Before / After 3

Model: Margo Yalkovskaya
MUA: Linh Doan
Stylist: Chu Sen

From what I've said in the last entry (http://lamtrancit.blogspot.com/2010/02/before-after-2.html), I keep my words and make another short tutorial here with more information for the "3 steps": Dust and Scratch, Gaussian Blur and Add Noise.

This is the original image from a shoot for Margo Yalkovskaya and model Kaleriya.

The images size is quite large (it was created from my Sony A900 body). Why should you care about the image size? Because depend on how large the area skin you want to fix, you might use the filter more variable.

Duplicate your Background Layer to have Layer 1 (shortcut: Command J or Ctrl J on Windows)

Use Patch Tool or Healing Brush or Healing Brush Tool or Clone Stamp Tool to fix some major spots on her face.
You will have some results look like this

Next, duplicate to new layer, the new layer will be automatically named Layer 1 Copy
Then you begin to make new skin tone for her.

Use Dust And Scratch filter to have a window look like this:
You can choose a suitable number for the Radius. In the picture above, I choose 50 pixels because I have a skin area need to work with. You can adjust the Radius by dragging the arrow then check / uncheck to Preview box to see the result.
Hit OK to apply the filter.

Next, use the Gaussian Blur filter:

Again, find a suitable number for Radius. This step will help to soften area between shadow and highlight.
Hit Ok.

And next, Add Noise filter, you can skip this step if you like to have her face look smoother and softer. But I suggest you should do this step to add some little texture on her skin

If you're not sure how much noise you need to add, see the picture above as an example.
After that, apply Gaussian Blur filter one more time to soften those noise. See the picture below:

Remember that all these filter steps was applied on the same layer (that would be Layer 1 Copy)
Add a layer mask on the Layer 1 Copy and fill Black color on the photo when you select at the layer mask. So now you hide everything that was display earlier on the Layer 1 Copy. (You can also hold Alt when click to the button Add Layer Mask so that no need to fill the black color)

And now, use the Brush Tool, choose Soft Round Brush (brush's opacity at 10%) to paint white color into the area on her face that you want to get them soften. Avoid to paint on the areas that you want to keep the detail (i.e: eye, noise, lip, hair ...). If you think you overdo and the skin look so soft, you can change brush's color to Black and it will have the reverse effect.
So let's make it simple:
- Paint White will reveal the effect that you've done on Layer 1 Copy
- Paint Black will hide the effect away.
You can look at the picture below as a reference to see how much you need to keep the effect:

Finish the paint job, you will have the result like this:

Now you can duplicate Layer 1 to have Layer 1 Copy 2, then merge both Layer 1 Copy and Layer 1 Copy 2 to 1 layer. You can do this or skip it, really doesn't matter.
Now the photo will look like this:

Now apply some more additional steps to make the photos look better for example, use Clone Stamp Tool to fix the area on her forehead and her cheeks
You will have result like this:

Now you can do the step with Burn Tool and Dodge Tool as I've introduce in the last entry and adjust the Level or Curve to have the final result like this (totally up to you lol):

And yes, we have just finished! Congratulations! Yay!!!! 

Phew, so many steps for me to create this tutorial. I could say that this is the first time I do some thing like this hahaha I hope you don't mind if I made any mistake above. This entry, actually is just a litte sharing from what I've known for photo retouching. It's not a perfect way to do the skin job. You can use some plugin to create a complete new skin tone which could look so fake (but you can fix by using the layer mask). So if you know something that can give a better result or something that you want to correct what I've said above, please feel free to share with me. Thank you.


  1. It's very useful for me (Sony Alpha's user like you). Thank so much, Vamp. Finally, I'm looking forward next tutorials of you :)

  2. cám ơn bác vamp nhiều nhiều

  3. It's very helpful to me :X
    thank you for your tut :X

  4. Thanks for the tutorial. Very helpful for beginners :)