Automated Skin Retouching in ProSelect
Images can easily be enhanced prior to client presentation by using Photoshop actions. The computer with ProSelect must also have Adobe Photoshop CS5 or later installed.
Photoshop actions can be linked and used from within ProSelect. See the ProSelect Reference Manual section “Image Effects - Custom Effects” for information on linking Photoshop actions.
To use Photoshop actions in ProSelect, the action must be able to run without user input for specific settings. “Stops” cannot be used in the actions.
Retouching Images in ProSelect
Several software providers sell automated retouching plugins for Photoshop. Some retouching programs work as stand-alone products and others operate within Photoshop. In this example, we’ll use the “Portraiture” plugin by imagenomic.com. Imagenomic offers plugins for both Photoshop and Lightroom. You’ll need the Photoshop version.
For the plugin to work, you need to install “Portraiture” into Photoshop. Follow the directions provided by Imagenomic. Once you have the plugin installed, it will be available in Photoshop under Filters > Imagenomic > Portraiture. With an image open in Photoshop, start the plugin. If this is your first time loading the plugin, you’ll need to either start the plugin in trial mode or enter a registration key purchased from Imagenomic. The plugin offers several presets that you can apply to images. You can also create your own presets and save them within the software.
In short, with the proper settings “Portraiture” will analyze your image for skin tones, create a mask of those tonal areas and apply the retouch settings, smoothing skin and minimizing blemishes. We have a free action set “Photoshop Actions for ProSelect” available in the ProSelect Resources area at TimeExposure.com. You can find the actions here. These actions contain presets we have created.
Once you have the actions downloaded, unzip the file. The download contains multiple action sets, all designed for use in ProSelect. Double-click the “Pretouching - Portraiture Plugin.atn” file. The actions should automatically load into Photoshop. You can also manually install the actions from within the Photoshop actions panel.
Once the actions are installed in Photoshop, open ProSelect. Go to Preferences > High-Res Production > Custom Effects Actions. Click the Reload button on the right bottom dialog. This will link ProSelect to the updates action sets in Photoshop. From the Set drop-down, choose the “Pretouching - Portraiture Plugin”.Multiple actions are now listed. Note that the first action is informational only and not for use in ProSelect. Select the second through the last action and drag them to the “Preview Effects” list on the left.
In ProSelect Pro, you can load up to 100 actions and in ProSelect Basic, you can load up to five. Select the action “Pretouch” then the “Test” button. ProSelect will test the action and show you a before and after.
Actions can be applied to just the ProSelect images for the purpose of viewing or they can also be applied to the final files when using high-resolution production. To have the action apply during final production, you need to check the box for the action under the “Production Effects” tab.
If your workflow is that your will individually retouch each image in Photoshop once it is sold, do not check the “Production Effects” box. If it is checked, ProSelect's High-Res Production will then apply retouching on top of your manual retouching and likely create an undesirable result.
If you wish to carry the automated retouching through the complete ProSelect Pro production process, check the box.
Once you have completed testing, click the "Save" button to close and save your preferences.
To apply the Pretouch action to an image, select the image in ProSelect. For the purpose of selecting the correct retouch action, it’s best to duplicate the image when the action is run. Right-click (Ctrl-Click Mac) on the Custom Effects tool and click to make sure a check mark appears next to the “Always as Duplicate”. Next, apply one of the Pretouch actions to the image. To try another action, reselect your original image and run the next action. You can evaluate your images by using the left and right arrow keys to so the original and processed images. The name of the action applied shows below the file name on the information bar below the image.
Once you have determined the right action for your subject, turn off the “Always as Duplicate” toggle and select multiple images. Choosing an action with multiple images selected will process all the selected images. If you wish to remove an action, hold the Alt key while clicking the “Show as Original” tool in ProSelect's toolbar. The actions can be removed from the individual or multiple images.
Although softness is applied to the skin tones, the mask created within the plugin keeps the retouch from being applied to the eyes and mouth maintaining sharpness. In the cases of warm colored backgrounds, some softening may appear in those areas.
The Imagemonic Portraiture Plugin can be purchased at a discount from imagenomic.com by using the coupon code RNDS2007.
For more information on using Photoshop actions in ProSelect, see this webinar.