Nobody’s perfect. Hollywood makeup artists earn their livings on this fact—but most of us don’t have a stylist with us every time we shoot a portrait. That’s where software like Portrait Professional can help smooth out the rough edges for the most flattering results.
Recently updated to version 9, this smart software does most of the heavy lifting for you. It’s “trained,” as the developer puts it, to know what human beauty looks like and helps you gently nudge your portraits in the right direction. The new version has improved technology for enhancing skin and a Touch-Up brush for localized refinements.
This software is available in two versions: Portrait Professional and Portrait Professional Studio. The standard edition is a stand-alone application. The Studio version adds full support for many RAW file types, 16-bit color and batch processing, and can be used either as a stand-alone application or as a Photoshop plug-in. List Price: $99 (standard edition); $149 (Studio). Contact: Portrait Professional, www.portraitprofessional.com.
When you first open an image in Portrait Professional, the software leads you through a process of identifying the major facial features—eyes, nose, mouth and more. The software automatically selects these areas and allows you to drag anchor points to refine the selections.
This panel contains all of the controls to enhance your subject. Because it’s a scrolling frame, we aren’t able to show you every control here in a single shot. Each of the controls is described for reference.
Face Sculpt Controls
One of the most innovative features of Portrait Professional is the ability to reshape facial features. Used subtly, you can correct lens distortions or make cosmetic changes for a more flattering portrait.
In addition to global corrections, you can use this brush to selectively remove blemish.
Eye Controls (not shown)
These adjustments let you whiten and brighten eyes, sharpen eye details, darken the pupil and remove reflections, and even change the eye color.
Mouth AND Nose Controls (not shown)
Adjust the saturation, darkness, contrast and hue of your subject’s lips, and adjust the contrast of the nose with these sliders.
If you want to restore detail in selected areas, use the Restore brush.
Skin Lighting Controls (not shown)
These sliders help you correct overall lighting by removing shadows, adding highlights and smoothing uneven lighting.
Hair Controls (not shown)
The hair controls make it easy to add shine and lightness to hair, add subtle color enhancements and even tidy up messy hair or soften its texture.
Picture Controls (not shown)
Use the sliders here to make adjustments to the overall image and to improve exposure, contrast, color temperature, saturation and more.