A friend of mine at work sent me a great link that had a whole bunch of Photoshop actions. Thanks Matea! 😉 In my Photoshop course I learned a great way of creating a skin softening Photoshop action that you can use over and over with pretty good success. If you don’t want to follow along you can always download the FREE Photoshop Skin softing action.
1.) First Open the picture that you want to work on.
2.) Make sure Actions window is viewable. If it isn’t you can open it by going to Window file meu, and selecting actions
3.) Click on the Folder Icon at the bottom of the Actions window. Create a new action set. Name it Skin
4.) Click on the new action icon and create a new action called “Skin Softening”.
5.) Click on the Record button. Photoshop will now record EVERY action you do. Don’t mess up! 😉
6.) Hit Ctrl+j to copy layer
7.) Click on Filters Menu
8.) Click on Convert to smart filter
9.) Click on Filter Menu
10.) Click on “Blur” then “Surface Blur”
11.) Select radius of 3 pixel and a threshold of 15 levels
12.) Click Filter and select “Noise”. Then click “Add Noise…”
13.) Pick 2% for the amount, Gaussian and Monochromatic
14.) You will now need to make a mask from the red channel.
15.) Click on the channels section.
16.) Hold down “Ctrl” and click the red channel. This will select everything in the red channel
17.) Click back to the layers section
18.) Click the layer mask icon to make a mask based on the red channel
19.) You can now click the “Stop” button in the “Actions” section.
Now that you have the action most of the work is now done for you. You can apply the action to any other picture you want to soften the skin. You can REALLY make the picture pop by:
1.) Holding down the “ALT” key and clicking on the mask layer you created. This will show the mask in grey scale.
2.) Using a black brush blacken out the eyes and hair as you still want those parts to be crisp. The person will kind of look like a zombie 😉
3.) If you find at any time that there is not enough skin softening you can always click on the noise and blur layers and change the amount. I normally keep the setting the same but I adjust the “opacity” amount by click on the icon at the far right of the layer.