Photoshop Tutorial: How to Retouch Skin Flawlessly with Frequency Separation

Photoshop Tutorial: How to Retouch Skin Flawlessly with Frequency Separation


Hi. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV.
I’m going to show you how an effective technique for retouching skin that retains the skin’s
texture, while it removes skin blotches and imperfections. This technique is called, “Frequency Separation”. Before we begin, if you enjoy my tutorials, show your support by becoming a patron to Blue Lightning TV. Go to patreon.com/bluelightningtv
(all one word) or simply click the link in this video’s description, which is below the
title of this video. Thanks! Open a photo of a face that you’d like to retouch. I downloaded this one from Shutterstock. The first step is to make 2 copies of the photo by pressing
Ctrl or Cmd + J twice. Name the top layer, “High Frequency_Texture” and the middle layer, “Low Frequency_Blur”. Click off the eyeball icon next to the top layer to temporarily hide it and go to Filter, Blur and Gaussian Blur. Drag the slider until it blurs the skin
just enough to hide most of the pores and blotchiness. Then, click OK. Make the top layer visible and active. Go to Image and “Apply Image”. For the Source layer, click
“Low Frequency_Blur” and for the Target Blending Mode, click “Subtract”. The Scale is 2 and
Offset is 128. Then, click OK. Change the Blend Mode to “Linear Light”. At this point,
your photo will look exactly the same. Make the middle layer active. Zoom into areas of
the face by pressing “z” to open your Zoom Tool and drag it over the forehead. Open your Lasso Tool and draw a selection over the inside of the forehead. We’ll feather it, so its
edges will be soft. For me, the best way to preview the amount of feathering is to click
the Refine Edge button or go to Select and Refine Edge. Drag the Feather slider to the
right until it’s blurred approximately this much. The actual pixel amount on yours, may be very
different than mine depending on your photo’s size and resolution. Remember your pixel amount
and click “Cancel”. At the top, in the Feather field, type in that amount. Deselect it by
pressing Ctrl or Cmd + D. To apply the feathering, draw another selection inside the forehead.and go to Filter, Blur and Gaussian Blur. Slide the Blur Radius to an amount that makes the
blotchiness disappear. The texture remains because it’s on a different layer. Click OK
and deselect it. If you see some imperfections in the texture, we’ll take care of them in
a few minutes. Right now, we’re just concerned with removing the blotchiness and overall
inconsistencies. To reposition the face on your canvas, press and hold the Space bar
as you drag the image. Draw another selection around the cheek and make sure you don’t get
too close to the eyes, hair, lips and neck. Press Ctrl or Cmd + F to repeat the last filter
you used, which was Gaussian Blur. Delete the selection and draw another selection around
the other cheek. Repeat the filter and deselect it. I’ll repeat these steps for the chin. Next, let’s retouch the nose. Since the nose has more problems with texture than blotchiness, we’ll retouch its texture. To do this, make the High Frequency texture layer active and
this time, we’ll use the Clone Stamp Tool. Make sure the Mode is Normal, the Flow is
100% and “Current Layer” is showing. Make its Opacity approximately 35 to 40%. To make
your stamp tool bigger or smaller, press the right or left bracket key on your keyboard.
We’ll copy the texture of a smooth area of the skin and clone it onto the nose. To do
this, Alt-click or Option-click on a smooth area of skin to copy its texture and brush
over a small area of the nose to clone the texture onto it. Go back to the same smooth
area, Alt-click or Option click on it and brush over another small area of
the nose. Continue this until the entire nose is smooth. Remember, we’re not cloning color,
nor brightness & contrast; we’re only cloning texture. Let’s retouch the neck of your subject.
Drag the neck into view. Since the neck has problems mostly with skin blotchiness, I’ll
make the Low Frequency Blur layer active and open my Lasso Tool again. I’ll draw inside
the neck and shoulder blades avoiding getting too close to her clothing, chin and hair.
I’ll repeat my last filter, which was Gaussian Blur, and I’ll deselect it. To fit your image
back onto your canvas, press Ctrl or Cmd + 0. To see the before and after, Alt-click
or Option-click on the eyeball icon next to the bottom layer to hide all the other layers.
To make all the other layers visible again, Alt-click or Option on the eyeball icon again.
If you want to finesse it more by removing tiny spots of texture imperfections, zoom
into the area you want to finesse by pressing Ctrl or Cmd plus the “Plus” key on your
keyboard and drag your subject to the area you want to finesse. Make your High Frequency
texture layer active again. This time, we’ll open the “Spot Healing Brush”. Make your
brush a bit larger than the spot your want to remove and simply click or brush over the
spot. Continue to click or brush over other tiny, texture imperfections until the entire
face is flawless. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. Thanks for watching!

100 thoughts on “Photoshop Tutorial: How to Retouch Skin Flawlessly with Frequency Separation

  1. Subscribed, liked, and commenting now. Hey, question. What if it’s a male model and I don’t want to make him look to beautiful, you know a bit more rough and rugged but still remove the blotchyness? Lower the opacity? Or what do you suggest? Thanks for the video. I learned a lot.

  2. There are no texture after i apply image and input the settings on the high frequency layer. Everything is just gray… would you know what i might've did wrong? Thanks in advanced

  3. Could you please please pleaaasseee do an updated version with Photoshop CC 2018 ?? 🙏🙏 Thank you great video!

  4. Awesome! Thank you. I was working on a picture that was taken outside in the cold. Other methods I tried, were just not working to get the blotchy redness out. This worked great.

  5. The way you instruct is magnificent! Understandable, thorough and at a perfect pace. Others can learn a lot from your delivery! Thanks so much!

  6. ive been looking for a long time the easiest way of image retouching, and ive fout it.. i subscribed to BLTV 3 yrs ago..hehe

  7. So from the beginning everything goes wrong. I've tried this technique on 3 different images. Is there a particular file background that this technique applies to. After selecting image ->apply image -> subtract-> I end up with the blue regardless. It doesn't "go back to normal" so what is the step that I'm missing? It's been two weeks now trying to find the resolution.

  8. I got stuck on the "feather" part I couldn't find the refine edge button on photoshop 2019. However I found a shortcut to figure out the correct feather amount. first click the lasso tool to select an area then click q on the keyboard to view the feather blend. adjust the feather until you find the correct feather blend.

  9. Ok I am stuck at the blur part like a lot of the people in the comments "Hello" can someone help… I rewinded to the video multiple times and it shows the HIGH layer active then its not….. CONFUSED

  10. On 2:50, I thought your Texture layer was visible at this time but your screen shows active…. that's strange, because if I make mine active the image looks blur at this time

  11. Allright i didn't plan to be mean but you get how frustrating is to try and try and get the same result.. Why doesn't it work? I did every step exactly as you and it darkens the selected area, when it should be blurring….

  12. The BEST tutorial! After watching videos that are 30 minutes long or more 🙄, this one is straight to the point.

  13. hmm i tried it exactly the same way, for me it doesnt work,,, when i blur it out, its going darker and darker with minimum differnce… .anybody can help ?

  14. Be sure your pictures exports RGB 8 for these settings!! Otherwise the settings won’t work if your export is an RGB 16!!!!!!! It took me awhile to figure that out. I only wished that tutorials would’ve mentioned that important step!

  15. Man thank you for helping me, i just started using photoshop for retouching.. you make it look so easy

  16. In photoshop cc when you press control F to repeat the last action used..my pc start searching! help pls..what is the shortcut to repeat the last action used on photoshops cc..??

  17. Thank you for the tips, but I do not have a refine Edge like you showed, I am using Photoshop CC 2019 – please advice

  18. this was kind of confusing. why do you need to feather it and then cancel and then deselect and then draw another lasso around it… that's way too many steps. I'm sure there's a faster way

  19. how can i save the low and high freq settings as presets, so i dont have to start from the beginning everytime i want to retouch something?

  20. I am always scrambling to keep up and follow along but for whatever reason I followed you to a T no problems! Thank you for this. Really, thanks!

  21. THE BEST FREQUENCY SEPARATION TUTORIAL!! This tutorial is very clear simple and to the point: THANK YOU BLUE LIGHTITNG!!

  22. Now the Bell is ON <3
    first time starting skin retouching on photoshop and this would be the beginning of the new beginning
    thank you for the video. cant wait to share my link of the final image

  23. I did this tutorial and I when I get to the last step of blur it keeps turning my model's forehead gray/burnt looking. I followed every step, made sure that high freq was in linear light, what can i do to make this work?

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