Vibrant Portraits

When it comes to portraits, sometimes you may have a nice picture, but there’s just something missing that will make it really special. Using only the blending modes in Pixelmator, you can give your images a more vibrant look. With a few simple steps, you can easily make the person’s skin brighter and his or her eyes pop.

Layers and the Color Balance effect are used in this tutorial.

Step 1

Open (File > Open) an image in Pixelmator.

Step 2

Duplicate the “Background Layer” (Edit > Duplicate) and rename it “Color Balance.” In the Effects Browser (View > Show Effects Browser), double-click the Color Balance thumbnail and drag the Yellow/Blue slider slightly to the left. This will give your picture a warm tone.

Step 3

Duplicate the “Background Layer” again and drag it to the top in the Layers palette. Change the Blending mode to Soft Light and reduce the Opacity to approximately 25%. Apply the Gaussian effect from the Effects Browser, and set the Radius to approximately 10.

Step 4

Duplicate the “Background Layer” once more and drag it to the top. Change the Blending mode to Overlay and reduce the Opacity to roughly 35%. Apply the Gaussian effect from the Effects Browser, and set the Radius to approximately 10, and you’re done!

Because every image is different, you might want to readjust the Layer Opacity and the Gaussian Blur settings to get the results you’re after. So feel free to experiment, and use your best judgment.

Resources

Tutorial Comments

  1. SHR3

    awesome – simple tip – will try

  2. Fausto

    I have done a similar technique with Photoshop for years only to find today that Pixelmator does the same with simplicity and panache. Wonderful!

  3. Jenna

    Love all these tutorials.

    Although I do have one question for this tutorial..

    Once you’ve already applied the Gaussian effect to the layers, how do you go back to different layers and adjust the Gaussian effect after its already been applied?

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