Frequency Separation Tutorial

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2019-11-11 01:53:10

I have figured out (read: Googled) a better way to separate frequencies so that one can do skin-smoothing using Pixelmator Pro. I’ve tried it, and the results are perfect. No High Pass filter is needed, we’ll do our own homemade high pass.

The goal of this tutorial is to create two frequency layers, the high and the low. The high frequency layer contains textures and edges—things our eyes see quickly. The low frequency layer contains colors (your image set with Gaussian blur). Blended together, these two combine to become the original image perfectly, but since they are separate, one can do fine touch-up work on skin color and skin texture for next-level results.

Duplicate the layer twice.
• Select the layer and type  Command Shift D  (× 2)
OR
• Select the layer, Edit → Duplicate (× 2)

Add the Gaussian effect to the top layer. Radius set to 10.0 px.
Format → Effects → Blur → Gaussian
OR
• In Effects, select Add → Blur → Gaussian

Add the Invert effect to the same layer.
Format → Effects → Color Adjustments → Invert
OR
• In Effects, select Add → Color Adjustments → Invert

Set the top layer’s opacity to 50%.
• In Layers (View → Layers → Show Layers), type 50 into the input field
OR
• In Style (S), in the input field for Opacity (Normal) type 50

Group the top two layers.
• Hold Shift and select the top and middle layer, type Command G.
OR
• Hold Shift and select the top and middle layer, select Arrange → Group

Set the blending mode for this group to Linear Light
• In Layers (View → Layers → Show Layers), select Normal → Linear Light
OR
• In Style (S), select Opacity (Normal) → Linear Light

Boom. There’s the high-pass filter. These two top layers combine to form the high frequency layer. (Merge or don’t, either way.) Now leave this group alone. For the layer we haven’t touched, the bottom layer, let’s blur and flatten it for the low frequency layer.

Duplicate the bottom layer.
• Select the layer and type  Command Shift D
OR
• Select the layer, Edit → Duplicate

Add the Gaussian effect to the duplicate layer. Radius set to 10.0 px.
Format → Effects → Blur → Gaussian
OR
• In Effects, select Add → Blur → Gaussian

Flatten the effects. (Optional)
Format → Effects → Flatten Effects
OR
• In Effects, hold Option and select Reset Effects / Flatten Effects

That’s it. Now that I know I can do this in Pixelmator Pro, it’s a game changer regarding what I can do.
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2019-11-11 09:57:42

Awesome! Just moving this to the Pixelmator Pro Resources forum to keep things tidy...