Skin smoothing tutorial
Get rid of spots and blemishes to make your portraits picture perfect in three simple steps
Whether it’s for your own vanity or you want to clean up an image for a client, learning how to produce flawless and natural-looking skin in Photoshop after your shoot is essential.
There are a lot of different ways of retouching skin in Photoshop and which one you favour is very subjective. Your choice will – or ought to be – affected by the effect you want to achieve, as some techniques tend to produce more natural results than others.
Common sense also needs to be applied when retouching skin. No matter how skilful you are in Photoshop, if you go too far it will probably simply look silly.
Generally speaking, the best rule of thumb to have in mind is that, at the end of the retouching process, your images should still have an overriding realism about them. People in their 70′s do not have perfect skin, so it will almost certainly make your images appear unconvincing and odd if you obliterate every slight imperfection. You can, however, reduce the harshness of their lines, which will keep them happy and ensure that the image retains some of its natural authenticity.
Here’s our guide to retouching skin using the Clone Tool.
Step 1 – Clone
Duplicate the layer, zoom in to 100% and select the Clone Tool to remove spots. Set the brush size to 60 pixels, Opacity 75%. Press Alt and select a clean and clear area of the skin. Click the cursor over the spot and watch it disappear. All this to all blemishes.
Step 2 – Heal brush
Remove wrinkles with the Spot Healing Brush Tool. Ensure Content Aware is selected on the top option bar. Set the brush size to around 95 pixels. Paint over the forehead wrinkles. This tool also reduces shiny areas. Again, brush over the problem area, avoiding the eyes.
Step 3 – Focus on the eyes
Zoom in to the eye at 200% and select the Clone tool. Reduce Opacity to 35%. Press Alt and select a clean area to duplicate. Brush over the eye bags and squint lines a few times. They’ll become faint without disappearing – which is precisely what we want.