These days, we’re all as vain as each other when it comes to plastering our shots across all manner of websites and social networks. We pick ourselves to pieces and can’t help but notice every last spot and imperfection that spoils our otherwise fabulous faces.
Ever wished you could spend five minutes on Photoshop and really perfect your pics? Well, here’s the good news…you can! And it’s not as if you’ll need a degree in graphic design or anything of the sort to make it happen, as lucky for those with more than a little pride in their appearance, the folks at Adobe are making it easier than ever before to give the Elle Magazine treatment to home photos.
Here’s a quick guide to getting rid of skin blemishes using Photoshop:
Identify What’s To Go
Ok, so the first tip of all is to make sure you don’t get carried away, which admittedly can be difficult. Once you start really zooming in on any area of skin, you get the feeling that not an inch of it is as perfect as it looked from a distance, though this doesn’t mean you want to start perfecting the whole job lot. If you do, you’ll come out looking like a bizarre plastic clone of yourself and it’ll be obvious what you’ve been up to.
Any long-term scars, moles or other such features should also be left in place. And if it’s someone else you’re doing the photos for, remember that to go to town on imperfection correction might actually end up offending them!
Correction With the Healing Brush
In this instance, we’re going to look at the removal of blemishes by way of the healing brush – a tool that automatically takes information from the area around the trouble-spot and uses it to create a new area that more resembles its surroundings. It’s important to make sure you don’t choose a hardness setting that’s too high or it will leave a noticeable difference around the area you’re working on. In most minor instances, spacing and hardness around the 10% mark are sufficient, but feel free to play around for a better finish.
If you’re looking for the most professional quality finish the likes of which nobody but you will ever know about, you should use a VERY small brush and zoom in as close as feasibly possible to work on the blemish.
Choose the Right Replication Area
Once the brush has been selected along with an appropriate size and hardness, it’s a simple case of locating an area of skin that looks more like you’d like the blemished area to appear. Generally speaking this should be looked for in an area that’s not too close to the blemish itself, as chances are the skin around it will not be ideally even in tone and appearance. However, to choose an area of the skin that has at least minor imperfection – visible pores for example – is to create a much more realistic final edit.
If the ideal area has been found to recreate the effect over the blemish, you need to hold down ALT on the keyboard and click on the area with the left mouse button. This makes a copy/recording of the texture of the area selected which will be held in memory ready for use until you choose a different area, should you choose to do so.
Applying the Correction
Now that you have what’s essentially something of a rubber-stamp to clone the skin texture from one area to another, you can start having a go at applying it to the blemished area. In order to make sure that the recreated area of skin is as natural as possible, you’ll see that the selected area moves in the same way as the cursor while painting over the blemish. As such, you’ll need to be careful not to stray too far from the chosen area of skin or you risk having further imperfections ported over, which might ruin the effect.
Apply the correction a little at a time and frequently zoom back out to the standard picture size, in order to see the progress you are making. It’s important to remember that while it may not look 100% perfect when magnified many times, it will be entirely adequate when zoomed back out again. You can undo each bit of the process one step at a time and have another crack at it as you see fit, just be sure to save an unmodified copy of the original to draw comparisons with.
And that’s it – job done and perfection restored!