Advanced Technique & Process 2B: Frequency separation retouching in Photoshop CS6

For effective retouching it is beneficial to work with a few different layers. Start off by having the image you’re working on as the background layer, then hold down ‘cmd’ and ‘J’ to create a new layer, and again to create 2 new layers. Name 1 of them ‘texture’ and one of them ‘blur’. So the layers appear like this:
Texture
Blur
Background

Next, on the blur layer go to the top bar, go Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and adjust so that there is still some detail visible in the highlights. Add texture through ‘Filter’ to the texture layer. Whilst editing skin, make sure to be on the blur layer for the tones of the skin so that you still keep the texture (through the texture layer being untouched with regards to the tones) but the tones of the skin are changed to be more even. This in the end leaves more leniency and a better ‘look’ because you manage to keep the texture of the image but editing the skin to make it appear clearer, giving an all round even skin tone. This is done through then using the clone tool to go over lines (where the tones aren’t right) but keep the texture of the skin.

All round this method gives a more realistic look when retouching, and the face doesn’t just look like it’s too soft or plastic. Especially if retouching older skin, this is a more complimentary style of retouching.

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