Creative Retouching Techniques in Photoshop | Marcin Mikus | Skillshare

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Creative Retouching Techniques in Photoshop

teacher avatar Marcin Mikus, Retoucher and Photoshop Instructor

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (40m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Retouching Tools

    • 3. Frequency Separation - Theory

    • 4. Frequency Separation - Work

    • 5. Inverted High Pass Redefined

    • 6. Quick Dodge & Burn

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About This Class

In this class You will know everything You need to know about Retouching Techniques in Photoshop! We are going to start from simple things and talk about basic retouching toold in photoshop such as - Healing Brush Tool, Spot Healing Brush Tool, Patch Tool and Clone Stamp tool. You are going to know how to use them as well as You will know differences between these tools.

After that we are going to jump into different techniques, I will explain You Frequency Separation. You will learn how to work with this technique in non destructive way, as well as how to set Frequency Separation Layers in most effective and comfortable way.

As a next technique I am going to redefine Inverted High Pass Technique.Once again You will know how to retouch skin non destructively and even out rough skin. I will show You how to achieve the most desired look by You and keep full control on the working process with Inverted High Pass.

At the end I am going to talk about dodge & burn and show You how You should work with this and how to sort out lights and shadows on portrait Images.

Best part of this class is that I am giving You amazing actions that are going to help You and speed up Your workflow!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Marcin Mikus

Retoucher and Photoshop Instructor


I'm open minded and creative Photoshop Instructor and interationaly published Professional Retoucher.  The area I'm interested in is photo retouching and photomanipulation. I believe that massive layers of imagination allows me to create interesting, nontrivial ideas.

I've been teaching Photoshop for the last seven years. I spend almost every day with photoshop and in time I was able to gain more and more knowledge about right ways of teaching Photoshop. After few years of teaching on youtube I felt it's the right time to come out with Premium Courses, where I can share some amazing ideas and make Photoshop fun! 

If you are looking for a place where you can learn photoshop retouching in the right way, this is the best place to be!

See full profile

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1. Introduction: hi and welcome everyone who's willing to learn some creative retouching techniques in photo shop. My name is Margin. I am for To re toucher and Photoshopped, instructor of over five years of experience in this class, on bringing your techniques off retouching and for the shop off portrait retouching photo shop. At first we are going to talk about basic retouching tools in photo shop. So don't worry if you are just begging her because everything in these crimes will be explained after that, we're going to talk about frequency separation, well known technique and maybe you hot pleasure to learn this technique. There's a lot of tutorials on YouTube. However, I'm bringing this into a new level. I'm redefining this and also giving you amazing actions for this technique. After frequency separation, we going to talk about another technique which is inverted high pass and once again I'm using inverted Harper's in totally different way. I'm redefining this So this is my own technique that I actually tried to improve, and I'm sure we knew how you can work with this in most effective way and in non distractive way to not destroy the texture of the skin and get the best possible results. So you get in this, really? We could say three techniques re amazing. You're going toe, learn basic rate. Argenteuil. So you can do just basic retouching without using any specific techniques you're going to get amazing actions and no ways off working with frequency separation and of course, inverted heIp us on totally different level, which going to give you amazing flexibility off work at the end. I'm going to quickly talk about that and burn how toe ended up your retouching with data and burn, which is the highest level, actually off retouching and which is super important for every portrait retouching. So this course this class is something to really need if you are interested in portrait retouching. So I believe I'm going to talk to you once again in the first less on 2. Retouching Tools: this course is about finding creative ways to resolve your problems in this section. We going to take care about retouching even to talk about retouching and before we go in tow, beat more complicated subjects. I believe I can say like this, even though it would be really complicated. We need to say a few words about basic retouching tools and basic retention techniques. I often repeat myself, but I have to put this into this car's even You know, this. We will talk about this. This is very important for me, and I believe this will be very important for those who just start the adventure of photo shop. So we have a few retouching tools that you're going to use the must Come on, you're going to use is healing brush tal and crime stamp, too. We have few others that are like patch tal, sparkling brush toe and others you're not going to use really leads on this, and I'm going to quickly explain each of this to use patch toe. We need to work on the actual image. So if we don't want to be destructive for these, even it over here, which I opened for their Camero as an object. I'm going to duplicate this and I'm going us. I don't want these as an object anymore. I'm going to heat restaurants layer, but it's not something necessary. So I could call these retouch, and I'm going to use Patch full because, as I mentioned, Pashto can be only used on the actual layer with with the image that we get to retouch, and this spot over here could actually resolved this way. So, as you can see partial, actually, we move away the part off the Strat skin and replace this with the texture and color from the other parts. And it's both blended. So that's how it works. Very simple, simple steps this more so I'm not going to remove now. The next tool that you are going to use probably most often is in the same section, and it's killing. Brush Tool lets him this, and there's one rule. You want to work non destructively, so you don't want toe affect the actual image except with the patch toe that there is no other option to do this. So in this case, you get to create new layer. Always do this work non destructively. I'm going to call this clean up and above. You can set up all layers which going to affect all the years, even the layers above later. Or if you plan to work on these layer does that will be above your actual image. You can set current below. I'm going to work like this. And how does it work? Very important. Let's find a spot like this that we want to remove and small size off the our tool. That's very important work with small size of the tools, and I'm going to take a clone next to it. Let's even zoom this more to cities create. I'm goingto take a club next to him by pressing old and then painting on it. And what happens right now I will explain you. We took the texture from this area applied this year, and the color and its adjusted by the color that exists around. So it's not the color from here, for we just take our clone off the texture. Applying this and the color is adjusted from very outside. It's very different with the clone stamp tool. I'm going to present you this right now and they can cross timeto And what think to mention when I retouch, I worked with hard headed brush to not destroy the texture. If I'm going to choose clone Stamp, let's find a really nice and visible spot. Okay? I'm going to work with this one once again. This time I'm going to just use soft one Doesn't really matter. And once again, I'm taking a clone next to it and applying this so it looks all right now, isn't it? Before after. But there's main difference between this and days you seem if you use cross Tom, I'm taking a clone from this closed, um, copy everything texture and color. And you can see this easily here, So the texture from here is complete as well as color. However, in case of hearing brush, we taking clone and as you can see on the texture is copied. But color stays from area outside. So for me, I could say for this kind of retouching for basic skin retouching, if you work this way just on empty layer, better to use killing brush tool. This is the main differences. And when you use close stump when you get close to the edge because, as you can see, killing brush blends toe color, so the texture and the color color from the area outside. So if you go close to the edge is, it will not be really comfortable. In such a case, you can work with cross stamp, lower your flow. It was already lowered before, but the work means the same. And as you can see, it works so much better for you because it not blends colors together. But it just apply the color that you copied that you can't actually one last two that we could mention. He's spot healing brush tool. It could be you could think. It's too simple, Toby. Useful but simple swing are often useful. If you have this little spot, you just hit on them and you cover them. We found any cloning without any copying without taking a samples. You just paint on a little spot. So if you have image with a lot of sports like this, you shouldn't be bothered about anything. It works perfectly for little spots for most more complicated spots we use hidden in brush toe, not spot here in Pashto. But if you have a lot of small sports like this image here that we work just perfect. If you will try to retouch like, for example, if you're going to use flan stamp and you will not have effect, remember to check this if you have checked the right way. So, yeah, that's how we works. And that was introduction to the basic retouching tools. And now we're going toe more creative techniques that you could be really interested about . 3. Frequency Separation - Theory: in this lesson, we begin to talk a bit about frequency separation. But before we started an and work in this, this is well known technique. So once again, that could be reminder for you. And I want to explain you Fury. Maybe you heard about these. But frequency separation is just about separating two different frequencies from they meet . One is going to contain details or texture. We could say and other is going to contain colors. That's in a very simple speaking. It would be like this. So how to split this at first? We going to do this justice, Think we're going to split, eat, and you're going to see the differences. I'm going to duplicate the background player twice. So I'm going to press control or command and J 12 What course it was too much. 12 Okay, this I'm going to call no color, okay? And this will be high texture. OK, I'm going to turn this off and we going int o color and hit filter blur because we need to blow this out and vaginal or so what? We've learned out, actually, isn't this out a little bit and you blurring out the texture right now. So you might blurt this out. You have to blow this out till delivery gun. Do not see the really, really tiny details so around this value will be OK. Remember, the value for each image will be different. I'm going to hit OK now. And now I'm going to high image applied image. And here another thing. Layer, we get too, too slow. Always. You're going to choose the layer that you blew it out blending. And here's the thing. If you work with eight bit image, you're going to use subtract scale to offset zero and these box not checked. This is 16 bit image and how to recognize this because it's raw image. So if you were working on raw image, your image is 16 big, so I'm going to add scale zero or scale to offset Zira and this box checked. So I have to see something like this and then you'll know that's correct. Okay, now I'm going toe change, blending mont in talking a light and that's my actual image. So that's our frequency separation. That's very basic. I'm going to call this f s as frequency separation and what we do on high. We retouch the same way us usually. But in this case, I'm using something very hard. So hard edge it crown stamp. And as we don't have colors, I want something that is going toe copy everything. So of course not this and us. You work on actual image. We checked current layer and then very simple. You just three touch the skin as you're supposed to, but we're going to talk about this a bit later. In another lesson, that's how looks the theory. Here we have texture. So all the peoples retouch this. And if you have Warren, colors were going toe work below this layer off course, this will be coming with the actions and more reviewed actions, more completed actions than this. And let me just findings. Yeah, this image is 16 feet. I'm going toe give you actions. As you can see, we choose the blower on this level waas okay, and then the action is built. We have also there layer between that's for the colors. So you will get this action and also more complete action that I'm going to talk a bit later about and you're going to have a look in today's more complete attraction will have a bit more layers and we're going to choose radios twice. And why begin to choose the right years you're going to see right now you would choose something that could even out skin a little bit, so it would put this up to the level you will be just pulling up and check in where the image is getting this a beat even out look. But I wouldn't be bothered about this. This is about something if you don't have time, and that would be your action. However, theory about this I'm in practice about this will be in another working less on where I'm going to show you how I could use frequency separation for my work. 4. Frequency Separation - Work: So in this lesson, we going toe work with frequency separation and you're going to know everything you need to know about frequency separation. How to work with this toe work really non destructively. That's very important. So I'm going toe, apply my basic frequency separation action and you going to know how to work with this? I'm going to show you examples. So this is basically a flow layer. We have high layer ed. We are sometimes So what we do on the high layer. As I mentioned before, I will be working with hard edge. It flow everything 100 cool Keuren player clones time. So you finding the spots we find in this spot and we just Klum stamp. And as you can see, it's really simple. It's quick, so it would take problem a few minutes to dough. I'm going to try the equity as much as I can to not keep this killer really dirty. I'm going to leave some malls except this one because I don't like this one. You need to know whatever you going to do for client. You're doing this for a client and not only for yourself and you re touching. You need to know toe as if the client, if they prefer to keep the malls, or maybe if they prefer to remove the most. Personally, I really like to keep their most on the face. I don't like to remove them much, so that's why I'm keeping this to. But some people doesn't find them. Some people wants to remove them, so it's always personal. I recommended to ask, So that's how you work and you work until the point when you go in tow, clean the skin when the skin will be cleaned. Your work with high frequency is done. I'm not duplicating this high frequency layer cause what you could do. You could duplicate this and said the blending mode to normal and then just clean up this copy into this area. So whatever you would do on this clip player with development of struggle, if you do any mistake later, you can just remove this and you still have your low. However, the fire size would be too big, so I really prefer toe work with us legal us possible with frequency separation. So I think this just very basic except the highlighter. Often we can work on lower layer with this, we need to be extremely careful. So I'm duplicating this low layer. This will be just copy. I did this as a copy and there's few way off working the most basic want. Actually, we're going to work here. Maybe would be selecting with soft feather. We create something, press cute and okay, we have soft edge over here. So we would work i days with soft feather making selections to even out a little bit. The skin tones. How we would do this makes election filter blur and guardian blur. And then we go into the level that this change disappearing so around this. OK? And you can have a look now for the defense before after a very little difference. And I believe it could be really difficult to see him and be in this example over here again. Future blower cars and lower. Okay, maybe even higher. I'd like to keep this so and you can see now before after you can see the details, we even out them. We felt really affecting this kid. Extra skin textures here, so that would be the first basic method of working with this. What I prefer and what gives me much more control is to duplicate this. So once again, the same step. Copy. And I'm going to transfer this in tow. Smart object. Why? I'm transferring this in tow. Smart object he's got It gives me much more control. I'm going toe heat right and convert to smart object. So it's going to take a little bit. Maybe so. Now, whatever we going toe apply into this later, we can change in the future. So that will be very non destructive for us. And we can easily fix our mistakes. Now I'm going just to blur out all of this layer filter blur. That would be too high value. But you can see how does it affect your skin? Going to keep this lower on this? Maybe I want really soft result. Okay, so now it's applied here. The guards handler. And the best thing is, any time you goingto open this, you can change the value you can see. So whether it will be not enough for you or too much, you can always change the values off this blow. That's why it's so powerful. How I worked them. I'm creating a layer mask. And if I inferred this layer mask into black oneness, you remember everything will be invisible. So I'm pressing control or command and I toe invert. And now this is just invisible. So what I do quickly, I'm going to finish up a little beat. Do just a few things more on the highlight Europe as quick as possible. Remember, don't put too big size as I am doing now, but it is carefully and three times days of the needle beat as quick as you can. No, I'm doing this as quick as I can and you do in this Asper size as you can. So a few more, yeah, become the nose. I don't want to waste too much of your time, have very legal spots, and there's quite mint off them. But it's good to work on skin like this. You can see the pores, and we want to prevent them. Okay, so let's say I finished retouching the skin. Now I'm going to this copy. I'm choosing a brush and I will be with soft flow. Let's say 40% white cologne, the brush bringing up the information that I have here have a look. What? I want to fix this colors over here. Yeah, I'm going to paint here. I'm going to paint here on a little bit. And as you can see even out quickly the rough areas that I don't like. Of course. Here I need to retouch a big more on the highlight air here. Very rough area. And I'm fixing this. As you can see, it's very simple to work like this. So we have just few steps to do. I would do a little bit on the nose, but remember to not affect the edges to not destroy the shadows, that's extremely important. You want to keep the shadows as they are, so don't go too close to the edge is that will be other part to do this and friend. Now let's see where I paint it in few areas, as you can see in the areas that were not necessarily nice and you can see how using this lower layer copy of low layer, we fix the skin, the really rough areas of the skin. You cannot Is this here? For example, before after this is really powerful for this kind of task and That's why I love to use this softie when I don't really have time to retouch everything very detailed. And at the end, let's explain this familiar. What I use this for is to fix the color city here. I don't like this color, so I keep using the brush. I lower flow, maybe to 1%. I'm pressing out or option taking the sample of the color, and I'm paid him on the colors that doesn't doesn't suit that, colors that I want to fix with the color that will be more suitable. So, yeah, it's super simple. Have a look before, after and why, by painting in the both. The normal panic model will not change in the skin texture. It's because the skin texture is above so that super powerful. If you have skin texture above, it's really easy for you to work. I could paint over here, Ali for Pete. That was too strong. So not here. Here I have colors. Doesn't look so perfect. Gray, right? I was working on the high. Hey, I wasn't sure why change the colors so body? Yeah, so, as you can see, super powerful with fixing the colors and these methods I showed you in this lesson will be super easy for you to retouch all of the images very detailed, very precise and what's most important non destructively. 5. Inverted High Pass Redefined: in this lesson, I'm going to show you well known technique, inverted high pass, but once better about my less on my lecture from other lectures is, but we're going to redefine inverted high pass, and I'm going to show you how I work with this. And what's the difference between my way off working and others? Way off, working to have a look? How does it work, work and what you can achieve just in few minutes? Let's have a look at this image that was before we had a lot off really wrong shadows, wrong tones and just in few minutes with my techniques, I sorted this out and I really made a perfect face, Perfect skin without spending close of time And what's most important, I kept it this really natural. So let's start from the beginning to make you understand what's inverted High pass. We work in the same way as frequency separation, so we need to layers. I'm going to create a stamp, then one and I'm going to call this blower. I don't know their one. The copy off this and this will be e hp like inverted high pass with the 1st 1 below. I need to blow this out. So this is the same way as frequency separation. Now, I'm just going to show you how to create this and you're going to get This is an action. So you will not have to do this all of this process as well as you're going to get frequency separation actions and a lot off other actions that can speed up your wonderful blurs out the skin to the level that you will not see any D days. I think 18 will be OK in standard weight off way off working. Usually it has to be split doble for free in my way off working. It doesn't have be Toby split hable for free. So let's said 18 now and then Goto inverted high pass layer image apply image and exactly the same way as frequency separation layer will be blower. Blending will be added in this case because it's 16 bit image and this box will be checked Scale zero off scale to offset zero. If you have a bit image, of course, that will be subtract and that will be not checked and office. It will be 20 a 1 to 8 instead. Okay, After we do this the same leaner light and we don't need this blue layer anymore. I come actually remove this right now. What I recommend toe dough in such a case is toe convert this into a smart object. So then we can edit this layer we found to lose in. Let's do this convert to smart object We can edit days we filed in nondestructive way. So if we do some mistake on this layer with what we want to apply, we can change the value off this. So that's why I'm converting this into a smart object. And right now, what people are doing that going straight away to filter and blew out the third value of this. So they apply six at the end off. They didn't they apply. They invert this and we receiving this effect. So then you could just apply layer, mask, invert and pain in the areas you want to fix. That was very quickly, but as you could not face this effect seems really strong. It doesn't have sense a bit for me as well. Let's do us few steps, Bank. We don't want this. We are in the step back. What I'm doing different. I'm inverting this right now. Control or command and I to invert. And I see this blower. That's all right. Now we going to filter blower garden door and I'm finding my own value I will be happy about. I don't want this so strong. I want this really soft effect. I want to keep the portrait natural. Let's try 12. That will be quiet. Quiet. All right, I believe this is not too strong. It could be even higher. But let's try Not too soft to make you see the results. I can 12 and that's okay. And that's my inverted high pass. And the best way you're going to get this as an action going to name this one and invert is already, as you can see, applied here. We if you and check this, you will see the result before Okay, I'm going universities, and I'm going to paint with wide brush a soft edge. It flow rather soft or opacity toe, have more control, and I paint in the areas that I don't like. I saw some wrong shadows here, over here, so you have a few of the areas that we not necessarily. I would be happy. And we paint on Lee this area you don't paint on the areas you're happy about, you only feeds the areas. That doesn't look necessarily well, okay, remember, keep natural. And yeah, we'll sort this out here. Not much work. Have a look before after it's a big better. Don't change. If that's the right guard Chandler for you now. I would not recommend to change that. I would copy this to apply a mother inverted high pass and then apply in the areas I want to fix. A bit more. I don't need to copy days. Um, looking for the occasion. I present you the action I prepared. I'm going to play this said the radios. When you play the action, you will get all the information to follow. So here said the radios, that softy blurs out the skin texture. Remember that the radius will be different for each image. Continue. I will keep it the same. But of course we could change this. It doesn't have to be split Hable for free anymore. Let's go. And now we should get another information. Of course, this is quite big it's hot. Computer is tired once again, said the Blue Raiders. That brings up the skin texture to the point when you're happy about this. Remember not to set up higher values than the one before on the blue layer. Continue, so this will be even soften. Radius 12 will give you soften effect than before. Okay, and continue information about painting with soft slow and here I can sort this out a bit more in the areas I want. As I said, over here on a little bit under the ice, I'm not really shadows the skin I would not be happy about. And that's how that's how we work. Simple, isn't it? Very simple way very quick, and I tried to make this as natural as possible. Really many people destroy the images using different techniques, but I tried toe show you the techniques that brings up some controversial in. Sometimes I wrongly used and show you how you use them in the really right way that that's mine. Main point to teach you. Okay, let's put this toe into the group. I'm going toe select to compress control. So like this to and then control or command of course, depends on what work. So control or command and G put this to the group going to call this E H B. Let's have a look before, after a few minutes of work and the image looks so much better. 6. Quick Dodge & Burn: at the end of this journey, I want to show you as quickly as possible the Dutch and burn technique and how to do this in the really fast way. Likely inverted high pass. Help us toe minimalize the amount of work we have to put. So let's look at this image. It was great. But when you convert this into black and white right now and bring up some of their contrast for it, let's toe bikers make it of the dark in and maybe one more curve that brings up the contrast. Okay, this is quite dark now, but when you get here, you can see some other areas. Dan doesn't have such a perfect right. I'm going to put this all to the group. I'm going to call this be dumped you and this not necessarily mass. Nice light. We have to fix how we figured this. We fugitives by that and band anything. So using whether because are something different. I'm using curves, some treason oneto bright in just a little bit. And I'm going to invert this and I'm going to call these Dutch another one well before burn so it will be talking under kindest a little bit and call this burn. It doesn't mean I'm going to use this because usually there is much more things to that. I'm choosing a brush and very soft flow. Maybe 2%. And then we've soft edged brush. I paint very softy to feed this really wrong. Shadows that I have on the image did find some here also, they doesn't look so nice so quickly. We need to just paint in this area to fix them. I have a few areas like this you can easily Nazis. I will not be doing Hall of the Image, but it is. The point will present you how I do this. The light is too strong. Can manipulate turn off, soften other Our black and white ethic. Here we have this line. Not necessarily. My so I want to remote is and I'm doing this just by painting with their the Dutch. So how that's how you do easily, Quickly your process off that injury. Mitu here we have some white line. I'm just going to dark. And this article is very simple way working quickly off course. If you want to do this perfect, we would spend a bit more time on them that in but on this image in the way it looks right now in in their way, we clean this right now would not have so much off the dodging here a bit off here. Here we have some of the dunker spots and yet, and beat on the forehead toe. Remove the wrinkles that it will have some of the dark spots. So it's not really long process that that's how you will be working if you have some off the shadows that we need to fix, usually somewhere in the corner. And remember to not press your pen too strong because you might do some shifts. If you do this softly, you will get really nice and natural result. Okay, I'm going toe remove this black and white And of course I see. I should have just a bit more work in this area. No lunch, but burned this area here. I can see this without black and white here strong, and at the end of the thing that I was showing you before is bringing up the contrast. I'm going to use blue channels, so there is nothing to explain right now because we did this before levels I bring up some contrast and luminosity. I can change capacity that's too strong. And now this image is really nice and contrast IQ with that, what I would do also here is toe weevil eight, this shadow under the eye. That's the easiest way to do this. And if it it's in a place that was really dark, like this one, it can appear slightly more saturated. So how you could do this can apply hue, saturation layer, take it down some saturation and keep this in for your layer. In this case that so thanks to this, we take down over saturated parts. So, as you can see, creative techniques in photo shop doesn't have to be so difficult as you might think off it .