Frequency Separation Q&A
in that 15 minute break, I took about two minutes to kind of finish up some of the retouching so I could show you what it would end up looking like I'm gonna show you that I'm gonna take some questions and then I'm gonna go through the whole thing again and give you a bit numbers out of everything that I'm doing for this workshop. The only other, more complicated thing is displacement maps. So this would be the more the most difficult of what exists. So if you're looking at this photograph, here's the original, okay? And so I needed to clean up under her eyes, and I probably would have done a little bit more work there as well. Um, but I need to keep detailed and let's say that somebody has splotchy skin for whatever. I mean, even even she has, you know, like I said near her chin and then also underneath her neck and a little bit around this area. So typically, if I wanted to even it out, I could maybe do clone stamp on light end. But I can't do too much because you might get rid of th...
e detail and then I start cloning and it's changing the shape. So this is what we did if I turn off that bottom layer, the other end between the low frequency, which is how I smoothed out the skin. But just by cloning and adding highlights and shaping around, I mean, you could never smooth out somebody's skin and even it out so much if you were doing it on the later with the details. So this is the before, and this is the after. So this is what it looks like when there's no detail. I turned off the high frequency detail there. I add the detail back in and again, this is the layer where kind of smooth think things out. So it changed the shape of the nose and cleans up underneath the eyes. And besides, and so this is what you want to use any time. It's a definitely helps with blotchy skin and be any time it's going to be a large image. Um, retouching plug ins will be less applicable for an image. It's going to be huge because it will soften things a bit. Sometimes I will do a mixture. Honestly, maybe I'll do the retouching plug in for the arms and legs where you're not looking for that detail for it to look real. I mean, sometimes in someone shaves her legs, it looks like since moved anyway, So I can I can get away with just doing a plug in for the skin on the arms and the chest and the legs, but then I go ahead and do all the detail on the face using high past are using the frequency separation with a high frequency holding the detail. So I'm gonna take questions. But then we're gonna run through it one more time so everybody can see it again in action, I guess. First question from J. Bryan Cole in Petaluma, California. You have an action, uh, set up your height, Lohan Hide. Yeah. So, um, some things will very per picture. So, for example, depending on the picture that goshen blur you can also do is surface blur, but usually got gambler. You have to actually look, and you're basically looking for At what point? You don't notice details like hairs or blemishes. It's more color swath that's going to vary whether it's a close up picture, depending on somebody's face. um so I have a few general ones that I'll use and set up in action. But also, if I were doing 10 pictures of her, I would absolutely save in action because I can apply it consistently throughout all those pictures, particularly if I'm doing like a family photo where there's a lot of close up shots of the family, and I'm using kind of the same technique for all of them. A question from pro angel and maybe could just talk to this. But is there a different technique for skin when someone has a lot of freckles? Definitely so. Freckles. This this technique can help you out. What you need to do is you blur less because you want. You don't want a blur out. The freckles basically want to keep that detail. Four. Portraiture. If the freckles aren't the same color as the skin tone, is there a little bit more to find? It will work because you can select a skin tone that isn't the color of the freckle, so brown or whatever. But a lot of times what I do is, if I did a technique like this, I'll do that whole effect and Then I will also put a mask mask off the blur just on the freckles. I'll put a lower opacity. I'll just click off on a few of them. So it's kind of a combination. Most of time. I find my portraiture does a decent job. Doug, be photo s whether you do any retouching on the high layer or is all the retouching occur in the lower layer? Sure. Good question, eh? So I started to do that ish, um, the lower layer right here. So this is where you see the blur. This is where I even know even all the skin, and I add the highlights in the shadows and I smoothed out under the eyes, and I kind of just smooth out skin tone, and it's making it creamier. It's making it more even. It's giving it more youthful skin, but the high frequency of the high pass layer, This is where you're going to photo shop out Any blemishes? Eso if she and I had gotten rid of most of them beforehand, could kind of doing an interview touch. But that's where I would get rid of saved this spot right here. You see, you see kind of a spot there. I would use my spot healing brush on the high frequency layer to get rid of that. So any defined detail blemishes you get rid of right on your high frequency later. Great. A question from Sweet Pea photography is. Are you using your history Graham to get the correct the correct exposure slash white balance? Or do you do that? I most of time. I'll use my history. Gram and my eye, because it might be a white sure, is kind of confusing the history Graham to where it is. They're also specific numbers for white balance. If you didn't have a card and there's nothing neutral in the frame, there's certain general number areas that you can look for to see if it's the correct color. I just haven't written down next to my computer executive. Remember them? But I can put that up for you guys, and you could put an eye dropper over skin tone. Obviously, somebody who has more yellow skin is going to be different than somebody who has more pink skin versus somebody who tanz a lot. But there's kind of general ratios between numbers. I'd say most the time. I do have something neutral at some point in the frame on, and I used to have one of my assistants wear a gray shirt. Just step in like in like it was a joke that was actually went through like a neutral gray shirt. Really nerdy. That's what I have the lens cloth that great. Oh, I have to say this. Super nerdy and awesome, one of the chat room hosts here. She came out with their face painted grey, black shirt, gray everything. But she had red shoes and a red scarf, and that was her Halloween costume. And I was trying to see what she was, and she was selective color. So she was gray scale except for her red scarf. Frenchies, go see L. Trudy. That was freaking office. So funny. Ridiculous, like, actually ridiculous. And just basically, we're saying before sounds I wanted to tell you is you can do more sharpening. So let's say I'm zooming in and I think she needs a little bit more sharpening on certain elements of her face. If I duplicate that high frequency, it's gonna be that much more sharp, and I can then add my layer mask. If you andrew their mask and you hold Ault. If you hold all when you hit the lower mask, it fills it with black. So it gives you a black mask. Just, you know, for a quickie so I can grab my white brush at a lower capacity and I can come back in and it's basically painting a painting in sharpening and you know, that's overkill. But I'm kind of demo ing could do the same thing. Maybe want to sharpen the eyes or coming here just to the iris. See what that's doing? It makes a huge difference on the iris. So that's another way in the past that I've gone ahead and pulled out more detail during this same technique, duplicating the lair and then making sure I apply the effect to the iris. I got a question. What's the difference between a high frequency in a high pass? They just work differently at the high pass is pulling out detail, but it's not actually as refined, and it's the way that it's functioning is different. I mean, it's it's going, this is going to be better. Basically, high pass is going to give you less control. And so it doesn't truly separate out the detail the way that you'd want it, too. It does a lot more of edges as well. Um, And then when you're cloning in on the low pass for here, we're using linear light and different blend modes that makes it look more natural. First has been using high pastures using other blend modes that kind sometimes increase the contrast. And it makes the retouch more noticeable versus more organic. Um, really, really, really touches most of time, they'll do pixel by pixel. But if they were going to retouch, they wouldn't use high pass. They would use frequency separation. And then can you change the opacity on that second layer? If you were using it and you just wanted to add just a touch of sharpening? Yeah, well, the opacity at work on that detail definite. Okay, Yeah, I'll just do the eyes on and off for a quick second C double that detail. There is actually an action or plug in. I forget what it's called. It's called the Angel Iris or something that somebody has that does in action for pulling out detail in eyes like that I usually just create an action myself, and we'll run it on the eyes. What you just did, just record it. And then you give the ability to alarm. Ask if you don't know how to do actions. There are lot of tutorials online. Um, there's Dobie has a couple things on the best ways to his actions as well. L Flash OS. Let's say there's a mole in the high frequency and ah, sorry, and the high frequency gets the texture from it. Wouldn't it be notable even though, uh, clones the low frequency you'd have to do both? You'd have to clone up high and low if there's a mole that sticks out so it has the color on the low frequency and the texture on the high frequency. So that's why for me, even if I'm want to completely separate detail, true Rita Cher's would not do this up front, but also go ahead and spot hell out and patch out really big blemishes. Because even when I do my low frequency, where I blurt things so that it's dealing with color tones, well, it doesn't get rid of that mole. It just made it a bigger, softer mole. And then there's a detail over that doesn't quite line up. So if there's something that I don't want, I do often get rid of a big blemish, like straight up front. It makes it easier. Especially if I know it'll show up color and texture. Great. Well, I think maybe we should keep going. A question or a note from Rodney Bensel Rodney is a reminder if you could give us the eight and 16 bit numbers. Absolutely. Go through this again. Okay. So I'm gonna just read these right now. Great. Okay. And then I'm gonna do this one more time, So stick with me, okay? And I wrote it down here because I over a do everything in 16 bit. Um, Okay, so I'm gonna have 16 bit. Alright. Write this down. This is this is the process. Um, you are going to, uh, duplicate your lair twice. The one on the bottom, uh, is going to be a background. Then you have the 2nd 1 which is low frequency, and then the top layer is high frequency. That's the same for both that process. Also the same for both is you select your low frequency so that middle there and you're going to blur it, and you can go to filter, blur Gaussian blur, and you're just looking for when things you don't see like the fine hairs on the face. You don't see the port you're looking for when those things you don't want go away and you're dealing more with color and tonality than anything else. So the numbers very I've often something like two pixels to 10. You don't want to overdo it. Otherwise, it's too soft, and it looks like really soft skin, but with detail. So it's kind of a balance there, so that stays the same. Then what you do is you select the high pass, the high pass, the high frequency, the very top level. You select your high frequency layer that you duplicated and you would've image apply image. And then this is where things are different. So all of that was the same. Okay, so this is I never I don't usually use eight bits, so this is what the difference is for a bit. With a bit. You're still going to go in there and it's asking you which layer that it's his lair dialogue box, so I could just do this real quick so you can see, um I do. Okay, So image of clients. And here's where the things are different. It asks you to select what lair? For a bit. Um, you are going to select low. You select the loafer boat. That's what you actually name them, so you know which ones. But the difference is for eight bit. You need to have your blending mode be subtract now add of eight, but it's going to be subtract the scale box is too. And the offset is 1 in this one. You don't check Transparency, Master invert none of the above. And then when you hit okay, you change the blend mode of that particular layer to linear like so that's a bit and I'll say it one more time. Just case you guys were curious. Um, what you'll do is you're gonna change the blend you piccolo as the lair change your blending effect in this dialogue box to subtract scale is to offset. Is 1 28 You have everything else turned off, so don't have invert selected, don't have mask or anything else selected you hit, okay? And then you change the blend mode off the layer on the right, linear like Okay, the difference between 16 bit and again. It's because this team but you're using more information. So those the scale on that information isn't isn't the same that the reference point has moved. So the difference is with 16 bit, which is what I recommend Will be working with a lot more detail on. You're going to get a better image, and you can always downgraded later if we need to have a smaller file t eight. But if so, but, um, 16 it's going to be better. And when you open it up here, select low frequency again. But for your blending option, you're hitting ad. You are going to have the invert clicked. And the numbers you need are two for scale, zero for offset. Same thing is before you hit. Okay, change the blend mode of the lair to linear light. So I am going to I'm assuming you guys kind of that number. I'm gonna run through it real quick. I'm just gonna do it physically so you can see it one more time now that you've seen it once and the numbers. So, Lindsay, just for folks who might have just been joining us? Sure. Why are we doing this? What does the end result gonna be that we're using this tool for? Absolutely So what we did is we took all the detail from the skin and put it on its own layer so we can retouch the skin, the color, the texture like not the texture of the blotchy nous. Everything for tone. Al it ease. We can make that perfect and then have the detail on another layer. So even from smooth all this out, the details separate and we can still go in and clean up the detail. We could make that softer if we wanted to get rid of blemishes. Let's put them on two separate levels so that we can smooth them separately. It lets you keep detail. Great for big photos. This is the best way to retouch. If you want to keep detail, it is not necessarily the fastest way, but it is the best. And that's what we focus on. Yesterday were more fast ways. Kind of quick and easy couple steps. Um and so it's portraiture. it's going to be making selections off of channels, a bunch of different ways to kind of do things quickly and easily. But then this is the best. And that's kind of a toss up in life, right? I can always have the best quickly. So I'm gonna run to this quickly, good, and then delete everything. But just so you can see again for me to show you where we went to that won't be ableto retouch it this much vice and way, way And let's take a look say, turn off the duplicate later that I had All right. So if I take a look here at her cheek, if I do the before and after I kept all the detail but really smoothed out the skin and got rid of she kind of had a little bit underneath a little bit of blotchy nous. A little bit uneven and it really smooth it out. Same things. I come down here to her chin, so the chin smooths out, but it keeps all the details, so it remains looking realistic. All right, so let's run through this one last time again. I'm using a 16 bit file, so duplicate your background twice, once and twice. Rename the middle one too low frequency, and this is going to be your skin and tonality color Claire. Then you re named the top one too high frequency. This is going to be all of your detail area. You select your low frequency. Wanna turn off high so I can see this. Select your low frequency, Go to filter blur. Gosh, gambler. And what you're looking for is when that skin detail basically disappears, you don't want to see um, kind of hair and poor's anymore. I'll often look at the eyelashes and when those start to be nice and soft and lacked detail, that's a good place. Any place from kind of 2 to 10 pixels. I noticed that when I get up to 10 pixels, I mean, it's it's going to be way too much. It's not gonna hold it. So typically, I'm somewhere around 334 something like that. I'm on it. Okay, so now I've got a layer that's nice and smooth and lacks detail. All right, I'm going to go to my high frequency. I turned it back on, so it's kind of hiding that low frequency underneath it. And you come to image apply image. You're going to do it. It already had my setting selected. So sorry. Um, what we're going to do is for layer you select the low frequency there. This is why it helps to name them. Because if they're not named, it would just be like background copy and background. Copy one. And you might select the incorrect one on if you don't follow these steps. Exactly. It doesn't. I've tried it and mess up 1,000,000 times and have to go back and figure out what I didn't click. So you want low frequency for 16 bit? You do want to invert it. You do have to change the blending Moto ad. You don't want to click preserves, transparency or mask. And the scale is to offset a zero. I said the numbers before which we're total. It's totally different if it is a bit. And if you notice you're taking a look here, it kept all the detail on its own separate layer. Now, if you just leave it and you don't change the blending mode, this is what you see. You just see the details. So that's not any good. What you need to do is change the blending mode, and you're changing it to linear light. And so now if I do that before and after between my pictures, there's no change. But it's separated out the detail on the top, and then the skin tonalities in the middle so I can go ahead and click on the low frequency and that maybe I want to say Smooth out over here in this area so I can grab my grab my clone stamp. I need to make sure it's on Lee sampling from the lair. I'm on, not the layers below, and I can go ahead. And right now I'm just all clicking and watch I can. I'm cloning, and that detail isn't touched at all that hair American clone. I'm gonna overdo it for a second. I can clone a ton, and that hair stays exactly in place so I can smooth out blotchy nous. The example, I thought worked well, was down here on her chin. I can use my clone stamp to smooth out her chin, but it did not touch any of the detail there before and after, So that's what I would do the same thing for her neck forehead. I smoothed out her the ridgeline of her nose because especially if somebody has and she doesn't, if somebody has a crooked nose, if you can smooth out that ridgeline, it gives the impression that it's straighter. Um, can also make it look smaller. Clean up there. Also, I can clean up underneath the eyes if I still want to keep the texture, but I don't want to be is dark. I want that texture, though. If I sample here, it kept 100% of that detail. Same thing over here keeps 100% of the detail under the eyes. And so it's the fact that I'm separating out the detail into two different layers. One for the colors on the skin and the next the top layer, which is the high frequency for the detail in the skin, the actual pores and hairs. So that is, um, frequency separation. And there's a lot of other things I would d'oh you know, I'd lighten up her eyes. I was showing that before a lot of other changes, but that's the best way to retouch. But as you can see it probably is a little more time consuming. Okay, so if there any other questions related to retouching, I'm moving off of retouching to creative stuff like it's still retouching with its. So I'm moving off to more fun stuff, any final questions. And he does. So a quick question from Michael Atlanta Eat a TL from Lana. I'm not sure if you already answered it, but could you use portraiture on the low frequency frequency layer? You could absolutely, if you wanted to smooth out tones. And if you did that, I've never done it. I think it's a good idea. Makes sense to me. If you're trying to smooth out tonality, you could take that low frequency layer and then you push up the threshold in portraiture, and that would kind of push it into other two knows there. I think it sounds like a really interesting way to do it, and I think that should be our new signature way. Tell him we should be Oh, but then that makes perfect sense. You completely, completely smooth out everything in the skin tones underneath, but it holds the detail. That's what's this. First inning Michael, we're gonna be friends. I love that. That sounds awesome. Learned something new today? Absolutely. And I'm gonna save this on this file will be available as well. So let me just save. It's You guys can access it. Yeah, sorry, there's that's basically on this technique. But there were a couple of questions about lips. So one of them, from photo shop addicted, asked, How can you send, like, gloss on the lips like wet lips? The closest thing that you can do there's this kind of two ways into the closest thing that I come to Dio is when I increase the highlights, I go into levels and I can pump up or curves and pick one of the high contrast options and really pump out those highlights, then change it to luminosity and then just paint on the highlights and make it look glossy. You can also get specialized free brush brush is actually look like highlights and actually mimic kind of a rounded surface. You just have to if you if you know sort of paint, or if he's artistic in that way, those brushes will be great. If your brain doesn't work that way, which mind doesn't? I'm better off just popping the highlights. Okay, I was never my only artistic skill is photography. No painting, no dry. Another lip question this one from Fashion TV in Singapore with records, lips How would you retouch chapel? It's chapped lips is going in. And just like you would have flaking skin or something like that, I would use the spot healing brush to get rid of any major problems. And then I would probably go ahead and even run a portraiture. I'm to smooth things out if you want to do this frequency separation. I could try toe, separate the two and then get rid of the detail, smooth it out a little bit. Fix something in between, but I run for Chester on. Lips Are chapped. Great, thank you. Question from Drake Designs I'm wondering how you would treat the retouching of infants and children using these techniques, Or I guess the question is, would you use similar techniques for infants and children? Most time, for instance, infants and children. I'm retouching out burgers and stuff. Oh, no, really red, blotchy, skin red. Watch it now. I know exactly. I definitely see that if I want to do something quicker. The technique I used yesterday where I copied the Red Channel and then kind of blurred or painted another color for blotchy nous. But there is no reason why you wouldn't use this for a large photo of a child. Absolutely could, especially for kids that need retouching. I try to do as a minimal retouching as possible on children. Unless it's the same thing. Like some kind of have a physician on the cheeks and whatnot. You can fix it up. Um, wondering up from, uh, Jose Laura's photography. Will Lindsay use the same high, high, low technique for hair? Yeah, I was actually when people weren't watching. I was sitting there because I can't help it. I'm like Nancy. I was sharpening the Heras. Well, I would absolutely do the same thing if you were looking at at her hair there, even from the background being bright in certain areas, the hair gone almost a little hazy. And so I was painting on an extra layer of high fat, high frequency in the background, and it brought out the detail on that hair. So, yes, I will frequently if I chose to go ahead and do frequency separation. I use that to do all my sharpening, all in the same same step