One of the most efficient techniques of improving the quality of your images in Photoshop is by making it smoother. If you want a tutorial on how to smooth in Photoshop that’s easy to follow, then this is it. Here, we will give you a full step-by-step guide, making the whole procedure easy for you.
How to Smooth In Photoshop Using Different Tools
Be it any of the surfaces, the edges, or the overall look, Photoshop offers various tools to smoothen your image. This includes retouching surfaces to get rid of spots and imperfections for a smoother look, different techniques to smooth out jagged edges, and various tools to refine the overall smoothness of any picture.
With remarkable Photoshop tools, you will not have to spend hours editing your image and making it smoother. Just follow a few simple steps and transform the look of your image in no time. We will provide you with a complete tutorial to help you achieve your image editing goals effortlessly.
Smoothing in Photoshop
Before proceeding with smoothing your images in Photoshop, the first thing to do is make sure that your original image remains safe. This allows you to go back in case you make any accidental or unwanted changes to your picture. Due to the feature of layers in Photoshop, it becomes really easy to keep your original image intact.
Duplication of the background layer is one of the best ways of copying your image. Here are the steps you need to follow:
- Open up the image you want to work on in Photoshop. You will see that it opens in a locked background layer.
- Now, go to the layers panel that is usually present on the bottom right corner of your Photoshop workspace. In case you are unable to see it, then go to Window > Layers.
- Now, right-click on your Background layer in the layers panel. This will produce a popup menu for you.
- From the menu, select ‘Duplicate Layer.’ You will see a dialog box. Enter the name for your new layer and then click OK.
- You should see a new layer with your image in it within the layers panel.
Smoothing Using the Healing Brush Tools
One of the best tools for smoothing skin and other surfaces in Photoshop is the healing brush tools. These brushes work by blending the new pixel information with the existing one. There are multiple types of these brushes available so that you can pick and use the one that meets your editing requirements.
To use the healing brush tools for smoothing, here are the steps to follow:
- Make sure that you select the duplicated layer in the layers panel.
- You can start removing spots and imperfections by picking the ‘Spot Healing Brush’ tool from the toolbar.
- With the spot healing brush tool in your hand, click on the spot that you want to remove. This will make Photoshop automatically sample the existing pixels around that spot and match the information. Consequently, the spot will disappear.
- You can magnify or reduce the brush size according to your needs. To do this, go to the tool settings bar right below the menu bar on the top of your screen. Click on the drop-down menu present beside the brush tool and adjust the size slider till you reach your desired brush size.
Sometimes, the spot healing brush tool may not help you achieve perfect results. In that case, the ‘ Healing Brush Tool’ option comes in handy. It allows you to choose the pixels that you want to sample. To use this tool:
- Press Alt and click on the pixels that you want to sample.
- Then, release the Alt key and click on the spot you want to remove.
- You will see that the pixels you sampled will replace the area that you want to smooth out.
To get your desired results, you can keep switching between these two tools until you are satisfied.
Smoothing Using the Blur Tool
The ‘Blur Tool’ is the easiest way to smooth out images in Photoshop. Here are the steps to follow when using this method:
- Make sure to select the duplicate layer in your layers panel.
- Now, go to the toolbar present on the left side of your Photoshop workspace and pick the ‘Blur Tool.’ The icon for the blur tool looks like a water drop.
- With the blur tool in your hand, paint over the surface that you want to smooth.
- You can reduce the blurring effect with the strength slider in the settings bar below the menu bar.
If you feel like the blur tool is causing a stronger effect than you want, then Photoshop offers alternative blurring tools for you. You can either use the Surface Blur option or the Gaussian blur option to have a more controlled and softer effect. To use these blur tools, follow the steps below:
- Click on the duplicate layer from the layers panel.
- Go to the menu bar at the top of your screen and click on ‘Filter.’ now, navigate to Blur > Gaussian Blur. Alternatively, go to Blur > Surface Blur for a slightly different look.
- Now, adjust the slider as per your requirement and click OK. Make sure to also reduce the opacity of the layer to 50% so that your image looks natural.
Smoothing by Adding a High Pass Filter
Another technique of smoothing an image in Photoshop is by adding a High Pass Filter along with the Gaussian Blur. This allows you to create a softer smoothing result while keeping the original texture of the surface intact. Here are the steps to follow:
- Click on the duplicate layer from the layers panel and reduce its opacity to 50% through the slider.
- Now go to the menu bar present on the top of your Photoshop screen and click on ‘Filter.’
- In the drop-down menu, navigate to Other > High Pass…
- Adjust the Radius slider as per your requirements and click OK. As you apply this filter, your image will become grey, and you will only see an outline of your image.
- Now, you will have to add a blur as we did in the previous methods. Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Adjust the slider as required and then press OK.
- Now, select the layer you have been working on and invert the effect. To do this, go to Image > Adjustment > Invert. Alternatively, you can also press CTRL + I.
- Go to Layer > Layer Style > Blending options to open the Blending Options dialog box. Alternatively, right-click on the respective layer and then select Blending Options from the menu.
- By the blending options dialog box, you can adjust the settings as per your requirements.
- Once you have applied the blending adjustments, it is time to apply the blur so that the effect looks natural. You can use any of the blurring techniques that we explained in the previous method.
Smoothing Using the Smudge Tool
You can also utilize the smudge tool in Photoshop for smoothing small areas in your image. It produces a softer and smoother look on your image. To use this tool:
- Open the image in Photoshop.
- Pick the Smudge Tool from the toolbar. You can alter the settings of this tool from the options bar right below the menu bar.
- Paint all over the region that you want to smooth out.
- This tool can produce unnatural smooth appearances. So, it's best to add a little texture with the Noise filter feature.
Smooth images play a vital role in today’s digital world. Unrefined photos, fixing uneven edges, and imperfect surfaces may affect negatively when published with any content. Learning the methods explained above will help you smooth your images so that you have a clear and flawless image that you can easily use on any platform.