Photo retouching and retouching Faces, years taken off, digital plastic surgery, it is all possible but just how far do you go?

Facial restorations involving removing wrinkles, reducing pores, retouching eyes, removing blemishes etc. should be done with discretion. It is very tempting to attack the image with gusto sweeping away all evidence of anything natural and end up with a porcelain skin that looks a little too much like a waxwork that a persons face.

Start by reducing the shadows, cleaning away any blemishes that would not be natural. Reducing fine lines around the eyes but not completely removing them. Even out the skin tone next with an overlay filter on a separate layer. You could use the patch tool if you have some good texture to sample, to smooth out the tones. Brighten up the eyes and remove the shine from the skin. You may have to redraw the catch-lights in the eyes. Make sure they look natural, not just blobs of white, shape them a little and add some transparency. Reduce pores by either another layer set Gaussian Blur or targeting the larger ones individually. If you have a large tablet you can actually work quite quickly reducing them with a dab of the pen set up correctly, this way no detail is lost on the face at all.

Above all else don’t over do it. The image must look like nothing has changed, nothing at all. If it looks like it has been restored, you haven’t done it well enough. This industry is plentiful with wannabe retouchers, but to stay up the top there must be no evidence of cloning or restoring anywhere. If you keep everything on separate layers you can always change the opacity to vary the intensity of each step to keep a natural look.

Retouching skin on a man

Retouching skin on a man

Good luck and take it slow and steady and keep it natural


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