How To Create Frequency Separation Layers in Photoshop

How To Create Frequency Separation Layers in Photoshop

Hello and welcome to the Frequency Separation tutorial for Adobe Photoshop! In this tutorial we will demonstrate how to create Frequency Separation layers. Frequency Separation “separates” your image into two different layers: one layer is the texture layer and the other is the color/tone layer. This technique allows you to blend color/tones together while retaining the “texture” of your image (example: You can blend or smooth out skin color while keeping the skin texture/pores in place.) Follow along with this step by step tutorial and make sure you check out the video below to see it in action!

Step 1. Duplicate Layer

Make two duplicate layers of your image by clicking Command + J (MAC) or Control + J (PC). Now you can hide the top layer and select “Layer 1” as see below.

How To Create Frequency Separation Layers in Photoshop

Step 2. Gaussian Blur

Go to the Photoshop main menu and select: Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. 

How To Create Frequency Separation Layers in Photoshop

Step 3. Set Gaussian Radius

In the Gaussian Blur Window, adjust the Radius until the “detail” of your image is blurred out.

How To Create Frequency Separation Layers in Photoshop

Step 4. Texture Layer

Select and turn ON the top layer (Layer 1 copy.) Next go to the main menu and select Image > Apply Image

How To Create Frequency Separation Layers in Photoshop

Step 5. Apply Image

In the Apply Image window, select the following settings:

  1. Layer: Layer 1
  2. Blending: Subtract
  3. Scale: 2 and Offset: 128

How To Create Frequency Separation Layers in Photoshop

Step 6. Blend Mode

Change the Blend Mode in the Layer panel to Linear Light.

How To Create Frequency Separation Layers in Photoshop

Step 7. Using Frequency Separation

Now we are ready to start using Frequency Separation!  Select the following to get started:

  1. Select: Layer 1
  2. Select: Lasso Tool
  3. Set the Feather to around 20px (Feather px value will depending on the size of your image)

How To Create Frequency Separation Layers in Photoshop

Step 8. Lasso Area

Using the Lasso tool, circle an area you would like to smooth/blend, then go to the main menu and select: Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur

How To Create Frequency Separation Layers in Photoshop

Step 9. Blend Lasso

Adjust the Radius/Pixels (Gaussian Blur window) until you reach the desired effect within the Lasso area. Click OK and repeat steps 7-9 where needed.

How To Create Frequency Separation Layers in Photoshop

Watch the Video Below!

This completes our tutorial: How To Create Frequency Separation Layers in Photoshop. Check out the video below and follow along as we create Frequency Separation layers together. Thanks for watching!


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