Wednesday, January 1, 2014

CoffeeShop Sweet Dreams Photoshop/PSE Portrait Action and Tutorial!



Happy New Year!!!!  If you have been waiting to order a gallery wrapped canvas, now might be the time to finally get it done!  Color Inc has them for 50% off until Friday morning.  Click to go to their site!  I love using Color Inc.



So what do you think about Adobe making Photoshop only available now if you pay a monthly/annual fee to  "rent" it?  Personally, I am not incredibly happy about this change since I don't purchase every upgrade and usually use my editing programs for years.  I would prefer if they sold the program AND gave you the option to rent it.  Or a rent-to-own program would also work.  I have read the pros and cons and I think I will wait until I have to upgrade my CS5.

One change that will not surprise me is if more photographers start purchasing LR and PSE rather than dealing with renting Photoshop.  LR and PSE are a power couple and most people won't even need Photoshop unless they want to write actions.  I have to have PSE or Photoshop because I love to add textures and use layers, so I am happy that PSE is still so affordable AND can be purchased.  That is why I am really excited that my actions work in both Photoshop and PSE.  Not only that, many of my actions "unlock" things in PSE that you usually only can use in Photoshop.  For example, quite a few of my actions allow you to use Curves in PSE.

BTW, I just noticed that PSE is on sale today!
I would love for you to leave a comment on whether you are going to rent Photoshop, stick with your older version of Photoshop for now, or simply use PSE.  I am also going to also start posting more Lightroom presets and tutorials and digital design elements, so I hope to cover everyone.  :-)  And if you get a chance, please leave a comment on this post about what you would personally like to see me post on my blog.

Today I want to introduce my newest portrait retouching action, CoffeeShop Sweet Dreams.  This action is especially lovely on baby portraits, and allows you to adjust contrast by Curves and then automatically soften skin while adding an adjustable soft tint. This is a simple but sweet action for those times you want to do a quick edit.

CoffeeShop Sweet Dreams Tutorial:


This beautiful SOOC image is from Adia Speer Photography (Facebook).  Before running the action I want to fix the top of the blanket and also remove some of the baby's flaky skin.


I grabbed the Marquee tool (M) and selected the blanket area as seen above.


Ctrl-T (Free Transform) and pull up the top of the blanket.  There are many ways to fix this, but this way is quick.


As you can see there is some flaky skin on her hands.  I personally love some baby skin imperfections in my portraits, but I do like to remove excess flaky skin.  There are many ways to remove it, but I usually just grab my Cloning tool (S) on normal, soft brush, 100% and sample areas of clean skin and paint over flaky areas.


This was a quick cloning job, but I am pretty happy with it.


Skin is fixed and time to run the action.


The first prompt will be a curves adjustment layer.  I already pulled up the mid tones a bit, but you can play around with the curve until your portrait is properly exposed.  This action allows PSE users access to the valuable Curves tool.


Next you will select the skin on your baby so you can add optional skin smoothing.  Click on the skin and adjust the fuzziness to taste.


Now adjust the Radius pixels to add some skin softening.  You can overdo it at this point and then lower the opacity of that layer or paint out excess skin smoothing using a soft black brush on the layer mask.  I always like to point out  that you shouldn't overdo the skin smoothing step and make your baby look like a plastic doll.  :-)


This is the finished image after the action finishes.  Adjust the opacity of the Sweet Baby layer to taste and you are done!  This one is shown at 100%.   I really like the dreamy softness of this edit.

Download the free CoffeeShop Sweet Dreams action.  You can also download it here!

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions (including this one!) and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file 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. Photoshop and PSE11-12 users even have the option of loading all of the actions in one simple group!

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.

11 comments:

  1. I wound up "renting", because I'm just a beginner (haven't had my dslr a year yet!), and I had a not-so-honest version of Photoshop CS4. Come to find out that version is not able to open the RAW files of my new camera! So this is just a test drive for me. I think I may just buy Lightroom after the year is up, but I'll be very sad. I LOVE my layers and manipulating my pictures with textures and different paintbrushes. :)

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  2. I wound up "renting", because I'm just a beginner (haven't had my dslr a year yet!), and I had a not-so-honest version of Photoshop CS4. Come to find out that version is not able to open the RAW files of my new camera! So this is just a test drive for me. I think I may just buy Lightroom after the year is up, but I'll be very sad. I LOVE my layers and manipulating my pictures with textures and different paintbrushes. :)

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  3. Sorry! Don't know why it did that! :o

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  4. I had been seriously thinking about upgrading to photoshop, but the monthly fee makes it a huge NO for me. I will continue with Elements and just purchased Lightroom 5. If I can't do it on those, I don't need to be doing it all! Thank you for all your great actions and the time it takes to make these actions!!!

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  5. The monthly fee is a huge no for me! I just purchased Lightroom 5 and will continue with Elements 10!

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  6. Great !
    Thank you , and
    HAPPY NEW YEAR ! :)

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  7. I've been a PSE user for years and have often considered upgrading to full Photoshop but NO WAY am I subscribing! It would cost me so much more! I only upgrade my PSE every 5 years or even less. And I like having the software disc too. I'm not happy that Adobe has made subscription mandatory for full Photoshop. It's made me decide to stick with PSE and upgrade whenever I choose to or not. Besides, PSE does everything I need. And I'm still on PSE 7! I'm not a Lightroom user. I downloaded the trial and didn't like it at all. Great post, Rita. Thanks for honestly expressing your feelings about the subscription/rental thing. Glad to know I'm not alone in thinking it's a rip off. And thanks for all the wonderful actions and tutorials you share with us! Your talent and generous spirit is appreciated more than I could ever express! :)

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  8. I have PS CS%. I have no plans to rent. I think the cost is prohibitive. Most people do NOT upgrade with every new version. Adobe tries to justify the cost, but I'm not believing it for a minute.

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  9. I use Adobe CS Cloud. I do use most of the programs in my work so it is cost effective for me. Maybe it's just me, but I just can't figure out how to use PSE. I learned on PS so it is easy for me. Also like the integration with PS, Illustrator, Acrobat, and InDesign, the programs I use the most.

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  10. Ooh I love this! Thanks for the action & post!

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  11. I used this for the first time today and loved it! Thank you!

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