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Face blending and hair highlighting

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  #1  
Old 08-20-2007, 11:22 PM
kneff kneff is offline
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Face blending and hair highlighting

Okay, I have PS CS3 and i have photos to retouch. My two biggest hangups with retouching glamour photos are the skin blending and drawing/highlighting hair.
I do about 90% of my photo retouching from just plain photos...non-professional. So, I have to get rid of shadows on the face and blend the skin so it still looks even, but not flat. I've been leaving a few shadows, where I feel they should be, but when the pix prints out, it doesn't look real good, although I can't make the face all the same color. I have used the gaussian blur method, but it doesn't do much for ridding shadows. So, I'll use my clone tool, but, still I can't seem to match the shadows. I end up blending the entire face (usually leaving most of it the same color) and this leaves no shadows and it looks horrible and fake. The definition of the face is gone. So, thats my first question...can anyone tell me a way to blend the face, leave shadows, but still keep the definition of the face for a pageant glamour photo. Pageant photos are supposed to look like porcelain dolls with the creamy texture skin.
My next question is drawing hair. I've had to draw hair lately. I think I own every hair brush there is to photoshop and have even made my own, so on each layer I do a different color then change the opacity until the hair looks normal. Now, my problem is highlighting the hair where the light from a photo would hit. I try to picture regular photo lights behind me and hitting diagonally on each side of the head, but I just can't decide where the highlights should be. Can anyone help me here also? I watched tutorials, read books, even watched U-tube, which by the way has some excellent retouching tutorials, but figuring out where the highlights should go is very difficult for me to do. I would appreciate any help or comments. Thanks so much!
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Old 08-21-2007, 04:42 AM
edgework edgework is offline
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Re: Face blending and hair highlighting

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Originally Posted by kneff View Post
Okay, I have Photoshop CS3 and i have photos to retouch. My two biggest hangups with retouching glamour photos are the skin blending and drawing/highlighting hair.
I do about 90% of my photo retouching from just plain photos...non-professional. So, I have to get rid of shadows on the face and blend the skin so it still looks even, but not flat. I've been leaving a few shadows, where I feel they should be, but when the pix prints out, it doesn't look real good, although I can't make the face all the same color. I have used the gaussian blur method, but it doesn't do much for ridding shadows. So, I'll use my clone tool, but, still I can't seem to match the shadows. I end up blending the entire face (usually leaving most of it the same color) and this leaves no shadows and it looks horrible and fake. The definition of the face is gone. So, thats my first question...can anyone tell me a way to blend the face, leave shadows, but still keep the definition of the face for a pageant glamour photo. Pageant photos are supposed to look like porcelain dolls with the creamy texture skin.
My next question is drawing hair. I've had to draw hair lately. I think I own every hair brush there is to photoshop and have even made my own, so on each layer I do a different color then change the opacity until the hair looks normal. Now, my problem is highlighting the hair where the light from a photo would hit. I try to picture regular photo lights behind me and hitting diagonally on each side of the head, but I just can't decide where the highlights should be. Can anyone help me here also? I watched tutorials, read books, even watched U-tube, which by the way has some excellent retouching tutorials, but figuring out where the highlights should go is very difficult for me to do. I would appreciate any help or comments. Thanks so much!
Samples? Helps to see what you're talking about.
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Old 08-21-2007, 01:27 PM
kneff kneff is offline
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Re: Face blending and hair highlighting

Attached is the before and after photo. See how undefined her face looks in the photo retouch?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg jaceysample.jpg (38.0 KB, 113 views)
File Type: jpg jaceybeforesample.jpg (53.8 KB, 98 views)
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Old 08-21-2007, 02:48 PM
edgework edgework is offline
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Re: Face blending and hair highlighting

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Originally Posted by kneff View Post
Attached is the before and after photo. See how undefined her face looks in the photo retouch?
That's because you've gotten rid of all the shadows. Shadows are the result of light hitting facial contours. No shadows, no contours, no shape. What is the result you're looking to match? Are you trying to turn photos into illustrations?
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Old 08-21-2007, 06:13 PM
kneff kneff is offline
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Re: Face blending and hair highlighting

I realize that and this is what I'm having problems with. For glamour photos, their skin is supposed to be light and creamy is how its described. So, I'll come across a shadow and try to blend it with the rest of the face leaving the shadow, but then it doesn't look right. What is the best way to blend a face so that it looks real, but at the same time, get the effects of a perfect blend. I would put up a different glamour photo, but its not mine and don't feel I should use it, but as I compare my photo to this one, her's doesn't show a shadow on it either, but it looks okay. Are there any programs out there that will help with skin blending?
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Old 08-21-2007, 07:45 PM
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Dave.Cox Dave.Cox is offline
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Re: Face blending and hair highlighting

Hi Kneff. Getting a perfect blend, does not mean to make the entire face the same color. Nothing appears to all be a solid color, except for a cartoon. When you get rid of all of the shadows, the face appears to be flat. Even though the color change is very subtle, your eyes pick up on the variations, and use these clues to determine the shape and depth of the face, or whatever object you are looking at. The best way to touch up a face is to leave the original shadows and look of the face, except where you are correcting something that you want to appear different.

Here is a quick retouch of your photo too add some shadows back in to show that the shadows and hilights are what gives the face depth. It's not very good as I did it really fast, but you should be able to get the idea.
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File Type: jpg jaceysample2.jpg (7.3 KB, 67 views)
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Old 08-22-2007, 12:15 AM
kneff kneff is offline
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Re: Face blending and hair highlighting

Hi Dave
Yes, that did give her face more depth. I have a very expensive program that I'm trying to figure out how to use, but haven't succeeded yet. Still working on it. I'm going to keep on practicing though. Actually her pix looks much better larger, but there should still be shadows, yes, I def. agree. Thank you. Now, can anyone help with the hair painting shadows?
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