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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 0:06
  • Basic Techniques for Retouching Skin 1:22
    • Image Overview
    • Retouching Spots on the Skin
    • Retouching Wrinkle Around the Eyes
    • Retouching the Smile Line
    • Retouching the Neck
  • Basic Techniques for Retouching Eyes 25:04
    • Basic Techniques for Retouching Eyes

Transcription: Retouching People, Part 1

Hi, everybody--Mike Brown back with you once again, with another lesson in Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 from!0000

We're talking about retouching, one of the more important and one of my four basic categories (remember: selection, correction, retouch, and manipulation).0007

Retouching is fixing all of those blemishes, replacing areas, making things clean, and looking just perfect.0017

But, the key in retouching, as with everything we're doing here in Photoshop Elements, is flawless blending in every case.0024

Now, we dealt with that with selections, and blending corrections through a selected area; here, we're dealing with small areas, and especially, we're dealing with people.0033

We're dealing with skin, faces, eyes, lips, close-ups where any mistake you make, that doesn't blend perfectly, will stare out glaringly, and everybody will say, "Oh, I don't know what she really looked like; that was Photoshopped!"0044

So, in the next three lessons--this one and the following two--we're going to talk about retouching what is the most popular photographic subject there is: people.0059

Let's get started!0070

In Retouching People: Part 1, I'm going to show you the basic techniques for retouching skin, and how to retouch eyes, teeth, and lips.0071

Let's get started right away, here.0082

Here is the lady you saw in the last example, Debbie; we're going to use her in this and the next couple of lessons.0085

Now, Debbie is a good-looking woman; she is in great shape, but she is over 40--no question about it--and we would like to see about retouching her image.0092

One of the key features, when you are retouching someone who is middle-aged or even older, is: you don't want to take 25 years off, because it will look totally phony.0104

Even if you do flawless job, the result...anyone who knows this person knows--maybe she is 50, and she looks 25--that that is totally phony.0117

So, even though you did a perfect job, it's still a giveaway.0127

The idea here is to make the retouching enough to improve the image and make the person younger, but to maintain the integrity of the original photograph.0130

Let's get started and take a look at what needs to be done.0144

We'll look at this image; and the skin on her chest is a little bit age-mottled; you have kind of texturization; we have some flaws in the skin--moles or various and sundry discolorations.0148

We have some lines under the neck that need to be dealt with; a little sagging, right in the area right underneath the chin here; we have a little change in her face, with age; we have a little sunken area around the chin, and it's out a little bit in the jaw line.0163

Let's look closer: again, we have some lines in the face; we have a lot of lines around the eyes; we have the little puckers in the forehead; and again, lines around here; the eyes need to be whitened up; the lips seem to have spread just a little bit, down at the bottom--maybe she had a little Botox, and it flattened in there, but the shape is kind of funny; we would like to alter that a little bit; she has a slight overhang on the tooth.0186

All of these details we can attack in very short order.0217

In this lesson, what we're going to be dealing with here, primarily, are eyes, teeth, lips, and the basic skin retouch.0221

Let's start off, right away, by duplicating our background layer, as we always do; you can do it from the dropdown Layer menu; you can do it from the Layer menu itself, or, as always, the shortcut: Command on a Mac/Control on a PC, plus the letter J.0229

And, we have a duplicated layer.0246

Now, one of the things that I want to mention here: these are just little, subtle tricks: in the landscapes that I used for examples for exposure and color, all the way up to this point, we always start off by sharpening the image.0249

One of the things that you must be very careful of: unless your photograph is out of focus, basically, you don't want to sharpen it with a person.0264

In this case, you see, the focus is good; you see that it's not 100% crisp; it's good, but not perfectly sharp.0275

If we sharpen the image, what is going to happen: the pores will become prominent.0285

I'll show you that, just very quickly; we'll duplicate the layer, set the blend mode for the High Pass Filter at Overlay, go to Filter, Other, High Pass; and again, we're just looking for edges.0291

You can see already that you can see (let me zoom this enough that you can see it) the pores in the skin, which means that they are going to be accentuated.0306

Look at that--if I turn it off, you see that they are softened; if I turn it on, although the eyes here are getting crisper, all of the pores and the little hairs in the skin are becoming really prominent.0315

We really don't want that; we want to soften it, not sharpen it.0329

There is the reason that, if the image is fairly crisp, you don't want to do, unless it's absolutely necessary, any sharpening on a portrait.0333

We're going to take that layer and trash it by grabbing it and dragging it up to the Trash Can, and it's gone, and we're back to our original image.0341

Let's examine; we have all of these lines under the skin (we'll deal with that in a moment); let's start off with the spots.0349

This is the first thing you want to do: spot an image, and how do you spot it?--we're going to use the Spot Healing brush.0358

We'll move the right bracket, up the brush size; let's just check that brush--we're going to pick a soft brush.0366

We'll knock it down in size; I just like using soft brushes, unless you need a hard brush.0375

All right, remember how we do this: we just paint over the area, and it goes away.0381

Just spot away; and especially on the skin here, it's very easy to do--just kind of click and drag on the spots, and all of those blemishes will go away.0386

As you begin to remove the larger blemishes, the smaller ones will start to become more prominent.0397

A lot of times, especially with middle-aged people who have a lot of character, if you will, in their skin, as you spot it, it takes a while to do the spotting; but it's just patience, and it's almost kind of Zen-like; just sit here and spot things out--just doing the little details.0406

We'll take a few of them out in here, and that will help to smooth that skin down some.0426

Let's see...1, 2, 3, 4,, I'm starting to see the little ones; as you have no big ones to look at, the little ones start popping out, and you see them.0434

I think that is going to be pretty much good enough.0445

You get the point; you see how easy it is; since the area of the skin is all similar, as long as you don't get really close to an edge, it is pretty easy to spot out blemishes.0448

We'll take a little blemish off here, and we'll start working up in the face, and take a couple here.0462

She has pretty clean skin...pretty good for a lady who is 52.0470

Now, here is a good one; you see the little furrows in the brow?--very simple--just use your Spot Healing brush, and go up, and it will just go away.0474

Be careful that you don't get any smudgy areas that show after you get done doing that.0485

See, that didn't really change the character of anything; there is before and there is after; it looks pretty good; a couple of spots around...0492

We're not going to deal, yet, with the lines under the eyes; we're just spotting.0500

That is all we're doing--to improve the skin in areas (let's see...this little scar on the chin might be a good one to go).0506

I think, in general, that is good enough; you get the idea of what it's like to spot an image.0514

Let's go back out now and take a look.0521

We'll go before and after; as you zoom up, you begin to see, especially around the neck--all of these little (let's drop that down; that is after; that is before) spots that give away age have gone away.0524

OK, there is one more right over there; that looks pretty good.0540

Let's take a look at the face one time, before and after--pretty clean.0545

OK, now that shows you how the Spot Healing brush will work on this; now, the next thing we need to deal with is underneath the eyes.0551

We're going to start right away with doing this.0562

Now, the way to do this: you're going to use the Clone tool--the Rubber Stamp tool--and we're not going to use it at 100% opacity.0564

As you lower the opacity to, say, 50%, if you take two or three passes, that is going to get it all there; it's only painting 50% of where you make your source.0576

20%--it's only doing 20%; so, what I do is bring the brush size down; I want to make sure that my brush is a soft brush (I'll select one, and you can see that it's soft by the diagram).0590

Bring it down just a little bit; now, what we don't want to do here is: I don't want to remove every trace of the lines--it would almost look like she had a face lift, and you can see that she is still not 20.0605

We want to just bring them back down, and make it more subtle, which will effectively make her get younger.0622

What we're going to do: we're going to Option/Alt, click a source, and the source--you see the area under the eye right here: we're going to source it from the cheek.0629

Not too close--right about here to go for this line; Option/Alt, click, and then you're just going to paint (it's actually too much--I had it at 100%--that was the problem--I need to make the percentage 20%).0641

Now, what you can do, since we're in the tool: you can either use the slider or highlight and punch in 20%, or just your number keys.0655

If I hit the number 2, watch the percentage of opacity; it changed to 20%.0666

If I hit 6, it's 60%; if I want 25, I do it quickly: 2,5, and there it is; but in this case, we're going to go with 20%.0670

Option/Alt, click, and begin to paint gentle strokes, and notice how it's gradually painting over the blemishes in the eye--the lines.0680

We'll make that a little bit smaller, take another source, take a little corner; we don't want to take them all away, just knock them back.0693

Around the edges, here, we'll do this nice edging, and if you go back, and we look at before and after, see how much difference there is already.0703

We can take just a little of this line--Option/Alt, and one more hit right in there.0713

That looks pretty good; she still has a little evidence--look at the eye--but maybe, right in this area here, we'll take a little more down: Option/Alt, click, and lighten that.0719

It still has a little evidence, and in the shiny corner here--see where the indentation is--Option/Alt, click; just a little bit, and a little bit to take the shininess down.0729

Now, we can also deal with that over there, and we'll deal with that in a minute.0741

Let's work our way up, around the outside of the eye, and we're going to source (take a smaller brush), Option/Alt, click; right along this shadow line, it goes right on up in there, so we get similar tonality.0745

Click, and then gradually paint on the lines and bring them down.0758

That is a little bit too light, so we'll take a darker area and paint that back in.0767

Let's come back over; we're going to take the skin up here that is clear, and work our way down the eyelid.0772

One more hit from some fairly darker skin, right in the area right at the edge of the eye, and one more time (no, I didn't like that--it was too dark on the skin--Option/Alt, paint just a tiny bit); there!0780

You see (I want to go up this edge; it's a little on the light side; darken that down just a little bit; take 2 out), there we go.0803

Now, if we turn it off, and we turn it on...right there is a little dark; Option/Alt, click, paint that just a tiny bit; there we go!0813

We turn it off (let's zoom that up so you can see it); this is original (let's go down just one time); and there is what we have done.0824

We still have some evidence of the lines in the eye; I don't like this lightness right here, so I'm going to drop to 10% and take a dark area up here and just darken that down just a little bit.0835

OK, there we go--see how much better that looks?0850

It's still a little bright underneath there; I'll tell you what I'm going to do--I'm going to take the Lasso tool, at a feather of maybe 4 so it's a little soft, and I'm going to circle...I want it to be right in that area where it should be a little darker.0853

We'll take a look at our Selection brush to see what that looks like; that is pretty good.0876

Now, we use an adjustment layer for Levels, and just darken down a little bit, right on that eye.0881

There we go: that looks pretty good.0892

We'll undo it and redo it; so, there you have this eye over here.0895

Now, let's undo it; there is where we were, and there is where we are.0900

I'm going to leave the comparison from eye to eye, so now, as we back out, if you look on this side, she looks much younger than she did when she started.0906

All right, now what I want to do right in this area (let's get the Move tool...why do I have a layer? Oh, I'm on that layer; OK--take the Move tool, because I can use it as a pointer): right underneath here, where the eye has been a little sunken, we would like to lighten it up, just a little bit, and take maybe some of those lines down.0918

What we're going to do: again, S is the shortcut for the Clone tool; we have our clone tool; let's make the brush larger; we'll source it in this light area--a nice, smooth light area; and we are at 10% opacity--let's go to 15.0944

Let's source, and just--with a large brush--let's just hit that edge a little bit; there we go!0966

One more time, right on that corner...there we are.0975

Now, we'll take it away, and we'll put it back; look at the difference between the eye on the right, over here, and the eye we just retouched on the other side: lots younger and a lot of improvement.0979

Let's go ahead and do the other eye--why not?--so that we can balance them out.0997

We're in the brush; we're at 15%; Option/Alt; just gently paint down (we're going to make it 20%--that's the 2), and just quickly work around the eye, and we're going to come up from the bottom here and work on those lines.1001

Again, we're going to do the same thing with 15% on the eye--oops, way too much; 15%; lighten that just slightly--and there you have it!1022

So, we move it out--and see how good that looks?--off, and on; the key was in using a lower opacity level when you are cloning.1039

Effectively, you are only cloning fifteen to twenty percent of the area you source; you are reproducing it, but not all of it, so it slowly builds up.1050

One of the things you have to be careful of is that granular feel; notice, it's not bad here, because we didn't do too much; there is a little bit of noise, right in this area right here from the actual camera, and it's a little bit less down there, but that's only up close.1060

It looks pretty good; she looks much better.1080

Now, we'll do that same technique: notice, right here, the deep-cut line around the smile line; that is an age line, too.1083

Again, we'll take our Clone tool, and we're going to take that Clone tool at 20% (number 2); we have a soft brush (let's get that down; come up one time); and we're going to source right (let's get the brush a little smaller) along the cheek shadow line, and we'll give one run, right up across here.1091

Option, click to source; come down here, and pass on it once; maybe one more hit right there (a little bit right in there).1114

Cut that back; and we'll take the before, looking at that smile line, and after; we knocked it back just enough that it dropped it down.1125

Do a little right up here on the top; there we go; same thing on this side, come down to the smile line at 20%, just a couple of passes--you don't want to overdo it.1134

Let's more, right in this corner right here; that looks pretty good, and so we're going to take it and undo it: that is the original, and that is where we are.1147

So now, we have done a considerably nice job; I think we should put a little noise right under the eye there, so let's take the Lasso tool (letter L); we're going to hit the Return, and make it 6 pixels; hit return to get it again, and we're going to make a selection just around the area where we worked painting at an opacity.1157

We'll take the Filter, Noise, Add Noise, and we'll only add 1--just a tiny bit.1179

Command+H; I'm going to zoom this up and do Command+Z, Command+Y, Command+Z, Command+Y; I'll come up one more time--maybe you can see it.1187

Command+Z, Command+Y; just a little noise is in there, to get the texture right.1196

That looks pretty good.1203

All right, we have done that part of the face; now, let's do right in this jaw line--the same thing again; we'll just use that S for the Clone tool, 20%, soft brush.1204

Close up the Options bar there, increase it, and this time, we're going to go from this chin area and just take a little of this line out.1223

Option/Alt, click, and just run it up (oops, we must have a selection; that's right; Option/Alt) one time; twice; look at that--a nice improvement.1231

Do the same thing right here, and run it up along that chin line just a little bit.1242

We'll take a look at it: that is where it was; that is where it is; we softened that down--nice job on the skin so far!1248

All right, now, let's do underneath the neck very quickly.1255

This have to be careful with these; you don't want to make it show.1260

We're going to take this line out; so, we're doing the 20% again; we have 20%, soft brush; take that down, and you want to source right in the middle where the tonality is the same, and just paint one hit at a time, down that line.1264

It looks pretty good: move up to this one, take that down; let's move over to this side over here--Option/Alt, click and paint this left side down some.1284

There we go; now, this little sag right here--the tonality over here is nice; we'll just run that right up to the chin and take that out, almost completely, so that we don't notice the fleshy area.1297

This little shadow over here--I'm going to drop it to 10%; I hit the number 1; notice, 10%.1311

Make that brush just a little bit larger, and we'll source from down here and just try to knock down that shadow, right underneath the chin, just a little bit.1319

There we go; come down again and take that line out.1330

Not bad; now, we'll move down to this line.1336

We're only going to take half of this out, because I want to show you another way: notice, we're doing this all with the Clone tool at an opacity.1342

You ask, "What would happen if we used the Spot Healing brush?"1349

Now, that is going to do things at exactly 100%.1355

All right, I think I'm going to stop right there; that is a great improvement over where we started--let's take a look at what we have done.1361

Look underneath the chin...we'll look at the whole thing right now; we'll turn it back to the original; you see all...1369

Let's look just under the chin to start with.1376

Look at this area of the face and the chin; look at how much improved that is.1380

Now, I didn't do this line here, but look at the other lines; they are all softened down.1385

This one--I will try it with the Spot Healing brush and show you why it may not be the best, because you really don't want to take it all away.1390

Let's zoom that up so you can see it.1403

It kind of smeared it a little bit, darkly; I would rather use the Clone Stamp at 20% and just knock it back a little bit.1409

OK, so there we have that; that is how you do the skin.1420

We have done a reasonable job; I didn't get this one spot down there--we'll deal with that the next time.1425

Oh, let's do it; as long as we're here, we want to do it right.1430

Option/Alt, at 20%, and just paint that line slowly away; this one as well; again, we are not making her 20 years old--we're just taking maybe ten years off--helping it out somewhat, but leaving the evidence of what was really there.1434

All right, let's take a close look at this now.1456

There is the face; we started there: look at the eyes and the cheek lines--we took those down; and down here below, on the neck, we improved that.1459

So, all in all, she has a lot of improvement.1474

Now, there is Skin Techniques Basic: Painting with the Clone tool, or the Rubber Stamp tool, at a low opacity of maybe 20% with a soft brush, and very gradually removing blemishes.1478

That is a really good technique to know.1498

Practice will make perfection on that.1502

Now, let's do eyes, teeth, and lips.1504

I think we'll just...all right, let's go back and do this: eyes are really quick--a couple of keys.1509

We're going to take our Lasso tool (L); we're going to take a feather of maybe...either 2 or 3--in this case we'll do 2; hit that again; and we're going to make a selection of her eye.1516

By the way, you notice in doing all that retouch: again, I'm using the Wacom tablet--essential so that you can...and you notice, I'm just painting strokes; it's very hard to do that with a touchpad or a mouse.1531

We have a selection for one eye; Shift to add; and we'll make a selection of the other eye.1545

OK, let's check that out with our Selection brush; make a mask and show you; there are the eyes.1556

We're in good shape; we'll just do Select, Save Selection, call them Eyes, and save it, just in case.1566

Now, the first thing we're going to do is Command/Control+H; we're going to brighten the eyes, very simply; we're going to go to (here is where the adjustment layers really work) Levels, and we're just going to open up the eyes a little bit.1572

Now, you don't want to really way brighten the eyes, like that, because it looks phony.1586

You just want to make them brighter--watch.1593

Off, on; and that helped it a lot.1595

Now, the other thing we're going to do in the eyes--first, we brightened them up; both of them look much better; we're going to go to Command/Control, click the layer mask to reload the selection, take the Lasso tool (letter L), and we're going to remove the iris of the eye: Option/Alt, and we're just going to go around and select that, and it will go away because of the Option.1599

Go to the other side; Option/Alt; remove the selection for that iris, so we only have the whites of the eyes.1624

Now we're going to make them clearer; they're a little bit yellow and a little bit red, so let's just zoom up on this one, Command/Control+H; another adjustment layer, this time for hue saturation, and we'll just take the saturation down--not all the way to 0, but significantly.1631

I want you to see: there are the eyes: if I turn the Hue Saturation off, see--it's kind of yellow; now it's down, and it looks pretty white.1651

We might be able to whiten them up just a little more.1660

Let's go back to the Levels layer, and just a little bit more whitening in the eye--not much; just a little; there we go!1663

All right, so now we have taken her eyes from there (zoom them up to start) to there; it looks much better.1674

Now, she needs a little color in the eyes, so let's take our Lasso tool with a feather of 2 pixels; Return, and let's (oops, I got the wrong one; I want the Freehand with 2 pixels)...we're just going to circle the iris area of the eye.1686

A little overrun; Option/Alt, take that little edge out right there.1707

Shift to add, and we'll do the other eye; and now, what we're going to do is, we're going to color the eye.1711

We don't have a lot of color in it, so how are we going to do that?1720

It's very simple: this is going to work right on the layer, so go to the Enhance menu, to Color, to Color Variations.1723

We'll add--her eyes should be a little green, so what we're going to do is increase the green; we'll move down the amount on mid-tones; and we have a little green--I can see it in there right now.1731

Let's try 1, and see how that is; Command/Control+H, Command+Z, Command+Y; we can do it once again; Enhance, Color, Variations; we'll increase the green one more time, and there you have the eyes.1746

Let's turn off that; you see the green in the eyes.1763

Now, Debbie happens to have the rim around the iris; that is another one I'll teach you using another subject; so there, basically, we have her eye.1768

So now, if you take a look at the face; we're going to go from the original to what we have now--watch everything: the eyes are brighter, the lines are gone, the skin looks much better, and that pretty much gets the generalities of a basic retouch.1779

It's a great improvement already: turn it off--there is the original; turn it on--she already looks a lot younger.1801

All right, what I'm going to do, rather than take extra time: we have dealt with eyes and teeth; we haven't dealt with lips; we're going to come back and pick that up in the next one.1808

So, we have the basic techniques of retouching skin--just a quick recap on Debbie: we started right here, and we used our Spot Healing brush to take all of the skin blemishes down to start with.1819

Then, we used the Clone tool to gradually, at a low opacity of 20%, work away the lines in the face until we got a nice-looking face.1836

She still doesn't look 20, but she looks far better (let's turn these off for a moment): there is the facial change, and even underneath the neck, we still left a few of the lines to keep the integrity of the original photo.1851

There is before; and after, she looks significantly younger, but it's still the same person, and people say, "Wow, you look great today!"1866

Then, we popped the eyes with color and white, and cleaned out the color from the whites.1874

There you have basic techniques for retouching skin with the Spot Healing brush and the Clone tool and a reduced opacity, and how to retouch the eyes.1881

We didn't do teeth yet, either; I'll just go ahead and deal with that one, as well, in the next lesson, and pick it back up.1891

I'll see you in Retouching People: Part 2!1899