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Retouching Hair in Photoshop | Pixel Perfection: Creating & Editing Pictures with Photoshop - Class 6 PDF Download

Introduction

Retouching hair in Photoshop is a common task in portrait editing that requires precision and attention to detail. Whether you want to fix flyaway hair, enhance hair density, or add glamorous highlights, Photoshop provides a range of tools and techniques to achieve stunning results. In this article, we will explore the best practices for retouching hair in Photoshop and discuss various methods for different hair editing tasks.

The Best Way to Select Hair

  • One of the most crucial steps in retouching hair is selecting the hair itself. A precise and accurate selection ensures that any edits or adjustments made are applied only to the hair and not to the surrounding areas.
  • The best way to select hair in Photoshop is by using the combination of the Quick Selection Tool and Refine Edge or Select and Mask feature. Start by using the Quick Selection Tool to make a rough selection of the hair. Then, refine the selection using the Refine Edge or Select and Mask feature, which allows you to fine-tune the selection and capture intricate hair details.
  • Adjust the settings in Refine Edge or Select and Mask, such as Smooth, Feather, and Contrast, to achieve a clean and natural-looking selection.

3 Steps to Remove and Fix Flyaway Hair or Stray Hair

Flyaway or stray hair can be distracting in portraits. Removing and fixing them in Photoshop can significantly improve the overall appearance of the hair.

  • Step 1: Zoom in and select the Clone Stamp Tool. Adjust the brush size to match the thickness of the hair strands.
  • Step 2: Option/Alt-click on an area of hair that is similar in texture and color to the flyaway hair. This defines the source for the Clone Stamp Tool.
  • Step 3: Carefully paint over the flyaway or stray hair using the Clone Stamp Tool, blending it with the surrounding hair strands. Use short and light strokes to mimic the natural flow and direction of the hair.

The Most Natural Way to Trim Extra Hair

Sometimes, you may need to trim excess hair to achieve a more polished look. However, it's essential to do this in a way that appears natural and seamless.

  • Step 1: Select the Rectangular Marquee Tool and draw a selection around the area you want to trim.
  • Step 2: Click on the Add Layer Mask button to create a layer mask based on the selection.
  • Step 3: Use a soft brush with a low opacity to paint over the areas you want to remove. This will gradually blend the extra hair into the background, creating a natural trim.

How to Fill Hair Gaps and Increase Hair Density

To fill hair gaps or increase hair density in Photoshop, you can utilize the Clone Stamp Tool or the Healing Brush Tool.

  • Step 1: Zoom in and select the Clone Stamp Tool or Healing Brush Tool.
  • Step 2: Identify areas with similar texture and color to the gaps or sparse areas in the hair.
  • Step 3: Option/Alt-click on the source area, then carefully paint over the gaps or sparse areas to fill them in. Adjust the brush size and opacity as needed to achieve a seamless result.

Magic Tool to Extend Hair Automatically

Photoshop also offers a magical tool called "Content-Aware Fill" that can help extend hair automatically.

  • Step 1: Select the area where you want to extend the hair using any selection tool.
  • Step 2: Go to Edit > Content-Aware Fill.
  • Step 3: Adjust the settings in the Content-Aware Fill dialog box, such as Source, Color Adaptation, and Scale, to get the desired hair extension. Click OK to apply the changes.

Adding Glamorous Hair Highlights

To add glamorous highlights to hair in Photoshop, you can use a combination of adjustment layers, such as Curves or Levels, and layer blending modes like Screen or Overlay.

  • Step 1: Create a new adjustment layer, such as Curves or Levels.
  • Step 2: Adjust the curves or levels to enhance the highlights in the hair.
  • Step 3: Change the blending mode of the adjustment layer to Screen or Overlay to blend the highlights naturally with the hair.

How to Add Shine and Dimension to Hair

To add shine and dimension to hair in Photoshop, you can utilize a combination of Dodge and Burn tools, adjustment layers, and layer blending modes.

  • Step 1: Create a new layer and set the blending mode to Overlay.
  • Step 2: Select the Dodge Tool and set the Range to Highlights. Paint over the areas of hair that you want to add shine to.
  • Step 3: Select the Burn Tool and set the Range to Shadows. Paint over the areas of hair that you want to add dimension to.
  • Step 4: Adjust the opacity of the Dodge and Burn layers as needed to achieve a natural-looking result.

In conclusion, retouching hair in Photoshop requires a combination of selection techniques, cloning and healing tools, adjustment layers, and blending modes. By following the best practices and utilizing these tools effectively, you can achieve professional and natural-looking hair retouching results in your portraits. Experiment with different techniques and find the methods that work best for your specific retouching goals.

The document Retouching Hair in Photoshop | Pixel Perfection: Creating & Editing Pictures with Photoshop - Class 6 is a part of the Class 6 Course Pixel Perfection: Creating & Editing Pictures with Photoshop.
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