One of the areas where I have some Photoshop chops is “doing faces.” That is, taking the headshots of a company or group and making each individual look as good as possible. One thing to always remember about making folks look good is that blemishes add to our character and human-ness. So perfection isn’t the goal, but directory-type photos of individuals are usually posted for months and years at a time, so it pays to spend a little time with each person before putting them online. Doing faces might involve whitening or fixing teeth, removing neck lines, skin blemishes, giving some people a chin, removing lense glare.
At right is a before-and-after from a photo I worked on yesterday. The directory photo is going to be 120 pixels wide, so you don’t want to get carried away, but with the full-size image we can improve the quality of the displayed size with little effort and a few tricks.
A bread-n-butter tool in doing faces is the brush and the stamp. But the effectiveness of those tools is in using the various Photoshop brush modes: normal, lighten, darken, etc.
The basic approach here is to pick a color at the end of the range (if darkening a lighted area, select the darkest color of the range, if lightening a darker area, the lightest color), set the brush mode to the appropriate lighten or darken setting, and opacity to 20% or less.
The example here was done with the stamp tool and simple opacity manipulation. The focal point here is the eyebrow gradiant. A simple stamp area copy would leave a fatter eyebrow path butting against a thin eyebrow path. The solution here was to stamp in the fatter eyebrow path, then stamp the thinner path atop of fatter, but with a highly reduced opacity. This results in a smoother transition between thin and fat eyebrow paths.
I read somewhere that beautiful people have symmetrical features (and other things.) But when unsure, I go with symmetry when I need a face element, like here, where the corner of the left eye is not available in the original due to glare.
I lassoed the eye “white“ area of the right-hand good eye and copied it the left eye, then used Edit–>Transform–>Distort to get the area just right.
Now I’ve got an area grafted from an original, plus a bit a symmetry. (Not true symmetry, or the area would be on the left outside eye area, but hopefully you know what I mean.)
That’ll do it on faces for today.