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Retouching Skin: Basic Tools

Lesson 28 from: Skin 101: Lighting, Retouching and Understanding Skin

Lindsay Adler

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Lesson Info

28. Retouching Skin: Basic Tools

Lesson Info

Retouching Skin: Basic Tools

I was going to tell you that this is not necessarily how it retouch this but it's so we still got to go over the essential tools so this is we're building up here s I'm going to duplicate my background and what I do is I start by just trying to get rid of some blemishes and trying to get rid of anything that's too distracting so let's talk about the most important tools that you have made this the most important tools you have available to you in photo shopped for basic retouching so on the far left hand side we're going to begin here the spot healing healing brush patch to a continent where those tools those tend to be your essentials for retouching so let me explain what each one is and how you would use them differently with the spot healing brush is it allows you to change the size of your brush we want to do is you want to make your brush just a little bit bigger than the blemish you want to remove and then what I'm saying is okay photoshopped this doesn't belong I don't want this...

here so when I click take a look around look around at the other skin tones and please replace it with what should be there so you're you're leaving a lot up to photo shop to the side so I should click and it should get rid of it which is their very therapeutic clicking around okay say uh one of the things that I've found improves the functionality of this brush is in photo shops six and newer I believe is if you have the content aware button checked there's different ways that this functions that's the one that I like best for retouching skin just try that and see if you like it a little bit better ok what I have found is this tool doesn't do so well near edges edges of hairline edges of a lip on and see if she has any thing I mean like let's say I wanted to get rid of this uh freckle let's see how it does if zoom way win can see how it blurred it a little bit it was before after that texture doesn't exactly match lip next but that's not a huge terrible example but anything near hair liner edges what photo shop gets confused by it says okay well you've just told me to look around and guess well there's a little bit of lift here and there's a little bit of skin and it's a little bit of this and that and so it tries to guess and it doesn't usually do a great job so that's why you might click on the next option the next option down is the healing brush and how the healing brush works is you have to select a sample so what you're doing is you're telling photo shop this is good skin this is bad skin please replace it and blended in beautifully so what you do is you hold the cult or option key to select the area of skin that is good cook and then it basically paste and blends it but not a cut and paste it actually more intelligent than that so it gives you seamless edges this works better for me when I'm close to edges where photoshopped wouldn't know also sometimes there's a lot of textured skin it gets a little bit confused so I tend to use this a little bit more so all what I'll do is I can click around and get rid of any major blemishes and it's a pretty quick process if you use a tablet this is also going to be a bit faster I'm going to be doing everything on my track fan you will be really impressed by the end of the day okay so that's what I would do uh I'm watching for any places where it gives me texture that is not an improvement but it's doing pretty well on her face here and I'm just trying to get rid of big distracting textures that looks pretty good all right let's vote mole or pimple okay so this is why I wanted to bring this up when I'm photographing clients I asked them why not I just I just asked him I say that's a mole on your face when you were going to keep you want me to get rid of it I just ask like it's a little bit awkward but for example I have a scar between my eyebrows some people you get rid of their scars and they're extremely offended because it's part of who they are is part of their face and their character I want you to get rid of mine like you absolutely can retouch my now so I just I get rid of the hassle and I just ask for beauty I get rid of whatever I want and I would get rid of this because I think it's a distracting texture so let's see how that does so that did pretty well with the spot healing okay so I'm okay with that that looks good I also like if this weren't a portrait I'd probably get rid of the the more defined uh moles and uh body body marks um something else as well it is you do have some controls with this tool you can make the edge hard or soft I tend to work with the edge at like sixty to eighty percent because if you go for a soft edge brush when I'm doing this thiss healing brush I get like a little bit blurry around the edges and then it starts to degrade the skin texture we're just very similar to what happens with our next tool if you have a really really soft brush at ojai capacity so the next tool down the line um is going to be the patch also actually two more tools get to it the past tool the pack tools it works great for me this is what I use it for for veins in the eyes or skin um large wrinkles really big blemishes any anything that's that's larger because what it lets me do is it lets me select a larger area of skin say this whole area maybe I wanna replace so I select what I don't like and then I can click and drag it to an area of skin that I do like it it's nice because it more or less gives you a preview you don't have to guess if you're selecting a skin that's going to match there and so if when I let go photoshopped does its little thinking and it blends in the edges the reason that I like this and she doesn't have really have too many big blemishes like this might be great for it for control but really big wrinkles is a huge one this is what I do there's a tool here and people say differently holly gonna lasso tool polygamy last little whatever however you say it people get fixated on things okay anyway what it lets me dio is when I click it lets me select things and every time I click in a straight line so I can make a selection of a long wrinkle without doing it by hand I could have it nice and precise or maybe there's like saying very small that I want to select and I don't want to be reaching into other pixels so she doesn't really have any wrinkles but I can select make a selection of the problem area with whatever tool I want and I switched back to the patch tool and it uses that selection so that's why I use it a lot with wrinkles because if you know the wrinkles across the forehead maybe I want to get rid of one for me I could just get more of a precise selection click and drag it up all in one movement so I like that but I also use a patch tool for unsightly veins in the eyes think she's pretty good yeah she's pretty good the only thing I might get rid of is this little speck right here okay all right so let's go on to the tool that most of you know probably which would be the clone stamp for the sake of us editing right now I'm going to duplicate my background just so we can do some before and afters I know I might get this question you can create a new layer and then things for cloning pacing that layer we'll get that later okay so close damn close them is basically cut and paste fundamentally so what you do is you hold the altar option key and wherever you click it's cutting and then whenever you let go ls that all option and you click again it paste that area down the controls that you have a couple things you have the sides of the brush and the hardness a very soft brush gives you a feathered edge which means you're not going to see a defined line or to find edge and then you also have a passage which is basically how transparent or see through is this paste ok well this is the tool that most people mess up most often because what happens is as you layer over the cut and paste every time that you paste more texture you are making it fuzzy you're layering and getting rid of the detail and it starts to look un riel so if somebody cloned stamps over a ton of times all of a sudden there's perfectly plastic skin with zero detail whatsoever really high end retouch er's when they use the clone stamp they use it at one hundred percent opacity zoomed in at one hundred percent of the image whereas most of us use it somewhere in between to make it easy at whatever zoom we choose which is why it doesn't work so it can be used correctly and so I mean I could use it for example to maybe at fifty percent capacity selected the skin cut and paste and notice it didn't do the blending for me the blending is based on the softness of my edge so I start to see the softness after a while okay so the whole thing I want you to know is that you don't want to just use the clone stamp to get rid of things like blemishes on the skin I'd probably go for the other ones before using the clones especially if you're gonna use a clone stamp at low capacity many times all right so here's what you do want to do if you're going to use the clone stamp which you can and I use it often is you want to do something called changing the blend mode and if you don't know what this is excellent okay it's going to be this is going to make a huge difference to your retouching on you want to go up to your to the right to the top left hand side very top of photo shop where you see mode you see all of these different options which they also exist over here for layers we're not going to touch on that quite yet but with all your different with all your different brushes you have these things called blend modes and they change the functionality of the brush like you're making it more precise you're making it do what you want it to do instead of it just cutting and pasting or or whatever if healing it gives you more control over how it's healing all right so let's talk specifically about blend moans for clone stamp there are two blood moans that you would want to consider that you would want to change your clothes sam too and they would be lytton or darken those the two that are going to be most useful and here's why nor really a clone stamp copies and paste when I changed my blend mode too late and when you change your blood want to lighten it's on ly lightens the shadow so when I paste is on ly pacing into the shadow areas which is good because then you're not going to mess up the texture in the highlights and so it'll just lighten up the shadows a little bit but the skin will look more realistic so for example changing my blend moto leighton I could come in here maybe to the area beneath her eye and I can copy and paste and it kind of fills in there okay but what you'll notice is it filled in the filled in the shadows but what it did it picked up all that texture from the skin below so you have to be a little bit more careful when you're using light and you'll notice it a little bit more so I would select this skin over here that's lighter and pasted underneath and she's going to look a little bit more realistic okay so you could lighten it up a bit like that we're going to go to better ways of doing this later so let me we're going to build okay so we'll start there and I could do the same thing over here like end let's fill in underneath her eye so kind of filling in some of these textures same thing is changing the blend mode to darken what darkened does is all it does when it paste it pays to darken down highlights that's all it does so let's say I was trying to get rid of some of these this breaks shine on our cheeks I can change my blood mode to darken and now want to clone it'll just clone down some of those highlights and that's all it did so I can kind of tone that down a little bit so they're not as shiny of a texture and that could be wherever so the place that I use this the most is for really bright highlights on the forehead I'll use my clone stamp on darkened and go over it once or twice just tone it down just a little bit if I couldn't tone it down a little bit in light room to begin with this is a good time a good place to do it so those would be some of the essential tools that we're going to be going through we're going to be practicing a little bit more and it might work better now that we've toned this down to try lytton to fill it in under the eyes you know maybe that works a little bit better in between because you a little bit of problems so those were the most basic most essential tools that will be using for the rest of the day so macy real quick questions on adjustment layers lair mast and the basic tools yes not quite a question but I always get annoyed when I'm on a tool that has blend moves and I'm trying to change my plan moves on my layer I forget and it changes we're using them keep the shortcut so I make sure you check you're not cool if you're trying to change and vice versa yes so what was she saying is because over here you can change blend modes this is not your tools these are not your brushes these aren't your retouching tools these air changing blend most of your layers and what that's doing that's changing how the layers are interacting with each other changes the algorithms of how they see each other andi I use this a lot for creative but also retouching effect so we'll talk about those as well so if you're trying to change the blend most of your brush is it's got to be over here and just so you know some of the places that you can make some changes you can change the blend mode of regular brush your clones sam patch tool spot healing healing brushes as well and so one of the reasons that you might do this is with healing let's say that you're trying to get rid of the hair on the face okay and trying to get rid of that hair and I do my normal healing my normal swat healing are healing it doesn't work that sometimes it just doesn't work quite right so if the skin is pale and that hair is dark I can say you know what I'm going to change my healing brush toe lytton it's what I'm telling it is when you heal on ly lighten things up on lee fill in dark areas so it'll leave alone the rest of the texture of the skin and just take that hair and heal it out so it's just giving you more control of how your brushes are actually functioning sometimes they work great and sometimes they don't it's kind of a trial on air sort of thing so let's see questions on any of that uh you were saying that you work if you're not doing something is you working done destructive and you're using the layers for that could explain this for like the because it seems like once you do something you can't go back and undo it okay so there's a couple things that's perfect question so when I'm making my changes too levels into color into all of that I use my adjustment layers because they sit on top if you're watching what I'm doing now is I am for the purpose of this presentation I keep just like duplicating it's going to take up more file space and I would have to go back but what you can do for example is create a new layer and let's say I'm using my clone stamp like we were doing before if I come up here to the right hand side I need to change my sample source what this means is right now if I hit current which is the default I believe if they use current and I start trying to clone nothing's happening because what I'm sampling from isn't empty layer so it's trying to clone and it's not working so what I'd have to do is change it to current and below and so for current and below now if I go ahead and clone me it's definitely picking up textures and so now when you do this okay I'm doing this bad on purpose guys okay now that's what you have as a duplicate layer and it takes up significantly less space so you can have these lire and you can switch them around but not all the tools can work like that not all the tools khun sample below so some of you have to duplicate the background to work with I do just duplicate my background a ton it's not necessarily the right way but I do it a lot I saw two questions yes you back on this but when you have current and below selected for your tool and you're adding on the layer above if you have it chosen one like lytton what on lee yes so it only then as you start changing blend modes it starts getting funky right so it only like does that to the top layer even though you're still sampling from below because it's on the top layer for lee so without getting super complicated let's just say no school because they have to be specific example but yes then as you start changing blend moses start functioning a little bit different I can still for example use the clone stamp on light in here but if I have many different layers that's when it starts the blend mode start functioning differently so I do do a lot of duplicating my background quick one from nb photo who was winning what is the benefit of using the polygon aled polygamous however you want to pronounce a polygon rather than the lasso okay so from me let's say that somebody has a whole bunch of wrinkles lined up on their forehead when I go ahead and try to make that salt long selection with my last school sometimes I get a little bit too close to the other wrinkle so now when I click with the patch to one drag it up it actually pulls from the texture of the detail that other wrinkle and then I have undesired streak so for me it just gives me a lot more precision for making length your selections okay I think I have another question here so I've run into problems with layers you know do you flatten after you do because I get confused you know sometimes I'll try to work on a layer but it's not working because I'm on the wrong layer and it's then that flat and I lose the ability to go back so what I do is I named my layers and that's how I tried to keep track of what the heck I'm doing so all you need to do is we just click on it and then this would be for example spot healing skin it takes like an extra two seconds but then I kind of know what's going on I usually work with a lot of layers and avoid flattening because I can't go back at that point so because the way I do it is whatever might say I'm working on skin specifically I'll make a group and then make my files inside of that group and where and this time the group skin and then you know so on and so forth totally so if you come down here you can go ahead and create different groups okay and so these groups I could call skin and now everything that was working on the skin can go in that group but maybe this particular layer is going to go in another group where I adjusted eyes or something and so it's a good way to kind of keep track of what's going on because otherwise you do a whole bunch of on off on a hunt off forever and ever and ever so naming and grouping is especially what ideo for really intense retouch is so I can have some idea of what's going on so these are the most basic of tools originally planned when I was playing this class to save the more difficult more advanced retouching for later on but honestly that's the way I would do everything is do frequency separation so in our next segment which we have shortly I'm going to start right away with frequency separation get everybody on that page because that's how I would do pretty much everything I'll tell you how you could do it if you don't use it but it's it's easy it's not bad it's just getting over the fact that there's like looks like there's a lot of steps is definitely the way to retouch basically everything it's funny because you say that because vincent of kelly was like if she recommends frequency separation why not go straight to it so that's what we're doing is tio now yeah because some people regardless if I teach if it didn't quite stick then they're not going to use it so I want to give everyone some basic tools but yeah so you'll like this next segment and we are going to get into things like wrinkles and blotchy nous and how I would use frequency separation for that that is the way that I would do it okay great phil birdie had a question do you change opacity in the layers panel I don't okay most of the time so instead I would rather back off of the amount of retouching that I did in the first place because then as I'm if I want to duplicate my layer again no I'm ooh pitting a layer with medium opacity and it gets all messed up so I try to just make sure it looks more accurate the place where I change capacities would be for my adjustment layers and so I would change the opacity like if I thought I went too far with this red reduction I would change the opacity so that maybe it's fifty percent or something like that and uh a couple people are asking about plug ins can you I know you talked about that a little bit in the past but can you just explain like because we're going through a lot of things manually and voters up today can you explain what you do with plug ins and why you think it's important to learn what they do first yeah definitely is actually the same thing with actions whether it's plug ins or actions which is why even though I'm giving you for free the actions that you can use you got to know what they're doing so you know how to use them I actually seldom used plug ins for skin because usually goes too far or not far enough and even when I have the sliders not quite doing what I want todo the plug ins that I do use would be one of them would be image gnomic portraiture and so image on my portraiture was really really great for me when I photographed a great deal of high school seniors or weddings were all I wanted to do is maybe in the weddings is just smooth out the skin of some of the subjects and there may be smaller in the frame there's a whole bunch of them hit a couple buttons and it's a lot smoother I've done I've worked with perfect retouch which is on one I worked with portrait professional which is a stand alone nick has a skin retouching capability as well instead what I do is right now I use portraiture with frequency separation so I actually use it to help me use do my more advanced retouching but instead of liking letting the instead of letting the plug and take over and do everything I have helped me make short cuts when I know that it's not going to nothing's up so that's how I prefer to do it was getting too technical or not but as far as ashen ghosts so you make a selection and you have the action recorded is it going toe sample from that selection every image yeah they just a little bit in them so what's great is if you did get into actions let's say what he's saying is okay maybe you made a specific skin selection or whatever it may be a mask will it apply in the future and it definitely will but if you're creating action this goes into an action class but to the left hand side of the different steps there's a little box and if you turn that box on if you hit that button at that step it stops and asks you what you want so for example a tool that we're going to talk about later is called color range and so if I'm using an action and I select make a selection based on color that action is just going to select based on that particular selection every single time in that particular color but if I go ahead and turn on that little button it'll stop and say ok make your selection now all right now let's proceed with the rest of it so just knowing kind of flexibility you have

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Makeup Contour Reference
Retouching Checklist
Frequency Separation
Retouching Files
Keynote 1
Keynote 2
Gear Guide
Skin Retouching Action File

Ratings and Reviews

Aliah Husain

Lindsay is an INCREDIBLE photographer and teacher, and also seems like a wonderful person! This class is great for beginners and more advanced photographers, as well. She goes into tons of detail on all the technical stuff like lighting and editing, and it is fascinating to see her interact with and shoot her models, work with her equipment, and photoshop like a pro. Huge amounts of information for what you pay for. If you are looking to improve your skills in photographing and retouching people, purchase this class!!

Kirsi Todd

Lindsay is probably my favourite instructor (and that is saying a lot, as there are many incredible instructors). She is so clear in her teaching and she also seems like such a nice and humble person despite her incredible success. This course is one of the best courses I have ever seen. Thank you Lindsay and Creative Live!

Andrew Lederman

Great course. Lindsay Adler is one of the best instructors for any creative live classes that I have seen. Simple and easy to understand, clear workflow, very friendly and non condescending like some other instructors. Could you put a link (maybe I just didn't see it) to where to download the actions used in this tutorial?

Student Work