Anthropics Portrait Pro 19 is the latest version of its incredibly popular retouching software. This piece of software allows users to create professional retouches without needing to spend hours learning several techniques. Instead, Portrait Pro uses a simple, user-friendly interface that allows advanced retouching in a simple to understand and time-saving manner.
What’s New in Portrait Pro 19
Anthropics Portrait Pro 19 brings a host of improvements that make this software better than ever before.
The first I must mention is the Clearskin 5 technology. Based on state-of-the-art A.I., Clearskin 5 intelligently maps the contours and features of the face and retouches skin accordingly. It also replicates the face’s natural skin texture, allowing users to subtly remove blemishes while maintaining the subject’s natural appearance. When combined with the improved Fix Lighting tool, this new technology makes it even easier for photographers to achieve amazing results.
When compared to previous versions (which themselves were very good) this is a subtle but noticeable difference. For me, this alone is enough to recommend this version, but there is a lot more under the hood.
Let’s look at what’s new in Portrait Pro 19.
Advance Hair Retouching
Hair detection has been improved and gives users more options than ever before. After choosing a base shade for the hair, you can tweak this to create a variety of styles, from a subtle improvement of natural color all the way through to more extremes of pink and blue hair.
This tool offers a variety of ways to subtly change the expression of your model, letting you get the perfect smile every time.
Accurate Lens Correction
Utilizing 3D modeling, the software accurately corrects for lens distortions created by wide-angle lenses such as mobile phone cameras.
Optimized Plugin (Studio exclusive)
This plugin allows you to harness the power of Portrait Pro directly from Photoshop and start editing right away. By updating the technology, the plugin returns to Photoshop up to five times faster than previous versions, which means less time processing and more time creating great portraits.
Improved Automatic Batch Processing (Studio Max exclusive)
PortraitPro Studio Max 19 allows photographers to automatically process batches of images simultaneously. The software detects faces and features in the image, applies your chosen presets and automatically saves the result. Again, thanks to PortraitPro 19, the software handles images 2x faster than before, allowing you to retouch a batch of images quickly and easily yet achieving amazing, tailored results.
This tool (exclusive to the Studio Max edition of the software) is something that I can see being amazing for sending proofs from a headshot session. Imagine the ability to send all of the client images to select from, all retouched to your specific style. Not only will it wow your clients, but it is effortless for you to do this.
These tutorials are some of the best I have seen for any software – allowing you to follow along and improve images with a guide to hold your hand.
The tutorials allow users to get to grips with the features of the software quickly and easily. By the time you get through the first couple of tutorials, you will be itching to use the software on your own images, but when you want to push your skills a little more (or just can’t quite figure something), there are more advanced tutorials to help you upgrade your skills.
There are various tutorials, from retouching skin and face shaping (which are the two tools you will probably use the most) through to a series of advanced tutorials that go into detail on things like applying makeup, hair, eyes, and many more. Thus, allowing you to take advantage of the massive feature set on offer with this software.
After going through the first two tutorials, I wanted to put some of my own images through the software. The feature detection on the tutorials was quick, simple, and incredibly accurate. I wanted to see if this was as good in real life as it was in the tutorials. I was amazed that my own images imported quickly and found the models’ features perfectly the first time.
I thought I’d start by trying the built-in presets. I clicked the Standard Preset and almost instantly the image was good enough to give to a client. After trying the other presets, I found the Maximum Lighting worked really well for the shot below.
Within two clicks, I had an image that was retouched to a high standard. As someone who has spent hours learning retouching techniques in Photoshop, it was impressive. To those who are new to retouching, it will give you a set of tools that would normally take hours to master individually at the click of a button.
I’ll be honest, some of the presets were a little too much for me. However, I tend to go for a more natural look in my retouching. Yet, I can see that for some, they will be perfect. I think the presets have been created to give every style of photographer a great starting point that can be tweaked until they get their own style.
Starting From Scratch
It would have been easy for me to leave the review here, as the presets do a great job, but I wanted to dive deeper and see how the tools would work individually. I started over with the same image and worked my way through the panels.
The panels are laid out in a very logical order, starting with Sculpting the Face, which allows you to tweak everything from eye size to the length of the model’s neck. Everything is simple and uses a slider-based system.
I then worked through the skin smoothing (which looks a lot more natural than previous versions of the software) before continuing to work my way down the menu system.
A small word of caution, though. Portrait Pro allows you to push the retouching levels to the extreme. You can get caught up in pushing all sliders to the max. This will not give you a great result and like adding salt to a meal, a sprinkle is always better than a handful.
Make use of the before and after function to check you have not pushed your image too far. I have heard complaints that Portrait Pro makes everything “Doll Like” or “Just Not Natural.” That is not true. Just like Photoshop, users can get carried away and push things too far in their edits.
It was amazing that only 30-minutes into using a brand new piece of software, I was able to fully retouch a portrait to this level without needing a YouTube tutorial. What’s even better is that with a couple of clicks, I now had my own preset that I could apply to other images. This is something that really does create a massive time-saving option.
I put my newly created preset to the test with another image from the same shoot. It literally took me 10-seconds to import and apply the preset and it was ready to export. If you are working with large amounts of images per shoot, this might just be a game-changer.
By the time I had finished, I had added makeup, added lighting, and changed both hair and eye color quickly and easily. The feature that stood out for me was the advanced lighting tool.
For those who are new to working with light or those who don’t currently have a lighting system, you can add lighting effects that really enhance the image and make it pop.
Who’s it for?
Anthropics Portrait Pro is an amazing tool for those who are new to retouching portraits. It is simple, yet incredibly powerful and gives you pleasing results within seconds. However, it offers much more and encourages you to go back to the software and personalize your retouching.
For those who are more advanced photographers, it allows you to really speed up your workflow and create signature styles. The Photoshop Plugin (Studio Exclusive) means you can use Portrait Pro as part of a larger project.
For Pro’s, there is a real benefit from the batch processing options found in the Studio Max Edition. If you are shooting several images and want to send clients a selection, by using a preset (either one in-built or your own signature style), you can retouch all images with a few clicks. This saves you a lot of time and allows you to focus on your business.
If you retouch portraits, you really need to try this software out. Also, DPS has managed to get a special offer just for you.
How Do You Get Portrait Pro?
You can download your free trial at https://www.anthropics.com/portraitpro/download/
Currently there is a 50% OFF sale everything + DPS readers get an EXTRA 15% OFF when you use the coupon JW9682
I look forward to seeing what you create in the comments below.
Anthropics is a paid partner of Digital Photography School.