Photo Retouching: how to give your portraits a professional makeover

Photo Retouching: how to give your portraits a professional makeover

Key tools for smoothing out skin: Clear skin with the Spot Healing Brush

Key tools for photo retouching: Clear skin with the Spot Healing Brush

We’ve reduced the background Opacity to show how spot healing on a new layer works. The marks highlight each Healing Brush stroke.

The Spot Healing Brush tool is perfect for removing spots, blemishes, stray hairs and lines. It’s almost as if Adobe designed this tool specifically for working on skin.To use it, just dab with a brush that’s slightly larger than the problem area, then watch it disappear.

The Content-Aware feature in CS5 and CS6 has made the tool even more intelligent. Now you can paint over edge areas and it pinpoints and fixes with incredible accuracy.

 

Key tools for smoothing out skin: Blur to smooth skin

Key tools for photo retouching: Blur to smooth skin

The Gaussian Blur filter is great at smoothing large areas of skin. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate your background layer then go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Choose a pixel value that blurs the skin just a little, then hit OK.

We want to hide the blur over the detail areas, so hold down Alt and click on the Add Layer Mask icon in the Layers Panel to add a full mask, then hit B and paint over the skin with a soft-edged, white coloured brush.

After adding blur, use a Layer Mask to bring back detail in the eyes, lips and so on. To enter mask view, Alt-Click on the mask thumbnail.

PAGE 1: How to get blemish-free skin
PAGE 2: Key Photoshop tools for smoothing out skin
PAGE 3: Smooth skin using the Photoshop High Pass filter

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