PI7 Make Your Own Glamour Shot

PI7 makes it relatively easy to take years, lines and wrinkles off in your photos to create your own "glamour shots." The new Beautify Skin effect is a fantastic way to even out skin tones and erase lines and wrinkles.

  Before  After

At the end of this tutorial, I'll show you how to use the Remove Scratch and Blur Retouch tools to get similarly attractive results for older, more lined and wrinkled skin.  To work along with me using the Beautify Skin effect, right click and save this image, then open it up in the PI7 work space.

Choose Effect, Camera Lens, Beautify Skin. When the Beautify Skin dialog box opens, make sure you're on the Dual View tab.

beautify skin dialog box

Click the 1:1 button to view at actual size. The original is on the left side, and as you edit the image, changes show up on the right side. This effect softens and improves skin tone. Select the Eyedropper tool and click in the image on the left to select a Skin tone color. This color will be averaged out over the entire image. Change the Level, or strength of the effect, by using the Level slider on the left side. On the right side is the Complexion Style dropdown list. In reality, I've found most of these Complexion styles are too extreme for the average caucasian complexion, but do experiment with them. When a Complexion Style is selected from the dropdown list, you can edit its level with the slider below it.

Try select different areas of the skin on the left side. I usually aim for a lighter skin tone, such as the highlight on a cheek or nose (where you see the arrow on the screen shot above), as this seems to give me the best results. Keep in mind, though, that every photo will require that you find the best Skin tone color on your own. Keep an eye on the right side, which show edits resulting from the selected Skin tone color and Level. Some Skin tone colors will start to "bleach out" parts of the face around the eyes or mouth, or completely obliterate facial detail. For example, here I've used the same Skin tone color but a Level value of 6 is way too high. Note the white areas on the lips (arrow) and how the face begins to look too smooth, like plastic.

don't adjust Skin tone level too high

By using the exact same Skin tone color and a Level value of 2, the photo looks a whole lot better. By evening out the skin tones and softening them, many of the wrinkles in the woman's face disappear or diminish. I had one more thing I wanted to fix on this image. There is an ugly orange cast on the bridge of the woman's nose and on her right side temple. I used the Airbrush, Size=25, Transparency=75, with skin color paint (RGB=228, 166, 139) to spray lightly over those orange areas, making them looking less orange.

airbrush over orange skin tones

Pretty amazing, isn't it? I don't think the glamourizing Beautify Skin effect looks too artificial either. She just looks like a younger, smoother version of herself. And lest you think that nice skin is only for women, check out the before and after shots of the guy below. Look how most of his enlarged pores and blemishes disappeared.

Before  After

For elderly men and women whose skin is very wrinkled, the Beautify Skin effect Level has to be so high to make a difference that facial detail gets wiped out. But you can still do a glamour shot by using (mainly) two of the Retouch tools, Remove Scratch and Blur. You can see the Before and After shots below.



To follow along, you can use this photo by right clicking and saving it, then opening it up in PI7. There's a couple of things to remember when you're editing a photo of an older person.  One is that you don't want to overdo getting rid of wrinkles. You just want this photo to look like a younger and more attractive version of the person, not like a 25 year old or a plastic mask. So use moderation when editing with Retouch tools. Rarely will you use a Preset full strength, because the effects are generally too strong.

Select the Remove Scratch Retouch tool. In the Attributes toolbar, select the Remove Scratch 1 preset. he main place wrinkles show up are around the mouth, eyes, forehead and neck. Let's start with the mouth. Click (don't drag) on each side of the mouth, just at the outside corners. Watch those wrinkles disappear.

click to remove wrinkles

In the Attributes toolbar, edit the Level value to 75 and click 2 or 3 times along the vertical furrow going from the sides of the nose down to the mouth. You will still be able to see the line, but it won't look so deep.

click along furrow

Click under the eyes to soften those wrinkles and eye bags. Be careful not to wipe out eye detail. You can edit the Size of your brush if you need to. If you set your cursor shape to Precise Shape in Preferences (F6), you'll be better able to see what you're doing.

remove eye bags

She looks a little less tired now. Next we need to edit the horizontal wrinkles just under her nose. In the Attributes toolbar, select the Remove Scratch 2 preset. Click a couple times along those lines. Be careful not to click on her nose, just underneath it.

remove scratch under nose

Switch back to the Remove Scratch 1 preset. Click on the lines on her forehead (use a light hand), on the wrinkles on the right side below the corner of her mouth, and on her neck. Remember, don't make it too smooth, just soften a bit. Switch to the Remove Scratch 2 preset and carefully get rid of the little lines just under her eyebrows, next to the sides of her nose. See how it seems to open up her eyes?

click carefully under eyebrows

Around the bottom of her bottom lip are many fine lines that make the shape of her bottom lip indistinct. To fix that, smooth lightly around the bottom of the lip with the Remove Scratch 2 preset, then select the Eyedropper tool. Click in the bottom lip to select the lip color as the current Foreground color. Select the Paintbrush, Size=2, Transparency=90, Soft edge=5. Carefully paint in the bottom lip line, so it's smooth.

paint in lower lipline

To smooth out some of the red spots on her nose and under her eyes, select the Blur Retouch tool, Slight Blur preset. Dot (don't drag) to smooth those spots. One thing that makes people look younger is whiter teeth. Select the Dodge Retouch tool, Thin Spot preset. Go over the teeth to make them brighter.

You can add a little more cheek color by selecting the Airbrush tool, Size=50, Transparency=80, Soft edge=50. Here's one of my favorite tricks for photo editing. Click Mode in the Attributes toolbar to enter Paint as Object mode. Spray some red color (RGB=255, 51, 51) on her cheeks, very lightly. Click Mode to exit Paint as Object mode. You probably won't see an animated broken line, but the airbrushed cheek color is an active image object. Select the Object Paint eraser and erase any color extending over the side of her cheeks, onto the white background.

erase cheek color out of white areas

If the cheek color looks a little dark to you, right click and choose Properties. When the Object Properties dialog box opens, from the General tab edit the Transparency between 25 and 50, depending on how much cheek color you want in the photo.

Finally, you can use the Burn Retouch tool to add some zip to the photo. Select the Thin Burn preset to darken the pupils of her eyes. This will help to make them sparkle more. Select the Wide Burn preset and click Mode to enter Paint as Object mode. Darken the area under her chin and burn lightly along the sides of her cheeks to add some contouring. Click Mode to exit Paint as Object Mode. Use the Object Paint Eraser to erase the Wide Burn parts that extend into the white background areas.

Now you're done, so go forth and glamorize!

This tutorial uploaded 3/08/02

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