Facial Retouching Techniques
I'm pulling up Adobe Bridge, Creative Cloud. And what I've done is what you can do in light room is I've gone through all of the image and I have selected a few different ones. That would be good for us to work on from the different types of lighting and also the ones for that we're gonna extract. And so I've labeled those green. If you are ah, PC user, that's control eight on Apple User, that is command eight. So if I say command or control for ah, for a copy or paste or anything like that, you know, they're the same thing. So from now on, others say commander control and that means command or control. All right, let's start with a basic retouch on Oscar. There we go. OK, so this is our classic Muslim, Um, And again, please do account for the fact that what I'm looking at, what they're looking at, what you're looking at, everything is gonna be different depending on the monitor your viewing on. So take into account the technique and some of the things that we're gonna do are fairly mi...
nute and depending on the resolution of how you're viewing this. You may not necessarily be able to see the exact result perfectly, but if you take the technique into account and add it to your own personal practice and editing, you will be able to see it on your own computer in a full resolution. So that's where we get in a little tricky in the editing stuff, but we're gonna go ahead and give it a world. So the first thing I'm gonna do this is Adobe Bridge. This is my baby. If they ever discontinue bridge, I'm probably gonna quit photography or are just quit photo shop or quit editing and just hire somebody else to do it. Because I absolutely love this program. It's very powerful. There's a lot of things. Light room has a whole list of things that it does. That bridge doesn't. I understand. I just don't need any of, um, and the main difference for me between bridge and lightning is that light room uses a cataloguing feature, which means you have to import things in tow light room and to use them inside of light room. They have to be part of that light room catalog, and so bridges more of Ah, viewer, where you can navigate to a specific folder that's already on your computer. You can organize your images in your own way, however, with the cataloguing feature. If every time you upload a image, you can import it with tags that say, you know, corporate headshots. And so if a client asks you for samples of corporate headshots, you type in corporate headshots in the light room and it'll pull up every corporate headshot that you've ever put in a light room, regardless of where it is on your computer. So it has some advantages and has some disadvantages. I find it to be a little slower for me. I kind of like organizing myself. But that's totally up to you to decide. I have no animosity either way. I'm not gonna get into an argument about which is better. This is what I use. Use what you like, and I'm not gonna try and get you to change your mind. So what I'm gonna do first, just open this first image in camera raw, and this is gonna be familiar to a lot of you. And for those of you that a light room users, you will you have literally every single control that I'm about to use. It's going to be in a slightly different place, but it's all there. Okay, so there's nothing I'm gonna do here that you cannot do in light room. So let's take a look first at our hissed a gram, which is this beautiful little beauty up here in the top, right of the image. You're history, Graham is basically, If you're not familiar with using them, this is going to tell you the tones in your image. It can either just do light and dark. Or it could do red, blue, green, etcetera, which you see here now what's really cool about a history Graham on? I think somebody pointed this out to me years ago, and it kind of blew my mind is that you can actually teach the hissed a gram Teoh to show you when you have clipping and when you have blocking. So blocking up would be when all your when you're dark tones start to mashed together and then you lose detail in the shadows. Clipping would be when when you have highlights that are out of control and so thes little triangles, right up here. If you turn these on, they show you where there is clipping and where there is. And in this image there's no clipping. And there's But I'll just put something there just so you can see and so to adjust my exposure. All of these controls exposure, contrast highlights shadows, whites, blacks All these things right here you can control these individually. These are all separate functions of controlling the curves. Let me show you what this what I mean by that. So here's your curve right here, OK? And this is a history ram behind it in your curve that comes across like this, you can you can go in here and bring up the shadows if you want to. Or you could bring down the whites if you want to. Whatever you want to do. This image. But all of these air just separately, laid out functions of using curves and so whatever you're most comfortable with This fine, I use a little bit of both. So if you put it on instead of parametric, you selected curves and put it on point. Then you can control the curves and your hissed a gram by just moving the line around. And, as you see if I bring that right side in, which is my highlights, whatever turns red, that's where I start to lose. That's called clipping. That's the highlights. Losing detail. So that's with this little trying along. You'll see that so you could turn it on. And that way you know that you have all the range of tones in your image without actually losing anything. So in order to get the right amount of contrast, I like to bring the edge in until I just start to see tiny little specks, a red like band. That's the edge. That means I have brightest tone possible what we're going for maximum density, which means that you have true black and true white somewhere in the image. And just this is a way to make sure. So now you're gonna see when I start to bring this over, you see the blue blocking up. That means those air, my shadows losing detail the more I bring those darks in there. So those were pretty close to the edge of Probably bring in just a little bit until I see a little hint to that blue right down there in the bottom, right? And there you go. And I'm pretty happy with that. And then if you want to bring your mid tones out for a little more detail, just drag this sucker out here. And so what I've done when you bring the two ends of the curve in like this or when you're looking at it like this, you've added your ad In contrast to the image that is the very same thing is taking the contrast slider and moving it to the right. You're right. Okay. All right. And so, um, I'm looking at least to me it looks a little warm, and so I'm going to adjust it. I'm just eyeballing it. I shot on flash white balance and always find that with my camera that when you shoot on flash, it's close. But it's a little on the warm side, so I'm gonna bring that down a little bit, too. Probably, and you also find what's really cool is when you, uh, make an image a little cooler that oftentimes it will get rid of some of the little red speck cling of clipping so you can actually get some of the highlights back just by changing the white balance sometimes, which is pretty cool. And I'm just going to make sure that we're not overly red here. And I think that that white balance looks pretty darn good to me. Now. This is what I would do. I would edit one image in the sequence, and then I would select every other image I took from that same session. And then I would apply that same edit to all of the images from that sequence. And now I have done the raw edit on every image in one shot, so I only have to do it once. That's why even if you're shooting at the wrong white balance, shoot every image in that same sequence at the same wrong white balance, so you only have to correct it once. If you're changing back and forth the using auto, you're gonna have 12 images with 12 different white balances on him, and you spend a lot of time fixing white balance, which is, you know, not awesome. Eso It looks like my hissed. A grant is solid. Everything's looking pretty good. I don't really have any issues there. I have sort of a natural vignette. Because, remember, we were using a really small light for this. We're using that 20 by 20 soft box on a speed light. This is our one speed light studio, and so you can see that there is a natural fall off of the light as you go down into the suit. And as long as the details are there, I'm actually I really like that because I want the face to clearly be the brightest thing in the image. Okay, so I'm gonna zoom in here and just make sure it's nice and sharp here. We got some of those speculate highlights we talked about. Remember, this is actually the reflection of the light itself in the oil on the surface of the skin. So we're going to deal with that once we open that up in photo shop. Now, I will say this. Somebody might ask this question. How much retouching do I do to images before I show them to the client? I do the raw processing only. And then I show the raw, processed images to the client, and they only get finished retouching when they actually order the image, and I found that my sales when I'm talking about professional headshots, my sales haven't been affected by that in the least. The only thing that's been affected is I have a whole lot more time than I used to going in and retouching 25 pictures instead. I don't retouch any of them. I just do the raw correction and it hasn't affected my cells at all. If you're doing the best you can to get the lighting and everything right in the camera, with some exceptions, you know, if the clients has really bad, obvious zit or something, I'll probably just go in there and just grab those out real quick. You know, just make that your judgment call, but I don't spend a ton of time. I try to get it right in the camera as much as I possibly can. All right? And so we're going to see a photo shop is gonna open for us here, opening it straight into photo shop. Bam. There we go. How about that? So then I will zoom in, and now I begin toe work now because I don't work in, um, a ton of layers. I use a tool that's very often not paid attention to called the history Brush the history. Bush is one of my favorite things and I'll show you how to use that. So the first thing will typically do is I got good light in the eyes is I'll attack thes speculator highlights. So there are a couple of ways to do this. These are gonna be on this is going to take a lot longer for me to explain it then to me, to actually just do it. But I want to make sure that everybody understands what I'm doing. Okay, cause it's really easy for me to breeze through this. It's like if somebody would ask you to explain how to ride a bike, you have a hard time doing it. But you could share show him how to ride a bike. So the first thing I do I have a couple techniques to get, really speculate highlights. I'll show you the 1st 1 I grab the clone stamp tool right here, which you can also press the s key on your keyboard. Let me a word about keyboard shortcuts. If you save half of a 2nd 100 times a day by using a keyboard shortcut. How much more efficient are you working? Take the time and learn your keyboard shortcuts in Photoshopped, even just to select your tools. You want to select the Pointer Tool V. Now it's like my point. It'll instead of dragging my mouse all the way across and clicking on that, I want the marquee tool hit em. Really not that difficult. What? The brush tool You have B and it saves you half of a 2nd 100 times a day, which over the course of a week, gets you like about you know, two good happy hours in there where you could be drinking margaritas and hanging out if you drink margaritas. I'm more of a beer guy myself. All right, so I'm gonna grab that colon skin stamp tool or hit s now, some of these tools almost every tool in photo shop in the toolbar has multiple tools associated with that letter. It will select whatever tool was last selected in that in that branch. So, for example, if I come up here and I go to the lasso tool, there are three different versions of the lasso tool. If you last use the polygonal lasso tool and I'm on another tool. I go back to select it. What's the key for that? L obviously for last. So I hit L. It's going to select the polygonal lasso tool, which may not be the one that I want. So make sure that you've actually got the one that you want. You can also set up hot strokes and all kinds of stuff just to make it so that, you know, I have friends that have certain programs where they get this one little one handed keyboard, and it does all their actions and everything just like that. I don't really need all that, but it's possible anything to make it more efficient. So back to the clone stamp tool. Now, what you want to do is you can every tool pretty much that has a brush like this round thing here has a blend mode, right. By selecting from up here, I used the darkened blend mode and what the difference is if you use the clone stamp tool, normally you're gonna grab a piece of his face or like an eyeball, and then you're gonna bring that eyeball, and you gonna put it over here. So basically it literally just grabs what you just selected. And then you can put it somewhere else. Now, if you'd grab with the dark and tool, it's going toe Onley grab, it's gonna grab this area, and then it's on Lee going to affect the areas that are brighter than the area I just selected. So it's gonna be totally different. So let me show you what I mean. I'm on darkened. My opacity of the brush is always pretty much gonna be around 30% for this maneuver. And make sure you select a nice soft brush, so you want those edges to be soft. I used the edges of the brush rather than the center of the brush, because everything I do is gonna be in little minute maneuver. So watch this. So if I've got the speculum highlights on dark and I select an area that is darker than the area, I'm trying to darken. I grab it and then I'm gonna go ahead and just do a little brushing. You know me and away you go. Those speculates do be careful, cause it will grab other things. And if you're not paying attention. You could end up with an eyeball or a hairline somewhere that you didn't actually want one. All right. Which is, you know, not great. Okay, so let's take a look at what we just did. Okay. Pretty simple stuff already. Cool with that. All right, then I'll go down here under the you will find that when you're using directional lighting in almost every situation, your speculum highlights will be on the same side as your main. Like, um, here's the other thing we don't want to remove. Speculate highlights. This is the thing. The mistake that so many photographers make when they're retouching, headshots or portrait's in general, they take away the speculum highlights completely. But what does speculate Highlights, actually. Do they give shape to objects? They show roundness. They show depth. Photography is a two dimensional medium that we're trying to make appear three dimensional. And how can you make it appear three dimensional? If you remove all of the highlights that give definition and shape to something, it's one of the main reasons why you ever seen anybody. They, like, just soften it and blanket out to the point where it's just mad. It looks like a Barbie doll. That's what we don't want. I like pours. I like definition in the face on. I want those speculum highlights, but I want them to be managed. I don't want someone to look sweaty, but I want their face to look like it has shaped cool. So let's do this down here under the I will move a little faster. Now. I must do the same kind of thing. Just grab those similar areas and here's the big one. The bridge of the nose. This one's hard to do, because if you were removed this completely, the nose ends up looking really, really weird. That's see how accidentally got nostril in there too much nostril. So I would recommend being really, really careful when trying to move the speculum highlights from the nose. I'll just do a little bit, just so that doesn't look super hot, and then I'll leave it in there because that's what's giving the knows that definition. So let's take a little while. We did so far zooming in Boop boop boop! That looks like we'll go back to the beginning using the history. Okay, so now I've got a face that is quite a bit less shiny. They're really cool with that. The next big hurdle you're going to run into is going to be bags under the eyes. This isn't gonna be a big indicate. I've been using a lot of up lighting and reflectors underneath just to circumvent this, but I'll show you exactly how I do the big mistake people make. When they do. This is they remove the darkness under the eyes, but they also removed the roundness. Anybody got any idea what shape your eyeball is? Just call it out, spherical. That's good. And so it's round, right? So if we completely flattened underneath the eye, it's gonna look ridiculous. So what we need to do is find a way to remove the wrinkles and the darkness without removing the roundness under the eye. So let me show you how I do that. All right, so I'm gonna grab over here the patch tool. You can select it with the Jakey, but typically by default. Photo shop will have that selected for the spot healing brush. So you want to make sure that you select that petrol mine's pretty much always on the patch tool So it's right over here. That's what it looks like. You can select it with Jakey. I think this is pretty much out of the box standards set up for Photoshopped. This I haven't moved anything around or done anything to what I think this is pretty much as you open it for the first time. This is what it's gonna look like. So will you do with the patch. Tool is it's actually really cool tool for a lot of things. The patch tool transfers texture. OK, so if I were to take something like this spot on his forehead and I want to move it over to a similar area, it's gonna take the texture from this area and replace that other area with it. So it's really cool for removing blemishes as long as you transfer those blemishes. Two areas of similar texture and in focus. If I were to grab a spot right here and I would bring it over to this, that would end up looking weird. You see and transferred the texture, but not the color, so it only will really transfer the texture and tone. So this is a super weight, and then There are a lot of different ways to do kind of retouching. I know frequency separation is a really big thing right now. If you want, you can Google that. I don't really quite even understand it. I have an action that does it, but I don't know what it does, but it basically frequency separation takes the highlights and shadows and the texture and puts him on two different layers. And then you go in there and retouch individually. That's a really great way to do some really great retouching if you wanted to take, like, a 1,000,000 years, so just this is the way I do it, All right? I actually, I think few Google frequency separation there plenty of great videos, and I've seen some people that are really handy at it, but I don't do that. So let's just pretend I didn't mention it. All right, so this is what the past tool does. It's gonna transfer that it's really good for quick removing little blemishes as long as you transfer to the area of similar texture. But you do want to be careful, because if you do it the wrong way, you could end up looking sort of. If you do it too close, you get this sort of clone tracking kind of bad marks on it, where it's just going to the same texture all the way down.