RT-Glossy Magazine #1
NOTE: I suppose that you have Adobe Photoshop (better CS version) and you have spent some time to learn basic shortcuts and tools. All tutorials was done on CS version under Microsoft Windows XP. All tools and filters parameters are set up for a good quality images (minimum 300 dpi). Don’t work with JPG images!
Note: This tutorial is continuation of previous: Skin Retouch. Patch tool. Please read it before to continue.
Every one have saw glossy magazine photos. And yes, we love them. We like beautiful skin of models from fashion advertisement. We can talk about unnatural look, about true values of photography… etc. but we steel open glossy magazine and it steel attract us.
On the other hand we can see that many fine art photographers also retouch skin of their models and they also try to use different techniques to beautify the look of artwork. And there is nothing strange here, it always depends on your needs. You may need expressive and sharp photo where you leave every wrinkle on model face (because every wrinkle is a history), but also you may need a clean portrait of beautiful woman where wrinkles and other artifacts will only divert your spectator.
So, how do they do such retouch? There is no simple answer on this question and there is no Photoshop plugin which will do all job with one button press. But there are many techniques which could be found in internet (80% will be shit). Every retouch master has his own technique, his personal set of plugin’s and actions and what is more important, he has experience. I skip subject about really professional cameras they use (and this is important), about visage masters who is working with them and etc… back to reality ))
I will show you one possible solution which I personally use for some of my photos. But remember, this also is just a part of whole way.
As usual Before/After of this tutorial:
First of all lets take a close look on skin structure from different parts of model face.
Our goal will be to KILL real skin structure BUT not with simple blur. We will try to create a new well-ordered structure.
As usual - Start with layer via copy [CTRL-J].
Patch tool only tool we will use in this tutorial. (you already know how to use it and how to fade out the result). Our photo is already clean after two previous tutorials! (this is important)!
In short the whole tutorial can be formulated as:
Using Patch tool, replace skin part with near clean part and fade out the result.
The trick is based on mixing of source and target skin. Imagine you take 50% of source skin and mix it with 50% of target. The result will be skin with MORE SMALL patterns because you add patterns from target to source, but you add them with opacity 50% so, you DECREASE their contrast. You reach both goals:
- make skin patterns smaller (this will create feeling of well-ordered skin)
- make patterns contrast smaller (skin will look much more healthy)
Now step by step. Below is the result of usage of Patch Tool with 100% opacity (we have not fade out the Patch Tool effect).
And now same tool but fade out the result [CTRL-SHIFT-F] to 50%.
Now a step back. Many tutorials you will find discuss gaussian blur as possible solution for skin retouch. This is very very old style which has many side effects and which produce a really bad result with soap skin. We will discuss gaussian blur in next articles, but as additional (final) make-up ONLY.
I have create image which shows you the difference between two methods.
Back to Patch Tool method. There steel some questions. One of them is: how to work on skin edges? (where skin joins hairs). The answer is different opacity of Patch tool. As close you are to hairs as more you fade out you Patch tool result. I have create image which shows you opacities for Patch tool.
Ok. Below is my result of model forehead.
Tip: Use Patch tool on same area not more than 2-3 times or you will loose skin patterns completely.
Tip: You do not always need to take source skin piece far away from target. Try to move Patch Tool selection 30-50 pixels from target and drop it.
Tip: You can reuse already retouched skin pieces as source for new areas but with smaller fade out (with big opacity 60+%)
Tip: If you see a small area inside already fixed skin which needs more retouch just copy near skin with Patch Tool without any fade outs.