Advanced Clean Up Techniques
So I still have a couple of different issues that are happening on my face here that I need to fix up. And I'm gonna show you two ways that we can do this because we have blotchiness and blotchy areas on the face. We have some really hot lights that are happening on the forehead, the nose and the cheek and those are areas that I wanna fix. I can use a couple different things to do that. What I'm gonna do is I'm gonna make a pixel based clone stamp of everything that's happening here because I'm gonna, the first thing I'm gonna show you is a color range. And using the color range, color range is a tool that likes to select a pixel based area. It doesn't like to select adjustment layers, it likes the pixel based area. So I'm gonna make a cloned stamp of everything that we've done all thus far above this just to make a selection for these highlight areas and then all I'll need it for is that. So I'll press control, shift, alt and E, command, shift, option, E on a Mac. I'm gonna go to sele...
ct, I'm gonna go to color range, and I'm gonna turn off my preview here. And what I wanna do is I wanna select a color that is very similar to that on my nose. And if we now click on our preview as grayscale, we can get a selection for that that area that might be a hotspot. I'm making a very specific selection for those hotspots that are happening on my ears and also happening on my forehead and my cheek. If I turn this gray scale off so we see the preview right here, this whole area right here plus this whole area right here. I might have bump up that fuzziness a little bit to make a bigger selection for it, press okay. So now that's just making that selection. I don't wanna duplicate that selection, what I want is I have very specifically wanna curves adjustment layer for those areas. So what I'm gonna do, is I'm gonna add a new curves adjustment layer and I can delete this right here. I just needed that, all I needed that stamp for was to make a selection because the color range loves a pixel layer. It doesn't really like all of the stuff that happens with adjustment layers. So this curves adjustment layer right now is only set for, 'cause it's black out here, that's stuff's not gonna be affected only the white areas are gonna be affected by anything I do with this. So if I click on this curve, I zoom into some of those areas on the face, what do I need to do to them? Well they're bright, so let me darken them down a little bit. You see that? It's kinda like taking a luminosity mask to this area. So little bit harsh, this is so you can see what's happening there. Taking anything down that would be in that range of that hue saturation or of that color range. There's still a couple areas here that might be a little hot and that's okay. We have a couple options we can do with that. But what I'm gonna do is just for the sake of this, just pull this up a little bit more, right about there. There's the before, there's the after. If I needed more to be selected in there 'cause there's still some hot areas there. I could just use my brush and paint with white on those areas that are still a little hot. Oh that didn't work out (audience laughing) quite as well as I wanted it to. Let me see, what's going on with that. Oh yeah, you know why? 'cause that area, those areas of highlight are actual blown out areas of data, they are so white that if I tried to paint a curve adjustment layer on there, it doesn't recognize it so there's other ways that I'd have to fix those. I can't just do that with this same curve. But when I do it, it does get a little bit muddy there. So this is one of those things where you'd wanna just look at your blend modes and maybe use a blend mode that will help fix that. Maybe just change this to color. Color does help fix that because it's adding the color from that curve to that area. Luminance probably won't look great. Luminosity won't look great. If we can't fix it that way, we can just come down here and drop the opacity a little bit to allow some of that pixel data that's underneath to shine through. It takes the edge off of it, doesn't make it quite as potent but its not always the the best way, that's a quick way to do it. The other way to do it is using something called frequency separation. And frequency separation is what we're going do with frequency separation, we're gonna separate the, we're gonna blur the skin, we're gonna separate that from the details of the skin and it allows us to work on the details of the skin and the blurred area of the skin on their own individual layers. It's a really powerful tool. What I'll show you how to do it but I'll also tell you that I already created an action for you for this. So all you have to do is press play on this action. The beauty of the action that I've created for you is that no matter where you are on your layers palette, it will allow you to use this frequency separation action which is a little different than some of the frequency separation actions you might find out there. Again, has to do that action was built and how it's working off of stamps and not working off of duplicate copies of things. Okay so let's go ahead and delete this and I'll show you a better way. Actually let's not delete it. Let's just call this LM Hotspots so I know that's a luminosity mask hotspot. I'm gonna turn that off just so you can see how this is gonna be fixed with luminosity masking. With luminosity masking, we need to separate, we need basically make two copies of this and separate those layers out so I'm gonna use a stamp for this 'cause I have all this work that's going on down here. I can't just come down to this background layer here with this layer one and duplicate it here and then start doing luminosity masking 'cause I've already done so much other work to the face. So I'm gonna start with the top and do stamps from the top. Because we need pixel layers for this. So I'm gonna do is press control, shift, alt or command, shift, option E on a Mac. And I'm gonna duplicate that, so I made a stamp for it now I'm gonna duplicate it by pressing command or control J. This one we're gonna call it blur skin. And this one we're gonna call detail skin. I'm gonna turn the visible eye off of this layer. And with this blur skin selected, I'm gonna go up to filter, I'm gonna go to blur and I'm gonna go to gaussian blur. And I'm gonna blur this until I get to a point where all those splotchy areas on my face start to kind of disappear and meld together. So I'll go to something like so usually between six and 10 pixels, it depends on the size of your image. These are pretty high image. I run A7R3 so I might have to go a little bit higher than I would if I was using a 24 megapixel. This is a 42 megapixel image so I'll press okay. That looks a good right there. And now I'm gonna turn this detail skin layer on. And its not gonna, you're not gonna see any difference. So what you do with this detail skin layer is I need to subtract the blur layer from it. And this is where we do something advanced called apply image. That's why I said I've made an action for you 'cause it makes your life a little bit easier. So we're gonna select this detail skin layer. We're gonna go to image, and we're gonna go to apply image. So what this is basically asking us here, it's asking us a series of questions, the source of this apply image is gonna be this entire raw file that we're working with. The layer that we, that we want to subtract, we need to select from here. And then we need to select the appropriate blend mode for that. This is where blend modes, where we talk about blend modes, we're gonna do add, subtract, divide, exclude, multiply. There's math that's happening here and you can literally, subtract the information from one layer from another layer. And that's what we're doing with this. So what I wanna do is I wanna select the blur skin, notice that when I select this layer all the layers that we've worked on so far in here. This is our original background that we saved and put in a group. This is the one that we've been building off of. This is all of our teeth whitening, our cloning, our left eye, our right eye, our curves for those left and right eyes, our catch lights and the blur skin. We need to subtract the blur skin from this layer. It's already kind of pre-setup here. If you come in here at first, it's gonna be set to one and zero and that's not what we want. We almost want this to look like what's called a high pass sharpen. A high pass sharpen will give you a gray image with the details pointed out and that's exactly what we're going for here. We want this to be the details of the skin. So we'll change this to two, change the offset to 128. Why 128? Well we need everything else instead of it being black, if that was set to zero, as an offset, it's gonna make all the offset from that subtraction black. If we change the offset to 255, it's gonna make it white. Well we need that offset to be 128 'cause we're gonna use a blend mode the luminosity, we're gonna use the linear light blend mode to drop out those grays, give us those details. So change this to 128. Already selected is subtract, so we'll just go with that and press okay. I just want this to be details and what are we seeing here beyond details? We're seeing color. So what I'm gonna do is I wanna press control or command, shift and U, that is the hotkey for desaturate. Gets rid of all my colors. Now I'm gonna change this to the linear light blend mode. And you're gonna see no difference. That's what you should see. You should, what you should see is what looks like everything else that we just did before. All we've done is we've separated the blur of the skin plus the detail of the skin and they're on their own individual layers. It's really cool, separating the color data from the luminance data and with that color data, we blurred it with the luminance data we've got the detail. So what I'm gonna do with this also is well we've already got the clones down here for the face. Those are already wiped out but let's just go ahead and put these into a group. Let's press the shift key and click on here. Press command or control G. We'll double click this. And call this frequency separation. Alright so, with the blurred skin and with the detail, you're gonna use two different types of tools for this. With the blurred skin, we wanna use a selection tool and gaussian blur things to make it blend. With the detail, we're gonna wanna take clone stamps from other areas within the face and clone out the details that are coming through. So we can actually start shaving my face a little bit here. That's why I didn't shave purposely for this, I wanted to show you how we can shave the face with this, okay. So, let's start by blurring the skin. If we look up here at this hotspot on the face. I'm gonna take my selection tool. Before I make my selection though, you see up here where it says feather, I want whatever I do here to have a nice feathered edge, so I might change it to something like 10 pixels. And I wanna make the selection for this area, this blotchy area right here. And notice how I'm not making a perfect like circular selection, I'm trying to make it natural and kind of blend in with the rest of the area around it. So now if we go to filter, and I go to blur and I go to gaussian blur, and I bring that blur up, notice how it starts to blend it in with all the pixels around it. So using gaussian blur to blend in and fix in any of those blotchy areas. And I don't wanna take it too far 'cause then it doesn't look right. We wanna go just far enough that it gets rid of that blotchy or too highlighted area. But doesn't go too far that it looks something like that or too little that we just get the exact same result. So move that up a little bit to about I think a is about good, press enter. If I press command or control D, you'll see that I have to turn this whole frequency separation layer off to show you that they're now blended together. I'm gonna zoom out. That looks a little bit better. Zoom in under this cheek. Grab this here, nice little selection for that. I have to go back up to my filter, blur, gaussian blur. I can blur that, press okay, control D. Do that for this part of the nose maybe too. What you can do is we talked about custom hot keys. If you do a lot of portrait retouching, you can make a custom hot key for the gaussian blur. So instead of having to go up to filter, blur, gaussian blur, you can just hit your alt, whatever you're gonna make it. And let's find another blotch area like right here. It just evens out the skin. Where you see retouching go wrong is too much evening out like that can let's do some bad stuff so we'll just go ahead and click on that, filter, blur, gaussian blur, look at that. We still have that highlight there 'cause we don't want to get rid of it completely while maintain that integrity of that highlight but at the same time just make it not so powerful and right in the face, okay. Now the other one here is the detail in the skin. If I press alt or option and click on this eyeball so you can see it. This is showing me all the detail on my skin. It's a little gritty looking. But see this hair on the side of my face. If I use a clone stamp tool, I select from here, click over here, the hair is now gone. Now if we look at our face, that hair is gone, oh I have the I get all my layers back here, I should turn that one off. So you can see the hair gone. See that hair is now gone, see that? So if I click on this detail on the skin, alt or option, select another area right there. Oop, see how this is at the current and below, we want that to be set to current layer. We want the very current layer that we're work on. This is one of the one instances where I would say only have this as current layer. Most of the time, with the clone stamp, we want current and below. If you click and you're like whoa what the heck is going on there like we just did. I'm gonna go to current layer, not current and below. Alt click here, start shaving off that face area. Get rid of those some of those hairs that are all over the place. Now this is just the detail. Notice how it's not changed in the color at all, it's just the detail that's within the image. Zoom out. This can be used even things like this on the face. If we press alt or option and look at the face, alt click here. (mouse button clicking) see that. Same thing on the nose, we all get blackheads, ain't no shame in it. Here we go (laughs) that's a good time to laugh. Just go like this. (mouse button clicking) We should give that face a little bit more. (mouse button clicking) Okay, zoom out. Looks pretty good. Turn on these other layers on. So you can see how that frequency separation's a pretty good job of getting rid of that highlighted there too 'cause we took the detail away from it but we also took the other colors around it and we blurred it and we blended it. So let's go and take a look at all the work that we've done so far. This is the before, this is the after. Before, after, it's very subtle. But it makes a world of difference when we look at our image. And that will be just the baseline. That's not even going any further and doing any of our you know, radiating glows or our skin glows. If I wanna take this a little bit further and maybe add one of those radiating glows that we've talked about before, I'm just gonna go ahead and make this a little bit faster because we already have this panel open here. Just pop open the panel and I can hit my radiance effect. It's making a smart object that's why it's taking forever. That's why I hate smart objects (laughs) and we'll press continue. Now I might not want that on the entire image so just press command control I on the mask. And then I can paint with white on that mask to bring certain areas back that I might wanna have that oop, not the clone stamp, the brush. You might wanna bring some of that back. It's kind of like a dodge and burn, also adding some contrast at the same time, a little bit of glow and the radiating glow happening there. If it's too much, just drop that opacity. Another thing that we can do here is dodging and burning if you wanna take another step further. And inside here we have another tools, dodge and burn. It's already setting me up with the dodge and burn layer. Basically it's starting me off with the dodge tool so all I have to do is start dodging areas that I wanna sculpt with light to make it a little bit brighter. Press alt or option to maybe make a certain areas darker. Maybe brighten up this cheek. Brighten up the area around this eye 'cause it's a little bit deep, that's a hereditary thing, I have really deep socketed eyes which is kind of a pain in the butt 'cause it always looks like someone punched me in the face. (laughs) Alt of option, click on here. Dodging and burning is one of the things in retouching that we can't glance over because it really starts to shape the light of the face. There's the before, the after. Before, after. And that's what we, if we turn off that radiating glow, (mouse button clicking) Pretty darn good. If we look at our before, I'd be pretty happy with that. (laughs) Alpha alpha right there, my hair's sticking up and then now, looks pretty good. And that's just a natural, clean retouch. I could take it further with other artistic processing, I could remove myself from the background, I could add another background behind it. I could keep piling up and doing all the things that we've done to build up to this point. If I wanted to add, just you know, very quick color grade to this. Let's say I do a cool color grade to this. Drop down that opacity, have a little bit of that blue color grade to this and then pop up with maybe that cinematic look that we talked about. Drop that effect a little bit. And now we have a really fast, kind of timeless looking process. It's got that artsy type of thing. If I was going to process a bunch of pictures of myself, the things that I would definitely wanna keep consistent across all of those if this was gonna be a portfolio driven thing, would be these two things right here. These are my color grades that I've added to this. That I want to remain throughout the whole series of portraits. And that's really the basics behind natural portrait retouching. You know we talked about, we want to stay true to the individual. We don't wanna offend them. We don't wanna remove any character embellishments that are on their face, things that make them beautiful. We don't wanna offend them by taking away things like freckles that or even my deep socketed eyes (laughs) that I can't sometimes can't stand. We talked about whitening teeth, how we can brighten up those teeth and not necessarily brighten those teeth up by adding white but to add more presence of blue into the color yellow to offset the amount of yellow that's coming through and even that out. Talked about cleaning up blemishes with the clone stamp tool and we also talked about how we can clean up those blemishes using things like frequency separation towards the end. We talked about fixing eyes, lightening the eyes, reconstructing the eyes, making catch lights for those eyes and fixing hot spots with either luminosity masks or frequency separation and then taking you to that next level with the color grading level. And that's what that panel is great for. You can pop open that panel and just add a couple of effects. All these things we've already talked about before so it's free game to use it now. If you have any questions on natural portrait retouching.
Yes, real quick, just in theory, I can see somebody thinking to themselves, man that took forever to do the skin, so they'll turn around and take their noise reduction tool and think they can soften up the skin, can you kind of touch on that, I think that might be ...
Yeah, you know, if you, this the thing there are so many ways to do this and even that can be done well if it's done with a light hand, okay? So just because you saw me do frequency separation here to separate those two areas, there's an action here. If you own this course, you just press play on the action so you don't have to worry about going to that but yes, blurring it like straight gaussian blurring skin, or using the noise reduction on the skin, that is something you can do. It's destructive, it's not as clean. I can turn this layer on and off whenever I want to. But if it's done with a very light hand and it's done skillfully, it can still be valid. So I'm not saying that it's, don't do it, I'm just saying there are better practices. You'll see that it's just like, it's just like riding a bike, essentially. When you first start riding a bike, you're gonna be sloppy. You're gonna put your feet all over the place, you're gonna be sloppy. And then as you start to level up in bike riding, you start to say, okay well, there's a reason I don't put my feet down now, I know how to balance and so on and so forth and this would be balancing where as, just straight blurring skin, that ends up being more of like just starting to ride the bike. So if that's what somebody's comfortable with, I mean, they could use it but at the same time, they should understand that there are better practices out there. It's a good thing to touch on though 'cause it does happen. I think, she was first, go ahead.
I had two questions actually, one is with workflow. I notice for this, this instruction, you were going in and out a lot, do you normally do that when you are retouching like to see how it looks overall and then let's zoom in and zoom out because for me when I'm retouching I stop seeing it. You know, I'm working on it so long and then when I look away and look back, it's like oh my goodness what did I do and then faceting. So do you do that a lot
I do I zoom in and I zoom out a lot to see what how, what the small things that I'm affecting are affecting the entire canvas. And I'll also walk away. So what I would do right now, if we walk away and we come back, couple hours later come back to this and like ooh, you know you probably
That happens to me as well.
You could probably do this or you could probably do that and there's only so many times that you can keep doing that to yourself until you beat yourself into a point of (audience laughing) never doing it again but you know, you get it to a point that looks really good for you. Take a step back, get a second set off eyes. I often do this, I tell my wife, say hey, can you come and look at this and she's like oh, I like it but I don't like that. And I'm like oh, I didn't see that, cool. So a second set of eyes does tend to help too. Or just take a step back, walk away. I do zoom in and zoom out quite a bit though. Alright so that warps us up for the natural portrait retouching section. If you wanna follow me, go ahead and follow me at f64.co/cl at f64 academy and then next lesson, we're gonna be talking about portrait workflow. We're gonna go all the way back to bridge, work through camera raw, and then come into Photoshop and see how all this stuff comes together.