Professional Portrait Retouching – Removing Dark Circles
Posted on June 30, 2008 by Bo
In our previous portrait retouching lesson, we looked at the simple task of brightening a subject’s eyes. This time, we’ll be working on removing the dark circles under your subject’s eyes. With the use of some of Photoshop’s healing and retouching tools, we can easily paint away wrinkles and blemishes and make your subjects look years younger.
If video is not available, click here to view it on YouTube.
Below is a written form of the technique for printing or quick referral.
1. When starting off, it’s a good idea to get the Healing Brush Tool and fix some of the small blemishes and wrinkles. Simply select the tool, Alt + click on an area to select a source point, and then click onto the areas you want to clone/heal.
2. Once all the little areas have been healed away, grab the Patch Tool and drag a selection around the area be replaced.
3. Once your selection has been made, click inside the selection and drag slightly downward to an unblemished section of skin
4. This procedure may leave behind a few artifacts and may discolor the skin. We’ll tackle the discoloration later; for now, use the Patch tool or Healing Brush tool to help smooth out any of the unsightly artifacts.
5. Another method you can use for removing the dark circles is switching back to the Healing Brush Tool and getting a bigger hard-edged brush. Alt + click on an area with good skin tone and, with one long stroke, slowly paint over the wrinkle.
6. To get rid of the dark skin tone that can result, we’ll switch to the Clone Stamp Tool. In the toolbar, set the mode to Lighten and the opacity to around 40%.
7. Alt + click on the target area for your clone tool. With a large soft brush, paint over the darkened areas of the skin. If you need to either darken or lighten this stroke, before clicking again go to Edit > Fade Clone Stamp…; you’ll notice that this option will open at 40% opacity (copying the settings you had for the Clone Stamp Tool) allowing you to either raise or lower the opacity to better match your subject’s skin tone.
As always, you can go through your image with the Healing Brush Tool and touch up some of the areas that you might have missed with the larger brushes. Below is a before and after comparison of the technique.
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