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Avant Garde Retouch

Lesson 15 from: Retouching & Adobe Photoshop Techniques

Lindsay Adler

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Lesson Info

15. Avant Garde Retouch

Next Lesson: Displacement Maps

Lesson Info

Avant Garde Retouch

So far, what we've talked about is okay, we talked about a portrait retouch we've talked about a beauty retouch, but we haven't really talked about often guard retouch, which means you do whatever you want if you don't want there to be skin texture, you get rid of it. If you want him to be different color, you get rid of it if you want a mirror, her face if you want to make have horns come out of her head, it doesn't matter. It's it's, whatever you want. So that's what I'm going to be doing here and this is what the image looked like shot raw um, so there's a few things that I know that I want to dio I want to clean up the skin, I want a light in the skin tone I know that I want to make it look porcelain, I want to bring back a little more depth in the glasses enhanced the lips so those are all things that I'm processing in my mind, so I'm going to open up that image and I'm gonna zoom in and I know already because of how I like to retouch what I like to dio that I'm actually going to ...

mirror her face over. And this is just the only works if somebody's facing straight on, but I am going to do it for this image and the reason that it's good to know that ahead of time that means I only have to retouch half her face, so if I retouch the left hand side of her face first, I can hear it over and what I used to do as they do a quick run through and make sure it actually works let me select kind of half of her face command z flip it over and it works, he said there might be a few things that I want to tweak, but it works enough uh, so that being said, I'm gonna go in and do my retouch and these are all things that we've kind of talked about, so I'm going to get rid of hairs over here using my spot healing brush and I'm going to get rid of these hairs as well, and I could clone it kind of depends looking there it's not working, so I'll probably select a clone high capacity and click around sorry this part's kind of boring let's throwing this how you normally feel retouching like I was talking to kellen back there and I always I'm listening to music blaring loudly when every touch ings that I don't go crazy he's a dubstep fan like me, among other things okay, so it could be a judge at the hair there also clean up in my horrible sensor apparently the chat rooms have been talking about feeling bad for me not ever cleaning my sensor I'll do it I promise when I get help clean it up so it's less embarrassing okay, so you guys know all this? I don't need to go in and overdo it spot healing brush on her face but if I look around the side of her face for actual blemish is really, really not too much you can see here a little bit of the purple because she had makeup on so I know that I'll have to probably fix that and then zooming in okay, I want to get rid of smile lines and I'm gonna clean up her lips because she's got she kind of just put her makeup on it was not a makeup artist, so it needs a little bit of help I'm refusing my spot healing and I know that it is not three perfect so I'm more or less going to get rid of a lot of the texture it's come down to her lips that definitely needs to be cleaned up a little bit, so I'm another thing that you could do for lips as well is if you grab the probably gonna lasso tool I can grab that tool click draw the line feathered a little bit maybe feather it like one or two pixels and then clone in and you know you can fix lips six lips that way and you might need to blend a little bit but looks pretty decent and okay, so I don't want to spend for ever doing that, so I even out the lips same thing down here uh give myself a straighter line okay, so clean up the lips say you wanna back off and just see if there's anything else you'll see all kind of blend this later, but hey, single to major when a clean not really that's fine, I'm going to select a half of her face and went a mirror it over with command j cop isn't new layer I can wear it over all right? So I'm going to merge down and zoom in and take a look and see extra neck in virginia when a zoom in and take a look at problem areas where it makes it clear that it was mirrored and so if I look there, I can tell that it was married so I can add a mask and I just blend it like I just try to hide it so you can't tell us much, and one of my one of things I usually do is instead of making it perfectly symmetrical, maybe I'll come in here and switch it up a little bit so you can't quite tell him I mean you wouldn't know that for example and I'll get rid of maybe we'll let that extend over something like that just kind of blend it may be of here so that it's symmetrical but not completely symmetrical okay, so I spent awhile on that and then I know that I want to clean up maybe a little bit in the lips so if I zoom in that clearly has been mere dh so when a paint off the effect in a couple places just to make it a little less obvious and that's probably okay so I'm gonna merge down and look for other problem areas um I think that the's highlights on her lips they're distracting to me and so I would either patch tool them or just spot healed him out that's fine also because of marrying her nose she now has a shadow in the middle and you would use you have ah highlight so it's actually opposite that's why would grab my clone stamp unlike in and just kind of clone a highlight of the middle here little and kind of clone things out ok so to smooth out the skin one way you could do it one way I used to do it is portraiture you also have all the other ways we talked about basically so if I wanted to even do ah a surface flor you could do that um I could go around and even just kind of clone can lighten things tomorrow what you'll see is a grab portraiture and we'll run it this way as well and let's see if she's more or less mood decently smooth all right, so the last thing that I'm going to do is lighten up her skin tone and I want to make it almost white for what we're doing and I am to see you when I'm looking at this picture I know for example I want her lips to be bigger so you can do it and liquefy what you could also select it hit command j go to your move toole grab your transform controls and you could actually make the lips bigger that way like just physically make them bigger and then blend in the edge is so that's another way to make lips and you can also do that with eyes as well let's see if I can relentless backup couple stamps blend around the edges here like it's as long as you don't notice along as it looks believable then it's fine all right if I back up no before no after I can change the shape if I want to go ahead and um click on that hit command sea and warp it I can also right click and warp it almost into a smile if I wanted to you know I could do that pull down in the middle so all right, so the next thing that I'm going to do is the skin I need to and tomorrow we're going to talk about what I usually do to make selections I have visa and then also on one perfect mask and that you're usually what I use to do selections it's the same thing I don't want you to think that you need a lot of plug ins you don't you could do most everything by hand but they make it easier so if she were wearing same blue glasses I could just to my technique where I pull out red and yellow in the skin and we would be fine problem is the plot right? Neal in the skin her glasses are red and so I'll lose the color in the glasses so that's what you have to mask out so what I'll do is I'm going to make on emerged on her lips real quick and I'm going to make a selection of the stuff that is red in the photo a couple ways you could do this you could go ahead and go to slept color range if you go into color range whatever you click on with your eye dropper it's elects that tone you can hold the shift key and click around and will add those tones to the selection so what we see here in the mask it's goingto ads I can click around and notice it's basically getting the lips and these glasses and the fuzziness is kind of the threshold in other words how far do you reach into other colors and so I can adjust that as well that's one way to do it but in this instance since we have really really defined edges you definitely can use your quick selection tool I have like really defined that just quick selection works best when you have areas of high contrast to work with so I'm gonna click around and I could just drag this I'll drag her own once quickly and because we work with no matter what we do we never using a race we're always using adjustment layers and layers masks then even if our selection isn't perfect we can always go back and change it so still selecting and I'm not holding a shift here anything this is how this tool works it automatically just add to the selection so I think I have most everything maybe missing a couple areas click on her lips good okay so what I need to do next is I actually want just because I want to okay um I think for me this red is to candy apple red and I want it a little darker so I made the selection while I have the selection loaded I'm going to go to hugh saturation and de saturating darkness read a little it doesn't like that they will go there okay, uh, if you make a selection, you made a change, and you're like, oh, crap, I want to know that selection again, I need to use it again because now I need to increase the highlights. All you need to do is if you click on that mask, if you'll just select load selection, it will load that mask and into a selection, so I hit load selection hit okay, it loaded that mask that I had so works out, I no want to select the opposite, saying the opposite of that mask, so I'm going to inverse it and so it's likes everything but the glasses in the lips and then here's, where I basically do the technique. If you've smoothed out the skin and you have a clear area of color, there are two ways to do it, and I'll tell you the way I do most of the time. The way that typically works best is in hue saturation I de saturate reds and yellows in an undefined ratio. In other words, like, I don't know some people have more red in their skin, other people have more yellow, so if I go to rennes, plot a little reds, yellows plus some yellows ceo that one worked a lot more pulling out yellows and erskine worked a lot, but a little more red and so I could go totally, totally white I mean, her skin is basically red and yellow, so when I make that change, if I drag all the reds and yellows completely out, it goes white uh, I think that this year's li doesn't look good typically it just it looks photo shot, so how I kind of trick the eyes instead of doing one hundred percent capacity, I usually put the opacity at, like sixty percent or something, so if I back off to say, like, sixty percent or maybe in this case fifty, the skin is really creamy and smooth and white, but not so much that you're like, okay, that's definitely been photoshopped and it looks like they've just done, you know, the selective color where they might have the flowers reading everything else white, but the next thing is I want this skin to be even brighter. I think it looks a little too dull and so I could go back and again, I don't have to go ahead and select those glasses again. I can go up load selection, it will load my most recent selection and I increase the contrast because what happens is all right, so when you increase contrast to increase saturation, so if you think of the inverse, if you decrease saturation, it looks like you decrease contrast and so you have to kind of pump it and that's why I like you full of the color of someone's skin it looks like dead skin like they look like kind of zombie like so I'm going to go ahead and two levels and pop up my white point a little bit and my midpoint and drag my black point I could drag it really far if I wanted to and you can see so far the before and after you know, I've gotten to my creamy white skin pretty well um couple of things I see that I don't like I don't like her forehead so much so I would just crop it, crop it out a little bit crop in from the sides depends on the aspect ratio that you need to maintain you do something like that um maybe I could clean up the hairline so it's a little less noticeable maybe I would see change the color of the read a little bit maybe just de saturate don't put tiny but I mean it took a lot of little tweaks you could do but more or less if I had portraiture to run it smoothes out the skin and I can enhance highlights like we normally do so like we've done a million times before create a new layer change to soft light go ahead and paint in your highlights I can do that do another one where you turn into softly pain in your shadows above low so kind of sculpted out then I just blur it so that's more or less how I'll do that, that skin effect if you have portraiture to kind of clean up the skin or whatever way you choose to do it and then you pull out reds and yellows um and sometimes red looks better sometimes he'll look better. Another way to do it too that you could do is you have the ability to just do a black and white layer and then said, doing full percent black and white just back off of the black and white adjustment layer. So do you have any questions on that? Is there anything that you like? What I've tried this and I haven't gotten to work and you just go back and show what you did on the levels again? Yeah, teo to break in the skin shirt and I want to turn this off, so what I did is I clicked on the same mask that I want to load, so I'm clicking on it and so whatever you have selected, if I want in this instance thie hugh situation like the kind of opposite the skin to be loading, if I go to select load selection, what everyone I'm clicked on, it will have so the load everything around when I go down to my levels what I need is I'm looking and it's basically saying in the area that I have selected, there really isn't a white point and there really isn't a black point, so I can pump it up almost to that white point and drag it down almost to that black point without it looking bad. If the color starts to get messed with, you can change your blend, votes luminosity and see how the color looks probably looks a little better, I think probably even looks a little whiter up on that screen, so that's one of things any time you're messing with saturation are matching with contrast and it's screwing up the colors switch the blend mode to luminosity and it's it's tweaking, and maybe I think, who I want to skin to be a little paler if I wanted that, I can pump up my mid tones a little bit more and it gets rid of a little bit of depth in the mid tones may have to drag my black point to compensate, so if you're looking kind of a foreign after something to that effect, um and it doesn't have to be red. I put right in here because that's, my color and that's my thing like I have read everything, but it worked with any color that you want, it works best with lighter skin if somebody is it's africa, american skin it's not gonna work it's not gonna be the same effect. I'm gonna show a technique tomorrow. That looks nice with that skin. But it's it's, just not the same thing. Had a question from bania from alberta. How do you bring color to greyish skin tones? I have a family portrait where? My mom. My mom looks good, but my dad is pale. Okay, a couple things you khun dio um first off it's a raw file. You can double process. You could do one for your mom looking correct and do one for your dad and kind of just paying him back in. Bring him back. I have had this situation where somebody was just kind of the wrong color. What you can do is if you create, if you select at the half moon key, you're just flares. You can go into color balance and messes color balance there and try to adjust somebody. And so if I want the skin to be a little more yellow and add and see how I added red and yellow and it brought a little bit of life back and arrest her, if you guys come see it as much, my screen, I think, is a little calibrate a little differently. But I brought back a little life, but where you can see it is in the blacks, you can see that it's not right, so you'd have to paint it off there of similarly, if you go back yesterday and watch when we went into the channel, loaded the channel as a selection and turned it into a mask. That's why I cleaned up blotchy nous, but you could also kind of take the detail from whoever dad is, whoever in the pictures, the wrong color and put back in color, but chances are if you have a raw file, do it that way. If you don't have a raw file, adjust it with your color balance, okay, great, we do have a couple more questions, if that's all right, definitely, and the first one is from ferradaz, who says when cloning, how do you deal with a background that does not have consistent light fall off? And not sure that question was related to this? Um, I don't think it is because it wasn't but for backgrounds here saying, like part of its darker part of its lighter, that definitely is a bit of a pain. And so what I usually dio as I try to blend it a little bit by hand, if if you want it to be blended. On dh then use portrait sure to smooth my blending because my blending usually sucks and it's usually really clear where I blended it so I blend it and then I had portrait you help me out thank you if you're doing a fashion shoot for designer how do you go about exactly matching the color of a material that's critical toe say the catalog yes of someone shooting catalog or what it usually is for designers look books um what I'll do is I have consistent keep my lighting consistent and whenever I'm shooting I'll use a passport color checker or whatever it is there's dedic ular data color has on a little ball thing that's really cool and works nice so any of those it's just knowing as soon as you go, for example, if you're outdoors in your shooting, if a cloud comes over, you've got to take gotta do another shot with checker and and if you're moved your lights a little bit or move them around in the studio, you have to do it again, so usually that will be enough. So if you're needing to match the material, would you then shoot the material under the same lighting conditions, maybe the separate frame but just so that you can match those two colors separately? You could certainly do that you could definitely do that I did something similar recently because I knew what we had to extend the fabric so I photographed in there close up so that I could grab that texture and then imposed make her dress looked much longer because I got to close up in the same light and then it gave me much more megapixels to work with when I wanted to extend the dress endlessly. Great, we just one more touch up or follow up from s w p a could you again show how you flip the mirror copy over that easily without having to flip it in transform that was so cool so there's a couple ways to do it was going to hide all these. All right, so if I use my marquee tool and I grab like this I can select kind of halfway down the face. I had it reframed here we go, it's like halfway down the face. If I do command j and I want my move tool, I already have my transform controls showing and I can kind of just click and drag it over. Um, you also have the ability to if you clicked on your transform controls if I hit with, uh minus one hundred, it flips it over. You can do things that way sometimes you want something flipped there's also an an option, one of the commands to flip horizontally, there's kind of a fifty different ways but usually what I do is command jane to new layer and then I was click and drag it and I'm watching these percentages I wanted to match up perfectly I need to make sure it's a hundred percent at one hundred percent you guys have any questions you all set all right let me look this one more time so that that's the thea skin retouch so they get asked most often if you guys go to my website it's the same way that I did the girl with the cool goggles on there's one more girl has red hair and then red lips same thing there um any time that you see the porcelain skin I just did a shoot for his ink magazine where it wasn't brightly colored what I did is I had I have these photos someplace I can show you I had a purple gel on half of her face and then a beauty dish on the other half well I left the purples but I pulled out the reds and yellows so it looks like we had painted her skin almost white because their skin went totally white but then we have that really pretty gel lighting one side of her face so its the time make people look porcelain is he's portraiture to clean it up smooth things out then I pull out reds and yellows and then I do an increase contrast on the skin

Class Materials

bonus material

Keyboard Shortcuts
Retouching Checklist
Beauty and Retouching
Creative Techniques

Ratings and Reviews


Fantastic Photoshop course. I knew Lindsay was great at Photography, Lighting, Posing and Public Speaking, but I am really blown away by her mad (great) skills at Photoshop. Lindsay really is a fantastic teacher. She turns what might be a more or less dry topic into a fun and entertaining topic. Thank you Lindsay and thank you CreativeLIve. You have a real superstar with Lindsay Adler.

a Creativelive Student

This is a great workshop for photographers wanting to learn and hone in on their retouching skills. As a photoshop user and photographer of 10 yrs I have been able to take away some further techniques to help better my skills and more or less tailor them. I would suggest you have some adv beginner knowledge of photoshop because I don't think some of the techniques you will be able to keep up with unless you buy it. There are two things that I wish she did better in her teaching and that is to teach new users to label all their layers and what they are as you are working. As you can see Lindsay ends up with 20 layers and unless your the one doing the editing you will have know idea what is what when you have to go back to it. So its best to teach this in the beginning so people get into the habit of organization early. Also I wish she used a Wacom. It really does cut your editing time in half and you have more solid movements in precisely selecting areas of a photo. From a photographer to other photographers. Use a wacom. You can start with a basic baboo for $89 and when the apple wireless mouse cost $69. Time is money, and a wacom truely save time! I used to use a mouse and my trackpad and once I switched I was like OMG what was I thinking before! So I wish she just emphasized that point more. Overall I think it was $99 well spent.

Christian G.

Not only is Lindsay very knowledgeable and a very good teacher but I REALLY TRULY appreciate her no-BS, straight-forward style.. No time wasted on long tangents talking about herself (or what have you), on cute remarks or on off-the-mark humor. She has showed us many great techniques, has presented to us various creative/different ideas AND she has also really been able to explain "how she thinks of a solution", how there is a bit of trial and error, "even" at her level.. All in a all, a truly excellent course and worth every penny!! Thank you Lindsay and thank you to the CreativeLive team for a great course!!

Student Work