Photoshop before and after

by Design Workshop Sydney

One of the main processes in Photoshop is the ability to retouch images. Incredible before and after shots are quite common in the media, but the procedure and skills involved are pretty simple. This is one of the many techniques we look at in our Photoshop coursesphotoshop-before-after
Before any retouching is done we would do some colour correction. This can be done as an adjustment layer, a process known as Non-destructive editing, since the original pixels are not changed. In this image we would do a Hue/Saturation adjustment, saturating the whole image by about 20% to enhance the picture’s colours, then jumping into the Yellow channel and desaturating by about -20% to reduce any extra yellow.
We are now ready for the actual retouching process. We would first take a Snapshot in the History panel. Any spots, blemishes and freckles could be removed using the Spot Healing Brush tool and a fairly small brush size. The healing tools detect a dark or light area of pixels and replace these with an average of the surrounding pixel values. Too large a brush will result in blurring.
Wrinkles around the eyes and mouth are best treated with the Patch tool, encircling the area to be removed, then moving the selection to an area of relatively smooth skin. The underlying colour tones are kept while the surface tones (the wrinkles) are removed.
Large features to be adjusted, like the fat lip and square jawline on the left image, could be tweaked by using the Liquify filter. The pearl earring was also enlarged in this way. Snapshots in History are taken all along the process, and these can be toggled to see the cumulative effects.
Finally, eye colour and hair streaks were created using a new layer with the Color blending mode, and a coloured brush. This layer can reduced in opacity if the effect is too strong.
And that’s how Hollywood and magazine photos are retouched in Photoshop! For more tips and techniques, sign up for one of our courses! And see many examples of our clients’ work on our Facebook page.
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