Skin softening?

Hi All,

Do y’all use PhotoLab for skin softening? If so, what’s your technique?

  • Jon
1 Like

YES.
Fine contrast with negative value.

And then
https://www.dxo.com/project/developing-your-portrait-photos-with-dxo-photo-suite-part-1/

Pascal

1 Like

I’ve had good luck with negative values for the microcontrast slider. I believe that the tutorial link you posted suggests using microcontrast rather then fine contrast.

Mark

1 Like

YES because this tutorial is expected for PhotoLab only.
But, fine contrast (FilmPack functionality) is better quality.

Pascal

2 Likes

I find the “Portrait” Preset is a good starting point

Mark, one can play with negative microcontrast and fine contrast. I find that I use more negative fine contrast than negative microcontrast when trying to soften a portrait (usually the portrait of any woman over the age of twenty one benefits from a bit of softness, hence the popularity of the Canon EF 135mm f2 among portrait photographers and models, it’s both sharp and soft at the same time).

When I found these sliders in PhotoLab I laughed out loud. All these wretches hawking glamour plugins and filters when the whole mystery is right here in these two sliders.

1 Like

Agree. Those two tools, plus the repair tool to remove blemishes, do an admirable job and is a much simpler solution than a lot of other software.

For me though, I often want to pinpoint the facial edits without impacting anything else. At those times I use local adjustments to do things like soften skin, brighten eyes, lighten ruddy complexions, brighten or darken hair, etc. While there is a micro contrast slider in local adjustments, there is currently no fine contrast slider. I would love to see one added at a future date. I also find that the blur slider in local adjustments if carefully used with a small setting of 1 or 2, and a slight reduction in sharpness can also be useful when softening skin depending on the image.

Mark

2 Likes

Hm. No way to use control points with microcontrast and fine contrast? I guess not everything came over from NX2. You could selectively apply almost anything in that software…

  • Jon

Alas, you are once again mistaken, Jon. There’s local adjustments for that. It looks like you need to read @Pieloe’s manual. Local adjustments include sharpness and microcontrast (not fine contrast).

Jon and Mark @mwsilvers

Are you sure both contrast in Local Adjustments are essential ?
By considering the DPL job, you can see that it brings to the images.
DPL isn’t the same software as NX or Lr.

Pascal

I actually never said having both microcontrast and fine contrast in local adjustments is essential. All I said was that I would love to see the inclusion of fine contrast to local adjustments at a future date. It would give all of us additional control over local adjustments, but it’s certainly not critical and I could easily live without it.

Mark

2 Likes

Hi JonSF,
Did you get this softening thing worked out? Seems as if some of the later replies were going another direction, not completely off track, but we know how it goes. I will put my 2-cents worth in if that’s Ok. Being a fairly new convert from Adobe universe, I have gotten good results using the unsharp mask and the Noise filter (gausian), depending on the circumstances. I get to play with octagenarian style photos, and those wrinkles don’t flatter them at all. I don’t want to take all of it out as that is even less realistic or flattering. DXO has two types of noise filters and an unsharp mask. Unsharp will do some good by broadening the radius, pulling the intensity down and then fiddle with the threshold. The offset won’t do much in this case but play with it and see what you find out. The plain noise filter is the one I play with most. Not Prime - which I believe only works on RAW format. If you do not want to affect the entire photo, then go to local adjustments, slap a U-point up where you want it and on the bottom row of sliders, there is Sharpen and Blur. Blur will sure as heck remove the wrinkles! How about the entire face if you want. And let’s not forget about the contrast and micro contrast on the top row of sliders. But the main thing is to do a mental assessment of the noise or grain, skin texture and play around to see what does the trick for you in whatever the job at hand calls for. Oh, and have fun at it! Cheers!

I agree. In an earlier post in this thread I said:

“I often want to pinpoint the facial edits without impacting anything else. At those times I use local adjustments to do things like soften skin, brighten eyes, lighten ruddy complexions, brighten or darken hair, etc. While there is a micro contrast slider in local adjustments, there is currently no fine contrast slider. I would love to see one added at a future date. I also find that the blur slider in local adjustments if carefully used with a small setting of 1 or 2, and a slight reduction in sharpness can also be useful when softening skin depending on the image.”

Mark

1 Like

Ahh! I did not see that sir! Sorry about that. And I thought I read them all! Oh, darn, today is not my day to do the thinking! :grin: And tomorrow is Monday so you can forget that day too! It is great to read all these things. I actually find answers for things I never thought to ask. Take care. Cheers!

You have a good day as well.

Mark