Plugins vs Retouch

Plugins vs Retouch

Post processing “retouching” and Photoshop in general have gotten really bad names in the past few years.

The reason for this is that Photoshop is now in the hands of many and along with that is the fact that there are many plugins and filters available for skin smoothing and fixing.

A plugin is basically an app that can be purchased, installed and then run from within Photoshop or Lightroom to create effects, or for the case of this article they can be used to smooth and even out the skin.

Giving someone access to Photoshop and a few plugins does not make them a professional retoucher in the same way that giving someone a paint brush and expensive paints and canvas will not make them an artist.

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so instead of talking the topic to death I have created two animated images to give a clear visual reference to a professional retouch versus running a skin smoothing Photoshop plugin.

Pro retouch, this is a time consuming process which can take from 30 minutes to 8 hours depending on the retoucher and the level they want to go to. In this process the skin retains it’s natural look , it’s texture & beauty, only dark spots and skin imperfections are removed.

What tools are required for this kind of retouching? Only Photoshop is required with the most basic of the tools that it comes with. 99% of retouching will be done with the healing brush, clone brush and curves adjustment layers for dodging and burning.

Pro retouch

Photoshop skin smoothing plugin, this creates that “Photoshopped” look that everyone believes is a retouched image however as you can see from the example below it leaves the image looking flat and and the skin looks extremely fake.

PS skin plugin

As you can see from the images above an image retouched correctly does not leave it looking fake or overdone.

Please stop all the Photoshop hating, it’s such a powerful tool when used correctly!


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