Photoshop tutorial: Wrinkle reduction

Tigz Rice takes a look at some easy ways you can use channels to reduce these lines, whilst maintaining a natural to the process.

Intro


Laughter lines, crow’s feet, wrinkles – whatever you call them, we all have characteristic lines on our faces that are more pronounced than maybe we’d like them to be.

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Following her tutorial last month on fixing tired eyes, this month, burlesque photographer and retouch guru Tigz Rice shows how some digital make up produces the smoothest skin.

Within this tutorial, we’ll be looking at some easy ways you can use channels to reduce these lines, whilst maintaining a natural to the process.

Channels are where Photoshop stores colour information on an image. In RGB mode, there are three channels (red, green and blue), which are effectively black-and-white maps of your image that inform Photoshop how much of each colour to apply and where. In this issue, we’ll be focussing on manipulating the Red channel.

Time to Complete

Less than 5 minutes

Software

Photoshop CS5, although most Photoshop versions will have channels

Step 1

STEP 1

Open your chosen image in Photoshop. In the Layers panel, duplicate your image (Cmd/Ctrl + J) and rename the new layer ‘Wrinkles’.

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Step 2

STEP 2

Select the Healing Brush (not the Spot Healing Brush) and make sure your brush’s Hardness is set to 100%. As we don’t need to be too precise with our editing on this layer. Select a larger brush for faster editing.

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Step 3

STEP 3

Whilst holding down Alt, use the target symbol that appears to select your sample area, which should be on an area of unblemished skin. Left click with your mouse (or tap with your pen on your tablet) to confirm the selection.
This sample area can be from any point in your image, although you’ll want to choose an area of skin that matches the texture you want to apply. Here, I have sampled from the cheekbone, where the area has even colour and texture.

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Step 4

STEP 4

With your sample area now selected, brush over all of the wrinkles, lines and marks so that they disappear. Don’t worry at this point if there are any visible defects in your editing – they won’t be visible later.

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Step 5

STEP 5

In the Layers panel, hide the ‘Wrinkles’ layer by clicking on the eye symbol. Go to the Channels menu and Cmd + Click on the Red Channel, which will bring up the ‘marching ants’ of a selection around certain areas of your image.

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Step 6

STEP 6

Back in the Layers panel, make your ‘Wrinkes’ layer visible again and click on the Add Layer Mask button to apply this selection to your layer. You should notice that sections of your editing layer will now have disappeared, and you’ll be left with a much smoother looking image.

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Step 7

STEP 7

Depending on your image, lower the opacity of your editing layer for a more natural effect. As my model had quite dark lines, I’ve only lowered the opacity to 80%.

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Step 8

STEP 8

Now you’ve learnt how to reduce wrinkles, why not try teaming this up with last month’s tutorial on eye brightening? Here we used a very similar process on the model’s lips, but increased the output rather than decreasing to darken the colour.

See also: 86 Best Photoshop tutorials

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About the Artist: Tigz Rice

STEP 9

Based in London, Tigz is a freelance photographer and retoucher specialising in burlesque photography. As well as running her own studio, Tigz Rice Studios, where clients include London and Barcelona Burlesque Week and the lingerie collective at London Fashion Week, Tigz also works as a Photoshop and Lightroom tutor for Giant Training.

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Contact

tigzrice.com