Thursday, April 6

CoffeeShop "Sweet Pastel Baby" Photoshop/PSE Retouching Action!

I am so excited to release my newest baby portrait Photoshop/PSE action called "Sweet Pastel Baby"! This action removes and smooths blotchy skin, removes red/yellow tints, enhances eyes, adds rosy cheeks/lips, adjusts contrast, and adds a soft beautiful tint. This action is also fully adjustable.

This action is for intermediate Photoshop/PSE users and I would suggest reading the tutorial posted below before running the action. You have to know how to paint on layer masks to use this action (tutorial).

I used two gorgeous baby images (baby 1, baby with hat) from Pixabay on this post tutorial.

CoffeeShop "Sweet Pastel Baby" Photoshop/PSE Tutorial:

Adjust Contrast: Run the "Sweet Pastel Baby" action on your image. When the Levels adjustment layer settings pop up, adjust the contrast sliders under the curve to taste. I usually brighten the midtones by moving the middle gray slider to the left.

Auto-Skin Smoothing: When the "Replace Color" layer settings pop up, click to select the baby's skin with the eyedropper. Click on the dropper with the plus (+) sign to add skin to the selection and adjust the Fuzziness slider to fine-tune the selection.  Then press "OK".

NOTE: If your background is a similar color to baby's skin as seen in this image, don't worry. You can paint off any softening effect after the action finishes running.

Adjust the Radius and Threshold sliders to soften baby's skin. It is better to over-soften at this point as you can reduce it after the action finishes running.

This is what the image looks like after the action finishes. Now I will go and adjust all of the layers.

Enhance Eyes: If you want to enhance eyes and really make them "pop", click on the black layer mask of the "Eye Pop" layer and paint on the iris of the eye with a semi-hard white brush and adjust the layer's opacity to taste. Don't overdo it, you don't want scary alien eyes!

You can adjust the layers in any order you want, but I am going to walk you through my edit of this baby image.

Remove Reds: I turned on the "Remove Reds" layer and adjusted the opacity to 28%. Then I used a soft black brush at 100% opacity on the lips to add the color back.

Remove Yellows: I turned on this layer to remove the slight yellow tint to the white blanket.

Soft Pastel Extreme: I turned on this layer and put the opacity at 10%. I also like using Soft Light or Overlay blending mode on this layer.

Soft Pastel: I turned the opacity of this layer down to 17%.

Feel free to adjust both of the "Soft Pastel" layers to taste on you own images. You can change the opacity, paint on the layer masks, or change the color/blending mode.

Skin Smoothing: This is what the automatic skin-smoothing layer mask looks like without adjustments. As you can see the light background and blanket are selected as well as the skin.

NOTE: You can see your B&W layer mask as seen above by holding "option" or "alt"down while clicking on it. Repeat to remove the effect.

I used a soft 100% black brush and painted off the skin smoothing layer on the background and blanket. I also removed it around her hair. 

You can also adjust the opacity of the "Skin Smooth" layer.

Rosy Blush/Lips: Select the black layer mask of "Paint on Blush/Lips" and then grab a soft white brush and paint on the baby's cheeks and lips. You can adjust the opacity to taste and even change the color of this layer.

This is my final edit and I love how soft and sweet it turned out! This enhancement is very subtle and best run on baby images with good lighting like this one. 

I hope you enjoy using my newest free action!!! I would love to see your own before/afters on my Facebook page. And please don't hesitate to ask any questions in the comments on this post. 

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.

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  1. Oh my goodness. Those babies are stinkin' cute and your action just makes them look all the sweeter! Thanks Rita.

    Lisa D.

  2. Hi, I would love to use this action, but after the colorpicking, I keep getting 'selecting' not available', 'layer 1' not available....... could you please please help me out ? trying to work on a picture of my newborn grandaughter.
    Thank you !!!

    1. Veronique, just reset your Photoshop/PSE preferences (google the keystroke as I can't remember it!) and it should fix it. Sometimes your programs preference file gets corrupted or you made some unintended change. This will fix action issues 99% of the time. Rita


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