Using the Makeover Tools in Paint Shop Pro X2

Michael Bates shows us how the Makeover Tools in Paint Shop Pro X2 are great for beginners.

|  Corel Paint Shop Pro & Painter
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portrait we are using for the makeover tools technique in PSPPaint Shop Pro X2 comes with a set of tools grouped into one that is named the ‘Makeover Tool'. The practical application of these tools is clearly the editing of portrait photographs, allowing you to fix aspects of an image that you may not want to appear in a final version. Whilst successful to varying degrees, these tools are still very useful for beginners not wanting to be messing around with lots of layers and clone stamp tools.

Step 1. As always right-click the Background Layer that opens up in Paint Shop Pro when you first open the image. Select Duplicate Layer and a new layer will appear named ‘Raster 1'; right click this, select Rename and call it something like ‘Edit' or ‘Touch Up' so you know what it is. This is so that you can easily revert to the original image if you need to by hiding or deleting this layer should you become dissatisfied with it.

Step 2. Our first port of call is going to be one of the more obvious faults that are apparent in any portrait; if someone has a large blemish on their face it is bound to stand out, especially in close-up portraits like this one. So select the Makeover tool and we'll address this issue now. Click on the icon that resembles a tray of makeup in the toolbar to activate the tool, and then at the top select the same icon again to activate the ‘Blemish Fixer'.

Makeover blemish fixer tool in Paint Shop Pro Magnifying part of a picture in PSP

Step 3. Now, we may need to be a bit closer to our image to accurately perform this step, so press ‘Z' to activate the magnifying glass and left click to zoom in. Alternatively, hold the left mouse button and drag a rectangle around the area you want to fill the square and the magnifier will zoom in to the correct extent once you let go of the button. Once you are close enough to see what you are doing reselect the tool and we are ready to edit our image.

Clearing the skin with the makeover toolStep 4. The way this tool works is demonstrated by its appearance on the image. There are two circles, an inner one and an outer one. The inner circle is the zone that your edits will affect, and it does this by taking colour and tone information from the area within the outer circle and calculating the best colour to replace the blemish with. It then applies some distortion to the edit to try to hide it a bit better, and all you have to do is press the left mouse button. So hold the Alt key and the left mouse button whilst dragging the mouse up or down to alter the brush size, and one you are covering just the spot and have the sample area addressing the areas that are nearby you can release these buttons and left click to use the tool.Using the Toothbrush tool in PSP

Step 5. Go around the image finding blemishes and marks on the skin that you want to remove and use the Blemish Fixer tool to hide them. Hold the Space Bar and drag with the left mouse button to effectively pan around the image without having to constantly zoom in and out of your image.

Step 6. The next tool is the Toothbrush, and the icon for this one is easily noticed next to the Blemish Fixer. So click on the toothbrush icon and zoom in to the model's mouth.

Step 7. My model isn't smiling all that much so the effect of this tool will not be terribly obvious, however whitening someone's teeth is always a good way to make an image look that little bit better if they don't have particularly white teeth to begin with. All we have to do with this tool is left click on the most prominent tooth and it will whiten all the nearby teeth as well. If it misses some on your image then left-click these and it should match the extent of whitening anyway. Showing how the toothbrush tool works in PSPThe amount of whitening that occurs depends on the Strength setting (to the right of the icons for the Makeover Kit); set this high and your image will look unnatural, set it too low and you will not notice the effect. I have mine set to 40 here, and I have an ok effect, remember that less is more here as too much will make your image look horribly fake.

Step 8. The third tool we are going to use is the Suntan tool. Using the Suntan tool in PSPThe reason we are using this tool before the Eye Drop tool is because if your model has pale skin like mine then the Eye Drop tool can actually remove the red from the model's face as well as their eyes, so by darkening the model's skin first we can stop this from happening by making the Eye Drop notice the increased contrast between the eye and the skin colour. This tool is represented by the Sun icon in the tool bar at the top.

Step 9. This tool is very destructive and hard to get right, so the easiest way to use it is to cover the entire image with it then remove the areas you do not want. This tool acts like the Burn and Dodge tools in that if you release the mouse button once you have started using it, it will double the effect on any areas you may go over twice accidentally afterwards, so creating a solid effect of it like this is difficult. To get around this, duplicate the layer you created at the start of the editing process by right clicking it and selecting ‘Duplicate'. Rename it to ‘Tan' as you did with the other layer you created earlier.

How the suntan tool works in PSPStep 10. Take the Suntan tool and paint over the entire face with one mouse click; this  is done easiest by setting the brush size to maximum and zooming out as you do it. Do this slowly if you have an older computer as it is very memory intensive; it took a while for it to keep up with me and my computer is only a year old. Don't worry if you go over the hairline a bit, it will darken it but we will fix that in the next step. The screenshot shows the difference created by the Suntan tool at its default settings, much higher and the effect tends to look unrealistic.

Step 11. Now right click the Tan layer and select New Mask Layer>Show All. We are going to use this to remove the areas of hairline that were darkened by the tan, allowing the original hair colour to show again. We will do this by painting parts of the Layer Mask black, making the actual layer the mask is attached to transparent at these points, so set the Brush tool (‘B') to Hardness 0 with black as the foreground colour and move over to the hairline.

Step 12. Now use the Brush tool to paint over any parts of the hair that are coloured by the tan. Then have a quick look around your image for any areas you may have accidentally tanned the background or made a similar mistake and paint over these too. When you are satisfied, right click the Tan group layer and select ‘Merge Down' to merge the layer with the original Edit layer so the tanned skin is applied but the original hair is kept.

Layers box in PSP
Brush tool in PSP

Eye drop tool in PSPStep 13. Now we can select the Eye Drop tool and click in any areas of the eye that may be bloodshot or discoloured. However, to stop it from leaking out and whitening areas of skin (it may still do this even if the contrast is reasonable) we need to limit where the tool can apply itself. Select the Freehand Selection Tool (It looks like a Lasso) and set the mode in the toolbar across the top to ‘Point by Point'. Now left click to create a selection around the eye and double click to close it off (if you make a mistake press the Delete key to remove the last point you added), then hold shift and select the second eye as you did the first to create two separate selections that are active at the same time.Using the eye drop tool

Step 14. Select the Eye Drop tool and left click in each eye's worst affected area or in the white if there are no red areas (as is the case for the eye on the right in my picture). The eye should become noticeably whiter, press Control and ‘D' to deselect the eyes once you have done this. The bottom screenshot shows the reduced pink area created by this tool, as well as the brightening effect that it has for the eye in general.

Step 15. Your image is now finished, although there is one more tool left to discuss. The Thinnify (sic) tool is only really needed for full-body images and does what its name suggests; it makes you look thinner. However there is a catch here; it does so by pinching the image at the point you click, thus making the entire image distort and creating an effect that is not very subtle or believable. In the end the Thinnify tool is like fad diets; it creates a negative body image and offers little or no assistance in making you look or feel any better, so it is really best to avoid this tool. If you want to make someone thinner in a Raster graphics manipulator this is not an effective quick fix, and a more advanced process using the Liquify tool is required.

Image with makeover tool applied
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