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

Whats your typical retouching workflow?

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  #1  
Old 11-11-2006, 11:07 AM
scott watson scott watson is offline
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Whats your typical retouching workflow?

Hi all Im wondering what workflow you all use for retouching. obviously it depends on the image.

ie if you have a noisy image when would you reduce the noise? would it be after spotting, retouching and dust scatch removal or before? Or would it be after or before tonal and colour correction?

As I said it depends on the image so please feel free explain your workflows for all different types of images

Thanks Scott.
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  #2  
Old 11-11-2006, 11:38 AM
dvaught dvaught is offline
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Re: Whats your typical retouching workflow?

Convert to appropriate color mode
Duplicate background layer to preserve original
Save as PSD
Perform all retouching alterations
Color correction

The reason I leave color correction until the end is that I often times use layer masks that are modified channels. I may duplicate my black for instance and apply a curve to it and use it as a mask on an adjustment layer. If you do this prior to retouch alterations the layer mask alpha channel does not match image pixel data. You can do preliminary color correction at any time, as long as you make sure your masks are replaced at the end.
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Old 11-11-2006, 12:12 PM
scott watson scott watson is offline
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Re: Whats your typical retouching workflow?

Hi David I had a look at your website and the quality of your retouching is superb. Your workflow is more or less the same as mine.
Though if the image I'm working on is dull and underexposed I will usally correct this firts with a levels adjustment layer before I do the retouching. I will then option merge visible into a new layer. then do the cloning, healing etc on separate layers.

David do you do this at all?
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Old 11-14-2006, 01:51 PM
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KennyMc KennyMc is offline
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Re: Whats your typical retouching workflow?

My 10 point process is as follows...

1... Open image, go to History, click on the little icon to create a new image (called open), close the original...

2.. If I've had to use a high ISO and noise reduction is needed I do this first with Noisware Pro...

3... Crop to working size/better composition if need be, as I think it's pointless working on parts of an image I will crop later...

4... Check Levels...

5... Check Curves...

6... Check for areas that need dodging or burning...

7... Check Hue & Saturation of each individual colour...

8... Check for distracting objects to clone out or other manipulation that may need doing...

9... Sharpen...

10... Save under new name...

This may change if I come up with a workflow that works better for me...
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Old 11-14-2006, 04:36 PM
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cricket1961 cricket1961 is offline
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Re: Whats your typical retouching workflow?

Davids workflow is pretty much the same as mine with one exception. I no longer save images as .psd files. I leave them in the .tiff format. There is less chance of incompatibility with legacy programs and the tiff saves down smaller with the compressions allowed for.

Chris
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  #6  
Old 11-14-2006, 09:11 PM
dvaught dvaught is offline
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Re: Whats your typical retouching workflow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scott watson
Hi David I had a look at your website and the quality of your retouching is superb. Your workflow is more or less the same as mine.
Though if the image I'm working on is dull and underexposed I will usally correct this firts with a levels adjustment layer before I do the retouching. I will then option merge visible into a new layer. then do the cloning, healing etc on separate layers.

David do you do this at all?
Thanks for the compliment Scott. I will have it updated in a week or so. Totally different format within the portfolio section. Lots of new stuff too. Most of what is on there right now is over a year old.

To answer your question, yes I do occasionally if the image needs an overall color balance or something. Usually don't touch levels or curves until editing is complete though.
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Old 11-14-2006, 09:36 PM
dvaught dvaught is offline
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Re: Whats your typical retouching workflow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cricket1961
Davids workflow is pretty much the same as mine with one exception. I no longer save images as .psd files. I leave them in the .tiff format. There is less chance of incompatibility with legacy programs and the tiff saves down smaller with the compressions allowed for.

Chris
Great mind think alike.

After I am finished with an image I do save it out as Tif with LZW. But it is flattened. A working layered file (PSD or Tif) has no business being placed into Quark or InDesign because of the size regardless of compression. And it eliminates the chance that a production artist might look at the file to see what was done and leave a layer turned off or move something.

Generally speaking a layered Tif file will only save you minimal disc space, less than half of 1 percent. The drawback to the layered Tif is that it takes about 1/3 more processing time to open and save than the natve PSD. On a 500+ meg file that is alot of process time during the course of a day. When I am finished I have a PSD folder that gets archived and a Tif folder that is given to the client. I do not save my flattend Tif's because if I ever need it again I can just open the PSD and re-save. In the end either format is fine and both utilize a form or non-destuctive compression so it really is preference.

Here are pro's and cons that I have run into with both file formats.

Layered Tif pro's:
Will save a little disc space
Can be placed into Quark or InDesign (not suggested)

Layered Tif Con's
More processing time to open and save


Layered PSD pro's
Application native improves process time

Layered PSD Con's
Slightly larger disc impression
Can only be placed into InDesign, Quark 7, or Quark 6.5 with PSD import plugin
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  #8  
Old 11-16-2006, 03:45 PM
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cricket1961 cricket1961 is offline
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Re: Whats your typical retouching workflow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dvaught
Great mind think alike.

After I am finished with an image I do save it out as Tif with LZW. But it is flattened. A working layered file (PSD or Tif) has no business being placed into Quark or InDesign because of the size regardless of compression. And it eliminates the chance that a production artist might look at the file to see what was done and leave a layer turned off or move something.

Generally speaking a layered Tif file will only save you minimal disc space, less than half of 1 percent. The drawback to the layered Tif is that it takes about 1/3 more processing time to open and save than the natve PSD. On a 500+ meg file that is alot of process time during the course of a day. When I am finished I have a PSD folder that gets archived and a Tif folder that is given to the client. I do not save my flattend Tif's because if I ever need it again I can just open the PSD and re-save. In the end either format is fine and both utilize a form or non-destuctive compression so it really is preference.

Here are pro's and cons that I have run into with both file formats.

Layered Tif pro's:
Will save a little disc space
Can be placed into Quark or InDesign (not suggested)

Layered Tif Con's
More processing time to open and save


Layered PSD pro's
Application native improves process time

Layered PSD Con's
Slightly larger disc impression
Can only be placed into InDesign, Quark 7, or Quark 6.5 with PSD import plugin

All Excellent points David.

I too never save my flattened files, waste of space and with ready made action droplets it takes no time at all to make a new one from the psd.

I don't deal with placing files into DP applications anymore so I don't worry about it much, especially since I only send out flattened files in the format requested.

The biggest reason that I don't save psd files any more is becasue there is no guarantee for backwards compatability even in Photoshop. If you choose the compatiblity function in the preferences all that is doing is ensuring that a "flat version" of the file is being made within the file that will ensure that it opens in a non-tolerant application. Unfortunetly this includes Photoshop and will increasingly be a problem with more updates.

Tiff files are basically a "open source" file format that will continue to be supported for a lot longer than psd file will be, even from Adobe. Tiff files actually support more capabilities than psd file also.

Compressed Tiff files DO save more slowly but I think the opening time is not really a difference enough to worry about. And a zip or lzw compressed layered Tiff is a pretty large difference and can save disk space. And as a final archive format it is preferable, at least to me.

Chris
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