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Give your model a 7-step digital makeover

Added on Saturday 27th of January 2007 01:04 am EST


Photoshop CS/CS2/CS3

Operating System:

Macintosh, Microsoft Windows


The well-known saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is no longer true when flipping through the pages of a magazine. Today, beauty is in the eye of the digital artist. Models are just the basis of an image, awaiting transformation on the computer. Digital artists sculpt and airbrush features to remove imperfections, making an already beautiful man or woman appear flawless. Let’s explore the Photoshop transformation of a regular photo into an advertising masterpiece.





Step 1: The photo shoot


The main image you choose to work with determines the amount of retouching that you’ll need to do on the computer. To have complete control over the final outcome of the image, our model wasn’t wearing any makeup. The photographer shot an entire roll of film, focusing mainly on close-ups of the model. She also experimented with different facial expressions, angles, and full-body shots, as shown in Figure A.



Step 2: Scan the image


If you aren’t using a digital camera, you’ll need to scan in your image. After choosing the photo you want to work with, scan it in RGB mode at 300 ppi to generate a high-quality image. Depending on what kind of scanning software you have, you should try to do a lot of your image editing in that program before opening the image in Photoshop.


Step 3: Remove the background


After scanning the image, open it in Photoshop and eliminate the background. There are different ways you can do this, such as selecting the Pen tool and tracing the outline of the model’s face or body. You can also use the Polygonal Lasso tool or a Quick Mask. Choose whichever tool you’re more familiar with. If you use the Pen tool, be sure to turn the path you create into a selection. Next, select the inverse of your current selection and press [delete]. The image should look similar to Figure B.


Tip: Still not sure which selection tool to use? If you have CS3, why not try the new Quick Selection tool! For more information on using this fantastic new tool, see the article “Make selecting a snap with CS3’s new Quick Selection tool” in this issue of Inside Photoshop.





Step 4: Apply the digital foundation


To make the skin tone consistent, create a new layer in your Layers palette. Then select the Eyedropper to...


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