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Add Details to The Face

Lesson 10 from: Advanced Portrait Retouching

Lisa Carney

Add Details to The Face

Lesson 10 from: Advanced Portrait Retouching

Lisa Carney

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Lesson Info

10. Add Details to The Face

Lesson Info

Add Details to The Face

All right, we're gonna continue now with more detailed little elements. And what I've done here is I'm cropping out certain areas just to discuss what we're gonna talk about for details. And I want to stress that, for your workflow, you guys can do this in any order that you choose, at any point that you choose. I'm just showing you my way. So, as we started before the file construction is fairly consistent. We've got retouching. We've got the original, we've got retouching and then we've got frequency separation. So on this one, what I'm gonna discuss is the teeth. Now, I really want to talk about the color on the teeth but I thought I should take a moment to discuss the retouching on the teeth. And what I've done here, and please don't let the amount of layers scare you, basically it's the ubiquitous frequency separation. We've got that blur and then a paint layer because I always make an extra copy of the blur just in case. And then on the teeth, do you see the lightness value, the ...

contrast? I thought that the tooth looked a little dark, that's before, so what I simply did is, I made a copy of the tooth and I lightened it just a hair, and I painted it in. Now I did this, I made a copy of the tooth and lightened it rather than painting light over the tooth. Why? It's what I felt like doing. And this is a really good moment to talk about there is no one method to get where you're going. Some people maybe like to do dodge and burn. I do not dodge and burn, but I know people that deege and burn. Some folks like to do dodge and burn and they fill a layer with overlay detail. Pardon me. What that means is they fill a layer with overlay, put it on overlay so it disappears and then use the dodge and burn tool to either lighten or darken. Excuse me, I have to switch to the dodge tool. The dodge and burn tool, I know that I get a lot of comments online about this, about using the dodge and burn tool. It is effectively painting with light or dark on a layer. So I would just rather paint with light or dark rather than use a dodge burn tool. But photographers like to use it so I'm just gonna say goodbye to that and not use it. I'm just gonna say this is the way. There is no difference, it's how your brain works. Do you wanna lighten something using a curve and then paint it in? Cool. Do you wanna just use the curve and paint it in? Cool. It doesn't matter, it just matters that you know how to do this. And I did this is frequency separation because it's a little more forgiving because the texture is on top. Right? The texture is on top and so I don't have to be as precise which means I can be faster. Yes, you got it. That's exactly why I do it. Now there are a couple of questions that I saw online that I think are absolutely valid in addressing. Some of you folks have been working on this and you're like, "Oh I'm trying to do a filter gallery "but it's blurred out." and it's because they're working in 16 bit. I do not ever work in 16 bit. In my industry the resolution, the quality, any extra data in that file, you're not gonna see it anyway. And the file size will become unmanageable in my life. I mean unequivocally unmanageable. So, I can pretty much say I never work in 16 bit. I will have photographers give me files in 16 bit and I said, "Hey where's this going?" Like, "Oh, it's gonna go in a magazine." I said, "Fantastic, that's gonna be an 8 bit job." You might wanna use 16 bit, in my experience, if you're having trouble with banding in the gradient. And that is literally the only reason I have for using it. Other folks, you may have your reasons. I cannot stress to you that file management size is critical in my business. I mean absolutely critical. This will make it undoable. Again I don't wanna get hate mail from anybody. There's people who like 16 bit and they think it's amazing but in the end, where's the job printing? What's the quality of the print? Let alone, what is the quality of the original? So let's say you have a shot and I'm a tiny head in a giant frame and it's 16 bit. It doesn't matter, it's not gonna matter. The quality of the image is not gonna change. So for for whatever that's worth. The other question that seemed to come up quite a bit was, "Couldn't you just do all these blurs "as smart objects?" So do you remember when I was doing the skin blurring? And people are saying, "Couldn't you just do a smart object "blur?" Yeah, you absolutely can make a layer, a smart object and blur it. And why would you do that? Why you might consider doing that, you make a layer, smart object blur. Why you might consider doing that, you get a smart object, is that it allows it to be editable and you can come back later and say, "Oh, I didn't really mean to make that a 20% blur, "I wanted to make that a 15% blur." So yes, you could do that. Why I do not do that is I have a very wacky little thing that happens in entertainment advertising when you're working on this ginormous, that is an official term, ginormous files. Too many smart layers, the computer crashes. And dogs, and when I say dogs, I mean goes so slow. I have yet to find out how many smart objects it takes to crash a trash can, but I'm gonna guess it's 10. But, that's on the machines I work on. So, and when I say crash, I mean ghosts in the machine, unworkable. You try to do a clone and it takes five minutes for the screen to rewrite. So, for me, too many smart objects is beyond dangerous so I do not use them. For your workflow, for example, you might be able to have everything on a smart object because you don't have that many layers. For my workflow, I can't do it. So hopefully that answers that question. Another question that came on the frequency separation and I think this is very important and it pertains to what we're doing now, is yeah, I have a frequency separation action. And, in fact I have an action that I could load that gives me content aware fill or, I do believe I have a frequency separation action that's gonna load three different frequency separations with three different settings. There's a basic frequency separation. I didn't mean to run that, but that's all right. I don't want you guys, if you are unfamiliar with frequency separation, to run frequency separations by an action. I'm gonna repeat that. If you are not familiar with frequency separations please do not use frequency separation actions. And why I'm gonna say that is that you're not gonna know what you're doing. The programs gonna be doing it for you and it is very, very, very easy to get lost. So my suggestion would be stick to doing it by hand until you live, eat, breathe frequency separation. And you absolutely, a hundred per cent understand it. Then make an action. Please, I beg of you. 'Cause otherwise it's the machine doing it and not you. And then when Photoshop upgrades and new reactions work and you have to redo it. Who's buggered? You are, 'cause you don't know what it's doing. So, I'm gonna move on. Teeth, again addition to the teeth retouching I also felt like the back teeth needed to have some more tone. A lighter tone. And I just painted that in, a little lightening of the back teeth. Do you see how messy these files are? That's the beauty of frequency separation. You can be messy as heck and it still works. So I've a very gentle lightening move and I just did it a few times. I lightened the front tooth. I lightened the side, just a hair, and then just a hair more. Okay, so the tooth was done all in frequency separation. And I often do this, again I do wanna stress that that means I have to deliver a flattened retouch layer and someone else can't go back to it. But, I felt confident in this file. What I wanted to show you now about detail is a very common thing to have to do, which is teeth. And I'm gonna show you two different ways of brightening teeth. A very common way of brightening teeth is to do hue saturation and I'd like to show you the code for that. Let me bring up the properties menu. We're gonna do a lotta detail pretty quickly but you can rewatch this and go a little slower. All right. So on the properties menu for teeth and eyes what we often do is we take the yellows. Take the yellows and we desaturate them. Sarah's got very lovely teeth. They're not very yellow at all, but a little bit of discoloring. So you take the saturation down, you can take it down to 100 if you want or not. This is very subtle. And you can lighten. Can you guys see that on the screen? Hopefully you can. Excellent. So it's a really handy way of doing teeth. Again, it's just desaturating the yellow and lightening the yellow at the same time under hue saturation. Another way of doing teeth, it's very common, is a blue curve. That's what I call a blue curve. So, do you guys remember we did that whole RGBRCGB la la la up down? Well what you hopefully remember is, when you're in the blue channel, the opposite of blue is yellow. So, if you want to take yellow out you wanna add blue. And the good thing about that process is, any time you go up you are lightening. So in one move you are both lightening the teeth and taking the yellow out. So two different results to the same problem. Two different results depending on how you like it. And welcome to the land of taste. This is taste. This is just your vibe. The yellow saturation can be a little gray, can be a little gray depending on how far you go. The curve can be a little blue. Now I have some clients that prefer that very blue. You ever see those people, their teeth glow 'cause they're so blue? There are some folks who like that. It's a different taste. The key is to know how to get there, all right? So, what did I do? I lightened the teeth through frequency separation and why I did lightening the teeth through frequency separation rather than doing a curve on top is it was discolored and it was uneven and I needed a different tone on the back than I needed on the front tooth. It was the opposite problem. So I found it was just easier to do that with paint than to try to paint in curves that did two separate corrections.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Brunette RAW Practice Image
Blonde RAW Practice Image
Portrait Retouching Workbook
Lisa Carney PSD Practice Image
Layered Hair Color Change Example PSD File

Bonus Materials

Outline Cards

Ratings and Reviews


If you were like me and had no idea on where to start and feared that the editing process would be too destructive and would have to start all over again if the client didn't like your completed work - then this is the class for you. I watch this class often for review and to make sure that I maintain these good habits Lisa suggests to do. If you follow all of her helpful commentary on her how's and why's you will end up in a far better place when that time comes that you have to re-edit your edit. I cannot say enough great things about her work flow and how it not only enhanced my images to the result I was looking for but also decreased my editing time(bonus!!!!). I also on a whim sent her a email through her personal site and she replied with a massive helpful technique for enhancing freckles on a job I was working on. She is amazing! She is a true teacher who is there to show you how to use photoshop for you to find and gain your own editing style. Far too often i find myself in retouching classes that only demonstrate how to make your images look like who is teaching the class... Workflow and Style are very different, you can have the same workflow but your style is determined by your taste. Her workflow is solid and delivers time and time again. This class should be in everyone's dashboard hands down.

Kristine Pye

Thank you for taking the time to answer my question and take us through your "delivery" process, I found that extremely helpful. I have purchased two of Lisa's classes immediately after the live stream during Photoshop Week 2017 and was very excited to stream another set of lectures from Seattle. I will be purchasing the last two courses of Lisa's within the next 24 hours as I did just over a month ago. I find her classes to be absolutely brimming over with useful information--everything from the technique, her process, what other professionals in her work are doing, and **why** she chooses the methods she does in retouching. She is relatable and genuine, and her knowledge of the program and how to maximize efficiency while "skipping the actions" really reinforces the educational part of her courses. There are "easy way outs", but she emphasizes that you should understand the ways in which any adjustment effect the entire photo. These courses have helped me to move forward in my education, helping me to realize that with enough practice and good habit formation--such as naming every single layer every time-- that it is not irrational for me to make an effort in building a portfolio and a Master's degree with little-to-no- previous experience with the software. I am very appreciate. I hope to see more from Lisa in the future, but I have plenty to practice with for now! Thanks again, Kristine Pye

Jeff Robinson

Lisa Carney is amazing! She has a depth of knowledge of Photoshop, retouching techniques, and compositing that she shares in a fast, but straightforward, easy to follow, step by step manner. No matter what your level of expertise, you'll find gems, shortcuts, and methods in her teaching that you can practice and put to use to make your work stronger, faster, and cleaner. And with the bonus materials she graciously provides, including workbooks with her detailed steps, practice files of the images she uses in class, and before and after comparisons, you'll be on your way to improving your skills immediately. She's an accomplished retoucher and gifted teacher. If you have the opportunity to take one of her classes, take advantage of it!

Student Work