I've been trying different ways to soften the skin on closer cropped portraits in NX2. I can do this with Gaussian Blur tool, use the Noise Reduction tool, or increase the threshold (either a control point or a paint brush). I find that, at least to my untrained eye, the noise reduction appears more attractive and less dreamlike than the gaussian blur with decreased opacity. However, the selective application of increased threshold is good for less obvious flaws (if you know what I mean).With regards to sharpening (or blurring) for skin - it's a whole new ball game - best discussed in another thread if anyone is interested.
Just wondering what others do to achieve this softening effect and when in the workflow it is done. The sharpening increases noise so, if noise reduction is being used, does that mean that softening select areas should be done after content sharpening (thinking more the extreme softening methods like gaussian and noise reduction here)? Does it even matter?