After Effects Tutorial: How to Make Photoshop-Style Beauty Touchups on Video

Skin Retouching After Effects Tutorial
Most everyone these days is familiar with the immense power of Photoshop when it comes to retouching photos.

However, what's not as widely known is that many of the same types of touchups can also be performed on video. Of course, there's a whole hell of a lot of masking, tracking, and feathering involved, all of which can seem overly-tedious and intimidating for someone just starting out with video post production and VFX work. 

Luckily, an industrious YouTuber named Mikey has a terrific tutorial on retouching skin in After Effects. Check it out!

Of course, depending on the type of story that you're telling, skin touchups may or may not push ethical boundaries. Documentaries and other types of non-fiction storytelling almost certainly won't warrant that type of VFX work. However, for narrative filmmakers trying to give their actors and actresses the glamorous Hollywood aesthetic, these techniques can make a real difference in the quality of the final image. Retouching of this sort can also help to rectify makeup issues that weren't caught on set. Additionally, these techniques can also apply to wedding filmmakers who are attempting to craft memories for their clientele.

What do you guys think of performing skin touchups on video? When is it ethical, and when are the ethics of it questionable? What tips and techniques do you use for this kind of work? Let us know down in the comments!     

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Your Comment


Great! but if a shaved male actor got beard shadow is there anyway to remove it in post?

October 10, 2014 at 10:36AM


Awesome post! These techniques can also be used to add things as well as take away - keep that in mind for that monster makeup you were so sure was going to look more believable on camera.

October 10, 2014 at 12:02PM

Alex Enman

Skin touch up would probably be the last thing I'd use this for, although I know of a few shows where they spend a significant amount of time in post making a star's skin look better.

October 11, 2014 at 9:51AM, Edited October 11, 9:51AM

Steve Yager

I am with Steve. It's a lot of time to spend and usually you don't have that amount of time.

October 12, 2014 at 11:57PM

Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director

Makes the model in the image above look like a magazine cover - plastic - fake and unreal. Am I the only one who can't relate to this? These aren't the images of real people when they're so heavily retouched - it's like trying to make a mannequin sexy and relatable...

October 14, 2014 at 9:16PM

Ed Wright
Director, DP, Writer

Wasn't there a movie about that?....

October 18, 2014 at 12:47AM

Ryan Gudmunson
Recreational Filmmaker