Simple and effective retouching

Hello, dear users of the site
In this wonderful lesson we will bring youth back to this girl in just a few minutes. Download this photo here (registration required).

Just want to warn you that for each image you need individual settings.

Step 1. So let’s get started. If we look at the blue channel in our image, we will see that it does not look very good. There are many so-called JPG artifacts that are not visible to us under the RGB mode. Now we will try to improve the Blue Channel a little.

Copy the background layer. Apply to it Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur). Radius install 10 pixels. Click OK. Blend mode change to Chromaticity (Color). Double click on the layer thumbnail. In the window that appears, uncheck the checkboxes opposite R and G. This will apply all changes only to the Blue Channel. Click OK. Look at the blue channel now. Does it look better?

Step 2. Now use Curves to adjust the colors in the image. I suggest you use curves, not Levels, because they give us more control over color.

You can download the parameters I used to your computer from here.
Create a new adjustment layer. Curves, then, if you are using my settings, click on the arrow on the top right and in the appeared menu choose LoadPreset and select the desired file.

Step 3. Now tool Healing Brush (Healing Brush Tool) (J) Get rid of major skin defects, in this case we have 4 freckles.

Create a new layer above the background. Choosing a tool Healing Brush (Healing Brush) (J) and check that the toolbar is “Sample All Layers”.

There is one remarkable rule: when retouching, never edit the original layer, you never have to go back. That is why we have now created a new layer and edited it.

Step 4. Select all layers except the curve layer (Hold Shift and click on the layer thumbnails in the layers palette). Drag them to the button to create a new layer to copy. Click Ctrl + E to combine them.
Choosing a tool Polygonal Lasso (Polygonal Lasso Tool) and select the woman. This can be done not too carefully. Hold down the key Alt, and remove from the selection of everything that does not apply to the skin – eyes, eyebrows, nostrils. Also exclude from the selection of all kinds of cavities. So my selection looks like in the quick mask mode:

Push Shift+Ctrl+I, to invert the selection and press the key Delete, to remove selected pixels. In appearance, everything will remain unchanged.

Step 5. Move on Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur). Radius install 20 pixels. Lowering Opacity (Opacity) to 75%. Again, select the three main layers and copy them. Push Ctrl+E, to merge the layers. Move the resulting layer above the erased. Push Ctrl+Alt+G. This will create a clipping mask, which is indicated by a downward arrow next to the layer thumbnail. This means that the top layer will use the transparent pixels of the bottom layer as a mask.

Step 6. Move on Filter> Other> Color Contrast (Filter> Other> High Pass). Set the radius to four.

Change the blending mode to Linear light (Linear Light) and lower Opacity (Opacity) to 40%. is ready!

The purpose of this lesson was to get rid of major defects and smooth the skin, but not to make a person look like a model. This technique is ideal for everyday use.
Good luck and success.

Author: Kyle Pero

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