Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Q/A Skin Techniques and Frequency Separation

Q: I tried to read the whole thread on high pass sucks, and its very long winded. The most of what I got was that the technique is called frequency seperation. Am I right?

I've tried it a few times. Maybe I'm trying on a basic level as I always have issues on the low frequency side trying to even out colour. I find clone stamping not all that good. Is this the technique you use for skin smoothing?

A: Yes, this is the technique that I use for skin smoothing when it is necessary. For the low frequency side of things, I wouldn't use clone stamp. For luminosity unevenness you need to dodge and burn the skin tones out. For color unevenness I often use a brush on color blend mode to "paint" in the proper color. What's the proper color? I sample from nearby tones.

The overall action is very good but it requires a lot of "fine-tuning" and other manipulation in order to get it to work correctly. I have used it with great success on over 1,000 images. I have also developed a good pre-workflow to skin smoothing that works in conjunction with frequency separation. By itself the frequency separation tool is just another average tool. But knowing the proper pixel parameters and providing the right "pre-treatment" produces the best results. After all you know the saying, "Garbage in, garbage out".

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