If you saw this
post, then this is its counterpart.
Below is the before and after example that you can download and work on yourself. I will go over all of the techniques that I used to get to the final image.
Here is the overall outline of this post:
- Retouch Major Blemishes (healing brush / clone stamp, etcÖ)
- Remove or Soften under-eye circles (blend with healing brush / patch tool)
- Select large areas of skin to soften and smooth overall
Here I have used the Healing Brush
to pick good areas of skin and then paint over the bad areas.
- Now lets deal with these dark under-eye circles. I like to use the Patch Tool since it offers us the option of drawing a selection and then repairing that entire selection without having to click a bunch with the healing tool or clone stamp.
Here I have selected my Patch Tool
and selected the area that needs blending. My selection will contain Ĺ of the dark area and Ĺ of the light area. Now, click inside the selection and drag it to a part of good skin. The first place to try is directly below the selection since it holds the same sort of skin pores. We donít want to loose those pores for if we do we start seeing the plastic skin that we see all too often.
Now that we have drug down our selection we are left with this soft gradation instead of obvious dark under eye circles. Before de-selecting and going to to the eye, lets keep our selection up and go to Edit>Fade Selection Tool
I usually hit ď50Ē and blend it half way. What this does is blend the change you have just made with the selection tool. This helps put some grain/pores/texture back into what we have just softened but also retaining the smooth blend. Here is our before and after of the under-eye:
Itís a subtle change, but many subtle changes transform an image into a much better image without doing anything drastic and/or obvious. Here is a (link
with the same tutorial from another person in the case I wasnít very clear.
- Now the skin. I think this is the biggest deal for everyone. How do I soften skin but retain its overall realistic feel and look? Well, I would say it depends on the type of skin you are working on. First off, I would definitely suggest the Digital GEM Retouching Tool. Out of the hundreds of 3rd party skin soften tools I have tried, this is the one. Well, for me anyways. I did not use this tool in this specific image, but Iím only suggesting it because it works and works very well.
In this image I used a technique that I made up by using basic Photoshop functions. Iím a huge fan of being able to do my work in any version of Photoshop without having to use anything but the original installed adobe components. Letís say its just good ethics. By the way I work primarily in Photoshop 7 on a daily basis. I do have PS8 and PS9, but I prefer 7 for it runs much faster.
Okay here we go, letís start with making some general selections (with the Lasso tool- ďLĒ on the keyboard) to the face that we want to make improvements on. Like this below.:
Now copy this selection and paste. (Edit>COPY then Edit>PASTE) This will create a new layer with our selection.
Now, letís blur this new layer with Filter > Gaussian Blur.
Then, lets add some grain/texture to fake the appearance of texture. Go to Filter > Noise >Add Noise. The amount of noise we use here depends on the size of our file. If you have downloaded the above file to work on, I would use 4% or 5%, Uniform, Monochromatic off.
Almost done. Since we have a layer that we blurred on top of our original image, some of the top layer has bled into the eyes, mouth and hair area. Letís get out our eraser and make it a very soft brush.
Then erase the eye areas, mouth and around the entire face. Oops, my 'after' image is on the left below. Notice the eyes are not hazy anymore after we erase out parts of the blurred areas.
Now for the last step, lower the opacity of the top layer to where you feel it looks best. Aaaaaand, thatís it. Now for an even big secret. The entire process from right after Step 4 (selecting to parts of the face) I made as an action. So, this image I would have bumped the curves if needed, removed major blemishes, make my main facial selections, hit the actionÖdone.