Photo Editing in Adobe Photoshop: Using Check Layers to Retouch Portraits | Daniel Nwabuko | Skillshare

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Photo Editing in Adobe Photoshop: Using Check Layers to Retouch Portraits

teacher avatar Daniel Nwabuko, Photographer | Demystifying Photography

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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

15 Lessons (53m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:32
    • 2. Class Project

      1:00
    • 3. Why We Retouch?

      2:00
    • 4. Types of Workflow

      1:20
    • 5. What is a Check Layer?

      2:04
    • 6. Solar Curve Check Layer

      3:54
    • 7. Cleaning Up the Skin

      4:38
    • 8. Reading Light on a Photo

      1:41
    • 9. Gradient Map Check Layer

      4:03
    • 10. Micro Dodge & Burn

      8:29
    • 11. Saturation Check Layer

      4:44
    • 12. Saturation Correction

      4:39
    • 13. Global Dodge & Burn

      3:06
    • 14. Creating Actions for Your Workflow

      7:36
    • 15. Conclusion

      1:08
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About This Class

When it comes to skin or photo retouching, you really can’t trust your eyes.

Your eyes have learned to adapt to anything in order to make it make sense.

So what's the secret to getting the best retouching results without having to close your eyes?

CHECK LAYERS!

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In this class, you’ll learn how to use check layers to retouch photos like a pro.

Using check layers, we'll answer questions like:

  • When is it enough during retouching; and 
  • What do you do when you can’t trust your eyes because it’s autocorrecting the photo?

You'll learn how check layers can help you:

  • Create an objective way to retouch photos
  • See what you wouldn’t notice at first glance
  • Draw a clear line between retouching and over-retouching
  • Monitor the specific properties of a photo (i.e. hue, saturation, luminance)
  • Take the mystery out of retouching.

It makes the retouching process systematic, consistent, and replicable; which is especially interesting for in-house retouching teams.

This class is geared towards intermediate photographers and retouchers who are looking to elevate their retouching skills and speed up their workflow. We’ll be retouching a photo together in our class project and through this process you’ll learn how to edit non-destructively, achieve efficient and replicable results, and create actions in Adobe Photoshop to streamline your workflow and save you a lot of time in the process.

By the end of this class, you’ll not only have an evenly retouched photo, but also an approach you can replicate to achieve great results every time.

I'm excited to have you join me for this class. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Daniel Nwabuko

Photographer | Demystifying Photography

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Hey! Thank you for stopping by to check out my page. I'm really excited to share my classes with you! Be sure to check them out if they're up your alley. I hope you enjoy them :) Oh! And don't forget to leave a message in the discussion section of the classes, I'd love to be able to connect more with you. 

Here's a link to a free month trial here on Skillshare. Happy learning!

 

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Transcripts

1. Introduction : When it comes to skin or photo retouching, you really can't trust your eyes. Now here's why? Your eyes have learned to adapts to anything in order to make it make sense. What's the secret to getting the best retouching results without having to close your eyes. Well, then not-so-secret, secret lies in something we call check layers. What's up you all my name is Daniel and I'm a photographer based in the Canadian Prairies. A lot of my work is centered around portrait photography. One of the most important things to me as a professional is being able to photograph and represent a person as we see and know them. The challenge is cameras do not see people the way we see them. Raising a need for photo retouching. In this class, you'll learn how to use check layers to retouch photos like a pro. The whole concept of retouching focuses on removing distractions as we bring out the best in a photo, but they're also lies some challenging questions like, when is it enough during retouch or what do you do when you can't trust your eyes because it's autocorrecting the photo in real time. Well, we're going to be answering all of those questions using check layers. See check layers gives us an objective way to retouch photos. It helps us see what you wouldn't notice in the first glance and helps draw a clear line between retouching and over retouching. Check layer helps us monitor the specific properties of a photo and helps take the mystery out of retouching. It makes retouching process, systematic, consistent, and replicable, which is especially beneficial for in-house retouching teams. This class is geared towards intermediate photographers and retouchers who are looking to elevate their retouching skills and speed up their workflow. We'll be retouching a photo together in our class project. Through this process, you'll learn how to edit non-destructively, achieve efficient and replicable results, and create actions in Adobe Photoshop to streamline your workflow and save you a lot of time in the process. By the end of this class, you'll not only have an evenly retouched photo, but also an approach you can replicate to achieve great results every time. I'm really excited to have you join me for this class. So without taking any more of your time, let's jump right in. 2. Class Project: Thank you for joining me for this class. Now let's talk about the class project before we dive into our lessons. For this class project, we'll be working on retouching a photo together. I've added the same folder that I'll be working on into the project folder of this class. You can edit along with me, or you can choose a different photo that you'd rather work on. I've also added a link in the project description section of this class to where you can download some free, raw photos for practice. The idea is that you're able to get some hands-on experience in practice as we go through the different lessons. I'd like to see what you come up with during your process. By the end of this class, I'd like for you to upload a before and after photo that you worked on to the project gallery section of this class, and I'll be happy to give you some feedback. Let's jump right into our first lesson. 3. Why We Retouch?: Why exactly do we retouch photos? You see, the job of a photo is to be able to communicate something. A good photographer is one who's able to communicate through the photo without much being said to the viewer. It's mostly a visual experience. But a major problem that we face is that our visual tool which is our eyes, they autocorrect for a lot of distractions that may be contained in a photo, and sometimes even do this without our knowledge. We're so used to seeing things and especially people in motion, we're either moving, or they're moving, or there's a combination of both. Having to freeze time in a photo can feel somewhat unnatural. That right there is why we retouch photos. We retouch photos in order to draw attention to the subject of the photo, as well as minimize the distractions that may be present. It only makes communication through that photo easier. As an example to further drive the point, you've been watching this video and hopefully, you haven't seen anything distracting that I personally have done. But I'm going to take a freeze-frame from a random point in this video and display it on the screen. Chances are if you were to see this as a photo, it may leave you slightly puzzled or asking question as to what exactly was going on there. But chances are, you didn't notice any of that while the video was playing, because your eyes were correcting for it. Photos are different. That being said, it can also be a very fine line for a retoucher trying to remove distractions without further adding any of their own distractions. That's why in this class, we're going to be tackling check layers because they help us avoid that problem. In the next lesson, we'll begin talking about how we use Adobe Photoshop to retouch non-destructively. I'll see you in the next lesson. 4. Types of Workflow: In the previous lesson, we talked about the why of retouching. In this lesson, we'll be talking more about how we retouch. Now, there are two types of retouching workflows in Adobe Photoshop. There's a destructive as well as a nondestructive. Basically, a destructive workflow is one in which the pixels contained in the original photo are modified and once the photo has been saved, it leads to a permanent change in the original photo. On the other hand, a non destructive workflow is pretty much the opposite. The pixels of the original folder remain unharmed after editing. In Adobe Photoshop, we achieve this non-destruction by working with layers. Now, these layers are linked to the original photo and those layers is where we make our changes. But because they're linked, we can see the effect of the changes that we make, but we're not making those directly to the photo itself. Throughout this class, we'll be working non-destructively and as we go through, I will point out some benefits of working with a non-destructive layer. In the next lesson, we'll begin learning more about our check layers. I'll see you in the next lesson. 5. What is a Check Layer?: In the previous lesson, we talked about using layers to achieve a non-destructive workflow in Adobe Photoshop. Well, in this lesson, we're going to begin talking about check layers. Before we jump into check layers, let's establish this first, there are three major properties that come together to make a photo. These are the hue, which are the colors contained in the photo, the saturation, which informs us about the intensity of the colors present, and then the luminance, which simply speaks of how light or how dark the entire photo or a certain region of the photo is. Whenever you look at a given photo, you are seeing all of these three properties at the same time but our brains are so used to this that it simply puts it all together and makes it make sense. In the previous lesson the one we retouched, we talked about how the brain helps us get rid of distractions. Well, these distractions can either be contained in the layers of the hue of the photo, or the saturation layers, or the luminous layers of the photo. In order for us to be able to find if that distraction and deal with it we need to be able to isolate these different properties of a photo and check them for distraction. This is where our check layers come in. Simply put, a check layer is a layer or a group of layers that lets us properly monitor a specific property of a photo. In other words, it helps us isolate each of these properties and correct them independent of each other, and when we're done we can stack the different layers together to get our one photo. The check layers help in the process of retouching, but they're not present in the final photo, we remove them before we export or we save our photo. Now that we know what our checklists are, we begin moving into our retouching process and I'll introduce our check layers as they come into play. In the next lesson, we'll talk about our first check layer, which is the solar curve. Stick around. 6. Solar Curve Check Layer: In the previous lesson we talked about what a check layer is. In this lesson, we'll begin with our first check layer, the solar curve. The solar curve check layer simply exaggerates any difference in our photo. It helps visualize blemishes or even dusk spots that may not be visible on first glance. Now, it does this by pushing the colors in the photo to the extreme points and I'm going to be showing you how you create it. Let's jump right into our computer and see how we create the solid curve layer. Right here in Photoshop, this is the photo that we're going to be working with today. In order to create this solar curve layer, what we're going to do is we are going to click in our curves layer here. I just activate mine from clicking on the first layer or you can do that's right down here from the menu that has a different layer effects. Here's what we're going to do. On the RGB parts, what we're going to do is we are going to make a zigzag curve. I'm going to put an anchor point right there, raise it all up. I'm going to take another one, pull it down. We're going to do one more up here, I'm going to do one down there. You can see that what we've created is a zigzag curve. Now personally, I always like to go back in and make sure that I drag it down just a little bit and just exaggerate this effect properly. You can see the four lines on the curves right there and all the three lines and the four spaces. What I like to do is I like to make sure that we have a peak and a trough and a peak and a trough going through those different lines and spaces. This is the solar curve. Now if you notice, let's take a look at the photo and see what we have here. I'm going to turn this off, there are certain things in this folder that I've just noticed in the photo, but I didn't see initially and I'm going to turn this on and if you notice here, right here at the top before here you can see these different dust spots. This is why the solar curve layer is such a good layer. It helps you see things that you may not have seen just by looking at it. What I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to go ahead and just take those off. Now this can be very useful when you're dealing with the wider landscape photos, but it's also good here because we get to use it to clean up the blemishes that are contained in the background here. It shows us there's something I'm going to be showing you later on just about how I use this curve to see how smooth my skin is or what changes that I've made. In order to take away those blemishes, I'm just going to go ahead and create a new layer right above my background layer. I've selected my spot healing brush and I'm just going to use that on that layer and make sure that I have sample only you selected. That way it's not just sampling from the empty layer. I'm just going to go ahead and clean all of those up. It doesn't take much, just make sure I have them all nicely cleaned up. You can see that automatically we have a cleaner version of the photo and right here's where we have most of them and really this could just be dust spots from the camera. We have automatically cleaned up a little bit of the photo, and that is good. I'm going to go ahead and turn off that layer. Although we didn't see it with just looking with our eyes, we've automatically cleaned that up from this photo. We may have used this layer to clean up what we consider our background. In the next lesson, we're going to start looking at removing the blemishes from not just the background but from the skin of our subject in this photo. Stick around. 7. Cleaning Up the Skin : In the previous lesson, we talked about our first check layer, the solar curve, and how we use that as a visual aid to help in our retouching process. In this lesson, we'll begin talking about cleaning up the skin in retouching. Let's jump right back into our photo. At this point, we're done with the solar curve layer. I'm just going to leave that turned off. I'm going to go ahead and rename this layer to blemish just so that we know exactly what's on that layer since we're working non-destructively and we just want to be able to keep track of everything. I'm going to name that blemish. Now, if we zoom into our photo here, you can see that there are a few blemishes on the skin. You just have some pimples every here and there, and we want to be able to take that off to assist us in our retouching process. One of the things I usually use sometimes were I can not see it and depending on the kind of skin is, you can actually throw on a black and white layer. Blemishes tends to have a little bit more redness to them. Skin is red, yellow, orange colors, but blemishes are more red. What I do here with these black and white layers, I drop down the reds a lot and I increase the yellows. You can see things that we might want to consider looking at. You can see here that they open up a little more, as you can see right there in all the different spots. These are things that I look at and consider. I'm just going to go back to our blemish removal layer, and depending on which one of our tools that I want to use for this one, I'm just going to pick the healing brush where I can sample where I want Photoshop to get the texture from while Photoshop would take care of the colors for me. That's what I'm doing here, just using our healing brush and just going over the different points just so that we can clean up those blemishes. I'm just going to go ahead and take care of all the different blemishes that I can see here and really indeed you can consider this to be a check layer. Now sometimes when I'm taking off my blemishes, I'm not just removing things like pimples from the skin, sometimes it's just stray hair on the skin as well. Here is one of those places where I notice that this is just going to bother me. I'm going to go ahead and take it off. For this one, I've actually changed over to my clone stamp tool here by hitting the S button on your keyboard, you can do the same and I'm just going to sample from around it and make sure I have current and below selected and make sure my blending mode is normal. Make sure your blending mode is not something different. I'm just going to go ahead and sample that and paint. Just have things cleaned up a little bit here. You have to be quite careful when you're using the clone stamp tool. It's a very powerful tool, so I will be controlling that with my opacity and my flow. Currently, my opacity sets to about 70 percent so that's what we're going to be working with for the clone stamp tool. I did change it from 88 percent to 70, but just play around with it and see what works for you and that would usually be a good way to go about using that tool. We've done a good job of cleaning up the skin and I'm going to go ahead and show you the different blemishes that we've taken off. This is the layer for just blemishes and it shows us exactly what we've done in this case. I'm just going to go ahead and turn back the picture on. Generally speaking, what we're looking for is just to get a clean template for us to start working with as we go ahead and do different retouching processes on the photo. That's why we spent the first few minutes just trying to clean it up, remove all the blemishes that we can see so that we're not distracted by them in the future. I think we have a very good start currently. In the next lesson we're going to begin talking about how our eyes read light in photos. Stick around for the next lesson. 8. Reading Light on a Photo: In the previous lesson, we talked about cleaning up the skin and removing distractions. Well, in this lesson, let's take a look at how our eyes read and perceive light in a photo. The most important component in a photo is the presence of lights. That is the luminosity, because without light there simply isn't anything to look at. When the presence of light, when we look at a person or a photo of a person, there's a way our brains interpret light. Let's take a look at this photo, for example, the skin is made up of lighter and darker parts. This is a good thing as this is how our eyes perceive depth. If it was evenly lit, this image would look flat, just very two-dimensional. On the other hand, when we have a bunch of light spots in close proximity with a bunch of dark spots, this is how our eyes perceive texture. Our job when retouching skin is to create a smooth gradient between these light and dark patches in order to create a smooth texture for the skin. We're not trying to even out the lights, that's flatness. But instead, we're trying to create a nice gradient for what is already there. We do this by a process called micro Dodge and Burn, which we're going to be talking about in a future lesson. Now that being said, it can be really tough, trying to create these gradients just by using our eyes. In the next lesson, we're going to talk about the check layer that is associated with helping us smoothen out the skin. I'll see you in the next lesson. 9. Gradient Map Check Layer: In the previous lesson, we talked about how our eyes re-lights in a photo. Well, in this lesson, we'll talk about the gradient map check layer, and how I use it in my micro dodge and burn process, to create a smoother gradient between the light and dark patches on the skin. Let's take a look. Before we get into creating our gradient map layer, I'm just going to go ahead and take out these two layers that we already have used, the solar curve and the blemish check layer. I'm just going to go ahead and delete both of those. What we're left now is our background, which is our photo and our blemished layer. Now, in order to create the gradient map layer, what we're going to need is a gradient map. Now, one of the things that you want to be sure of is that your background is set to black color, and your foreground is set to white. I'm going to show you what happens. I'm going to flip those foreground black, background white, and show you what happens. When we click our gradient map, we just get a black and white photo. That's not exactly what we we're looking for. What we're looking for actually is an inverted black and white photo. I'll show you that. I'm going to go ahead and delete that layer. I'm going to flip this again, my foreground white, background black. I'm just going to go ahead, and hit that gradient map again, and look, take a look at what we're seeing. We have a gradient map now of a monochromatic photo. It's in black and white and you can see that it's inverted. Inverted in the sense that's the darkest part of the photo, which would be the hair, right there, is now the lightest part of the photo. That's what we're seeing. Now, one of the beautiful things I love about this layer is it helps us to see how light is interacting on the different parts of the photo. For example, there's this little patch on the forehead here which we're going to be walking through. We're going to be walking through everything. But on the forehead here you can see that this place is really dark. That is showing us that this place is actually going to be really bright in the photo, because it's inverted. Zooming out and just taking a look at this photo, you can see the different light and dark spots on the photo. The job we're going to be trying to do here is to even them out. Again, we're not trying to flatten out the photo, we're just trying to even it out. One of the things that usually help me to see this even better is I actually add a levels curve layer to this or a levels layer to this. We're going to go ahead and hit on the levels layer there. You can also find that at the bottom here, the adjustment layers and just hit "Levels". I'm just going to go ahead. Now, when I'm looking at my levels layer, here's how I think about it, any of the parameter we have, shadows, mid tones, highlights, if it goes left, it's going to be opening up the photo to light, so more light comes in. If it's going right, it's going to be shutting down the lights in the photo. For example, I take the highlights here and shift it left, and you can see that the photo gets brighter, we're opening it more to light. Going right, I'm going to take the shadows, and I'm going to move that right. You can see that we're closing it off a little bit more to light. You can see it's getting darker. Here we are, this is what we have. I actually like this as it helps me see visually. I'm able to tell more, what parts do I need to work on a certain way? What parts do I need to work on less? Here we have it, and you can see that these spots are really dark, and you can see right on the forehead here, the middle of the forehead, you can see that there is a very strong black presence as compared to the extremes of it, or the edges of it where you have, it's really light. What we're going to be doing is we're going to be blending these colors in so that there is a smooth gradient going from the darks to the light and the lights to the darks. In the next lesson we're going to begin our process of micro dodging and burning, which is what we're going to use to smoothen out the gradation between the lights and the darks. I'll see you in the next lesson. 10. Micro Dodge & Burn: In the previous lesson, we learned about how to create the gradient map check layer. Well, in this lesson we're going to use that check layer in our Micro Dodge and Burn process. Now, you probably already know that to dodge is to lighten and to burn is to darken. Well, the micro in this case simply means that we're going to be opening up the photo a little more by zooming into it, and working on the details or the texture in this case. Depending on what photo you're working on, this process could take a good while to complete. For the sake of time, I would show you how I tackle it and then I'll let you see the results from it, and I'll be sure to highlight certain things that I focus on doing in my process of retouching with micro dodge and burn. Let's look into it. Before we go ahead creating the layers that we're going to be using for the Dodge and Burn, I'm going to go ahead and group these two together, our levels and our gradient just like that, hit Command G or Control G, and we have them in a group, and I'm going to rename that group to be, check layer for the dodge and burn. Whatever I name it has to show us that, it's the Dodge and Burn. I just write minus DB, check. You can save it as whatever you're going to remember, just make sure it's memorable by you. We have that, I'm going to go ahead and turn that off. Now, I'm going to go ahead, zoom out from this photo, and we're going to create our layers for our micro Dodge and Burn. We're going to be using two curves level layers, I'm going to hit on the Blemish, because these layers should be underneath the check layers. I'm going to go ahead and hit our curves, layer twice. I'm going to name the one underneath, I'm going to call that Burn and I'm going to name the one above Dodge. What we have here is we have our dodge layer, we have a burn layer, now, I'm going to go ahead and turn off the Dodge layer, hit the Burn layer, sets our blending mode to multiply. We've made that darker by having the multiply blend mode on it. Now, because I do not want this to affect the whole photo, I'm going to go ahead and hit Command I to invert our layer mask. I'm going to go to Dodge layer now and turn that on, I'm going to set the blending mode to screen, and you can see it makes it brighter, essentially dodging the whole photo. I do not want it on the whole photo, I want to be selective with this, I'm going to hit Command I to invert the mask. Now we can bring in our brush, and just for example sake, I'm just going to show you if I'm selected on the Dodge layer, wherever we brush in, you can see that we're bringing in lights. Command Z that just to remove that, and now we can actually go ahead and group these two Dodge and Burn, command G to group them, and I'm going to name them Micro DB, so that's Micro Dodge and Burn. We can go ahead expand this, expand that, both the Micro Dodge and Burn layer and the Dodge and Burn check Layer. Instead of just going in to try to use my brush to burn the places where I think things have to be burned, instead, I'm going to be turning on my check layer. Just for example sake, I'm going to just take a new layer here and get myself a pen or something that I can use to just write on the screen. Here you can see that these are areas that we can focus on. Right there, I'm going to put this right above. That's an area we can focus on. We want to be making this place lighter. Essentially, what we are going to be doing because it's an inverted layer, we're going to be burning the darks. What we see as dark, we're going to be burning, because in that you've read a check layer. Over here you can see right above the eyebrow, that's a place that I focus on because it's usually brighter and I'm going to show you that right now. It's usually brighter right here, right above the eyebrows. Here as well, It's usually brighter. We are going to be burning those places just a little bits, and on the edges here, you can see that it's lighter, so what we're going to be doing is we are going to be dodging those places because we're dodging lights and burning blacks. I'm just going to go ahead, turn off that layer that I used for the example, select my brush with a b, and what I'm going to be using, is I'm going to be using 10 on opacity, 10 on flow. These numbers may change, these numbers may be different for you, just make sure that you have the correct flow and opacity. We're going to stay focused here on the forehead and what I want to do is I'm just going go in with a big brush. Whenever I have a big area like this, I go in with a big brush, not a small brush. We're not trying to be too picky, not on our first go in, and I'm just going to go in there and brush. Let's take a look and we're using a soft brush currently and I'm just going in with it. One of the tips is always keep zooming in and zooming out of the photo because if you stay zoomed in, you're more likely to just get things over done, and just flatten out everything. You want to make sure that you're still creating a gradient, as compared to just making the darks light and the lights dark. You want to have an overview of everything. Here we have it and we're just going to keep going slow and steady. Another tip that I'd say is that you shouldn't stay on one spot for too long, always vary where you're working on. Feel free to switch back between your Dodge and your Burn brush. I'm going to switch right over now to my dodge and come out on the sides and just dodge these parts a little bit. I'm going to zoom out a little bit as well, and this is how you want to be operating through the whole period while you're doing this. We're just going to go ahead and work on the forehead. I'm going to work on the forehead with you, just to give you a glimpse of what this could potentially look like when it's done properly, and if you take more time to do this meticulously and do this properly, you will get very great results with your photo. Here we're just working on the forehead and switching back and forth between my brushes. Don't forget your check layers, you have the levels in there, and from time to time I just go in there, click on my levels and see what things look like if I make certain changes. You can see right on the edges here how we have this, it almost looks like a curved line where it just goes this way. Just going to make my brushes more visible, goes like it's quite zigzaggy, but that's what it looks like. You want to be aware of these things and just correct them as you go. That is how we're going to be working with our brushes here. I'm going to go ahead and do the same thing all around the photo and when I am done, I'm going to be doing that all around so that includes the eyes, the chains everywhere. When I'm done, I'm going to bring you back here with me with a finished photo. There you have it. You have a photo that we are done with our dodging and burning and I'm just going to show you the strokes that were made with our burn here. This is our burn and this is our dodge over here, and I'm going to turn off the check layer you can see what we have. This is what we have, and again, we're working non-destructively so that means that we can go back and make any changes if we feel that we've overdone anything. This is our before, this is our after, this is just after we've taken out the blemishes, and this is after we've done our dodge and burn. That's what we have. Just a nice, very clean look for this photo, not too much with the makeup, nothing at all. We've just done some smoothening of the skin, and as you can see here, let's take a look and turn on the check layer again. You can see this is our after and this is our before, and you can see that what I was talking about, the gradient, we have made a very smooth gradient and that's exactly what we're looking for. In the next lesson, we're going to go ahead and try to correct some of the issues that were already present in the photo some that we may have raised by using this method of dodging and burning. Don't worry, we'll figure it all out and we'll have a good photo on the end. Stay tuned and I'll see you in the next lesson. 11. Saturation Check Layer: In the previous lesson, we used the micro Dodge and Burn method to even out our skin and get a good template for us to keep working on as we move along. A majority of our work here is done. In this lesson, we're going to be creating check layers that we can use in order to correct the saturation imbalances that are present in this photo. Let's tackle that. Just taking a look at our photo here, you can see that some parts of this image are more saturated than other parts. If you're not able to see that on first glance, I will be drawing your attention right here, right underneath the eyes where we have the eye bags. You can see that those parts are less saturated than the surrounding area and I'll take off, those are the arrows just to show you, and if you take a close look. You see that. You can also see that on the sides here, the sides that are darker are more saturated than it is somewhere in the center here. What we're going to be doing is we are going to be evening out the saturation. Of course, because we've been working with check layers, we're also going to be creating another check layer to help us see what part of this image are more saturated and so that we can correct properly. The first thing I'm going to do to make our check layer is this. I'm going to go ahead. We're going to be using the selective color layer. We're going to be doing that right above our Dodge and Burn group. I'm going to create the selective curve layer. What I want to do here is I'm going to start from the red. I'm going to go through all the different colors that are present and I'm going to make some changes there. Make sure that you have this parameter set to absolute as compared to relative. Absolute makes the effects stronger and we do once that for the purpose we are going to be using this for. I'm going to go over to red. What I want to do is I'm going to reduce the amount of blacks. I'm going to do the same for all the different colors. The yellows, greens, everything until we get down to black, whites, and neutrals where we're going to do the opposites. Just go ahead and do that, same thing as magenta. Then for the whites, blacks, and neutrals, we're going to be increasing the black to the maximum. You see what we get as the photo. You can see right now I'm going to zoom out and you can see that it looks similar to the check layer that we had for the Dodge and Burn. We're going to be working the same way. I'm going to put up a new layer here. Now, what this layer is telling us, what this check layer is telling us is the parts that are lighter are saturated. They are more saturated, the parts that are darker are desaturated. What we're going to be doing is we are going to be saturating the parts that are dark and we're going to be desaturating if need be, the parts that are light just to even them out. Again, the point is, we've been doing this, this is the same process as in the Dodge and Burn. We're going to take care of It's the same exact way as we did. Now that we have our check layer, I'm just going to go ahead and name that Check layer as saturation check. Another thing about this check layer is depending on the color, it might sometimes not be very visible what you're doing. With this photo, it works. But there are two other layers that I usually have on to assist me and help me just visualize things better. The first one is my curves layer. I put it in a curves layer and sometimes just increase the level just so I'm able to visualize things a little more and sometimes also use my levels layer. For the levels layer, just take it to a point where I'm actually able to see whatever I need to be seeing. I think this is fine for right now. I'm going to group all three of these. Command G. Select them, hit the Command G. What I'm going to name them is I'm just going to name them as saturation check. That's what we're going to be doing. I'm going to make sure this is standing by itself so that it's not interfering with our Dodge and Burn. There we go. Make sure it's standing by itself. We have successfully created our saturation check layer. We're able to see what parts of the photo as saturated and what parts are more saturated than the other sides. In the next lesson, we'll be looking at using the check layers that we've just created to correct our saturation. I'll see you in the next lesson. 12. Saturation Correction: After we've created our saturation check layer now we need to saturate or desaturate depending on what we're going for, the different parts of the photo just so that they become even just what we're able to even them out. What we're going to need for that is a simple saturation hue, saturation layer on here. I'm going to make two of them. I'm going to name the first one saturation, and in parenthesis, I'm going to put what parts of the photo that we're going to be coloring. To saturate the photo, we're going to be coloring the blacks if we're looking to get it more saturated. The next one I'm going to name De-Sat or desaturation and I'm going to put the whites. This way I'm just able to remember. It helps me remember what exactly we're going to be doing. Now for the saturation part, I'm going to be puting that plus 25. 25 is just a random number that I picked, it doesn't have to be that you can put it on really anything. My major point with it is I like to make sure that if I'm going saturation at plus 25, I like to make sure I'm going desaturation at negative 25. That way it's balanced out. You can see what that did to the photo. You can see that it brightened up the photo a little bit. We're going to be painting on the blacks with that. I'm going to go ahead invert that layer and with the De-Sat I'm going to be going negative 25. There we have it in. You can see that that darkens the photo. I'm going to go ahead and invert. I'm going to select both of them, put them in a group, and now we have our saturation. We have the saturation check layer right above it, but we have the saturation rights underneath it. We can go in now and start painting. It's exactly the same rules as in previously as in the dodge and burn. You know exactly what we're going to be doing here. Just follow the same rules. Make a gradient between the darks right here and the lights. Make sure it's a nice fine gradient. Seek out the parts of the photos that are darker and lighter and wherever you see them just make sure it's a smooth gradient between both parts. I'm going to go ahead and just paint a little bit on this photo so that you can see the effect happening. Again I have my brush, I'm [inaudible] at 10. Just painting a little bit, just so you can see the effect of what is happening. You can see that we are lightening the region, that is what I'm going to go ahead and do throughout the photo and just for the sake of time I'm not going to keep you here with me. I'm going to go ahead do that and I will come back with a photo that has already been taken care of with the saturation. All I'm going to do is just brushing in saturation in points where I need to be and then desaturating some parts where I need to be. I'll see you shortly. I'm just about done with working on the saturation levels of this photo. I'm going to show you what we've done. I'm going to turn all the saturation check layer. Right here you can see the change that we've made. You can see the saturation, different levels that we've made. I'm going to show you a little behind the scenes of the layer that contains a saturation right here. These are the lines that I painted in, and this is for the desaturation. Not much was done in this one, but you can see that there is a slight change that was made. I'm just going to go ahead and turn on just saturation level, go back right into the eyes, just for you to see the change that was made here. I'm going to turn that off. You can see very subtle, it's turned off right now it's desaturated the eyes. But I'm going to turn that back on, and you can see very subtle change but all of these changes that we've been making so far, they all add up to create one great photo. That's exactly what we're working on, creating one great photo just by making tiny little tweaks. Most of the work that we're going to be doing for retouching this photo is actually done. We've spent some time smoothing out the texture of the skin, we have corrected for the saturation levels on the skin. In the next lesson, we're going to go ahead and do a quick global dodge and burn just to contour the skin a little bit more. I'll see you in the next lesson. 13. Global Dodge & Burn: In the previous lesson, we used a different set of check layers to correct the saturational differences that were contained in our photo. In this lesson, we'll do a quick glow dodge and burn to our photo just to add a little more contrast and three-dimensionality to it. Let's check that out. For a global dodge and burn we're going to be doing very similar things as we've previously done in the local dodge and burn except this time I've actually created a global dodge and burn action that is going to help us with the process. If you're going to do the action more than twice, if you're going to do a certain thing more than twice you should probably have an action for it. I'm just going to go over here to my actions tab and I'm just going to hit global dodge and burn. You see right here it populates for us the global dodge and burn. You can see global burn, global dodge. We're just going to use that. We're going to be talking about actions in a subsequent lesson and I'm going to show you how I created this one. We're just going to use that and just brush in. What I'm going to be doing here is I'm going to be putting some, I'll show you what I'm doing. I'm going to be putting some darks, just a little bit more of darkness to the parts of the photo that are naturally dark and light to the part of the photos that are naturally light and all of that. Lights would be here and darks who would be in that direction. That's exactly what we're going to be doing here and I'm just going to go ahead and do that very quickly. Make sure that my opacity and floor sets to something low so that I have more control with what we're going to be doing. Just nice very little strokes of the brush. We don't want to do too much. What we're trying to do is just add a little dimensionality, just a little bit of contrast to the photo is what we're trying to do here. We're not trying to do too much and I just want to darken this part of the photo a little bit more because I want more lights to be focused on the face of the model here. Let's go ahead and do a low dodging, little contouring, and if you find that you've overdone something you definitely can just hit the Undo button or paint it out since we're working with layers. You can see from what we've done, we've just given this photo a little more dimensionality. You can see that there's just a tiny little more dimensionality on the face of the person, makes it look a little more 3D. I mean, the photo has been 3D the whole time but just that change in light actually helped us put a little more 3D into it. You can take your time with this process and just go in a little more. But I think for this photo, this is very good for what we're looking for. In the next lesson, I'm going to show you how to create actions in Photoshop. That way you are creating a more efficient workflow for yourself. I'll see you in the next lesson. 14. Creating Actions for Your Workflow: In the previous lesson, we touched up on our photo with a global dodge and burn just to give it some contrasts and three-dimensionality. In this lesson, we're going to be learning how to create Photoshop actions to help speed up our workflow. Basically, a nation is a series of tasks that you can store in Photoshop and have it display those tasks back to you, whether it's on a given file or on a series of files at a later time. Instead of talking about it, I'll just show you exactly how it works. I've gone ahead and I've already merged all the visible layers here. We do have everything just cleaned up nicely and so we have just two layers here. We have our background layer, which is our before, and our layer 2, which is our after. We're going to be focusing on our actions layer at the top right here, that's where I have mine. If you can't see yours there, make sure that you click on the Window menu and select actions from the drop-down. You can see that if I click mine, actions disappears, but I'm going to click Window, Actions and there you have it. It's right there for us. Just for example sake, you can see that I have one of the actions there is named solar curve. I'm going to click on the solar curve and you'll see that it provides us with a solar curve that we had previously worked with. That's because I saved that step to be in action. If solar occurs as something that I use on a regular basis, I can save that so that it's an action. Same thing with the dodge and burn. You can see right here this step is global D&B. I'm going to click that and you can see what it does. It opens up a global burn and global dodge for us so that we can use that. I'm going to delete that. In fact, that's what I'm going to be showing you how to create in this lesson. How do we start off by creating an action? What we're going to do is we're going to stay in the Actions tab here. At the top right corner, you can see what we have these three or four lines. Click on that and disable button mode. What happens with button mode is button mode gives us a quick one button you click and play and it does the action for you. But in order to be able to record, you need to disable that. I'm going to go ahead click that and disable button mode. I'm just going to close my files here. You can see that there are different files and under different files you can make different actions. I'm going to create a new file and I'm going to name this file, New Action. I'm going to hit Okay, now we have a new file. I'm going to start by what I'm looking to create my action. I'm going to start by hitting the, it looks like the new layer icon, but it's really new action. When I hit that, it is asking me, what do I want to name? I'm going to click dodge and burn action. So dodge and burn action. I'm going to hit Record. Now the moment you hit record, you can see that right here, it gives us that red record sign. It's rolling. That means every click that we make on this inside Photoshop, it might record something from that. In order for us to create our dodge and burn, one of the things that we started off with is we created two curves, layers. That's where we're going to start off doing here. I'm going to go ahead and create curves 1 and curves 2. You can see that what has happened here. Right here it is showing us all the steps. It says make adjustment layers. Now, instead of clicking between layers, I'm going to be using a keyboard shortcut. The reason I'm going to be doing that is because Photoshop is taking notes of what you're clicking on. If I click in this layer right here, the action is going to read that I clicked on layer 1. But what if, you know the layers that we wanted to make, the dodge layer or the burn layer is actually called layer 3 because we have layers underneath. That could give us an error message or that could cause a malfunction. Instead of clicking on these layers, what I'm going to be doing is I'm going to be using a keyboard shortcut to represent these layers. From the layer we selected, if I want to go down one, I'm going to use a keyboard shortcut. I'm going to hit Option and the left bracket key. You can see that it went down one. That's how we're going to be working with this. We've selected our curves 1, that's the layer that I like to have as my burn layer. Instead of double-clicking on this to try to rename it, I'm actually going to go into the layer menu and I'm going to hit Rename Layer and it gives me the option to rename that and I'm going to select burn. I've gone ahead and I've selected burn and I'm going to be changing this layer's blend option to multiply. You can see that. The last thing I'm going to do with this layer is I'm going to select the mask and hit Command I, so that we're hiding that mask. Now the next thing I'm going to do, I'm going to do the same steps with our burn layer. To go back up one layer to the layer that is going to be our dodge layer, not burn. I'm going to hit the Option key and I'm going to hit the right bracket key and you can see that it goes up one. Again, I'm going to go into the layer menu, hit the rename layer, and that would let me rename that to dodge. Next thing we're doing with this, we're changing the blending mode to screen. I click on that, we're on screen right now and the next thing I'm going to do is I'm going to hit Command I to invert that layer or to invert that mask. Now we have our dodge and burn layer. What I want to do is select both of them so that I can put them in a group and name that group dodge and burn or global dodge and burn, whatever it is that I want to name it. How do I do that? I'm going to go ahead and for this one. I'm going to hit Shift because we're going to be using shift to select multiple layers. I'm going to hit Shift and then I'm going to hold my Option or alternate key and my left brackets. We're using shift to select more than one layer and we're using Alternate or Option and left brackets to select the layer that is below. You can see that it selects both the dodge and the burn. I'm going to hit Command G, Control G. Again, instead of double tapping on that group, I'm going to go to my layers and rename group. That way we can name this global dodge and burn, global DB. Hit Enter and now we have it. In order to round it up for Photoshop to know that you're done, you hit the stop key right there. I'll go ahead, hit that. The moment we hit that, now we have an action, now we've created an action. Now, I'm not sure if this action is going to work out, so we're going to test it out. What are we going to do? I'm going to go ahead here. First of all, I'm going to delete the global dodge and burn. I'll delete that so that we're back to just having our layer 2. I'm going to test this out by clicking on the action and hitting the Play button. You can see what it does for us. It opens up, it just straight gives us our global dodge and burn. I think we have successfully created an action. So that is how you create actions, that is how you speed up your workflow. It's simply taking every step that you are making while you do a certain thing and just storing it for use at a later time. In the next lesson, we're going to go over everything that we have done in this class so far. I'll see you in the next lesson. 15. Conclusion: We've come to the end of this class and I wanted to say congratulations to you on coming this far. We started off by talking about why we retouched and then moved on to how we retouch non-destructively. We continued on to talk about check layers and how they're built, and how I use them to assist me in the retouch process. We touched on re-enlightening a photo and how our eyes tend to perceive light. Then finally moved on to learning how to create Adobe Photoshop actions that help us speed up our workflow and make it more efficient. I hope you've been able to pick up something new from this class, and I hope that you've also been able to complete your class project. I'd love to see what you've come up with, so don't forget to upload your before and after photo to the class project folder. I'll be happy to give you some feedback. Thank you so much for joining me on this journey. My name is Daniel, and I hope to see you in the next class. Cheers.