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New retoucher looking for critique

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  #1  
Old 10-08-2010, 10:34 AM
pitbull2k4 pitbull2k4 is offline
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New retoucher looking for critique

Hello all,

I've only recently took an interest in retouching and have been following some tutorials and dvd's (most notably lynda's beginner to mastery courses).

So far I think it's going pretty well. I've went from a few horrific first retouches, to mostly just destroying the skin and now getting a pretty decent overall result. But looking around on the site I see some great retouching and realize I still have a long way to go.

I've included a picture I just finished, all in all I spent around 4 hours on it. Under this block of text there is a before and after picture and a download link to the layered tiff file (for those interested). I used the dual curves method for dodging and burning away blemishes and around 30 feathered curve selection layers (got that from Amy Dresser) to even the skin. The I slightly boosted lip and eye color. I sharpened the eyes a little to make them jump out. Lastly I used a selective color and vibrance adjustment layer (global) to get rid of the yellow through the whole image.

Before
After
Layered tiff file

Is there anything that doesn't look good, or gives away retouching? I've tried to keep that to a minimum but I'm sure a trained eye could spot a few things.

Excuse me for the wall of text and thanks in advance to anyone willing to take a look.
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Old 10-08-2010, 05:21 PM
GeorgeNC GeorgeNC is offline
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Re: New retoucher looking for critique

IMO ... I think a color correction might help a little. I added a little eyes and lips saturation and a bit of skin touch up and that was it ... maybe about 10 minutes worth. Retouching is great fun and it looks like you're on your way to mastering your craft. I'm a student and always will be ... it's a journey =)

I have a great action for retouching if you are interested ... just let me know.

-george
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File Type: jpg RT after02.jpg (86.6 KB, 39 views)
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Old 10-08-2010, 05:37 PM
pitbull2k4 pitbull2k4 is offline
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Re: New retoucher looking for critique

That actually does look far better when it´s a little less warm, did not occur to me as I was working on it.

I´m definitely interested in the action.

Thanks for the reply and help!
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Old 10-08-2010, 06:54 PM
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Boneappetit Boneappetit is offline
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Re: New retoucher looking for critique

Hi Pitbull2k4: When you do D&B in retouching you are on the right track. I'm also a newbie at the technique (about 3-4 months) and I asked for the same advice some time ago. Since this technique (along with Ps), takes some time to learn and apply, here are my 2 cents. IMHO, the portrait still needs a some healing-cloning, and a lot of D&B. I guess this is something that happens to everyone at the learning curve of the technique. Some Pros here gave me some great advice. Here one of them.

Create 2 help layers above the D&B curves for "eye help" - you can put these in a group:

1- Curve layer, this one could be an S curve for contrast or just pull the input end to the right to darken the image, just until you think comfortable with it. Not too dark not too clear.

2- Create a solid color layer (white) and change blend mode to color.

You can use both at the same time or one at a time whichever method you prefer, these layers help you localize the spots where you need to D or B.
I try to apply the dodging following the skin flow, and it works.
And of course a tablet is a major help.

Nice start.
Hope this help.

Last edited by Boneappetit; 10-08-2010 at 07:02 PM.
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Old 10-08-2010, 07:00 PM
GeorgeNC GeorgeNC is offline
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Re: New retoucher looking for critique

Quote:
Originally Posted by pitbull2k4 View Post
That actually does look far better when it´s a little less warm, did not occur to me as I was working on it.

I´m definitely interested in the action.

Thanks for the reply and help!
You are welcome ... I had the privilege to attend a workshop in L.A. Calif. some time ago hosted by photographer Joel Grimes. It changed everything for me with respect to my approach to Portrait photography. I'm sending you a link to his page on retouching. I made the action from this tutorial ... works great. I've passed it on to anyone interested. I tried uploading it to this site but was unable to do so. If you would like to send me some other contact info I would be happy to send it your way. Check out the link below and install this action. Follow along with his instructions and you will be amazed how well it works ... best of all ... it's fast and it's free.

http://web.me.com/joelgrimes/Joel_Gr...Smoothing.html

Cheers, george
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