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

Major mess

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  #1  
Old 01-29-2007, 01:30 PM
Tosca Tosca is offline
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Major mess

I have tried so many ways to retouch this shot. I'm only showing the forehead because it's the part that is giving me so much trouble. I've gone so far as just to replace the skin from another area of the forehead near the hairline but the results have been very disappointing.

I need to eventually get an even smooth tone without the dark blurry messes I've been creating by trying to get rid of the small hairs. Any suggestions?

I don't understand the method of creating a curve mask and plugging in the values that I've been reading about. Could someone go through the steps more clearly?

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

I hope my attachment made it on here.
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File Type: jpg skin sample.jpg (74.4 KB, 145 views)

Last edited by Tosca; 01-29-2007 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 01-29-2007, 01:37 PM
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imagae imagae is offline
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Re: Major mess

Hi...I don't see an attachment and I would love to get my hands on whatever is giving you so much trouble! Try uploading again!

Imagae
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Old 01-29-2007, 01:57 PM
Tosca Tosca is offline
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Re: Major mess

ok..I think it's attached now.
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Old 01-29-2007, 02:36 PM
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philbach philbach is offline
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Using Soft Focus Technique

This technique was described in Katrin Eisman's Book.

Copy the background layer and use screen blending mode. To the copied layer apply an aggressive Gaussian Blur ~50.

Copy that blurred layer and use Multiply Blending mode.

Select those two layers and choose new Group from layers. Add a black Group Mask. Then paint the mask with white where needed.

If the skin is too smooth/blurred you can decrease the opacity of the group
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Old 01-29-2007, 02:43 PM
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Daviskw Daviskw is offline
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Re: Major mess

Hi there

Like phil I used the screen blur technique...but first I ran the degrunge routine..I hoped to keep a little detail that way.

Butch
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File Type: jpg skin sample.jpg (98.3 KB, 88 views)
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Old 01-29-2007, 08:32 PM
edgework edgework is offline
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The boring way

No bells or whistles here, just gross cloning moves to move skin tone into the unwanted hair, then a small sized healing brush to normalize the skin texture without pulling in the dark tones from the surrounding hair. And a curve.

http://edgework.tripod.com/samples/forehead.jpg
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Old 01-30-2007, 11:10 AM
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imagae imagae is offline
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Re: Major mess

Ahhh...I came back a bit late. Nice work guys. I face that same hairline everyday as I retouch for a photographer in my area. The bulk of her work is African American women for modeling & maternity. I usually use the clone stamp in a sort of sweep motion with my opacity at about 70%. That is the most simple solution I have found. I really think it's all in the right opacity to both clean up the hairline and keep it looking natural.


Imagae
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Old 01-30-2007, 01:59 PM
Tosca Tosca is offline
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Re: Major mess

Hi: Thanks everyone for your different methods they all looked great!
I thought edgework's kept the most skin detail, looked most realisting. I too have been cloning and healing and I've been lassoing around the darker areas while healing to help keep the dark smudging from happening but I haven't been very successful.

You must have a special technique to get such great results.
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Old 01-30-2007, 02:58 PM
edgework edgework is offline
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Re: Major mess

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tosca
Hi: Thanks everyone for your different methods they all looked great!
I thought edgework's kept the most skin detail, looked most realisting. I too have been cloning and healing and I've been lassoing around the darker areas while healing to help keep the dark smudging from happening but I haven't been very successful.

You must have a special technique to get such great results.
The trick with something like this is to realize that you're not going to get anything useful with either the clone tool or the healing brush alone. To try and clone that large an area will give you a textureless soup (or worse, weird bits of texture that don't look anything like skin). And the healing brush can't handle radical differences in color or value between target and sample regions: it tries to split the difference, pleasing no one (unless you are trying to blend a dark edge into a light region; then it's quite useful).

So when I have to shift a large block of skin like this, or, perhaps, remove a piece of jewelry that's really taking up a lot of real estate, I'll clone large blobs of skin over the area to be shifted, not really worrying about realism or even if it looks good. The trick is to get the areas to be refined down to a manageable size and range so that the healing brush can do its job of blending texture back into the mix.

Use a small radius brush when you doing healing moves. Its tendency to pull in surrounding tones and shades is dependent on the brush size. A small brush can still work over a large area, but none of the individual strokes will be wandering far afield for sample pixles.
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Old 01-31-2007, 09:24 AM
Syd Syd is offline
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Re: Major mess

Excellent results Edge! I am not exactly sure how you would go about using the Healing Brush to blend it in after you have cloned a large area of skin on top. Are you doing that on a new layer? Is your Healing Brush set to Normal? A very interesting technique.
For my part I just dodged those hairs away one by one. I duplicated the original, got hold of the Dodge tool, set it to Midtones with an opacity of 10, zoomed into about 400% and with a 2% radius brush just dabbed away. I got rid of the light spots by using the Burn Tool with similiar values. It didn't take that long - about 40 minutes - but I am sure Edge's method was probably quicker. I was left with some weird colors so I opened a new layer set to color, sampled a forehead color and painted away. I then used the Clone Tool set to 15%, and did some light circular motions on the Forehead just to smooth it out a little. I then did a curves adjustment to lighten the skin tone a little, some more general dodging and burning (at 1% this time), and finally put the whole thing into a set with a layer mask and painted back in some of the hairline to make it look more realistic.
Syd
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File Type: jpg Hairline-Retouch.jpg (99.2 KB, 41 views)
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