Sunday, December 27, 2009

hai-lights GlamFix: Masking Techniques

So I thought it would be fun to take some screen shots of the whole hai-lights GlamFix photoshop action.  But then I figured it wouldn't look that cool as a series of pictures, and that it would be much cooler as a movie.  maybe I'll record it and upload it to Flickr one month.  Anyways, I decided to take 3 screen shots that summarize the important steps of my GlamFix masking shortcut.

This is certainly a replacement and wouldn't be as good as someone who masked in each picture individually.  This is the picture I started with for this example:

The next step (after color corrections and such in Camera Raw or Lightroom) would be to do some manual-spot-blemish removal.  I skipped that cause I'm not processing this picture for anyone in particular and the point of this post is just to demonstrate the masking shortcut.  So after I click the play button on the GlamFix action, the next manual input that will show up are adjustment bars for a stamp filter whose purpose is to preserve dominate features:

Then after the GlamFix does its thing, the next window that pops up is a levels adjustment on a Find Edges filter-layer which is then adjusted to preserve hard edges and fine details:

And then you combine the two into a single mask layer a copy of the post color-correction image, which, courtesy of GlamFix, has undergone a surface blue and a Gaussian blur.  You adjust the opacity as desired, apply a final levels adjustment and a Guassian blur (to sooth the edges) if desired.  The final mask for this image looks something like this:

Typically, you only want to blur the skin of your subject and not everything else.  So somewhere along in GlamFix, there is a stopping point that allows to to mask out all non-skin areas (which I didn't do in this example because I've temporarily misplaced my wireless mouse and it is quite the pain to use a touch pad.)

There's more to GlamFix too.  The next few steps includes adding some grain into the skin to make it look a little less edited, evening out the overall skin tone of the face, and finally applying a High Pass filter over the eyes, eyebrows, and lips.  Then of course comes case-by-case edits.

Hopefully this wasn't too technical for people.
Happy Holidays,

1 comment:

  1. And for those of you who didn't know, masking allows certain global adjustments to show through and others to be hidden. White reveals and black hides.