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Learn how to Soften Skin with Surface Blur and compare it to the Gaussian Blur Technique
Tags:Soften Skin with Surface Blur in Photoshop,gaussian blur,Photoshop tutorial,skin soften,soften skin,surface blur,yaniks photo school
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Hello everybody, Yanik here for Yanik’s Photo School, today we’re going to be looking at the skin softening technique that is not really well-known around the photography circle, most people will use a Gaussian Blur to soften the skin up and then reduce the opacity of that layer to get some details back in, but I want to show you the one that I prefer using and I’ve been using it for a couple of years now and that’s the Surface Blur. Now why a Surface Blur instead of a Gaussian Blur? You’ll see it when I show you 100% of the image but basically what the Surface Blur does is it retains edge detail, and that’s really. Really important, that something that the Gaussian Blur doesn’t do; and you’ll see I’ll show you the difference between the two filters and you’ll see it right away. Alright, the first thing we need to do is to duplicate our layer, and you do that by Control J or Command J on the Mac and the next thing we want to do and what I’m going to show you now is the Gaussian Blur, is to go into Filter, Blur, Gaussian Blur, there you go; now you get that dialogue box up here with the radius of the blur that you want. For this image, 8 is pretty good, if you move it down, you’ll see that we lose complete details, it’s really blurred, and as you go below 8 in this image, you still see some skin pores and we don’t want that, we want a nice soft skin, so around 8 pixels works well for this image, and we click OK. Now let me zoom in 100% so we can see the details here, now what do you do, you’re normally is then reduce the opacity of this layer until you get the blur effect that you want on the skin so that it’s nice and soft. Now if I look at here, the before and after, that looks pretty good. Now the difference here is that we’re losing some details, a little bit of detail in the eyes and also in the lips when it comes to not wanting blur there, so what you would actually have to do is either through a layer mask or with the eraser brush, you would have to erase that top layer to get the details back, so just faster with the eraser brush, let me just show you, I can just click here and bring back the details in the lips, so that’s the step that you need to take. With the Surface Blur you don’t necessarily have to do that because it retains edge detail, and that’s what I’ll show you right now. Now let me go back a couple of steps, let me come back here and I skipped duplicate layer that I haven’t touched yet. Now what we’re going to do now is go into Filter, Blur, and the last one on the list should be Surface Blur, we’ll click on that and you can see right away the difference between the Gaussian and the Surface Blur, you really see the edge detail here and on the ridge of the nose, with the eye using in the eyelashes here and on the side of the face, you know the Gaussian Blur was all blurred up, so you can really see the difference and it gives that bit of water painting quality to it , too which can be used for a filter effect. The radius I’m using is about 15 pixels, you can go higher or lower, you can play with it to your liking, I like the threshold of around 15, between 15 and 20, so we’ll keep it at those levels right now, click OK, I don’t know why it took that long, I think I need to restart my computer or something. Let me go to 100% again, now of course if you just leave it like that, you get a painterly effect or like a water color and that’s not what we want, we still want the skin to look realistically. So we’re going to reduce the opacity again of the top layer and in this case roughly 60% does the job pretty well. Now let’s look at before and after, now if you look at the eye or, let’s go back to the lips since we used the lips before; if you look at before and after, we did lose a little bit of detail but not as much as we did with the Surface Blur and we retained edge detail here on the edge of the lips as you look at the edge of the lips before and after we kept that edge detail even here in the nose ridge for the nostrils, oops, we kept that detail here contrary to the Gaussian Blur. And again if you want to bring back the full details of the lips or the eyes, you can always use a layer mask or an eraser brush to get that back. And that’s our tutorial for today on softening skin using a different filter called the Surface Blur, this is Yanik from Yanik’s Photo School signing out and have a great day, ba-bye.