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New to beauty retouching

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  #1  
Old 12-19-2006, 08:21 PM
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Little Fisher Little Fisher is offline
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New to beauty retouching

Hello,

I've been trying to build my portfolio and am new to beauty retouching with Photoshop. I attached a before and after of a shot taken by a make up artist who needed a retoucher to help her out. I did this one as a test for her, but she never contacted me afterward. (I did it through Craigslist. She probably flipped a coin to pick a retoucher). I think it looks OK, but maybe I'm missing something. An honest opinion would help here.

As far as technique, I used the rubber stamp and heal tools to get the dark hairs and ect. out of there. Then I used a technique I learned from a Scott Kelby book (The Photoshop CS2 Book for Digital Photographers) for skin softening. I highly recommend this book, it's easy to follow, and gives a lot of information. Maybe I'm giving too much info, but I don't know how else to describe what I did...

1.Basically I made 2 duplicate layers and set one to darken and one to lighten in their blend modes. The darken layer is underneath the lighten layer.
2.Gaussian blur the darken layer by 40 pixels.
3.Gaussian blur the lighten layer by 60 pixels.
4.Lower the darken opacity by 40 percent
5.Hide the background layer by clicking on the eye icon and create a new layer. Drag the new layer to the top of the stack.
6.Press and hold the option key (for Mac) and choose Merge Visible from the Layer palette radio button. This combines both darken and lighten layers into the new top layer.
7.Make the backgound layer visible again and keep the new Merged layer on top, also visible.
8.Get rid of the lighten and darken layers.(Or keep them around with the eyes checked off to make them invisible,... in case you want to tweek the Gaussian blur on either the lighten or darken layers.)
9.Lower the opacity of the top layer to get the overall softening effect. (to each their own... some like more texture, some like the film noir effect)
10.Add a layer mask (bottom of the layers palette) to the top layer. Press the letter X until your Forground color is black and press B to the brush tool.
11.With a nice soft brush, bring back the areas that you want full detail (eyes, lashes, nose, etc.)
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File Type: jpg original.jpg (83.0 KB, 351 views)
File Type: jpg retouched.jpg (91.5 KB, 413 views)
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  #2  
Old 12-22-2006, 09:42 AM
Ant Ant is offline
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Re: New to beauty retouching

Please stop. EVERYONE - DO NOT BLUR. eom.
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  #3  
Old 12-22-2006, 12:07 PM
KR1156 KR1156 is offline
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Re: New to beauty retouching

Ant is right, and definitely set the tone.

Look up the Dodge & Burn method.......different retouchers have different approaches to D&B that come up with the same result. Learn it. Love it.

Here's a quick fix that i did to your file, spent about 1hr on it.
Very akward crop to begin with, so that doesnt help!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg new.jpg (94.8 KB, 239 views)
File Type: jpg newww.jpg (97.5 KB, 297 views)

Last edited by KR1156; 12-22-2006 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 12-22-2006, 05:12 PM
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Little Fisher Little Fisher is offline
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Re: New to beauty retouching

Thanks for the input. You're right, KR1156, the crop is strange, but I wanted to show an example of some pretty rough skin. I like your approach, but doesn't her skin still look look like sand paper? Or does it just take more time with the dodge and burn technique to soften it out a bit more? (Please don't be offending by my questioning, I'm still new and just want to understand everything. Especially if what I'm doing looks too much like an old Doris Day shot.)

I did a search for the dodge and burn method and found a pretty good discussion on the topic...
http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/pho...ge+burn+method

I feel a bit confused about how to go about smoothing skin the correct way, though. Some say don't blur, and use the dodge and burn method. Others say that dodging and burning only lightens and darkens and makes a grayish cast, then mention the de-grunge method...
http://retouchpro.com/tutorials/index.php?m=show&id=213

And some use a combination of both methods. I'll play around with both methods and see where it takes me.
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  #5  
Old 12-22-2006, 05:34 PM
KR1156 KR1156 is offline
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Re: New to beauty retouching

basically, you want to look as natural as possible,,,as if the picture was never even retouched. Blurs are a very obvious sign of retouching. Sometimes they come in handy if done properly.

Subtlety is a virtue.
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  #6  
Old 12-22-2006, 06:38 PM
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rnbluvva rnbluvva is offline
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Re: New to beauty retouching

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ant
Please stop. EVERYONE - DO NOT BLUR. eom.
Please show us some tutorials and pointers so we don't have to blur!

Thanks!
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Old 12-22-2006, 06:40 PM
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rnbluvva rnbluvva is offline
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Re: New to beauty retouching

Quote:
Originally Posted by KR1156
Ant is right, and definitely set the tone.

Look up the Dodge & Burn method.......different retouchers have different approaches to D&B that come up with the same result. Learn it. Love it.

Here's a quick fix that i did to your file, spent about 1hr on it.
Very akward crop to begin with, so that doesnt help!
I started a thread about using dodge and burn asking how to do it... so far no one really wants to give a full length, in depth tutorial or share secrets...
http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/pho...ght=dodge+burn

It's a conspiracy! LOL
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  #8  
Old 12-22-2006, 07:35 PM
KR1156 KR1156 is offline
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Re: New to beauty retouching

D&B is more than just a filter or quick fix, to me it's a painstaking process that you only get better and quicker at with practice. I haven't been doing for too long myself, so i cant offer any real guidance.

the basic principle is there in your threads, you just need to practice it and become comfortable with it.

and secondly, i really love to help people out as much as possible, but i have to RESPECT the very talented retoucher who has been cool enough to let me in on some of his industry secrets and not spread 'em around!

Now, that may sound like i'm being an ass, and this is supposed to be a forum to share practices, but like i said the methods are in the threads on the site already, i am just starting to get comfortable with the process and building confidence. Just be subtle and try not to over do anytghing.

p.s.......go over Godmothers post in that D&B thread.

Last edited by KR1156; 12-22-2006 at 07:44 PM.
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  #9  
Old 12-22-2006, 08:56 PM
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rnbluvva rnbluvva is offline
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Re: New to beauty retouching

Yeah I agree that there is no quick way to great skin and I think I just have to put in more time. But it does help to have people share how they do it. I know it's all secretive and stuff, but it just makes it harder to learn if you aren't fortunate enough to apprentice.

OK, off I go to make more light and dark splotches and try, try again! LOL
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  #10  
Old 01-19-2007, 03:20 PM
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Little Fisher Little Fisher is offline
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Re: New to beauty retouching

All right, I came back to it and gave it a different approach. I cleaned up around the eyebrow and the blue smudge by the corner of her eye, also. Man, that Ant makes me feel so bad about trying. But I guess I do try harder because of it. If only Ant had advice to make it better. I'm going to start looking for entry level retouching work in NYC and just pray I don't have to go through an Ant-interview, or discover that my desk would be next to Ant's.
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