Skin Enhancement Photoshop Tutorial
There are many actions available to enhance your photographs, but sometimes a little extra work is required. This tutorial uses Photoshop’s blur filter and healing brush tool, along with a free action. You need to begin with a good quality image – repairing a poor quality image is a whole other tutorial. We will be improving the complexion, improving the skin tone and brightening the eyes.
Photograph from sxc.hu
Skin Glow Enhancement Action by iscarlett from deviantart.com
Open the photograph – either the one I have used or your own.
Make sure it is 72ppi resolution.
Duplicate the background layer
Name this layer ‘repair’
Zoom right into the image – 200% – 300%
Select the Healing Brush Tool and apply the following settings:
Place the brush right next to the area you want to ‘heal’
Hold down the Alt key and click the left mouse button
Move the brush over the imperfection and click once
Continue in this way all over the face and neck
I chose to only remove the imperfections – not the freckles, but it is up to you how much or how little repairing you carry out.
When you are happy with the results – and don’t worry if you can see slight colour differences on your photo, that will be corrected in the next step
Duplicate the layer
Name this layer ‘blur’
Turn off the visibility of all layers except the blur layer
Apply a layer mask by clicking on the icon at the bottom of the layers palette
Using a large, soft, round brush and with black as the foreground colour, mask out everything except the face and neck – mask out the eyes and mouth also.
Create a new, empty layer and merge the blur layer and empty layer together
Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur – for my image I set the blur to 3, but you may have to play around to find the best setting for the image you are working on.
Set the layer opacity to 60%
Merge the blur layer and the repair layer together
Image>Duplicate – rename the document if you wish, click OK
Open the Actions palette and Skin Glow Enhancement action – this will either have to be loaded from wherever you have stored it on your computer, or added from the list of actions if you have installed it into the Photoshop actions folder.
Click on the small arrowhead to the right of the action in the palette and then click on the first item (action1byiscarlett)
Click on the run button – the arrowhead at the bottom of the actions palette – and the action will run through
You should now be left with just a background layer
Back to the original canvas
Edit>Paste – make sure this new layer is at the top of the layers palette
Reduce the layer opacity to around 45% – or whatever looks best on your image
Rename this layer ‘enhanced’
Duplicate the layer
Restore the opacity of the duplicated layer to 100%
Select the Pen tool and make a path around one of the eyes as shown below:
Right click within the path and click Make Selection
Do the same with the other eye
In the Make Selection dialogue box, check Add to Selection:
Hit the delete key
Using the Eraser tool and a round, soft, brush around 100px
Erase the area around the eyeball so it blends in with the image perfectly