Frequency Seperation on a Portrait in Photoshop
I will walk you quickly through my entire war close we'll show you how my layers air set up to be honest when I this is for demonstrations obviously I would touch this image for the demonstration purposes and I tried to keep everything neat and clean, but when I do it on my own it can get messy so but I always try to follow these steps the first thing that I dio actually before I get into it I want to show you she's just a girl I knew from the start that this was just a new image for her for her family for her boyfriend probably it wasn't going to be printed in the big um become this it was probably just going to end up on facebook and that's fine a lot of clients want just that so this is what I gave her and this is what I had when the image before it got to retouching so well hold on, I'll show you so this is what I gave her this is what I had to start with. As you can see I didn't do any liquefying there like I said, if I don't absolutely have to I tried not to and the first step wa...
s like I said, clean up in the frequencies separation I'll get in here and turn off the frequencies separation so the cleanup was just removing you know that hair let's take solid a little bit too distracting and then just a little bit of hair back wade hair on the chain there like that just that I didn't even bother working on this because she would not us why would I even bother trying tio change the nature and then there was some back leads hair here on the arm and here too but I didn't wantto deal with that with just coincidental or healing brush because they're a little bit bigger than the small one small tool would the results would probably be a little bit tio clumsy so I left it for the frequencies frequents a separation step but the frequencies separation stop um I'm gonna walk you through my layers again but then I will open the same image and show you how I set up the layers ok just to kind of show you what I was going for and how I did it so within the frequency separation folder I have the high frequency layer texture that contains texture and I have low frequency layer that contains all colors and tones between them I have a whole bunch of layers one was specifically for the armed because I realized that I brighten the shadow a little bit and the other one was for the face in that arm as well so within this folder if we get in here we'll zoom in a little bit closer into the face the very first layer and it's just the name to layer this is where I did most of the work and remove those shadows they're not very flattering just because it's more side lighting so I worked on those first and then just a little bit off under eye this can be actually emerged so mainly that and I use both the self healing brush or just a brush depending on how much good caller I have two simple from because with the healing bar sometimes it's it's difficult to actually simple the correct collar and applied within the little you know area like what we have here so I can just simply use a healing brush on the very low flow and simple from the good color and apply it over the um shadow or highlight and the idea here is to imagine where artists one must be able to imagine what it would look like if that shadow was they're so what I did was you know, this highlight and then shadow in highlight again they are see how we've got this highlight we've got that highlight and then shadow and then highlight again if I even out the values off those areas it will look like it wasn't even there which is exactly what happened and then um the same in all other areas so it's just even in out the values and colors as well as values and kind of making it look like there was no bump or there was no skin fold or anything like that teo make that go away visually and with the frequency separation that will explain that approach a very important part of understanding how frequent separation works is that the entire in digital photography the entire idea is to separate image into frequencies and there can be as many frequencies as you want, but we typically due to high frequency which is texture and low frequency, which is the tones and colors and it's very very important to understand how much texture you want to take to up to that level or two that layer where the texture is sitting because once you've taken too much texture along with other larger area, larger problems on the texture than you can on ly affect those large tones and colors that are left underneath so you don't have much to do you are not able to fix a lot underneath that if you've taken just a little bit of texture onto that layer then you know if it's not enough, then whatever you do underneath that texture layer then you might as well just not even go there you could just do it without going into the hole frequent separation technique and by choosing the correct already use off the high pass filter and blurring the bottom layer that's how you they're equal numbers so by choosing that ready issue actually tell photo shop okay I want this much texture to be taken to that top layer high frequency layer and then this much blurring will be left underneath and I will work in between so I will preserve that texture but I will be able to even out the problems that are underneath there and every image is so unique and you know the distance between the camera and the subject the how good the texture is to start with the makeup and everything everything is so different that that brady is should be always different not all not only on the face even if you were working on the other parts of the image it's always different in the main idea if you want to use this technique the main ideas to understand what picks already is to choose for high pass and for blurring and I will show you again a couple of different approaches but the best thing that you can do for yourself is take one image and try to fix one same problem with a few different radius is just apply to large so like ten then select five ten select three and then try and see how it works once you understand that how what you actually create when you choose different radius is for your frequency separation layers then you will understand and the more you do it the easier it will become it's it's that's the whole idea that's the main thing about the frequency separation and again keep it subtle keep it very like the smaller the changes that you do the better even though these faults that I've fixed here even though they seem large on her face but if we zoom out her phase alone is only like twenty percent off the canvas so that's not too much you know and like I said it's not going to be printed on the huge congress so I can't afford going in and, you know, fixing a little bit larger areas with frequency separation ok, so and after that was done after I've worked on the wares between the high frequency in the low frequency I also noticed that um the area that I fixed here right here it was a little bit too soft see right here so what I did was I just selected a little bit of this softer texture and while standing on the high frequency I just went come in jay to take that part on two different layer and then just adjusted their capacity so that texture is now sitting on top of it I just that message is so I can see it but it's not overpowering and you know I don't have tio grafted from other areas because it's already there so it's just as simple as that same story on this side this part I go back, I selected command j it's there and then I take it back to the point that it's kind of there but not too much and then the opposite also may happen like here on her nose I just thought that it's a little bit too much texture for it it doesn't need to be there it's just it's not flattering on her so what I did was I actually selected the texture that I thought was a little bit to permanent did the same thing to get on the different layer on lee then I inverted it which blurted out and then adjusted the capacity again to the point that it's just not as strong anymore okay and again adjusting the capacity will be like the one of the main steps and once you've done all of those things with the frequent separation applied here and there I remind myself all the time and it's very very important make sure tio flip through toggle the visibility because this is when you will actually see if you've done something wrong if you don't do that you will not even notice until after until after the fact and you may end up with something that the face will not look not where you started ok so that is just such a simple thing but I forget sometimes and I regret it so I just want to bring it up that you really need tio tall go through the visibility off the layers for any change that you're applying on the new image, so I'm going, tio delete. Um, no, I'm actually going to save this same file in class, and I won't live full of this layers, and I will show you how to set up the frequency separation. I don't want to spend much time, because, again, on that girl, you will find a hole. Be article that I wrote on have stoppers about how it's set up, and there are different ways to set it up. I will just show you how I do it and how I decide what bixel radius to to select. Ok, so it starts with just duplicating a couple off layer, same layers, and I take them into a folder. Call it frequency separation. The top will be our high frequency, which is the texture. I will just have to decide how much text where one thumb that layer, and there will always be different.
Every photograph is unique and there’s no one retouching rule that will work for all photographs you encounter.
In Basic Portrait Retouching, Julia Kuzmenko McKim will discuss how to develop a solid retouching workflow that will have you quickly and efficiently achieving the kind of results that keep clients happy. You’ll learn how to retouch skin while preserving its texture, fix makeup and hair, and finalize your portraits without spending countless hours doing it.
Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2014.2.2