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First 'Natural-ish' Retouch

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  #1  
Old 08-19-2005, 11:22 PM
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rnbluvva rnbluvva is offline
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Talking First 'Natural-ish' Retouch

Ok- so I've finally gotten up the courage to post something I've tried to retouch! This is the first attempt I've made at a retouch.

This image was taken using a consumer digital camera in a dark basement. It's not the best shot, not lit and there's no makeup. The point was to get a pretty bad image and see what can be done to make it look decent.

I am using Photoshop CS2.

What I did was:
1.) Bumped the image from 72dpi to 150dpi
2.) Cropped to an 8 x 10 format
3.) Warmed up the image and skin by using a technique I found at Photoshop U
4.) Got rid of the major blemishes using the Clone Stamp Tool
5.) Smoothed the skin and applied Photoshop foundation using the technique Jakaleena describes in this thread.
6.) Made the lips a little more saturated using the following technique:
>made lip selection and placed on new layer
>Set Layer Blending Mode to Overlay and turned down the opacity
7.) Used Andromeda Red Eye Pro to get rid of the red eye
8.) Whitened the eyes using the technique I found on eScrappers
9.) Burned the green iris color so it was a bit more saturated using the Burn Tool
10.) Struggled for hours and hours trying to create a fuller upper lip. It still needs hours more practice time! LOL Read this thread for a host of great lip enhancement techniques
11.) Removed the T-shirt Logo using the Patch Tool

That's all I have done so far.

Next I want to take out a few things in the background and also try to do some fantasy hair stuff to make the hair longer. But that will take me a while of fiddling!

I'd love to hear what I could have done better, differently and also what you would have done to the image.
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File Type: jpg before.jpg (99.8 KB, 134 views)
File Type: jpg after.jpg (97.9 KB, 160 views)
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Old 08-20-2005, 12:06 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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hmmm, those lips look familiar.

Craig

edit: oh, you wanted comments first thing i'd do is crop. take it about shoulder high to almost the top of the head. this will bring the person out more and reduce your work on the background. nice so far.
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Old 08-20-2005, 12:20 AM
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rnbluvva rnbluvva is offline
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Thanks Craig! Yah those derned lips! LOL
I will think about cropping more. I just don't want to completely get rid of the 'pop' screen in the pic (that round black thing). I'll see how close I can crop without totally getting rid of it.

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Old 08-20-2005, 12:09 PM
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I get the feeling that you forgot to sharpen the image first. All digital images come out of the camera "soft". This would give you more skin information to work with, both good and bad. A square crop may work well, perhaps even tighter than mine. I tried a different method on the skin: About 7% Median filter; 3% Gaussian Blur, 2.2 Noise then on a Black Mask painted the skin back at 25% white brush. Just a different effect. Oh ya, tried to do the lips but not very good. Really like the skin tone of yours.

Cheers
Dave
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Old 08-20-2005, 12:11 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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pop screen? i'm going to assume that's something used with a microphone to reduce the 'pop' one can get when speaking or singing into a mic.

as for not getting rid of it, umm, ok. but just as a curiosity, why keep it? i could see keeping the whole background and doing no crop, just because you wanted the setting as part of the shot, but why just the pop screen?

Craig
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Old 08-20-2005, 03:35 PM
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I'm assuming you want to keep the 'pop screen' so that it's still in context of a recording studio? The problem you might have is that those not as familiar with the process might think it just looks like a big black blob (me, and Craig for instance I suspect).

So if you want to keep that context, how about moving the mic and screen closer into shot, so you can still keep a fairly tight framing? I admit my masking is a bit rough here, but just to give you the idea.
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File Type: jpg studio.jpg (97.5 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg studio2.jpg (97.8 KB, 37 views)

Last edited by Caitlin; 08-20-2005 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 08-20-2005, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duv
I get the feeling that you forgot to sharpen the image first. All digital images come out of the camera "soft". This would give you more skin information to work with, both good and bad. A square crop may work well, perhaps even tighter than mine. I tried a different method on the skin: About 7% Median filter; 3% Gaussian Blur, 2.2 Noise then on a Black Mask painted the skin back at 25% white brush. Just a different effect. Oh ya, tried to do the lips but not very good. Really like the skin tone of yours.

Cheers
Dave
Dave- you are absolutely right. I did not sharpen the image. How would you suggest sharpening it?
I'm also going to try your skin touch technique. Thanks for sharing that.

Yah the lips are tough! But I think you did really well and your look more natural than my attempt.
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Old 08-20-2005, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraellin
pop screen? i'm going to assume that's something used with a microphone to reduce the 'pop' one can get when speaking or singing into a mic.
as for not getting rid of it, umm, ok. but just as a curiosity, why keep it? i could see keeping the whole background and doing no crop, just because you wanted the setting as part of the shot, but why just the pop screen?
Craig
You got it Craig! It keeps the 'pop' out of the incoming audio. It basically filters out harsh sounds that come from pronounciation etc (like hard H's, had P's... some S sounds etc.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caitlin
I'm assuming you want to keep the 'pop screen' so that it's still in context of a recording studio? The problem you might have is that those not as familiar with the process might think it just looks like a big black blob (me, and Craig for instance I suspect).

So if you want to keep that context, how about moving the mic and screen closer into shot, so you can still keep a fairly tight framing? I admit my masking is a bit rough here, but just to give you the idea.
As for why the Pop screen is there... I was so busy trying to bump that image up to print resolution and see if it could be cropped to an 8 x 10 I wasn't thinking so much about the mic and Pop. But then when I saw the crop I did want to keep some studio context to the shot and the mic didn't fit in the 8 by 10 crop. It wasn't great thinking on my part. The shot was one of those surprise type shots, so I wasn't sure if the expression would be taken out of context with a tighter crop that didn't show the screen. Not that it really matters since these images are really just meant for practicing skin touch ups... but anyway... it wasn't the most well thought out crop at all! Thanks for pointing that out! This is also a great lesson for me in understanding that things I am familiar with are not necessarily things others are familiar with... hence you guys thinking it's a big black blob. There is far more to the art of the crop than I am familiar with. But a big lesson learned today. That's why I love this place. I learn a bunch of stuff each time I read and post.

You're awesome RTP!
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  #9  
Old 08-20-2005, 07:30 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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very cool. caitlin; hadnt thought of that. now, following duv's thirds rule, move her or the props so that it's framed by the thirds rule. also, you might reduce the size of the props to reduce emphasis.

aint it fun, nat

Craig
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Old 08-20-2005, 08:54 PM
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Natalie, I notice you kind of come and go on this forum which probably means that you're a busy young lady but whenever you post you seem to have a thirst for knowledge. So..I'm goin to send you to a sight that may be the best in getting the most out of sharpening techniques. It's thelightsright.com. It's all about 3 sharpening areas..input, creative, output (print), you'll love the tutorial, I only use this method now.
BTW, if you don't call me to get together the next time you're in BC, I'll be really p....d. Zip over to Nanaimo and I'll buy you a Tim Horton's Frappacino.

Cheers
Dave
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