Friday, April 19, 2013

TUTORIAL: Using Portraiture 2.3 by Imagenomic (Discount Offer)

CLICK HERE for my October 2016 new and improved video with more obvious before and after!

Imagenomic Portraiture 2.3 (Build 2308-01) using the Smoothing: High Preset
Imagenomic Portraiture 2.3 (Build 2308-01) using the Smoothing: High Preset
Canon 1D X 1/200 sec at f/10, ISO 100 at 160mm (70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM)

Skin softening is a touchy subject because some people look at the shot above and screech “oh her skin looks like plastic” or something along those lines. That level of skin softening might be appropriate for certain target audiences, but skin softening doesn’t have to be that harsh. Here’s an example of how I typically do skin softening for my own taste:

My normal skin softening workflow as shown in the video plus a couple additional healing edits
My normal skin softening workflow as shown in the video plus a couple additional healing edits

Now even that might be too much for some people, so in my tutorial video in this article I show you how to use Portraiture to get the right amount of skin softening to suit your own personal needs.

Now this model has the best skin I’ve seen on an adult human being in all of my life. However, with today’s high resolution lenses and cameras, studio lights, and makeup that started to fail during a shoot even this models skin can look pretty rough:

Original image from camera with only minor blemish touchups
Original image from camera with only minor blemish touchups

This woman is in her early 20’s and has wonderful skin, but even the best skin has blemishes – that’s reality. The makeup cracks make look much older than she really is and it causes some unnatural lines on her nose. As a result, the camera captures an more harsh version than the reality that existed before my eyes. This is where skin softening comes in, and it’s for the reality of scenarios like this that I always use it when I have skin in a photo. The difference is that I’ll use a lot more here than a casual shot, so always adjust the amount to suit your subject, the conditions and your artistic intent at the time you edit your photo.

Imagenomic Portraiture 2.3 User Interface

Imagenomic 2.3 User Interface

For this tutorial I’m using 2.3 and I’ve created a Skin Tones Mask similar to the one shown above (but more precise) and I’ve left Enhancements turned off. I love this product, but I find Enhancements to be redundant so I prefer to do them in their own layers in Photoshop so I can decouple that work from my skin softening work. As a result, I don’t really discuss this feature in the tutorial.

NOTE: At the end of the video there’s an error where I name the layer Portraiture 5 for the version, but I meant to do 2.3. Noiseware is version 5, so that was a typo.

Video Tutorial

CLICK HERE for my October 2016 new and improved video with more obvious before and after!

This video was recorded at 1920x1080, so it’s best to view it full screen on a HD display. Be sure to also set the YouTube controls to HD via the gear menu button as the “auto” setting doesn’t always do the right thing. If the iFrame above isn’t working, then click here to view the video in a web browser.


This isn’t really meant to replace my old Imagenomic Portraiture 2.0 -vs- Nik Software Dynamic Skin Softener review, but I never had a chance to put an in-depth video tutorial in it. This article makes up for that shortcoming and hopefully helps you to become more productive with skin softening.

See the end of this article for more related reviews.

I’m also well aware that great books like Professional Portrait Retouching Techniques for Photographers using Photoshop demonstrate how to do skin softening without a third party product. However, like all plug-ins what you from a third party solution that you don’t get from Photoshop directly is the ability to rapidly try different things and build a complex mask in seconds. As a result I’ll say that it might be possible to get identical results without this product, the fact is that you’ll get more control with faster results than Photoshop alone.

I highly recommend this product because I use it on every image I edit with skin. It’s that good and I wouldn’t want to work without it!

Special Offer – Save 15%

See the Discount Coupon Code page for the latest code if this doesn’t work

CLICK HERE to use my coupon code RONMART2012 when you check out for a discount on the following products: (click banners to learn more)

Get all three products below at a discounted rate in this suite.

If you see a photo of mine that has skin, Portraiture
is the ONLY product I use for skin softening.

Want to get rid of noise from your images?
Noiseware is the king of noise removal while preserving detail – period!

Miss film and want to get that classic look and grain back?
Realgrain might be just what you are looking for!

Other articles you may enjoy

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I am a featured photographer for Imagenomic. I did this promotion because I love Noiseware and Portraiture and because Imagenomic was an early supporter of this blog. I don not get compensated for being featured photographer, and I did this article without any solicitation or request from Imagenomic.

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Larry Cowles Photography said...

Your Portraiture video is great but you don't cover the Enhancement section which I think is the most important and useful part of this plug-in.

Patrick said...

Hi Ron,

First of all, thank you for this wonderful demo. As someone who already owned the Nik Software collection, and wanting to save some money, I was not sure if I wanted to buy yet another plug-in even after I tried the trial version of Portraiture. Your YouTube video was what convinced me to buy Portraiture. You did a very good job describing what each part of the interface does, and also a very good job showing how to use Portraiture. After I watched your video, I felt confident I would be using Portraiture a lot, and not wasting my money. I felt like I had a good basic knowledge of how to use Portraiture.

Keep up the good work.

Patrick Ng