If you have a photography subscription in Adobe with access to the latest Lightroom and Photoshop, is Portraiture still a good investment or can you see the same results with similar efforts in Lightroom and or Photoshop?

Update. In hindsight, perhaps my question was a little vague or left open to the wrong interpretation. More specifically. Photoshop has neural filters for skin smoothing, they also have liquify which detects individual facial features. Light room also identifies faces and individual features and creates masks for those areas, allowing you to retouch them with one click using AI. I've used portraiture in the past and enjoyed the results. It's easy to go overboard, but also it produces a result in a separate layer which you can then modify, mask and adjust the opacity.

Given the automated AI portrait retouching capability now included in Photoshop and Lightroom, Is portraiture 4.0 a waste of money because it seems all of its features are already included in PS and LR in some form or another?


1 Answer 1


"Similar efforts" is relative. A skilled retoucher can do an excellent job with Ps only.

The thing is if you want to learn to do it by hand if you have the time or you need some fast processing.

For PhotoShop google a technique called "frequency separation for skin retouch". Practice a bit and if it is too complicated or takes you too much time, then consider an "automated" tool.

But I have not tried the latest "neural filter" from Ps. I do not see it has many options.

Those kinds of tools can easily be abused, (their own examples look too fake) so keep that In mind.

Said that Imho Portraiture is too expensive.

Take a look at Portrait Pro. https://www.anthropics.com/portraitpro/ I think you can test it before buying it. Probably with some watermark.

I have an old version of it and for some projects, it does a decent job. It actually is fun to play with.

Here is a test. The amount of the effects can be regulated. If you zoom in you can see the details of the skin are there.

One thing I like about it is that you can control different aspects of the retouch. As far as I have seen about the Ps neural filter is that only can be turned on or off. I suppose it will improve.

Are separate tools relevant when the neural filter is present inside Ps?

This is more opinion-based than before. I like the separate options on the other program. I do not like much a one-click solution. I prefer two clicks. I also prefer not needing to pay a subscription when I do not need it.

Imho, there is room for different tools. Ps sometimes try to make an all-mighty powerful solution, and it does not always work.

They incorporated 3D options but they are a toy compared to dedicated ones. There are other applications more "digital paint" focused. There are also simpler applications to apply looks to a photo.

Is Ps a waste of money when I have all "I" need on Gimp, on Darktable? Probably, probably not.

There is room for different tools.


  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Can also be done for free with Gimp (wavelet decomposition, then blur the adequate layers) \$\endgroup\$
    – xenoid
    Nov 24, 2023 at 13:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeap. But as I read it again, the question is more about the neural filters for skin retouch. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rafael
    Nov 24, 2023 at 16:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the response. Perhaps my question was a little vague so I've made an update. \$\endgroup\$
    – John Hayne
    Nov 26, 2023 at 5:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I noticed that you were referring to the neural filters. I'll expand on it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rafael
    Nov 26, 2023 at 19:04

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