theartofretouching.com - In this video I'm going to be doing one of the hardest retouching parts of the human anatomy, which is going to be the neck, chin, and general jowl area. The reason that it's so difficult is that there is a gradient that runs underneath the chin from a dark to a light. You have creases, and texture shift, and there's all different sorts of things going on. So, it makes it incredibly difficult to do a satisfactory retouching where you can't tell that anything was done.

I picked this image because it wasn't overly complicated, and because I only have the 15 minutes in this video with which to do this.

As you can see we have a chin, a cheek, and a neck. Basically I need to get rid of this ring around his under chin, as well as clean up some of these extra creases in the neck. So, let's get started.

What I'm going to do to start with is, I'm going to zoom in under here. I'm going to create a new layer. I'm going to go to the stamp tool, then I'm going to begin trying to soften this area under the chin. I'm not going to go in with 100% opacity. I'm going to bring that down. We'll start with 25%, because I'm not looking to completely remove any shift in color or gradient that's going on. All I'm really trying to do is get rid of that dark ring.

Now one of the things that you need to keep in mind is that you do have a variety of brush sizes that you can use. You don't always need to use a tiny brush, you don't always need to use a big brush. Keep adjusting. Keep changing your point of focus when you are doing the stamp tool. That's really the trick of it, because if you keep doing the exact same area over and over again, you will see a repeating pattern. If you constantly move around and shift, then it will be much more believable.

Using this tool is a lot like modeling clay. You're trying to sculpt the area. You're redefining it.

Now at this point, I've got some blur going on, and some texture, and some of... something. It's kind of hard to tell. Let's try and redefine the edges of his neck a little bit. Maybe that will help redefine the inner areas. I'll grab right there and I essentially just bring in the neck just a bit. Again, we're trying to redefine these points of interest.

Another important thing is that you can't lose sight of, is the bigger picture because you've gotten so engulfed in a tiny little area. You have to work on everything at once, as a group. Don't just sit there and work on just that tiny little bit. You need to move around. It's very important to continually work the left, the right, the middle, the top, and the bottom. Again, it's like clay. It's a three dimensional object, even though you're working in one dimensional space.

Now here's an example where I feel I pulled a little too much away from the side of his face. Well, that's why we're on a different layer, because all of that is still underneath. So, what I can do is, I can either create a mask and paint in the mask. Or, I can take the eraser tool. Then I can go back and just redefine these areas a little bit.

Now at this point, what we actually need to do is go in and put more definition into his chin. We actually need to recreate more of the shadow going on underneath.

I'm going to create a new layer. I'm going to go in with a brush. From back here, I'm going to grab a color, a nice dark color. Then up here, I'm just going to give it a nice, big 10% swoosh.

We're on a separate layer. Don't worry about touching things. We're going over this shirt. We're going over his cheek. Don't worry about that. All we're doing is creating some definition within his neck to give it that curvature. I can then go back in afterwards with the mask, making that 100%, and erase that extra stuff away.

I'm going to darken this a little bit. Then I'm going to brush in, not at 100%, again 10%, just give it a little bit more. Then, I'm going to go in under filter, noise, add noise. Gaussian blur. Monochromatic. I'm going to bring that down. 2% looks about right. You probably won't be able to see much of that in the video. Then I'm going to bring that opacity down a bit, like that.

Now I can see some repeating pattern going on. I can come back over here with the stamp, 25%. Now remember what I was saying, just constantly move. Move around. Create shape and definition.

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