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Retouching portraits

A major challenge in retouching portraits is to soften the skin and still make them appear appear natural and not too smooth and plastic-like. To achieve that we need to keep some of the texture in the skin and only smooth out selected details.
This can be done with what is called a band-stop filter in signal processing and sometimes referred to as degrunge photography papers. In digital image processing the "frequency" in an image is the inverse of the size of local features in pixels, so small features like the pores of the skin are high frequency contents and larger features like the nose are low frequency contents. Skin imperfections like wrinkles usually falls somewhere in between in the frequency domain and it is possible to make a filter that reduces only frequencies in this band.
You can see a visualization of the frequency contents in an image and play with removing some of them globally in Image Analyzer's Frequency domain filter dialog, but this is too hard to control when we want to use it for retouching portraits.
Instead we want to make "degrunge" brush that is matched to the photo we are working on and which we can apply to selected regions of it. This is fairly easy to do in Image Analyzer - see how below the example.

Model: Aisling Nee. (Click the images to open in high resolution.)

This feature is also available in Image Analyzer for Android and Warp Camera for Windows 8 in the Retouch tool, but here the process is fully automated so all you need to do is select a brush size, choose the Degrunge mode and paint.       Last updated 2012-11-11 by Michael Vinther       [Send e-mail]