CoffeeShop Baby PowderRoom 2 Action and Tutorial: Part 2!

This is the second part of a two-part tutorial on editing baby portraits. Part 1 of the Baby PowderRoom Tutorial demonstrated how to adjust exposure and fix blotchy red skin.  Today I am going to show you how to run CoffeeShop Baby PowderRoom 2 on your image and add an optional texture.  You can still find the original Baby PowderRoom action here, and the download for my updated version is at the bottom of this post.

And Baby PowderRoom is not only for babies, you can use it on any portrait!

Tutorial Part 2:  Running CoffeeShop PowderRoom 2 action on an image and adding an optional texture

1.  Here is the image from Part 1 generously donated by Julie Harding Photography.  As you can see, I removed the red, blotchy skin.

2.  Run the CoffeeShop Baby PowderRoom 2 action (download at the bottom of this post).  The first pop-up will be Replace Color which allows you to automatically select skin for the skin-smoothing step.

Click on an area of skin to select it, and then adjust the Fuzziness slider.  Your selection will be white, so make sure you are selecting the skin but not everything in the image.

If you want to add to your selection click on the eyedropper with the  (+), if you want to remove selection click on the eyedropper with the  (-).

Press OK.

3.  Skin Smoothing:  The Surface Blur adjustment will pop-up and you can adjust the setting if you wish.  I just press OK and then lower the opacity of this layer when the action is finished so the skin won't be too smooth.

4.  After the action runs you will have 6 new layers over your background.  Your baby will probably look like a plastic doll, so time to use some layer masks and adjust opacities of layers.

If you are new to using layer masks, please go read my layer mask tutorial before using this action.  This action does not magically edit your image, you will have to use layer masks!

5.  Smooth the skin:  This action automatically selects the skin, but sometimes you have to paint out the hair, eyes, lips and end of the nose on the Smooth the skin layer.  Click on the layer mask of Smooth the skin, click "B" for brush,  and use a soft black brush in normal mode at the opacity of taste to paint over anything you don't want smooth.  I also lower the opacity of the Smooth the skin layer so my baby does not look like a plastic doll.  Please don't go crazy on the skin smoothing.

If you want to easily see what you are painting over, Alt-click on the layer mask.  The image will turn black and white as seen in the screenshot above.  The white areas will be smooth, the gray areas not so smooth, and the black areas will completely block the Smooth the skin layer.

Alternatively, you can  Shift-Alt click on the layer mask (this time I did it on the Lighten Skin layer) and the image will turn red.  Areas that are darker red are masked (the effect on that layer will not be seen), and areas that are not so red are allowing the layer's effect to shine through.  If parts of your image are not red at all, than 100% of that layer's effect is coming through.

6. Lighten Skin: If you want to slightly lighten the skin (as if lightly powdered), click "B" for brush and set your brush to Normal Mode, white, and low opacity (10-20%). Click on the black layer mask and paint over the skin. Adjust the Lighten Skin layer's opacity to taste.

7. Skin Glow: This layer adds a soft subtle dewy glow to the skin. Cick "B" for brush and set your brush to Normal Mode, white, and low opacity (20-30%). Click on the black layer mask and then paint over the skin. Adjust the Skin Glow layer's opacity to taste.

8. Eye Define: This layer enhances eyes and eyelashes. Click "B" for brush and set the brush to Normal Mode, white and 50-100% opacity. Click on the black layer mask. Paint over the eyes and eyelashes. Then adjust the Eye Define layer's opacity to taste.

9. Bright Eyes: This layer brightens the iris and whites of the eyes. Click "B" for brush and set the brush to Normal mode, white, and 10-20%. Carefully paint over the iris, avoiding the pupil, and the whites of the eyes. Then adjust the Bright Eyes layer's opacity to taste.

10.  Levels layer:  You can use the Levels 1 adjustment layer to make final adjustments to exposure and color.  Set to RGB to adjust the highlights/midtones/shadows.  And use the slider to select Red or Blue to remove/add yellow/red.  The Blue setting allows you to add/remove yellow.

In this case I wanted a bit more red in this image, so I set the drop-down to Red and slightly moved up the middle (gamma) slider.

11.  Add an optional texture:  I wanted to add a texture to this image, and I picked a beautiful texture called Old Bench from the Chasing Dreams Summertime 2 Texture pack.  Right now, use the code summer20 for 20% off the Summertime II Collection. It's good through the 6th.  And check out Colleen's bundled texture specials!  I love Colleen's textures.

Drop the texture on top of your image and free transform it to fit (Ctrl-T).  I put the texture layer in soft light mode in this case, but you can try overlay, multiply, or even vivid light and adjust the opacity to taste.

12.  Removing the texture from the baby:  In this case I didn't want the texture's colors affecting my image, so I clicked on the texture layer and desaturated it (made it black and white).  Then I added a layer mask, clicked to select it, and used a soft black brush at 100% opacity to paint out the baby.

I hope you enjoyed my newest retouching tutorial! I would love to see before/afters posted on my Facebook page.

Download the free CoffeeShop  Baby PowderRoom 2 action for Photoshop and PSE (versions 7 and up only, does not work in PSE6 and below).  You can also download it here.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop Actions or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack (includes this action!) 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.


Marie Haun May 2, 2012 at 8:48 PM  

I am like you I have no babies to play with it on :( Thank you for everything !

shelly May 3, 2012 at 12:27 AM  

Nicely done. Great detail on explaining what you've done.

Vicki I. May 3, 2012 at 6:03 AM  

Thank you!! I can't wait to play with this!

Anonymous May 3, 2012 at 10:10 AM  

Love IT! Can't wait to give this a try on my own

Anonymous May 4, 2012 at 11:00 PM  

I just downloaded this...and WILL love it, if only I could get the action prompts to get to the next step. I'm stuck on the Smooth the Skin step. It's leaving me hanging!!! What do I do next?!!

Anonymous May 5, 2012 at 8:52 AM  

I love, love, love the original Baby Powder room amd use it all the time. But I'm having difficulty with version 2.

I am not getting a layer adjustment for smooth skin, and keep getting the messages: the command "make" is not available; the command "select" is not available. What am I doing wrong?

Running PSE version 8 on Windows 7

Chasing Dreams Photography May 5, 2012 at 8:59 PM  

Love your tutorial : ) you are so talented my friend!!!!

maureen at Cottage 960 May 17, 2012 at 3:35 PM  

I can't wait to try this. I have a new Grandbaby and anticipate lots of photos. :) Photographing babies is new for me, so I'm certain this will be a huge help.
Tanks so much.

Anonymous June 15, 2012 at 3:09 PM  

I love the original Baby Powder Room! I am excited to use Baby Powder Room 2; however, I'm experiencing the same problem with "the command "make" is not available; and the command "select" is not available". Not sure what I'm doing wrong. I'm working on PSE version 7.

Jessica K. July 25, 2012 at 2:10 PM  

I would love to use this action, but am having a problem, and was wondering if anyone found the solution to the commands 'make' and 'select' being unavailable. I am also running PSE 8 on windows 7. Thanks for any help. Can't wait to use this action on a baby shoot I did yesterday!

Free Photoshop Actions August 3, 2012 at 1:41 PM  

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onemomsview December 12, 2012 at 1:04 PM  

Rita, I can't thank you enough. This action is my go-to every time I edit a portrait. It is truly a miracle, and I'm so grateful. Thanks again!

Jennifer N. March 7, 2013 at 11:10 AM  

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I can't wait to try out this action!! Love, Jennifer N.

Nicole Raquel May 7, 2013 at 7:47 PM  

omg love this

Anonymous July 22, 2013 at 12:53 PM  

if you are experiencing these errors as i was make sure you have an image open before clicking on the action. once i opened an image then it worked great on photo elements 11! thanks so much for the amazing actions!!!

Anonymous July 23, 2013 at 8:45 PM  

I have an image open and keep receiving the message command and make not available? I am working in PSE 8, help please!

Rita July 24, 2013 at 9:14 AM  

Make sure your image is flattened before running this action. :-)

Anonymous August 2, 2013 at 12:08 PM  

Hi I'm new to editing and I'm hoping someone can help me. I'm not seeing any changes when I make them to the layers. My photo isn't looking like a doll by that step. What am I doing wrong? Im using elements 10. Thanks

Rita August 4, 2013 at 1:23 PM  

You have to paint on the layer masks to see changes on many of the layers. :-) Rita

April Berry August 13, 2013 at 1:24 PM  

Thank you so much Rita! I talked with you on Facebook a few days ago. I am still learning but LOVING everything you have so generously offered. Thank you, again! :)

Caryn P. October 24, 2013 at 12:34 PM  

The skin smoothing method in this action is genius! How would one do this manually? I understand how to use Color Replace, but how do you use it with the surface blur? Thanks! Caryn

Tonja @the Sullivan Good Life November 5, 2013 at 10:30 AM  

Thank you so much for the action. I just used it on PSE11 and it works perfect! Really helped with a couple of under exposed photos too.

Annemieke January 16, 2014 at 1:25 PM  

Hi Rita, I always used BabyPowderRoom with great pleasure and succes (thank you!!), but have now updated from CS4 (in English) to CS6 (in Dutch) and BPR doesn't seem to work anymore. Can't find the 'background' layer, it says. Is this because I got the Dutch version of CS6? Anyway I can work around this?

Rita January 16, 2014 at 2:37 PM  

Anne, some of my actions won't run in non-English versions of Photoshop. I have heard of go-arounds, but I don't know how to do it myself. Would it be possible to call Adobe and ask for an English version?

Joy January 20, 2014 at 10:51 AM  

I can't even get my action to start/run. I have an image open and am using CS4 on a Mac. I have used other actions from this site before but it has been a while. What am I missing? I have tried a flattened image, unlocked layer, copied layer, etc.

Help :)

Joy January 20, 2014 at 10:53 AM  

I just figured it out. I was clicking on the action name not the first step. My apologies!

Jessica March 13, 2014 at 11:46 PM  

I also keep receiving the message command and make not available? I am working in PSE 8, and the image is flattened before running the action.