A custom skin texture will help you bring back some of the skin texture details that you may have lost through retouching or the lighting in the portrait.
We will use a non-destructive technique that will give you a lot of flexibility. You will be able to edit and fine-tune your skin texture to achieve a seamless transition between the original skin and your custom-made skin texture.
Photoshop’s Texturizer Filter
For this skin texture tutorial, we will use Photoshop’s Texturizer filter, which allows you to place a texture over a photo, and control the lighting direction.
In some cases, you may want to create a texture from scratch which you could load from the Filter’s fly out menu. But in this case, we will use a preset to achieve the skin texture effect.
I hope this Photoshop skin texture tutorial helps!
How To Create a Skin Texture in Photoshop
Time needed: 3 minutes.
Follow the steps below to create a highly realistic skin texture in Photoshop.
- Create a New Layer and Call It “Skin Texture”
From the Layer’s panel, click on the New Layer icon. Then double-click on the layer name and rename it to “Skin Texture.
- Fill the “Skin Texture” Layer With 50% Gray.
With the “Skin Texture” layer selected, go to the Edit menu, and select Fill.
From the Contents drop-down select “50% Gray” and press OK.
- Convert The Skin Texture Layer Into a Smart Object.
Right-click on the Skin Texture layer and select “Convert Into Smart Object.”
A Smart Object is a container that holds one or more layers, and it allows you to make non-destructive edits.
- Apply The Texturizer Filter
From the Filter menu, select Texturizer. This filter allows you to apply custom or preset textures. For this image we will use a preset, however, in some cases, you may need to use a custom texture.
Select “Sandstone” from Texture drop-down. Then use the Scaling and Relief sliders to control the size and intensity of the texture. Use settings that best match the skin of your image.
From the Lighting drop-down, select the direction of the light that matches your portrait.
Then press OK.
- Set the Skin Texture Layer’s Blending Mode to Either Overlay or Soft Light
Select the “Skin Texture” Layer and from the Blending Modes drop-down, select either Overlay or Soft Light.
These Blending Modes make 50% gray invisible and only show the highlights and shadows created by the filter.
- Create an Inverted Layer Mask
The effect is both too strong and over the entire image. To hide the contents of the Layer, hold Alt (Mac: Option) and click on the Layer Mask icon to make a mask that hides everything in the layer.
- Selectively Paint In The Areas Where You Want To Apply The Skin Texture
Finally, with the Brush Tool, paint with white on the Layer Mask to reveal the skin texture in the areas of your portrait that require it.
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