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Photo Retouching "Improving" photos, post-production, correction, etc.

Novice retouch

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Old 12-20-2005, 04:28 PM
maureeno maureeno is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 214
Here's my go at the wee sprite....

As you can see, I opened her pupils a bit. I did none of this in PS (I am limited to PS6) and did the project in PhotoImpact 10.


Last edited by maureeno; 12-20-2005 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 12-20-2005, 07:17 PM
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briarrose briarrose is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 69
Nicely done--and welcome! :-)

I couldn't resist giving this little sweetie a try, myself...and my end result leans a bit more towards photo art, rather than a retouch job--but this little one is such a cutie that I couldn't help myself! :-) (I can't decide who was in my subconscious more...Dolly Dimple...or the Northern Bathroom Tissue girls! ;-))

First, I masked out the background, and put in a background I'd painted some time ago, in Painter, then created a dark vignette, and put it over the background, then created a smaller, circular curve vignette that I set to screen, to site behind her head, and simulate a hair light.

Since it looked as if her hair was all brushed over to one side, rather than evenly distributed, I decided to "brush" it back, around her head. I cloned individual curls, and transformed them to fluff out the other side of her hair, then cloned her bangs, so they weren't quite so stringy looking, then used the smudege tool to "paint" her hair, on a new layer, then lowered the opacity way down again.

I converted the image to LAB, and tweaked the magenta and yellow values, and lightened the darker areas of the image, then hopped back to RGB to paint in larger irises and new catchlights. I then sampled multiple areas of her face, and painted on a couple of new, blank layers, using a brush in color mode (16% opacity), setting the layers to darken and lighten, to increase the color depth.

Since the catchlights didn't match the light source, I burned in more shadows and highlights, to suggest a more modeled light.

Finally, I transformed the little girl, so she was more tilted, and quizzical looking, cropped it off center, and then added a small, dark vignette over the girl, to draw her further in to the photo...and then burned in harder highlights around the edges of her hair, to suggest a hair light, and resized and sharpened.

Thanks for a fun 45 minutes or so! :-)
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Old 12-20-2005, 07:40 PM
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Cameraken Cameraken is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Lancashire (UK)
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Hi Lac
Welcome to Retouch Pro.

I couldn’t resist a play with this either.

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Old 12-20-2005, 08:41 PM
Lacrymator Lacrymator is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Briarrose that is amazing! I am in awe!!
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Old 12-21-2005, 03:20 AM
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briarrose briarrose is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 69
Thanks, Lac--but trust me--given a little bit of practice, you'll have no problem doing the same--and even better! :-) Nothing I did was terribly difficult or time-consuming.

Your "novice" post shows that you've got a good eye for details, and a strong artistic sense...and that's more than half the battle, in my opinion. (The other half is mostly mastering layers and layer masks. ;-)) Your cloning is especially impressive, particularly if you're not using layers to their fullest potential. (And don't worry about how long it took you! You should've seen some of MY early PS work!!! Oh sure, it might've LOOKED good...but OH the hours and hours and hours I spent, trying to get it there!!! Sometimes I revisit my original files...and I'm amazed at the convoluted paths I took to get to the end!)

I just realized that your original post said you were looking for advice on how you could've better accomplished your goal...and the best advice I can give you at this point is--master using layers and layer masks. They're the basis of EVERYTHING in Photoshop--and the key to a faster workflow...understanding them--makes understanding adjustment layers (mostly allowing you to "adjust" light and dark values and colors in your image) easier, more intuitive...and when you add using brush and layer blend modes into the mix, you've got a bag of tools that will allow you to do most anything you want, in Photoshop. After that--you'll still have plenty to learn--but even if your workflow isn't quite as fast or sophisticated as someone else's might be--it won't be obvious to most people. :-))

Oh yeah--my other advice is, if you CAN--spend at least 1 hour a day playing in PS, trying something new, or practicing something you're trying to master. I don't save most of my "practice" images--which means I'm free to REALLY experiment, without having to be "perfect"...and if I'm say, practicing with color balance layers, I don't waste my time trying to make perfect masks--I focus on my goal, for that hour. I tell my students they should think of it as "playing scales" for an hour everyday. ;-)

Last edited by briarrose; 12-21-2005 at 05:22 AM.
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