Download a free retouching action for Adobe Photoshop to help you smooth skin and conceal blemishes in your portrait photos. This action was created by site reader "Lonely Walker" and contributed for anyone to download and use.
This action works with Adobe Photoshop 5 and up, either in Windows or in Mac OS. However, in Photoshop CS2 and later, using the Spot Healing tool is a better method for smoothing skin and concealing blemishes.
Installing the Action
- Unzip the file you downloaded and make note of where you saved it on your computer.
- Open Photoshop.
- In the Actions palette, choose command "Load Actions."
- Select file "Smooth Skin and Blemishes.atn" from where you saved it on your computer
- A new folder, "Smooth Skin and Blemishes", appears in the Actions palette.
- Open two folders, "Default Actions" and "Smooth Skin and Blemishes."
- Drag the acton file "Smooth Skin and Blemishes" from the "Smooth Skin and Blemishes" folder into the "Default Actions" folder
- Delete the empty "Smooth Skin and Blemishes" folder.
- Shortcut for the Action is F5.
About Lonely Walker: I am working at a printing plant as a pre-press specialist. At the same time, I am a freelance sports photographer, working as a stringer for the Estonian newspapers. Graduated from the New York Institute of Photography in 2004. For the last couple of decades, I have worked as a graphic designer with the biggest daily newspapers of Estonia.
- Open the picture and hit F5. The action prepares the picture for retouching - sets the Gaussian Blur value to 1.0, adds the new snapshot, selects the healing brush and creates a new layer.
- Make your retouching with the already selected History Brush. Try not to touch the areas that have to retain it's sharpness (eyes, hair, etc.). Choose a soft brush and paint on the new layer. You will be applying paint from the blurred snapshot source image. You can toggle the layer visibility on and off by clicking the eye in the layers palette. This will let you compare your touch-ups to the original as you work.
- When happy with your result, hit Ctrl+E (merge layers command).