Skin smoothing is something that can really give your images a finished, polished look.
But smoothing away skin perfections in every single deliverable image to your client can also be a pain in the butt.
Thankfully, the geniuses at Imagenomics have created a plug-in to do all the work for you – in just the click of a button.
And truthfully – it’s been one of the best investments I’ve ever made for my business.
What is it exactly?
Well, as already stated, the Portraiture plugin does a lot of the skin retouching and skin smoothing for you just by clicking a few buttons (actually, by applying it as a filter). And it targets the colors that predominantly make up skin tones, thereby preserving the details and crispness in colors, details, and objects in the background/around the subject’s skin.
The adjustments panel itself is pretty basic compared to that of the Noiseware or Realgrain panels, but still packs a pretty powerful set of tools.
As with the other Imagenomics plug-ins, you can start off by selecting a preset – default, normal, medium, high, etc. – and choose what level of skin smoothing/retouching you want by just the click of a button.
If the preset isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, the adjustment panel gives you the option to modify it to your heart’s content.
The Detail Smoothing section allows you to adjust the amount of smoothing that takes place in the various sizes of detail, and is where you preserve various details such as hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, and so on.
The threshold value tells the program the details to be smoothed: for example, the higher the threshold value is set, the higher the degree of smoothing that takes place within the image’s details.
The Skin Tones Mask (and the nearby hue, saturation, luminance, and latitude sliders) is where you pinpoint the color of skin tone you’re working with.
Since we all know skin comes in so many different shades and colors, this really helps you target the skin smoothing for each person. You can also control the opacity of the filter as well.
And finally, in the Enhancements panel, you can adjust the Sharpness, Softness, Warmth, Tint, Brightness, and Contrast, similar to how you would in Lightroom or in Photoshop proper.
Though truthfully you’re better off making those adjustments in Lightroom or Photoshop because the sliders in the Portraiture panel are pretty crude – except for the Sharpness slider, that one is actually pretty good.
What do we think of it?
Buy it. Seriously. With the amount of control you have over the adjustments, you’ll be able to keep all the details of an image in tact while still smoothing the skin and giving your portraits that clean, finished look.
And since you’re using it in Photoshop, you can also create a duplicate layer of whatever image you’re working with, apply the skin smoothing to that layer, and erase any areas where the skin smoothing is too intense (eyes, eyelashes, hair, etc.).
What used to take me hours at a time (to do an entire portrait session) now takes a few minutes, at most. And I honestly argue that since the computer is doing the actual smoothing, it yields a much more consistent result than doing it by hand.
Of course, if you want to do individual spot adjustments (acne, scars, other blemishes, etc.) you’ll still have to do those by hand, but the rest of it is taken care of for you.
Check out some example images from these senior sessions (and one engagement session!) below:
*Note: Don’t forget to click each image to embiggen it and get a good look!
And all of these adjustments were made by a few clicks of a button, and took mere seconds to complete.
I cannot say enough wonderful things about the Portraiture plugin. It’s simple, quick, and easy to use, and worth every penny. Seriously. With the time you’ll save not having to do the skin smoothing and retouching by hand, it will easily pay for itself (and it has for me, a few times over already).
Don’t hesitate to purchase a license today, or at least try out a free trial.
And if you have any comments or questions about how it works or what it can do, don’t hesitate to leave them in the contents.
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