Skin Retouching – Frequency Separation Technique
Here`s a simple skin retouching technique called Frequency Separation, which I use in Beauty, Fashion & Portrait photography retouching. It’s relatively quick and easy to grasp. Start with a softer Healing Brush on the Low Frequency layer to fix deep wrinkles and uneven, bumpy skin, and use a harder Healing Brush to fix skin texture imperfections on the High Frequency layer.
DOWNLOAD my FREE Frequency Separation technique Action here (scroll down to the black banner).
To manually add the High & Low Frequency layers follow these steps:
1. Make sure your image is in 16 bit/channel mode.
2. Create two copies of your working layer.
3. Group them and name the top layer High Frequency (this layer will only contain texture) and the bottom layer Low Frequency (this layer will only contain colors & tones).
4. Turn the High Frequency layer visibility off and apply Gaussian Blur filter to the Low Frequency layer (Radius: 4.0-5.0 pixels, only colors and tones are visible, no details).
5. Now select the High Frequency layer and turn its visibility back on.
6. Go to Image > Apply Image and choose the following settings:
Source – the name of the file you are working on,
Layer – Low Frequency,
Invert – check,
Blending Mode – Add,
Opacity – 100%,
Scale – 2,
Offset – 0.
Click Ok to move on.
7. Change the High Frequency layer Blending Mode to Linear Light.
8. Pick up the Healing Brush Tool and set it to Sample from Current Layer.
9. Start with Low Frequency layer to even out skin tones, and then move on to the High Frequency layer to finish up the stubborn blemishes on the texture layer. Make sure your Healing Brush is set to Sample from Current Layer when working on either of these layers.
Frequency Separation Technique in action:
Check out my blog post Experimenting With Skin Retouching Techniques: Frequency Separation in 25 minutes on how quick and efficient the Frequency Separation technique is (+ retouching time lapse video).