Wednesday, February 28, 2018

CoffeeShop Photoshop/PSE Editing Tutorial: "Professionally Remove Texture Effects from Skin"

I love using fine art textures on my images. And since I am getting back to my roots and taking more "real" photos and editing them to display on my walls, I wanted to share my favorite way to remove texture from skin (or anywhere else) without removing the color tint/contrast added by the texture.

I am using this lovely photo and one of my favorite fine art textures for my tutorial below. You can download both if you want to do this tutorial with me! If you want to get all of my favorite professional fine art textures/overlays/storyboards in one download check out my Digital Design Pack and support this blog!!!

When you add a beautiful texture to your image, you are often adding contrast and color (no action necessary!). This original image is very cool and I wanted to add some warmth and texture to brighten it up.

But beautiful fine art textures can really wreak havoc with skin as seen in the image on the left above. It can make skin so blotchy and unnatural looking.

You can always add a layer mask to the texture layer and paint the texture off the skin. But then you also remove any contrast/color added to the image by the texture and this can make the image look quite fake and off color.

Today I am going to walk you through the way I remove texture from skin without removing the color/contrast enhancements.

I added my Fine Art Texture 3 from this Texture Set.

I put the texture in Overlay blending mode.

I love everything about this edit, except the blotchy texture on the skin and dress.

I clicked on the layer with the image and used the Quick Selection Tool (W) to quickly select the couple, but you can use your own favorite selection method. Make sure you include all of the skin and dress, but don't be too worried about precision.

First I will show you what you don't want to do! 

You can reverse the selection and then add it as a layer mask to the texture layer. But if you do this it also removes the extra color and contrast boost added by the texture. The original image had a cool tint, but the texture is very warm. So the skin tones in this edit look off.

If you pull back you can see how the couple looks like they have been photoshopped onto the background, and not very well!  But there is an easy way to remove the texture without removing the color and contrast for a beautiful realistic edit.

Click on the layer with the image and then use your favorite selection tool to select the couple. You can add some feathering if you want.

Then click on the Texture layer to select it and go to Filter < Blur < Gaussian Blur.

Yuck, blotchy skin!

Smooth beautiful skin! Dial up the Gaussian Blur filter until you don't see any of the blotchy texture on the skin.

Doesn't it make an incredible difference?

I think that the couple's skin is a little too warm (orange) and this is another easy fix.

Add a layer mask to your texture layer and click to select it. Then grab a soft, low opacity (around 15-20%) brush and carefully paint over the skin to remove some of the warmth.

I love how this edit turned out! Now it is warm and looks like it should be hanging on a wall or on a printed card.

And remember, you can use the same technique to remove texture from anything, not only skin.

I hope you enjoyed today's tutorial! If there is something specific you would love to see me post or write a tutorial for, please leave a comment below. And I would love to see your own edits using any of my freebies 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.

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  1. Hi there! This is a great tutorial!! I actually had it happen last night that when I masked out the texture of the person, the coloring changed completely, too. You described it perfectly. Badly photoshopped subject into a background. This solves that. Thanks so much!!!

    1. That is great to read Patty! I love knowing that this tips are actually helpful. Thank you!!! Rita

  2. Perfect timing to read this tutorial! I had known this technique years ago and forgotten it... was just wondering yesterday how to remove texture from skin while retaining the color/mood of the texture. Thank you for another helpful post.

    1. Thank you Lori! I am the same and forget this simple tips and tricks. So I decided it would be a good idea to walk my readers through them! Rita

  3. Goodness. It took me several attempts but I think I finally got it correct. The first problem was that I selected the couple on the texture layer instead of the orig image--oops. Then I was doing well until I got to the part where you said to add a layer mask to fix the orangey tones in the skin. I ended up starting from scratch a few times thinking I had done something wrong in one of the earlier steps but every time I got to that step, when I'd add the layer mask it would only show the edits over the couple where the blur was and the rest of the image went back to its orig colour. I just couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. I tried one more time and instead of adding the mask right in the panel, I went to Layer -> Layer Mask -> Reveal All and then it added a proper layer mask that wasn't adjusted in any way. Then I was able to adjust the skin tone. It took me a bit but I do believe that I was successful in my attempt. Thanks for showing a great way of removing the texture but keeping some of the colour!


    1. You are so welcome Lisa! I need to add more steps in this tutorial.

  4. I think it's fantastic how you explain everything very clearly. Feel like in class, me, now as a very old man.
    Thank you for your generosity and the desire to share so much with people who have not progressed so far in photo editing.
    You are a beautiful person, thank you for everything.

    1. Roy, I loved reading your comment, and thank you so much for your kind words! I am not a spring chicken myself, but I really enjoy posting tutorials on this blog. Your comment made my day, you are such a lovely person. I hope I post many new techniques that you will enjoy using to edit your own images! Rita


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