Art and Photography

Airbrush/soften skin on separate layer?

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  • Dec 17th, 2014 11:08 am
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Deal Guru
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May 6, 2005
10189 posts
833 upvotes
Vancouver

Airbrush/soften skin on separate layer?

In photoshop I used to always soften skin by duplicating the layer then using a gaussian blur - but this required completely duplicating the layer, larger file size, etc.

As I'm trying to work more towards non-destructive editing, how could I soften the skin without duplicating the whole image?
5 replies
Deal Addict
May 6, 2007
1313 posts
284 upvotes
Ottawa, On
Kaitlyn wrote:
Dec 16th, 2014 8:46 pm
In photoshop I used to always soften skin by duplicating the layer then using a gaussian blur - but this required completely duplicating the layer, larger file size, etc.

As I'm trying to work more towards non-destructive editing, how could I soften the skin without duplicating the whole image?
Sorry I'm more use to lightroom than photoshop, but couldn't you just you camera raw, and use an adjustment brush with -'ve clarity?
Sr. Member
Aug 12, 2012
728 posts
218 upvotes
Richmond Hill
It's best to do different adjustments on separate layers so you can always go back and make change if you want. If you're happy with your edit and worried about file size, you can always flatten your image (basically eliminates all layers and puts your edited image in a single layer).
Deal Addict
Jun 29, 2008
1759 posts
450 upvotes
North York
Please don't use any type of blur to soften skin. It looks really fake. Dive in and use the healing brush to get rid of any unwanted skin imperfections.
Deal Addict
Aug 25, 2006
3432 posts
787 upvotes
I used to do this using these 2 techniques. Then I discovered actions that you can download and install into photoshop. Search for skin softening actions. Most of them will duplicate the entire image for you and only use the softening on the new layer. If it's too much, adjust transparency to get a more natural look. Or learn to adjust the intensity of the action itself. Pretty easy once you read up on it. Good luck!
Sr. Member
Aug 12, 2012
728 posts
218 upvotes
Richmond Hill
Do a youtube search for 'Frequency separation'. That technique does a great job of cleaning up skin and evening tones (as long as you don't overdo it), and doesn't require you to duplicate the entire image, you're just adding adjustment layers.

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