Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Reducing wrinkles with the Healing Brush, part of Photoshop for Photographers: Portrait Retouching.
Here we are going to take a look at how we can work with the wrinkle removal tool. Now I'm actually just kidding about that. Wouldn't it be great if there was a tool which allowed us to quickly and easily remove or reduce wrinkles? Well there isn't such a tool, and you know wrinkle removal, it's pretty tricky. One of the reasons why it's tricky is because the wrinkles that we have in our face they add so much character. So here let's look at how we cannot remove wrinkles but rather reduce them. Before you start focusing in on the small details, what you want to do is get a feel for the overall picture.
In other words, if we are going to reduce or remove wrinkles around the eyes or maybe on the forehead, we also need to make sure that we work on the neck. We can't reduce wrinkles in one area and then not another. We need to balance the image out when we're working on things like wrinkles. Let's zoom in a little bit on this picture. Here I will do that by pressing Command++ on the Mac or Ctrl++ on Windows. Let's do some of our retouching onto a new layer. To do that press Shift+Command+N or Shift+ Ctrl+N and let's name this layer clean up.
Next, we will go ahead and select one of our healing tools. We are going to press J and then Shift+J until you see the icon which looks like a Band-Aid. This is obviously the Healing Brush. Here with this tool we want to choose Sample and also Aligned and then Sample > All Layers. In this way we can Option+Click or Alt+ Click to sample in area and then do all of our cleanup work up to this topmost layer. And here is what I am going to do is go ahead and paint over these areas and I want to work on these areas back and forth. I also want to Option+Click or Alt+Click or sample different areas of the picture.
In doing that, I am trying to kind of hide my tracks. I don't want to have kind of a retouch aligned that goes across the forehead. So here I am Option+Clicking and Alt+ Clicking and sampling up and sideways, into the left, into the right, and I am doing that again to really disguise or hide what I have done. I will press the right bracket key to make my brush bigger. And I will perform some larger adjustments as well. And in doing that what it can then do of course is it can change the way that we look at this sampled area. All right. Next Option+Click or Alt+ Click over here by this wrinkle on the forehead, and then we will go ahead and make our way across the photograph just looking to try to reduce or remove those wrinkles.
If we zoom in a little bit more closely, we can see the results. Here is before and then here is after. Well, we have removed those; I don't think it's necessarily going to work with this photograph. It removed too much of the character. So therefore, because this is on its own layer, what we will want to do is decrease the opacity of this. In this way we can bring back a little bit of that shape there, so now here's our before and then our after. And in this way it's much more subtle or realistic. Now of course depending on the project, you could remove these completely or you could do as I've done here.
You can lower your opacity to have it be a little bit more of a subtle effect. Well, after you've worked on one area, what you want to do is, you want to then navigate to another area. I like to do this on separate layers, so I am going to go ahead and create a new layer. Press Shift+Command+N on Mac, Shift+Ctrl+N on Windows. I will name this new layer eyes. Next, we will use this tool again, Option+Click or Alt+Click in the nice sample area, and then start to paint over the wrinkles. When we work on these wrinkles around the eye, initially it's going to look really strange and really fake.
That's because at this point we are removing way too much. It eventually will do as I talked about just a second ago. It will reduce the opacity of this and by doing that it will just subtly reduce those wrinkles. Okay, so initially though we are just looking to see how we can really get a lot of those wrinkles out here. This is way over the top. Too much, too strong. That's okay, because we'll be back in and off here in just a moment. I like to work on both sides if the light is the same on both sides of the face. If it isn't then I create another layer for the other side of the face.
And here we are just going to work on any little blemish and wrinkle that we see. When you're working with blemishes or wrinkles, you want to be pretty consistent and try to go across the different areas of your photograph. And now one of the big problems with this picture is the intensity, but also I've reduced these wrinkles underneath the eyes, but not above the eyes. Well, I am going to do that on a separate layer, but first let's take a look at how we are doing here: our before and then now our after. Again, it doesn't look very intriguing nor interesting.
The portrait has lost some of its character. So we can then reduce the opacity and let's reduce it all the way down and then just slowly bring it up. And here as I slowly bring it up, what you can see is that it's now much more subtle, and by having that more subtle effect it's creating something which still shows the character and the characteristics of the face, and it does so by reducing rather than removing those wrinkles. Now when you increase the opacity here or decrease your opacity, or change that, you may notice that there will be say one wrinkle that you want to get out even more.
Well, to do that just create a new layer, Shift+Command+N, and we will call this eyes-2 and then we could use this technique on top of that. In other words you can stack up this technique, so that you can then focus in on different parts of the picture, so this top layer is now dealing with these bigger wrinkles, and then again I can control how strong I want that to be as well. All right. Well these layers, they are starting to look pretty good. We need to work on a few other areas of the image. Let's work above the eyes here. This is going to be tricky because we have eyebrows and eyelashes and whatnot.
So we will create a new layer. Click on the New Layer icon. We will name this new layer eyes-3, and then now that the underneath area is clean, we can use that as sample area. So Option+Click or Alt+Click on that and then go ahead and paint over that. As you paint over this, if it doesn't work initially, try making a smaller brush and then getting into the little details. If it kind of bleeds in, well just press Command+Z or Ctrl+Z to undo that and then just go back and forth until you can start to remove those wrinkles in that part of the picture.
Here I will go ahead and work on the other side as well. I'm using a really small brush here and I know that the edges of this transition don't look very nice, but I am going to decrease my opacity, so I am not too concerned about that. Again it's all about that opacity blending. You apply that fact in a way that it's much too strong and then decrease your opacity here and in doing that we can start to soften up the wrinkles there in the top part of the image. Here is that before and then after. All right. Well that's still too strong for my liking, so I am going to take that down even more, and then here is before and after. Just a little bit more of a subtle effect.
All right, well now that we've dialed this in, let's go ahead and take a look at our overall before and after with this part of our picture. If you scroll down to the bottom of your Layers panel, what you can do is press Option or Alt and click on the Eye icon of the background layer. That will hide the visibility of all of the other layers, so you can see your before. Option+Click or Alt+Click that Eye icon again, and then you can see the after. Okay, with the upper part of the face, we are making some good progress, yet there is more that we need to do with this photograph, so let's continue to work on this image in the next movie.
After exploring techniques to improve the overall photo, Chris shares his techniques for reducing wrinkles, enhancing eyes and other facial features, improving hair, and retouching makeup. The course concludes with a look at retouching skin and reshaping portions of a portrait using transformations, the Warp tool, and the Liquify filter.
- Using selections and cloning to remove small distractions
- Removing lint
- Improving skin
- Removing tan lines
- Correcting tone with Curves and masking
- Burning and dodging
- Reducing wrinkles
- Enhancing eyes
- Whitening teeth
- Fixing flyaway hairs
- Adding and changing makeup
- Softening and adding a glow to skin
- Reshaping the body subtly