Simply Realistic Retouching


To remove shine from skin, I use the Brush tool set to approximately the same size as the subject’s eye, at 0% hardness and with the opacity and flow both set from 20% to 25%. This makes the Brush very subtle, which is exactly how I eliminate distracting shine and even out tonal inconsistencies. For a shine-induced highlight on the forehead or bridge of the nose, I set up the Brush tool and then Alt-click on a nearby area of ideal skin tone. This will set that color as the foreground color to be painted on the skin. Then I simply click and drag to paint over the bright spot. With the Brush’s mode set to Darken, only the bright, shiny spot is removed and darker details remain. Sometimes, though, I leave the mode set to Normal in order to even out and blend the overall skin tone, minimizing blotchiness. I’ll often set the Brush tool to Color mode and use it to eliminate red noses or discolorations. A little bit of the Brush tool goes a long way, though, so don’t overdo it, or the subject will appear almost lifeless. A little shine is okay; it’s a lot of shine that we want to eliminate.

Photo Filter Adjustment Layer



Lastly, there’s a color adjustment that makes almost everybody’s skin look better: adding warmth with a Photo Filter Adjustment Layer. The default filter that appears when you click on the Photo Filter in the Adjustment Layers palette is the Warming Filter (85). An opacity between 5% and 20% is the sweet spot for making skin look nice and warm—an artificial healthy glow.

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