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The demystification of dave hill! let's all help!

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  #2331  
Old 03-31-2011, 08:02 PM
JohnnyL JohnnyL is offline
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Re: The demystification of dave hill! let's all he

Quote:
Originally Posted by sam_bond View Post
While I've never actually seen an un-retouched Dave Hill Raw directly up on a screen, If you take a look at the Chris Brown BTS video (http://vimeo.com/4955718), there are some really good examples of what it looks like before retouching at 3.00, 3.30, 4.42, 4.53, 7.00 and 8.30.
Very observant. I love to see some more member feed back on these images, straight out of camera.
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  #2332  
Old 03-31-2011, 11:53 PM
sid_v sid_v is offline
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Re: The demystification of dave hill! let's all he

Here is a before after to show the 'retouching' part of Dave Hills style.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_JAVniBPPk9...s/s800/pi5.jpg

See more before/after here in the Photo Illustration part: http://sidvasandani.blogspot.com/201...n-actions.html


Again only a Rembrandt can create a Rembrandt.
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Last edited by sid_v; 04-01-2011 at 11:13 AM. Reason: adding another link
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  #2333  
Old 04-01-2011, 08:04 AM
lookas lookas is offline
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Re: The demystification of dave hill! let's all he

hello. I observed topic for a long time and I'm in shock. in a big shock because it is here for many wonderful and professional photographers, and none of them can not get the effect of DH. Why? You possess a photographic studio, assistants, models, professional equipment and hard for me to believe that no one can decipher this technique.
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  #2334  
Old 04-01-2011, 08:54 AM
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Boneappetit Boneappetit is offline
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Re: The demystification of dave hill! let's all he

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Originally Posted by lookas View Post
hello. I observed topic for a long time and I'm in shock. in a big shock because it is here for many wonderful and professional photographers, and none of them can not get the effect of DH. Why? You possess a photographic studio, assistants, models, professional equipment and hard for me to believe that no one can decipher this technique.
Althought this is true at some point, I've seen some other photographers (not many) who have done "something very similar" and in some cases their works look even better than DH's. You can find the links right here in this thread.

I found this link where they explain why is it near impossible to create the DH effect... Bear in mind that DH got a great eye for "compositions" and he knows beforehand what he is going to do in post processing with his shots, just like when they are filming a movie.

Here's the link: http://taoreactor.blogspot.com/2009/...-its-near.html
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  #2335  
Old 04-01-2011, 11:22 AM
sid_v sid_v is offline
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Re: The demystification of dave hill! let's all he

Quote:
Originally Posted by lookas View Post
hello. I observed topic for a long time and I'm in shock. in a big shock because it is here for many wonderful and professional photographers, and none of them can not get the effect of DH. Why? You possess a photographic studio, assistants, models, professional equipment and hard for me to believe that no one can decipher this technique.
Well, I wouldn't say that none of them can get the effect right....the ones who really do wouldn't want to disclose it 'completely'. Nobody wants to see a street full of fake Madonna with bleached blonde hair and trashy clothes. The effect loses its charm when all images look the same on Flickr. You will get loose techniques here and there.



-----------------
http://sidvasandani.blogspot.com/
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  #2336  
Old 04-03-2011, 11:03 AM
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Boneappetit Boneappetit is offline
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Re: The demystification of dave hill! let's all he

Quote:
Originally Posted by sid_v View Post
Well, I wouldn't say that none of them can get the effect right....the ones who really do wouldn't want to disclose it 'completely'. Nobody wants to see a street full of fake Madonna with bleached blonde hair and trashy clothes. The effect loses its charm when all images look the same on Flickr. You will get loose techniques here and there.



-----------------
http://sidvasandani.blogspot.com/
I guess this guy found the way to do it... Yes I know it all start with the lighting, but the gritty look is made in Ps working carefully with each and every small element on the picture, not just globaly applying filters, and/or sharpening the image... I agree with him because he went after the cartoonish look, instead of the filters etc, that you need to apply... But as you said he doesn't explain in depth what he did... Here's the link in case you want to take a look...

http://www.flickr.com/groups/strobis...7624256589468/
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  #2337  
Old 04-03-2011, 02:05 PM
toolonglegs toolonglegs is offline
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Re: The demystification of dave hill! let's all he

I think we don't see the real "tricks" in his videos.But these two pics show a bit.After the subject is shot the background is obviously redone and re lit.Yes there are lots of little bits put together.
Not having a go...but everyone has been putting up single frame photos with overall gimmicks applied...where are the composites?.Maybe I should put up or shut up :-) .
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  #2338  
Old 04-05-2011, 09:27 AM
julianmarsalis julianmarsalis is offline
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Re: The demystification of dave hill! let's all he

http://www.flickr.com/groups/strobis...7624256589468/
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  #2339  
Old 04-05-2011, 01:56 PM
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Boneappetit Boneappetit is offline
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Re: The demystification of dave hill! let's all he

That's right Julian, I posted the same link earlier, and I guess the guy hit the dot there, very smart thing to go after the details of DH works. I always thought it is done with Photoshop and no additional plug-ins. But I also think that DH used Lucisart for his early works then he polished the technique using only Ps. although he uses more than one technique. If you look at his works, you'll note that not every work has exactly the same process, (composites are basically important) at some point he decided to make his post process softer, not as sharp as his early works, from there on his works look very much with that animated style (cartoonish, not comic look). As Paul said, every element on the picture has to have special treatment, and that's exactly what good retouchers and digital artists do, nothing is done globaly.
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  #2340  
Old 04-05-2011, 09:58 PM
julianmarsalis julianmarsalis is offline
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Re: The demystification of dave hill! let's all he

I think this says it best from robert Randall on Model Mayhem breaking down a dave hill image:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Randall

First, some observations‚€¶

I didn‚€™t watch the nerd video, if there was one, because I didn‚€™t want to be affected by anything other than the image itself. If I‚€™m wrong about some of my observations, well tough shit.

The nerd wasn‚€™t shot at the same time the hallway or other students were shot. Check for missing side highlights on other students.

DH seems to favor wider lenses, which lend a great deal of impact to his already surreal approach.

I‚€™m thinking he does a lot of his post in CMYK, mostly because it appears the colors are in gamut, which is difficult to obtain using the techniques I‚€™m going to outline for you.

I‚€™m still reeling over his technique of calling out ‚€œ1 2 3 smile‚€Ě to his subjects. But it does seem to jive with his somewhat casual lighting format.

His lighting is very simple, but as is the case in this image, it‚€™s not always with a camera mounted ring flash. Although from what I‚€™ve seen in his videos, he probably had someone holding the ring flash off camera.

This particular image has the main on the nerd coming from high camera right. This light subtly helps to separate the others from the main nerd. The others are lit from a source that was probably behind the spot the nerd was inserted in front of. If you consider the placement of the ceiling lights, the scene is believable.

His final style is possibly aided by the placement of the lights, but more relevant are the white and black points he uses and the way he compresses the mid tone to off set the highlight, making the highlight the king of his scenes. Take away that one aspect and his pictures look like everyone else‚€™s, well, except maybe for the scene, the casting, the wardrobe, the expressions, the composition, the color palette, the wardrobe‚€¶ you get my drift.


Notice the ceiling and how it separates from the sidewalls. This was done with some sort of selection and tone control. This is referred to as local contrast control.

Notice blown out highlight on low locker left. Nice way to separate the subjects from the scene and give everything an added dimension.

Notice how nothing I‚€™ve said so far has anything to do with any fairy tale dragon filter.

Now, how he does it‚€¶

First of all, forget all about any dumb ass High Pass techniques you‚€™ve been thinking of, because from what I can see, he doesn‚€™t use them. Nor does he use a huge amount of Unsharp Mask. He uses local contrast controls through selections and masks.

For instance, look at the back pack on the other guy camera a right. Normally that item would be blocked up and lacking detail. Make a lasso selection around the back pack and ask for a layer curve. Brighten to taste. Next go to the same guys pants and do the same thing over for the pants. Now go to the sweater. Now go to the next guy and do the same thing to his little blue bag, then his sweater. Cross the hall to the guy and his leather jacket. Curve that, then his pants and then his hair. Do this local selection curve technique to anything you feel like, when finished pumping up the local contrast, go get something to drink. Come back and judge whether you‚€™ve gone too far or not far enough, and then fix stuff to taste.

Next, make a Highlight mask like this‚€¶

http://www.robert-randall.com/MM/HL%20mask%201.jpg

Load it to make it active, and then ask for a layer curve. Bring highlight up slightly.

Next, make a Highlight Mask like this‚€¶

http://www.robert-randall.com/MM/HL%20mask%202.jpg

Load it to make it active, and then ask for a layer curve. Bring highlight up slightly more. Notice how the picture starts to take on a sense of depth and life that you‚€™re not familiar with. Fun, huh?

Next, make a Shadow mask like this‚€¶

http://www.robert-randall.com/MM/shadow%20mask%201.jpg

Load it to make it active, and then ask for a layer curve. Bring shadow down just a little bit, don‚€™t get carried away here, it isn‚€™t the right time for it.


Next, make a Shadow mask like this, or darker yet‚€¶

http://www.robert-randall.com/MM/shadow%20mask%202.jpg

Load it to make it active, and then ask for a layer curve. Now play with killing any detail you might have in this local select area of the shadow. This move sets up the down side of the picture just like the HL mask sets up the upside. By now you should be experiencing a sense of depth that will keep you off the porn sites for at least an hour. We‚€™re not done yet!

Next make a difference mask like this‚€¶

http://www.robert-randall.com/MM/diff%20mask%201.jpg

Load it to make it active, and then ask for a layer curve. Now you can play with adding or detracting density from the midtone area to help create the illusion of more density. Usually this is a darkening move, but it can go the other way too.

Now ask for an empty layer and change its mode to softlight. Note that you can also use hard light or overlay if you prefer. Wherever you see a highlight that you want to embellish, start painting white with a brush, wrinkles, teeth, cheeks, lips, what ever you like, paint until you‚€™re eyes bleed. My way of doing this is to then blur the painted layer and add a Highlight Mask from the selection I gave you above. This is why my pictures don‚€™t look like Jill Greenberg‚€™s or Dave Hill‚€™s. I use control over my painting emotional out bursts. Paint those arm and leg highlights too, don‚€™t miss a thing!

Now do the same think with black paint on another softlight layer. Use a mask, don‚€™t use a mask, it‚€™s completely up to you.

If you still think there is room to screw the pooch a little harder, create a compound layer of all you have done and de-saturate it. Change the mode to soft or hard light and watch your contrast go through the roof. Still not enough? Make another compound copy and de-saturate it. Change the mode and ask for a HP filter. Give it a number of between 2 and 250 and watch that picture go thermo nuclear on you. Go to the closest mirror you can find and say the words ‚€œFuck Dave Hill, you‚€™re the man!‚€Ě.

Any rational person at this point will note there are a thousand ways to skin a digital cat. What I‚€™ve laid out is the basis for how young Mr. Hill achieves his look. I haven‚€™t given you every nuance, because that could take days, and I may have missed a small point or two. But you should have learned at least one major point; there is no shortcut filter available that will do this. Also, you aren‚€™t Dave Hill and even armed with this info, your pictures won‚€™t look like his. But hopefully they will look like yours.

Okay, I‚€™m ready for every malcontent know nothing wanna be that feels a need to challenge me on my DH dissection. Let me say in advance‚€¶ fuck you, you don‚€™t know what you‚€™re talking about.
He took down the images but the keys is he is using focused targeted adjustment to areas and extensive use of masks vs global adjustments so you never get halos and artifacts that many of the processes produce its basically localized and more controlled.

I think that's the biggest lesson any one can learn from this thread doing any retouching at all.

Here's a link to the nerd image http://main.inspirationfeed.netdna-c...08/Nerd-ad.png

I fine myself staring at his words and finally I think I get it localize and conqueror vs global changes work on the trees and bring the forest together.

Last edited by julianmarsalis; 04-06-2011 at 10:22 AM.
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