Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Softening skin with the High Pass filter, part of Photoshop CS3 Portrait Retouching Techniques.
Welcome back. In this movie we are going to add some softening to the skin so we are going to merge over underline layers to the top most layer Shift+Option+Command+E. We will name this layersoft. Now before we actually apply some skin softening we will do a couple other touchups here. One of them is and notice that these area skins a little bit blotchy, so we are going to use the patch tool. And then I am going to select that blotchy spot right there and click and drag it to new area skin and then I can hide the margin ends Command+H on a Mac, Ctrl+H on a PC and navigate to edit fade patch selection.
So I can fade this back so I can just bring it into just cover up a little bit of the blotchiness and click OKAY. Now I have to remember I do have something selected so I need to go to Select Deselect and I am going to do that a couple of different areas down here as well. I think it would be nice to clean that up. Add to the selection a little bit here. Command+H on a Mac, Ctrl+H on a PC to hide the selection, edit fade patch selection you can only fade right after you have applied that. Again I am just looking to do this to even out the tonality just a little bit, click OK and then go to Select Deselect or press Command+D on a Mac, Ctrl+D on a PC before and after.
Hey that softened the skin up pretty nicely as well as evened out some of those areas that were a little bit to dark. I am going to clean up a couple other areas, grab the Concept tool and choose a Blend mode of lighten and opacity way down about 10-15% there. You know skin softening isn't just about applying some softening technique it's about getting out the variation in the skin so I am going to go ahead and go through this image and just hit a few spots that I feel need to come down a little bit.
You know one of the reasons we are working on softening the skin is because we are approaching retouching from a photographic perspective and what that means is good photographs are lot of times reduced and simplified. They reduce things that are distracting the take-away from the point of the photograph and that's what I want to do here. So I am working through the image to soften the skin not because I like soft skin but because I want to create an image that has more impact. Subtle and simple before and after great so far so good just cleaning up some of the blotch areas, the next we are going to do is we are going to soften this by go into our filter other and choosing High Pass.
Typically we use High Pass for sharpening, now we are going to use it for softening so we want to bring up the amount of detail that we want to soften so I will bring it up in my case to about 1.3 that looks pretty good. See nice skin detail there click OK. Next I need to desaturate this layer Command+U on a Mac, Ctrl+U on a PC and desaturate it will pull out all of the color from that High Pass layer and then we are going to take this to a Blend mode of Overlay. Let's zoom in a little bit see what's happen. Now on Overlay we should see that it indeed sharpened all of the pores and everything.
Now all that we need to do to have this soften rather than sharpen is invert that layer. On a Mac press Command+I, on a PC press Ctrl+I here's our before and after. Now if Overlay is too intense as it is for me go to soft-white that looks nice and realistic although I am going for pretty high key effect so we will have more softening later. But at this point I must say you know what I think that does the job. Next, click on the Add Layer Mask icon. If your mask is white you can always invert it by pressing Command+I on a Mac, Ctrl+I on a PC, select your Brush tool and I will paint with a 100% opacity.
I am going to paint in some nice skin softening, zoom in a little bit here so I can see what's happening and make sure I am painting with white. I wasn't initially painting with white there I was painting with black so I need to be painting with white that would help, wouldn't it? Alright so here we go ahead and make some really broad brush strokes here because I can get away with it and we are going to remove that strap there later so no need to worry about the details in that.
You could of course do the opposite, you could mask in the sharpness everywhere and then paint it away where you don't want it, in this case I just want to paint it where I want it just so I don't have any softness in any area of the image where I definitely do not need it or want it. So we go to before and after to see how we are doing. I think we are doing pretty well. Now a lot of times what you want to do with masking is you want to click on your Mask and view it a couple of different ways so you can actually see if you are doing a good job.
I am guessing I have a number of areas that I need to fix up with this Mask and I can tell by looking at the image and then if I look over at the mask I can tell I have a bunch of problem areas. So I am going to hold down the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on a PC that then shows me this mask in black and white, also see grey, the areas where I am applying less sharpening. We zoom out a little bit we can see that helps me know where I need to clean this up. I can also hold down the Shift key and the Option key on a Mac or Shift+Alt key on a PC and see this in this red _______5:40 Overlay.
What that will do is it will show me again where my mask is so it could help me determine where I need to add some softening. Press X to paint with black X flips black and white. If I want the bridge of the nose and the lips to be nice and sharp, painting with white on those areas, if you didn't catch that shortcut on a Mac it's Shift+Option+Click, on a PC it is Shift+Alt+Click.
You click on a layer mask and you have this nice view here. It really helps you clean up the mask and apply this where you actually want it. Alright let's zoom out a little bit so you have what we are doing. I think we are doing pretty well. Press the X key to paint with black and press X to switch to white. Alright, go ahead and Shift+Option+Click the mask for Mac, Shift+Alt+Click to mask for PC look at our before and after so nice clean subtle softening.
Now again we can take this to Overlay if you want a little bit more intense softening. In my case Soft Light I think it works really well and that wraps up our work on softening the skin.
- Removing distracting background elements
- Cleaning up small skin blemishes
- Reducing and removing wrinkles
- Softening and smoothing skin
- Adding and enhancing makeup
- Enhancing and enlivening eyes
- Brightening and whitening teeth
- Improving contrast and contour
- Adding body shape and dimension
- Cropping and composing a wedding portrait
- Improving portrait lighting
Skill Level Intermediate
Photoshop CS3 Portrait Retouching Essentialswith Chris Orwig10h 18m Intermediate
Beyond Skin: Going Deeper with Photoshop CS3with Lee Varis3h 56m Intermediate
1. Creative Portrait Retouch
2. Headshot Portrait Retouch
3. Three-Quarter Portrait Retouch
4. Full Body Portrait Retouch
5. Wedding Retouch: The Bride
6. Wedding Retouch: The Cover Shot
7. Reversing the Aging Process
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