Photoshop, as the prime software in the industry meant for digital photography post-production, has several tools we can adapt to our benefit if the aim is to smooth skin and hide blemishes while giving a glamour look to a photo.
On the other hand, Photoshop is often the victim of bad press for being used to airbrush models and celebrities to such an extent that the results are unnatural. However, it is possible to use Photoshop to make subtle improvements that enhance the subject’s appearance without them looking too obvious.
Along the lines of this guide, I’ll take you on a journey through which you can learn many techniques that you’ll be able to use for all your close-up portraits.
Photoshop has several tools that make it very easy to smooth skin and hide blemishes and give a glamour look on photo. Here I’ll share a few techniques for using these tools in this tutorial.
Photoshop often gets a bad press for being used to airbrush models and celebrities to such an extent that the results are unnatural. However, it is possible to use Photoshop to make more subtle improvements that enhance the subject’s appearance without it being too obvious.
Here I’ll take you on a journey through which you can learn many techniques that you’ll be able to use on all your close-up portraits.
SELECT A PHOTO
Naturally, we have to pick a photo to start working on this project. Since the smooth skin effects are mostly required by the fashion industry, I’m going to base my work on the following picture for getting as closer as what an “industry standard” would look like.
Click on the “File” menu on the top bar, and then select “Open”. Choose a photo from your photo gallery. You can also drag a photo from your photo gallery to Adobe Photoshop: simply grab that image and slide it back to Adobe Photoshop.
FIND OUT BLEMISH OR PIMPLES
Let’s face a fact: there’s no such thing as “perfect skin” in real life. Blemishes can show up in higher or lesser degree depending mostly on our lifestyle, working conditions and genetics. Putting these elements aside, in this photo there obviously are a few blemishes that could be removed and the actual skin texture could also be softened to give a more pleasing effect. Pimples are quite disturbing for portraits. However, care should be taken not to produce a result that appears overly airbrushed. So here I have found out that blemish and pimple of her skin.
REMOVE THE BLEMISH OR PIMPLE
There are many tools in Adobe Photoshop what you can use for removing pimples, marks, blemishes, etc. In this case, I am going to use “Spot Healing brush tool” to remove that pimple from her forehead. You may find “healing brush tool” also work out in this behalf. Using this tool, just select it from the options menu and then “left click” on the pimple or spot you want to remove. You might find the result splendid.
To remove blemishes, you can also apply the same rules, or you can use the “clone stamp tool”. To use clone stamp tool, first select it from the options menu in left. Then it comes the creative part you have to do. You need to understand which portion of the skin should be used for cloning to give a natural look. Select that portion of the photo which is so close to the color of skin to be edited. To clone the portion, select “alt + left click” altogether.
Now you have selected the portion. Now simply paint over the portion that needs to be edited or fixed. You have to take care of the details too. If you keep the “Opacity” 100%, that might vanish most of the details of the photo. Therefore, you need to change it according to the depth of the photo.
Another approach worth considering is to work out with the “Patch Tool” – we will talk about this later, where we shall show you how to clone a portion of a photo using “patch tool”. But I think “clone tool” works very well for this purpose.
DUPLICATE A BACKGROUND LAYER
To duplicate a background layer, you need to go to the “window” option on top and select “layers”. You will find a dialogue box on the right bottom. There you can see “layer” option where your main image is shown. To duplicate it you need to “right click” on the background layer and select “duplicate layer” (or just click it and apply the shortcut Ctrl + J). Then another dialogue box will appear. Press “ok”. There your duplicate layer has created.
ADJUST THE COLOR AND GIVE IT A GLAMOROUS LOOK
Now select the “screen” option just on the top of the layer dialogue box. You can probably see a huge difference. The photo has become too bright. So adjust it using the opacity level. I think having an intense brightness on this photo will reduce many details. So, considering this fact, I kept opacity 50% for this photo. You need to flatten the image. So go to the options menu on top. Select “Layer” and then click “flatten image”. So your image is done with good brightness.
Make another duplicate of that image in the “layer” dialogue box. Now use the “lasso tool” to select the facial of the photo. Don’t forget to keep it in “add to selection” on the top. It will give you access to select continuously.
Go to the “layer” dialogue box and select Overlay. It will give a very burning look. Adjust the “opacity” level to get your desired look. Then fatten the image like previous.
Then again, create a duplicate layer and go to the “filter” option on the top and then select “blur” and then select “Gaussian blur”. A dialogue box will appear where you will find the parameters for radius and level. Here is the key point of working with this tool: it’s all about the intensity you apply to the Level slider. The more you increase it the more it will appear blur; but if you do excess, it will look like artificial. Getting a precise workflow is just a matter of practice.
Increase the radius, and when you find it the details of eyes, lips are gone then stop it. The details of lips and eyes should be a less visible. Now you have a nice blur effect all over the facial area. Erase those portions such as lips, ears, hairs, nose, eyes and other portions you don’t want as a blur. In case your photo still looks artificial, change the Opacity slider until you get a good result.
Create another “duplicate layer” and use the color picker to pick the color of the nearest color where you want some glamour look. Select “brush tool” and paint on those areas where you want glamour. In the layer dialogue box select “linear burn”. This transforms the photo to match a rather burnt picture effect. Now using the “eraser tool” erase all the parts except those where you want to keep glamour. Reduce the opacity level to have a smooth glamour in the facial. Then, go to the layer option and click “flatten image”.
As you can see, here is the final result of applying a Glamour Skin Effect with the help of Adobe Photoshop. Remember to keep a close eye when applying such effect, given the fact any strange appearance will destroy all that hard work you made. Good luck!