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Amazing skin, only degrunge?

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  #21  
Old 03-29-2008, 07:15 PM
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Markzebra Markzebra is offline
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Re: Amazing skin, only degrunge?

The one thing that has been talked about endlessly here, is the subject of skin retouching. Not sure why but for some reason excluding all the other subjects. As far as I can see the advice is always the same, if you don't have the patience to do it properly, don't do it at all. There are many other technical skills that have not even been touched on - color, hair, anatomy,lighting, and the best way to get it is to do what nearly everyone has had to do and work it out for yourself.

You will find that many people who contribute here have had work published in Vogue, myself included. There is a massive market, 16 worldwide editions of Vogue alone, and at least 8 that people here might work on images for, either editorial or otherwise. So are quite well qualified to tell you how to get the standard if anyone would listen. As retoucher you are only as good as your source material, if you've been spoiled for a while with great source then you are in no position to get too patronising with people who have no access to it, thats my opinion. it becomes much more easy to see how inappropriate these cheap techniques are, when you do.
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  #22  
Old 03-30-2008, 03:00 AM
Hendrik Hendrik is offline
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Re: Amazing skin, only degrunge?

I know there are MANY other aspects making a good picture, but if I want to learn something, it’s for me easier to cut the whole into smaller pieces.

On a photographers tradeshow in the Netherlands Adrien Hendrickx spoke and demonstrated some of his skills for the audience. He motivated me to do something more for the pictures I take. I’m an expert and teacher in two other fields, and I love to tell people how they can get better. I hope they will surpass me at some time and maybe they can do something in return.

The statement above ‘They certainly don't want to give away all the secrets of the store so someone else can come in, with little effort, and basically take away their means to make a living’, feels for me personally odd and I never saw before on any forum I have visited. Maybe I haven’t visited too many forums or maybe this is something typical for (advanced) retouchers? It’s a statement that gives me the feeling: ‘you can come to play, but we won’t learn you to play it well’. I thought advanced skin retouching is a well known bunch of techniques, certainly not a secret method, but I’m wrong as it seems.(?) I know his statement is not applying for all, although it suggests it. Fortunately many are willing to share their 'secrets'.

Advanced retouching is for me quite new. Maybe this is way I don’t see the whole picture (no pun) immediately or how to advance in the most logical way. The obvious is not always obvious for people with lesser skills. Of course, inventing the wheel all over again is a good teacher, but not always the most effective. The discussions and tutorials I have seen on this board all seem a bit basic, but maybe I didn’t find the real gems yet or am not reading them correctly. I’m willing to do it properly, but only need to know if this is the right track (degrunging wasn’t as it seems).

My first step is to try the Dodge and Burn technique. I need some time to digest the information already available on this board. I think all already gave me good advice, and I really appreciate the time you all want to invest in newbie’s.
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  #23  
Old 03-30-2008, 09:58 AM
KR1156 KR1156 is offline
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Re: Amazing skin, only degrunge?

i wish skin talk was banned for 1 month.....i would love to see if any new (retouching) threads would even be started?
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  #24  
Old 03-30-2008, 11:50 AM
Hendrik Hendrik is offline
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Re: Amazing skin, only degrunge?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KR1156 View Post
i wish skin talk was banned for 1 month.....i would love to see if any new (retouching) threads would even be started?
Well you only need one good tutorial and we don't have to aks anymore LOL
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  #25  
Old 03-30-2008, 02:21 PM
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Re: Amazing skin, only degrunge?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KR1156 View Post
i wish skin talk was banned for 1 month.....i would love to see if any new (retouching) threads would even be started?

And what do you think would be a good replacement/addition?

Chris
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  #26  
Old 03-30-2008, 02:50 PM
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Re: Amazing skin, only degrunge?

CHRIS: I would go for color adjustments...I struggle with this Many others do as well...I read somewhere on the net that the right color adjustment can make a picture look sharper...

But I think retouchpro should yet again divide the threads into other under forums...F.ex retouch - color - skin - hair - eyelashes or something like this...Maybe this would be better to look out for what we are trying to learn here...There is a lot of skin talk, maybe because that's sticks out the most from portraits...


Gerry
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  #27  
Old 03-30-2008, 02:55 PM
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Re: Amazing skin, only degrunge?

For the guys "in the know", could we just take one simple photo and you take us through the work flow? I constantly see posts of what someone is doing wrong instead of showing an approach one should take in order to do it right. I think this is what the poster was asking in the first place. Or as Markzebra eludes, maybe there is no mystery or secrets to retouching if one has a good photo to begin with. Maybe we just need to become better photographers and not retouchers?

Last edited by skydog; 03-30-2008 at 03:03 PM.
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  #28  
Old 03-30-2008, 08:05 PM
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Markzebra Markzebra is offline
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Re: Amazing skin, only degrunge?

Yes think of it more as image making or painting. Some people seem to come at it thinking more of cheating or tricks. For some reason of all the best retouchers I've met, probably more than half, have a photography background or training - NOT a design, computing, or art background.

Color is a huge subject, with endless things to say, well worth many threads. Perhaps not a subject people understand the full importance of when first starting, but a deep knowledge of digital color can lift average skills much higher. It at the root of everything; one example, being able to understand and visualize the distinction between color and tone is essential in good skin work. These things perhaps people like us take for granted, and can't understand how others get it so wrong. But for people with no real visual background, and I've had to work with a few recently! certainly need help in these areas.

Last edited by Markzebra; 03-30-2008 at 08:11 PM.
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  #29  
Old 03-30-2008, 09:57 PM
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Re: Amazing skin, only degrunge?

To me it depends what you want and expect from a tool. Most so-called “ high-end” work begins with professional models, good skin, and excellent makeup. De-grunge is not needed in that case and would look unnatural if applied.

If however you have a less than perfect model that has blotchy skin then de-grunge is an excellent technique that will save much time and do just as good at the beginning as D&B and a hell of a lot faster.

It is all in the technique however… if applied wrong it will make a mess but with some practice it is a great tool and time saver. If used correctly it will give you a very good foundation to build on.

De-grunge does even the tone and may remove some needed depth…But this is easily rectified with D&B but with a lot less work.

It is one of many tools and well worth the time to learn.

I have seen examples on this site that when de-grunge was used are just as good, if not better in some cases, then the work of the self proclaimed experts.

Absolute perfection in skin is very over-rated by some on this site. Check for yourself…get a good fashion magazine and as you turn the pages pay close attention to every model and their skin.

You will see all types of techniques from perfect skin to illustration. Within these groups you will see many examples with far from perfect skin. It all depends on the look you want to achieve. When you know what that look is any tool will do to get there.



Butch

Last edited by Daviskw; 03-30-2008 at 10:09 PM.
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  #30  
Old 03-31-2008, 07:45 AM
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Re: Amazing skin, only degrunge?

My attempt to reveal the SKIN "Secret"

[QUOTE=Hendrik;187719]
#1 If I want 'vogue-cover' quality for my model's skin, dodge and burn is THE technique to use? (I know there are more things to do, but I'm only talking about the skin now)
QUOTE]

These are just a few things that I think are "SKIN" related:

1. You must be a highly skilled Mechanic at using Photoshop or other comparable programs and know how to use ALL the tools in your tool box.
2. You have to be an artistic surgeon with a working knowledge of the anatomical parts you are working on and be able to use ALL the surgical tools available to you within the software package.
3. You must have a Photographers eye for detail and the effects of light and shadow and be able to duplicate what the photographer THOUGHT he or she saw in their minds eye, again being able to utilize all the tools available to you to duplicate and improve upon their vision.
4. You must have the expertise of a cosmetologist to achieve the perfect skin tones and color and know all the intricacies of applying and blending makeup in order to present a realistic interpretation of someone else's vision, again while being able to use ALL the tools available to you...
5. You must have the artistic ability to envision what your final outcome will look like before you even start on your project and the artistic talent to pull it off..
6. You must have the psychic abilities to know what the editors or clients really want and be prepared for the fact that whatever you submit.. they must/will find something wrong ..
7. You must not be intimidated when someone tells you it's crap. If it's true, they did you a favor.

When you achieve the afore mentioned 7 points of expertise through lots of practice, trial and error, tutorials, books, lessons, and any other means of learning the use of the software and have attained a good working knowledge of ALL the tools available in Photoshop or other comparable programs and you have learned the intricacies of the software then you should no longer have the question of how to achieve that so called "Perfect Skin" Because by that time... You Can Do IT!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dodge And Burn
A Simplified How TO

The following is a compilation from some other threads concerning D&B (which BTW is only one aspect of that perfect Vogue Retouch)

The dodge and burn tools that reside in the toolbar are destructive tools. They are used to adjust exposure, not shading. They are NOT used for D&B Skin Retouching to balance tones.

Before any retouching...MAKE A BACKGROUND COPY! Adjust the overall color of a photo (no point in retouching anything that will be blown out or hidden in shadows in the end). Adjust Levels and make color adjustments through curves (adjust the individual channels) and an occasional hue/sat layer. De-saturate the reds a bit... as most peoples' flaws are reddish in nature, this diminishes some the areas vs. actual bumps.

Remove the pimples and do light spotting on an image, Rubber stamp (Clone) out major stuff (on a copy of the original layer of course) at a minimum view of 100% or more on normal mode. Make sure that all the cloning/healing is completely unnoticeable. You should be able to hit hairs one by one with a small diameter healing brush You should be able to remove all the hairs without botching the texture. You want no big blur blobs or step_marks. Dodge&Burn later, to balance tones.

Even out the skin tones to be basically the same hue, saturation throughout a figure/face/image. Use the lasso with a fat amount of feathering on it and circle/trace areas that you want to adjust using curves. These typically will be very subtle in nature... with the middle of a channel's curve just pulled up or down a notch or 2.

With D&B(softlight) retouching always start in very close then, move out, and repeat. If you shrink your magnification by 50%, make your brush size correspondingly larger. That way, you won't actually be obliterating the D&B or healing strokes you already made at full size. It is not necessary to zoom in to whatever view the resolution of the image allows for viewing individual pixels. It is rare to go above 2-300% view. Most work is done at 100% or less. The further in you zoom you loose focus on what you are trying to achieve. It would help to keep two instances of an image open all the time. One is focused (set to view) the most you can of an image. While the other one has the zoom factor needed to do retouching. The larger updates as you go along so you can see what looks strange or where you need to go next.

The important thing is to get the hard stuff done at the bigger views and then progressively zoom out and using a larger brush and lower opacity, then brush some more.

Refer to already existing highlights/shadows and exaggerate and/or simplify them. Make a new layer, fill with 50% grey and set that layer to "Softlight" and paint black or white (again, 0% hardness on the brush, 100% opacity, 1-5% flow) to carve down or up. (or you can use two layers-- one for Dodge and one for Burn so you have more control on adjustments to each-- just remember if you use two layers you have to switch layers when you change colors!) Dodge and Burn sometimes adds saturation to the carved shadows. Dodging and burning into a grey layer will pretty much duplicate the effect of painting white and black, but sometimes it works better to use actual tones sampled from the image: a highlight that hasn't blown out, and a shadow that nice and dark, but still showing tone. This is useful if white and black are creating discoloration. Switch from dodging to burning and back again simply by pressing the "X" key (if using separate layers for D&B then switch layers also).

You can even do some minor dodging and burning directly on a second copy of the retouched image layer.. Keep it pure and simple. 0% hardness brush, still at about 1 to 3% flow. Simply lightly mask out what's overkill. You might even want to try plain old painting white on an empty layer set to "normal"__ 0% hardness on the brush, 100% opacity, 1% flow, "other dynamics" selected.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I recently read a post outlining step-by-step instructions for brain surgery (found here)
I have even copied this mini brain surgery tutorial so I have quick access.. Now that I know the tools and their use... would you let me operate on your brain? I think NOT!
I also know how most magic tricks are accomplished and can do a few magic tricks myself...but.. knowing how they are done does not make me a magician. I know the mechanics but lack the practice and experience.. and a good magician, like a good retoucher, has to have more than one trick in his bag!

So, it would seem to me that the "BIG SECRET" everyone is hiding is actually one they have repeated over and over again...
"There is No Quick Fix, Learn all the tools and Practice Cubed!"
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