Today I am posting Part Two of my portrait retouching tutorial in Photoshop/PSE. You can read Part One and see how I adjusted contrast, fixed color cast issues, and removed blemishes on the unedited image seen above. You can also find the download of the image I used in these tutorials there. I really love retouching and it is so nice to share my editing techniques with you.
You will need the CoffeeShop Perfect Portrait 3 Express action to follow along with the tutorial today. I always get questions about which of my many retouching actions I use the most, and I don't have an easy answer. I use them all at different times on different images, but this particular action is one of my favorites as it includes auto-skin smoothing. I love saving time and not having to paint the smoothness in manually.
If you are new to using layer masks (which are a must to use this action), I posted a nice little Layer Mask tutorial here.
If you finish this tutorial and want to take the edit a step further with a textures/soft color tint, I just put up the tutorial.
CoffeeShop Portrait Retouching Photoshop/PSE Tutorial: Part 2 (using Perfect Portrait 3 Express):
This is my "after" image from Part 1 of this tutorial. This is a cute photo, but I want to turn it into a stunning portrait. Note: I am going to slightly overdo the retouching on this tutorial so you can see the changes on your browser (which might be on a tiny smart phone). You can use this action to do a very subtle retouching job on your own images.
1. Run CoffeeShop Perfect Portrait 3 Express on the image. When the Replace Color pops up, simply click on a clean bright area of the skin and then move the Fuzziness slider until all of the skin is selected. This step automatically softens the skin and you can make further adjustments after the action finishes.
2. This is what the image looks like after the action runs. Now I will go and paint on the layer masks to make further adjustments. I have highlighted each layer with blue in the screenshots so you can see where I painted on each layer mask.
3. I usually start at the top and work my way down. On the top Smooth Skin layer I adjust the opacity to taste. I don't like plastic baby-doll skin but I want it to be soft and pretty. Feel free to paint on the layer mask with a soft black brush to remove softness and a soft white brush to add softness.
Bright Eyes: After adjusting the Smooth Skin layer, click on the Bright Eyes layer and zoom in to the eyes. Grab a soft white brush (in normal mode) at 100% opacity and paint over the iris (it is ok if you paint over the pupil). Do not go over any other part of the eye! Then lower the opacity to taste. This really emphasizes the color of the eyes and also brightens them.
4. Eye Define: Click on the Eye Define's black layer mask to select it and paint over the entire iris with a soft white brush at 100% opacity. You can also paint over the eye lashes and eyebrows. Do not paint over the skin surrounding the eyes. Adjust the opacity to taste. If you make a mistake and want to remove some of the layer's effect, use a black brush and paint on the layer mask to remove it.
5. White Whites: Click on the White Whites black layer mask and paint over the whites of the eyes with a soft white 100% opacity brush. Advanced Trick: To see exactly where you are adding the effect, click on the layer mask while holding down shift and alt (option). This will turn areas that are masked (hidden) red. You can see I added the White Whites only to the whites of the eyes. Click on the layer mask while holding down shift and alt (option) again to remove the red.
Adjust the opacity of this layer to taste. Be really conservative when editing eyes, you don't want them to look like marbles. :-)
6. Urban Grit: I use this layer to add some sharpness to hair. Click on the black layer mask to select it and use a soft white brush set to 25-50% opacity and paint over the hair until you like the effect. Then adjust the opacity to taste.
7. I skipped White Teeth and left the Sharpen and Boost layers alone. You can play with the opacity of those layers if needed.
Vivid Color: I like to add color to the hair, eyes, and lips. Click on the Vivid Color's black layer mask and use a soft white brush at low opacity and paint over the hair, lips, and irises until you are satisfied with the color saturation. You can also bring out color in the background and on clothing. Adjust opacity to taste.
8. Remove red from skin: I clicked on the Remove red from skin's black layer mask and used a soft white brush at low opacity and painted on her forehead, around her eyes, nose, chin, and neck to remove a hint of redness in her skin. I avoided her rosy lips and cheeks.
All of this took just a few minutes thanks to the action.
I hope you enjoyed this retouching tutorial. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. And I would love to see your own retouching before and afters posted on my Facebook page!
Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions 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.
For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.