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Adobe Photoshop CC Bootcamp

Lesson 102 of 118

Introduction to Natural Retouching


Adobe Photoshop CC Bootcamp

Lesson 102 of 118

Introduction to Natural Retouching


Lesson Info

Introduction to Natural Retouching

We're gonna be getting into natural portrait retouching. And this is a topic that I feel pretty strongly about. I don't like to over-retouch anything, so I like to keep things pretty true to what they were, yet fix things that definintely need to be fixed. I know that there's a lot of different thoughts on retouching. These are my personal thoughts on retouching, so take that and kinda run with it. And look around at the way other people retouch as well. I know another CreativeLive teacher here, Pratik Naik, he does phenomenal portrait retouching. Just take a look at his work and see what he does, and take a look at retouching work and see what they do. The thing that we wanna kinda avoid is the overly retouched look. I'll teach you some methods on how we can avoid that. This really is an art form. There's an art form to the retouching, that you can go on a whole... That can be your entire career, is just essentially portrait retouching. Because there's a need for it, it's important, a...

nd doing it well and doing it right, there's definitely a place for that. Couple things you wanna think of, best practices that I consider best practices for portrait retouching. Again, I'm gonna add that caveat. We wanna be true to the model, yet make the end result more visually appealing. So we wanna be true to the individual that we are retouching, but at the same time, make the end result have things cleaned up. Like stray, flyaway hairs, I wanna make sure we clean up pimples that wouldn't necessarily be there. But we wanna avoid removing moles that might be what I call character embellishments. You know, you have certain moles on faces that just are beauty marks that make that individual, that's their character, that's the thing that makes them them. Other things that I'd be cautious of, I've got like a chicken pox scar here on my forehead, that's like a signature to my face. If I get rid of that, then when someone sees me the next time, they're gonna think that I just have this new crater in my head, but that's not necessarily the case. So we have to look at the model as we're shooting them and take these mental notes. Even if you have to take actual paper notes. Okay, that's actually a mole, that's not a zit. I'm not going to remove that because... In turn, you may offend somebody if you remove something that's actually really important to their facial features and their facial structure. Freckles, I'm Irish, a lot of my family is Irish. We have a lot of freckles. And if you remove those freckles, it removes parts of me as a character. So, this would be our before, and this would be our after, right? That looks pretty good. (audience laughter) Before. After. I mean, we're staying pretty true to the individual. No, see, this is not what we wanna do. We wanna go more for something like this, okay? So what we're trying to do here, is we're trying to look at the things that were wrong in the first image, and fix them for the second image. And you can see here what I've done with this photograph of myself... This is a really good thing to do, actually. I was very uncomfortable doing a retouching session on myself, because, it's like a self portrait. But it's not just a self portrait, it's a self portrait where you're pointing out all the things that are wrong with you. So, I challenge you to take your own self portrait, and retouch yourself because it's going to... You're gonna see some things about yourself, that will help you take those mental notes. Like I was telling you about that little crater that I got on my head, that's important. It's a chicken pox scar. But then other things here, like the zit on my forehead. We get zits, even adults do, it's part of life. Looking at things like stray flyaway hairs. This is proof that my hair is not always perfect, okay? I try, but it doesn't always work. Other things that you see that are happening here, the eyes. If you look right here in the center of the eyes, my eyes have this greenish-brownish type of look to them, whereas the regular photo doesn't quite bring that out, but I can bring that out later. Another thing you might not even see here, but what I've done is I've added my own catch lights to my eyes that are completely different from the catch light that I had before. So the catch lights in eyes are really important. We're gonna look at what happens if you look at eyes with no catch lights, it's the creepiest thing in the world, you look like a baby doll or something like that. My teeth, I don't know if this is like a hereditary thing, but my sister and I both, like our canines are yellow. It's like we're, I don't know, literally canine. So those, I know that my teeth have a yellowing on those canine teeth there, so I pay attention to those things and I bring that down a little bit. Other things that are really subtle that you might not notice are really hot spots from the flash or from the lights that I'm using from my light setup. Those hot spots are cleaned up, they aren't gone, they still help shape the face, but they're just not as harsh. They're not as harsh on the lip, they're not as harsh on the nose, they're not as harsh on the cheek. But ultimately when this is done, I haven't retouched this to the point that you can no longer tell who Blake Rudis is. All I've done is cleaned up some things that just don't look that great. It's just like a landscape image. I mean, think about things in a landscape. We talked about cloning things out in a landscape that are there, but we don't wanna ruin the integrity of that landscape, we just wanna cover up things that maybe don't make it as visually appealing. And it's the exact same thing that you're gonna see here when we get into natural retouching. So let's go ahead and hop into Photoshop. We're gonna talk about all kinds of crazy things. Basically everything that I showed you on this, we're gonna go ahead and do on this portrait.

Class Description

Adobe® Photoshop CC® is a valuable tool for photographers, but it can also be intimidating. In this all-inclusive 20 lesson course, you’ll go from opening the program for the first time to creating images that really stand out. Join Blake Rudis, Photoshop expert and founder of f64 Academy, as he shows you how to maximize your use of Photoshop. 

Topics covered will include:

  • Class Introduction & Bridge, Adobe Camera Raw, Setup Interface, Cropping and Layers
  • Layer Tools, Masks, Selections, Clean-Up Tools and Shapes & Text
  • Smart Objects, Transforming, Actions, Filters, and Editing Video
  • Custom Creative Effects, Natural Retouching, Portrait Workflow, Landscape Workflow, and Composite Workflow

Don’t let the many aspects of Photoshop prevent you from maximizing your use of this amazing app. Blake will help you develop the confidence to use your imagination and create the images that you will be proud to share with your clients.


Adobe Photoshop CC 2018


  1. Bootcamp Introduction
  2. The Bridge Interface
  3. Setting up Bridge
  4. Overview of Bridge
  5. Practical Application of Bridge
  6. Introduction to Raw Editing
  7. Setting up ACR Preferences & Interface
  8. Global Tools Part 1
  9. Global Tools Part 2
  10. Local Tools
  11. Introduction to the Photoshop Interface
  12. Toolbars, Menus and Windows
  13. Setup and Interface
  14. Adobe Libraries
  15. Saving Files
  16. Introduction to Cropping
  17. Cropping for Composition in ACR
  18. Cropping for Composition in Photoshop
  19. Cropping for the Subject in Post
  20. Cropping for Print
  21. Perspective Cropping in Photoshop
  22. Introduction to Layers
  23. Vector & Raster Layers Basics
  24. Adjustment Layers in Photoshop
  25. Organizing and Managing Layers
  26. Introduction to Layer Tools and Blend Modes
  27. Screen and Multiply and Overlay
  28. Soft Light Blend Mode
  29. Color and Luminosity Blend Modes
  30. Color Burn and Color Dodge Blend Modes
  31. Introduction to Layer Styles
  32. Practical Application: Layer Tools
  33. Introduction to Masks and Brushes
  34. Brush Basics
  35. Custom Brushes
  36. Brush Mask: Vignettes
  37. Brush Mask: Curves Dodge & Burn
  38. Brush Mask: Hue & Saturation
  39. Mask Groups
  40. Clipping Masks
  41. Masking in Adobe Camera Raw
  42. Practical Applications: Masks
  43. Introduction to Selections
  44. Basic Selection Tools
  45. The Pen Tool
  46. Masks from Selections
  47. Selecting Subjects and Masking
  48. Color Range Mask
  49. Luminosity Masks Basics
  50. Introduction to Cleanup Tools
  51. Adobe Camera Raw
  52. Healing and Spot Healing Brush
  53. The Clone Stamp Tool
  54. The Patch Tool
  55. Content Aware Move Tool
  56. Content Aware Fill
  57. Custom Cleanup Selections
  58. Introduction to Shapes and Text
  59. Text Basics
  60. Shape Basics
  61. Adding Text to Pictures
  62. Custom Water Marks
  63. Introduction to Smart Objects
  64. Smart Object Basics
  65. Smart Objects and Filters
  66. Smart Objects and Image Transformation
  67. Smart Objects and Album Layouts
  68. Smart Objects and Composites
  69. Introduction to Image Transforming
  70. ACR and Lens Correction
  71. Photoshop and Lens Correction
  72. The Warp Tool
  73. Perspective Transformations
  74. Introduction to Actions in Photoshop
  75. Introduction to the Actions Panel Interface
  76. Making Your First Action
  77. Modifying Actions After You Record Them
  78. Adding Stops to Actions
  79. Conditional Actions
  80. Actions that Communicate
  81. Introduction to Filters
  82. ACR as a Filter
  83. Helpful Artistic Filters
  84. Helpful Practical Filters
  85. Sharpening with Filters
  86. Rendering Trees
  87. The Oil Paint and Add Noise Filters
  88. Introduction to Editing Video
  89. Timeline for Video
  90. Cropping Video
  91. Adjustment Layers and Video
  92. Building Lookup Tables
  93. Layers, Masking Video & Working with Type
  94. ACR to Edit Video
  95. Animated Gifs
  96. Introduction to Creative Effects
  97. Black, White, and Monochrome
  98. Matte and Cinematic Effects
  99. Gradient Maps and Solid Color Grades
  100. Gradients
  101. Glow and Haze
  102. Introduction to Natural Retouching
  103. Brightening Teeth
  104. Clean Up with the Clone Stamp Tool
  105. Cleaning and Brightening Eyes
  106. Advanced Clean Up Techniques
  107. Introduction to Portrait Workflow & Bridge Organization
  108. ACR for Portraits Pre-Edits
  109. Portrait Workflow Techniques
  110. Introduction to Landscape Workflow & Bridge Organization
  111. Landscape Workflow Techniques
  112. Introduction to Compositing & Bridge
  113. Composite Workflow Techniques
  114. Landscape Composite Projects
  115. Bonus: Rothko and Workspace
  116. Bonus: Adding Textures to Photos
  117. Bonus: The Mask (Extras)
  118. Bonus: The Color Range Mask in ACR


a Creativelive Student

Amazing course, but don't be fooled into thinking this is a beginner's course for photographers. The problem isn't Blake's explanations; they're top. The problem is the vast scope of this course and the order in which the topics are presented. Take layers for example. When I was first learning Photoshop (back when we learned from books), I found I learned little or nothing from, for example, books that covered layers before they covered how to improve/process photographs. These books taught me how to organize, move, and link layers before they showed me what a layer was actually for. Those books tended to teach me everything there is to know about layers (types of layers, how to organize them, how to move them, how to move them two at a time, how to move them two at a time even if there are other layers between the two you're interested in, useful troubleshooting tips, etc. ) all before I even know (from a photographer's point of view) what it is the things actually do. The examples of organizing, linking, and moving mean everything for graphic designers from Day One, but for photographers not so much. Blake does the same thing as those books. Topics he covers extremely early demand a lot of theoretical imagination for a photographer who doesn't already know quite a bit about what he is talking about. Learning about abstract things first and concrete things later only makes PS that much harder to understand. If you AREN'T a beginner, however, this course is amazing. I thought it would be like an Army Bootcamp, taking you from zero and building you into a fit, competent Photoshop grunt. Now I think it's more like Army Bootcamp for high school varsity jocks. It isn't going to take you from the beginning, but the amount you'll get out of it is nonetheless more than your brain can imagine. I've been using PS for years to improve my photographs, and even to create the odd artistic composite or two. The amount I've learned in the first week is amazing, and every day I learn something -- more like many things -- which I immediately implement to improve my productivity and/or widen the horizons of what I can achieve. If you ARE a photographer who's a Photoshop beginner, I'd take very seriously the advice Blake gives in the introduction: Watch one lesson, and practice the skills and principles you learn in that one lesson for two weeks. THEN watch the next lesson. You can't do that of course without buying the course, so it's up to you to decide whether you'd like to learn Photoshop and master Photoshop all from the same course. Learning it first and mastering it later will cost more money, but I think you'll understand everything better and have a much more enjoyable ride in the process. As for me? I'm going to have to find the money to buy this course. There is simply way too much content in each lesson for me to try to take on all at once, but on the other hand I don't want to miss anything at all that he has to share.

Robert Andrews

Blake Rudis is the absolute best in teaching photoshop. His knowledge and how he presents the instruction is clear and concise - there is NO ONE BETTER. Yes, his classes require some basic skills, and maybe I'd organize the order of (or group) the classes in a different order, but, let me be clear - if anyone is to be successful or famous in the Photoshop world, it should be Blake Rudis. I strongly recommend his teaching. I started photography and post processing in 2018, and because of this class, I'm know what Im doing. The energy you get when you create something beautiful is profound, it makes you bounce out of bed (at 4AM) like a 5 year old, to go create. It's a great ride! Thanks Blake, & Thanks Creative live.

Esther Gambrell

WOW!!! I've been purchasing CL classes for several years now and have watched HOURS of "How-To Photoshop" classes, but this is the first one I've actually purchased because of the AWESOME BONUS content!!! SERIOUSLY??!!?!? A PLUG-IN??? But not only that, Blake is SO easy to understand, and he breaks down concepts in different ways to connect with different people's learning styles. I REALLY appreciated this approach because I am a LEFT-BRAINED creative that has an engineering background, so I really connected to what Blake was saying. THANK YOU FOR THAT! There are TONS of Photoshop courses out there, but I found this one to be the most helpful in they way Blake teaches concepts so that you know WHY you're doing what your doing. I feel like he taught me how to fish with Photoshop to feed me for a lifetime instead of just giving me a fish to feed me for one day. This is the BEST overall PS course out there!!! Thank you!!!!