Portrait photographers usually have a goal to achieve in their Photography. And that is to achieve beautiful skin in their images. The skin should look beautiful, at the same time realistic which holds realistic skin texture in portrait photography. A beautiful skin on photographs is made by applying perfect make up and lighting to the skin. Photo Skin Retouching works as a polishing tool to portrait Photographs.
There are three great techniques for retouching skin in Adobe Photoshop. Those are:
- Touch-Up Layer Technique
- Frequency Separation Technique
- The “byRo” Method
In skin retouching, you will get the things you want to achieve by some simple processes. Touch-up layer works on removing blemishes, spots and different types of marks from the skin. It is probably the simplest skin retouching technique. By touch-up layer technique, we can also work on things such as removing flakes of make-up, lint or dust, tiny strands of hair etc. You can use touch-up layer also to retouch make-up when u need. You can fix the position of the lipstick which is spreading into surrounding skin and you can also fil the gaps in eyeliner for a clean line.
You cannot use touch-up layer for retouching patches of skin. It will not give you a desired result for retouching patches. We will now show you the step-by-step process on one of the parts of skin retouching using Touch-up Layer.
At first, add an empty layer on the top of background layer to use Touch-up layer for retouching.
There are 3 types of tools which are best for Touch-up Layer Technique and to remove blemishes and other spots from skin skillfully. The tools are Clone Stamp tool, Healing Brush tool and Spot Healing Brush tool. Select any of your desired tools from the tool bar. Usually we work using Clone Stamp and Healing Brush tool for removing blemishes and spots.
You have to check all the sample layers before started working with healing Brush. For Clone Stamp tool, you need to ensure that the tool option for sample is set to Current and Below. Set the hardness and the softness of the tools as per your requirement. Setting harness and softness of the tools is very important to work effectively.
We will start with Healing brush for removing Blemishes. For that, you need to select a new empty layer. Whenever I work on removing blemishes, I usually set the brush size a slightly larger than the blemish. It helps to bring accuracy in the skin. You have to be very careful while doing that. Try to match the blemished area to the sample skin as close as you can. It will give you a natural texture of the skin. Do not set the brush size very large, it may cause dissimilar skin tone than the sample skin.
Click on the sample area placing the brush over the top of blemish area. Be careful while removing the blemishes. If you sweep or make several clicks on top of each other, the blemished area will get blemished more instead of being it cleaned. Keep the brush moving around the face till you get removed all the blemished areas.
If you want to retouch on make-ups, Clone Stamp Tool is the best option. Clone stamp tool helps you to touch-up in many kinds of make-ups such as, cleaning up make up lines, removing fine or long strands of hair, fixing up lipstick marks etc. Set the clone stamp tool in 20% opacity and sample as close as possible to your desired touching up area.
Touch-up layer not only works on retouching make-up, but also it works on fixing wrinkles. You can remove or lighten the wrinkles from the face very effectively by using clone stamp tool on touch-up layer. Doing that, you will get a natural look on the skin photo. You have to set the opacity lower of the touch-up until the wrinkles bring back the texture and restore a natural look.
Touch-up Layer technique is the most flexible techniques. I am calling it flexible, because you can reedit your photo in touch-up layer and undo everything you did even after getting the work done. Select ‘Eraser’ to undo all the retouching correction works you did using touch-up layer and start again. If you find the touch-up heavy, set the eraser and the brush in low opacity and make it lighten or softer. You can also blend in various touch-ups by using layer mask on the touch-up layer.
There is no doubt, that to achieve beautiful skin on photograph, you need to go through Photoshop Skin Retouching. I would suggest you to start with touch-up layer to do skin retouching. If you start from Touch-up Layer technique, you will easily work on other techniques effectively. I hope this post is informative and helpful for all the readers. In our next post I will discuss about Frequency Separation Technique. So, keep your eyes on our blog posts.