There are many genres within the framework of photography and one that is very popular is portraits. As such, many photographers are looking for great software that can help them make their portraits so much better. ON1 Photo RAW 2018.5 has some great tools and adjustments for portrait processing to give them a professional touch.
In ON1 Photo RAW 2018.5 you will find all the tools you need to retouch out blemishes or any imperfections that the person or model may have. You can give the skin the same hue all over to get rid of blotchiness. Finally, you can make the eyes whiter and the teeth brighter. Your subjects will love the results.
We are going to start with the basic skin retouching before heading to the Magic Eye Fixer and finally the Toothbrush.
Open the image you want to work on in the Develop Module of ON1 Photo RAW 2018.5. Here you can make the basic adjustments like correcting the exposure or the white balance. Play around with the sliders to get what you want.
You can see what was done to this image below.
No girl wants to be seen with acne on her face, so the next step is to get the Erase tool and remove as much of it as you can.
There are still blemishes on and around the chin, so now it is time to take it a step further with the skin retouching. ON1 Photo RAW 2018.5 has some great adjustments you can use to do just that.
If you are working on images of people that you know or clients, consult with them first about what they are happy with you removing from their skin. It might be good to remove scars, for example, however, if they are proud of those scars, it might upset them. Always ask.
You can do skin retouching in either the Develop or Effects modules. For this article, we will use the latter so click on Effects in the right-hand panel.
Once you are there click on Add Filter under the Overall settings.
When you click on that you will get a big list of options from which you can choose. For this tutorial, click on Skin Retouching.
You should see a new window open up that has all the adjustments for Skin Retouching. The first thing you want to do is select the eye dropper that is next to the square color patch. You will see a cross-hairs cursor so that you can make a selection on the skin.
Choose a part of the skin that is somewhere in between the darks and the lights. A mid-tone is the best option and a good place to find that is on the forehead.
Once you have your selection you are ready to retouch all the skin. You can now set the range of how much you want to do on the face. Use the Range slider at the bottom.
As you move it around you will see parts of the image that are covered in black while others are now. The black parts will not be affected, which as the lighter sections and places where it doesn’t cover it you can use the skin retouch. It doesn’t hurt to move it up a lot.
As you move the Range slider along you will see parts of the image covered in black while other areas are not. The black parts will not be affected by the retouching. However, the light sections, or the parts of the image that seems like they are not being affected, is where the skin retouching will apply to the image.
It doesn’t hurt to move the Range slider up a lot.
Add a Mask
Next, you need to add a mask. You can do that at the top of the layer window, it is the white rectangle with the black circle inside.
You will see more options appear and along with the mask. The cursor will also change and the brush will come up automatically once you have done that.
Once you have the mask, go ahead and invert it. When you do this the mask will go black. When it is black it means that nothing from that layer is affecting your image. The brush is already chosen and now it is time to work out what parts of the image you want to add the skin retouch.
Make sure you brush is set to Paint In. You can change the brush options including feathering along the top above the image. You don’t need a lot, my brush was set at 31.
Now paint over the skin you want to affect. You should see parts of the mask going white where you are painting. Avoid the eyes and the mouth.
Once you think you have done all the skin it is best to check and make sure.
Along the bottom of the window, you will see the button for a preview. Press it to see your original image. However, on the left, you will see a rectangle with a grey dot in it. If you click on it you will see the image go to solid black and white.
This shows you what your mask looks like. Pressing the letter O does the same thing if you like keyboard shortcuts. It can be hard when it is like this to really see what you have got painted and what you haven’t.
Go up the Main Menu > Masks > View Mode and finally choose Red Overlay.
The red overlay will show you where the black part of the mask is (the unaffected areas), so you can now refine your mask.
In the above image, you can see what has been selected. The areas with no red are where the skin retouching will be applied. If you have areas that should be red, change your brush to Paint Out and it will cover them.
Click the circle at the bottom to change back to the image, or press O to show it.
The skin retouching can seem very subtle, but if you toggle the layer on and off you should be able to see the changes.
Now to do some final adjustments. At the bottom of the layer you can see Blemishes, Smoothing, Shine and Evenness. Move all the sliders to the left.
Slowly move each slider up and see how they change the image. Take them all the way to the right to see how bad would be if you go too far, then bring them back to where you want.
The one you have to be really careful about is the Smoothing slider. You can make the skin look like plastic very easily. You can see what was done for this image in the following example.
The next step is to again turn the layer off and on to see the results and whether you think it has improved the image.
Magic Eye Fixer
The Magic Eye Fixer is great to help whiten the white parts of the eyes. It can make the subject’s eyes seem a lot brighter. However, this one needs to also come with a warning, it is very easy to take it too far and make the eyes look ridiculous.
To use this tool, go to the Local Adjustments tab and then select Add Layer.
In the new layer window, you will see options like Lighten, Darken, Vibrance, and Detail across the top (just below the Opacity slider). Then there is a square with a down-arrow that says More underneath. Click on it and a drop down menu will appear.
Look down the list and you will see Magic Eye Fixer. Click on that.
Once you have clicked on it you will see some of the adjustments change automatically. The brush tool will also be automatically selected. Paint over the eyes.
Obviously with the automatic changes that ON1 Photo RAW makes for the adjustments are too much. You may also find it too hard to paint exactly over the eyes. Don’t forget you can change the brush to Paint Out to deselect the areas you don’t want if you mess up.
Enlarge the image view so you can get a better look at what you are doing; make sure you are only changing the parts you want to affect. You can also press O to check the mask as well.
You can see that the adjustment is too much. Now you can change the exposure slider to make it look more natural. You can also use the Opacity slider at the top of the layers panel. That will also help you tone down how much the layer affects the image.
You can toggle the layer off and on to see if you like the effect or want to make further adjustments. Just remember not to go too far.
Healing the Skin
You could leave the image here, but there are other things you can do to make the skin look even better.
In the left-side panel, there is a brush called the Retouch Brush. This is a good one to use to help remove unwanted skin blemishes. It softens them, without removing them completely.
Paint this Retouch Brush over the areas where you would like to remove imperfections. For this image, we will use it for the bags under the eyes, the scar on the forehead and the one over the right eye. It will also work well for the acne marks on the chin.
The brush is feathered and the opacity has been changed to around 50%.
It is a great tool, but as with all things, you can go too far. Sometimes it is good to leave the image for a day or two, then go back and take another look. It gives you a better perspective.
Whitening Teeth – Toothbrush
You will find that many people like to have their teeth appear whiter in photos. We aren’t all blessed with brilliant white teeth and now you can help them achieve that. ON1 has included an adjustment that will help you do the job very easily.
So still in the Effects Module, go to Add Layer. As you did for the Magic Eye Fixer, click More and select Toothbrush this time.
You will see a new layer open up with many adjustments already made, so it is ready for you to go.
Do much the same as you did for the eyes. Click on the mask and then the brush will come up. Paint over the teeth. It may be easier to do them one at a time. If you go outside the teeth click on the brush to Paint Out and go over the areas you don’t want affected.
The teeth should be very white.
Obviously, it looks terrible like this so you will need to make further adjustments to get the right look.
You can change the opacity of the layer, or turn down the exposure slider so the effect isn’t so bright. For this image, I changed the exposure because there was something else I wanted to do.
These images are of my daughter, who has never thought looking after her teeth were worth worrying about. So, I wanted to get rid of the yellow staining. The best way to do that was to lower the saturation so the teeth appeared whiter. Move the Saturation slider to the left until you get the result you are happy with.
Now we can compare the final image by turning the layer on and off. You do that by clicking the Yellow dot in the top left corner of the layer panel you are working in.
The image could be left there, but I decided that her face and hair could do with some brightening overall. So I choose a new layer, and did a mask with her face, that included her hair. The exposure was brought up slightly and so was the White balance to make the image warmer.
Looks much better now. She even likes it as well.
ON1 Photo RAW 2018.5 has everything you need to do the most amazing portrait processing. You can give people skin that is attractive or remove unwanted hues that the camera adds. Everyone wants to look beautiful in photos and now you can help them look the way they see themselves.
The people at ON1 have created an amazing community for all their users and there are many other videos to help go to the next level. Don’t forget to check all of them out and see what else you can do with your portraits.
Disclaimer: ON1 is a paid partner of dPS.
Table of contents
- ADVANCED GUIDES
- CREATIVE TECHNIQUES
- Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018.5