Photo Retouching: how to give your portraits a professional makeover

Photo Retouching: how to give your portraits a professional makeover

Smooth skin using the Photoshop High Pass filter

Smooth skin using the Photoshop High Pass filter

One excellent photo retouching technique to smooth skin and create realistic final results makes use of the High Pass filter. This filter is often used for sharpening, but if you duplicate the layer and alter the Blend Mode you’ll find that you get the opposite effect. This gives a silky finish and preserves skin texture for a great final result.

Smooth skin using the Photoshop High Pass filter: step 1

01 Duplicate
Press Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate your layer. Name duplicate layer ‘High Pass’.

 

Smooth skin using the Photoshop High Pass filter: step 2

02 Set Blend Mode
Change the Blend Mode of this duplicated layer to Overlay.

 

Smooth skin using the Photoshop High Pass filter: step 3

03 Invert
Press Cmd/Ctrl+I to invert the layer and give yourself a different perspective.

 

Smooth skin using the Photoshop High Pass filter: step 4

04 Set pixels
Go to Filter>Other>High Pass and enter a value of exactly 10px.

 

Smooth skin using the Photoshop High Pass filter: step 5

05 Set Blur radius
To get the right sized brush, go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and set radius to 3px.

 

Smooth skin using the Photoshop High Pass filter: step 6

06 Add full mask
Hold Alt and click the Add Layer Mask icon in the Layers Panel for a full mask.

 

Smooth skin using the Photoshop High Pass filter: step 7

07 Blur skin
Hit B for your Brush tool then paint over skin with a white, soft-edged brush.

 

Smooth skin using the Photoshop High Pass filter: step 8

08 Lower Opacity
If you feel the blurring is too strong, lower the Opacity in the Layers Panel.

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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