How To Remove Shine
And Hotspots With Photoshop Elements
Removing skin shine and hotspots with Photoshop Elements is a
straightforward procedure once you understand the techniques.
Those unwanted and nasty shiny spots
tend to collect on foreheads, cheeks, noses and chins and appear on
images taken in bright sunlight and when a flash is used.
the frames and lenses of glasses will pick up the sun or flash and
hotspots that can be a real challenge to remove - until now.
these areas are resistant to one of my favorite techniques -
burning with a Soft Light Layer - (in a dodge and
burn sense) because the shiny spots are pure white.
with skin shine and hotspots is that they mess up the overall contrast
and draw the eyes to themselves like a magnet - the image can be
wonderful but the eyes just go right to that brilliant shiny area and
that's all you see, isn't it?
methods we will use include ...
The techniques described here are best done with a graphics tablet such
as the Wacom Bamboo or the Wacom Intuos. The reason is the pen
and teablet's ability to change dynamics (paint opacity and/or brush
size) as you change the pressure of the pen on the tablet. If
that's not enough, the precision and control with a pen is really
- Some artful Cloning with a Wacom
Bamboo or Intuos tablet, or ..
- Some artful Healing with a Wacom Bamboo or Intuos tablet
Healing Brush Tool.
- Selecting with the Selection Brush.
- Layer Blend Modes.
So let's find us an image with some hotspots and shine and eliminate it
This one has all of the shiny spots we're looking for - shine on the
nose, cheeks and chin as well as a nasty hotspot on the rim of
her glasses - otherwise it's a great shot ...
The shiny spots on these areas will be removed with the Clone Tool.
This is how the Options Bar for the Cone Tool is set ...
I'm using a Wacom Intuos tablet so a brush that changes opacity with
chosen. The brush mode was set to Darken because I wanted to
darken the different shiny areas so they are the same as the
The Aligned check box was both checked and un-checked. When
it's un-checked the Source point of the Clone tool always returns to
the last place it was set.
All Layers was also checked because layers are used to make the
corrections - avoid doing the corrections on the original image.
surfaces can be eliminated with the Healing Brush Tool as well as with
the Cone Tool and these are the options for the brush.
Normal mode seems to work best for healing in this situation.
The Hardness is set to zero to provide a soft edge brush,
preventing hard edges.
I'm using a round brush so the Angle and the Roundness will stay at the
The Size of the brush is set to Pen Pressure with the bottom drop down
preference is to use the Clone Tool with Opacity as the brush dynamic
with a Wacom graphics tablet
because the shiny spot can be eliminate gradually - but the choice is
up to you.
Window For ....
At the top of the View Menu is a selection - New Window For.
This will create a second image on-screen. The
value of this is that
you can zoom way in on one of the images, do your cloning on it and
watch the changes taking place in real time on the full size image -
this is absolutely fabulous. You gotta try it out for
Here is how the screen looks ...
this situation I'm working on the shiny spot on the nose in the left
image and watching how it looks on the large right image. It
provides some great perspective ...
Nose and Chin
The most efficient way to eliminate the shine on the cheek, nose and
chin is to use the Clone Tool as it was set earlier.
Create a new layer and give it a name - Cheek would work nicely for the
cheek, don't you think?
in closely on the working image, set the source point by Alt-tapping
with the pen (Alt-Click with a mouse) and slowly start cloning away the
While you're zoomed in check for any blemishes that are present -
might as well take care of them at the same time, right? At
top of the zoomed image (on the left) is a blemish that's quite a bit
darker than the surrounding area.
To eliminate the dark blemish
the Darken mode of the Clone Tool will need to be changed to either
Normal or Lighten. In truth, a blemish can also be thought of
a hotspot, can't it?
you're happy with the first area then move on to the next by creating a
new layer and giving it a name. With this image I created two
layers - one is Nose and the other one is Chin.
Both areas were worked in the exact same manner as the Cheek layer and
this is the image after they were completed ...
Looking good, don't you think? Now for the hotspot on the
On The Glasses
There are two hotspots on the glasses - the most prominent one is on
the left side of
the image and the other is just above her left eye.
most prominent hotspot can be cloned out but it would be a fiddly and
annoying procedure. In some cases you can make a patch from a
non-shiny area and move it over the shiny area but that is fiddly as
There is another way that is really effective and that is to use the Shadows/Highlights
adjustment in the Enhance
> Adjust Lighting menu.
The Shadows/Highlights has to be done on the original image so some
preparation is required.
The first thing that needs to be done is to select the offending
hotspot and then put it on its own layer.
make this selection on the rim of the glasses I used the Selection
The Hardness (in the Options bar) was set to 0.
The brush size was varied from 7 pixels to 2 pixels.
The Feathering was set to 1.
All of the areas that were too light were selected with the Selection
Once the selections was completed it was copied to a new layer with
Ctrl-J/Cmd-J and t'was named Rim..
This placed just the shiny bits on a layer and the Shadows/Highlights
can be run just on the new layer created from the selection.
Make sure the Selection layer (Rim, in my case) is selected and then Enhance > Adjust Lighting
> Shadows/Highlights ...
Palette defaults to 25 in the Lighten Shadows box - we're not working
with any shadows when dealing with hotspots so the slider was moved to
The important slider in this situation is the Darken Highlights slider.
Move it up and watch what happens with the hotspot.
It's likely that the Darken Highlights slider will be moved all the way
to the right (100%) with this result ...
This is better but not perfect - yet. This is where your
knowledge of Layer Blend Modes comes in handy.
Change the Layer Blend
Mode from Normal to Multiply
and the rim will get darker.
If it's still not enough the next step is to duplicate the rim layer as
many times as necessary to achieve the desired results (the Blend Mode
of each duplicate layer will be Multiply). With this image
the Rim layer was duplicated 3 times - and here they are ...
||The first Shadows/Highlights adjustment and the
Layer Blend Mode changed to Multiply.
It has decreased the hotspots but not quite enough so ....
Rim layer duplicated ...
Rim layer duplicated again and then ...
||it was duplicated
one final time.
And here's the image after the cloning out the shiny areas and
eliminating the hotspots with a Shadows/Highlights
still is one little hotspot just above her left eye but it's not
bugging me so it can stay right where it is. This one would
be easy to remove with the Clone Tool if one was so inclined.
About the only thing left to do with this image would be to brighten up
the whites of the eyes and brighten up the teeth with some digital
The final layers palette is at the top of the page - check it out here.
There you go - a couple of techniques to remove shine and hotspots.
I really appreciate your visit and hope you find this tutorial helpful.
Hotspots Page Links
Nose and Chin