet significant and keep in mind with beauty photographs. We don't want this to look surreal; we do want to have a conceptual image but we don't want it over the top. Well, let's take a look at our overall before and after/ Here is our before and here is our after. I would say we are making some pretty good progress. We obviously have more ground to cover and we'll do that in the next movie.
- Reducing shadows around the eyes and face
- Enhancing and smoothing skin
- Adding makeup to eyes, lips, and cheeks
- Improving details by adding light and shadow
- Modifying face and body shapes
- Brightening and straightening teeth for a perfect smile
- Creating dynamic images with creative color techniques
- Blending images of live subjects and products