This is a superb digital makeover method to create that freshly
"made-up" look and is based on techniques from Ashley Riddell.
This is really a two part procedure - the first part
reduces general flaws
and blemishes and the second part adds a really nice glow to
This Digital Makeover technique may be a tad challenging if you are a
new Photoshop user.
You will be using Layers and Channels and and flipping back and forth
and copying and pasting and all sorts of neat stuff.
Oh, what the heck - give the digital makeover tutorial a shot! You
learn by doing, right?
Let's get to it ...It can be a challenge and it is generally a lot of
fun with the added
benefit being that the person you are 'glamorizing' generally
appreciates your diligent efforts.
This is a two part technique - the first part eliminates any flaws and
the second applies the "digital makeup". The second part is
where your Wacom Bamboo or Wacom Intuos will be very useful.
So let's get on with reducing the general flaws ...
Makeover Step One - Skin
This is the picture we will be working with. It's not too bad
but will benefit from some TLC ...
To see the end result of these techniques - click
The first step is to clean up the skin. This will be
done with the Clone Tool (if necessary) and the RGB Channels.
your image and duplicate the background. It may be
to make sure the History
Palette (Windows > History) is open as
so you can compare your work to the original as you work.
If there are any glaring blemishes or hot spots
you may want to get rid of them with the Clone Tool or Patch Tool or
Healing Brush. It may also be necessary to do some color
correction if that is an issue. With this shot it was
necessary to eliminate some of the red on the skin.
the Channels Palette (Windows
> Channels) and look at each
in turn (red, green and blue). Check each channel closely to
find the one with the least blemishes and noise. Here are the
three Channels from this image ...
With this image the choice is easy, isn't it?
The Channel Palette is really cool!
Now - with the Red
(Ctrl-A or Cmd-A) and
(Ctrl-C or Cmd-C).
OK - now for some jumping about in the Channels and
the RGB Channel at
the top of the Channels stack and then ...
go back to the Layers Palette and Paste
(Ctrl-V or Cmd-V) which puts the monochrome Red Channel on
own layer, now ...
change the Layers Blending
Mode to Luminosity
you have the color back.
return to the Channels Palette
that RGB is
highlighted and Ctrl/Cmd click which selects the
Luminosityvalues, now ...
return to the Layers
palette, select the
layer you created and click the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the
Layers Palette which will put the Luminosity
the Layer Mask.
Now you can modify your picture by either/or
adjusting the Levels
(Ctrl-L or CMD-L) and change the Opacity of the layer.
At this point you may be
quite satisfied with the the initial digital makeover results - or
perhaps not ...
This is an improvement but it looks kind of pasty, right?.
The second part of the procedure is to apply some foundation makeup to
This will smooth out the skin even more and it will not create that
'false look' one so often sees in models.
This is, after all, an attractive young gal - a real person and the
goal is to make her look the best she can without resorting
to things like the surface blur found in CS3.
Now lets get to the second half of the digital makeover
Makeover Step Two - Applying
This part starts off where the previous steps ended and we will build
on what we already have.
Let's do it ...
Create a new layer above the layers you already
have. Ctr-A or CMD-A to select all of the layers and
> Copy Merged and finally (with your new layer highlighted)
Ctrl-V or CMD-V.
Now we are going to run a couple of filters on
the image - Gaussian Blur and High Pass. With the newest
layer selected, select Blur >
Gaussian Blur and mess about with
the slider until the skin is nice a smooth. Make a mental
note of the radius in pixels that you like the best. Now
Cancel Gaussian Blur and keep the number in mind.
Now select Filter
> Other > High
Pass ... and enter the number you have faithfully stored
in you head
from the previous step in the Radius Pixels box. Click OK.
Looks weird, doesn't it?
Go back to Filter
> Blur >
Gaussian Blur and enter 1/3 of the number you are
remembering into the
Radius Pixels box and click OK and then invert the image - Ctrl-I or
CMD-I or Image > Adjustments > Invert. Still
looks weird ...
Now is the time to return our
picture to some kind of normal look and we do that with Blending Modes.
Drop down the Blending Modes box and select Overlay and there
you go - the picture now looks even better than before! You
can experiment with the Soft Light Blending Mode as well. It
is up to you which one you choose because they both work and
provide a slightly different result.
Add a Layer
Mask to the layer so that you can
apply the smoothing to only those parts of the image that need it.
You can either fill the Layer
mask with Black (Edit
> Fill > Black) and paint in the
effect with white or fill the Layer Mask with White (Edit > Fill
> White) and remove the effect where it is not
painting with black. It's up to you how you do it.
This is where you get to use your Wacom Bamboo or Intuos graphics
for precise and easy painting. It is probably best to have
the brush dynamics set to size (changing stroke size with
nothing at all.
If you want to see how the Layer
Mask looks up
close then just Alt-Click
on it. To return to
the normal vies just select the layer again and activate the layer mask.
There are some areas you probably
don't want to
soften too much - eyes, eyebrows and lashes and lips.
Once the effect has been applied you can
further refine it by messing with the top layer's opacity and/or
fiddling around with Levels.
That's it - you are done with your digital makeover
and you should be
darn proud of your work.