Deke’s Techniques 006: Smoothing Skin Texture with an Anti-Edge Mask

This week's movie says goodbye to the text effects and hello to photography techniques. Specifically, I show you a quick method for smoothing over skin details in a portrait shot. I start by inverting a layer of High Pass to "unsharpen" the image. (Credit Katrin Eismann for suggesting this trick to me in Martini Hour 059, "In Which We Attempt 20 Photoshop Tips in One Martini Hour.") For my tastes, that results in too much smoothing. So I set the High Pass layer inside an anti-edge mask of my own design.

Here's the official description:

This week, Deke demonstrates how to retouch a stressed image in order to smooth out "bad" skin detail while controlling the effect with a specially crafted mask. If using the High Pass filter and edge masks are old hat for you, watch as Deke turns the whole concept inside-out by using a reverse high-pass effect combined with an anti-edge mask. The result is that you get controlled “unsharpening” right where you need it—a useful effect you can apply to your own overly sharp photographs. And as usual, Deke shows you the whole process in under ten minutes.

Of course, the bite-sized nature of Deke’s Techniques means that Deke’s got to work quickly on this one. So you’ll probably need a to be reasonably comfortable with the concepts of both sharpening and masking in order to follow along with this video—as in understanding both concepts to the point where applying them in reverse doesn’t make you want to turn your brain inside-out!

But never fear: For those of you in need of the three-course Deke, members always have access to the vast amount of information in Deke’s longer courses. Although we’ve designed Deke’s Techniques to quickly and efficiently share useful knowledge with experienced Photoshop users, we haven’t abandoned those of you who are just getting your bearings or who simply prefer a slower, more in-depth approach.

If you’d like to learn more from Deke about sharpening, check out Chapter 15: “Sharpening Details,” from Deke’s Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced  course. For a good background on the different uses for masks, try Chapter 26: “Masking Essentials,” from Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery. And Deke covers edge masks specifically in Chapter 12, "Specialty Masks," from his Photoshop CS3 Channels and Masks, Advanced Techniques, which Deke created for Photoshop CS3 but remains relevant today.

Join me next week for another free technique, titled "Blending Textures onto a Face." And don’t forget to let me know what you’d like to see me take on in a future installment of Deke's Techniques.

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Deke, someone grafitti'd you homepage!

There's a really cool bookmarklet for Firefox called Goggles ( that will let you doodle on webpages, and only people using the bookmarklet can see it.

It turns out that someone has completely covered your blog homepage in art! I think it is fitting, personally.

I know that the good denizens of Deketopia would never vandalize such magnificent artwork, but just in case I took a screenshot of it.

Colouring Lineart

Heyya Deke,

First, gotta say, love your work. I feel your help actually helps me improve.

I was wondering, in one of your videos in the future, could you cover the different ways to colour line art sucessfully. As a digital artist, I'm always on the move for new ways of making line art colouring more streamlined and effective. However, there seem to be so many different ways to tackle this, and I know that many would say it's down to choice, but I'd really like to see, from an experts point of view, the more (or less) effective ways of achieving this?

Much love!


iTunes or RSS

Hi team!

Is there a iTunes podcast link or a rss feed to the "deke techniques" videos?

Best regard