Retouching Techniques for Hair in Photoshop® CC®

Lesson 2/10 - Demystifying How to Best Treat Hair for Compositing


Retouching Techniques for Hair in Photoshop® CC®


Lesson Info

Demystifying How to Best Treat Hair for Compositing

So let me reiterate. We're talking all about retouching on the mask. Cool, so let's go ahead and get started. And feel free to shout out any questions. If I'm going to quick let me know and make sure we're together. So what I have on this file is I basically have our Adobe Stock gal. You guys can practice on this. Pardon me, my screen's a little happy. It wants to show you everything all at once. So this is an Adobe Stock image. There's a number visible there if you wanna try it. I wanna tell you, this is a hard image to do. This is not easy. This isn't easy for me either, but I figure you all are probably sick of those tutorials where they use someone shot on a white background with black hair and oh look you can mask it out and it's easy. I wanna show you something that's hard and the painting that's hard. So I'm gonna jump in right now. Now, I do have a caveat with this and that is, I'm sure you guys have experienced this where, where you click in this image when you're using let's ...

say the quick select tool or the magic wand, you get different results every time. So that may or may not happen today. So it's all good, breathe through it. We're gonna get there. But because I'm being filmed, I've got some backups right here 'cause I like to make sure I got this handled. So here's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna start basic masking. Now I know there's different philosophies. Some people like to retouch on top of an image and mask it separately at a later time. I like to start with the mask. This is the way I like to work. Some people work the other way. I don't know why, it doesn't matter. How you get to Kansas is how you get to Kansas. And on that note, I do wanna talk about a few things and this is really important in starting. First of all, Photoshop has gotten amazing, just absolutely amazing with masking abilities. The select a mask is fantastic. The magic wand, it used to be the dreaded magic wand. It's not so dreaded anymore. It's actually pretty decent to get you started. But the way I figure it, it's kinda like this, it'll get you in the kitchen, but you all still need to make the cake. And I think folks are looking often too much that oh I just wanna click this one filter and oh bing ba it's done. No, it's not done. It's just gonna get you into the room. Okay, so think of it this way. And another bit of helpfully wisdom I'd like to impart on you is when you approach this kind of thing, get good then get fast. Don't try to get fast, get good. It's probably the biggest mistake I see. People are rush, rush, rush, hurry, hurry. No, no, no, no, no. Get good. Once you're good, the speed will come.

Class Description

Retouching hair is hard! Demystify how to best treat hair for beauty and compositing jobs. Lisa Carney will teach how to create the best mask for hair using channel pulling, selections and masking. Lisa will go over techniques for illustrating hair, creating custom brushes, using hair parts and using Layer Blend modes to your advantage. Retouch, composite and edit with hair with confidence!

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Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2017.1.1



This is a fantastic course. But is clearly intended for very experienced PS users and retouchers. This backup materials, especially the workbook, are first class. She does speak too quickly and is a little difficult to follow. I felt like the right amount of material was covered. I would have loved more. But it needed more time to do it justice. She just seemed so rushed. I would have payed more for a longer class. Overall, I would highly recommend to anyone interested in this type of work. I found it fascinating.


If you love Photoshop and are serious about retouching, this is one of the best classes from one of the BEST instructors I've ever seen. It is fast pasted, but well organized and completely to the point. I don't know about you, but I prefer an engaging instructor that is passionate about her field and wants to give you as much information in her course as possible. The bonus materials alone are worth their weight in gold and should help anyone having trouble following along with her advanced techniques. I hope CreativeLive brings her back soon!

Amy Vaughn

Lisa was obviously trying to cram a lot of advanced information into a short class here, but she was fun to watch and I thought she did an excellent job. The extra time she put into the bonus materials more than makes up for how rushed the video was. The PDF workbook is 23 pages long with screenshots, step by step instructions and loaded with tips. Then there are over 50 quality hair brushes in the brush sets. I'd love to see her come back to CreativeLive some day for a longer class covering more topics.