Join Taz Tally for an in-depth discussion in this video Retouching an image, part of Photoshop Color Correction: Fundamentals.
In this movie, we'd like to talk about one of the first stages of kind of finishing your image and prepping it to go to output. So, after you've done all of your color correction, or image adjustments, so all those kinds of adjustments and corrections are done. You're kind of ready to prepare this puppy for output. One of the things that you do particularly with a portrait image like this. Is a little bit of retouching. You know, there are whole classes on retouching. I'm not trying reproduce those. I just want to talk about a few simple things that you can do on a lot of images with some simple tools in Photoshop. In fact, there's just two tools I kind of want to show you for retouching, particularly portraits, and that is the healing brush tool and the spot healing brush tool.
And, we're actually going to start over here in our layers panel, we're going to bring our layers panel over, because perhaps the most important thing I'm going to tell you is don't retouch the only image that you have. Remember we're all about doing and performing edits that you can undo or redo or go back to something that, in an earlier state. So, yeah, I'd really recommend, at the very least, you make a duplicate copy. So you can right-click on here, and create a duplicate copy. And just call this the Retouch layer. And, depending on how much retouching you have to do, you might make two or three of these retouch layers.
You know, one for the skin, one for the hair, one for whatever. So that you have multiple ways to step back, if you decide you want to make different decisions later on. But at least make one retouch layer, so you can go back to the corrected background and start over at some point. So, we're going to start our retouching by working on the hair. And in portrait images it's one of the very common things you want to retouch, in particular portraits that are shot outdoors, where you've got flyaway hair that can be distracting. So we're going to enlarge our image. And notice when this happens. When you enlarge an image, image kind of moves underneath any layers that you have, so, which is not a problem.
I'm going to show you how to fix that easily. Choose the tools that you want. In this case we're going to be using the Healing Brush tool. Remember there's keyboard shortcuts for all of these. And then just hit the tab key, and the tab key will just hide all of the panels and tools that you ahve open, giving you free reign to, work on your image and enlarge it as much as you want to. And then we use the space bar to move around, and then Space-Cmd, or Space-Ctrl, to zoom in on various portions of the image. Space bar, to use the page grabber hand to bring it up. And, couple of the keyboard shortcuts for you, that you might try.
Is, use your left and right bracket key, to enlarge and reduce the size of the brush that you're working on. This works in all sorts of tools. Very, very handy. And the way a lot of these retouching tools work, including the Rubber Stamp tool and the Healing Brush tool, is if you hold down the Option key, Alt in Windows, this little symbol comes up. The little icon that you see. And that's your sampling position. So you just place your mouse over where you would like to sample, click, and then release and then move over to where you would like to heal. And every time you see that symbol, it means I'm pressing my Option or my Alt key.
And the reason why I like to use this tool as opposed to the rubber stamp is it maintains, does a really good job of maintaining the original tonal value. Underneath so we don't get any color shifts or brightness or contrast shifts. And sometimes you'll see people just make a big brush and kind of try to take out large sections all at one time. I think it's worthwhile just slowing down and doing this nice and slowly. Spacebar to bring up the page grabber hand. And in something like this, I'm going to start here, Option-Alt-Click, and then you can see the little cross hair that follows you along like this? And then when it no longer follows parallel, then I'm going to start over.
Option- or Alt-Click. But I want to I pretty much stay parallel, so I'm sampling the pixels that are right nearby. So you get the idea. You can come along here and take out any of the flyaway hairs. Command 0 to go back to fullscreen view. And then move in here like this. Oh my gosh, yeah, let's get rid of some of this. This might be really distracting. And these are things that some times you don't see on screen. Real obvious unless you zoom in like this. But boy they just pop out. And particularly after you sharpen your image, because sharpening tends to increase the contrast along high-contrast edges, and there's nothing that sharpens like fly away hair, believe you me, so it's worthwhile coming in here, taking the time, and again, one of these strands at a time.
Don't try to do multiple strands, becomes very obvious that you've retouched. So, remember, any time I'm pressing my Option or Alt key, you get that little symbol that comes up. I'm re-sampling a new place. Spacebar to move around. I'll just do a little bit more and you get the idea. But it's worthwhile taking the time because, when you've done a good job color correcting your image. You know, why ruin it by having some distracting things in your image. All right, Cmd+0, Ctrl+0 to go back to full screen view, and let's just zoom in on the face, see if there's anything else that we might want to take out here.
Tab key to bring back our tools, and I can perform this tool switch by just pressing on J, but I'm just going to do it manually so you can see what I'm doing here. Tab key again to hold, and now what I'm using is the Spot Healing Brush tool. I don't do the Option or Alt-click here. I just place it over the area that I'd like to remove, so you see there's a mole here. I just click and removes it very, very nicely, and easily. There we go, oop, and if that happens, just undo, and then just move, take an edge off of it, make it a little bit smaller, there we go, space bar to move down here. And bracket key a little bit larger.
Take out some of these. So anything that you think is kind of distracting in the picture, go ahead and take it out. So there's just some tips on retouching to make sure that the focus is on, you know the color correction of the image, the image looks good. I'll probably work on some of this hair up here, but I'm not going to take the time to do it in the movie. You get the idea. Of how to do it. So there's retouching and make darn sure that you at least have one extra retouching layer. And sometimes I'll even use a smart layer, a smart object to do the retouching on. And if you did a lot of hair and then a lot of skin you might do, you know, one layer for the skin and one layer for the hair so, it gives the ability to step back.
And always have the original background image which is the corrected version. Notice we're still working in a. psd file at this point.
- What is color correction?
- Comparing RGB and CMYK color modes
- Using grayscales and neutrals for color correction
- Understanding pixels and bit depth
- Evaluating and correcting images with histograms
- Using nondestructive editing tools
- Removing a color cast
- Performing curve corrections in Camera Raw
- Affecting creative adjustments
- Retouching an image
- Sharpening images
- Preparing for print and web use