I agree. Not seeing an improvement here. Just looks harsh. I like the original better.
Rules are made to benefit sometimes the minority with what is done here. To often we that are the majority acquiesce to those that want to bend the rules.
I'm glad that Doug made the decision to do as he did. That's all I have to say about that!
Godmother, redheads are a particular weakness of mine, I have worked on several and found them to have the most difficult complexion to enhance. First, I do not care for the photo or your enhancement overall. I made a point of not reading the other critiques..
The eyes are too exagerated. Look long enough and she starts looking alien. Lip enlargement better. I hope that you had to use the sword, I wouldn't have picked it for a prop regardless of any subliminal intent, there's better. Why did you turn the undees white? The pink was better. None would be better yet particularly if you could take that opportunity to show us some really delicate - never touched by the sun - kind of texture and skin tone.
I feed strongest about the fact that except for removing a couple skin blemishes you did nothing to enhance her skin. Redheads are beautiful but they only rarely photograph that way naturally. I mean to say their skin always needs lots of help. Freckles, rash, dryness, tendency towards 'green' coloration. Its really not much fun being a redhead. I think you must (1) de-emphasize the freckles and make sure they don't have a green cast (2) try to achieve a creamy whiteness in the background skin color particularly getting rid of any rashy or dry looking areas - particularly, look at her wrists and hands, they show far too much age and irregularities, just like real life - lots of work needed here. (3) Pink skin tones don't work on redheads but you've added alot to her face. She looks either sunburnt or like she has a rash.
I like to try to end on a good note, but I don't think your enhancement is really much better than the original.
What I dislike most is that sword being totally black.
An offer: Do you have a flat photo of that thing? I could make a 3D object and fit it to reflect the one in that image so you could paste it in
Actually, there's some wonderful attributes in this image. The first thing I noticed was the "S" curves. Well done, quite pleasing and dramatically enhanced. I also enjoy your choice of models, the skin textures, the hair color and the interesting streaks. A lot of nice work was done in the retouching aspect as well; the eyelids (lightened and colored), the lips a much fuller and seem to fit the image a little better, and the breast argumentation work is quite well done as I was only able to notice because of the difference in the amount of right upper arm showing.
The few things that I personally thought needed a little improvement (and remember, that's why there is chocolate AND vanilla):
One of the biggest No-No's in female photography is showing the knuckles directly, as they're often considered unflattering and cause adverse effects on the lovely curves of the female form.
As you know, there was a few places introduced by adjustments that "hit the wall" in the highlights. I thought it curious that areas like her chin were masterfully fixed but not some of the other larger areas.
The high ratio lighting, while very effective on the model, was less gracious to the sword. I can see where the highlights were added to the sword (perhaps via a dodge tool), good try, but that's really hard to pull off. One thing you might try (if you must use the dodge tool) is to draw a smooth curve with the pen tool, then the stroke (bottom of path pallet) with the dodge tool. Although, I personally think a curves adjustment with mask is the correct tool for that when working with color images. The burn/dodge tools often look very artificial in color work.
I see that there is apparently a great deal of liquify done on the image, the hips changed and the curves enhanced. It's obvious when looking that the before/after in areas about the left elbow how very much was done. Since no one seemed to notice the change, I'd consider it very successful. Well done.
Oh, one other thing you might wish to try, although I don't know if you were the photographer on this as well, but this studio was quite dark. Which resulted in huge pupils and very little color (iris) for the retoucher to work with. I always request that the photographer shine a flashlight in the eyes of the model prior to shooting (which of course shrinks pupils considerably). Then ,the retoucher will have a lot more color and the pupils will be more flattering.
Overall, I really like it. I think you've done a fine job here. Although the entire sword-thing was lost on me and the head is tilted in the masculine direction, the work here is solid and the results interesting. Keep it up.
So, good job. I hope you'll remember why there's chocolate AND vanilla; so please consider my suggestions to be "cafeteria-style"; take what you wish and slide past the rest.....
First blue dog
"I feed strongest about the fact that except for removing a couple skin blemishes you did nothing to enhance her skin.(...) She looks either sunburnt or like she has a rash"
Good advice When i get the time I'll get into it with a little bit more eye for detail.
Love your offer, I'll ask the photographer.
English i not my native lenguaje and.... I don't know what do you mean by "knuckles"
Love your advices as well, I'll try to fix the Sword.
I'm not the photografer but I'll keep that in mind
I'm just starting retouching (I ben doing it only for 3 month) so I'm learning. This kind of critics help me very much.
I Fixed It
Ok... I fixed some of the things that were wrong.
I'm keeping the pantys. I like them. I like them white. I'm not loosing my pantys!!!!
MATURE CONTENT REMEMBER You can only see it if you register
these are always interesting. and the first question i would ask is one of purpose. what are you going to do with it? if this is for something like fantasy/comic book, then changing the jaw line is perfectly acceptable. if it's for figure study, then no. altering any body line always runs the risk of changing the very look of the model. so the reason or purpose for doing so plays a big part here. sometimes it's ok, sometimes not.
i think you did a good job on the jaw, though i do like the look of the original too.
i think you missed on the hips. too wide. they were already jutting outwards from the pose and your extending them further makes the model look disproportionate. in fact, i'd have taken them in just a smidgen from the right to the left.
on the cheeks i think you missed a bit too. with freckeled redheads the trick isnt to reduce the effect but rather to enhance it. they are a fairly rare breed and shld be celebrated by slightly enhancing those qualities or at least pointing them out/highlighting it a bit. in this case, a light high pass sharpen would have worked nicely. you seem to have chosen to reduce the effect a bit.
matching the hilt of the sword with her eyes? hmmm, artistic license, i guess i liked the blue hilt better. i have just never heard of a warrior worrying about accessorizing and color coordinating before i think this is why women generally arent allowed on the battlefield (please, tongue in cheek here).
breast augmentation can be tricky. breasts follow some very stringent rules on curves. and, on yer right breast you missed one curve; the one coming from her armpit down to the nipple. you have a raised curve in there and this just doesnt work. there shld be a slight dip in the curve, not a rise.
you lost a little texture on the left breast. this isnt too bad in most cases, but with a full, freckeled redhead it becomes more of a point of contention. also, the highlighting is too strong in that same area, almost to the point of being blown out.
even though this isnt quite 'real', i would have slightly reduced the shadow between the breasts, especially where it falls on the right one. that deeper shadow there makes the right one seem pushed in a bit.
the panties/knickers is purely a personal call. frankly, as a man, i find it less sexy, as in 'sloppy dresser'. either all panties or all dress, but not both.
also, if you're going to do a breast augmentation, which she doesnt really need, by the way, then it's often a good idea, particularly with this pose, to slightly alter the head, widening it just a bit in the shadowed hair area. otherwise the breast increase tends to throw off proportions. and i do mean slightly.
i also think lightening her lipstick is a mistake. she has RED hair and RED freckles. so the original lipstick/color was better.
the sword...there was a sword in that picture? oh, ok. frankly, i'm not even sure why it's in this shot. there's something a bit odd about a bare-breasted maiden wielding a sword. it just doesnt follow. it's sort of non-sequiter. so, i'd either remove the sword or band her breasts. but again, artistic license, i suppose. i have seen black swords before, but even they had a gleam. metal is metal, after all.
also, on her stomach/lower chest area, i'd have simply reduced/softened the angles a bit there and maybe the shading to give a more fluid, softer look rather than trying to alter the body style.
and, as well as the too bright area around the left breast, i think you also highlighted some of the other areas a bit too much. the original lighting was better.
and very well done on the background. that's an A+
overall, despite what all my criticisms make this sound like, you did do a good job. the finished picture is pretty nice in its own right. it's just when comparing to the original that certain things stand out more (and no, that wasnt meant as a sexual innuendo ).
and one last item, trick here. if you look at the smaller version on that web site, before you click it to see the enlarged version, notice the proportions, especially the hips. it's most obvious there in that look.
edit: oh, and one last thing. if this is a model for some sort of fantasy setting/characterization, then i'd widen the eyes ever so slightly and make the iris color stand out a bit more.
Last edited by Craig Walters; 06-30-2006 at 03:06 PM.
Am I getting any better?
This is my last one...
is not even in deviant yet. (on a side... I got my first DD Deviant of the day) On my Stradiveetle. Is in the front page if you want to see it )
Let me have it!
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