Friday, April 4, 2014

Smoothing skin in Photoshop

I do work on pictures of people on a by-weekly basis.  Often time I found myself going into the images, masking out the skin, then applying a Gaussian blur to the skin or using the blur tool to smooth out skin and make it look nice and angelic or at least softer.

Most people wouldn't want an untouched photo, done by a novice photographer being featured as a home page background image without a little work.  Those are the types of images I get.

Another technique I found as a time saver is to:

  • Copy the persons image to a new layer (Cntrl J)
  • Convert it to a smart layer, so the filter I'm going to add can be reedited at any time
  • Select the skin tones via Select > Color Range and select the skin tones with the chooser
  • Once selected, go to Filter > Reduce Noise
  • Reduce Noise Settings 
    •  Strength ~ 8
    • Preserve Details ~ 4
    • Reduce Color Noise ~ 7
    • Sharpen Details ~ 4
    • Check the box for Remove JPEG Artifacts
Now you should be seeing smoother skin with a smart filter that you can double click on in the layers pallet and readjust your settings at any time to change your levels of smoothing.

I forgot this technique since I used it a couple weeks ago, so this time I'm documenting it ;)