Skip to main content

The best sharpening technique for faces, skin and hair in Photoshop CC


The standard sharpening techniques like Sharpen, Sharpen Edges and Smart Sharpen are useless when sharpening faces. It works ok with hair, but the last thing you want to do is sharpen skin, especially women's skin. It is the fastest way you will get negative feedback on your images if you over sharpen womens faces. Why do you think there is so much makeup available, it is to soften the skin not give it a crackling effect.

We will be using Unsharp Mask in this tutorial and sharpening an inverted red channel on top of a Luminosity blend mode. Well that is the super condensed summary version. Lets start off with an image I got from Public Domain Pictures. I did not download the full sized image but you can do it yourself and get better results.

Step 1: Open the image you like to edit in RGB mode.
Unsharpened image of a model. We want to sharpen the hair but not the skin. Image obtained from Public Domain Pictures
The image is ok, but it lacks bite or as other photographers call it, "pop".

Step 2: Create a duplicate layer background by pressing CTRL-J.
Create a duplicate layer by pressing CTRL-J. The duplicate layer is visible in the Layers (F7) palette.
The duplicate layer is on top and the background layer is on the bottom. You can change the name of the new layer, but I will keep it as it is.  It is a good idea to sometimes change it to a name that you understand, especially if you have changes some properties on it.


Step 3: With the top layer selected, click on the Channels tab
Click on the Channels tab and select the red channel
Step 4: Invert the red channel by pressing CTRL-I.
Invert the red channel by pressing CTRL-I. Note the change.

Now don't worry, you still have the original background layer so if you mess this layer up, just delete it and start over. The red channel must still be selected, don't deselect it.


Step 5: Select from the top menu <Filter><Sharpen><Unsharp Mask>
Apply the settings as shown in the image and press ok when done. It might look a bit radical but relax
In the boxes type in the following: Amount: 450%, Radius: 1.3px and Threshold: 0. When using high Amount values, try and use low Threshold levels. The best is to play around with the numbers. When finished typing in the values press <OK>.

Step 6: Invert the image again by pressing CTRL-I.

Step 7: Select from the top menu <Filter><Sharpen><Unsharp Mask>


With the red channel inverted AGAIN, apply Unsharp mask but this time with low Amount level and some Threshold
When done, click <OK> to apply settings.  This is all done on the top layer and on the red channel. Remember, it is not inverted anymore. You should see a standard grey image of your model.


 Step 8: Select layers palette and change top layer blend mode to Luminosity.


Select the layers palette and change the blend mode to luminosity. Do not deselect the red channel

You must change the top layer to Luminosity otherwise you will see red highlights throughout the image.


Step 9: Admire your work.
The top image is the sharpened image. Notice it has more contrast and "pop" in it. The best part is the skin, it has a little more detail and colour, but it is not oversharpened.













Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Merrell hiking shoes showing cracks in quality

I have been a supporter of Merrell shoes for quite a long time, actually about 10 years. Their comfort was amazing as well as build quality. My first pair was hiking boots and I wore them until they fell apart, I must admit that the sole wore through before the top started coming apart.  I then bought hiking or trail shoes. I think the style was Merrell Vibram, not sure but that was written on the side of the hiking shoe.  Anyway, who cares, I don't hike or go on trails.  They are mainly used in and around at home. I also don't do any gardening with them by the way.

So all in all I don't have a lot of wear and tear as can be seen on the amount of rubber left on the new pair of Merrell Hiking shoes.

What really disturbed me is how badly the new Merrell Hiking shoes are put together. Put it this way, my old Merrell's had 5 years of walking on them, and there is not much wrong with them other than the backend plastic started to crack. Also my laces are worn out which can…

2008 Toyota Hilux Single Cab SRX D-4D with canopy - immaculate condition

I'm selling my 2008 Toyota Hilux Single Cab SRX D-4D Diesel SOLD for R 140,000.00Comes with canopyLicensed until August 2018±128,000 km still in daily use (±20km/day)Single ownerNever done hard commercial workComes with full service history from Toyota Dealer.Road worthy test included and have certificate.Small dent on left side above wheel (no need to fix) Please contact during office hours only. I prefer correspondence via email at first.









Mercedes Benz W203 2001-2007 worst merc to buy ever

Let me defend myself first. I am a merc fan. If I thought it was an investment I would buy a new one, but it happens that I know a little more about money since school days and realized that a new car is a waste of money.

I started looking for a good second hand car
This had led me on the adventure of looking for a good second hand car that is comfortable and reliable. Another important factor is fuel consumption. It must be low since I am in no mood forking out half my salary in fuel costs.

The C-Class size fits my requirements perfectly so I started looking at various models and technical specifications. I was quite baffled at the amount of information that is available on mercs compared to other vehicles which is great if you are planning to buy a second hand car and do some of the maintenance yourself.

I think the best source of Mercedes videos and information is https://mercedessource.com/. I think Kent is very realistic and has enormous knowledge of these vehicles and its worth…