How To Retouch Faces in Video

Almost anyone can remove acne or wrinkles in a photo, but retouching a face video used to be a monumental task... until now. 

I've used Retouch4me software in the past and went on record saying it was officially the best set of Photoshop plugins I'd ever tested. With a single click, their software would remove blemishes, brighten eyes and teeth, remove flyaways, iron clothing, smooth backgrounds, and much more.

Last week, they reached out to me and said that they had created new plugins for video that could automatically retouch a person's face. I was highly skeptical because tracking a human face 24 times a second and keeping each frame consistent is infinitely more difficult than making a single frame look good, but I agreed to give it a try.

As you may know, I'm an Adobe Premiere user, but these plugins currently only work with DaVinci Resolve. Luckily, Resolve has a free option. I fully expected to spend the day learning how to use both Resolve and the plugins, but there wasn't much to learn. I simply dragged the "Heal" effect onto my clip, and instantly, the blemishes on my face disappeared. At 100%, the effect removed almost everything from my face, including freckles, but it did so realistically. If you want to tone it down, you can by moving a slider, but I actually thought it looked pretty good at 100%. Next, I tried the dodge and burn plugin that tones down wrinkles. At 100%, this plugin looked extremely fake, but at 20%, it looked fantastic.

As you can imagine, these plugins are extremely processor-intensive, so you can't play it back without first rendering it out. For this reason, you'd only want to add this effect as a very last step in your editing workflow. After waiting 15 minutes for my 30-second clip to render, I was shocked by just how good it looked. The only mistake I noticed was a single flickering mole on the very edge of my face, and I'm sure with a little tweaking, I could have fixed that as well.

The software isn't cheap, at around $575 for both plugins, but depending on what type of videos you shoot, this might be the best money you've ever spent. You could bill your clients extra for it, or be the only guy in town offering this option.

I'm sure this will become the norm in the coming years, but right now, I believe Retouch4me is currently dominating the automatic facial editing market for both still and video. If you shoot stills or video for a living, the time this software will save you easily justifies the price.

You can try the software 100% for free, and if you decide to buy you can save money with the code: "fstoppers20".

Lee Morris's picture

Lee Morris is a professional photographer based in Charleston SC, and is the co-owner of

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