I’ve been helping a little with the development of Athentech’s new image perfection software-Perfectly Clear Complete version 3. The team has created a really useful plug-in for Photoshop and Lightroom that enhances proofs and really adds finishing touches to selects. I decided to work with one of my favorite models, Vanessa Guilemette, to show some PCCv3 magic.
Clean face & clean face with Beautify +
The left-hand photo is of Vanessa with her face freshly washed and her hair straight from the shower. She is lit with a beauty dish about two feet away on her left and a white foam core reflector on her right. It’s a very simple setup.
On the right is the same picture after applying the Beautify+ preset in Perfectly Clear Complete 3.
Add makeup and hair to the comparison
Regular Photofocus readers know how much I believe in having great makeup and hair. Thanks to Whitney Wilborn for Vanessa’s makeup and hair style. As you will see in the left hand “before” photo, the work of artists like Whitney really make a difference. First, a short (17 seconds) video of Whitney working with Vanessa.
Above, the difference professional makeup and hair styling on the left and the same photo with Perfectly Clear Complete 3 and its Beautify+ preset. I use this preset to enhance proofs that are built into websites in Lightroom for clients to make their selects. Notice that Beautify+ automatically brightens Vanessa’s eyes, removes a slight dark circle and lowers the contrast in the shadows right out of the box with no modifications on my part.
Retouch in Photoshop then go to PCC3
While PCC3 does a great job by itself, it’s even better when the final select is first finished in Photoshop. This photograph of Vanessa had lines and blemished removed, her teeth whitened and her jawline smoothed. With that work complete, I duplicated all of the visible layers onto a new one. Do this by
Do this by right-clicking, hold down the Option (Win: Alt) key then selecting Merge Visible. This command is available both in the Layer menu and the flyout menu in the Layers panel. In Perfectly Clear Complete 3, the left sidebar shows the Presets. Inside is a listing of all of the Perfectly Clear presets. Choose Perfect Skin then click Supermodel Skin. The right sidebar contains all of the controls that make up the preset. They are all adjustable. I find that the defaults work really well. Click Apply.
Side-by-side-by-side are the three versions of the select. The retouched version is a realistic rendition of Vanessa minus distractions. The Supermodel Skin version shows much smoother skin. One of the features of PCC3 is the face detection. Check out her hair in all three examples. While her skin is smoothed her hair is not. I didn’t do any masking on the Perfectly Clear versions. The plug-in can differential skin from hair. I love-love the Light Diffusion! Take a look at the far right version… (be sure to click to see a larger file and explore details).
About that asterisk *
On a copy of the Supermodel Skin layer that I rename Light Diffusion; I go to Filters > Athentech > Perfectly Clear Complete 3… In the Presets in the left sidebar, I click Perfect Skin then choose Supermodel Skin. I move to the left sidebar and uncheck every setting in Supermodel Skin but Light Diffusion. I boost that to 100% then move the Strength slider to 200%. I click apply. Here’s the secret sauce. Change the blending mode for Light Diffusion to Linear Dodge (add). The result is horrid. Change the opacity of the layer to 15%. Gorgeous! Of course, experiment with the amount of opacity. It will vary according to your taste and subject. There’s lots more to explore in Perfectly Clear Complete 3. Have fun! I do.