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A Light Retouch

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  #1  
Old 02-27-2006, 12:32 PM
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SteveB2005 SteveB2005 is offline
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Smile A Light Retouch

Hi Folks. I haven't posted in awhile, so here goes. I took this photo of a young lady with very light makeup. I wanted to do a very light retouch, just to enhance her beauty and not make it too slick. I ran some exposure corrections and levels. Color was accurate like the org shot. I used the spot healing brush on a separate layer to get the blemishes and freckles removed. I also used the clone tool at 50% to smooth the skin out. I wanted to keep the skin texture and pores apparent, but I did apply Ro's degrunge tutorial on a layer and then took the opacity down a bit. After I finished with all the first level retouching, I went to the airbrush at about 2% output and the eyedropper tool to sample surrounding colors to smooth out some areas, but still keep the skin texture and pores. On another layer, I then went to the filter menu, to texture and selected sandstone. I took the intensity way down and sel soft light at 30%. I was pleased with the effect. It seemed to give the skin a "real" look. Since studying all the tips on retouching in the forums here, it seems the skin and pores look is becoming popular, rather than the blurred look that I used to go for. I want to get better at making my subjects look more natural now, at a higher level. Let me know how I did and if I am on the right approach. BTW, what is the dodge and burn layer technique? I can't seem to find out where the actual tutorial is on the forum. Thanks for your help and advice. Steveb
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File Type: jpg lindap4694ret.jpg (54.4 KB, 164 views)
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Old 02-27-2006, 05:24 PM
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PatrickB PatrickB is offline
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The dodge and burn layers, well. That's actually very easy:

Create a new layer, set it to overlay and fill it with 50% gray. The current effect on the picture is nothing at all, but by painting in with white and black you can dodge and burn certain areas without affecting the underlying layers. If you don't like something you've done, just paint with gray over it to neutralize. That's about it...

Back to your image, I do like it but also like the face of the girl as is, so made my own attempt. The attachment shows three stages: Basic blemish removal, stray hair, some dodge and burn and so on. Then copied the red channel over it and set to luminosity to even it out a little. Second one is with a surface blur over it (dislike that one). Stage three adds a an overlay layer with a heavy gaussian blur to make it look absolutely artificial.

I consider number one to be the best one since it looks most natural, but for say an ad or an innovative present, gift, whatever number three might be suitable as well.

P.
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Old 02-27-2006, 05:55 PM
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Light Ret

Hi Patrick. Thanks for the critique. You mentioned that you tried out some things, but I don't see any attachments. Are they hidden somewhere? Like to see what you did. SteveB
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Old 02-27-2006, 06:47 PM
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Hi there, Steve,

It's pretty hard to say what is right and what's wrong when retouching; like Patrick said, it will mostly depend on the final use of the image.

However, one thing I think you should have taken care of is to hide the label from the sweater (well, I think it's the label). Likewise the stray threads on the hand are distracting.

You said that you were doing a "Light Retouch", which I would interpret as meaning that the result should be more "natural" than "glamour". If that is so, then I think you overshot the target a bit. The keyword here I see as "enhance" and not "Retouch".

Nice work though. You're on the right track.

I had a shot using enhance-type tools...
1) Blurred the background more, to help the lady stand out;
2) Put in a bit more colour;
3) Rounded her face a little;
4) Very slight "de-grunge" (I will heartily disagree with anyone who refers to freckles as grunge).
5) Took out the label and stay threads.

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Old 02-27-2006, 09:26 PM
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Light Ret

Hi Ro. Nice job on the gal. You do have an eagle eye and to be honest, I really didn't notice the label nor the sweater fibers on her hand. That tells me to be very, very observant when I work an image, no matter what the usage is for. Now about freckles, do you feel it is ok to leave them as is or should we airbrush them out? I never really thought about that factor and just assumed they should go. Good idea about the background. I think I used a 100m f2.8 macro to get a nice blur. You took the same approach I tried to get, less is more. I never shoot any model without a makeup artist with me to help me to get the most from the image and save on the enhancements/retouch. Regards steveb
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Old 02-28-2006, 05:53 AM
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Cameraken Cameraken is offline
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Hi Steve.

I did a full retouch and then blended it back into the original.
Corrected skintone
Removed hand
Darkened and blurred background.

This is probably still way too much for your tastes, But I enjoyed doing it.

Ken.
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Old 02-28-2006, 07:14 AM
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Theres nothing more naturual looking than the real thing. This girl has flawless skin, leave it alone if you want to look natural!!
I cant have a go at this now because I'm at work and I've only got GIMP here
But this is what I would do:

Soften the dark circles under her eyes.
Remove the little bit of shine on her forehead and nose.
Very slightly round the jawline - from the angle of the photo its very harsh, I love a girl with a strong jaw but thats a little too far and not very flattering for her.
Smooth the chin crinkles
Neaten up the stray hairs a little - not too much, dont want to look like a wig around the hairline.
Smile enhancement - either exaggerate the half smile to look more coquettish and less sarcastic, or straighten it out.
Enhance the eye colour a little, the bright green backdrop is overshadowing her lovely eyes.

And thats really all that she needs.

As for a critique, well I've said all I need to about the skin I think Except that if you are going to use any kind of bluring or airbrushing, be carefuly around the nose - you've lost definition around the base - always a big indicator that an image has been retouched.
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Old 02-28-2006, 07:49 AM
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philbach philbach is offline
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SteveB

I thought Steve your final retouch was a tad on the blue side, and Camerataken your retouch left her pale. I haven't calibrated my monitor in a while but now I've got some incentive.

I just took Steve's retouch and warmed it up some in Lab increasing the Magenta and Yellow some.
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Old 02-28-2006, 07:58 AM
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I like your subtle approach to this picture. For me it is OK, if you wanted just a little touch up the portrait. I did my own version, just because I have a downtime and really getting bored
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  #10  
Old 02-28-2006, 09:10 AM
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PatrickB PatrickB is offline
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Oops, forgot to add the image
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