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I bought your Portrait Professional Studio 32. Great program.

a couple of questions: Glasses, esp dark glasses. I assume that I select about where their eyes should be. Then later deselect eye control.

A child had a very large spot (scrape actually) on her face. I tried to brush it out, but I had to resort to PS spot healing. In that case which is a spot not acne nor age, is photoshop my go to tool?

I had some trouble with glare or blown out skin, any suggestions?

A suggestion. When using it as a plugin, it says "close and return" that bothered me until I read more. perhaps "save and return to PS" might be better.

Thanks in advance.
Here are the answers:

With dark glasses, you are right, put the points where you think the eyes should be.

PP can deal with spots up to a certain size. To get the best result possible, use the touch-up brush very precisely over the spot i.e. using a small brush to exactly cover the spot. You will get worse results if you use a large brush over the general area.

The touchup brush also handles glare quite well. In addition there are some sliders in the skin lighting section that might help too.

We are thinking of renaming that menu option. However calling it "save and return" also caused confusion as people thought it would save their file, which it doesn't. It just saves the changes into Photoshop's memory.

Tony
Oops. One more question... Noise. I run noise reduction first. I do your program very close to the end. A couple of times I found excessive noise when brightening teeth. It could be my test images were too low a resolution.

Am I doing it right?
Noise reduction is always best done first, this is because most (good) noise reduction algorithms try and model what is going on in the camera. If you've done anything to the image first, (which includes JPG conversion), this can confuse them a little.

The reason you can see noise after teeth brightening is that whenever you increase the exposure of an area, that will also boost any noise that is in the area (effectively you're increasing the ISO in a specific area when you brighten it). Ideally, shoot at a much lower ISO, with a tripod and/or more light. If all else fails, and you want to do brightening teeth do more noise reduction than you otherwise would to compensate for boosting the noise in the teeth. Or a very light touchup brush in the teeth can also smooth out a bit of noise too.

Resolution is a different thing from noise, and is kind of independent. You might as well work with the images at the resolution they come out of your camera, rather than making them smaller first.

Let me know if you have any more questions,

Tony
Thanks. Makes sense.

Keep up the good work.
I purchased PPS 10 and have a probably stupid question. When I use the brush to adjust the blue skin area, I can choose the brush size and the detector size. What is the significance of the detector size??

I would expect 3 choices in a brush:
- size
- intensity
- amount of feathering,

but detector size?
Not a stupid question! The brush is a 'smart' brush which aims to speed up selecting skin. You can see when you use the brush, it is made up of two circles. The inner circle is the detector, this area is used to select colors you want to select. The outer area is where the selection goes up to, so to use it you just have to make sure the inner, smaller, circle remains on skin, and any skin in the outer circle will be selected. This means you can brush areas quite quickly and let the brush be accurate for you. The detector size is how big the detector is. A smaller detector is for when a larger detector would go over areas of non skin for instance very small patches of skin.

Top Tip: Hold down the ALT key and you can move the brush separately from the detector. This is great when selecting skin that is mainly obscured by something like hair for example (i.e. there isn't a large enough bit of skin to put the detector on).

Tony
Detector Size:

Thanks for your quick answer. This is still not very clear to me, also not sure if this new feature is really useful, but I'll do some more experimenting. The questions which remain are:

- How do I select the brush intensity/strength?
- How do I select the amount of feathering?
Sorry, I could have read on this earlier in the manual. There is no mentioning there of any brush adjustment for strength or feathering, so I conclude that no such adjustment options exist..

The detector size idea inherently seems like a good one, but I found it not very practical. Skin areas bordering to a background of similar color are those mostly missed by the automatic skin finder. I found that in exactly these same situations, the automatic detection with the brush brush detector will also have problems.

Question: As there is no strength adjustment, is anything at all happening if move the skin brush several times over the same blue area??

Thanks for the hint with the Alt-key. And a compliment also for the manual, which I think is really well done.
There is no intensity slider for skin as the selected area defines normal skin. If you want to touchup some area more then use the touch-up brush. If you want to reveal an area, use the restore brush. Both of these have opacity sliders. In areas where there is not a strong difference between skin and not skin, then this is a tough problem, however here are some tips:

+ Use a smaller brush and be accurate.
+ Get close to the edge of the skin with the extend brush, then feather the result in with a low opacity touch-up brush.

N.B. The two pairs of brushes: touchup/restore and extend/cut back both work on the same mask. The extend brush extends the skin area at it's default amount (which is set by the sliders and corresponds to 'normal' skin). The touch-up brush pushes up the skin slider values to maximum in the brushed area. The cutback/restore brushes both do a similar thing, but restore is feathered and is can be used for gently revealing original skin, while cutback is for removing larger areas that the automatic skin finder has mistakenly identified as skin.

Tony