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Yet ANOTHER skin smoothing question!
Old 02-22-2006, 09:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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We've had lots of questions here about skin-smoothing techniques and we've been pointed to several tutorials involving using Photoshop layers and masks and smoothing and blending, etc.

So today I stumbled across this website
. . . and I was wondering if anyone here with a good hi-quality monitor could take a look at it?

The models have unnaturally-uniform, perfect skin, but unlike anything I've seen from Photoshop. The skin (in most of the shots) has fine texture - not pores, exactly, but also not the plastic-doll-skin-look that most of the PS techniques produce. For example this or this or this.

So is it just Photoshop done really well, or is it makeup, or is it genetically-engineered model-clones-from-another-planet, or what? Thanks in advance.
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Re: Yet ANOTHER skin smoothing question!
Old 02-22-2006, 10:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Peter,
Probably a combination of all 3, model's skin, makeup, and PS. Also, we shouldn't forget lighting, and photography either!!!
Ed
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Re: Yet ANOTHER skin smoothing question!
Old 02-23-2006, 12:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It's make-up, good skin, and lighting. Remember there are photos that look that good pre-photoshop.
ANyhow, you can cheesily do it in PS by duplicating your layer and running the Grain filter (21,50,Soft), then Blur it ever so slightly. Use FILTER>BLUR>BLUR..that should be enough. The, put a mask on the top layer and paint the areas you want to grain to be in. The lower the opacity to %70 or $80. Here is one I did. It will be hard to see over different monitors.

Smooth original



Added grain
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Any way you look at it....
Old 02-23-2006, 03:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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.... these are MAD WICKED Skills!!

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Re: Yet ANOTHER skin smoothing question!
Old 02-23-2006, 01:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Start with models that have great skin (they're out there but you have to really look for them ... and they're usually 14). Match them up with a great makeup artist ... preferably one who is a master at airbrushing smooth skin. Add some exquisite lighting. Take the shot. Then get a master artist to finish off the image with expert Photoshop retouching.

I'm really good at that "Take the shot" step. The rest I leave to the experts (when I can afford them). When I'm broke (which happens more than I like) I do the makeup and retouching myself (all in Photoshop).

Here's a before and after sample of my skin smoothing technique from a few years ago. Just clone brush.


And, here are a couple of headshots I took of a model who had pretty rough skin when we started, then we used a good MUA, then I lit her with a lot of Bee's light ... and finally I smoothed things out with a touch of the Clone brush.



It would be really great if Photoshop would come out with a "smooth pore" brush!
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Re: Yet ANOTHER skin smoothing question!
Old 02-24-2006, 12:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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That is a mix of ( in order of importance )

Model with perfect skin.
Great Make up artists.
Great Photoshop work.

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Re: Yet ANOTHER skin smoothing question!
Old 02-24-2006, 04:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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It appears to me that he's using a plugin filter from Kodak called "Digital Gem Airbrush Pro." Vert fast, very smooth, very uniform, and if not used overzealously, not completely artificial looking.
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