Photography / Capture One Tutorials

Capture One – Skin Smoothing

Capture one skin smoothing
Published 16 August 2020

Capture One is one of the best editing software out there, but sometimes it’s not used to its full potential. In this article, I will show you how easy skin smoothing can be in Capture One, and why it would be a great idea to start using it.

As I mentioned in an article about Capture One vs. Lightroom when it comes to photo editing, layers can be incredibly useful, so let’s go ahead and do some skin smoothing in Capture One. 

1. Open Your Photo

Obviously, the first thing you need to do is open your photo. As I couldn’t find a non-edited photo on any website until now, I decided to use one of my self-portraits because I needed to edit it anyway.

If you didn’t change your shortcuts, simply press “Ctrl-Shift-I” to import a new photo, or press the “Import” button.

Capture one skin smoothing

2. Decide What You Need To Edit

Capture One has this great annotation tool, and you can make a plan before you actually start editing. Since I’m pretty random, it’s very useful for me, so I’m noting down everything I need to edit about this image.


3. Spot Removal

In the layer control panel, you will see the “Spot Removal” tool, that you can use in order to remove the spots. Go ahead and start with that, as it’s one of the first steps. 

Capture one skin smoothing

4. Create A Mask

Now that everything is ready, we can start playing with the rest of the features. What I want for this specific photo is for the skin to fairly smooth, so I’ll go ahead and create a new empty layer, and then create a mask on the parts I want edited. 

It’s important that in this step you only select the skin, so after you’re done, remember to remove the eyes, eyebrows and accessories from the mask, as you don’t want the same effect on them.

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5. Change The Clarity And Structure

After you’re done with the mask, you will want to edit the “Clarity” and “Structure” from the “Clarity” tab. I decided to keep in on the “Natural” method, and dropped the “Clarity” to -100, while keeping the structure at about -40. 

Everything you do here depends on your personal preferences. I like smoothing the skin, but keeping some of the structure. Because the sliders in Capture One are not as strong as the ones in Lightroom, you have a lot of control over what you do. 

Capture one skin smoothing

Something very important you need to do is make sure you set the feather to 100 because you want the transition to be as natural as possible. You can do that by right-clicking on your mask layer and select “Feather Mask.”

6. Keep Editing

Now that you’re done smoothing the skin, it’s time to apply the final edits. I like editing from the “Tone Curve” as much as I can because it gives me that matte look I like, but you can play around and figure out what’s best for your image!

In the meantime, I created two more layers, one for the whole photo, and one for the background, and I finished my edit. 

Capture one skin smoothing

You can add as many masks as needed until you get the perfect results. I like most things just as they are, so I’m not worried about perfection, but this depends a lot from person to person. In the meantime, you know how skin smoothing works in Capture One, and you can start editing your pictures just the way you want to!

About Author

As a digital marketer, Andreea also has an incredible passion for photography, so she's here to give you all the information you need on the topic!

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