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Recomendations to retouch this skin


IamSam

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This is a small image as well as a screen shot so the results are not consistent with what you would get with the original image.

Original.
Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 9.50.42 AM.png

I then eliminated the worst offenders using the Spot Healing Brush Tool on a new layer.
Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 9.50.58 AM.png

Then use any of the skin softening techniques to tone down the rest. I suggest any of the High Pass Skin Smoothing techniques.
Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 9.54.59 AM.png
 

Temp101

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Thank you IamSam looks good. I was hoping to find a way to eliminate the tedious task of healing every one of the dot/spots and didn't know if there was any way around that. But I will defiantly look into the method you recommended.

Thanks
 

IamSam

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You don't have to get each one, just the ones that really stand out. It actually goes fairly fast.
 

Rich54

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Here's a different approach:
- Copy your skin image to a new layer.
- Apply the minimum possible amount of gaussian blur that eliminates the black spots. I used a blur of 3 pixels.
- Change the layer blend mode to Lighten. Then reduce the layer opacity as low as you can get it while still covering up the black spots. I used opacity of 80%.
- Lastly, I copied the entire blended image to a new layer and used Unsharp Mask to bring back some of the texture.

Normally, blurring is a poor way to do skin retouching because it blurs all the other non-blemished skin and gives a fake, plastic look. But for this particular image there is not a lot of fine skin detail to begin with, and the Lighten blend mode has the effect of only applying the blur to the darkest portions of the image.

skin.jpg
 

Tom Mann

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Assuming that this example was only a small part of a much larger area of skin, I worked on an approach which would be usable for images with hundreds of times more blemishes. My approach automated both the selection process and the "repair" process.

The first thing I noticed was that the image wasn't sharp, so I applied a variety of sharpening techniques to it. Of course, this made the blemishes much more obvious, but this is a good thing because I wanted to be able to use them to make their own selection mask.

My next step was to run the sharpened image through the high pass filter (r=6, if I remember). I then thresholded & inverted the result. I then made this image into a selection and expanded the selection by a couple of pixels to obtain this:

tjm01-ps01a-02_mask.jpg

Next, I took the slightly sharper version of the original, turned on the selection described above, and used the content aware fill tool to automatically, fill in all the areas selected in one step. At 100% opacity, the effect was a bit too strong, but dialed back to about 60%, it looked good. The result can be seen in the following before-after animated GIF.

tjm01-ps02a_for_GIF.gif

As you can see, this process greatly reduced many of the skin blemishes without having to manually select each one. In addition, since this process used the content aware fill tool it did a very good job of preserving the remaining skin texture.

If one needs even the less obvious blemishes to be reduced, one can partition the image into two or more sets of blemishes on the basis of the selection parameters (ie, HPF radius, threshold setting, and expand selection setting) and the content aware fill parameters, and then merge the two results - say, one optimized for weak blemishes and the other for strong blemishes. For this little demo, I didn't bother to do this.

Anyway, it's always good to have a variety of techniques in one's tool kit.

Cheers,

Tom M

PS - IMHO, the skin texture that remained after reducing many of the blackhead-like blemishes is not all that great, so I would be tempted to simply steal some skin texture from another model, or from another area on this model and fix the problem that way rather than first removing the blackheads and then dealing with the not-so-great texture that remains.
 
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Temp101

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I think I followed your instructions correctly but obviously I am not doing something right. When I try to fill with content aware I get this warning: Could not fill because there are not enough opaque source pixels.

I'm missing something I'm sure.

First I duplicated the layer, ran USM then HP as you said and inverted. That's where I'm stuck.
 
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Tom Mann

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I'm not sure what caused the "not enough opaque pixels" warning. That's a bit odd. Usually, the problem is in the selection process and is essentially the opposite -- "no pixels are more than 50% selected". To try to figure this out, why don't you annotate your PSD file and post it, and we'll take a look. If that doesn't work, I'll write up a tutorial.

Tom M
 
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Temp101

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I'm almost there. I'm missing a few things I think tho. It would probably be best, if you don't care and have the time, to post a small tutorial.

Here's the PSD of the point where I get stuck. The making it a selection and getting it to apply to the original image is one of the hangups.

I added USM and HP to the layer, then threshold and inverted it.

This only a cropped sample of skin. I really would like to have this as a layer mask if possiable so I can just brush it in at the areas that need it.
 
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Tom Mann

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Hi Temp101 (...such a personal greeting, LOL) -

I took a quick look at your PSD file.

It appears that you successfully created a black and white layer with white dots that is very similar to mine. That's great!

At this point, you need to turn that into an alpha channel which can then be used as a selection to tell the content aware fill tool where to fill.

The way to do this is to execute the following steps:

1) While viewing the black and white layer of white dots that you created, your "Layer 1", hit control-A to select the whole B&W image, then control-C to copy the whole B&W image.

2) Click on the "Channels" palette tab. Usually, it's right next to the "Layers" palette tab.

3) Click on the little options menu in the upper RH corner of that tab group.

4) Select: "New channel". Give it a meaningful name like "blackheads"

5) Confirm that the new channel appeared under the RGB, R, G, and B channels, and is active.

6) Hit control-V to paste the B&W white dots image into this channel. Hit control-D to deselect the region everything.

7) Go back to the layers palette and (a) turn off the B&W white dots layer, and, (b) duplicate the background layer (ie, the image you want to fix). Call the duplicate, "content aware filled".

8) With the newly created "content aware filled" layer active, go back to the Channels palette, make the new alpha channel active, and control-click on it. This will turn the white dots into a selection, complete with walking ants circumnavigating each white dot, LOL.

9) Go back to the Layers palette, make the newly created "content aware filled" layer active by clicking on it.

10) Go Edit / fill / content aware fill, and hit OK. This will fill each blackhead with it's best guess at what it should be based on the texture in the immediate vicinity.

11) Hit control-D to get rid of the marching ants.

12) To see how well this procedure worked, toggle the visibility of the "content aware filled" layer on and off. This will give you a nice before-after comparison.

To check my instructions, I actually followed each of the above steps in the PSD file you sent, and the result is quite impressive. You did a very nice job selecting the blackheads.

Let me know if you run into any other glitches.

Cheers,

Tom M
 
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Temp101

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Thank you very much for the detailed instructions Tom M. I finally got it. So can I put a black mask on the content aware layer and paint in where it's needed? I tried the procedure on the whole image and it didn't seem to do as good as compared to just that cropped portion of the image.

Thank you again. I have some really good options if I run into this again.

Again, thanks everyone.

Edit: This is what I get when I apply the procedure to the whole image.

Mac 2016-09-03 at 12.02.35 PM.png
 
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Tom Mann

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Yes, you certainly can put a mask over the content aware filled layer, but before you get to that, how in the world did some of the areas wind up with a cyan color?!?!? In addition there doesn't appear to be any texture in the cyan areas, whereas the whole point of the content aware fill process is to fill with the same texture and color as the nearby unblemished skin areas.

When I double checked the steps I listed using your PSD file, to be honest, the final result came out even better than my original attempt. That is why I praised your selection so highly. I saw nothing like this.

Tom M
 

Temp101

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I don't know why it's doing that either. It only does it if I apply the process to the whole image. If I just apply it to the cropped portion, it works fine.
 

Tom Mann

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If you want, either post or send me the newest version of your PSD file and I'll take a look at it when I get home.

Tom M
 

Temp101

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I think I may have figured it out. There may be a easier way but this is what I did...

Duplicate bg layer

Lasso a selection around the area

USM and HP threshold and inverse. Copy, then make a new channel, paste and deselect. Uncheck the copy layer and duplicate bg layer. Activate new layer then cmd select the new channel then go back to layers palette. Make new layer active and fill with content aware then black layer mask and brush in what I need.

Sorry if I didn't explain correctly or was confusing. Like I said there may be a easier way.
 
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Tom Mann

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I think I may have figured it out. ...
Are you saying that you figured out what caused the pale cyan patches in the last image you posted, AND you also figured out how to work around the problem (ie, by selecting only the skin), OR did you mean something else? I can't quite follow what you are saying.

For example, are you thinking that for some of the blemishes in the middle of the skin area, the content aware fill tool is reaching all the way out to the background and using pixels and texture from way out there to fill in skin blemishes?

Cheers,

Tom M
 

Temp101

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Very sorry for not being more precise.

I think I figured out how to use your method and was able to to apply that method using a selected part of the image and then masking to paint in where I need it on the image.

As far as the cyan patches, I really don't know other than what you mentioned, that it may reaching out and using the background to try and fill the blemishes.

Again, sorry for the randomness.
 

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