UPDATE, Sept. 2011: Please check out my updated Perfect Portrait action HERE! This action below works fine, but I have made a newer version that I think is a bit improved. :-)
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This is my 100th post!!! I seriously never guessed I would become so blog "obsessed". ;-) CoffeeShop was started on a lark one day last March to share Photoshop tips/actions with my sis who lives out of town. Ironically she hardly ever has the time to stop by, but now close to 1000 other people a day pop in! :-) This scientist turned photo-editor and blogger is humbled and thankful for every one of you.
So thank you so much for not only your generous donations and incredibly wonderful comments, but thank you for visiting here and thus making me use my creaky old dusty brain to create new things to post. And truth be told, I hardly miss the science at all (and when I do the boys and I just do a fun science experiment here at home and I don't have to worry about writing it up as most people know what happens when you put baking soda and vinegar in a homemade volcano!).
Here it is, the free CoffeeShop Perfect Portrait PS/PSE Action! This action combines CoffeeShop PowderRoom 2 with many other enhancing layers which make Perfect Portrait your one-stop portrait action. You should clone out any bad blemishes before starting, but once you do that just click on the action and adjust the level's adjustment layer to correct color/contrast and let it run. Once it is finished you fine-tune the layers to make your image "pop". You have to be familiar with layer masks (download the PSE CoffeeShop Layer Mask if you haven't already).
The best part of this action is that you are in control as you set the opacity of your brushes and layers. This action requires your input, and that is why your images will look more professional and hopefully stunning after using it. And this action saves you so much time. Just imagine doing all of those layers on your own!
The Vivid Color layer lets you saturate the color. Just use a low opacity soft white brush, select the layer mask, and paint on the image where you want supersaturated colors (like backgrounds). The Color Pop layer gives you a subtle color/contrast pop. Adjust the opacity of this layer to taste and use the layer mask to mask out skin if the effect is too much. Finally, the Urban Grit is my favorite "drastic" effect. It adds a high contrast gritty look, almost a bit HDR, and it works great for backgrounds. Like the Vivid Color layer, you use a low opacity soft white brush, select the layer mask, and paint on the image where you want the Urban Grit effect. Try it on brick wall backgrounds, it is amazing! The brighten layer gives a subtle brightness/contrast pop and it can be adjusted by tweaking the layer opacity.
You can turn on/off the vignette, adjust the layer opacity to taste, and even change the blending mode to multiply for a dramatic vignette. The Sharpen layer is set to be off, but if you want to use it, just turn on the eye icon and adjust opacity to taste. The Dodge/Burn layer allows you to lighten/brighten parts of the image without destroying the original. Use a low opacity soft white brush to lighten, a low opacity soft black brush to darken.
The retouching layers are from CoffeeShop PowderRoom 2. You might not know you can use the skin soften layer to soften other things. I sometimes use it on backgrounds (especially trees) as it gives them a nice muted soft effect. You can even use it over an entire image to soften everything.
The zipped file contains the .atn action file, 2 icon (thumbnail) files for PSE, brief instructions, and a sample image.
Click on the image above to download CoffeeShop Perfect Portrait, and if that doesn't work then click HERE!
Want all of my favorite CoffeeShop Actions or Design Elements in one simple download AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures. For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.