In the latest instalment of our series on photo retouching we explain simple methods to nip, tuck and squeeze a variety of body parts into shape.
The number one request put to professional retouchers goes along these lines: “Can you shave off 10lbs please?” The good news is that this can be done – and in a variety of ways, too.
When photographing a portrait, there are always certain angles from which someone will look their best such as shooting from above to tone down a double chin. To add to this, Photoshop also allows you to tuck arms and shrink waists. Let’s take a look at some of these smart techniques.
How to fine tune body shape in Photoshop
01 Draw a selection
To start work on a specific area, first hit Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate your Background layer, then pick up the Marquee Selection tool from the Tools Panel. Draw a loose selection around the chin area then go to Filter>Liquify to access the Liquify dialog box.
02 Warp the chin
Select the top tool on the left – the Forward Warp tool. Click slightly below the chin, and drag to tuck it inwards. Use a large brush for broad strokes. Adjust the characteristics of your brush using the Brush Size and Brush Pressure settings on the right of the box.
03 Select the arm
When you’re happy with what you’ve done, hit OK, then press Cmd/Ctrl+D to deselect the chin area. Next, we’ll slim the arm. Choose the Lasso tool from the Tools Panel and draw a loose selection around the outside of the arm. Include plenty of the background.
04 Drag inwards
Press Cmd/Ctrl+J to copy the selection to a new layer, then select the Move tool from the Tools Panel. Check the Options for Auto Select and Show Transform Controls in the Options bar, then drag the area inwards very slightly to slim the arm.
05 Rotate to fit
Click just behind one of the corners of the bounding box and rotate, then use the other points on the box to distort the arm slightly for the best fit, remembering to keep it within normal human proportions. When you’re happy, hit Enter to apply the transformation.
06 Mask the edge
Go to the Layers Panel and click the Add Layer Mask icon, then grab the Brush tool from the Tools Panel. Hit D then X to set your foreground colour to black, then choose a soft-edged circular brush and paint along the hard edge in the arm to soften the line.
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