Join Timothy Sexton for an in-depth discussion in this video Working with layer management, part of Photoshop Retouching: Beauty Portraits.
With our color and contrast set, we are going to just move into a little bit of layer management now, and I do that like this. I double-click our background layer just to create a floating layer, hit OK, and I am going to duplicate that and I am going label it RT for retouching. At the top of our file, right above the Curves layer right here, I will be introducing a Green layer. Shift+Command+N, will give me a new layer, which I will label grain and I will be putting the mode to an Overlay and clicking on this neutral 50% gray.
Adding grain to a digital file like this is just going to further give us the feel of print film. So we are going to go up to Filter > Filter Gallery in CS6. I have it set to Grain and I have the Grain set at 30/30 on Enlarged. That's pretty much the formula that I always use and I just play with the Opacity of it after I apply it. So I'm going to hit OK and you could see how that applied. It really picks up in the background there. And let's just zoom in a bit. You could feel that all through her skin there and we are just going to drop that Opacity down to, let's try 30%, see what happens, and click it on and off, and I can barely see it. I am going to put it up to 40% and see how I like that. There we go.
That just gives this a nice bit of a sheen over the image, and kind of hides the inconsistencies of digital photography, that digital photography creates. From here, what I'd like to do is I'd like to expand my canvas about half inch on each side and create a white border and I will do that by going to Image > Canvas Size. I have to click down here on Relative, and I am going to put 1 inch Width and 1 inch Height which will give me half an inch on the top, bottom, left, right.
So I hit OK and now I Command+Click this layer down here, just to get myself a selection, and I am going to Shift+Command+I, inverse that selection, and I am going to go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color. And I will be naming that trim because we will be trimming this off before we send it to proof, and I hit OK, and I just move this little circle right up here to the top left which is going to give us a pure white, and hit OK.
And then we have a border on it, this is a personal aesthetic of mine and I do believe it's really important for anyone who is serious about pursuing a career in retouching to have these personal aesthetics. This white border, while it enables me to really help balance the whites and the highlights in the image, it gives me a good visual. It also reminds me that I'm working on a photograph and when you're going round after round with your clients, it's hard for you to remember that you are working on a photograph and not just this jumble of pixels as the image takes different directions, with different art directors and photographers and everyone trying to get their say and what to do.
Now that we have set up our contrast, our layer management, our overall color look, our grain layer, and our trim layer, we're going to move into the second phase of the process which is the actual retouching.
Next, Timothy delves into several core aspects of retouching—skin, hair, clothing, and body shaping—providing real-world insights and Adobe Photoshop techniques. The course describes ways to enhance eyes and lips, selectively sharpen portions of a photo to draw attention to them, use masks to change the color of clothing, and more. The course concludes with details on how to evaluate your work.
- Working on color, contrast, and tone
- Managing layers
- Removing imperfections with the Clone Stamp and Quick Mask tools
- Using soft and hard brushes to clean up hair
- Refining the eyes and brows
- Plumping lips with Liquify
- Finalizing the color
- Finishing with Dodge and Burn