Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Smoother Skin In Minutes
Enhance your portraiture with these simple skin-softening techniques
|The image at right is my original portrait of the model. You’ll notice that her skin looks softer in the final image. However, look more closely, and you’ll also see that the model’s eyes, eyebrows, lips and hair are sharp. Here’s the technique you can use in Photoshop to create the effect.|
First, duplicate the layer: Layer > Duplicate Layer. With the top layer activated (click on it in the Layers palette), change the Blending Mode to Overlay.
Go to Filter > Other > High Pass. In the High Pass window, note that the higher the resolution of your image, the greater you need to increase the Radius.
Next, press Cmd+I (or Ctrl+I), which inverts what you just did. If your image is too soft, you can reduce the soft effect by decreasing the Opacity of the top layer.
Use the Eraser tool over the eyes, eyebrows, lips and hair to reveal the sharper image be-low. For more control with your Eraser tool, set the Opacity in the Menu bar at the top of the screen to 50%. Doing so allows you to erase at a slower speed. That’s it!
Or, use a plug-in. The aforementioned technique gives you individual control over what’s soft and what’s sharp in your picture, but it does take some time to master. Following are two plug-ins that offer a skin-softening technique with a single click of a mouse (or tap of a stylus). Have fun, as always, using these techniques!
Nik Software Color Efex Pro > Dynamic Skin Softener (www.niksoftware.com)
Topaz Adjust > Portrait Smooth Effect (www.topazlabs.com)
Rick Sammon’s specialty is not specializing. Lately, however, he has been focusing on portraiture. His latest app, Light It!, is all about how to get the best in-camera portrait without spending a small fortune on accessories. Go to www.ricksammon.com.