How To Airbrush Photos in Photoshop

Photoshop makes it easy for us to edit photos to improve a person’s facial features. The following is a simple guide on how to accomplish this task.

1. Launch Adobe Photoshop and pull up the image you want to airbrush.

If possible, the photo should be of good resolution. 

2. Generate a duplicate layer of the photo. 

On your keyboard, press “CTRL” and “J” simultaneously to create a duplicate of the photo. Next, press “CTRL” and “G” to put the duplicate into a layer group. Rename this duplicate layer as “Airbrush” to make it easier for you to distinguish what layer it is.  Press “CTRL” and “J” to create another layer and name it “Blur”.

3. Use the “Blemish Removal” technique.

Make sure to click on the airbrush layer then begin eliminating any imperfection or flaw on the picture by using the “Clone Stamp”. The clone stamp, as the name implies, duplicates a part of the pattern. This is accomplished by pressing the “Alt” key on your keyboard and using your mouse, selecting a part of your photo. When you do this, the clone stamp will enable you to make use of that pattern so that you can cover unwanted spots on the photo with that part. Be sure to use the clone stamp only on small areas to ensure that the concealing you did is effective enough.

You can also employ the use of the “Spot Healing Tool” aside from the “Clone Stamp” in concealing the blemishes on the photo.

3. Use “Color Picker” tool to smoothen some of the lines showing up on the photo.

These lines are usually laugh lines, wrinkles on the forehead or lines found under the eyes. Choose a paler color next to the area you’re about to smoothen. Lightly airbrush over those lines to disguise them.

4. Blur the photo to create the impression of smooth photo texture.

Make sure to click on the blur layer and then proceed utilizing the filter called “Gaussian blur” to accomplish this task. Another blur you can use is the “Surface Blur” which does the exact same thing as the Gaussian blur except that it preserves the edge features of the part that you’re blurring.

5. Add the “Noise” filter to blend the layers and ensure that the photo doesn’t give off the feeling of a “shopped” photo.

Put a number next to the Amount percentage for the noise Photoshop will put on this layer. And then under “Distribution” make sure to select the radio button next to “Uniform” and then place a check mark next to “Monochromatic”.

6. Merge the layers.

Hit “Image” followed by “Apply Image”. Select “temp.psd” next to Source, “Merged” next to Layer, “Red” next to Channel, “Multiply” next to Blending and input “100” on the box beside the Opacity percentage. After configuring these settings above, press the “OK” button and you’re done airbrushing the photo.

Play with the layers and settings yourself and see what fits the most with the photo you’re editing. Be innovative and do not be afraid to experiment with Photoshop.


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