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Loretta Lux's skin tone and pastel tinting

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  #11  
Old 04-09-2006, 11:35 AM
NancyJ's Avatar
NancyJ NancyJ is offline
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Why strange?
Theres really nothing new to be said on the topic that hasnt already been said. How she does it? Well you'd have to ask her. Can it be done a number of ways - yes. Personally I'd use curves and colour layers. Is there anything special about her retouching? No. In fact if she posted here for critique we could have a thread several pages long listing her mistakes.
If you just take her retouching at face value, a lot of isnt very good.

The 'appeal' of her work is not the retouching she does, its the image as a whole - thats everything from the model, the expression the costume, the lighting, backdrop, the choice of colours, everything. People dont pay ludicrious amounts of money for her work, or go to a gallery to see it to say 'oooh look at that retouching, its amazing'. They do those things because something about it appeals to them as an artistic piece not an example of technical wizardry.
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  #12  
Old 04-11-2006, 06:26 PM
singlo singlo is offline
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Well she won't tell you how she did it, becuase she even doesn't tell you her real names. According to a fashion magazine, some german guy tried to de-code the photoshop techniques of her retouching in a forum. MAybe the way she got the skin tone was very simple.
If she made lots of mistakes, I would imagine they are very good mistakes. At least she makes an art form of combining photgraphy and retouching.
I suppose there are no rules; right or wrong things to do in photography/retouching. She is just very good at expressing her artistic vision in her head (imaginery world) and throwing the viewers' perception off balance, provoking both negative and positive emotions from people. This distinguishs her style from commercial glossy stuff, Dior look or whatever. If she followed the "rules", her stuff would look like everybody's else and nobody would pay mega $$$$ to buy her works.
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  #13  
Old 04-12-2006, 03:06 AM
imsireal imsireal is offline
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Re: Loretta Lux Skin effect

I am fairly new here and I saw this discussion on Loretta Lux's skin. I have attached two files and while it may not be exactly the same as Loretta Lux's images, it might help in giving you some hints as to how to get voluminous, pastel/porcelain skin.

This tecchnique is my own, so I am not going to give a full play-by-play. Most of you are smart enough to figure out what's missing anyway.

Firstly, for this effect, you need a well-lit subject. You can try it on a high-con, or dark, moody image, but your mileage may vary.

Open the image in PS, do you basic adjustments and retouch the image to fix the skin etc.

At this point I would do a batch of capture sharpening. If you don't know what I am talking about, then google it.

Next, I create a new blurred, layer with an alpha layer mask. I then paint in the layer mask wherever the skin is, being careful to leave in important details like eyes, lips, etc. This gives the skin an overall consistency. Adjust the opacity of this layer until you like it and it still look convincing.

Next step is to create a merged layer and convert it to black and white (I use a Deep Red Contrast filter). This layer is the key really. You can copy the layer mask from the blurred layer, but then you will want to make some adjustments to the layer to get everything looking right. Play with opacity to taste.

Next you can finish sharpening and then make any other adjustments as you like.

That's it in a nutshell.

I have no idea if this is anything close to LL's technique. I imagine her's is more involved, but while I admire what she does, I don't really find her work all that compelling. It has a 'Children of the Corn' effect to it, and I am always expecting their eyes to start glowing.

This technique of mine is just a simple way to get a nice soft, porcelain skin effect. Please do not ask me for more details. My instructions are a bit vague so that you have room to experiment and take it further, so do just that. If you come up with something new or easier or better, then let me know.

Bryon Paul McCartney
www.atelier-mccartney.com
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ArtemisFauna_400.jpg (49.6 KB, 828 views)
File Type: jpg StefSuze_JF8F3776.jpg (68.0 KB, 696 views)

Last edited by imsireal; 04-12-2006 at 03:15 AM.
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  #14  
Old 04-12-2006, 05:48 PM
singlo singlo is offline
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Thank you very much for your input.

Quote:
Next, I create a new blurred, layer with an alpha layer mask. I then paint in the layer mask wherever the skin is, being careful to leave in important details like eyes, lips, etc. This gives the skin an overall consistency. Adjust the opacity of this layer until you like it and it still look convincing.
I got the idea of it. You blur the skin texture and blemish, masking out the details and edges.This sounds like the same idea used in Edge Sharpening technique using alpha channel which I use all the time--EXCEPT they are reversed: you blur the skin areas masking the edges and details like eyes, lips and hair-while Edge Sharpening selectively sharpens only the "large scale" edges of the eyes, lips..etc leaving out the "small scale " pores and digital sensor nosies...something similar but not quite the same steps.

Quote:
Next step is to create a merged layer and convert it to black and white (I use a Deep Red Contrast filter). This layer is the key really. You can copy the layer mask from the blurred layer, but then you will want to make some adjustments to the layer to get everything looking right. Play with opacity to taste.
I think this has very similar effect as the red channel technique I mentioned above. The red filter on BW layer emulates the effect of red filter on BW film or the red sensitivity of very old 30-40s BW tungsten film that produced silky skin tones, brilliant highlights, and soft contrast shadows. YOu can also use channel mixer instead of red filter in PS.

Last edited by singlo; 04-12-2006 at 06:04 PM.
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  #15  
Old 04-13-2006, 01:46 AM
imsireal imsireal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by singlo
Thank you very much for your input.
I think this has very similar effect as the red channel technique I mentioned above. The red filter on BW layer emulates the effect of red filter on BW film or the red sensitivity of very old 30-40s BW tungsten film that produced silky skin tones, brilliant highlights, and soft contrast shadows. YOu can also use channel mixer instead of red filter in PS.
I use PhotoKit for the Deep Red Contrast, mainly because it automatically creates a new layer. You could use Channel Mixer as well, I suppose, as most of the work is done in the layer mask. In these images, I am using this BW layer to control the amount of color in the skin, more painting in the layer mask means more color in the final image, etc. You have to do a lot of painting in the layer masks to get this look right, in these images you have to separate the hair, eyes, lips, etc and convincing blend the skin tones to look right. How much opacity you give to the layers also affects the end result quite a bit.
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  #16  
Old 06-04-2006, 08:23 AM
RAitch RAitch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imsireal
I am fairly new here and I saw this discussion on Loretta Lux's skin. I have attached two files and while it may not be exactly the same as Loretta Lux's images, it might help in giving you some hints as to how to get voluminous, pastel/porcelain skin.

This tecchnique is my own, so I am not going to give a full play-by-play. Most of you are smart enough to figure out what's missing anyway.

Firstly, for this effect, you need a well-lit subject. You can try it on a high-con, or dark, moody image, but your mileage may vary.

Open the image in PS, do you basic adjustments and retouch the image to fix the skin etc.

At this point I would do a batch of capture sharpening. If you don't know what I am talking about, then google it.

Next, I create a new blurred, layer with an alpha layer mask. I then paint in the layer mask wherever the skin is, being careful to leave in important details like eyes, lips, etc. This gives the skin an overall consistency. Adjust the opacity of this layer until you like it and it still look convincing.

Next step is to create a merged layer and convert it to black and white (I use a Deep Red Contrast filter). This layer is the key really. You can copy the layer mask from the blurred layer, but then you will want to make some adjustments to the layer to get everything looking right. Play with opacity to taste.

Next you can finish sharpening and then make any other adjustments as you like.

That's it in a nutshell.

I have no idea if this is anything close to LL's technique. I imagine her's is more involved, but while I admire what she does, I don't really find her work all that compelling. It has a 'Children of the Corn' effect to it, and I am always expecting their eyes to start glowing.

This technique of mine is just a simple way to get a nice soft, porcelain skin effect. Please do not ask me for more details. My instructions are a bit vague so that you have room to experiment and take it further, so do just that. If you come up with something new or easier or better, then let me know.

Bryon Paul McCartney
www.atelier-mccartney.com
I never understood why people would want to post half-ass instructions as a "tutorial" on how to do something. If you're not going to share everything... why spend the time?

Not trying to duplicate this skin tone... here's something cool that I have used before to give a picture a real muted pastel type tone.

Duplicate your merged layer and desaturate it. Then copy the desaturated layer 2 more times.
On the middle B&W layer, change the blend mode to screen.
On the top B&W layer, change the blend mode to soft light (and/or play with the other contrast blend modes - hard light/vivid light/overlay)
Now, drop the opacity of the first (untouched) B&W layer so the original image won't be totally converted.
Then drop the opacity of the screen level a bit so you won't blow it out totally.
Then drop the opacity of the soft light layer (top) to get the effect you want... combined with masking, it's a cool effect. Once you get the effect you want, you can merge the new B&W layers together and add a mask.

Just tweak around with the layer opacities until you get something you like.
The bottom layer controls how desaturated the image is.
The screen layer controls brightening the image.
And the softlight layer controls the contrast of the image. Generally, it'll look better with high opacity.

Anyway, those instructions might not get the exact result you're looking for, but at least it's something to play with that has complete instructions not holding anything back.

Knowledge is only power when you share it.
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  #17  
Old 06-04-2006, 03:09 PM
limaze limaze is offline
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hello, first of all i must say i am no art nor photoshop expert, but what i see of "Loretta Lux" in googles picture search does not make me a HUGE admirer of what she does. can someone please post one picture of her work that shows what all you guys think is so genius?

the website lorettalux.de also seems dead.
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  #18  
Old 06-09-2006, 03:17 PM
toyo toyo is offline
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Something like this?

RAitch, thanks! It's simple and effective
Attached Images
File Type: jpg matyas_for_web.jpg (74.8 KB, 639 views)
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  #19  
Old 07-08-2006, 09:35 PM
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Benny Profane Benny Profane is offline
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I'd like to meet her. The first question I'd ask is how she really intends to have her images seen. By that, I would ask if she wanted her images admired on a gallery wall, on paper produced throught the latest high end archival technology on the best printers (Epson? Iris? Veris?). Or does she see her stuff in a well printed gravure book. Or cheap magazine mass produced offset printing. Or low rez on the web, which, by the way, is what everyone in this thread seems to be basing their critiques on. Which is cool, it's the most democratic medium of the time. But, you know, flesh tones look a whole lot better on a nice Epson print than an old 15 inch monitor. Or maybe not. Low rez web graphics hide a lot.

Maybe she doesn't care (heresy alert!!). Maybe she just wants you disturbed by those "looks". Wants you talking, thinking about something else but photoshop. That's what I think.
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  #20  
Old 07-09-2006, 03:58 AM
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NancyJ NancyJ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benny Profane
Maybe she doesn't care (heresy alert!!). Maybe she just wants you disturbed by those "looks". Wants you talking, thinking about something else but photoshop. That's what I think.
...or maybe she just wants your 5 figure $$ for work thats largely media hype (as all contemporary art is)
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