How To Retouch Skin in After Effects Using Beauty Box

10 Dec 2019

4 Min Read

Retouching Video

Generally speaking, I prefer not to use any sort of retouching in my videos. But there are times when the client demands it or in some situations, I want to convey a feeling that will look better if I do some tweakings here and there in the footage. So why not?

Retouching a video is a bit different from retouching a picture. For example, in the video, the only thing we do is telling the software to set the hue at a certain range, and it will take care of the rest. My favorite plugin for retouching is Beauty Box by Digital Anarchy. The plugin is both available for After Effects and Premiere Pro. Anyway, I personally prefer to send my work from Premiere Pro to After Effects when I decide to retouch.

How To Clean Up Skin In After Effects

Retouching In After Effects

First, I need to drag and drop Beauty Box onto my footage. The plugin will immediately apply its default settings onto the footage. But if you want to take it to the next level, you should click on Analyze Frame. This will make the plugin detect and analyze the skin tone and then set Dark and Light colors based on it.

Beauty Box Plugin for After Effects
Beauty Box Plugin for After Effects
In the mask section, you can click on Show Mask. Doing so will give you a black and white sort of mask that will show you which parts of the footage are being processed. Using this will make it much easier to rework some of the processing that has been done on the footage. By the way, I should mention that if for any reason the plugin did not do a great job of setting light and dark colors, you can easily use this mask and then set the spots you want to tweak by yourself.

White sections are the ones that are affected by the retouching process and the Black sections are the ones that are not Touched. To do the changes, you can set the Mode to Add Color. This will let you change the black sections into white ones based on your liking. Then you can switch off the Mask and see the effect of Beauty Box in action! It really knows how to impress!

settings of beauty box plugin
Beauty Box Plugin Setting
By going back to the mask you can see Hue Range, Saturation Range, and Value Range. The amount of change and effectiveness you see in the footage is totally dependant on the footage you have. There are so many things that are in play here my dudes and dudettes! You can easily change the numbers so that the contrast between blacks and whites become more apparent. And by black and white areas I mean the parts of the footage that are either retouched or not.
Beauty Box plugin Setting
Beauty Box Plugin Setting
You can also see Sharpen and Color Correction tools here which will help you make your footage look more natural after retouching. To do that you need to click on add mask and then play with Sharpen and Color Correction tint to reach that balance you feel is right.

Another cool thing you can do is to set the amount of processing you want beauty box to do on the footage, how much you want it to smoothen the face and stuff like that.

As I said at the beginning, you can also have this plugin on Premiere Pro. YES, it is more resource-hungry on Premiere but by choosing GPU processing you can leverage its power and experience a much smoother workflow. But in the end, it all depends on your software preference. Do and use what feels more natural and easy for you.