Well we did the initial corrections and used the healing brush. Now its time for skin smoothing and the most controversial technique, skin blurring.
Most people now say don’t use it, but used carefully it can produce a very nice effect.
I still use it for many of my images, while it can destroy texture, its fast and can produce images that your client will love.
If you remember from our part 1 post, we had ended up with the image above. The major imperfections have been corrected (see Part One) now its time for the skin blur.
Using photoshop duplicate the layer (Command-J on the Mac), don’t work on the original layer. If you have multiple layers all contributing to the final image then use Shift-Option-Command-E (On the Mac) to produce a new layer based on the previous layers.
From the menu select filter-blur-Gaussian Blur. I tend to use a Radius of 20 pixels but feel free to experiement.
What you see above is the blur effect, now obviously this is totally unsuitable, so add a layer mask via Option-(add layer mask button). This masks out the effect of the blur and you get back with what you had before you added the blur.
Now you select the layer mask and carefully paint on the mask to remove it where the skin is. Once that is complete reduce the Opacity to about 40% on the layer and you will have a reasonable effect.
You could now go on to work on the eyes and teeth but the basic work is complete. Once you have it looking like you want its just time to add the sharpening and final tweaks.
Part 3 will see us going back to the beginning, this time we will use techniques to try and preserve the original skin texture.
Before and after below: