Fast High-End Retouching in Photoshop

When learning to retouch skin in Photoshop, most people start with frequency separation. Has Adobe now made skin retouching even easier with Neural Filters?

In this video, Jesús Ramirez at Photoshop Training Channel gives a great example of how to make effective use of the new neural filters within Photoshop to make high-end skin retouching even faster. This short video takes you through Ramirez' workflow, which uses the Skin Smoothing Neural Filter in Photoshop, where most of us had previously used the Gaussian Blur. This video is also a nice introduction to blending modes for newcomers to Photoshop and portrait retouching. I was impressed at the results and will likely use this technique on my portraits in the future.

Neural Filters in Photoshop are improving significantly year-on-year, and this is a great way to make use of the Skin Softening filter, which on its own is far from perfect. Even in the age of real-time face filters in social media apps and an unhealthy pressure from society to look "perfect," it's important not to overdo it when editing portraits. Using Smart Objects and layers in Photoshop are greats way to see what works and dial it back later in the process if necessary. 

Many creatives who spend a lot of time in Photoshop might consider Frequency Separation to be a fairly basic retouching technique, and there are plenty of different workflows you could use to create this same effect. As someone who has been using Photoshop since the late 90s, I often find myself doing things in a particular way simply because that's the way I've always done things. Watching quick, simple tutorials like this one really helps to give me inspiration on how to make effective use of the new features and changes within Photoshop and what I might add or change within my own workflow to make use of the advances in technology. I often think that some Neural Filter features are gimmicky at present, but the future of AI in image manipulation looks to be exciting.

Do you take advantage of Adobe Neural Filters? Do features like sky replacement and hair selection work for you? Or do you find the technology isn't quite mature enough yet to be effective for your needs?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Brad Wendes's picture

Brad Wendes is a British photographer and travel lover.
He began photographing parkour and acrobatics in 2010 and has since taken to portraiture and fitness photography.
Brad is a self-confessed geek, Star Wars fan, tech enthusiast, cat lover and recently converted Apple Fanboy.

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Do you guys also post articles?
You guys show up in my feed very often, but 99% of the time it's just simply linking to a video.
The reason I'm browsing through my feed and not through YouTube, is cause I'm not able to have my volume on at that moment.
Hope to see more articles with stuff explained in combination with pictures! (Instead of videos)

When one enables Photoshop AI neural filters, does Adobe quietly absorb your photos onto their server ?

The AI processing is done locally on your machine. I wouldn’t be surprised if Adobe didn’t do some degree of machine learning or data capture however