We do portrait photo processing in Photoshop


I really like the effects that can be obtained using various adjustment layers, and I decided to write a lesson on portrait processing in a charming-glamorous style. I hope you enjoy it too. So let’s get started!

Photos After processing and Before:

Materials for the lesson:

But you can use any other photo.

Step 1. Open our photo. Depending on the photo you are using, select adjustment layers or Levels (Levels) either Curves (Curves) for darkening too light of a portrait or lightening of such a portrait as in my example. Select the settings individually, until the result suits you.

For easy clarification, I changed only the setting. Midtones (Medium tones) from 1 to 1.2.

Step 2. Create a new layer. Apply Spot healing brush (Spot Healing Brush) to remove
blemishes, wrinkles and dark areas on the neck and face.
Note: If you do not know how to use a Dot Repair Brush, read this article.

Use a brush with a stiffness of 0%, choose the diameter of the brush depending on the size of the spot.

Step 3. Create a new layer using the tool Eyedropper tool (Pipette), we click on the bright place on the face
models. In my case, it turned out the colorf1bab1. Use a soft brush with an opacity of 20-25% and paint over dark areas of the face. Do not abuse this technique, as you can paint over facial features and our model will look unnatural.

Step 4. Repeat the same action on the neck. Create a new layer, pick up the color on the light area with a pipette and paint over the dark areas on the model’s neck. In my case it will be colore5b59e.

Step 5. At this point, we will use the filter. Liquify (Plastic) to correct the face and body of the model, to make it more attractive.

Note of translator: before using plastics, it is necessary to create a combined copy of the layers using the key combination Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E.

To do this, go to the menu FilterLiquify (Filter – Plastic), there choose the tool Forward warp tool (Deformation) and set the following tool parameters:

Now using this tool, we pull down a little cheek and model’s chin, neck and shoulder, you can also slightly push the middle of the chin to give it an oval look. You can also use other tools of the Plastic filter at your discretion to give our model the most attractive look. Try to keep the proportions – a thin face should not have a wide neck, a nose too big in combination with small eyes, etc. In this step, we correct the appearance without disturbing the proportions.

Note of translator: if you do not know how to use plastic, read this article.

After applying the Plastic filter, you may notice that some areas of our image have become too blurry – this can be corrected. Apply filter Filter – Sharpen – Unsharp mask (Filter – Sharpness – Contour Sharpness) either Smart sharpen (Smart sharpness), the settings are selected independently depending on your photo.

My result after applying filters Plastic and Sharpness.

Step 6. Create the following adjustment layers:
Color Balance:
Midtones (Mid Tones): 12, 8, -20
Shadows (Shadows): 7, -4, -5
Highlights (Lights): -1, 7, -7

Selectivecolor (Selective color correction):
Reds (Red): 16, -28, 16, 0
Yellows: -93, -51, 25, 0
Neutrals (Neutrals): 16, 16, -28, 0
Blacks (Black): 47, 21, -12, 13

GradientMap (Gradient map): from #064b7c to #c59575

Change the blending mode of this adjustment layer to Soft light (Soft light), the opacity of the layer is 100%.
Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation):

I got this result:

Step 7. Create a new layer on top of all layers. Use a brush with stiffness settings of approx. 40-45%, color #fea586. Draw a blush on the cheek model.

Apply to the blush layer filter Filter – Blur – Gassian Blur (Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur) with blur radius settings 18 pix. Opacity to the blush layer is reduced to 60%.

Step 8. On a new layer with a soft brush, paint over white areas of the photo in the area of ​​the forehead, nose, under the eye and on the chin, focusing on the example in the lesson.

Reduce the opacity of this layer to 30%.

Step 9. Create a new layer. On it I want to correct the color of the neck of the model. Use a soft brush color #e5b59e, change this layer overlay mode Soft light (Soft light), the opacity of the layer is 100%.

Step 10. In this step we will do lips. Create a new layer, based on the example from the lesson, paint the selected areas of the lips with colorfc805a. This is done in order to make the lips visually fuller and more voluminous. Set this layer overlay mode. Darken (Replace with dark), opacity 50%.

Step 11. Create a new layer. Using a soft brush color #fc805a, paint the lips of the model, set this layer overlay mode Soft light (Soft light), the opacity of the layer is 100%. It should look something like this:

Step 12. Create a new layer using a soft brush with color #7f9ef6 paint the eyelid as in the example below.

Change this layer overlay mode to Multipy (Multiplication), opacity 60%. Apply filter Filter –Noise – Add noise (Filter – Noise – Add Noise) with these settings:

I did it like this:

Step 13. Add adjustment layers.
Curves (Curves):

ColorBalance (Color balance):
Midtones: -24, -12, 16

Selectivecolor (Selective color correction):
Reds (Red): 0, 9, 13, 0
Yellows: 0, 15, -57, 0
Blues (Blue): 37, 31, 36, 0
Neutrals (Neutrals): 8, -6, -10, 0

PhotoFilter (Photo Filter): color #fcc7c9.


Result after adjustment layers:

Step 14. Please note that after processing the neck of our model has acquired a greenish tint. We need to fix this.

Use a soft brush color #ff8e85 with an opacity of 20%. On the new layer, paint the selected area. Change this layer overlay mode to Color (Chromaticity), layer opacity 30%.

Step 15. Create a new layer Layer – New Layer (Layer – New Layer). Rename this layer to Light-Shadow, blending mode Overlay (Overlap), put a check in front Runfill with neutral color in the “Overlap” mode (50% Gray). Focus on the picture below:

We use tools Dodge (Clarifier) ​​and Burn (Dimmer) to highlight the features of the face: Brightener to soften the nose, around the forehead, the skin around the eyes, above the lips, around the chin. Dimmer need to walk on the sides of the nose, around the eyes and the iris.
See what I did. You can see that the picture has become more contrast, facial features more expressive.

Step 16. Create a new layer, fill it with a black and white radial gradient, as in the image below.

Change the layer with the gradient blend mode to Soft light (Soft light), the opacity of the layer is 100%. Add a layer mask and a black brush over the mask. Erase the selected part of the image.

Thus, the background behind our model will become slightly darker.

Step 17. Add an adjustment layer Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast):

Step 18. Create a merged copy of the layers, to do this, press the key combination Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E. Apply a filter to the merged layer Filter – Other – High Pass (Filter – Other – Color Contrast) with a radius of 1.5 pixels. Change this layer overlay mode to Soft light (Soft light), the opacity of the layer is 100%. Thus, we slightly added sharpness to our image.

Add a layer mask, erase with a black brush on the mask areas of the background, which turned out to be slightly bluff.

Final result:

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