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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Photoshop Tutorial: Fixing Under-eyes/wrinkles

One of my biggest pet peeves (when dealing with Photoshop retouching) is when someone alters a face so much that it looks almost plastic; no wrinkles, neon white teeth, and "marbley" eyes. The whole point of retouching a portrait is to make the subject look as much like themselves as possible, with a few tweaks. 
I am going to show you how I edit under-eyes/wrinkles in Photoshop. I learned this tip while working for a photography studio a few years back and I think it's the best way to get rid of wrinkles under the eye (or anywhere, for that matter) without making your subject look fake.

Here is a picture of me and my friend, Caro, that I'll use to demonstrate. To be fair, we had probably walked 10+ miles in NYC that day;) Don't judge!
You can see in the "After" picture that the wrinkles and dark spots under the eyes are a lot more subtle. By the way, I also slightly changed the brightness.

Here is a detailed how-to for Photoshop newbies ;) :
Step 1: After opening your photo in Photoshop, create a duplicate layer by dragging the "Background" layer down over the "Create a new layer" icon and release. This will create a new layer called "Background copy". You can also right-click on the "Background" layer and select "Duplicate Layer", either way is fine. Make sure that the "Background copy" is selected for the rest of this tutorial.

Step 2: Select the "Healing Brush Tool". Hold down the "Alt" key while selecting a light area of skin on the face. This is the "sample" spot that Photoshop will use to blend when you start selecting the area to be fixed.
Note: If you find it's easier with the "Spot Healing Brush Tool" then you can use that, but I think it works better if you do it manually. 

Step 3: After you've selected the "sample" space, start filling in the areas you want to fix by clicking and dragging your mouse. Be careful not to blend up too high into the eyelashes or it will make a black smudge. Don't worry if it looks unnatural while you're blending, that will be fixed in the next step. Keep sampling areas and filling in all of the wrinkles/dark spots.

***When you are finished, it should look something like this. This is what I mean when I say looking like plastic! It looks so unnatural, right?

Step 4: While the "Background copy" layer is selected, click on opacity and drag it somewhere between 50-60%. If you start going above 60-70% it starts looking fake again so just play around with the percentages until you get something that looks right.

And that's it! Really simple, but it makes a big difference. Especially in photographs with people who have a lot of deep wrinkles all over. Embrace those flaws! (Just make them less noticeable ;) )


Tonia @ said...

I don't have Photoshop yet but hope to someday! For now I use a free program called GIMP. Thanks for the tips!

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