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Photo Retouching "Improving" photos, post-production, correction, etc.

Dealing with skin blemishes

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Old 07-28-2005, 06:32 AM
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jasosmith jasosmith is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 42
Great work

Thanks guys - some great ideas there for me to try.

Flora - loved your retouch overall although the most subtle was Bujo's.

Maureeno - which technique in Katrins book are you referring to....

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Old 07-28-2005, 06:35 AM
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jasosmith jasosmith is offline
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Patrick B - Im using CS1 about to upgrade CS2.

The armpit is quite difficult to get a natural result.
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Old 07-28-2005, 07:03 AM
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PatrickB PatrickB is offline
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Hi Jason,

CS2 includes vanishing point which I just tried and failed. Maybe someone in here can help ME now When I use vanishing point, I make the plane, adjust it, then start cloning. But instead of the clone tool when alt-clicking it sets a green crosshair in the image and makes it move along while I move the pen. No idea why this happens now, I used vp many times before and it always worked?

About Jasons armpit problem, it should also work fine if you just copy the arm below the pit to a new layer and then move this new layer further up to cover the armpit. Then just erase or mask out the real "border" between arm and chest, this should give you a lightened up armpit without losing the shadow of the arm. Same applies to the chest.
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Old 07-28-2005, 09:30 AM
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Duv Duv is offline
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I used Vikki's technique of applying Median Noise, Gaussian Blur and Regular Noise and then on a black mask gradually painting in some improvements. I thought I would leave a little sun "blush" on her chest to naturally distinguish from where the sun don't normally shine.


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File Type: jpg D-1a-retouched.jpg (84.2 KB, 42 views)

Last edited by Duv; 07-28-2005 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 07-28-2005, 10:57 AM
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Dreamypix Dreamypix is offline
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There are so many in her book but the one I used in particular is called Perfect makeup (pg.338)

Duplicate the background layer and select Filter>Noise>Median. Setting 3-9 Your call.

After that apply Filter>Blue>Gaussian Blur enter a radius of 2

Create a black layer mask (Select layer>add layer mask>Hide All)

Use a soft white brush to paint the soft skin back in. I use a low opacity like around 30% to paint in. Going over areas that really need smoothing 2 or 3 times, but some areas that don't only once. Avoid areas with sharp details such as lips and eyes.

The skin will look too smooth so we will have to add some texture back. I use several methods to do this, but this is the one from Katrins book. (Flora is right about MBChamberlain's method. It works just as good.)

Alt+Click (Option+Click) the new layer icon in the layers palette: Check Group with Previous, select Overlay, and check Fill with Overlay Neutral 50% Gray. Click ok-

Choose Filter>Noise>Add Noise and use 4% Gaussian distribution and Monochrome.

Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur with a radius of 1.3

Now apply Filter>stylize>emboss and use a height of 1 and a high amount-300%-500%. This will simulate skin texture.

Now her skin is too uniformly textured, a person has less texture on slightly stretched area such as the cheeks and forhead.

Add a layer mask (white) to the textured layer and paint on the mask with a 25% opacity soft black brush to gradually smooth the stretched skin on the nose, cheeks, forhead, and chin. Be careful not to remove all the texture.

To balance the textured with the less textured with the less textured areas, select Filter>Noise>Add noise and 3% or less with the monocrome check on the texture layer.

There are alot of different techniques so explore and find the right one for you. I highly recommend Katrin Eismann's book - if you don't have it already!


Pictures attached-

Before and After Perfect makeup technique. After layer lowered the opacity to 80%.

Before photo

100% Skin smoothed

60% Skin smoothed, lowered the opacity of the smoothing layer to 60% for a more natural look.
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File Type: jpg Before-and-After-SSw.jpg (92.5 KB, 62 views)
File Type: jpg Before-.web.jpg (93.1 KB, 46 views)
File Type: jpg 100%-opacity-web.jpg (97.2 KB, 36 views)
File Type: jpg Lower-Opacity60%.jpg (95.7 KB, 56 views)
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Old 07-28-2005, 11:49 AM
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byRo byRo is offline
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Dreamypix, that is a great description of the technique - thank you so much! I think this post wil become a reference from now on!
(and I'm sure Doug will be around soon bugging you to write this up in a tutorial! )

Well after the skin treatment has been so well executed, I'd like to add some "other" comments.
1) Seems that hardly anyone worried about the photo being all skewed. Maybe it's just me but I find it pretty distracting when "verticals" aren't vertical.
2) There is a strong yellow light coming from above which doesn't seem to add anything to the photo.

Here's an effort without any special skin treatment:
- JPeg removal;
- Double size;
- Straightened;
- Cropped (nice backround, but too distracting);
- Local contrast ("Rounding");
- Colour declipping (repainted just about everything to get rid of skin blotches and yellow light - well, except the books);
- Made roses more colourful;
- General brightness / contrast / levels / hue adjustments.

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File Type: jpg Indoor-byRo.jpg (95.9 KB, 44 views)
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Old 07-28-2005, 10:46 PM
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Dreamypix Dreamypix is offline
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Thanks Ro for the kind words! I just got through with my first tutorial today. And no, it wasn't for this! I'm not sure I could do a tutorial on this since it's the same technique from Katrins book. But check out the tut I did on metal like skin. To me it looks more slimy than metal, but I have been staring at this screen all day! Sooo maybe a break will make it look better. Going to bed now...Again thanks for the kind words!

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Old 07-29-2005, 03:37 AM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Don't usually do this sort of image, but thought I'd have a play with it.
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File Type: jpg 1a-retouched copy_filtered.jpg (88.5 KB, 31 views)
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Old 07-29-2005, 04:40 PM
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Klaatu Baradda Klaatu Baradda is offline
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A Noisey First Post

Greetings Retouchers,
This is our first post here but we have been observing for a few months. We completely agree with what Ro has mentioned about this image concerning the lens distortion that skewed the background. It may seem minor but it will create a distraction to the viewer that will hit them almost subliminally as "something being wrong."

We would like to add that the excessive noisiness of this photo only contributes to the problems seen with the irregularities in her skin. Using a Noise Reduction plugin such as Noise Ninja, Neat Image or others BEFORE trying to correct the skin helps a lot.

Like Bujo, we also prefer the Patch Tool for skin blemishes. It's wonderfully fast (once you get used to it) and keeps the skin texture intact. Of all the methods, this one makes skin look the most true to life (very nice when you DON'T want it to look 'shopped).

We actually like the yellow light from above and thought it added an angelic feeling to the shot (especially how it hits her hair and shoulder), but that's just a matter of taste.

Blurring the background a little helps to give it that short DoF that photographers love as well as focuses on the subject more while pushing some of that lens distortion out of view. A little tonal vignetting can also add to the drama of the shot and pull you into the subject.
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File Type: jpg WeddingPose.jpg (73.4 KB, 36 views)
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Old 07-29-2005, 05:20 PM
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Nanls Nanls is offline
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skin blemishes

Use Gaussian Blur until the skin doesn't look blotchie. Go back one step and use the history brush and set the mode to lighten this will clean up the dark spots do the same with the mode set to darken to clean up light spots. If the subject looks to "painted" start again using less of a blur! Thats it.
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