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The Amazing Power of Frequency Separation Retouching in Photoshop

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I Guarantee I Can Teach You to Master Photoshop. Learn How: https://phlearn.com/aaronwillteachyou What is Frequency Separation? Frequency separation helps make retouching a portrait easier in Photoshop. Frequency separation works because it allows you to separate the texture of an image from the tone and color. When retouching you can focus on just the texture or the skin beneath it. Download our free frequency separation action here: https://phlearn.com/amazing-power-frequency-separation-retouching-photoshop It sounds quite complex but in practice it is quite simple. If you want to work with texture, choose the high frequency layer, if you want to work with skin choose the low frequency layer. Getting Started with Frequency Separation To get your image set up for frequency separation you will have to make 2 copies of your background layer. If you are not starting from the beginning, add a Stamp Visible layer over all layers by typing CTRL+ALT+OPTN+E. One of these copies will be for your low frequency (skin) and one will be for your high frequency (texture). First apply a Gaussian Blur to the lower (low frequency) layer. Choose a radius that blurs out the skin texture, but don't go too far as to make the face unrecognizable. Next choose your high frequency layer and go to Image, Apply Image. Here you will want to se the Layer: to the low frequency layer. For blending choose Subtract and for Scale:2, Offset:128. These will be your settings every time, no need to change them. Now you should have one layer with a blur (low frequency) and a layer above it that looks mostly gray (high frequency). Select the high frequency layer and change the blending mode to "Linear Light". Your image should now look identical to the image before you started the process. Correcting Underlying Color To correct the underlying color (skin) choose an area with the lasso tool. I suggest feathering the selection to make it look more realistic. Use Q for Quick Mask as a quick way to see what your selection looks like. After you have made your selection choose the low frequency (blurred) layer and apply a Gaussian Blur in the selection. Choose a radius high enough to blend the tones together. Repeat this process over different areas of the portrait to smooth the skin tones. Because the texture is on a different layer, it should stay in tact during this entire process. Correcting Texture If you need to correct texture, we recommend waiting until after you do the tone. Select the high frequency layer and choose the Clone Stamp Tool. In the Clone Stamp Tool settings be sure to hit Sample: Current Layer. This will make sure you are just using the texture and not sampling anything else. Then on your high frequency layer sample good skin texture using ALT and then paint over "bad" skin texture. This will work very well for stray hairs, acne, wrinkles and other small blemishes. Free Frequency Separation Action If you want to skip making your own frequency separation layers be sure to download our Frequency Separation Retouching Photoshop Action. It is designed for use in Photoshop CC. VISIT PHLEARN.COM FOR MORE FREE TUTORIALS https://phlearn.com SUBSCRIBE TO OUR CHANNEL FOR MORE FREE TIPS AND TRICKS http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=phlearnllc GET FREE TUTORIALS IN YOUR EMAIL + DISCOUNTS ON OUR PRO TUTORIALS! https://phlearn.com/mail BUY THE TABLET AARON USES! https://phlearn.com/tablet LET'S BE FRIENDS! Instagram ► https://www.instagram.com/phlearn/ Facebook ► https://facebook.com/phlearn Twitter ► https://twitter.com/phlearn Google+ ► https://plus.google.com/116791098059215639405 Phlearn ► https://phlearn.com ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Download the Frequency Separation Brush here: https://phlearn.com/amazing-power-frequency-separation-retouching-photoshop
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Text Comments (2084)
flybola34 (2 days ago)
Augusto Vazquez (2 days ago)
2018 and I just found this!
DD LL (3 days ago)
You choosing not to name the layers has burned my soul. OCD GANG
Bread Harrity (4 days ago)
Great tutorial but you should have named the layers. It's much easier to follow the logic when the layer is named such as Blur and Texture. It's also good practice in general. Because you even made a slight "mistake" by referring to 'Layer 0 copy' as "background..this layer here" when in if it was just labeled "Blur" layer, not only can we memorize and visualize what that layer is/does, it avoids confusion following along. Aside from that, you are great at explaining more advanced or complicated processes. So thank you for this! Much appreciated!
Catarino Sanchez (6 days ago)
this isn't working for me when its the texture layer its just grey it doesn't show texture at all
thank you
Johnta Gatson (10 days ago)
AWESOME video!!!
Jason Kovach (10 days ago)
Instant subscribe.
Ricky Dos Santos (11 days ago)
The photo he worked on looks like it already had some Photoshop work done on it. If so, I would like to know what effects he used. But maybe it is all just lighting and makeup that gave the photo that look. Either way, I want to know because I love that look. Maybe I can imitate it.
88omarz (12 days ago)
is there an updated verizon of this for the current photoshop?
WorldTravelFan (14 days ago)
Fantastic tutorial! God bless you!
Agnieszka Pajor (15 days ago)
that was awesome! got amazing results with this! thank you thank you thank you!!
Silly Sesa Surprise (18 days ago)
Great info
Diana Leventhal (18 days ago)
does this work for cc 2019?
John Grey (23 days ago)
Despite my immature thumbs comment, the tutorial was awesome. Thumbs up! (But not T-rex thumbs please!!)
Jithendra Gunuru (25 days ago)
the image which I downloaded is not opening please help me...
Shah Shohag (28 days ago)
Would you like to create another video like the same but with cc 2019, Because in CC 19 apply image section ain't work the same way.....
Smita Agarwal (1 month ago)
Aaron can you please tell me what is that pen and board, you using instead of a regular mouse,to navigate through on the laptop btw..great video. thanks.
Thenerdzzz (1 month ago)
So from the beginning everything goes wrong. I've tried this technique on 3 different images. Is there a particular file background that this technique applies to. After selecting image ->apply image -> subtract-> I end up with the blue regardless. It does "go back to normal" so what is the step that I'm missing? It's been two weeks now trying g to find the resolution.
Thenerdzzz (1 month ago)
Tammam Aloudat (1 month ago)
Thank you for this clear and precise tutorial,, very much appreciated.
Dark Djinn (1 month ago)
Noob question : Do I follow the same procedure if there other objects in my photo but I want to edit my subject 's skin? For example a person sitting on a chair inside a room.
Naresh Kumar (1 month ago)
Kenny Simbayi (1 month ago)
You just changed my life
kikolapersona (1 month ago)
This is sick. Thank you.
Jimmy Jimmy (1 month ago)
another good show
MOTTA (1 month ago)
Should I do this with the photo still in RAW? Thanks... Im a very beginner :)
Poppy Hunter (1 month ago)
Very helpful. Thank you!
Vincent Florio (1 month ago)
I have heard of this before, and even attempted it, but this is the brass tacks version I needed to understand -why- I am doing what I am doing, and also dive in with flexibility right away. Amazing for ffree content, and concise, too. THANKS!
ooo ooo (1 month ago)
Thank you brother, clean workflow.
Erin Jones (1 month ago)
Love this! SO so helpful! I downloaded the action too, but I was able to follow along from the beginning and learn how to create it. This just took so much time out of editing senior portraits! THANK YOU AARON!
Karyn Rynda (1 month ago)
Is the free action gone? I've searched the sight, and can't find it.
Karyn Rynda (1 month ago)
Thank you!
PHLEARN (1 month ago)
George Coy (1 month ago)
Watched this over and over and I am stuck using the texture layer. I applied image like you did to the blurred lay and the blurring looks fine. But when I try to use the clone stamp on the texture layer nothing happens. Don't know if they change something in PS that would cause this problem but it does not work. Can you advise
Kandice Hanley (1 month ago)
Someone help! When I do the selection and hit Q for mask, there is no blurred edges. I get an error when I try to select another area. I have followed along and tried this about 5 times. Error is No pixels are more than 50% selected. The selection edges will not be visible.
Danyetta D. Anderson (2 months ago)
Excellent tutorial. Clear. Concise.
ana thema (2 months ago)
Hi,AAron! What if the skin is covered with fishnet? Can we use frequency separation or there is another way for doing some skin softening? Thank you.
Nesha Vee (2 months ago)
it will be dark when selecting, not soft. :( can you help me pls?
Alexandra Ve (2 months ago)
Great video, very well explained . Thank you👏
Dex Slazenger (2 months ago)
Another skill learned
Lydia Huber (2 months ago)
how do i use the frequency separation download? i've downloaded it but don't know what to do with it now i.e. how to get it into my PS program to use
Kay T. (2 months ago)
In the high frequency layer, when it was created using your action, I'm not seeing the image as I see in your video when you create the hf layer. I just see the gray, highpass or something, but not the image itself.
Jennifer Hope (2 months ago)
Thank you. So straightforward and easy to follow.
MÅX M. (2 months ago)
I don’t know why. When I pass on my new MacBook the separation doesn’t works properly. I meant. When I on final step to apply (Gaussian bluer) on the skin it appear a sort of gray patina ! and not the skins correction. Ouch. Believe me I repeated a lot of time same result. On iMac no problems
Mayank Pandey (2 months ago)
6:10 for actual editing once you have set up the layers correctly.
arundev (2 months ago)
thank you so much...
Bahar Design School (2 months ago)
This is awesome ....
Chayemor (2 months ago)
That is freaking cool.
Vaisakh Bs (3 months ago)
You are the best <3
nikhilesh rajesh (3 months ago)
whats the shortcut key for mac to soften the skin
Stickapot (3 months ago)
Thank you!
Nora R (3 months ago)
when i try and change the feathering, it doesn't feather the edges, what is wrong?
Manny Manuel (3 months ago)
It is now 2018, is this still an acceptable way of doing this or is there a better/updated version technique? Thanks
Joey Varyl (3 months ago)
This was fantastic! Thank you for this
Gerald Samms (3 months ago)
Thank you for teaching me this skill :D
Daniela Argandoña (3 months ago)
Wonderful video to understand the concept! Thank you so much!!!!
trending news (3 months ago)
Who noticed the fake eyebrows
Paco Cuevas (3 months ago)
Thank you!!!!!! i really apreciete this video! Great!
christian camilo gustin (3 months ago)
this is to 8 bits ?
Rishav Gupta (3 months ago)
Please provide me the link where frequency separation can get as action item.
PHLEARN (3 months ago)
Hi Rishav, It is the second link in the description.
ArtisticMystic (3 months ago)
Don't be fooled. Nothing is FREE! The download of action requires a monthly ($9.95), annual ($99) subscription in order to get access to the supposed Free action download. Otherwise, I found the texture layer (Apply Image) works best on Soft light than Linear as he recommends. I had a grainy picture of my sons kinder graduation and was able to fix it with this technique. TY now it looks like the professional shots in magazines. (intermediate photographer-dark room trained primarily)
PHLEARN (3 months ago)
Sign up is free! If your having any trouble shoot us an email at info@phlearn.com.
ArtisticMystic (3 months ago)
+PHLEARN still getting a log in required which asks for a sign up more thly plan fee.
PHLEARN (3 months ago)
The action is free. Click on the second link in the description and you will see a download button on the tutorial page.
Artur Jeronimo (3 months ago)
Download the action, then go to 6:04, you're welcome.
Makeda Jones (4 months ago)
Zakariya Rodgers (4 months ago)
Dang this is so much simpler than what I've been doing for frequency separation. Thanks!
MalkinDirect Tube (4 months ago)
Hello, could you suggest a reason that the keyboard shortcut for gaussian blur simply applies the blur with the established settings, rather than pulling up the little preview & adjustment window as you did?
guntramizuka82 (4 months ago)
awesome! loved it!
Francisco Pinzón (4 months ago)
Thx, very helpful and well explained.
marviltron (4 months ago)
Damn. Game changing. Thanks for this!!
Paul Nelson (4 months ago)
Thank you ! You always have such great tutorials with excellent production!
smileinurhand (4 months ago)
Wonderful Explanations . Thank you Brother .
xz8 xz8 (4 months ago)
Too complicated
María Cordero (4 months ago)
How come I’m following all the steps and I get a dark layer instead of a grey one? Is there something you’re missing on?
Tuts Photoshop (4 months ago)
Thanks a lot PHLearn. It’s really amazing. I’ve been using software for a long time when doing retouching. Now, this helps.
Cayo Rodrigues Ferreira (4 months ago)
This is fantastic! Thank you for this tutorial!
Lucky Charm (5 months ago)
I’ve learned something new in 10 minutes. Now back to procrastinating.
calvinmedia (5 months ago)
I downloaded ur action but where should i put it? if i double click and follow ur tutorial and going to Apply image i cant see Frequency Separation
kkaradactyl (5 months ago)
I know you probably don't need to rename your layers for your own practice of editing, but for the viewer it would definitely help to keep things straight in our minds....or at least mine.
Damak Shine (5 months ago)
I can't get it. How can i use the action. I brushed it over the face and do not know how do i hit "blur" as a last option. Can anybody help me please.
Aranu (5 months ago)
Im finding this technique looks quite fake on hi-res photos, any tips to address that? or just be more selective when bluring and retouching?
Anil Raghavan (5 months ago)
Sweet .. thank you :)
dj aero1 (5 months ago)
I did the apply image step but instead of giving me the texture on the gray it was blank gray instead what happened!?
Siegfried3203 (5 months ago)
This is the best video on the subject. You have a very clear and precise tutorial.
Austin Onwuka (5 months ago)
thank u so much
Rami Haimov (5 months ago)
Well, I was very careful to do exactly as you said. but I get a message "no pixels are more than 50% selected" I don't understand why. aslo - the lasso tool doesn't select upon my request, it simply creates a circle of select. I'm sure I do exactly as instructed.
Alvin Remus (5 months ago)
You don’t know how thankful I am for this video. Keep up the good material, best of wishes to you!!
Greg Garfoot (6 months ago)
Thank You Brilliant
HunkyDoryNomad (6 months ago)
Thanks man... --thumbs up--
COCONUTHEAD (6 months ago)
Skin "imperfections" make the image more interesting, yes end the video there
Michael Neders (6 months ago)
I like your tutorials. On this one not sure when going to image and then clicking apply image, I do not get an option for frequency Separation in the source folder but it lists the image itself. Can you explain how to change this?
Calm Ore Ion Aswan (6 months ago)
made me clap and say: "Amazing!"
Amanda Portner (6 months ago)
YES! Thank you so much!! This changes everything :)
Safehouse Photography (6 months ago)
waaaaaoooooooooooh nice
Krist Kk (6 months ago)
Thanks a lot ... really your channel helped me to finish my assignments
Digital Ash TCG (6 months ago)
*Ray Romano?! Is that you???*
Digital Ash TCG (6 months ago)
haha :D I'm just kiddin'. Great tutorial! Ty!
awandererTJ (7 months ago)
Another great way to make an undead plastic doll look out of a living person's face. Why not photograph Barbie instead in the first place?
Dary Sol (7 months ago)
best ever!!!!
Rachel A Sale (7 months ago)
You're amazing!!
Rachel A Sale (7 months ago)
One thing I noticed working your steps: I get a pop up dialog box saying "Warning: No pixels are more than 50% selected. The selected edges will not be visible"... even though I have a rather large area selected. Seems it doesn't work for smaller blotchy areas and just larger ones. Work around??
pedalandypedal (7 months ago)
you da man
Yen Nhi (7 months ago)
Just letting you know, I love you
Anthony Liu (7 months ago)
So blemishes and acnes are not part of the high frequency texture then? My understanding is if you blur the lower frequencies with Gaussian, you remove the blemishes while remain other finer higher frequency details
Dino (7 months ago)
this guy talks to much
Sally Bangoura (7 months ago)
it helped a lot, thank you

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