Celeb Airbrush in Photoshop

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February 9, 2008 | Thoughts from the team, Tutorials

STEP 1

The first thing to do is to locate yourself a photo that is in need of an airbrush. I have selected this – less than amazing – picture of Cameron Diaz.
The technique will work particularly well here because she has a good portion of her face showing to the camera.

You will likely want to duplicate the photo layer so that you can switch between them for a before/after effect.

Airbrush 1


STEP 2

What we need to do now that we have found our picture, is to select the targets face. There are a number of methods, but by far the easier is by using the quick mask tool.

Switch to Quick Mask mode, then select the brush tool and set the brush to a suitable size for your image (mine was 35px – 45px). Make sure the brush is set to soft (aprox 20% Hardness).

Airbrush 2


STEP 3

With your brush – paint in the face. It should appear as if you are painting in semi-transparent red. And should look similar to this (i’m only half way through in this image)


STEP 4

Exit the Quick Mask tool by pressing Q, or by selecting the normal mode from the left hand tool panel. You should be left with the face selected.

Airbrush 4


STEP 5

Quickly inverse the selection to grab the face: Selections > Inverse.
Now that we have selected Cameron’s face, we need to feather the selectionto give a gradual transition from normal to airbrushed face.
To do this we’re going to use: Select > Modify > Feather (Just Select > Feather in older versions of Photoshop) and set the feather to about 12px. (This may vary depending on image size)


STEP 6

To achieve the airbrush effect we are going to blur the selection using Filter > Blur > Guassian Blur | 3px radius.

This leaves the image looking a little too smooth, so to add some texture back in use Filter > Noise > Add Noise | 2.5%, Uniformed, Monochromatic.


STEP 7

Just to finish up my airbrush make over i have used the sponge tool to saturate the lips slightly and then the burn tool to bring out some of the colors in the hair and eyes.

Airbrush 7

Here is a side-by-side before and after!

Airbrush 8

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