How to Use Frequency Separation to get Natural-Looking Skin

In this episode I will show you how to use frequency separation to make the skin look great! The workflow is as follow:

1. Duplicate your basic layer two times, then name the top layer “Details” and the next “Blur”.

2. On the “Blur” layer, apply a Gaussian blur, strong enough that you lose the pores, but just enough so that you still have detail, depending of the resolution of the photo I advise you to use between 15 to 20 radius.

3. On the “Details” layer, go to Image then Apply Image and use the blending mode Subtract and make sure Scale is at 2 and Offset at 128.

4. Put these 2 layers into a group called “Frequency Separation”.

5. Select the “Blur” layer and start selecting large sections of the skin and blur it even more using Gaussian blur, try values between 15 to 25, this will make the skin more even in terms of color.

6. On the “Details” layer, use the Spot Healing Brush tool or the Patch tool to clean up the skin. TIP: When using the Patch tool, make sure you use the Fade option (Edit menu then Fade) and use values between 20% to 40% to make the retouch more real.

7. Apply other techniques to brighten the eyes or to Dodge and Burn and finalize the portrait.

Voila!