What if I told you that this image is the “after” of a skin retouching work? (Let’s leave blemishes for another article)
One of the most difficult effects for amateur retouchers is certainly keeping the pores in dramatic skin retouching works, and the skills on Photoshop needed to figure it out say how pro you are. Well, Today you’ll become a PRO, once you master the process, because I’m bringing you a free tool to do it in seconds, as an Action, ready to download and run.
I know… you may say “hey, that face looks like plastic”… well, that’s not because of the lack of pores, but rather because:
- The original image (below) already had an unsharp mask filter applied (not officially said, but I can tell)
- There are other retouches in the original photo, made by the author, like depth of field (real or faked) that help to the “plastic” effect at this small size.
- I just applied the Photoshop Action plus a quick masking. Nothing else
- This is not the intended size, which is 1024px wide, so click it and enjoy the pores at full resolution.
While trying to reproduce mechanical color separations on Photoshop to apply it to spot colors, years ago, I realized that PS can do almost every calculation you can brain, like “give me the difference between these two layers, add the result to this other, and substract it from the background…”
It took me a while to narrow the workflow down to a bullet-proof sequence, so at the end it was cleaner for me to work with actions, until I got something I can remember, but most importantly share.
From that process, here’s the saved actions for you to easily get an image as the one above, from an original like the one below processed in a few seconds. (not even mentioning that the original shows evidence of forced sharpening).
Here’s the original image by H.J. Wesselink.
[downloads_box title="Texture Extractor Action" nocredit="yes"]
How to use it
- Expand the actions file and load it from the actions panel.
- Start from an RGB flat file.
- Run the Action and follow the instructions.