There are many, many, MANY quick fixes for retouching out there. Most of them kind of work on some photos but destroy texture on others. When you need a truly natural looking professional quality job, I always find manual retouching gives the me the best results.
But where to start? Clone stamp? Healing brush? How about the regular paint brush! As a rule of thumb I always do standard retouching before adding special effects. But where to begin…
…well I start here.
Duplicate the background layer.
It seems simple but it helps to see a before and after throughout the process.
Add a curves layer, change the blend mode of the layer to luminosity.
We’re going to boost the contrast of the are we’re working on to make sure it’s perfectly smooth.
Find the point you are going to begin working on and anchor the point in the retouch curve and crank up the contrast.
This makes every tiny blemish jump out so you can get rid of it.
Select the retouching layer knock out the blemished in an open area by using the spot healing brush.
Make the brush size slightly larger than the blemish and click. I usually have the best results with a hard edge.
For retouching along edges of details in the photos, I use a clone stamp.
Tip: Change the softness of the clone stamp to blend smoothly
SUPER Tip: Change the clone stamp opacity to slowly blend in just a little smooth texture and minimize a feature without removing it.
Even out the overall hue without changing the texture by using the regular old brush and changing the blend mode of a new layer to color.
Say you have an area of skin or any other surface and you want to have a smooth and even color but it really doesn’t need full on retouching, you can use the regular paint brush with a couple tweaks.
- With the eye dropper tool with a sample area of 5 or 11 to pick the hue you do want.
- Add a new empty layer and change the blend mode to color
- Select the paint brush tool and make it large and soft
- Turn the opacity WAY down, somewhere from 2%-15%
- Brush away and go easy, go to far and you’ll get an un-natural hand painted look.
Practice and save often. Leave a comment and left me know if this helped.