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

Critique Please =-)

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  #1  
Old 02-12-2008, 08:15 PM
FlairDevil FlairDevil is offline
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Location: Syracuse, NY
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Critique Please =-)

I would like to get some input on this retouch as I am fairly new to it and am trying to improve my abilities. What does it need still? What did do wrong? etc etc.. Thank you all for your help in advance. (you have already helped me so much with all the tutorials & examples this wonderful site has to offer!)

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The attachments hopefully show the detail well enough. If not here is a link to my Flickr page you can see the comparisons more clearly.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/flairde...82986295/show/
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ShellyOrig.jpg (71.4 KB, 61 views)
File Type: jpg Shelly2_RTP.jpg (84.6 KB, 79 views)
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:34 PM
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Damo77 Damo77 is offline
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Re: Critique Please =-)

Without getting into the "how young is too young" debate, I'd say the eyes are too white, and the retouched areas of skin look quite flat. You need to play with the shadows of the jawline to get them a bit more realistic. I love the new eyelashes, though.
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:05 PM
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jam1212 jam1212 is offline
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Re: Critique Please =-)

Here's what I see:

1. The skin loses too much detail in your retouch. I would strongly recommend using a technique that doesn't involve blurring the skin (D&B, or even de-grunge, search these forums for more info), or at least lowering the opacity of your retouched layer a bit to bring back some of the detail and tonal range. The new version looks too flat.

2. The eyes, especially when compared to the surrounding skin, look a little overdone. Bring them back a little.

3. The eyelashes suffer from the same problem. When the skin is so flat, the eyelashes stand out as being retouched.

4. After you've tackled the skin, try going for the hair next. Clean up some of the stray hairs flying around, especially at the top.

5. You may have altered the shape of the face a bit too much. That might just be personal taste, but I like to try and keep my models looking as much like their real selves as possible, just a more perfect version.

You've made a great start, now go on and work on improving even more. Hope that helps!
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Old 02-12-2008, 10:18 PM
FlairDevil FlairDevil is offline
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Re: Critique Please =-)

Thank you both for the replies!

It does help - exactly the type of input I was hoping for, giving me direction on where to go. The biggest problem I had was the double chin, thats where I ran into all the skin problems. It was my first attempt at one so of course I came right here and read every bit of info I could find on it before I went after it. The right side of the jaw line gave me fits I knew what I wanted to do - basically bring the shadow up to match inline with the chin shadow line.
The eyes I intentionally overkilled - she plans on using the shot for a very small image (myspace default pic....lol) so I wanted them to stand out when such a small pic you lose most of the detail but I was using the retouch as more of a learning experience so I did the whole thing anyway. When I view the pic in a vary small side (thumbnailish) they look "right" so I figured for that specific application it was the way to go. Incorrect?
Eyelashes, 1st attempt ever.... I agree though now that I look at it again with semi-fresh eyes they are a bit too "bright" I can tone them down easily though with opacity. Again though, when the pic is so small, its a moot point but I want to learn how to do them correctly now as to not develop bad habits.
The facial shape was like I said the toughest thing for me, I struggled with getting rid of the double chin. I think it stems back on the point you made about my technique. I need to study up on D&B and start using that more it looks like.

I'll keep at it, double chins should be outlawed! lol Have a good night! =-)
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Old 02-12-2008, 10:56 PM
edgework edgework is offline
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Re: Critique Please =-)

All the critiques offered so far are spot on.

But it's not going to do you much good to go back and fix this or that piecemeal, if you don't understand what is wrong with your approach.

Basically, you've gotten lost in a bunch of separate techniques and as a result you've flattened all the detail in her face, along with her personality. Seriously, it looks like a cardboard image held up to someone else's face. Real-world imperfections notwithstanding, in the original shot she looks quite real and human, with a kind of attitude that makes her interesting. You've left her with a deer-in-the-headlights look. Wrinkles and folds in the skin aren't there simply to be removed by any retoucher who happens by. They are there because light hits a three-dimensional surface and creates highlights and shadows. So much of a person's expression is fused to these complex shapes and curves that you tinker with them at your peril, and removing them wholesale, as you have done, removes any suggestion of a living being.
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Old 02-13-2008, 12:05 AM
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dataflow dataflow is offline
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Re: Critique Please =-)

the following tut/example isnt retouching but i think it explains the concept of shading pretty good

http://www.pixelcorps.com/session_in...in_drawing.mov

here is the main tut page

http://www.pixelcorps.com/info.php
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