Quick retouch: how to process photos in Photoshop in 10 minutes | Lesson | Photo, video, optics


Not ready to sit for hours at graphic editors, bringing the skin of the model to perfection? The client has only two requirements: a face without acne and the fastest return of the photo? The job involves mass editing of images, so the quantity is important, not the quality?

A photographer can have many reasons why he does not spend time on painstaking retouching. One thing is important: to quickly tune the frame is real. We tell you how to process the skin in Photoshop in a couple of minutes using the Inverted High Pass method.

Before and after retouching using the Inverted High Pass method. It took about 10 minutes for express retouching / illustration: Elizaveta Chechevitsa, Fotosklad.Expert

Quick retouch — photo preparation

Before moving on to the Inverted High Pass method in Photoshop, the photo needs to be prepared. To do this, it is enough to remove from it all the obvious defects that prevent you from enjoying the beauty of the picture. In professional jargon, this is called «technical cleaning.» The better prepared the source, the more accurate and faster the retouching will be.

What needs to be retouched:

In a large portrait this applies to obvious shortcomings: pimples, wrinkles, flaky skin, scars, capillaries on the whites of the eyes. In addition, it can be extra hairs, a fallen eyelash, crumbling mascara, sparkles, pieces of lipstick.

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On bust and full-length portraits, in addition to the above, there may be defects in clothing: protruding threads, folds, stains, pet hair. Also, don’t forget about the background and surroundings! Wires in the sky, debris on the ground, stains, dirt and scratches on a studio background.

Approximate amount of work on the source. Due to the wishes of the customer, even a piece of asphalt can become an object of retouching / illustration: Elizaveta Chechevitsa, Fotosklad.Expert

But don’t be intimidated by the amount of work ahead of time. If we are talking about full-length portraits, where the face is almost invisible, then this stage may be the first and last for you. Why smooth the skin where it is not visible? And background imperfections can be removed by ordinary cropping: crop the frame, thereby removing everything unnecessary from it.

Read also:

How to crop a photo: crop in Photoshop on a computer and online

So time yourself and start retouching! About the necessary tool for this — below.

Spot Healing Brush for quick retouching

Spot Healing Brush / Spot Healing Brush Tool is a semi-automatic tool that allows you to quickly remove imperfections from a photo. To remove a pimple from the cheek, a scratch from the floor or dust from the clothes, it is enough to hold the left mouse button over the defect and paint over it.

The Spot Healing Brush is a lifesaver for the beginner. It is incredibly easy to use as it picks up the texture and color of the patch itself. For example, if you erase a fallen lash from your cheek, a patch will form based on the pattern and color of the skin around the area you are removing. In other words, the tool itself takes the appropriate «pieces» of the photo, mixes and connects them.

Algorithm for working with Spot Healing Brush:

1. Open a photo. In the palette Layers left click on the layer Background/Backgroundto select it and make it active.

2. Create a copy of the background layer. To do this, right-click on the layer Background/Background and choose Create a duplicate layer / Duplicate Layer.

An analogue of the command Create a duplicate layer / Duplicate Layer — a combination of hot keys Ctrl + J / illustration: Elizaveta Chechevitsa, Fotosklad.Expert

3. Click the left mouse button on the resulting copy of the background layer. Make sure to always stay on this layer — all cleaning of the skin, background, clothing should take place on it.

Take a tool Spot Healing Brush / Spot Healing Brush Tool on the panel on the left. You can quickly select it using the J hotkey.

Set the Move to Content-Aware setting. This is the most modern algorithm that not only “steals” the texture around, but also tries to embed the patch unnoticed / Illustration: Elizaveta Chechevitsa, Photosklad.Expert

4. Let’s start cleaning the skin! Paint imperfections on the skin or background by holding down the left mouse button. When you have completely sketched the flaw (for example, a pimple), release the left mouse button, and Photoshop will do the rest for you.

Sometimes patches are not chosen successfully the first time. In this case, you can spend several times in the same place. If you are a fan of slower and more thoughtful retouching, then maybe Stamp / Clone Stamp or Healing Brush Tool.

Read also:

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Retouching method Inverted High Pass

Inverted High Pass is an instant retouching technique that smoothes skin and removes imperfections while maintaining texture. It can be called the younger brother of frequency decomposition (read about frequency here).

The difference is that in frequency decomposition, we divide the photo into texture and shape, and then work with each of the two frequencies separately. So, gradually cleaning the texture from irregularities and straightening the black and white pattern from spots, we get smooth skin.

Inverted High Pass is rougher and faster. It can be said that we leave the texture and chiaroscuro untouched, but select the third frequency — the middle one. All the “dirt” from the skin, bumps, bumps, age spots, acne, wrinkles remain on it. Aligning and blurring it, we get smooth skin, but at the same time, pores are visible on it.

Quick skin retouching Inverted High Pass

1. Create one of the two:

– Duplicate source, if you just opened the photo and did not clean it Spot Healing Brush / Spot Healing Brush Tool (see previous step). To do this, in the palette Layers left click on the Background layer and press Ctrl + J.

– A copy of the layer on which the skin and background were cleaned Spot Healing Brush. To do this, left-click on the layer where technical retouching was carried out, and press Ctrl + J.

Stand on the resulting layer by clicking on it with the left mouse button. To distinguish it from others, you can double-click on the layer name and rename it. For example, call it “retouching” or IHP (short for Inverted High Pass) / illustration: Elizaveta Chechevitsa, Photosklad.Expert

2. Go to Filter / Filter — Blur / Blur — Gaussian Blur / Gaussian Blur. Increase the radius until you no longer see fine details.

Blur until only spots remain, creating chiaroscuro. Pores on the face, small and medium wrinkles should become invisible. In this case, a radius of 8 will do / illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Fotosklad.Expert

Important! Remember the resulting number. The easiest way is to write down the number in notes on the phone or on paper. After that click Cancel. You don’t need to blur the photo yet.

3. Standing on the same layer, go to Filter / Filter — Other / Other — Edge contrast / High Pass. The whole photo will turn gray — this is normal.

Choose a radius so small that you can see only the fine texture of clean skin — the pores. Flaws (pimples, wrinkles) should be visible as little as possible. As a rule, this value is from 0.5 to 1.5 pixels / illustration: Elizaveta Chechevitsa, Fotosklad.Expert

Important! Remember or write down this number. Now write in the window Radius the value that you memorized in step 3 when you blurred the photo. For example, the author of the article has the number 8 from the screenshot.

Click OK.

4. Standing on the same layer, go to Filter / Filter — Blur / Blur — Gaussian Blur / Gaussian Blur.

Blur the photo to the radius that you remember in step 4 in the Edge Contrast / High Pass filter. The author has 1 pixel. Click OK / illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photosklad.Expert

5. Invert the resulting layer. To do this, press Ctrl + I.

Go to Image / Image — Corrections / Adjustment — Curves / Curves and make a curve of this shape. This is necessary to lower the contrast of the layer / illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photostore.Expert

6. In the layers palette, set the blend mode Linear light / Linear Light.

7. Hold Alt and click on the rectangle with the circle in the center on the Layers palette. This will create a black mask for the layer. On it you will draw, smoothing the skin.

Read also:

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Why do we need masks in Photoshop and how to use them

Photoshop for beginners: all about the Brush

Left click on the black mask. In the tool palette on the left, take a brush / illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photostore.Expert

Standing on a black mask, go over the skin with a white brush. Where you hover the cursor, the skin will smooth out.

If the result is too rough — the skin seems plastic and unnatural, reduce the opacity of the layer / illustration: Elizaveta Chechevitsa, Photostore.Expert

A photographer or retoucher must work in different conditions and adapt to the wishes of the client and their budgets. For example, processing one photo for four hours for a stock of clothes, for which they pay 20 rubles, is clearly a waste of time.

You need to understand that Inverted High Pass is a quick face retouching. Such pictures are unlikely to be taken to magazines and billboards. Here, as elsewhere, the principle works: the faster, the lower the quality. Is it bad to retouch in this way? No, because different tasks require different speed and quality of the result.


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