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Can I use the face smoothing tool on something other than a face? If so, how?
The face smoothing tool is based on 'frequency separation techniques'. Not something very descriptive to what you can do to enhance faces, so just jump to what you want to enhance in a portrait.
- high frequency = fine details, especially the skin textures with pores, which feel more realistic than smooth 'plastic' feel surfaces.
- middle frequencies = fine details. Some are very important (eyes details, lashes...), many other like small wrinkles or imperfections are what you want to 'smooth'.
- low frequency = wider zones which gives 'depth' and thee dimensional look to the portrait.
You'll find many tips on the web if you search for 'frequency separation'.
I am not sure you can use this feature for other subjects than portraits in Elements because a face has to be recognized and selected.
There are external actions or tools you can add to Elements. The tutorials you'll find are based on using a combination of high pass filters and layer blend modes.
For instance there is a script in the very affordable Elements+ add-on which provides such frequency separation.
Can you give us a better description of what you want to smooth out (and provide us with the photo). We may have other options for you to try.