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Head Games: retouching portraits > Pro Wrinkle Removal

Pro Wrinkle Removal

The Healing Brush and Patch tools are pretty amazing for removing wrinkles, but the problem may be that they do just that—they completely remove wrinkles. Depending on the age of the subject you’re retouching, the photo may look obviously retouched (in other words, if you’re retouching someone in their 70s and you make them look as if they’re 20 years old, it’s just going to look weird). Here’s a simple trick Kevin Ames uses for more realistic healing.

Step One.
Open the photo you want to “heal.” Duplicate the Background layer in the Layers palette by pressing Command-J (PC: Control-J). You perform your “healing” on this duplicate layer.


Step Two.
Use the Healing Brush to remove the wrinkled area. As you can see, with every wrinkle removed, this photo looks obviously retouched.

Step Three.
Go to the Layers palette and reduce the Opacity of this layer to bring back some of the original wrinkles. What you’re really doing here is letting a small amount of the original photo (on the Background layer, with all its wrinkles still intact) show through. Keep lowering the Opacity until you see the wrinkles so they’re visible, but not nearly as prominent. Here’s the final retouch with the Opacity of the healed layer lowered to 60% so I’m getting just a little less than half the wrinkles back, and the photo looks much more realistic.





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