Picture of Airbrushing Models in Photoshop
What is retouching?
Well, nowadays, retouching refers to the 'touch up' techniques used by digital photographers and editors. This walkthrough is just a basic overview of the processes I went through in photoshop.

We're going to start with a simple portrait and go through some techniques to make the whole image look more professional. We'll be smoothing the skin, sharpening the details, changing the eye colours and colourising the image to give a 'retro' feel.

This instruct able does require some photoshop knowledge as i'm not going to explain where to find the various layer styles etc, but a quick google should help you!

Original image as Jpg and canon raw can be downloaded here:
Original Image

And my photography site (with more tutorials!)
Photography Site

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Step 1: Smoothing the Skin

Picture of Smoothing the Skin
The first step we're going to take is to smooth out the skin. This basically works by blurring and blending the skin to give it a more even tone. I always start by duplicating the background layer and adding a 'dust and scratches' filter at around 5 pixels. This gives a very blurry looking image which I then actually add a Gaussian blur too! Then decrease the layer opacity until the large areas of skin look smooth - but not unnatural.

You will then need to apply a layer mask to remove the blur on the areas of the picture where detail is important - the eyes, hair, contours, etc.

Step 2: Retro Colouring

Picture of Retro Colouring
At this point i'm starting to think about the retro colouring i'm looking to achieve in the final image. There are numerous ways of doing this to various extents, and this is one of the simplest. I flatten the image, make a duplicate layer and then select the 'channels' window. Selecting the red channel, I adjust the contrast to -50, then selecting the blue channel I do the same - setting it to -50. I leave the green channel as is. This gives me a nice start to the 'retro' look.
fessional2 years ago
"Adding Curves" Sounded a bit pervy
Anyway Nice Tut :)
robstokes (author) 2 years ago
Ok, Thanks for the comments, i'll take them onboard!
This was only my 1st instructable, so i'll try and do more detailed steps in the next one, and use an image that needs more work!

Though, saying that, subtlety is the key with retouching work. It's all too easy to go overboard.

Again, thanks for the comments!
scoochmaroo2 years ago
I've always been curious about this process. I think it would be helpful if you could post some screen shots of what you're doing in each step too?
keithyboyx2 years ago
Only difference I can see is the skin tone went from normal to yellow
lemonie2 years ago
All I really see is a difference in light; I prefer the original untouched image.