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Skin/Facial Retouching Tip
Old 10-23-2004, 09:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I actually ran across this process by accident, now I use it quite a bit.

1. Do all of your clone/healing brush work first on whatever needs to get fixed.

2. Duplicate layer.

3. Gaussian blur the top layer. Now the level of blur depends on if you're working on a 72dpi image or 300 dpi image. Rule of thumb, blur until the skin looks fairly smooth.

4. Erase all information except skin areas(leave the face alone for now) from the top layer. ie. hair, clothing, etc. Just be careful around the edges. Click on the eyeball in the layers on the lower layer so you can see what you're erasing.

4b. In all of this, you can also play with the opacity of the brush so you're not erasing 100% of the area. I'd use this for areas around the edges where clothing touches sking.

5. Using a brush that isn't sharp, erase straight line areas at the edge, as in legs, arms, etc. What I mean is, erase the edge of the arm, leg, etc with a soft brush so that the sharp edge will show through on the bottom layer. Don't go too far in, or your work will look obvious.

6. Now let's focus on the face. You must erase the eyes, but don't go above the eyelashes or too much outside of the eyeball and eyelashes. You want that area soft too. Erase the eyebrows(using a soft brush, no sharp brushes ever in this technique). Erase the nostrils if visible(because they create sharp lines. Erase the mouth.

7. Now, you should have a photo that looks like you took a soft photograph of just the skin with the eyes, mouth, and eyelashes taken out.

8. Almost done. Now, click on your lower layer once more so that it's visible.

9. Click on the blur layer. Set opacity to 40%(or play with it to desired effect. If you did your erasing carefully, you should have a soft face, but you can still see the pores of the lower layer, but softer.

10. Post up your before and after fixers to share. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]



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Better way....
Old 10-23-2004, 12:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You need to erase darks BEFORE applying blur... or else you blur darks into the lights (and light doesn't work that way).

See: http://www.robertbiggerstaff.com/skin.htm

An important part of retouching and image manipulation is that your goal is to convince the human brain that it is looking at something that was naturally captured. The brain however, is pretty smart, and can detect things that "don't look right" even if you can't conciously detect what it is. One way to do that is to attempt to duplicate the way light behaves within the laws of physics and not do things that would be different than the way light actually behaves.
 
 
Not if you do it correctly
Old 10-23-2004, 12:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Either way, the blur is going to expand whatever it is bluring, which is a little unnatural in itself. You just have to make sure you erase all the right areas, dark or light.

I'd like to see some people try it and post the results. It does take some time.

James
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Re: Skin/Facial Retouching Tip
Old 10-23-2004, 04:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I use Biggerstaff's technique, which is fairly similar to this - great minds think alike. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

One further tip I will share is that I have found a subtle but noticeable difference regarding when you do your sharpening. If you're going to sharpen the picture - and the majority of digital images seem to benefit from at least a touch of sharpening - do this skin softening technique *first.* Then turn the softening layer off and do your sharpening on the base image. In my experience, as I said, there is a subtle, but noticeable difference, and I like the results doing it in this order better than I do the other way (I've tried it both ways, obviously.)

M
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\"Expanding\" of light is very natural.
Old 10-23-2004, 05:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Actually, "expanding" of light is very natural. When light flares as it bounces around the lens, it bleeds from areas of light into dark. (and that is why lens flare kills Dmax).

If you don't delete the darks before blurring, you will have to erase more later, and end up with erased (unblurred) areas along the border between skin and the darks... which itself can look unnatural.

For example, if the model has a beauty mark, and you don't delete it before blurring, you will have to erase the mark and the area around it where the dark beauty mark was "smeared" by the blur from the blurred layer, and that will leave a soft skin cheek, then a beauty mark with un-blurred skin right around it which is unnatural.

If you erase the mark first, you only have some skin blurred over the mark, and can erase that and leave all nicely blurred skin around it.
 
 
Ahh...
Old 10-23-2004, 06:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I see what you're saying now...correct.

James
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426 views, yet no posts of retouching???
Old 10-30-2004, 10:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Did my post not make sense? Did anyone find this helpful...or am I just P!ssing in the wind?! hahaha.

I was hoping to help out, as I have seen so many, "face removal" retouching posts here and published in magazines, that I think it's a serious problem for photographers. Obviously, there is no published image that doesn't get some PS work...just make it ps work that looks, "real", not fake or "facial-removal"...

James
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Re: 426 views, yet no posts of retouching???
Old 10-31-2004, 02:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Actually, you've explained this technique to me before (I remember saying "I can't tell what you did, so, what did you do?"), and I've been playing with it from time to time, but haven't yet acheived results that I'm happy with. Just a matter of practice, as with everything else.

Cheers!
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Re: Skin/Facial Retouching Tip
Old 11-04-2004, 01:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I do something similar, except i just blur the skin. I do this by selecting the skin only ( magic wand, or select colour) and just dupicate the skin to new level. A lot less erasing.

Glenn
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Re: Retouching Tip
Old 04-22-2005, 01:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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and use a drawing tablet tooooooo!!!
 
 
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