Removing Wrinkles

Removing wrinkles in Photoshop isn’t going to be for all of your clients. Grandma may be offended, and grandpa certainly will be. After all, they’ve worked hard for those wrinkles! But removing wrinkles is great for your younger clients. The example I’ll use today is under 20, yet with her young face, there’s room for improvement.

There are a couple tools or techniques you can use when removing wrinkles in Photoshop. The first is the brush tool; frequently referred to as the air brush tool.  In this application you’ll want to adjust the hardness of the tool to be 0%. I also like to adjust the flow to be somewhere between 2 & 10%. Since the brush puts out flat color it will cover wrinkles much like makeup. A shortcut you’ll find useful is the option key. While holding option you can pick the color of the brush. You’ll want to switch the color on a regular basis to match the the tone of the area you’re working on to make your changes seamless. The goal is to cover the imperfections of the skin while keeping in tact the natural shadows and tones that define facial features.

Clone What You Can’t Cover

Next, we have the clone stamp tool. This works much like the brush tool, only instead of painting colors it will repaint parts of the canvas. Just like the Airbrush tool you can hold down the option key and click to select a sample and run with it. We use the clone stamp where it doesn’t make sense to just cover the area. For example, where we need textures such as eyebrows we could take a part of another eyebrow and clone it in. I was able to trim and even out her eyebrows just with the clone stamp.

Use Layers

You’ll want to keep all of your changes on separate layers so that’s easy to remove a change if the client doesn’t like it. Be sure to label your layers. The only difficulty you’ll have when working with layers is you’ll have to have the original layer selected when holding down option to select colors or sections of the photo for the brush and clone tools.

The changes you make shouldn’t look to drastic. As you can see, my changes are pretty light.

Removing Wrinkles

You may notice that I did use one more technique to enhance this photo. The eye seemed unusually dark to me, so I duplicated the photograph and cut out everything but the eye. Then I used levels to brighten the eye. In order to keep it all looking natural I set the opacity of this new eye layer to be around 60%. The trick to be successful when removing wrinkles or making other photo enhancements is to be subtle. The goal is to have your client be impressed and flattered by your photograph and not even know that the changes have been made. In fact, no one should be able to tell unless you turn the layers on and off or give them a side by side comparison.

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