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How To Smooth Skin and Conceal Blemishes

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  • How To Smooth Skin and Conceal Blemishes

    Using Gaussian Blur

    1. Open the image.
    2. Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur.
    3. Set the radius just high enough to conceal any wrinkles or blemishes. Click OK to apply the gaussian blur.
    4. If the History palette is not visible, go to Window > Show History.
    5. Click the small arrow in the upper right corner of the history palette and choose New Snapshot. Name the snapshot "blurred".
    6. At the top of the History palette, click the first snapshot to revert back to the original image state. It should have the same name as your filename.
    7. Click in the square next to the blurred snapshot to set it as the source for the history brush.
    8. Create a new layer.
    9. Select the History brush.
    10. Choose a soft brush and paint on the new layer. You will be applying paint from the blurred snapshot source image.
    11. See the tips below to refine your touch-ups.
    12. When you are happy with the final image, choose Layer > Merge Down to combine the retouched layer with the original image. There's no going back after you merge the layers.

    1. Use the [bracket keys] to increase or decrease the brush size as you paint.
    2. Use the number keys to adjust the opacity of the brush as you paint (1=10%, 2=20%, and so on).
    3. Be careful not to paint over areas of fine detail. If you do, remember you are working on a new layer so you can use the eraser tool if you overdo an area.
    4. You can toggle the layer visibility on and off by clicking the eye in the layers palette. This will let you compare your touch-ups to the original as you work.

    Jakaleena has a great retouching acne tutorial primarily using the dust & scratches filter. Click here to check it out.

    Got some other ways to accomplish this? Just add your technique to this thread and include a photo if you can!
    Last edited by T Paul; 01-05-2004, 09:01 PM.

  • #2
    Smooth Skin Links

    Here are a couple other RetouchPro threads with various techniques for smoothing skin:

    Smooth Skin Tips by Tex

    Skin Smoothing Action

    Bad Skin Fix



    • #3
      Digital Makeover Tutorial

      For a great tutorial on a digital makeover click here

      Here is the just of it just in case the link ever gets broken:

      1. Duplicate image. Name "Digital Makeup"

      2. Filter>Blur>Gausssian Blur and adjust the slider until the skin is nice and smooth. Don't worry about any lost detail at this point. (2.9 was used in the tut)

      3. Add a hide all mask to the Digital Makeup layer (Alt key as your click the Add Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette)

      4. Working on the mask, select a size 20 soft edge airbrush at 100% pressure. Set your foreground color to white and paint in your image area to add the makeup. Avoid the edges of things such as eyes, lips, jewelry and clothing. You only want to smooth the skin tone; you don't want to blur the edges. Switch back and forth from white to reveal - to black to conceal the make-up. Don’t worry if it looks fake right now - that will be adjusted later.

      5. Skin tone adjustment (as needed) – Add a curves adjustment layer. Name this layer “Skin Tone”. This is where some real artistic license and talent comes in as you will need to adjust the curve based on the person.

      6. Add Grain – Make sure the brush icon is visible on the column in front of the Digital Makeup layer. You want to edit the pixels of this layer, not the mask. Zoom in on your image. Filter>Noise>Add Noise. Adjust accordingly. The tut used an amount of 0.57, Uniform Distribution. Basically try to match the natural noise of the areas outside the Digital Makeup mask. Always use Uniform distribution. However, Monochromatic should be checked for monochrome or grayscale images.

      7. Lower the Opacity for the Digital Makeup layer to about 80%. Use your judgment and adjust accordingly.

      8. Add an adjustment layer (without changing any of its settings, except for the blending mode and opacity. This will add natural contouring to liven up the skin. Since you will be revealing this only on the skin area you can start off by loading the selection from your Digital Makeup layer. Control click on the digital makeup layer’s mask thumbnail. Once you see the marching ants, highlight the top layer (Skin Tone layer). Now click on the Add Adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette and select Curves. When the option box opens, name this layer (Softlight Curves). Change the blending mode from Normal to Softlight and set the opacity to 84%. Click OK. Next, do nothing but click ok when the curves setting box opens.

      9. Blush – Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. Name this layer “Blush Hue”. Check the Colorize box. Type or slide the following values: (Hue: 25), (Saturation: 68), (Lightness: -33). Click OK. Change the blending mode to Multiply and set the Opacity to around 84%. Your whole image should have an amber cast.

      10. Now you don’t want the whole image “Blushed”, so you will invert the mask by pressing Control I. The mask thumbnail should now be black. Select a medium soft edge Airbrush and set white as your foreground color/black as your background color. In this step you will brush in the blush around the cheekbones, lips, eyelids, neck and shoulder, with white as your foreground color. Vary the pressure/opacity of the Airbrush tool. Press the letter “x” to switch back and forth from putting blush on to taking it off. White reveals, black conceals.

      11. Hair Highlights - Click new layer icon. Set the blending mode to softlight. Name this layer “Highlights”. Use around a size 9 hardedge airbrush (or one small enough to llok like a few strands of hair) at 100% pressure. With white and gold, paint over some of the hair. The effect will be subtle. Increase the effect by pressing Control J to “jump” a copy of this layer. Decrease the opacity on the copy layer according to your tastes.

      12. Darken Background – This may not be necessary, use your own judgment. If you need to darken the background add a Levels Adjustment layer. When the box opens, do nothing to the settings and click ok. Then change the blending mode to Multiply. Adjust the opacity according to your tastes. Since you don’t want to darken the highlights of the hair, you need to mask out or conceal this adjustment in the hair area. Select a soft edge airbrush and with black as your foreground color, block out this area and any other areas you want to remain lighter (i.e. under the eyes, the teeth, under the brow arch, and jewelry).

      13. Finishing Touches – Add another blank transparent layer at the very top of your Layers palette. This is the final highlight layer. All you do is simply paint with white to accentuate the catchlights in the eyes, a small glint on the teeth, maybe on the jewelry, and a little on the lips. Lower the opacity of this layer, if needed.


      • #4
        Advanced Retouching Tutorial

        This covers simple and advanced retouching techniques.
        It includes a good list of what to retouch when assessing a photograph.


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