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Retouching People: Part 1

  • Retouching People: There are many ways to do this, and many custom techniques. The key in all cases is not to overdo it.
  • Make sure that you are working on a duplicate layer in case you mess it up and need to go back a long ways.
  • Work gradually - the one thing to avoid is to try and go too far. If you take too much age away, or alter parts too much, you will ruin the original integrity of the photo.
  • PRACTICE - it takes a lot of practice to learn to very subtly and flawlessly alter portraits. The techniques are not hard, but learning to subtly build and match takes time. Be patient, and practice!
  • That said, once you prefect the techniques, you will be able to do wonderful things to people.

Retouching People: Part 1

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Lesson Overview 0:07
  • Retouching People: Part 1 1:36
    • Retouching The Skin
    • Retouching Around The Eyes
    • Retouching The Eyes
    • Body Contouring: Chest
    • More On Retouching The Skin

Transcription: Retouching People: Part 1

Hi everyone, Mike Brown back again, welcome back to's Adobe Photoshop CS6 course.0000

In the previous lesson; retouching part one, I introduced you to the primary retouching tools which were the Healing tools; Spot Healing, Healing Brush, Patch tool, as well as the Rubber Stamp tool.0007

The differential between these two tools is that all of the Healing tools calculate to try to determine what is inside the area that you have selected, and what is close by outside to see what needs to be removed or corrected.0022

Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't--if you're working in areas that most of the area's nice and uniform, it's a wonderful tool.0042

When you get close to edges, they've tried to improve it but it still has a little problem when it looks into two different textured areas, it's going to sample part in and kind of doesn't work really well.0051

In that case, you move over to the Rubber Stamp tool which clones from one spot to another so that you can accurately replace a blemish with a nearby area.0063

OK, so we're going to start here in this lesson and talk about retouching people, which is what most people shoot anyway.0074

I'm going to show you some basic techniques for retouching skin, I'm going to show you how to retouch eyes, teeth and lips, retouching hair and a little bit of nip and tuck body contouring.0081

OK, let's get started.0095

Here's a photograph that a friend of mine took of this middle aged gal, good looking woman, but she's not 22 anymore, you can begin to see the age showing around the eyes, a lot of lines in the eyes, deep set.0098

She's showing little blemishes in the skin, we're showing a little bit of neck line sagging here and we've got various and sundry spots that need to be cleaned up.0114

So the first thing that we're going to do is spot the image, this is always the way we start out, and for that we're going to use the Spot Healing Brush, remember how that works?0126

Adjust your brush size and again I'd like to keep the hardness, you can play with this to see how well it works for you but I like to keep it somewhere in and around the 35 to 40% range, sometimes up to 50 or 60 but usually just under 50%.0138

Alright, so we'll just start with just spotting--remember all you have to do, again, it's in uniform areas, this is just wonderful--notice how beautifully it removes these spots and how quickly.0154

Now we could do this with the Rubber Stamp tool, but for every spot that you need to remove, you have to source a similar area and then paint it away, you know, literally paint it away, so it takes a little time to source and paint, source and paint, whereas with the Healing Brush, just find the spot and paint on it and magically it just removes it.0168

This is really a time saver when they came up with it--now see, right there shows you the problem with the Spot Healing Brush--we were close there, and as we did that, this time it didn't get it but sometimes it reaches out and it finds things that shouldn't be there, so you have to watch it when you're using that.0196

So we go through--this is normal, with retouching people, you just work your way through the blemishes and get the major ones (and we'll get that one right near the lip, one right near the lip there) you can even take--notice the age furrow right here in the nose, at the forehead.0217

We'll just paint right down there, and look at that, magically it removed that...again we'll--see there?0239

We got a little pickup but we can go back and fix that, you just got to be really careful, it sometimes picks up other things.0247

A little more here, just a few more spots, I think that pretty much gets it, notice we've got pores showing here, I'll show you in another lesson how we deal with those.0255

OK, you could do this for hours.0264

Now we have gone so far from there...let's look down in here, down to there--it doesn't look like much, but if you look closely, there's an awful lot that's been removed.0267

You can even work on the age lines down here--watch this--we'll drop the brush size down and just come up the line a couple of times there, and look, you can even remove those age lines.0284

Let's take that hair out of there, and clean up a little of the age lines, just painting on them.0298

This is all with the Spot Healing Brush...does a great job on a lot of this as long as you're in uniform areas of texture, you're in good shape with this particular tool--look at this, just cleaning it up.0305

Just be careful that you don't take too large an area, I'm not going to clean all of this but I'm going to run it up, let's even do part of this one here...oh yes, this is working great.0321

When it works, it's unbelievable--look at this, just absolutely amazing, I'll even go right under here and fix that up...OK.0336

Let's back out and see what that looks like now, take this neck area, we went from there...let's look at the neck area...down to there, see all improvement on that skin, really nice.0345

OK, now we're going to talk about retouching under the eyes (let's zoom this up just a little more so you can all see what's going on here).0361

Now, there's two primary ways to deal with this, I have a philosophy in my photography of maintaining the integrity of the image.0373

Any of that work that we have done from this point to this point has only cleaned up blemishes, it's still the integrity is there.0383

Now, this lady is not 25 anymore and we don't want to make her look 25 because if she's got a photo that she's showing to friends and family, she's actually 52 years old and if she looks like she's 20, that's just not going to work.0394

You want to take 5 to 10 years off, not 50 years, so the first thing that a lot of retouchers do, they'll take the Patch tool...zoom out just a little, and all you have to do is go ahead and make your selection around the area.0409

Remember the large area that you want to fix, and we're going to go ahead and use that source, and we'll just pull it right down into the clean skin down here...and release.0428

Before, and after, back it out, before and after.0442

We could even go a little bit further, but I see the transition of darkness right on this area--we'll just take this here and drop it down, and that will even give...I like it better just the way it was, that's fine.0448

And you can even do it on the sides right up here--just run right up the side...make your selection here, pull it down to again areas of similarity, I'm following right up, and look at that...before, after, clean those out right away.0467

Let's go on up into this dark area right here, and we'll just move over a little bit like that...look at that, absolutely amazing.0485

This one right here we can pull down, and you can even do it right up here with the inside of the eye--we'll just move it up a little bit, see that?0495

Now we'll take this area and move it just over a little, just gradually do a little at a time...just take tiny little pieces here, and improve it...there.0509

For all intents and purposes, we've fixed that eye.0525

We can come back in here--that's a little bit muddy on that side, we'll fix that as we move right along.0529

OK, so now you see this eye looks wonderful, this one doesn't.0536

I like a different way, I think this is a little too much--it almost looks like she's had plastic surgery, so what I do, is I use the Rubber Stamp tool, and here's a new technique for you.0542

We're going to take the Rubber Stamp tool at a lower opacity--remember it's cloning from one place to another, but we don't have to clone 100%, so if I take this skin down here and at 15 to 20%, gradually clone it in, it just gradually diminishes the age marks, watch.0556

Up this, we're going to make that--remember you can use the keyboard for numbers--2 would be 20%, there we have 20%, normal, aligned--remember I always want it to follow, not go from the same point, Option or Alt, and just gradually paint it down.0580

Let me show you one from there, to there in four strokes--notice how smoothly that worked?0599

Option or Alt here, just paint it down gently.0604

I'm leaving just a little source, paint right up along there, and now I'm going to do the upper eye right in here, just gradually paint that down...0608

And here it will work even better than the Patch tool because I'll take it from right about in here and just lightly--I might even go down to 10%, and just soften those lines.0628

Now, when you zoom out, notice this looks like it's had complete work on plastic surgery and here we see a few of the lines, let's go all the way back if I can--let's see how far it went back.0644

That's where we were, we've pulled it down to there--still a little evidence of age, but a lot better--let's see if we can clean this up a little over here.0659

We're at 10%, let's go to 20, take the brush size and just smooth that bottom edge out a little bit there...there's the finished product, so there's two different philosophies on this--remember we started her right there...0668

And now, we did two different ways--the Patch tool on this side, and just gradually painting at 20% with the Clone tool but I want to show you one thing.0684

Since we didn't do a lot, you have to be very careful when you're painting with the--you can see it a little bit, notice the granular structure in the pores, down in here?0697

Notice up here, it's a little smoother because at painting at 20% you tend to smooth and smear the pixels slightly, so you lose a little of the granular structure.0708

Doesn't look bad here, I didn't go too much--you have to be very careful with that.0722

Alright, let's do a little eye clean up...what we're going to do here, is we're still working on the same layer, we're going to use our Lasso tool and we're going to feather at two so we have a nice little, not a hard edge but a little bit of a blend, and I'm going to select the entire eye...0726

And I'm going to do it in sections so that I can do it accurately--there's the first part--Shift, remember to add, and I'll go ahead on around--I'm going to make a mistake deliberately so I can remind you of your selection lesson.0748

Option or Alt to remove the offending piece, got one eye, hold down my Shift key to add and we're keeping the selection on the other eye, and adding the second eye to it...go ahead and work your way right around the color and the white, OK?0763

Let's go ahead and Quick Mask and you can see that we have the eye selected and if we come up close, you can see that the edge has a little bit of smoothness to it so it's going to blend beautifully.0786

So, we're going to save that selection...and we're going to call it Complete Eyes...and click OK--we have an alpha channel.0798

Now I'm going to subtract the colored area out so we're going to hold down the Option or Alt and just remove the color...OK...and that takes care of that, and then we'll save that selection.0811

Eye Whites...OK, so now we have just the whites of the eyes, and you can see we have a little redness in there--we don't have too much other retouch but just a little redness, so what we're going to do--close up the History panel, I'll zoom out just once more, there we go--Command or Control+H to hide them.0831

To get the Layers panel back up, we're going to do an adjustment layer, non-destructive, for curves--oh excuse me, yes we'll start with curves.0853

Notice, there is the layer mask--Option or Alt click the mask--you can see there's the whites of the eyes, and we're going to pull up the curves and just open it up a little bit.0865

Now you don't want to make the eyes too white, or it looks phony--you notice the insides are whiter than the outside so we'll just open it up just a little bit, load the selection...Lasso key, Option or Alt and take out the brighter ones, and make another curves layer for the outsides, and open them up just a little bit...0876

Right there, so we've gone from (let's zoom it up) we've gone from there...dull, to there, not overly white, big key.0901

You can see the difference back here--there it was, you can hardly see the eyes, now they pop, big key; don't make them too white, if you do it's going to look really phony.0915

OK, one thing left, let's bring up our alpha channels--there's the eye whites, there's the complete eyes, OK?0925

Now if you don't want to work with the calculations just subtract the other one but we're just going to take the eyes minus the eye whites.0936

We're going to go to Image, Calculations, source one will be complete eyes, source two's eye whites, we're going to do the difference, and you can see right there, that's the colored area of the eyes.0942

Now we can load those, go back and we've got the colored areas, just like that, so the first thing we're going to do is we're going to do curves to open them up a little bit, there we go...snap them just a hair...0959

And then, we're going to do the same thing; Command or Control click the layer mask thumbnail, load the color, and we're going to go with color balance, and I know her eyes are green so we'll pump in just a little bit of green and a hair of cyan, and now we'll back it out...0976

And we went from there, to there with the eyes, so we've taken her eyes from here, to here very simply by selecting and using color balance and curves on the whites and the color.0999

Now one other thing I could do with the whites, I just forgot about that, I'll load them up.1014

Let's go to hue saturation--let's take the red out, we'll just de-saturate, and that will definitely do the difference--watch this on the eye...the red, and now we've cleaned the eyes out.1019

Now we've got the eyes just the way we want them, looking pretty good--she's got good lips, and let's see how the teeth are...teeth are looking pretty good on her, OK.1033

So there we've got eyes, we're not going to work on the hair with this girl, there's not too much problems with her hair.1044

Body contouring--a little nip and tuck, I think I did this before in the Liquify but we're going to go ahead and do this one here and a different one in another image.1053

First we're just going to take the Marquee tool and isolate her chest area...make it a little bit larger, there we go.1064

Go to Filter, make sure I'm on the right layer, duplicate the layer...duplicate the layer first, then make the selection, Filter, Liquify, and this is one of the nip and tuck methodologies...1074

It's thinking...come can do this...there we go.1092

OK, so now we're going to take the Push tool, and we're going to make the brush size go down a little bit, and we're just going to body contour right here...take that in...just a little bit right in there, and pull down just a tiny bit over here.1104

And we're going to take the Bloat tool with a large one, and we're just going to pop her boobs up just a little bit just to add some direction--go back to the Push tool...and push it out just a little bit, click OK...and look down in the image--I'll do Command+Z.1129

Went from there to there, made a big difference.1153

Looks a little frumpy right there, just flat, and there we've got just a nice enhancement--just cleaned up the edges, nice bright eyes.1158

We went from (let's get the original layer) we went from the opener, and retouched a lot of skin...predominantly we got eyes, some of the skin, blemishes and...1166

I lost the body contouring but you saw what we did there, so there you have a lesson in basic skin retouch, and I say just basic because (where are we, come on Debbie)...1190

This was getting the skin to look fine--one of the other things, let me show you real quickly again, we didn't finish off the skin, Patch tool.1207

We can take the Patch tool on the neck lines and fix those very easily...bring them down, this Patch tool works and right across here we got some big areas...1217

Just drop them...and it cleans them up that quick...and there we go.1235

So we used the Spot Healing Brush and Patch tools on the skin, we also used the Rubber Stamp tool to, depends on how you want the eyes, if you want them to look like they've been absolutely no age factor you can do it with the Patch tool, or over here you can paint with a low percentage with your Clone tool, and leave some of the continuity to the original image.1249

So we can go from there...pop the eyes, and so on.1277

In the next lesson we'll take this a little bit further, and show you some advanced skin retouching on people with Photoshop CS6.1284

See you in the next lesson.1293