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Skin Retouching in Alien Skin

Lesson 33 from: Powerful Portraits using Mirrorless Cameras

Miguel Quiles

Skin Retouching in Alien Skin

Lesson 33 from: Powerful Portraits using Mirrorless Cameras

Miguel Quiles

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Lesson Info

33. Skin Retouching in Alien Skin


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


What is a Mirrorless Camera?


Mirrorless Camera Advantages


Mirrorless Compatibility


Live Shoot: Mirrorless vs. DSLR


Live Shoot: A7R II, A6300 & A7ii


Compare Mirrorless & DSLR Images


Posing Techniques Overview


Lesson Info

Skin Retouching in Alien Skin

We've got this done but we have some skin stuff that we need to do. It used to be that people would go into Photoshop to do that, but you actually have tools within Exposure X2 to be able to do exactly that. You have your healing brush tool and your clone tool. You can actually do your skin retouching just like you would've in Photoshop or Lightroom. You can actually do them here within the program. Let me back out here. Let's go to fit and let's go ahead and let's zoom in to...I don't know. Let's find a part of this shot like let's start here. Usually with the skin retouching, I like to kind of take my time looking at it really close and then I back out of it to make sure that I didn't do something really crazy. Looking at the healing tool, you can change the size of the brush. If you increase it here, you can kind of slide it to make it a bigger brush or here to make it a little bit smaller. You typically wanna make the brush about the same size as the thing that you're trying to cle...

an up. If I'm trying to go here and clean up that little area, you notice that it gives you the second circle. This is where you basically can move this around to sample skin from a different part of the image. Typically and generically speaking, you want to sample skin that is similar in texture and blur. For example, this is a blurry area of the nose. I don't wanna sample an area where it's super detailed because if I do that it's gonna have the little circle of a detailed area and that's not gonna look very good. The outline is showing for the active part that you're changing. You can click on outlines here and it will show basically every area that has been adjusted or you can put never. After you make the adjustment, that outline disappears so you don't have to look at it. We'll put it on active just so you guys can kind of see what I am working on. I'm gonna go ahead and make this size of this brush a little bit bigger 'cause he's got this area here under his eye. All I'm doing is just brushing over that. You could see that it basically is picking this other area, which again is not similar in texture at all. You wanna take that and drag it down. Put it in an area where it's a little more comparable in texture. If you move it around, you can kind of see a preview of what it's doing. Sometimes you kind of have to play around with it to find the right area to sample from. To me that looks a little bit better there. Once again, little area here. We'll go there, pick this area of the nose. I'm gonna scan through this quick 'cause this is the part of the retouching that's very monotonous. You can go through different areas here, you brush there, bring that closer to an area there. Any other questions as well while I'm doing this little time consuming process I'll be happy to answer. Miguel I have kind of a creative question. There are lots of bokeh, however you pronounce it, tools out there right now, Lens maybe on the camera and I'm just wondering. We were talking earlier, another student and I. Is it better to do that creative kind of thing in camera or post? Is there a reason why you would do it before or after? I didn't have an answer to that. Yes, yes. Good question. I guess it depends on your own artistic sense because to me personally, I would rather capture it, I guess it depends on the scenario. I could see scenarios where I'd want to capture it in camera just because I don't wanna get home and then realize that for whatever reason that I didn't get the look like I couldn't pull it off in post. It's not that the software won't do it, it's just that you may not know how to be able to work with the image to get it that way. A part of my kind of taste is to basically try to get it in camera but because it does have that blur tool within the program, or that bokeh tool in the program, it's something where I know how to use it I would be okay with just taking the image as is and then just going home and trying to get that particular look when I get home. It really just depends. I don't have an exact answer for that 'cause it just really depends. If you ask me awhile back, I would tell you I'd have to capture it in camera 'cause I don't know how to use the software well enough to be able to achieve the look. Nowadays I feel pretty confident to be able to do it in post. Luckily, he actually doesn't have a lot of skin problems but you can see that it's pretty quick and easy. If I'm not having to explain this in a tutorial type of way, I would really briefly and very quickly be able to go in here and just make these different adjustments to the portrait. Super easy, super powerful. All these little stray hairs here I'm literally just brushing over them picking an area where there is no stray hair and it goes away. It's kind of a magic thing. There's a lot of other programs that people will use to basically just retouch the skin and you could see that within Exposure X2, you could do the skin retouching, you can colorize the image, you could basically do everything but you're still within that one program which makes it very, very powerful. I'll go through this one here really quick because I think I'm almost pretty good with that. The other thing you could do. We would click on the band-aid and that's how we did the heal and the clone. If you click on the brush, this is where it gets super powerful because you have tools here that you can brush onto particular parts of the image. Dodge and burn is a very popular retouching method where you can selectively brighten or darken certain parts of the image and using alien skin exposure, they actually have a way of being able to dodge and burn, something that I used to have to do only in Photoshop 'cause you can't really do it effectively in certain other programs. This is built into it. It's really simple. Clarity, if I wanted to add a clarity locally to a certain part of the image instead of doing it the way we did it in the beginning where it did it over the whole image, you could basically brush on clarity. Same thing with contrast. You can cool parts of the image. I think someone asked me earlier if what happens if you have a shot where the color temperature is off. I can basically warm or cool that part of the image by brushing over that shot. Enhance iris. This is something that if you have an image like this and you want to add detail to the iris, you can go ahead and do enhance iris. You can change the size, the feather and the flow. You basically want to be able to make this about the same size. If I hit the open bracket or the closed bracket, I can also change the size of the brush. Let's try this out here. I'm gonna go ahead and just kind of brush in on this iris. We'll do a quick before and after. You can see that it kind of added a little bit more contrast in the iris. If I want it to continue to build on that, I would just keep brushing on that. I'm gonna do the same thing here. Kind of close this down a bit, make it a little smaller. We'll go ahead and we'll do that. And we'll do a quick before and after. Any time that I'm retouching an image, this is something that I try to tell people all the time, but make sure that you're not always looking at the image in just the one orientation. You're looking at it full screen or you're looking at it super close up. The other thing that I like to do is I like to look at the image smaller and I'll even do it as a thumbnail, especially if I know that the image is going for social media. Most of the time when a person sees a profile picture, they don't see it super full screen. They see it really small like a thumbnail size. I need to make sure that there isn't some kind of distraction that you can see in the thumbnail that maybe isn't so apparent when you're seeing the image full screen. As a thumbnail, I don't see any blemishes on his forehead or on his face or any squirrely hairs that are peaking out at the image that are distracting. I basically will zoom into an image very slowly. I look at it to try to make sure that there's no distractions in the shot. For me for this particular image, actually I'll go back to the brushes here 'cause I may wanna do a couple of other things here. You have a soften skin feature which if you have an image where you want to give that soft skin type of look, just like I did with the enhance iris I can choose soft skin and I could go ahead and brush over the skin and it gives it a soft look. Can't use it for this image because I shot it at F 1.4 so it already has kind of that soft skin because of the blur. You were asking do you wanna get that effect in camera or do you do it in post? The good news is that if you didn't capture it in camera, you got four different ways to be able to do it in Exposure. In this case, I'm not gonna use it but it is possible to be able to do that there. If you had an image where the teeth were showing and you wanted to whiten the person's teeth, again, using the brush tool you can pick that whiten teeth option and you can give them nice, beautiful white teeth even though they might be a little less than perfect.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Miguel's Exposure X2 Alien Skin Presets

Bonus Materials with RSVP

Gear List

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

I want to commend you for hosting Miguel Quiles. He is beyond competent and knowledgeable. Light is Light, but It is encouraging to see incredible minority photographers on your platform and to see diversity in the presenters. It is inspirational for minorities to see themselves on the center stage. I sincerely thank you for that. I am buying this course although I am not a mirrorless shooter because of my support of Miguel and the quality of his instruction of which benefits all photographers. He is a great addition to the Creative Live Family of Presenters that I have supported as well. Kudos Creative Live!

Danae Khan Jones

Wow! As a Newb and someone looking to get into portrait/studio photography, this course was perfect and comprehensive. SO MUCH GOOD CONTENT. Miguel is so approachable about questions, positive, and thorough in his explanations. This course broke down the gear and technical side very well. I recommend going to a class live. It was a great experience with food and beautiful facilities. The facility has a positive vibe and really encouraged me to be creative. Thank you for the experience and knowledge!


WOW!!! I LOVED THIS CLASS!!! I learned so much. He made lighting soooo simple, I finally understood. I liked the way he explained the why of his camera settings and how to overcome ambient light. he explained and made everything simple!!! I liked the way he talked about connecting with your clients. I am so happy I purchased this class. I finally understood lighting What a great teacher!! Thank you!!

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