These photoshop actions are based on the following tutorial about Frequency Separation on FStoppers:

You can download the actions for free here.

These actions can be applied multiple times and they always duplicate the background layer.

Working Layer
: work with brush on this layer so you can easily correct or mask mistakes and you can leave the blurred layer intact.

“After you've evened out the shadow and color transitions, you can apply Gaussian blur to this working layer to soften your own brush strokes and make the colors blend with the rest of the image even better. This is what Aleksey does, and I have tried it a few times already - works like magic! Each image will require a different pixel Radius, so practice more to see what degree of blurring works in different retouching situations.”


Surface Blur: mask in the surface blur layer for softer skin.

“… paint with a white soft brush (low Opacity) over the areas where you need to kill skin blotchiness.
This method is super quick and can be used as the preparation step before you get down to retouching. It very well maybe the only step that you need if your model’s skin is already well-prepared for the shoot, i.e. great makeup and skin to start with.”

Two types of Frequency Separation

  • Apply Image: standard technique
  • High Pass Filter: more precise control, tones down highlights, high pass filter radius and blur radius must be the same.

"The Apply Image and High Pass approaches of separating frequency spatial data of an image are the two main ways of how I use the FS technique," says Aleksey, "Apply Image setup is more accurate, but the High Pass setup is quick and helps me to not only customize the separation of skin texture from underlying colors, but also tone down "hot" highlights on the skin. I always go for the High Pass setup when I need to do a quick retouch, especially when evening out skin. It is really helpful to be familiar with and practice both approaches."

These actions are public domain and you are free to use them in any project. Please link to this page if you find the actions useful and let me know if you encounter any bug.

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