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Oaxa Koate

Pretty As A Picture/Part 2

Oaxa Koate’s Avatar Article by Oaxa Koate Blog Slixa Under Cover

The thoughtful advice and opinions of the author of this article are meant to be informative and entertaining and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Slixa.

Seriously Super Simple - I Swear.

Again, this is not going to have your photo looking like it's a cover on one of the fashion rags. This is not heavy duty photo editing and won't take you 6 hours to change one picture. These tips are a baseline for that kind of work, but this is something that may take 10 minutes maximum once you get comfortable. We're using the same stock  photo from ~evilcorgi on deviantart for this tutorial, and you can click on any of the hyperlinked "guides" at the end of each paragraph if you need to have photo references for this tutorial.

1. Work down to point #6 in PAP Pt 1. Push CTRL and J to make a new layer. Double click or right click on it and rename it Spot Healing Layer. [guide]

2. After renaming it, look up to the History window (the default placement for it is right above the layers window) and click in the small square right next to Rename Layer. This is important because you're essentially bookmarking your place and can scroll up, go back, and click on Rename Layer anytime you want, no matter how far you've gone, in case you don't like where your results are going. [guide]

3. Press J on your keyboard and look to your left. You'll see the band-aid icon is now selected. Hold your mouse and hover over it for a moment. If "Spot Healing Tool" does not pop up in the dialogue text, right click on the band-aid and find it.  [guide]

4. Go to the top of your window, click on the small arrow next to the brush size settings, and in the drop down box, adjust the settings to be: 80% hardness, 25% spacing. You can play with the size of your brush depending on what you're trying to cover, but smaller is usually better. Try not making your brush any bigger than 30px. [guide]

5. On your Spot Healing Layer, click on the portions you want to cover. Seems like magic, yes? Good!  You should have something that looks a lot different than what you started with. [example]

6. When you're satisfied everything has been changed to your desire, push CTRL and N to make a new layer. You can rename it Colors or leave it as the layer title photoshop gives it. Look to your left and see your foreground and background colors. Click once on the background layer and after your color selector has popped up, click somewhere on the skin in your photo. Then click ok and click on the foreground layer and select a pink-ish color (or whatever color you desire, honestly). I chose #c4656b for the pink color and #fbdbb6 for the skintone. [guide]

7. On your new layer, push the B key, and choose a fairly large, 0% hardness brush. Brush the pinkish color over your lips, and the skintone color over any skin showing in the photo. 

8. Find Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur, and blur it about 6px. It should look like the colors exploded on your photo, don't worry, we'll fix it up. As you can see in the [guide], it looks a little wild. Don't worry, we'll fix it.

9. Push E and choose a medium sized, 0% hardness, 100% opacity, and 45% flow brush for your eraser, and erase the Gaussian Blurred colors off the eyes, teeth, hair, clothing, or anything else that doesn't need to be covered.  We're almost done! You can do it!

10. Open the blending options for your Color layer (right click the layer, then left click Blending Options), choose Soft Light and lower the opacity to somewhere between 15 and 22%. Trust me, it makes a big difference. After pressing OK and closing the Blending Options window, you can see the differences you made by clicking the small icon of an eye next to the Color layer. [guide]

11. To finish, hold CTRL, left click on the Color layer, and left click on the Spot Healing layer. When they are both blue, right click on either of them and choose "Duplicate Layers". You'll see two new layers, both still selected blue. Push CTRL and E to merge them together. 

12. Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur this layer to 0.4px and then Soft Light blend options and 10-25% opacity set the layer to your satisfaction.

13. One of the last steps is actually optional. It's called High Pass. It will sharpen the finer parts of your photo while still leaving the nice, soft look we have right now with the skin and color adjustments. Right click on the duplicate layers you just merged together and duplicate it again. With that new layer selected, go to Filters > Other > Hi Pass, and in the dialogue box, choose between 1 and 4px. [guide]

14. Right click on your HP layer and, again, soft light it and set the opacity at about 50% (play with this to get the effect you like). [guide]

15. If you like, choose your medium, 0% hardness, 100% opacity, 45% flow brush for an eraser again, and erase everything in the photo except hair, clothing, eyelashes, etc. This part of the tutorial is really about polishing the photo to your liking so for steps 13-15, play around with settings, lighting, and blending options until you have something you really like.

Don't forget to tag it with your desired lettering or image (like point 9 of Pretty As A Picture Pt. 1)! 

I hope this helps you. Also remember, if you're an entertainer or sex worker who is trying this and you need some additional help, feel free to visit my tumblr and send me an ask or follow me and send me a fan mail. I'm always happy to assist.


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