Yesterday, I finally found some time to play with some other programs offered by Topaz Labs.  Have you heard of Topaz Clean?  It is a $30 plug-in that really helps clean up a photo.  There are 2 presets I find pretty awesome with Topaz Clean, “SkinEven” and “FlatStyle”.  The SkinEven preset works wonders on cleaning up skin in portrait photos.  The FlatStyle preset makes the image completely clean looking very much like a cartoon.

I really like the cartoon look, but found it a bit abrasive as it literally obliterates the details in order to make the image clean and smooth.  However, after a bit of experimentation, I came up with a pretty cool technique to get the smoothness of the preset but retain some detail in the image  to obtain the best of both worlds.

If you are someone who owns Topaz Clean (or will after reading this post), you can download the Action I used to make these images below.  Just double click the .atn file in the zip folder to install it into Photoshop.

Click the link below, follow it to the new page then click the topaz presets link again.  Kind of a pain, almost like a circus act, but hey it is a free Action after all!

Topaz Presets.zip

Tip For The Week:

I know these plug-ins made by Topaz Labs really rock the house.  However, don’t think they are the end game once you have used them.  Continue processing the images further after running them through these Topaz beautifiers.  The results of these photos came from experimentation after I found something I liked in Topaz Clean, but I still continued to push some pixels to get them perfect!

 

Blake Rudis
f.64 Academy and f.64 Elite are the brainchildren of Blake Rudis. While he is a landscape photographer he is most passionate about post-processing images in Photoshop and mentoring others.

For Blake, it is less about the art and more about the process. He dives deep into difficult topics and makes them easy to understand through his outside the box thinking.
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