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A Watch Retouching Job

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  #11  
Old 01-23-2008, 11:35 AM
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SteveB2005 SteveB2005 is offline
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Re: A Watch Retouching Job

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Originally Posted by Damo77 View Post
Steve, I'm glad to read that it's still a work in progress. I think the "12" stands out like dogs balls. If you're going to leave it that white, make sure you whiten everything else on the face to the same degree.

If I had a workflow recommendation, it would be - be wary of selections with the pen tool. Even though we're looking at a very small version, the areas you've worked (eg the "12") seem to have unnaturally hard edges. This is a common risk with the pen tool.

Most of all, I'd say you've dived in to very precise retouching way too early. You should have enhanced the whole watch face with a broad curves/levels adjustment, to get it in the ballpark, before editing the individual numbers etc.

Look forward to seeing how it goes.
Yeah, a work in progress. The pen is a hassle, what do you recommend using as a better section tool for super small numbers and areas?

Thanks Steve
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  #12  
Old 01-23-2008, 11:48 AM
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Re: A Watch Retouching Job

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Originally Posted by Sweetlight View Post
Steve,

Give me a few minutes here and I'll show you a few tricks and give you some handy advice if you like. Maybe a bit more constructive than dog balls. Although I did chuckle a bit at that as my Jack Russell laid beside me as I read it

Chris

- Steve, I was looking for some old tear sheets that I scanned but my assistant can't find the disk in her infinite method of organization but as she does I'll put a few on here for you. First I don't mean to talk down to you so don't take it that way, I just don't know you, your education, age or anything so I'll tell you a few tips and take what you need and leave the rest.

After opening my first studio my rep got me hooked up with the owners of a company called "Swatch Watch" you may not be old enough to remember them but they were hot stuff watches. I shot watches till I could scream, hundreds. That work caught the eye of the folks at Tag Heur and then I got more watches but those were a bitch because where the Swatch was mostly plastic, Tags are almost always metal. Again, I shot watches till I puked but to have those two clients at then a young age I was lucky and busted my ass. My saving grace was an instructor at UGA who taught me the most important thing in photography, at least I believe so. He taught me to look at the subject but to "SEE LIGHT". A lot of shooters don't see light especially now in the digital world where you can take hundreds of shots while moving your lights around 'til you see what you want. At that time I was shooting 8x10 Chromes and Polaroid, neither was cheap so a shooter had to learn to see his light, the highlights, shadows, and get it right quick or eat up your costs. So we did learn to shoot, meters were great but after so much using one you can become a meter so close to the real thing you would be surprised. After a while I'd set the camera up, F-stop and drag the shutter for some ambient light. I got where I'd pull on Polaroid and usually had it down. I teach a bit now and it's frustrating that up and coming shooters have no idea about those days and that learning those basics makes digital make so much more sense, such as the tools in the Photoshop tool box. Okay, I'll shut up now but if you need some advice here it is. Watch companies are great clients, big money to be made but, as picky as art directors are and a pain to work with, watchmakers are twice as bad. They know their product, what it should look like, they notice scratches, dust and any little thing because it's what they do. Watch your highlights and shadows not to cover important elements such as the name, numbers and hands. Use allot of cards, white and black. White to bounce light where you need it and black to create a strong bold line to give the watch definition. Not too much black to take the chrome away. At times you can use white or black grease pencils to physically add highlights and shadows. Shooting glass, like wine glasses is a great way to practice creating nice sharp highlights. Try not to distort the watch, the one you showed is a bit egg shaped when I laid a circle on it and that makes the numbers look like they are not centered. Last thing, go to TagHeur.com and some other watch sites and look at them, see the light. (The SWEETLIGHT)
That's some great advice Sweetlight!! I have other watch shots as well in a variety of angles, perspective, lighting, backgrounds, different levels of quality, etc. You have definitely offered some constructive criticism and being a "watch pro" yourself, we certainly know what that gig entails. I'm just starting out experimenting with watches. Most of the stuff I do is Swarovski, semi-precious, beads, etc.

The watches brochures I have, and a lot of them have the watches in such a slick, almost surreal look and of course have to go through the retouchers for press I'm sure. I like the ideas about grease pencils and such.

What I have also noticed is that watches seemed to be composed in about 3 perspectives, lighting quite similiar, depending on the metal, bands,diamonds or costume style.

I'll post some new ones when I feel they are ready to be shown and I would certainly respect your criticism.

Here is a link to a watch forum that discusses watch photography, perhaps you are familiar with that highlights photography, competitions, and Photoshop. Check it out! http://jholbrook.proboards33.com/index.cgi
http://74.50.21.220/~watch18/forums/...isplay.php?f=8

These sites got me interested in watch photography

Regards, Steve
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  #13  
Old 01-23-2008, 01:07 PM
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cainam cainam is offline
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Re: A Watch Retouching Job

Steve, another advice:

Try to get the maximum out of your shot(s) at the start (but that you already knew).
What I mean is, don't start retouching a 8 mb file, the way you started this one. This is not a jewel, like a ring, but a complex unit.

When you start masking and airbrushing figures, lines and other symbols on the watch at this 8 mb resolution, you'll be busy for days and days. And if you are not experienced with these kind of things, you'll be lost and the result will be incoherent, because airbrush and photo, it all must be mixed together in an invisible way.

The watches you see in these fancy magazines are mostly expensive watches, and these expensive watches also have a great printing and finish.
This, together with a very high resolution shot and intensive retouching makes them shine in those magazines.

What I'd suggest is you 'd rather do a 'normal' retouching. I 'd rather spent some time on combining several shots than start airbrushing the several parts.
Pay attention to the metal strap (it should not contain to much black - appearance must be light, silverlike).
And if you should attack some larger surfaces with the airbrush: simplifie!
Add the same grain, and blend them together with the original.

That said, it is perfectly possible to retouch a 8 mb file (watch) to a high-end result, but than I 'd probably do it completely over in Illustrator and Photoshop. But than again, it 's no longer 'retouching' but 'painting and drawing'. And again... a few days.
One may as well do it in 3D, ...and they do it for some purposes.
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  #14  
Old 01-23-2008, 05:54 PM
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Re: A Watch Retouching Job

I would say to speed up your workflow your going to need to get better in camera shots to minimize as much retouching time as possible. Now being an amateur photog I can say that's much easier said than done. I did dig up some interesting articles on strobist dealing with lighting watches, and it's amazing what Ming Thein can do in camera. Note the gallery link to his watches....looks like a nightmare to me but somehow he did it all in camera. There are also several strobist guides on specular lighting and diffusion, with many cheap homemade gobo's and using speed lights.

Strobist article 1

Strobist Article 2

Can't wait to see the finished product, jewelry retouching is one thing that I try to stay away from and seems to be an art in itself
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  #15  
Old 01-23-2008, 08:00 PM
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SteveB2005 SteveB2005 is offline
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Re: A Watch Retouching Job

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Originally Posted by AdamZx3 View Post
I would say to speed up your workflow your going to need to get better in camera shots to minimize as much retouching time as possible. Now being an amateur photog I can say that's much easier said than done. I did dig up some interesting articles on strobist dealing with lighting watches, and it's amazing what Ming Thein can do in camera. Note the gallery link to his watches....looks like a nightmare to me but somehow he did it all in camera. There are also several strobist guides on specular lighting and diffusion, with many cheap homemade gobo's and using speed lights.

Strobist article 1

Strobist Article 2

Can't wait to see the finished product, jewelry retouching is one thing that I try to stay away from and seems to be an art in itself
Hey Adam. You ain't a kiddin' brother about shooting and retouching a watch, whether it cost $10 or 10k. My intension is to get the watches good for the websites, not going to press. Vogue and high end printing with 175 line screen would be shooting with med format digital anyway. Who can compete with that and I don't run with that crowd.

I stopped working the other one because everyone thought it was a dog and a waste of time. So since it was pouring rain today in LA, I had time on my hands with my cat so I shot that watch all day. I tried a lot of experiments and I want to post my latest result which I feel is better out of the camera. I started retouching, but again just a start. I have to learn this anyway, so I thought I would come here for advice and good advice I got, so next the new watch. Let's see. I will gladly email the org hi-rez watch if they want to work along and show their result. There is a good shot in that watch and I will keep at it. I got it on sale for $14 just to practice with. hehe
Let's rock n roll steve
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  #16  
Old 01-23-2008, 08:19 PM
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SteveB2005 SteveB2005 is offline
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Re: A Watch Retouching Job

Quote:
Originally Posted by Damo77 View Post
Steve, I'm glad to read that it's still a work in progress. I think the "12" stands out like dogs balls. If you're going to leave it that white, make sure you whiten everything else on the face to the same degree.

If I had a workflow recommendation, it would be - be wary of selections with the pen tool. Even though we're looking at a very small version, the areas you've worked (eg the "12") seem to have unnaturally hard edges. This is a common risk with the pen tool.

Most of all, I'd say you've dived in to very precise retouching way too early. You should have enhanced the whole watch face with a broad curves/levels adjustment, to get it in the ballpark, before editing the individual numbers etc.

Look forward to seeing how it goes.
Yeah, did some levels and started in the dial too soon, on my own and not sure until now on how to begin the job steve
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  #17  
Old 01-23-2008, 09:32 PM
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AdamZx3 AdamZx3 is offline
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Re: A Watch Retouching Job

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I will gladly email the org hi-rez watch if they want to work along and show their result.
I wouldn't mind giving it a go, I have never really tried to do a watch before. The raw or a fullsize jpeg would be great. email: adambrodzinski@mac.com
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  #18  
Old 01-24-2008, 11:40 AM
DiamondsDr47 DiamondsDr47 is offline
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Re: A Watch Retouching Job

Sweetlight made the greatest point "SEE LIGHT", and as mentioned in other post
be proactive, meaning use, modify, control the light you have and you 'll get there...
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