Friday, November 30, 2012

Awesome Photorealistic Coloring Techniques

In this tutorial we will color a black and white photo using gradient maps, solid colors, and the Color blending mode. Using these techniques, you will be able to hand color any black and white photo in a way that looks photorealistic.

Final Image Preview

Before we get started, let’s take a look at the image we’ll be creating. Before and after images are shown below.

Step 1
Double-click on the background image to make it an active layer. Create a new group by clicking on the little folder icon located at the bottom of the layers palette and put the layer in the group. Name the group “girl”. Draw a path around all the hard edges of the girl. This includes the face and the shoulders. Don’t worry about the hair for now; we will do that separately. Save the path. Make a selection of the path by holding Command-clicking on the path thumbnail in the paths palette. Hit Alt+Command+D and Feather the selection by 0.5px. Apply the selection as a mask on the “girl” group.

Step 2
Disable the mask on the “girl” group by holding Shift-clicking on the mask thumbnail. Now in the Channels palette, duplicate the red channel by dragging it to the New Channel button at the bottom of the palette. Apply a harsh curve, like the one below, to separate the hair from the background as much as you can.

Step 3
Hit Command+I to invert the red copy channel. Re-enable the mask on the “girl” group. Load the selection of the red copy channel with your background color set to white. Hit Delete(backspace) to fill the selection with white on the “girl” mask. If you hit Alt+Click on the mask thumbnail, you can see the mask as a channel. Clean up anything that looks as though it shouldn’t be there, like that line between the hair and the face.

Step 4
Now let’s start to add some color using a Gradient Map. In the “girl” group, make a new Gradient Map adjustment layer just above layer 0. Hit OK without doing anything and set the Gradient Map layer’s blending mode to Color. Now double-click on the Gradient Map’s layer thumbnail to open up the settings again. 

A Gradient Map uses the grayscale data from the image below it to apply the gradient that you create. The left side of the gradient represents the darkest parts of the image. The right side represents the light parts. We need to make a gradient that represents what the woman’s skin tone might look like from dark to light. I used the gradient below.

Step 5
Draw a path around the eyes. Load the selection of the path and Feather it 0.5px as we did before. Make a Curves adjustment layer just above the skin layer. Then lighten the eyes a little bit. Now make a Gradient Map layer just above the curves layer and hit OK before adjusting any settings. Set the new Gradient Map layer’s blending mode to color. Now hit Alt+Command+G to apply it as a clipping mask to the curves layer. Now change the Gradient Map’s settings to a pink-to-white fade like below.

Step 6
Draw a path around just the iris of the eye. Note that we need only the path to follow that one curve between the iris and the whites because the adjustment we are making will be applied as a clipping mask. Load the selection and Feather it 2px. Make a solid color adjustment layer just above the Gradient Map from the previous step. Then set it to a dark faded green. Hit Alt+Command+G to apply it to the same clipping mask you made earlier. Set the blending mode of the green layer to color. You might have to go back and adjust the green until you get a color that looks real.

Step 7
Repeat all the previous steps for the lips, except for this one we’ll leave the blending mode of the Gradient Map to Normal, and set the layer’s Opacity to 65%.

Step 8
We need to get more variance of color in the skin tones to make it look more real. I made some selections around the eyes, nose, and cheeks. Then I feathered them 20–40px, created solid color adjustment layers, set the blending modes to Color, and brought the Opacity way down to 10-20%. Below you can see my selections as quick masks. The layer palette shows the colors I used for the different areas. As you can see I used some red to add some blush to the cheeks, some red around the nose, mouth and eyes, and some blue to go on the bags of her eyes. These small details make all the difference.

Step 9
Make a loose selection around the face and neck and feather it 50px. Make a curves adjustment layer just above the ‘skin’ Gradient Map that we made earlier. I just went in and tweaked the colors a bit to get a little more color variation in the skin tone. You can download the curve file I used here.

Step 10
Now we need to make a selection of the hair. I used the path that I saved from Step 1. Then I modified it a little to line up with the hairline’s shape and softness. I did this by using Quick Mask Mode(Q), and using brushes of various sizes and softness to match the hairline.Make a new Gradient Map adjustment layer at the top of the “girl” group. Make the gradient a similar to the image below. I left the blending mode at Normal for this layer.

Step 11
Make a selection of the shirt. Then make a new Gradient Map adjustment layer. Hit OK and set the blending mode to Color, as we have done before. Edit the gradient so that it looks something like the one below. You will have to play around with the gradient until you get a good separation between the green and white stripes.

Step 12
Choose a Sky image. I used one I shot myself, but there are plenty of stock images you could use. Bring it into the document below the “girl” group. Hit Command+T, and size it to fill the frame. It looks good, but notice that our hair mask still isn’t really looking that good against the blue background. The hair turns a muddy gray in the transition between hair and sky. To fix this, make a new blank layer just above Layer 0 (the image of the girl). With a large and soft black brush paint over those areas with an Opacity of 15-25% until the transition looks better.

As an added bonus, I applied the techniques from the Super Quick and Easy Facial Retouching tutorial to smooth out her face a little bit. As you can tell, I decided to make her red haired, but you can make your gradients whatever color you would like. She just seemed like a redhead to me. Here is the final image.

Shaan Graphics is a premier Image Editing service provider, providing this exclusive glamour retouching service with Internationally lowest price guaranteed. Shaan Graphics Image editing service starts from $0.50 only.
                                                 Visit for more details

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Whiten And Brighten Teeth In Photoshop

In this Photo Retouching tutorial, we’ll learn how to make teeth whiter and brighter using a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, a brush and a layer mask.

Here’s the image I’ll be using for this tutorial. The woman’s teeth look nice and white already, but the man’s teeth appear a bit dull and yellow and could use a little whitening:

The original image.

Here’s how the teeth will look when we’re done:

The final result.

Let’s get started!

Step 1: Select The Area Around The Teeth With The Lasso Tool
First, grab the Lasso tool from the Tools palette in Photoshop, or press the letter L on your keyboard to quickly select it:

Select the Lasso tool from the Tools palette, or press “L” on your keyboard.

With the Lasso tool selected, I’m going to draw a selection around the guy’s teeth. I don’t need to be precise with my selection here because this selection is only temporary. All I need is to have his teeth inside the selected area:

Selecting the area around his teeth. No need to be precise here because this selection is temporary.

Step 2: Choose A Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer
With the area around his teeth selected, I’m going to go to the bottom of the Layers palette and click on the New Adjustment Layer icon:

Click the New Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette.

Then I’ll select a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer from the list:

Choose “Hue/Saturation” from the list.

This brings up the Hue/Saturation dialog box, and we’re going to use it to remove the yellow from his teeth and brighten them at the same time.

Step 3: Select Yellows From The Hue/Saturation Edit List

The reason his teeth are not white is because, obviously, there’s too much yellow in them, so we need to remove the yellow. To do that, with the Hue/Saturation dialog box open, click the down-pointing arrow to the right of the word “Master” at the top of the dialog box and select Yellows from the list. This will allow us to make changes only to the yellow in the image:

Select “Yellows” from the Edit list in the Hue/Saturation dialog box.

With our yellows selected, drag the Saturation slider in the middle of the dialog box all the way to the left, which desaturates (removes) the yellow from the teeth, leaving the teeth whiter:

Drag the Saturation slider to the left to remove the yellow color from the teeth.

His teeth now appear whiter thanks to the yellow being removed. If only it were so easy in real life:

His teeth now appear whiter after removing the yellow with the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer.

Step 4: Drag The Lightness Slider To The Right To Brighten The Teeth
His teeth now look whiter, but they could use some brightening as well, and we can do that using the same Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. First, go back up to the Edit list at the top of the dialog box, click on the down-pointing arrow once again, and this time, select Master from the list. The "Master" option allows us to make changes to every color in the image at once:

Set the Edit option back to “Master” at the top of the Hue/Saturation dialog box.

With “Master” selected, drag the Lightness slider, which is directly below the Saturation option, towards the right. This will brighten the teeth. The further you drag the slider, the brighter the teeth become. Keep an eye on your image in the document window as you drag the slider so you don’t end up dragging it too far:

Drag the Lightness slider to the right to brighten the teeth.

Click OK when you’re done to exit out of the dialog box.

We can see in the image now that not only have I brightened his teeth, I’ve also brightened the area around them, since that was the area I initially selected with my Lasso tool:

His teeth are now brighter, but so is the area around them.

No worries though. We’re going to fix that next.

Step 5: Fill The Hue/Saturation Layer Mask With Black

One of the great things about using adjustment layers in Photoshop is that each one comes with its own layer mask. If we look in the Layers palette, we can see that we have two layers. The original image is on the Background layer, and directly above it is our Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. The black rectangle with the small area of white in it on the right of the adjustment layer is the layer mask thumbnail, which is showing us a preview of our mask. That small area of white is the area we’ve 
selected around the man’s teeth.

Make sure the layer mask is selected. The way you can tell if a mask is selected or not is by looking for a white highlight border around the mask preview thumbnail in 
the Layers palette. If you see a white highlight border around the thumbnail, it means the mask is currently selected. If you don’t see the border, click on the thumbnail to select it:

                    Make sure the layer mask for the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer is selected.

We’re going to remove that initial selection around his teeth by filling the layer mask with black. This will temporarily hide all the work we did from view. With the layer mask selected, go up to the Edit menu at the top of the screen and select Fill, which brings up the Fill dialog box. For “Contents”, click on the down-pointing arrow and choose Black from the list:

Make sure “Black” is selected for the Fill contents.

With black selected, click OK to exit out of the dialog box. Photoshop fills the layer mask with black:
The layer mask is now filled with black.

With the layer mask filled with black, it looks like we’ve undone all the work we did on his teeth. They’re back to being yellow and dull:

                                          His teeth are now back to their original yellow.

Don’t worry, all the work we did is still there, we just can’t see it at the moment. We’re going to fix that though by using a brush to paint the whitening and brightening back in, and we’ll do that next.

Step 6: Select The Brush Tool

Select Photoshop’s Brush tool from the Tools palette, or press B on your keyboard to quickly select it:

Select the Brush tool.

Step 7: Set White As Your Foreground Color

Make sure you have white selected as your foreground color, since we’re going to be painting on the layer mask with white in order to reveal the effects of the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer over the guy’s teeth. To quickly set it to white, first make sure you have the Hue/Saturation layer mask selected in the layers palette, and then press the letter D on your keyboard, which will set your foreground color to white and your background color to black:

Select the layer mask, then press “D” to set white as your foreground color.

Step 8: Paint With White Over The Teeth To Restore The Whitening And Brightening

With our brush selected, the layer mask selected in the Layers palette, and white as our foreground color, all we need to do now is paint over the teeth with our brush to bring back the whitening and brightening. You’ll probably need to change the size of your brush as you’re painting. To change the brush size, press the right bracket key on your keyboard to make the brush larger and the left bracket key to make it smaller. You’ll find the bracket keys to the right of the letter “P" on your keyboard. If you want to adjust the edge hardness of the brush, hold down your Shift key and press the right or left bracket keys. Shift+right bracket makes the brush edges harder, and Shift+left bracket makes the edges softer.
Simply paint over the teeth with the brush to reveal the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer over those areas, making the teeth whiter and brighter. You may find it easier to zoom in on the teeth, as I’m doing here:

Painting over the teeth to reveal the whitening and brightening.

If you accidentally paint over an area you didn’t mean to, just press the letter X on your keyboard to swap your Foreground and Background colors, which will set your Foreground color to black. Paint over the mistake to hide the effects of the adjustment layer, then press X again to switch back to white and continue painting.

For some areas, you may also find it easier to paint with a lower opacity brush. You’ll find the Opacity option in the Options Bar at the top of the screen. A low opacity of around 20% is sometimes helpful to avoid over brightening teeth in the darker corners of the mouth:

Lower the opacity of the brush if necessary to apply less whitening to darker corners

Continue painting over the teeth until you’ve whitened and brightened them all. I’ll zoom back out of
my photo, and we can see that the man’s teeth are now just as white as the woman’s teeth:

Both people’s teeth are now white and bright thanks to Photoshop.

Step 9: Lower The Opacity Of The Adjustment Layer If Needed

Keep in mind that no matter what the toothpaste companies want us to believe, our teeth are not supposed to be pure white. If you find that your whitening effect is a bit too strong, making the teeth look unnaturally white, you can easily fine-tune the effect by lowering the opacity of the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. You’ll find the Opacity option near the top of the Layers palette. I’m going to lower my opacity down to about 75%:

Reduce the whitening effect by lowering the opacity of the adjustment layer.

Here is my final “teeth whitening” result:

The final result.

Shaan Graphics is a premier Image Editing service provider, providing this exclusive glamour retouching service with Internationally lowest price guaranteed. Shaan Graphics Image editing service starts from $0.50 only.

Visit for more details

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Create digital makeup

The initial image

The final result:

Step 1. First of all, we’re going to smooth the skin texture of the model. This will give the whole image a professional feel and improve its overall aspect.

Duplicate the background layer and go to Filter -> Noise -> Median and insert a value of 3. Next, go to Filter -> Blur… -> Gausian Blur … and insert 3 again.

Add a layer mask to the layer you just blurred, fill it with black and start painting with white over the skin, with a soft brush, varying the size according to the area. Make sure you avoid the lines of the face, eyes etc. because you don’t want to blur those, just the skin.

Step 2. Now we’re going to change the lip color to mimic a light pink lipstick. First, press Q in order to enter the Quick Mask editing mode, and then choose a soft brush, choose black as the color and then zoom in and paint over the lips. You’ll notice that instead of black, it will seem as if you were painting with red; this is because you’re in the mask mode. Make sure you don’t go over the edges. If you make any mistake, just choose white and paint over that part.

Switch back to Standard Mode by pressing Q again and you’ll notice a selection appear. The advantage of using the mask mode to select is that you have far more control over the selection than by using the Lasso Tool.

Go to Select -> Inverse and then to Image -> Adjustments -> Hue/Saturation… (or simply press Ctrl+U for the dialog box to appear) and insert the following settings:

Press Ctrl+H to hide your selection (this will not deselect the area, it will just make the marquee around it disappear), so that you can see clearly the edges of the selection. If you notice that an unwanted area around the lips turned pink, simply press Q to enter the Quick Mask Mode again, zoom in and carefully paint with black over that area. Then switch back to the standard mode by pressing Q again and take a look at the result.

Add a subtle highlight on her lower lip by using the Dodge Tool, a small soft brush, exposure set to 70%. With a slightly bigger brush you may highlight her upper lip, again in a very subtle way.

When you’ve finished, make sure the area of the lips is deselected to continue to the next step.

Step 3. To change the eye color, select the eyes by using the same method you used for the lips, and then press Ctrl+U to bring up the Hue/Saturation dialog box, check Colorize and use the following settings:

Press Ctrl+H and check for any mistakes. If there are any, fix them as previously shown with the lips.

Step 4. Now we’re going to do the eye makeup. Select the eyelashes on her lower eyelid by using the Lasso Tool, with a feather setting of 5. Go to Image -> Adjustments -> Brightness/Contrast… and lower the Brightness to -10. Deselect the area.

Create a new layer and paint with a purple, soft brush on it, over the area between her eyebrows and eyes.

Set the layer blending mode to Overlay and the Opacity to 35%. Then refine the edges of the area by erasing with a large soft brush around it, making sure it blends in well and looks natural.

Step 5. To enhance the effect of the image, we can now adjust its color cast to better match the changes we made.

Add a Selective color adjustment layer with the following settings:

Reds: -43 0 -22 +7
Yellows: 0 0 0 -41
Neutrals: 0 0 0 -7

Step 6. Add another Selective color adjustment layer, in order to change the color of her dress from cyan to purple:

Cyans: -100 +100 -100 +100

You will notice that this layer will slightly affect the color of the eyes. I actually liked it better that way, so I didn’t change it.

If you don’t like that, then choose a soft brush and paint with black on the layer mask of the adjustment layer (I’ve highlighted it with yellow on the following screenshot).

Finally, go to Image -> Adjustments -> Auto Levels to really bring out the colors of the image and remove the somewhat reddish color cast it had.

The final result:

Shaan Graphics is a premier Image Editing service provider, providing this exclusive glamour retouching service with Internationally lowest price guaranteed. Shaan Graphics Image editing service starts from $0.50 only.

Visit for more details

Friday, November 23, 2012

Face Makeover

Photo Makeover - a full comparison

As evidenced by the original photo, there were a large number of issues to deal with in making over this subject. The most concerning was the irregularity of the light & shadow on her face, specifically down her right side (our left).Here's a list of the problems, and the modifications made: 

1. First and foremost was the skin tone/texture. Smoothed it out a lot, and balanced the lighting.
2. Softened the hot spots along the nose and on the chin, so those features wouldn't protrude so much.
3. Hair color was dull and lifeless. I chose fire like red to offset the cool eyes.
4. Eye color was also dull and lifeless. Fixed those too.
5. Eyes whites were reddish brown and veiny. Brightened them up considerably.
6. Eye lashes were uneven and a little thin. Balanced them out.
7. Eye brows were also uneven and needed to be trimmed back to balance face better. Did that.
8. Lips were lopsided, and the color was weak. Evened them, and added lip liner to enhance their shape.
9. Pear shape of face was too strong. Applied rouge along the cheeks and down the sides to the jaw line, to help lengthen the face and broaden the forehead.
10. Although I REALLY wanted to give her a little reconstructive surgery, I resisted. The only thing I felt I really had to fix was her fulcrum. It was crooked, and I straightened it out.

Bear in mind that this 'version' is but one of the many various ways this subject could've been 'made over'. My interpretation is not the end-all-be-all. If trying this for yourself, find ways to be original if at all possible. It should also be stated that I would not normally 'wax out' a person's skin tone like this. I was only showing the extreme to make a point. The 'synthetic look' does have it's place, but it's not used that often in the real world.

Step 1 - Smoothing Skin tone & Texture

Duplicate the original photo layer, and apply the FILTER/Noise/Median... filter.

The setting should be somewhere between 5 and 10. As reference, look at the split image above... I used a setting of 8 for that. The exact amount is highly dependant 
on the quality of the original skin tone/texture. Generally, we want to balance out the shades in the skin color Blending them together, but not washing them completely out.

Add a Layer Mask, and using black, paint overtop of the main facial lines, and the entire eyeball area, including the eyebrows. Use a small soft brush for this and try to paint only where you need to. In most cases, the layer mask doesn't have to be too perfect, but don't be too sloppy either. If the subject's skin texture is very strong, then a more precise and detailed mask may be required. 

The example image here shows where the Layer Mask is painted on, so you can better see how it fits over the facial areas.

Reduce the Opacity of this layer to somewhere between 50-70%; depending on how strong or subtle an effect you want. The choice is yours, because this setting amount is also dependant on the quality of the original skin tone/texture. So use your own judgment here, based on your photo.

Step 2 - Changing & Brightening the Iris Color

New Layer.
Use a hard brush that's the exact same size as the iris, and paint with the desired color over top of the original iris. Set the blend mode to Hue/Soft Light/Overlay. Your choice. The blend mode choice is affected by how light/dark your replacement color is. Layer Opacity can also be lowered to make the effect more subtle. In my header image, I used 'Hue' blend mode.

Step 3 - Eye whitened to remove reddish-brown vein coloration

Select the white of the eyeball; either using Quick Mask or the selection tools. Add a HUE&SAT Adjustment Layer right above the smoothed duplicate layer. Lower the Saturation and raise the Brightness until the white looks 'almost' white. Don't go too pure white, or it'll look real fake. Click the Layer Mask for the Adjustment layer, and apply the 'Blur More' filter 2x -- to soften the edges a bit, and blend this new white area into the outer edges of the eyeball.

Step 4 - Eyeball highlights and shadows added for clarity and depth
New Layer.
Paint an irregular shaped spot of white over the place where you want the eye highlight to be ( we're doing the small bright spot of white right now ). Usually, most photos will have one already, so add to it with this fresh bright highlight, over top of the original one. Just to liven it up. As you can see, the specular highlight 
in the original photo I used was very faint.

New Layer. Paint with a small soft brush using black, along the underside of where the eyelid is. Right over the topmost inner edge of the eyeball itself. This adds more depth. Set the blend mode to Soften, or leave it on Normal and lower the Opacity. This should be a very subtle effect. 

New Layer. Paint with a small soft brush using white, around the inner area of the iris. You don't have to paint over the entire area as I did. A smaller brightened area is also effective looking too. This choice is yours to decide. 

Note: Do not just fill the entire iris area with a full-on solid white circle. Not only will it look real bad, but it'll not look natural either. This is one of those 'extras' that needs to be 'not-so-perfect' looking. Study the middle image in the above examples.

This next part is optional. It's dependant on your intent for your photo, and whether it's even needed.

New Layer. Zoom into the lower eye area several hundred percent. We need to see the lower eyelash area real well. Paint with a 1 pixel brush using black, along the top edge of the lower eye lashes. We're adding a thin pencil line of eye-liner. Then use the Blur tool (R key) and run it across this line once or twice. Don't blur it right out, just soften it up a little. Adding this eyeliner helps to frame and present the eyes better. It'll make them stand out more. 

Step 5 - Makeup and hair color -- always a nice touch
New Layer.
Look at the image to the right as a guide. Use whatever color you want, and paint a fresh coat of makeup onto the eyelids, and where ever else you like. I also painted on a line of highlighter too, along the top of the eyelid just below the eyebrow.

Then choose a suitable layer blend mode to use. I used 'Soft Light' for my image. Try a number of them though, as they all produce very specific looks/effects. 

Even though we never directly covered the lip & hair areas, the same methods apply to those as we just used to add makeup to the face. Lipstick is a 'makeup' too. So just paint it on as well, and set the blend mode appropriately. I've found that reducing the layer's Opacity also works well for lips. This example image shows here I started painting purple over the original red. My blend mode was 'Hue', and the Opacity of the layer was 100% -- 50% looked good too. Use these settings as a starting point.

And as for hair... it's the same all over again. New Layer, mask out the hair, choose your new color(s), then paint over the original hair areas you wish to recolor, set the Blend Mode to Hue, Color, Soft Light, or Overlay. Or, try one of the other modes for a special effects.

And the tip for hair is... to darken certain areas, paint with black on a new layer and set it to Soft Light. Do the same to lighten the hair, but paint with white instead.

Shaan Graphics is a premier Image Editing service provider, providing this exclusive glamour retouching service with Internationally lowest price guaranteed. Shaan Graphics Image editing service starts from $0.50 only.

Visit for more details