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Digital Tummy Tucks

This is a body-sculpting technique that basically has you “slicing off” extra tummy and hip areas, and is especially good at trimming the waist. One of the things that make this technique easy is a little up-front preparation—lassoing off the sections that surround the area where you’re retouching so you don’t accidentally slice off parts you don’t want sliced off (so to speak).

Step One.
Open the photo containing a tummy you want to tuck. In this example, we’re going to trim the waist area and while we’re there, we’ll trim the hips just a bit too.


Step Two.
First, to make this retouch easier, start by isolating the area near where you want to retouch. For example, in the capture shown here, you want to trim the waist, but you don’t want to accidentally trim her right arm; so get the Lasso tool and draw a selection that covers the area to the right of her arm, and let this selection extend into her body much farther than you’re actually going to trim (as shown here).

Step Three.
Press the letter “s” to get the Clone Stamp tool from the Toolbox, then go up to the Brush Picker (in the Options bar) and choose a hard-edged brush (as shown here). The key here is the hard-edged brush; because her outfit has a hard edge (it’s not soft or delicate, like hair), you have to choose a brush that matches the edge you’re retouching. If you tried this with a soft-edged brush, it would look blurry on the edges, and be an absolute dead giveaway.

Step Four.
Take the Clone Stamp tool and move it over a background area directly beside the area you want to retouch. Hold the Option key (PC: Alt key) and click once on this background area (as shown) to set this as the source for your cloning (in other words, it’s this background area that will be cloned over her waist in the next step).

Step Five.
Now that you’ve chosen a source area (the background area to the right of her arm), click your cursor within her skin (okay, it’s not skin, it’s her top) and literally “dig in” to the skin (as shown here) and paint a downward stroke. As you do, the edge of her top is replaced with the cloned source background. You basically just trimmed away those small “rolls” that appear because of the loose fit of her top around the waist.

Step Six.
To trim the waist area further, paint an upward stroke (still digging into the skin, right above your last stroke) as shown here. Note the position of the cursor, just under where her arm and waist meet. You’ll start just below that, and paint upward, trimming as you go.

Step Seven.
Since we’re already trimming the tummy, why not trim the hips a bit as well (while you’re in the neighborhood)? You do that by using the same “dig-in-to-the-skin” trick—just start right at the waist (where her pink bottom is) and paint a stroke right down the hips to trim them up (as shown here).

Step Eight.
Now that you’ve trimmed the right side of the body, let’s use the same technique on the left side, starting with the Lasso tool to isolate the area you’ll be working on (as shown here).

Step Nine.
Once isolated, get the Clone Stamp tool again and Option-click (PC: Alt-click) on the background right next to the area you want to trim to set that area as your cloning source (as shown here).

Step Ten.
Now, you’ll “dig in” to the edge again, trimming away the tummy and hips. It looks like you’ll have to clone a bit higher on this side, so after you do the waist and hips, press Command-D (PC: Control-D) to deselect. Now, you can use your hard-edged Clone Stamp tool to clone the wall above your old selection over the edge of her outfit that appears just below her left arm. The final retouch is shown below.





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