Smooth Skin?

Dan Margulis <76270.1033@...>

Hector Davila writes,

What's the best way to smooth skin on photos?
I've seen *those* web sites where the girls skin looks real smooth.
How do you do that? Is it bluring AB channels?>>

A method that I illustrated at Seybold is similar to the ones mentioned
previously by Lee Varis and John Opitz, but I think is a little better in
avoiding the overly airbrushed look.

1) Make four identical layers. Layer 1 remains untouched.

2) On Layer 2, Gaussian blur, Radius 2.0 (for starters, may adjust).

3) Having blurred Layer 2, apply a curve that lightens the midtone very

4) Change layering mode on Layer 2 to Darken. This will disallow most of
the layer because of Step 3, and will only fill in small white blotches.

5) On Layer 3, apply Gaussian blur at double the radius of Step 2. (Reason:
darker spots on the skin tend to be larger than white spots).

6) Having blurred Layer 3, apply a curve that darkens the midtone very

7) Change layering mode on Layer three to Lighten. This will disallow most
of the layer because of Step 6, and will only correct age spots and other
dark blemishes.

8) Compare Layer 3 to Layer 4 (an untouched original) and merge the two as
desired with a layer mask.

This, incidentally, is how one "unsharpens" a picture, when a client has
been so helpful as to supply something that's been oversharpened, without
giving us access to the original.

Dan Margulis

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