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Avoiding Plastic looking skin ??

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Old 04-24-2010, 05:15 AM
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Avoiding Plastic looking skin ??


I've been working on a black and white stained and creased photo that my mum wants fixed.

I've done everything except for the face, whenever I clone from a good source (at 100%) it looks good, but as soon as I zoom out to a more normal view, I see that the face looks like it's plastic.

I have tried different methods but still can't get it right.
I've got Sample All Layers checked.
Is there anything else I need to check or a setting that needs to be changed in Photoshop ?

Thanks in advance for any assistance.
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Old 04-24-2010, 05:45 AM
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philbach philbach is offline
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Re: Avoiding Plastic looking skin ??

fut why don't you post the photo you are working on so we can look at it? Instructions on how to do that are posted on this site.
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Old 04-24-2010, 06:58 AM
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Re: Avoiding Plastic looking skin ??

Ok, here's the original, untouched of course.
I'll post the finished one once I've got the face worked out.

I've repaired everything and left the face until last.
As you can see there's a stain on the face and arm.
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File Type: jpg img175.jpg (98.8 KB, 117 views)
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Old 04-24-2010, 11:38 AM
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Re: Avoiding Plastic looking skin ??

I would use the Red channel (either delete the other 2 channels or Image>Apply Image and apply the Red channel to the image). The Red is the cleanest channel and you will have the least work to do. Instead of the Clone tool on the face, use the Healing Brush.
Regards, Murray
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Old 04-24-2010, 11:53 AM
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Florin Florin is offline
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Re: Avoiding Plastic looking skin ??

If you have the original photography scan it in the gray scale at 800-1000 dpi. If it´s a file:
1. change this to the gray scale mode.
2. increase the resolution to 800 dpi. is the only way to have precision with your work.
3. apply some 3-5% noise / dust and scratches.
4. create a snapshot and fix the history pen origin (the eye) there. this will be very useful when you´ll screw something and so you´ll be able to repair it and do it again in a better way.
5. take the clonning brush (S) and work over the scratched areas with only 25 - 40% opacity. look for the best **% testing and testing. this way you should have nice transitions and avoid some strong visible brush strokes. of course you could do the same with the healing brush as Murray said. as you wish.
6. when finished, add some 2.5-3% noise / monochromatyc. try to choose some ammount which looks like the original noise.
7. blur it with some gaussian blur at 0.8-1%.
8. fix the history pen (eye) here, go back in the history window and activate the previous step of adding noise. using the history pen (Y) add the blurred noise over the areas you´ve been retouching.
9. now, add again the same noise (steps 6 and 7) but all over the pic.
10. change this stuff to the RGB mode.
11. use hue / saturation or image / adjustments / color balance (a few yellow and red) to have a nice sepia tone.
12. save the original image, duplicate it (new copy), crop it to the printing resolution (some 300 dpi) and size and... smile.

Last edited by Florin; 04-24-2010 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 04-25-2010, 12:22 AM
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Re: Avoiding Plastic looking skin ??

Thanks for all the info.
Will have another crack at it.
Unfortunately, I only have the file that was sent to me.
Will see what I can do with it anyway ...... thanks once again.
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:06 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Avoiding Plastic looking skin ??

the 'pasty' effect is generally the result of turning a multi-tone into a monotone. usually what happens in faces is that shadows and lines get erased by cloning or something along those lines, leaving only an all white (or whatever) face. you can correct it several ways. you can go back and redo the work to atone for the shadows and such, you can airbrush in some shadows and facial lines, or you can make a selection of the affected area and do an 'add noise'. generally, if i go the add noise route, i then blur the selection a bit to keep it from looking too much like freckles. sometimes it's just fine and looks like pores, but sometimes not.
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