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Easily Retouch Skin Like a Professional! Affinity Photo Tutorial

November 9, 2019


Hello and welcome to an
Affinity Revolution tutorial. My name is Ezra Anderson and today we’re going to use my favorite technique to create silky, smooth
skin in Affinity Photo. If you’d like to follow
along with the same image that I’ll be using, I’ve
included a download link in the video description. (upbeat pop music) The first thing we’re going to do to begin retouching this woman’s skin is duplicate our background layer. To do this, you can press
Command or Ctrl + J. Then, we’re going to apply a
frequency separation filter to our duplicate layer. We can do this by coming up to the top to Filters, Frequency Separation. Frequency separation separates the high and low frequency parts of your photo into two separate layers. The high frequency layer
will have all of the texture of your photo while
the low frequency layer will have all of the
colors in your picture. You can better see how this works if we zoom into this picture. Down here, you see that Affinity Photo has labeled the high
frequency side of our picture and the low frequency side. As we learned, the low
frequency has all of the color of our picture while the high frequency has all of the fine texture and detail. As we increase the radius,
the more of the texture will be included on the
high frequency layer. As I bring the radius up, you can see that all of the texture is now
on the high frequency layer and there is only color on
the low frequency layer. However, if we give our
picture a very small radius, then you can see only the finest details are included on the high frequency layer. When you’re retouching skin,
the smaller the radius you use, the smoother your skin will become. But if you use a larger radius, then your skin will look more natural as you do your retouching. The trick to skin retouching is to use just the right radius that
isn’t too big or too small. I’m going to bring this
radius back up to two pixels. With a two-pixel radius, you can see that most of our texture is on the high frequency layer but there’s still some texture
on the low frequency layer. That’s exactly what I was hoping for so now I’ll press Apply to apply our frequency separation filter. If we look over in the Layers panel, we can see that we now
have a high frequency and low frequency layer. If we turn off the high frequency layer, you’ll notice that our picture
loses all of its texture. That’s because all of the texture is now on our high frequency layer. I’m going to zoom back out by pressing Command or Ctrl + Zero. Now that we’ve separated
the high and low frequency, our next step is to blur
the low frequency layer. Remember that the low frequency layer has all of the color in our photo. So, if we were to blur
the low frequency layer, then all of the colors in the woman’s skin will become very smooth. To apply our blur, I’m going to select the low frequency layer
and then come up to the top to Filters, Blur, Gaussian Blur. You want to bring up this slider until your picture is fairly blurred. Just make sure you don’t
bring it up too high. For this picture, 20
pixels looks pretty good. Now, I’ll press Apply to
apply this Gaussian blur. We don’t want this blur being applied to the entire picture. We only want it to be
applied to the woman’s skin. So for now, I’m going
to apply a black mask to this layer so it’s completely hidden. To do this, we can down Alt or Option and then click on the mask icon. We’ve now applied a black mask to the low frequency layer so
it’s being completely hidden. We’re now going to paint over
the parts of the woman’s skin that we want to smooth. To do this, we’ll press
b for the paintbrush and then make sure that
you’re painting in white and you have a 0% hardness. We can also make our paintbrush bigger by increasing the width over here. Now, we just need to begin painting to reveal our blurred low frequency layer on the woman’s skin. I’m going to zoom in a little so you can see better what’s happening. Now, I’ll continue painting. As you’re painting, you want to make sure that you don’t get too
close to the woman’s hair or it will start blurring
the color of her hair. You can also make your
paintbrush bigger or smaller by using the bracket keys underneath the equal sign on the keyboard. Be careful not to blur
the color of any edges on the woman’s skin. For example, if I blur the
right side of her nose, then it would blur the shadow, making it so her nose
doesn’t look quite right. If I paint over it,
you’ll see what I mean. Obviously that isn’t the
effect we’re going for so I’m going to press x to
switch my paint color to black and paint back over that area. Now, I’ll press x to switch
my paint color back to white and continue painting
over the woman’s skin. At this point, the woman’s
skin is looking quite smooth. But, depending on the
effect you’re going for, it might be a little too smooth. If you want to bring back some
of the skin’s natural look, all you need to do is select
the low frequency layer and then lower its opacity by clicking and dragging on the word opacity. When you’re satisfied with how
smooth the skin is looking, our next step is to begin working on some of these bigger
blemishes on the skin. To work on them, we’re
first going to merge all of our layers into one layer. To do this, right-click
on any of the layers and then select Merge Visible. Now, we’re going to use
the inpainting brush to remove some of these larger blemishes. You can find the
inpainting brush over here and if you don’t already have it out, just click and hold on this icon and then you can select
the inpainting brush. You want to make sure your
hardness is set to 100% and you have a fairly small width. Now we just need to zoom
in and begin painting over some of these blemishes. As we paint over the blemishes, Affinity automatically removes them. By using the inpainting brush, it just takes a couple of minutes to clean up all of the
blemishes in your photo. If we want to see a before and after, all we need to do is
select all of these layers by holding down Shift and then
clicking on the last layer and turn them all off to
see the original photo and here it is with our retouched skin. You now have all of the skills you need to beautifully retouch
skin in Affinity Photo.

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