Quick portrait retouching in Camera Raw — 4 steps | Lesson | Photo, video, optics


It happens that there is no time for deep retouching, but you don’t want to give photos in a completely unprocessed form. Or the genre itself does not involve deep processing — for example, perfecting each of a thousand wedding photos is unreasonably long and difficult.

Adobe Camera Raw, a free built-in Photoshop plug-in that opens itself as soon as photos in raw format enter the program, will help to significantly improve the pictures.

We’ll show you how to quickly do basic retouching, improve skin tone, and highlight a model’s eyes without even going into Photoshop.

Retouching a portrait in Camera Raw takes just a couple of minutes. And you don’t have to go into Photoshop / Photo: Elizaveta Chechevitsa

How to quickly clean skin and background in Camera Raw?

There is a tool for cleaning skin, clothes, background, objects in a photo in Camera Raw Area Removal / Spot Removal. It is located on the toolbar on the right and is an icon in the form of a piece of patch. You can activate it with a hot key. B.

A couple of minutes of working with the Delete Areas tool / Illustration and photo: Elizaveta Chechevitsa, Fotosklad.Expert

To start working with it, you need to select the type of tool (more on that below) and simply left-click or drag over the place you want to remove. It can be anything — a pimple, hair on clothes, a scratch on the background, a candy wrapper on the ground.

After clicking, the program will automatically suggest the area that it wants to replace the disadvantage you specified. You can agree with this and just continue cleaning the skin/background/clothes further, but if you don’t like the selected Camera Raw patch, you can move the area proposed for the patch to any other place, thus choosing the best one.

Area Removal tool menu / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photostore.Expert

one. Type / Type. Defines how the patch works.

It is divided into two types:

Treatment / Heal. This brush tries to adjust the patch to the color, texture, and lightness of the area where you transfer it.
Cloning / Clone. Transfers the patch completely, without adjusting it to the environment.

The first tool, according to the principle of operation, repeats Photoshop’s Spot Healing Brushand second — Stamp. To learn how both tools work, read the detailed guide on basic retouching.

2. Size. The size of the brush and your future patch. It is important that the brush is the same diameter or slightly larger than the size of the defect. Then the retouching will be more invisible.

3. Feather / Feather. Specifies the hardness or softness of the borders of the patch. The harder it is, the stronger it is visible, but the softer it is, the more it blurs the skin.

four. Opacity / Opacity. The degree of transparency of the patch. If the value is 100, then the patch completely covers the defect.

5. Visualize spots / Visualize spots. Applies a black-and-white mask to the photo, showing irregularities and imperfections in the picture. Allows you to better see what needs to be retouched and where. It is included temporarily, as an auxiliary function.

6. Overlay / Overlay. Shows in black and white dotted line where you have the patches, as well as where the patches took the donor areas.

7. Reset / Reset Heal. Resets all retouching.

eight. Toggle visibility. If you hold down, you can see before / after.

How to quickly soften skin in Camera Raw?

To soften only the skin, and not the entire photo, you need a tool that corrects the image locally — only where you need it. It is located on the panel on the right and is called Masking. After going into it, take the tool Brush (hot key K).

Read also:

Photoshop for beginners: all about the Brush

The Brush tool is just a regular brush with familiar options (size, feathering, opacity) and lots of sliders in the tabs below. They adjust brightness, saturation, sharpness, contrast, etc. / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photosklad.Expert

The effect of the sliders is only visible where you brushed. For example, if you raise the slider Exposure and smear on the photo, the picture in this place will become lighter.

To soften skin in Camera Raw, you need two sliders − Texture and Clarity. The first is responsible for the sharpness of small details (for example, pimples, fine wrinkles), and the second also raises or lowers the contrast. Your task is to move the Texture and Clarity sliders to negative values ​​(but don’t bring them to -100, otherwise you will get rubbery skin without pores!) and draw with the Brush those places where it is important for you to make the skin smoother.

It is not necessary to first set the parameters on the sliders, and then smear with a brush. You can first brush around the areas that need to be corrected, and only then adjust the sliders. So you can see immediately what is changing and how. / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photosklad.Expert

By default, the places where you brushed will turn red. This is necessary so that you can see exactly where you brushed. To disable this feature and enjoy the result in peace, click on the checkmark Show Overlay / Show Overlay.

If you want to add new areas to the result (for example, soften not only the face, but also the neck, hands), click on the button Add. And if, on the contrary, you missed and touched the excess (for example, climbed with a brush on your hair, eyes, lips), press Subtract / Subtract.

How to quickly improve skin tone in Camera Raw?

The impression of the portrait as a whole depends greatly on the color of the skin. To improve it, you will need three Camera Raw features (not necessarily all at once, you can use only one of them):

1. Slider White balance tab Basic / Basic tool Editing / Edit (hot key E).

White Balance allows you to make the photo warmer or colder (slider Temperature / Temp), as well as move the shades towards magenta or green (slider Tint / Tint). So, by changing the Temperature, the skin can be made more yellow, warm, or taken to a cold, even painful, and the Hue will add additional yellowish or reddish tones to it.

Life hack: To better see how the skin changes and what color it is, temporarily unscrew the Juiciness / Vibrance and Saturation / Saturation sliders to the maximum / Illustration: Elizabeth Chechevitsa, Photostore. Expert

2. Tab Color mixing / Color Mixer in the Edit tool.

In this tab, you can separately affect each color, changing its hue, saturation and brightness. If your goal is skin, then all work will be done with a maximum of four colors: Red, Orange, Yellow and — occasionally — Purple.

This tab is especially good if you need to level individual spots. For example, you photographed a model in the cold and her nose, cheeks, fingers turned red. Then it is enough to move the Red color towards Orange, and the Purple color towards red-orange, and also slightly reduce them. Saturation.

If you move the Orange or Yellow sliders, you can generally change the skin tone and make it fresher and more luminous, if you slightly raise the Luminance / Luminance of the same colors / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photostore.Expert

3. Sliders Blue channel / Blue Primary in the tab Calibration / Calibration.

Here you can further correct the skin tone, making it more saturated and warm, or more gray and cold, matte. To do this, adjust the tab Saturation in Blue channel / Blue Primary.

The skin became more saturated and turned yellow / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photosklad.Expert

Slider Hue / Hue is responsible for skin tone and all yellow, orange and reddish colors in the photo. By shifting it, you can take them to a greenish-yellow or reddish-purple color.

How to brighten eyes in Camera Raw?

A common mistake in photographs is eyes immersed in shadows. This can be partially fixed with Camera Raw. Also, this trick will be needed for those who, in general, want to make the look of the model more expressive.

The look has become lighter, and the color of the irises has changed / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photosklad.Expert

1. Go to tool Masking and take the tool Brush (hot key K).

2. Swipe over the eyes. If you need to lighten them, take a large area — irises, sclera, even eyelids. If you want, for example, only to increase the contrast and make the eye color brighter, draw only the irises or irises and sclera.

3. Next, combine the following sliders:

– Raise the slider to brighten the eyes Exposure.
– To increase the contrast, make the look more expressive, raise the slider Whites and drop Blacks. You can also raise a little Contrast / Contrast.
– To make the color brighter, raise Saturation.
— You can change the shade of the iris using the sliders Temperature / Temp and Tint / Tint.


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