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Realistic skin smoothing (men)

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  #1  
Old 02-01-2011, 01:36 PM
drode drode is offline
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Realistic skin smoothing (men)

I imagine this applies to men and women alike but with men the ultra smooth look is even more objectionable. This is a common task for me but I'll use one specific image as an example. Here's the basic setup.

I have a shot of a young man with acne and blotchy skin. In this particular case, his skin is generally mocha colored with some much darker patches leaning toward dark brown with a slight purplish tint. He has significant acne as well as some areas of large elongated pores.

I can deal with the blemishes easily enough and the large scar-like, pores but I really struggled to smooth and blend his skin color for a natural look. I didn't want to remove 100% of the variation because it would look unnatural. Ideally, I'd lighten those areas and blend smoothly into the lighter areas there were the predominant color.

After removing the blemishes, I spent a long time using a variety of techniques to smooth the blotchiness and blend the darkest patches. Sometimes I painted in "color" mode, sometimes I used the clone patch tool, sometimes the stamp tool, and some others.

Finally, I used a light blur and added noise to give it some skin/pore like texture. I applied this selectively with a mask.

While I like the result, it seemed more time consuming and tedious that it should be. Plus, I'm not at all happy with noise emulating skin texture. It helps a little but I'd like to get a bit more realistic results.

Are there any better ways to do this? I want great results first and speed as a secondary consideration. I'll work longer if I have to for better results. Any tips, pointers or links would be greatly appreciated.

If you are interested here are the before and after links.
Before http://www.rodephoto.com/Client-Area...6_DeaHU-XL.jpg
After http://www.rodephoto.com/Client-Area...vUWUb-XL-1.jpg

Last edited by drode; 02-01-2011 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 02-01-2011, 03:59 PM
julianmarsalis julianmarsalis is offline
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Re: Realistic skin smoothing (men)

http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=673913

Its the same method just back it down more basically you take the opacity and back it down keep a natural clean skin look vs over smooth....

In the case of men its less is more approach leave more character than you would for a women but fix the tones and acne and botches for sure. A guys skin should show texture and some lines its a judgement call tho...
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Old 02-01-2011, 05:05 PM
robmac robmac is offline
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Re: Realistic skin smoothing (men)

Had a go at this using dodge and burn, spot healing tool and frequency splitting methods.

You can find loads on these techniques. Here is my go from your low res jpeg, not perfect but

you can get an idea .
http://www.robmacstudio.com/1174209256_DeaHU-XL-2.jpg

Last edited by robmac; 02-01-2011 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:17 PM
drode drode is offline
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Re: Realistic skin smoothing (men)

First off robmac, nice work. That looks very natural. The "frequency splitting" technique is new to me. I don't know a thing about it, so I'll have to do some reading. The "curves" method and a bunch of others seem really useful. I have to find some info on each one and start learning.

I feel like I'm on a quest now Thanks for the help.
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Old 02-02-2011, 02:04 PM
drode drode is offline
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Re: Realistic skin smoothing (men)

Wow - frequency separation works wonders. I'm able to smooth the blotchy skin tones and remove defects without losing much (if any) of the natural detail.

I still have to do some studying and practice but right out of the gate I'm getting much better results. Model Mayhem is down right now, so I'm stuck 'till they fix it. Thanks again!
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Old 02-02-2011, 02:48 PM
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Godmother Godmother is offline
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Re: Realistic skin smoothing (men)

Quote:
Originally Posted by drode View Post
Wow - frequency separation works wonders. I'm able to smooth the blotchy skin tones and remove defects without losing much (if any) of the natural detail.

I still have to do some studying and practice but right out of the gate I'm getting much better results. Model Mayhem is down right now, so I'm stuck 'till they fix it. Thanks again!
I know... I've been unable to play around in their forums today. :P
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Old 02-02-2011, 03:17 PM
julianmarsalis julianmarsalis is offline
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Re: Realistic skin smoothing (men)

If you do a search here on frequency separation you will find a ton of material as well. Also see Mr. Baker's blog the Godfather of High pass sucks and Frequency separation:

http://sean-blog.twicebakedphoto.com...y%20Separation
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:46 AM
drode drode is offline
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Re: Realistic skin smoothing (men)

Thank you again Julian!
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