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Retouch mental exercise

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  #1  
Old 09-07-2007, 10:54 PM
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AdamZx3 AdamZx3 is offline
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Retouch mental exercise

I just thought I would share an exercise I do to help me see what needs to be retouched, as many of you know what makes you a good retoucher is seeing what needs to be done before you pickup a tablet, photoshop can be learned relatively easy, knowing when to use the tools is another thing. Practice and critique I believe is another key part but this helps me out:

Find a collection of high end retouching portfolios (with rollovers) and let the photos load up, next without looking at the after (use your peripherals ) hover over the pic and if needed let it load up. Looking at the before, study it closely and figure out what you would do if you where to fix it. I make an quick sketch of a generic head (if its a beuty retouch lol) and then jot down what needs to be done...not unlike what an art director might send to a retoucher showing what they want fixed. After I am satisfied with what I think should be done ( keep in mind of the skintones, blemishes, wrinkles, shadow density, eyes etc..) Now take your cursor off the mouse and look at the artists version...are you close? is there things you would fix that they didn't? Vice versa? Obviously there isn't any right way but this can get your close, also an art director might want to keep some blemishes or other parts, so their pic could be different in that way too.

I think its important to use quality artists portfolios for this, using it on a bad retouch won't help you, and can even send your skills in the wrong direction! I always look at the after and think does it look like it was retouched? (with the exception of looking perfect )

Hope this helps some people, let me know what your thoughts are.
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Old 09-08-2007, 07:05 AM
edgework edgework is offline
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Re: Retouch mental exercise

Never hurts to learn from the jobs that are already setting the standard.

Here's a good rule of thumb for skin work, if you wonder how far you need to go (assuming you're doing real retouching and not using techniques that blast all the texture into slick mud). Skin needs to be a series of smooth gradients from one tone to the next, and from darks to lights. Smooth and unbroken. If you wonder "Am I done?" turn away from the screen; go get a cup of coffee; watch the birds out the window; scratch your dog's ears. When you return to your screen, see what you notice. By definition, you shouldn't notice anything in particular. It should be a single, seamless tapestry. So, if you see it, kill it. Or, rather, blend it. Whatever you do, don't try to kid yourself that no one will notice. And, the better the job you do, the more the remaining imperfections stand out like warts. Kill 'em all.
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Old 09-08-2007, 12:25 PM
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Re: Retouch mental exercise

good tips from both...scratching my own ear...don't have a dog...
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Old 09-08-2007, 12:58 PM
edgework edgework is offline
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Re: Retouch mental exercise

Quote:
Originally Posted by superkoax View Post
good tips from both...scratching my own ear...don't have a dog...
Hey, if it needs scratching, scratch it.
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Old 09-08-2007, 02:55 PM
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Re: Retouch mental exercise

can't scratch too much, got sensetive skin soooo....

anyway, edgework, you have proved yourself to be a good tipster and give good advice, just want to let you knwo that your words are sometimes inspirational to me...have a really nice weekend,man!

gerry
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Old 09-08-2007, 08:01 PM
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AdamZx3 AdamZx3 is offline
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Re: Retouch mental exercise

thanks for the skin blending tip edgework....makes sense
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Old 09-08-2007, 09:04 PM
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Dave.Cox Dave.Cox is offline
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Re: Retouch mental exercise

Yep I agree edgework. You have to step away and take a break and come back and take a fresh look, or you won't see everything. Sometimes it helps to come back the next day, if you have time for that.
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Old 09-08-2007, 09:52 PM
edgework edgework is offline
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Re: Retouch mental exercise

I had some people over the years who went out of their way to point me in the right direction when I was learning Photoshop. When I can pass something on, it's like I'm returning the favor. Glad to be useful.
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