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First Beauty Retouch

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  #1  
Old 03-08-2012, 11:45 AM
Andymania Andymania is offline
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First Beauty Retouch

Hey Guys,

This is my first beauty retouch. After intense research and practice, I tried it with this image.

Note: I did read the Posting guidelines sticky

Note: All photos Copyright 2011 Hotpixel LLC www.digitalphotoshopretouching.com

I do not know who the photographer is but I posted the copyright notification.

In the terms and conditions it says that the retouched practice file cannot be greater than 800x600 pixels if intended for public or web viewing. However I made it a little bigger so you guys can see it better. I don't know how anyone can make a good judgement with 800x600 pixels.

Link to the before shot:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/77745295@N02/6964702247/

Link to the after shot:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/77745295@N02/6964704435/

Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 03-08-2012, 05:23 PM
Mike Needham's Avatar
Mike Needham Mike Needham is offline
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Re: First Beauty Retouch

Skin tones need evening as do the neck creases and the like. I have markd up a photo, but don't consider it the definitive answer, just another opinion
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File Type: jpg marked-up.jpg (90.1 KB, 97 views)
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  #3  
Old 03-08-2012, 06:54 PM
Andymania Andymania is offline
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Re: First Beauty Retouch

I was afraid of smoothing the neck creases since these wrinkles are natural on the neck and the skin might get too perfect and ceramic
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  #4  
Old 03-08-2012, 08:34 PM
kav kav is offline
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Re: First Beauty Retouch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andymania View Post
I was afraid of smoothing the neck creases since these wrinkles are natural on the neck and the skin might get too perfect and ceramic
That front page link looks terrible. I mean that's not where you should want to go with an image. It relies a lot on contrasty background and too much sharpening on the eyes from what I can see.

Your work just shows a lack of comprehension. The neck lines aren't a big deal, but they should correlate better with some of the other skin fold shading so that they appear logical under the same lighting. Apart from that, some of your highlights, skintones, and background color adjustment are just plain weird (like the highlighted edges on the background or the saturated shadows). What you need is better comprehension. Put down the dvds. Stop watching youtube. Look at real published photos, real makeup colors, and anatomy so that you can better understand human muscle and bone structure. You'll gain way more from that. With retouching stuff, everyone has their own method. You just need to ensure you have proper control and that you can blend things without weird results or uncontrollable shifts. It's really just that, control and comprehension.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Needham View Post
Skin tones need evening as do the neck creases and the like. I have markd up a photo, but don't consider it the definitive answer, just another opinion
Somehow you managed to outline some of the things I actually like. He might tone some of them down and match them up better, but leaving some stuff can be nice. A lot of what I dislike was actually created in retouching.
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  #5  
Old 03-09-2012, 10:01 AM
Andymania Andymania is offline
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Re: First Beauty Retouch

Kav,

Thanks for the input. Some of your input is a bit vague for me. You mentioned my highlights, midtones and highlights are "weird" I will need something a little more specific than that. I actually didn't watch any dvds. Maybe a few youtube videos. I am a classically trained oil painter so this transition will take some time. (In regards to anatomy, I memorized almost every bone and ligament, lol)

I'll try to make some of the recommended changes and repost again. But some specific feedback would be great.
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  #6  
Old 03-09-2012, 06:17 PM
kav kav is offline
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Re: First Beauty Retouch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andymania View Post
Kav,

Thanks for the input. Some of your input is a bit vague for me. You mentioned my highlights, midtones and highlights are "weird" I will need something a little more specific than that. I actually didn't watch any dvds. Maybe a few youtube videos. I am a classically trained oil painter so this transition will take some time. (In regards to anatomy, I memorized almost every bone and ligament, lol)

I'll try to make some of the recommended changes and repost again. But some specific feedback would be great.
That's excellent . I still keep references around. You linked to what looked like one of those retouching dvds. That's why I went into that.

Okay specific things (ask specific questions if I don't include something)...

Some of the colors are definitely off. The shadows pick up a lot of red. Some of it's the photo and initial raw processing, but the way you added contrast probably made it worse. In the after that tan line shape on the chest really sticks out because it gets further apart from the rest of the image in contrast. I'd remove any global contrast and just shade it bit by bit with adjustment layers and masks (personally) with only light amounts of global contrast. I like that you didn't want to remove some of those facial features. I don't like overdone stuff either, but I think some of your broader adjustments are pushing the image in that direction. With some things like the lips, the original color seemed a bit closer to a real lip color even though I don't entirely like either. There are little things to watch for like the spottiness on the chest, but the main thing is to work with the lighting in the shot for the contrast rather than just use rough adjustments which I think are the source of many of your problems.

So if I was doing this image, I'd go for better uniformity on skintone and overall hue. Shadows and highlights do shift in color, but usually not to that amount. i'd make the background contrast her skintone a bit more and fall off gradually toward the edges rather than quickly like in the original. I'd most likely see if I can do something about the hair roots. If not, I'd try not to emphasize them. I'd bring out the color in the eyes and possibly add a bit of fill without them looking glassy (again I've studied eye anatomy and I have a good idea of how the eye lights up, if I was stuck, I'd look at other photos of eyes). I could go on, but there is quite a lot I would do without really making it feel more retouched than what you are viewing right now.

Your classic training should help you immensely. Have you spent much time drawing in photoshop though? When I don't understand something, I often make a line drawing of it to get a better understanding. I don't know if you're using a tablet or mouse. Both have various settings, and both feel different depending on ergonomic placement on a desk or whatever. The reason I mention this is that you should have a very refined level of control with whatever tool you're using. Sometimes you have to fine tune settings to where they're comfortable. I'll tell you my personal preferences. If it's a small tablet with a pen I use mouse mode, acceleration off, mapping speed lowest or second lowest. I test it like that to make sure it feels right when I'm making lines and sketches. I test straight lines, curves, and some line drawing so that it feels right in all directions. If it's a mouse, basically same settings. If it's a large tablet, I use pen mode with it set to a reduced portion of the display matching the tablet area. It's quite annoying, but I get a 1:1 mapping ratio that I like.

Anyway the real point in that is for it to be fully controllable. I mention this as it may matter to you later. Early on you're less likely to notice small changes in precision (or at least that was my experience).

On the image again, I'd take off that global contrast for now, give the skintone better uniformity in the areas there it's an issue of tan lines, weird lighting, blood flow, etc. Obviously some of the initial specular highlights like in the arms are anatomical. The fingers could be a little less off color relative to the other part of the hand. That contrast is kind of distracting from the face. The bikini type tan line (it's not pronounced but that's what it is) could be toned down a bit. Looking at it again it partially looks that way because of the surrounding shadows, but you brought it out more rather than blending it in a bit. The ear also goes a bit light. They naturally collect light given the thinner cartilage there along with that bounce or kicker light they have going. I'd just make it a bit less distracting.

I can't find anything good at the moment to illustrate my point. You want some kind of flow to the skintone, and rather than providing that, you're pushing much of it into sort of patches with abrupt transitions rather than making it feel like she has really good skin. Does that make sense?
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  #7  
Old 03-10-2012, 01:01 PM
Andymania Andymania is offline
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Re: First Beauty Retouch

Wow Kav thanks a bunch! That's alot of great specific infor that I need!! I do use a Wacom tablet to draw since I do have some digital painting experience. Alot of the hair that I added was nothing more than working at 800% with a 1 pixel diameter and 100% hardness brush so that one can't tell whats "photoshopped" and whats not, lol. Literally changing individual pixels.

Anyway, in regards to global adjustments. I should try to do as much work in Adobe Camera Raw first before I open it in PS since its indestructable and there are some great tools in it, right? This pic felt like an Oil of Olay or Ponds Facial Cream ad hence all the overdone bright peachy look to it. I will take your advice and make the adjustments.

Thanks a bunch!
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  #8  
Old 03-10-2012, 06:01 PM
kav kav is offline
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Re: First Beauty Retouch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andymania View Post
Wow Kav thanks a bunch! That's alot of great specific infor that I need!! I do use a Wacom tablet to draw since I do have some digital painting experience. Alot of the hair that I added was nothing more than working at 800% with a 1 pixel diameter and 100% hardness brush so that one can't tell whats "photoshopped" and whats not, lol. Literally changing individual pixels.

Anyway, in regards to global adjustments. I should try to do as much work in Adobe Camera Raw first before I open it in PS since its indestructable and there are some great tools in it, right? This pic felt like an Oil of Olay or Ponds Facial Cream ad hence all the overdone bright peachy look to it. I will take your advice and make the adjustments.

Thanks a bunch!
With hair I don't have a rule on width or hardness. I look at the real hair. I draw it as needed, draw in appropriate highlights and shadows, and often add noise or clip extracted detail from real hair. If i'm drawing wisps I'll connect them either directly or in terms of flow. My answers are pretty thorough because I hate bad information.

I have heard the thing before about make every adjustment in raw processing. I don't really do that for a reason. I like a good exposure there. Things should kind of line up. I don't like too much sharpening (preference of mine) and I don't crank any curves or add a lot of contrast because that generally compromises detail. The vast majority of my adjustment isn't global adjustment at all. It's really typical for me to clipping path a subject and certain features just to allow myself a basis for clean work. I don't clone or healing brush much. I tend to rebuild and line up texture instead. It takes getting used to, but I can work quite fast even doing it that way by mitigating errors that must be fixed later. Just think about over the course of an image how much even little errors can be compounded. This doesn't mean working at 800% or anything like that. I work mostly at 50-100% and my work blends seamlessly at 400%. I don't see a problem with that.

I'd like to hear more about your digital painting. This stuff is really similar. If something just doesn't work, I end up drawing it and doing a bunch of stuff to make it blend. The thing about editing as much in ACR really is overblown. You'll never get a photo like this perfect. it's more important that your highlights aren't losing detail, your exposure is in a good place, and the image is very workable. Sometimes most of my steps later will be non global and applying broad sweeping adjustments just makes the post work much harder.

In a later version of photoshop I expect them to eventually dump much of the processing in favor of a linear rasterization method dumped into a 32 bpc floating point space with camera native gamut proofed to a working profile and gamma correction as a visual correction only. This would allow fairly non destructive editing and easier lighting as you have in a program like Nuke (yes I wish Adobe was more like The Foundry). That's kind of my next goal, learn video compositing. I can already make 3d elements for still photos to include in retouching. I've started to pick up more illustration and line drawing again. While I'm not amazing at it, it definitely helps keep the retouching skill sharp because between that and 3d modeling, you're forced to examine the shapes present in subjects.

When you're starting out retouching, using beauty ads for reference isn't a bad thing, but I'd pick the least retouched looking ads to emulate. You need to understand their creation. Most clients that have some sense of taste are very sensitive about things looking overdone. When I look at many of these ads, they look overdone, yet this is basically the sum total of potentially many rounds of corrections, and if the client approves something, they can't go back on it. You're much better off trying to calculate what you can sell as realistic. Also if you're viewing on the web, it doesn't always give you a complete idea of the texture which is typically preserved as much as possible.

The material you work on most likely won't get to that level, but you can do 90% of it or at least more than most people realize. The way a lot of very prominent photography looks unretouched really varies quite a lot. Some of it looks really good. Some of it looks like a train wreck especially when they're rushed. It's just if you can do super subtle work that blends seamlessly and learn to understand the color or know when something won't work or doesn't have the necessary detail, you can get much further with it. I'd bet you I could get that photo almost to ad level, but it would take a while, and the things I'd do wouldn't necessarily be the same as other comments on here would suggest (it's much more than just what you remove in terms of blemishes and smoothing).

Okay i've written enough for one day. Now I wish to hear about your digital painting.
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  #9  
Old 03-12-2012, 10:33 AM
Andymania Andymania is offline
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Re: First Beauty Retouch

Kav,

I started really getting interested in digital matte paintings for films. Using a combination of photo-compositing along with pure digital painting to create surreal backdrops is something I started practicing. Also, I enjoy doing character and environment design via wacom tablet along with CS5 and Corel painter. So, I will try to get a digital matte painting portfolio together sometime in the near future.
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  #10  
Old 03-12-2012, 11:32 PM
kav kav is offline
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Re: First Beauty Retouch

I'd be amazed if a lot of those matte paintings didn't have bits of cg in them these days. Matte paintings even as backdrops basically make use of whatever they have available, and low poly background elements aren't that difficult to model to match the rest (also they shouldn't take long at all to render).
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