Retouching Skin Using Gimp – Gimp for Photographers
On your face, there are about 20,000 pores, and if you don’t have perfect skin, it seems like half of them turn into some for of unwanted skin irritation, a blackhead, whitehead, rosecea, dry skin, flaking skin, and probably about 1 dozen other things that I have never heard of. Nobody likes these imperfections in skin, especially on photo day. This lesson is going to show you how to remove blemishes using gimp.
I’ve seen several (and I mean several) tutorials on how to retouch skin using Gimp, but I have never once found a lesson that produced a result that I was happy with. Most of them ended up making an image by duplicating the layer, blurring it, and then masking off what they don’t want to blur. Sometimes they’ll get “fancy” and they will make use of the clone stamp to get rid of the zits first, but I have never seen someone use this method and create a genuinely good skin retouching result. Below, I gave an effort using this simple method, and as you will see, It’s not very good.
Here’s a good example of what not to do.
Doing it Right With Gimp
As always, my ultimate goal when editing any photo is acquiring absolute control of what matters. In the above example, you’re able to remove some of the blemishes and other unwanted features of the skin, but in the process you are blurring out every shadow, pore, and any other feature as well. If you could directly remove features without sacrificing other facial features, you’re good to go. That is exactly what this process does.
How it Works
In the Photoshop and Photography realm, the method I’m going to show you is often called Frequency Separation. What happens with this method is you end up with 2 layers, a “color” layer and a “texture” layer. Each of these layers do two very different, but very important things. The texture layer defines all of the edges in your photo, but lacks any color information while the color layer defines all of the color in your photo, but it lacks any edge information. Together, these two layers create an identical copy of your image, but they separate the edge data and the color data, allowing you to control what matters when it matters. With this extra control, you will be able to create a much more desirable result, like what you see below.
That’s a little better.
-Cracks knuckles…let’s get started, shall we?-
Gimp Video Tutorial – Retouching Skin Using Gimp
In this gimp video tutorial, I’m going to show you how I removed blemishes using gimp using the image shown above.
Gimp Video Tutorial on Layer Masks (I also strongly recommend getting my eBook on Layer Masks!)
Gimp Video Tutorial on Adjusting Exposure
Gimp Video Tutorial on Layer Modes
Gimp Video Tutorial for Photographers – Adjusting Eyes
All about Gimp’s Layer Groups