Registered: March 2008
Ok, after glancing at some of the other entries, I realize that my steps are a bit more detailed than most. I guess that I took a more literal interpretation "Include a complete description of the steps you used." Plus, I had already typed all this out before I saw that most, if not all, just summarized their steps. My apologies if that is not the intent of the site. This is my first time here & I guess I got carried away. I hope you find this informative. There are probably better ways of going about this & you probably can streamline these steps a bit.
I am a rather huge fan of Smart Objects & Filters, and I tend to use them obsessively. The only destructive editing I did in this whole process was in the first couple of steps using the Healing and Spot Healing brushes. Had I been thinking, I would have done those steps on a clean layer above the original photo, rather than directly on it.
Anyway, for those not using CS3, you should be able to get around the Smart Objects/Filters by Flattening your image whenever it says convert to Smart Object. And, for those places where I adjust a smart filter down, you should be able to use the Edit->Fade command.
Using Photoshop CS3:
1. Spot Healing Brush. Cleaned up spot blemishes, and other odd marks on the face.
2. Healing Brush. Corrected the discoloration on the bridge of her nose.
3. Add a Levels Adjustment Layer to brighten the image a bit: 0,1,167.
4. Add a Photo Filter Adjustment Layer to warm it all up & make the flesh tones look more natural: Warming Filter (85), Density 30%, Preserver Luminosity on.
5. Convert all layers to Smart Object (so I can go back and make adjustments, if I want)
6. On the Smart Object, Add Dust & Scratches Filter: Radius 50, Threshold 0.
7. On the Dust & Scratches Smart Filter, double click the filter adjustment icon and pull it back to 63%
8. Add another Smart Filter: Add Noise. Amount 7%, Uniform
9. On the Add Noise Smart Filter, double click the filter adjustment icon and pull it back to 30%
10. On the Smart Filters mask, black it all out and carefully paint in the flesh. Make sure you do not go over eyebrows, lips, creases around her smile... in other words, leave all hard lines alone, but get as close to them as possible. For some spots, I painted in with gray, rather than pure white, to try and achieve a more natural transition.
11. Convert the Smart Object with all of it's Smart Filters to another Smart Object (this is all about being able to go back through every step and make adjustments later). As I mentioned earlier, I get a little happy with converting things to Smart Objects. It now occurs to me that this step is not really necessary.
12. Using the Oval Select tool, select the irises in the eyes. Add a solid color Adjustment Layer (#261800) and change it's Blend Mode to Soft Light and scale it back to 43%. On the mask for this Adjustment Layer, black out the pupils, so only the irises are adjusted. Apply a Guassian Blur (I used 2 px) to the mask to soften the edges.
13. Repeat the last step, but use black and only cover the pupils. Again, Blending Mode is Soft Light, and it is reduced to 50%.
14. Go to Quick Mask mode, and select the lips with a soft white brush.
15. Back in regular mode, add a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer, Saturation +16.
16. Create another Color Fill Adjustment Layer, #381b00. Blend Mode is Soft Light at 35%. Black out the mask and carefully paint in the hair (not eyebrows) with a soft brush. This will serve a dual purpose: eliminates a lot of the color noise in her hair and makes it a bit richer.
17. Add another Levels Adjustment Layer. Black out the mask, and carefully paint in the dark background area to the left of her face. Or, you could just add another layer and paint black in that area. The idea is to eliminate the noise and other details in the background that only serve to distract from the foreground.
18. Last step: Convert all layers to a Smart Object and apply a Smart Sharpen: Amount 100%, Radius 3, Remove Lens Blur, More Accurate on; Shadow: Fade Amount 100%, Tonal Width 30%, Radius 3; Highlight: Fade Amount 100%, Tonal Width 70%, Radius 3. Convert once more to Smart Object *prior* to sizing the image down.
** Due to the nature of the Smart Filters, I converted this one last time to another Smart Object, then I sized the image down to the specified 800px wide. In case you have not discovered this for yourself, if I had adjusted the image size without first converting it all to a Smart Object, the Smart Sharpen filter would have retained it's settings and would have been too strong for the smaller image.
The only reason I did this last step was because the image needed to be sized down to repost it to this site. Otherwise, I probably would not have messed with it.
Anyway, that's it.