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Class Introduction

Lesson 1 from: How to Use Frequency Separation for Retouching

Lisa Carney

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Lesson Info

1. Class Introduction

Next Lesson: Painting

Lesson Info

Class Introduction

Welcome to frequency separation. This is gonna be an exciting, very quick class. But I'm hoping to expand our thinking and use of frequency separation. So for those who don't know me, my name is Lisa Carney and I'm a print industry retoucher. So I primarily do movie posters, TV posters, and all print, print campaigns, and my goodness do I use frequency separation all the time. So I kind of want to talk about frequency separation and how I think it's being used right now. I feel like it is probably the single biggest game changer I've seen in Photoshop in terms of how to work. It's cause you're like entering a whole new sphere, a different realm if you will, and I think that is scary and I will tell you in all honesty when I first started hearing about frequency separation and seeing it, it honestly took me six months to dive in. Six months, cause I was so intimidated by the process. Like what's this high frequency and what's this low, what does that mean high frequency? What is low fre...

quency and the languaging around it really confused me. So I'm gonna present it in a slightly different way, kind of simply the terminology, and hopefully make it more accessible for everybody and to encourage you to use it way, way, way beyond how most people are using it. Like right now I'm gonna tell you, I think most people use it for beauty work, and if they use it, they use it for a little bit of beauty work, a little tiny bit. Then they close it and they move on. But you can use it for architectural photography. You can use for file room extension. You can use it for body work, for fabric, all kinds of stuff. So that's what I'm hoping for. So here's what we're gonna do, cause I'd like everyone to be on the same page and I speak about this a bit differently. I use different words. So I wanna clarify what I do so that you and I, we're all on the same page, all of us. All right, so I don't call it high frequency and low frequency because that confuses me. So what you'll see on the graphic, is I call it blur and gray. Because what happens is in frequency separation you are moving into this world of working where you're separating the color and the tone into one layer and then the detail into another layer, which happens to be the gray layer. You'll see that I refer to it as gray and blur. If that makes you uncomfortable, that's okay, you can call it high and low. My brain just can't remember which is the high or which is the low cause it doesn't mean anything to me. Okay, so, that's the basic recipe. I'm gonna say this 100 times, we're gonna talk about this again and again, and right now before we start I really want to talk about folks out there and about evaluating your own skill level. So if I'm using terms that you don't understand and are slightly confusing, you're gonna just kind of have to check your skill level and if you're ready for this part of the process. So if you don't know what a mask is, if you don't know what a layer is, if you're not comfortable with the tools, this won't be a comfortable place for you to sit. But I promise you if you do the foundational work you can get here and if you practice this again and again you will love this. But just take a breath, figure out your level, and put the time in and you'll be fine. So that we can handle all of this class quickly, I just want to be very clear, this is a formula we're using for this form of frequency separation and it will not change. So what you do is you have your original and what you're gonna do on your original, you're gonna make two copies. I'm gonna do this 100 times, don't worry you'll get this. On the first copy which is gonna be the blur, you're gonna go to filter, blur, Gaussian blur, and for this demo let's just do seven, we'll talk later about those numbers. And that's your first layer. Your second layer, again this does not change, is you're gonna be on the second copy you've made and you're going to image, apply image, very important right here, this is where the screw up happens, you want to pick for the source, blur, right there, the numbers are always gonna be the same. You're gonna put subtract here, two, and 128, little note here, if you're working in a 16 bit color it's different numbers. I'm not giving you those. And if you're working in a 32 bit file, it is not these numbers and you'll have to deal with that later cause I wanna keep this simple for the one hour. This is the most confusing part of the process, but stick with me, with the bonus material you will get actions that will actually build this for you, which is kinda cool, but in the meantime I'd like you to do it by hand. As much as you can until you're comfortable, then use the actions.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Frequency Separation Presentation & Notes
Frequency Separation Photoshop Actions
Leather Skin Texture

Ratings and Reviews


Wow, what a great class, another one by Lisa Carney! This one kind of blew my mind in places, all the clever methods she shows. After watching the first couple chapters I paused the video because I suddenly realized I could use this method to fix a problem I had in one of my composites (removing some kids' sidewalk chalk patterns from some pavement) Lisa Carney is fantastic about showing the way she thinks, how she goes about solving problems. I personally find this very empowering, it makes me inspired to think creatively about tough photoshop issues I'm grappling with in my own projects. She says she does not provide a cookie cutter formula for solving a problem, the reason is the problems we'll be solving are different. What she's providing is way more valuable, it's the way of thinking about attacking a problem. I found the course to be paced perfectly. It assumes some base knowledge which is covered elsewhere. But she provides all the information you need here, you just may need to watch the videos a few times (and you'll pick up new stuff on each watching). I ended up joining the CreativeLive annual subscription, literally because I wanted to watch all of Lisa Carney's classes - I find that she packs in so much extra useful information, it almost doesn't matter what she's "officially" speaking about, I have found I will always come away amazed and enriched with her insights!

Mick van Meelen

Lisa is all over the place but in a good way. I love her enthusiasm, she clearly loves her job and she makes you want to be a better photoshopper. Just see it, try it and see it again, that worked for me.

a Creativelive Student

Fast paced and great education! Not for the beginner, but definitely worth your time to learn these techniques and speed up your editing. I love Lisa's handouts, very visual and detailed. And I love being able to rewatch Lisa's videos when I get stuck.

Student Work