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Retouching People: Part 3

  • 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 3

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 0:09
  • Advanced Techniques For Retouching Portraits 0:59
    • Advanced Techniques For Retouching Portraits: Part 1
    • Advanced Techniques For Retouching Portraits: Part 2
  • Retouching Hair 14:02
    • Retouching Hair: Part 1
    • Retouching Hair: Part 2

Transcription: Retouching People: Part 3

Hi everyone, Mike Brown here again, welcome back to another retouching lesson in's Adobe Photoshop CS6 course.0000

This is the fourth of the retouching lessons.0010

In the first one you got all the basic tools and techniques and in the last two we've moved our way into retouching people with basic techniques of retouching with the tools.0013

We've been using all of the Spot Healing Brush and the Patch tool, we've been using of course the Clone tool, and you'll see how much that works the Clone tool at lesser opacity to paint things away, and in this lesson we're going to kind of wrap it up on people.0023

I have two more advanced techniques for retouching portraits that are pretty cool, just adds that little final touch that makes things pop.0040

One method for retouching hair--my personal method, and a little finishing touch just to wind up the image we've been working on most in the last two lessons.0049

Here's Debbie, we've been working on her and just to recap, here's where we started.0059

We've got lips that are a little bit wide at the bottom and a little bit buck teeth--we fixed that, we've taken the jawline which is a little jowly--we've cut that back, we've taken her eyes and we've taken out the wrinkles, we've popped the color in the eyes, fixed the teeth, softened the skin with our additional layer here just to knock it back a little.0065

Now you could knock this back know, you could go all the way to there if you want which is kind of what you see in the fashion magazines--the women who have no pores in their skin.0090

I'm a believer, it's just the way I am in my business of photography I believe in the integrity of the photograph being maintained, and in that case I'm going to pull it back until I just see a little bit of the pores.0103

Still soft, off and on, just enough to knock it back.0119

OK, the problem I see that's left in the face, is that the lighting is very flat--you can actually see the light in the eyes, there's the catch light right there, and the light was above her, almost straight at, just a little high.0125

I want to contour the lower part of the face just to add a little dimension to it, and we're going to do this non-destructively (get back up here).0140

I'm going to add a layer at the top, and I'm going to fill that layer by using the Edit, Fill menu, and I'm going to choose 50% gray at 100%, and right now I'll leave the blend mode at normal.0149

Notice there's the 50% gray.0162

Remember the high pass sharpening method I taught you?0167

You fill a layer with 50% gray, go to the overlay mode, which when you start, doesn't do anything, and at that point, then you add--you go with the filter, other, high pass filter, and that allows you to increase the contrast on edges, and that's what makes things show on the gray.0170

Anything lighter than neutral gray is brighter, darker than neutral gray gets darker and of course that's contrast.0195

In this case, we're going to paint darkness not with a brush and paint, but we're going to do it with the Burn tool to burn the gray down darker and add contour to the face--watch how this works.0203

We're on that layer, we're on the overlay mode, we're going to go--and I'll demonstrate why--I'm going to go to the soft light mode, does the same thing but not as much.0218

OK, here we are, Burn tool...mid-tones, 20% exposure...bring it up to a decent size, and just gently paint--notice the cheek, how it's coming down?0230

There we go, add a little color up here, drop it down a little bit, knock down on the nose slightly and right there, and there we've got it!0247

Off...on, look at the dramatic difference in her facial structure--narrows it out, makes her look a little thinner, adds a little bit of color in the cheeks, just what we want, so now we've got her from here, to here--we've finished the face up, we've got nice contour in there--looks really good.0257

Let me show you that; if I go back to the normal blend mode, zoom it up, see all I did was just darken a little bit with the Burn tool--there's the nose, there's around the edges and there's up on the cheek and a little bit on the chin--we'll go back.0277

Let me show you--there's the soft light, if we went with overlay on this, see, the color gets too much because it snapped the contrast even more, and any of the other ones, it just gets even harsher.0294

So we're going to go, in this case, with soft light, gives a nice contour.0309

Now, to finish this image off, notice she looks great...there's where it is, there's where it is--got a little of the Liquify there, let's take and bring down the blouse--we're going to balance the image, we're just doing photography retouch now.0315

I've already made a channel for the chest part here, but I don't want to get the neck, so what I'm going to do is take this, I'm going to take my brush with black, and painting it maybe 80%, let's go 70%.0331

Increase the size...and we're going to look at RGB and I just want to kind of--right there, is where the darkness in the neck ends, so I'm going to go right there, just like that.0349

I'm going to back that out, I think my brush is too hard.0364

Go to completely soft, take a look at the RGB, I'm going to go right there, come down right there...0368

Go back up, come down just a little bit more down in here, and I think that's got it, there we go, so we're going to go ahead and load that up.0382

Take a look at the Quick Mask, that looks pretty good, so now we're going to make a curves adjustment layer, and just pull that down, just a little bit, there we come.0392

And if I snap the contrast, notice it even puts a little color into there.0403

I'm going to undo that, notice how that's all uniform in exposure now.0409

Now the blouse needs to come down, here's a selection I previously made for it, Command or Control click, another adjustment layer for curves, and just bring it down and snap it just a tiny bit, and that added dimension and shadowing as well.0414

So now we have taken this image from there, notice how flat the blouse is by the way and notice how now we've got a little curve in there when we also contoured her.0431

Her neck, which is kind of flat and pale, now has some nice color up through the neck that looks nice and clean, and we took her face, and we took it from there--pulled in the cheekbones, pulled out this area, fixed the lips, fixed the eyes, fixed all of the age parts, and there we go.0443

She's now down to about, I'd say...35 from 52, 17 years, she should be very happy.0466

OK, so there we've taken her from start to finish, now I want to show you the one trick I showed you was this one; non-destructive shadowing and lighting, so in other words if you screw this up you can just refill it with 50% gray and start all over again.0474

OK, here's another one that I worked--another young lady, and I want to show you this one.0493

Here is the before--I did the same thing, she's younger but I did the same thing--notice the eyes, little bags under the eyes, the eyes themselves, she's got contacts, the color's down, she's missing eyelashes--this is another trick that I did that I'm not going to go into detail on, just kind of explain it.0501

Fixed the blends, the lips are there, and we went from there...from there...eyes are good.0520

Look underneath the eyes, see what I did here?0533

Her eyes over here, she has no lashes.0537

What I did...let's see if I can pull these are the right eye lashes, notice these lashes, and here's a demo.0541

Here's what the paintbrush...let me see if I can quickly do this, probably about, let's go with default and drop it down to about...two pixels, no three pixels, and I'm just going to paint.0551

I'm going to do it left handed...notice I keep trying, there's a nice shape, but you notice the ends, they're just uniform in length but you notice I don't have the settings for this right now, but see how it tapers.0569

You go to your brush controls, and under the shape dynamics, you use the fade control on length and distance--it just fades it away, and instead of having a uniform thickness, which eyelashes don't, you get a fade--let me turn on these other ones over here and I'll show you even better...0583

Turn these off...there, there's a perfect one right there, there's a perfect one right here, so I took them one at a time and just basically pasted them in...and that's how we did the lashes.0607

Now let's get rid of these right upper lashes and all the spares--oops, I already accidentally painted those so let's get them out of there, OK.0626

Open it, there we go, so that's what we did there.0635

And now I want to show you one more trick and we'll do it right on here.0637

Notice how flat this area looks?0642

I'm going to take my Lasso tool--I'll just do one eye, feather at two, and we're going to select the colored area...same way we've done with Debbie, and in this case I want to get my layers up, that's this layer right here, good, we're going to first do a curves to open it up just a little bit...there we go--a little bit more...0645

Then we're going to do the same selection--Command or Control click to load it, we're going to do color balance, add color, pull in some green, a little cyan, there we go.0674

Now we've kind of got it, let me up the exposure just a hair so we can really see what's happening here...a little bit brighter, there we go.0686

Now, most people if you look in the mirror, you'll see that there's kind of a dark ring around the outer part of the colored portion of your eye, just kind of a burned ring around there--let me show you the finished product...see that right there?0695

That's the way an eye usually looks on most people--very few people don't have this, so we're going to--this is the trick to pop the eye, notice how flat that looks?0714

And notice how dynamic that looks, and it actually looks contoured, so we're going to go over here, load the selection--Command or Control click, working on the background copy layer, the pixel layer, Command or Control+H to hide the crawling ants, here's that Burn tool again.0724

Mid-tones, 20%, make the brush a little lower, and we're just going to brush the edges...and add a little tone around the edge, and so what we did here is we started from there...and we ended right there.0745

Let's just go back to...there it is flat, there it is burned in, just with the selection--notice the huge difference that we've done on that edge and it really added a little contouring, so there you have two more advanced techniques for retouching portions.0767

A trick about darkening the surround of the color portion of the eye, and contouring the face with the non-destructive layer in the soft light mode using the Burn tool in both of those cases.0785

So we've now done...the...I'm going to do this in red, you know me...there's your two advanced techniques, why don't I do this at zero, 100%, what have I done wrong?0802

Why isn't it painting?0820

Too small?0822

Too small...oh, I must have changed my--this is interesting, I accidentally checked the shape dynamics, so I can't make my brush work right, shows you what happens.0825

Alright, we did the finishing touches on Debbie, and let me close off our lessons on retouching people with one final little tip and a methodology that I use for retouching hair.0839

We're going to use Triana...we'll zoom her out...which one did I do?0853

OK, you can see the difference here, here's where we started with her hair; it's a little loose in here--we have the flyaways, we can clean those up which I have done--notice how nice we cleaned that up, but notice I filled in the hair over most of the portion of that area.0859

Notice how sparse it looks, doesn't look very good here, so let's go ahead and do that on this side of the picture.0876

Alright, make sure I've got the right--let's get the brush layer out of here, we're on this layer.0884

First of all, we're going to try the Spot Healing Brush to clean up the hair...and let's see what happens.0890

Notice that it isn't working very well...we're getting all sorts of--it's reaching out to try to find something and it's reaching too far so here's a case where spotting is OK sometimes, but in this case we're not getting great results with the Spot Healing tool.0900

Got that standby all the time, we'll use the Clone tool at 100%, Option click, it doesn't matter where as long as we stay in the white area, and we can just very simply paint out, or clone out, all the excess hairs, and get it down to a nice non-flyaway situation.0920

So there we got that, let's just get it clean just a little bit better, I'm just doing this a bit just so you get the idea, and you can go on and on and down and do that, so there you go.0943

So now we got the flyaways done, now we've got the open space, what are we going to do with that?0956

OK, here's how we're going to deal with it; we get rid of my Layers panel.0961

Under the Hand tool is the Rotate View tool which allows you to rotate your image any way you want it, and it's not altering the pixels or degrading the image at all, it's just rotating it, and for me, as you can see I'm left handed so making strokes...0965

By the way, retouching hair this've got to have a graphics tablet, there's no way you're going to be doing this one with a mouse or on the touchpad, but when you're painting (for me left handed) it's easiest to stroke in this direction--trying to go this way is backwards, it's for right handed people.0985

So I'm going to turn it so that the image is in the direction that I want, notice how it works for me.1003

Now I'm going to get my brush, and we're going to take the...first I'm going to take the Color Sampler tool, and I'm going to go over and pick a brown color that's pretty much what this hair is right here and I think it's right about there, so now we have a brown color selected that works with the hair.1010

Now I'll get my brush tool and reduce the size the about three pixels, and we're going to start by using about 50%, and see how that works just painting hair, so I'll just go ahead and paint, there we go, and it works pretty well.1030

You know that it's blending right in with the regular hair--same color, and I'm just painting strands, one at a time, filling in the empty areas as I go along, and now when we get to the outside you notice how they're a little fainter?1048

We'll drop it down to 30% and maybe drop it down to two pixels, and there you get these nice soft hairs coming in there.1063

You can even create (which we got rid of) flyaway hair--there's a strand flyaway, looks real doesn't it?1072

And I'm going to drop that up to three pixels, and run it up to 50% again, and there we're painting in some more of the darker hairs just to fill in the area better in the same direction that the real hair is going.1082

I've been doing this one for years, a lot of people tell me it's not the right way to do it, but look how well it works, it's filling it in right there, and you don't have to make really long ones because they're just little holes and it's blending the colors.1098

Let's go ahead and do just a little bit more so I can get enough in here, but you guys can see how well this works, but again, pen tablet is the way to go here (let's just finish this down in this area).1112

I can do a little bit more, but I think this will get the point across pretty well...OK.1128

Now, the one thing I want to show you (I'm going to zoom up here a little bit) maybe it's not that easy to see but the hairs are pretty sharp that I'm drawing, whereas the real hairs, notice, are a little blurry on the edges down here, so what I do, is I take my Blur tool, at about 20%, and I'll just do a couple of swipes across the area where I paint the hairs to soften it down.1135

And now you notice how beautifully everything matches, let's go back to our Rotate View, zoom out a little bit, and we'll do reset view, and come up...and we're going to go back to the History panel, we're going to go all the way back to there.1163

There's where it was, and there's where the hair got filled in--I could actually darken it down a little bit--we could burn it, let's try that, just for fun.1180

And let me make sure I'm on the right layer, and just...oh yes, look at that!1189

Darken it down, and there you've got filled in hair.1195

We went from there, right in this area, all the way to there, so there's my method for retouching hair--a lot of people don't like it, but it works for me if you're very careful, and now you guys have got pretty much all of the techniques that I know in the last three lesson on retouching people.1199

So I'll see you back in the next lesson.1226