Although we do not currently offer a program specifically for portraiture, Topaz Clean can actually help you easily achieve great skin cleaning techniques.  So if you want to do some quick and easy skin cleanup, or if you like the almost airbrushed look that you see in portraiture or fashion photography, then you might find Topaz Clean helpful in your workflow.

So let’s take a look at what Topaz Clean can do.  Topaz Clean is a texture adjustment program that allows you to:

– adjust texture
– smooth features
– flatten detail
– enhance edges
– create over-sharpened and stylized effects

Topaz Clean can reduce fine lines, wrinkles and blemishes by allowing you to adjust the texture and smoothness – which is ideal for achieving even skin appearance. What makes Topaz Clean unique is that it can also preserve major facial features and tiny but important skin detail.

The Clean program offers three tabs that you can use to create your desired skin effects.  The  Clean tab flattens texture, smooths the image and removes weaker details.  The Edges tab allows you to enhance and stylize the edges in your image – be sure not to over-apply any of the parameters here.  Finally, the Texture tab allows you to reintroduce some of the original texture and detail back into your image to ensure a natural look.  The program also includes a Skin Even preset which works as a great starting point for your skin adjustments.

So, here is an example of skin cleanup with Topaz Clean:

As you can see, the after image features a more balanced and smooth skin completion that still retains her facial structure and defining characteristics.  The cleaning effects here are minimal, however you are welcome to smooth your images as much or as little as you would like.  This is an example of a very basic cleanup. You can increase your cleaning effects to a much further degree for a smoother and more magazine-like effect.

Here is a quick overview of how to use Clean in your workflow.

  1. Create a duplicate layer
  2. Use your Photoshop quick selection tool to select just the face
  3. Invoke Topaz Clean and make your adjustments.  Start with the sliders in the Clean tab and work your way down in order.
  4. Click OK to process your changes and save back to Photoshop

Back in Photoshop, you may notice two things:

First, your image may look slightly desaturated.  If so, you can increase the saturation using your Photoshop Saturation tool. To do this go to: Layer – New Adjustment Layer -> Hue / Saturation and slightily increase the Saturation slider to restore the color saturation in your image.

Second, you may notice that areas such as the eyes, lips or eye brows have lost too much detail.  We can restore that detail using a layer mask and the following workflow:

  1. Add a layer mask (reveal all) to the layer just processed in Topaz Clean.
  2. Select your brush tool and the desired brush size.
  3. Set your foreground color to black.
  4. Using your brush tool (in combination with your opacity level), paint in the areas of the eyebrows, eyes and lips.  This will begin to reveal features from the original background layer below and restore needed detail.

Stay tuned for a more in depth tutorial on using Topaz Clean for portraiture.  Let us know you’re thoughts below.

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