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9. Soften Up Skin with Pore Detail

9. Soften Up Skin with Pore Detail

This is a trick that I picked up from Scott Kelby in his Portrait Retouching Techniques book for softening up the skin and leaving some pore detail.

Create a duplicate layer of the image, and perform a high pass as we did in the texture section. In this case, make the high pass something extreme, like a value of 9 (see Figure 13).

Once your high pass is complete, press Command-I (PC: Ctrl-I) and invert the layer. With the layer inverted, run a Gaussian blur on the image with a value of 3.

Once your layer has been inverted and blurred, switch the blend mode of the image to Soft Light. You can also hide all of the contents behind a layer mask, painting back in the effect only in the areas that you want to see it (i.e., the skin); see Figure 15. You can further control how this looks by adjusting the opacity of the image.

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