Portrait Photography is one of my favourite genres of Photography. In the post-processing, including the basic adjustments in the brightness and colours in the picture, skin smoothening or skin retouching is an important step. There are various methods to smoothen the skin depending on how much time you have in your hands to dedicate to a single photograph. On an average, I spend around 30 minutes editing a single photograph when it has to be posted on a named platform to ensure it’s of the highest quality possible. With the usual bulk photographs, I don’t spend as much as time editing as on a single one. So, skin retouching process has to be quicker too. Disclaimer, there are better and time-consuming ways to do this as well. Following is just a shorter way for beginners and people who want to get things done quicker. Here is a tutorial on quick high-end skin retouching in Photoshop that can be done in under 5 minutes!
- Open the image in Photoshop. On the right panel, at the bottom where you see the background layer. Select it and press CTRL+J to create a duplicate layer.
- Now select this duplicate layer we just created and press CTRL+I. This will invert the image. Looks good? No? Don’t worry we’ll get there.
- Keeping the duplicate layer selected, on the top of the layer you’ll see an option to change its blend mode. Set the blend mode to Vivid Light.
- Still, keeping the duplicate layer selected, in the menu at the top, go to Filter > Other > High Pass. Set the value of High Pass to 24 and press OK.
- Again go to Filter and this time click on Blur, choose Gaussian Blur. Select a value between 3-5 which doesn’t make the skin look as smooth as plastic. It should preserve the skin pores along with smoothening them. After you have found the desirable right value, press OK.
- Keeping the duplicate layer selected, hold ALT and create a mask by clicking on a rectangle with an oval inside it. You’ll find it on the bottom of the right panel.
- Now, here is when the picture gets the closest to the final result! Select Brush from the left panel and make sure the two squares showing up on left have a white box in front of the black one.
- Use the brush to paint over the skin to smoothen it as well as keeping the pores intact. Be careful, don’t paint over the areas like eyes and lips which should appear sharper in the picture. Also, avoid painting over highlights.
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