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Major Differences Between Color and BW Retouching Technique?

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  #1  
Old 11-13-2006, 12:35 PM
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rnbluvva rnbluvva is offline
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Question Major Differences Between Color and BW Retouching Technique?

Hi everyone,

I was wondering if people could share how they treat BW and Color images for retouches. Do you follow the same work flow and process or do you treat Color images one way and Black and White ones another way?

Thanks
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Old 11-13-2006, 12:55 PM
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Re: Major Differences Between Color and BW Retouching Technique?

natalie,

never really thought about it much. basically, black and white is much easier... 256 shades of gray as opposed to 16 million color choices. and, it always depends more on the image than anything else. but it's certainly a lot easier to deal with skin in black and white. shading is also easier. matching color tones when shading can be tricky. gradients of any kind are easier as well.

as for technique differences, i dont really do that much different. even some things like byRo's degrunge dont change with black and white vs. color and a pimple still needs to be cloned out. i do probably use clone more in black and white. it's just much easier to make transitions and such in black and white. but i probably tend to do more airbrush in color, especially on transitions. so, it varies a bit. but things like curves and levels are equally important to both. so most variations come as a result of the individual image rather than whether it's color or b&w.
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Old 11-13-2006, 01:13 PM
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Re: Major Differences Between Color and BW Retouching Technique?

Craig,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

It is a lot easier to deal with B/W for skin, I find.

One thing I am interested in is dodging and burning for retouching. I haven't done a whole lot of this and was wondering if the method is the same for color and BW? Do you know of any tutorials that show how to use dodging and burning to retouch skin?

I am trying to move away from using blur to smooth skin out, but find this a much more painstaking process than using a bit of blur with a mask and very lightly applying it.

I just want to know if I should be looking at different methods/treatments for BW and Color images.

Generally, I follow the same flow and techniques for both, but I am always wanting to find the best way to work with the images.
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Old 11-13-2006, 02:05 PM
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Re: Major Differences Between Color and BW Retouching Technique?

natalie,

i use no blur in retouching, except when i airbrush on a blank layer. then i may gausian blur that layer to smooth out the airbrush.

generally, i use clone and byRo's degrunge, though i do shade and color sometimes with airbrushing. again, this just depends on the image and work needed.

oddly, i'm not a big fan of crash and burn.... er, dodge and burn. i've used it some but mostly on photo art and not retouching. but, a lot of folks love it. there are a LOT of threads here on RP about d&b. i dont really know of one in particular. i do use psp's 'lighten/darken' brush, though, but also sparingly. my opinion on d&b and lighten/darken in psp is that the tools need a bit of refinement and that may be why i dont use them more. then again, it's probably that i havent really studied the methods much.

all of this is also somewhat of a generality. every image brings its own set of problems. and it also matters a great deal what look you're going for. pageantry retouching, for instance, is quite a bit different from glamour retouching, and both of those are quite different from 'simple' retouching, the kind of thing you might do on a school picture. and a number of folks create or have created their own styles which differ from all of the above.

you might also look into 'painting with light'. this is something that's been discussed on RP a fair amount also.

skin seems to be the major issue in retouching. getting that 'clean' look without losing the texture is the trick. so, at least semi-realism seems to be the goal. there are a LOT of threads on skin handling. and glamour varies a bit also. one glam mag may have one look, while another yet another look. so, pick what you want as and end result and work backwards.

and just as an extra aside here, i studied one glam mag recently and noticed they were pulling a different trick. they did their retouches and then added an extra step or two in the printing. they were actually adding a sort of gold glitter to the print to make it shine and stand out a bit. a great look at first glance, but obvious on close inspection.
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