Airbrushing Skin in Photoshop

Posted: February 21, 2013 in Photoshop

One of the most common and well known uses of Photoshop is the “airbrushing” of skin, especially in magazines. This is a technique that is very easy to go overboard with – keep your final result in mind while you work. Once you learn these techniques, you will start to see them all over the media. We will work with the tools and techniques that photoshop has to offer in order to airbrush a picture. There are millions of tutorials on how to do this out there. This one seems decent.  You may also try this one. The basic concept to remember is that airbrushing is done by blurring out sharp details in the skin, leaving a smooth, creamy complexion. The key to making it look “right” is to ensure that the edge details remain crisp and clear (otherwise the whole image just looks blurry).

One of the concepts in this tutorial is the use of LAYER MASKS.  A layer mask is used to hide or reveal areas of a layer.  White areas in a lyer maks permit pixels to be seen, black areas mask pixels, and gray areas mask pixels partially.  A layer mask is extremely useful because you can use it to try out effects without actually changing the pixels on the layer.  When you have achieved the result that you want, you can apply the mask as a permanent change. If you are not satisfied, you can discard the mask without having permanently affected the pixels on the layer.

Assignment:
1. Find an different image on the Internet/Facebook of someone that has pretty rough skin. You will want to find an image with higher resolution.  Generally, anything coming off the Internet (especially Facebook) is low resolution.
2. Complete one or both of the tutorials listed above.
3. Post both your original and your airbrushed images with the titles Airbrush Original and Airbrush Final Product respectively.

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