Makeup Retouch

Talk about Pixelmator Pro, share tips & tricks, tutorials, and other resources.
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2020-04-09 10:35:08

Hello, I'm a makeup artist and I would like to learn how to create great editorial images from the pictures I take of my makeup. I'm following some youtube channels about it but every tutorial I found was about photoshop. Since I bought Pixelmator Pro, I'm trying to transpose the information I got to the app I have. One problem I can't solve is the photoshop Curves Layers, mainly to change curves in them, invert curves layers afterwards and reveal dodge and burn effects by painting on the level they're bond to. Is there an equivalent to Curves Layers in Pixelmator, either a different way to create a similar workflow? Thank you.
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2020-04-09 12:25:09

Hi Sofia, there is a Curves adjustment in Pixelmator Pro and a Curves adjustment layer in Photoshop is basically the same thing, except applied to a specific layer and then every layer below it. Generally speaking, to get a similar result in Pixelmator Pro, you'd need to duplicate the original image, apply the curves adjustment to it, then apply a mask to the upper layer and mask out the areas you don't want to be affected. But I would guess that sounds quite confusing to someone just starting out with this...

So, do you happen to have a link to a tutorial you're using? I could take a look at it and do my best to adapt the techniques to Pixelmator Pro.
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2020-04-09 13:17:50

Hi Andrius, thank you for your answer. You'd be so kind, thank you! I was looking to these tutorials in particular:
https://youtu.be/jGk-yb3bBkE
https://youtu.be/ulixFjdRvlM
https://youtu.be/lplBg2MEYpw

...and in the meantime thank you for your suggestion, I'll try it too.
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2020-04-09 14:56:11

Oof, that's quite a lot of video! But, I did promise... So, how about I start with the lip tutorial, you try my steps out and let me know how it goes?

Before you start, if you know you'll want to compare the finished image to the original, duplicate the image after opening it, rename the lower layer to Original for reference, keep it at the bottom of the layer stack, and don't edit this layer at all.

Now, for the instructions:

1. Use the Repair tool to remove any spots/blemishes/other imperfections from the image

2. Duplicate this edited layer (Edit > Duplicate) and apply the Curves adjustment: Format > Color Adjustments > Curves. Drag the midpoint of the Curves adjustment up and to the left (like in the video) so the image is bright. You can rename this layer Lighten for reference (or Dodge, if you prefer).

3. Duplicate the new Lighten/Dodge layer — the Curves adjustment will still be applied to it — and move the midpoint down, this time to darken the image. You can rename this layer Darken (or Burn, if you prefer).

4. In the Layers sidebar, Control-click the Lighten layer and choose Add Mask. Click the mask to select it (the white thumbnail will now have a blue outline).

5. Press the D key on your keyboard (to reset your default colors to black and white) and then press the Command-Backspace keyboard shortcut to fill the mask with black (hiding everything). Do the same for the Darken/Burn layer.

6. Select the Paint tool (B). In the brush collection pop-up menu, find the Basic collection and choose the Soft Basic brush.

7. Set the Opacity to between 5% and 10%. Set the brush color to pure white (to quickly do this, you can press the D key, then the X key).

8. To lighten an area, click the layer mask of your Lighten layer, then paint over the parts of the image you'd like to lighten using your brush. To darken parts of the image, click the mask of the Darken layer, then paint over the parts of the image you'd like to darken.

9. Once you've taken care of all that, create an empty new layer (Insert > Layer) and, just like in the video, press and hold the Option key to pick colors from your image and go over any areas that are patchy. You can increase the Opacity of the Paint tool to 10% or more for this.

10. To sharpen the finished image, you can select all four layers in the Layers sidebar, Control-click them and choose Group.

11. Then, with the group selected, choose Format > Color Adjustments > Sharpen and fine-tune the adjustment.

I'd love to know whether you try this out and how you get on! If you get stuck, do let me know and I'll do my best to clarify anything that might be confusing. And later on, I'll check out the other two tutorials to see the techniques used there!
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2020-04-09 15:23:47

I'm impressed, you're definitely amazing! I'll try everything and let you know, I promise. Thank you!
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2020-04-10 10:03:52

Awesome, hope it all works great!
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2020-04-14 15:25:55

by Andrius 2020-04-09 14:56:11 Oof, that's quite a lot of video! But, I did promise... So, how about I start with the lip tutorial, you try my steps out and let me know how it goes?

Before you start, if you know you'll want to compare the finished image to the original, duplicate the image after opening it, rename the lower layer to Original for reference, keep it at the bottom of the layer stack, and don't edit this layer at all.

Now, for the instructions:

1. Use the Repair tool to remove any spots/blemishes/other imperfections from the image

2. Duplicate this edited layer (Edit > Duplicate) and apply the Curves adjustment: Format > Color Adjustments > Curves. Drag the midpoint of the Curves adjustment up and to the left (like in the video) so the image is bright. You can rename this layer Lighten for reference (or Dodge, if you prefer).

3. Duplicate the new Lighten/Dodge layer — the Curves adjustment will still be applied to it — and move the midpoint down, this time to darken the image. You can rename this layer Darken (or Burn, if you prefer).

4. In the Layers sidebar, Control-click the Lighten layer and choose Add Mask. Click the mask to select it (the white thumbnail will now have a blue outline).

5. Press the D key on your keyboard (to reset your default colors to black and white) and then press the Command-Backspace keyboard shortcut to fill the mask with black (hiding everything). Do the same for the Darken/Burn layer.

6. Select the Paint tool (B). In the brush collection pop-up menu, find the Basic collection and choose the Soft Basic brush.

7. Set the Opacity to between 5% and 10%. Set the brush color to pure white (to quickly do this, you can press the D key, then the X key).

8. To lighten an area, click the layer mask of your Lighten layer, then paint over the parts of the image you'd like to lighten using your brush. To darken parts of the image, click the mask of the Darken layer, then paint over the parts of the image you'd like to darken.

9. Once you've taken care of all that, create an empty new layer (Insert > Layer) and, just like in the video, press and hold the Option key to pick colors from your image and go over any areas that are patchy. You can increase the Opacity of the Paint tool to 10% or more for this.

10. To sharpen the finished image, you can select all four layers in the Layers sidebar, Control-click them and choose Group.

11. Then, with the group selected, choose Format > Color Adjustments > Sharpen and fine-tune the adjustment.

I'd love to know whether you try this out and how you get on! If you get stuck, do let me know and I'll do my best to clarify anything that might be confusing. And later on, I'll check out the other two tutorials to see the techniques used there!
I finally did it, and it worked great!
I really thank you for your help, I'm loving Pixelmator Pro, even if I'm just at the beginning of my journey into this.
I'll try to adapt also the other tutorials to Pixelmator Pro, following your previous suggestions, and if I am in trouble I'll ask you again.
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2020-04-14 15:53:21

Yay, I'm really happy to hear that! Yeah, I think the techniques will probably be similar in the other tutorials but if you do get stuck, I'd be happy to take a look at them too, just haven't had the time today.
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2020-04-18 18:53:29

Hi Andrius, here I am with some new questions. I tried to apply the techniques you taught me to retouch skin with awesome results, after that, I pushed myself into the skin tones issue but I had to stop when the tutorial starts dealing with luminosity masks. If you have a little time to help me again I'd like to ask if you can adapt even this tutorial to Pixelmator Pro for me. That would be great also to check if I did well the first part of the tutorial, I'm not sure if I followed the right path in that, especially choosing which layer to duplicate and what and which ones to group together.
This is the link of the tutorial:
https://youtu.be/r3s_aKlFA3I
It comes after a Skin Dodge and Burn tutorial (https://youtu.be/lSeVmoEvL2E) that I actually managed to handle thanks to your suggestions, so I don't need any further help about this other one.
User avatar

2020-04-21 15:46:02

Hi Sofia, I've now had some time to take a look at this and, overall, I'd say it's quite tricky to replicate this workflow completely, however, I think you should be able to get pretty close. So, with that in mind, here's what I tried:

1. Duplicate the original photo

2. Apply the Black & White adjustment to the new layer and change the blending mode of the layer to Luminosity — using the B&W adjustment, move the Red/Green/Blue sliders and basically see what works best in terms of the photo. This step should emphasize the skin textures.

3. Duplicate the layer with the black and white adjustments and change its blending mode to Normal with an opacity of around 10% (or whatever looks best). This step should reduce the slightly increased saturation by the previous step.

4. Group all these three layers and apply any adjustments to the group for color correction — I'd suggest using either Selective Color (to make changes based on color ranges — i.e. to tone down the oranges, etc.) or Color Balance (to make color corrections based on shadows/midtones/highlights — i.e. to cool down the shadows/midtones/highlights, etc.). Because you're applying everything to the group, it works a little like an adjustment layer.

5. Now for the luminosity mask — this is a mask based on the lightness values in the image. Masks are black and white, so we basically need a black and white version of your image with adjusted brightness values based on the areas we'd like to mask. So, after making the previous changes, duplicate (Edit > Duplicate) the group twice. Control-click the topmost group and choose Merge, then apply the Black & White and Lightness adjustments to this newly merged layer. This will be the basis for your luminosity mask and you'll be using this to make changes to the highlights, like in the video. Adjust the layer using the Exposure and Contrast sliders (you can hold down the Option key to extend the range of those sliders. Any areas that are completely white will be fully affected by your future adjustments. I'd probably aim for the highlights to be close to white and I'd even experiment with making the midtones/shadows close to black (this way, they won't be affected very little or not at all). To do that, I'd move the Exposure slider to around -100% to -200% and the Contrast slider to between 100% to 200%, obviously depending on your image.

6. Once you've done that, click the middle group layer and apply a mask to it. After adding your mask, choose Format > Effects > Fill > Image. Drag the black and white layer from the Layers sidebar into the image well in the Tool Options pane (the rectangle with the flower).

7. You can now hide the topmost black and white layer you used for the luminosity mask and click to select the middle group layer (which now has you luminosity mask). Choose the Color Adjustments tool and, using the Lightness adjustments, make the highlights stand out more — when editing, make sure the group is selected and has a blue outline around it rather than the mask).

8. If you'd like to see what that group would look like with a different luminosity mask, you can make some changes to your black and white layer — for example to make more of the highlights white — then click the mask, choose the Effects tool, and drag and drop the new black and white layer into the image well as before.

I think that's enough for now and should answer how to create a luminosity mask and use it. Once again, I'd love to know whether you try this out and how it goes and, most importantly, if the results really do make skin tones look better! I tried this with a stock photo and defintely did see some results but I can't be sure whether it's exactly the result you're after.

Also, this is probably a good time to say that we're currently making some improvements to masking, which would make the luminosity mask workflow a little simpler and we're seriously considering adding adjustment layers, which would simplify things even more. But that's more of a long-term plan.

Anyway, hope that helps!
User avatar

2020-04-21 17:03:12

Hi again, and thank you so so much! I’ll try everything and let you know.
Thank you for your patience.
User avatar

2020-04-30 13:02:31

by Andrius 2020-04-21 15:46:02 Hi Sofia, I've now had some time to take a look at this and, overall, I'd say it's quite tricky to replicate this workflow completely, however, I think you should be able to get pretty close. So, with that in mind, here's what I tried:

1. Duplicate the original photo

2. Apply the Black & White adjustment to the new layer and change the blending mode of the layer to Luminosity — using the B&W adjustment, move the Red/Green/Blue sliders and basically see what works best in terms of the photo. This step should emphasize the skin textures.

3. Duplicate the layer with the black and white adjustments and change its blending mode to Normal with an opacity of around 10% (or whatever looks best). This step should reduce the slightly increased saturation by the previous step.

4. Group all these three layers and apply any adjustments to the group for color correction — I'd suggest using either Selective Color (to make changes based on color ranges — i.e. to tone down the oranges, etc.) or Color Balance (to make color corrections based on shadows/midtones/highlights — i.e. to cool down the shadows/midtones/highlights, etc.). Because you're applying everything to the group, it works a little like an adjustment layer.

5. Now for the luminosity mask — this is a mask based on the lightness values in the image. Masks are black and white, so we basically need a black and white version of your image with adjusted brightness values based on the areas we'd like to mask. So, after making the previous changes, duplicate (Edit > Duplicate) the group twice. Control-click the topmost group and choose Merge, then apply the Black & White and Lightness adjustments to this newly merged layer. This will be the basis for your luminosity mask and you'll be using this to make changes to the highlights, like in the video. Adjust the layer using the Exposure and Contrast sliders (you can hold down the Option key to extend the range of those sliders. Any areas that are completely white will be fully affected by your future adjustments. I'd probably aim for the highlights to be close to white and I'd even experiment with making the midtones/shadows close to black (this way, they won't be affected very little or not at all). To do that, I'd move the Exposure slider to around -100% to -200% and the Contrast slider to between 100% to 200%, obviously depending on your image.

6. Once you've done that, click the middle group layer and apply a mask to it. After adding your mask, choose Format > Effects > Fill > Image. Drag the black and white layer from the Layers sidebar into the image well in the Tool Options pane (the rectangle with the flower).

7. You can now hide the topmost black and white layer you used for the luminosity mask and click to select the middle group layer (which now has you luminosity mask). Choose the Color Adjustments tool and, using the Lightness adjustments, make the highlights stand out more — when editing, make sure the group is selected and has a blue outline around it rather than the mask).

8. If you'd like to see what that group would look like with a different luminosity mask, you can make some changes to your black and white layer — for example to make more of the highlights white — then click the mask, choose the Effects tool, and drag and drop the new black and white layer into the image well as before.

I think that's enough for now and should answer how to create a luminosity mask and use it. Once again, I'd love to know whether you try this out and how it goes and, most importantly, if the results really do make skin tones look better! I tried this with a stock photo and defintely did see some results but I can't be sure whether it's exactly the result you're after.

Also, this is probably a good time to say that we're currently making some improvements to masking, which would make the luminosity mask workflow a little simpler and we're seriously considering adding adjustment layers, which would simplify things even more. But that's more of a long-term plan.

Anyway, hope that helps!
Hi Andrius, very good news: I'm so excited I'm learning so much from your suggestions! Everything I tried worked perfectly. As you said, it's not exactly the same but we are very close to what I was looking for. I'll keep on experimenting and I'll ask for your help whenever I am in trouble. Thank you for your help and for your kindness.
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2020-04-30 14:21:20

You're more than welcome, hearing that everything worked is music to my ears!
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2020-05-04 12:36:21

Hi there! It seems that I can't go much further without craving for your help😏...
I have a brand new question indeed, based on one of the tutorials I’m following as usual. Would you please help me to learn how to create a photo filter in Pixelmator Pro? I’m referring to the kind of effect you can see in the video I’ll link below (between 3:18 and 5:00). I already know how to do the other things she speaks about thanks to your previous messages, so there is no need to steal your time asking you to watch the whole video.
https://youtu.be/brCU3KtZpBs
Thank you!
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2020-05-05 12:27:14

Hi again! This one is actually pretty tricky... You can get pretty close but it's quite complex and it might be a little impractical to do all these steps to get this effect in this way. Anyway, with that in mind, here's what should get you pretty close:

1. Duplicate the original layer
2. Apply the False Color effect to it (Format > Effects > Color Adjustments > False Color)
3. Set Color 1 to black and Color 2 to whatever tint you need (red, orange, yellow, etc.)
4. Duplicate the layer with the False Color effect
5. In the Layers sidebar, change the blending mode of the lower False Color layer to Hue and the opacity to 35%
6. Change the blending mode of the upper False Color layer to Color and the opacity to 45%

If you'd like to, you can then group those two tint layers and mask them to apply the effect to the skin only, rather than the entire image. And, of course, feel free to experiment with the opacity/blending/color settings to get a more pleasing look.
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2020-05-06 13:35:41

Un, no way I would have thought that one on my own. Thank you! I'll try and let you know.
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2020-05-06 15:51:06

Yeah, that's an advanced technique — I wish I had something simpler for you for this one, but since the effect is based on the real-life effect of placing a colored filter over a camera lens, to get a 100% accurate result, the only way is probably if we created the same effect ourselves. It's a bit of a niche adjustment but we can keep it in mind!
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2020-06-04 09:33:06

Hi Andrius,
Could you please advise how to remove or reduce shadows on people faces on portraits? I guess this would be interesting for many users in our community.

Kind regards,
Eduard
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2020-06-08 06:57:03

Hi Eduard, do you have any examples of tutorials where you like the outcome of shadow removal? I haven't had a chance to look at anything just yet but if you have anything you've found yourself, I'd be happy to see if I can adapt the techniques to Pixelmator Pro.
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2020-06-08 20:40:44

Hi Andrius,
I was thinking about the techniques described by a guy in these videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntIh1aFPLCM - this looks simple but I need help converting Photoshop language and tools into Pixelmator ones
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5U1ENuZIg8&t - this looks very complicated and I doubt it's possible to replicate in the Pixelmator.

Kind regards,
Eduard
User avatar

2020-06-10 13:17:54

Interesting, thanks for the links — I'll check them out and see if it's possible!