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

Bulk (speed) Retouching - any advice?

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  #11  
Old 08-05-2008, 06:05 PM
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Re: Bulk (speed) Retouching - any advice?

Actions can do any part of the process including saving and opening, indeed its the saving and opening that in practice will eat up a lot of the time. You need to interactively decide how the color and tone will be distributed, and if you set it up properly thats the only bit of the process that needs any direct input, the rest should be automated INCLUDING the opening of any dialogs.

Flattening and any other destructive editing, as part of an action is nearly always a bad idea, you need to save down layered files which can be opened either in a massive batch or browsed using Bridge. The output process should be done creating flattened copies of some sort - again actioned obviously
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  #12  
Old 08-06-2008, 01:58 AM
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Re: Bulk (speed) Retouching - any advice?

I don't think that you can do speedy retouching if you want to achieve high quality.

for the retuching single image eats minimum 1 hour. I also tried many times to do fast but result are not so good.

Ash
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  #13  
Old 08-06-2008, 09:35 AM
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Re: Bulk (speed) Retouching - any advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashphotoart View Post
I don't think that you can do speedy retouching if you want to achieve high quality.

for the retuching single image eats minimum 1 hour. I also tried many times to do fast but result are not so good.

Ash
Commercial reality and the acceptance level of the particular market have a lot to do with it. I remember reading an article by this person who retouched images for a soft porn photographer. He was dealing with hundreds if not thousands of shots a day. Individual quality treatment was simply not possible. A standard workflow that balanced colour and lighting, blurred out obvious imperfections and set the images to the standard "style" of the site was all that he could afford to do during the couple of minutes that he had for each image.
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  #14  
Old 08-07-2008, 03:33 AM
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Re: Bulk (speed) Retouching - any advice?

I have to add my 2 cents to this .....

working in a portrait studio we have around 30-40 shoots a day. Clients spend and retouching is a bonus to a sales pitch that helps sell.So we remove wrinkles,tidy up dirty backdrops from lazy photographer's,fix the white balance etc.Its a business and has to make money so time is off the essence for me retouching for the company.

Id love to have 3-4 hours per image - but half the time bad hair and makeup doesn't help so to get high end results you need good skin,hair,clothes,lighting,direction,photographer & alot of passion for what you do at the end of the day.
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  #15  
Old 08-07-2008, 06:37 AM
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Re: Bulk (speed) Retouching - any advice?

So, speed depends on the work to be done in an image, but usually retouching means balancing everything. So It could not finish in minimal time.

As Verywierd said if client want only basic retouching than it can be done very fast.

Ash
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  #16  
Old 08-07-2008, 08:07 AM
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Re: Bulk (speed) Retouching - any advice?

I have been wondering about speed and generic actions when I see all of these Wal-Mart and rite aid photo restoration packages “Get your old photos restored for $14.99 each”

They must just have a toolbox of generic actions.
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  #17  
Old 08-07-2008, 10:02 AM
SilvaFox SilvaFox is offline
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Re: Bulk (speed) Retouching - any advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by resto View Post
I have been wondering about speed and generic actions when I see all of these Wal-Mart and rite aid photo restoration packages “Get your old photos restored for $14.99 each”

They must just have a toolbox of generic actions.
Or they have a room full of generic people making $.08 an hour.

Honestly. If you can't bill a job for the time it will take to do, and do it right, don't take it. Seems like this whole thread has been about, "it doesn't matter what it looks like. Hurry up and get it done".
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  #18  
Old 08-08-2008, 07:10 PM
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Re: Bulk (speed) Retouching - any advice?

Not necessarily - automation is about eliminating unecessary and time consuming grunt work, the purpose being that you create TIME to try and do it to an OK standard too. Setting up requires an investment of time at the beginning though, but if you know what you are that investment will pay off hugely.

Of course if a client gives no time at all, then they deserve rubbish.
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  #19  
Old 08-08-2008, 07:58 PM
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Re: Bulk (speed) Retouching - any advice?

Rô,
There is one PS filter that is often overlooked for simple retouch work, Reduce Noise. In fact, most people have forgotten about it, or never used it at all. But, it could be a useful step in your actions.
Advantages:
- it's free since it comes with PS;
- can be automated into an action;
- smooths skin without overdoing it, yet preserves contrast and edge detail;
- has built-in sharpening adjustment;
- can also reduce color noise and jpeg artifacts.

I know it sounds clunky, but when pressed for time.... especially if the images are pretty good to start with, it will do a nice job as one of your steps in the process.

If you haven't used it in a while, pull it up, play with it, see what you think...
If you have already considered it, I apologize.

Good luck with the images !
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  #20  
Old 08-14-2008, 01:47 PM
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Re: Bulk (speed) Retouching - any advice?

I work for a portrait studio and often have to do this kind of "bulk retouch" for sports teams, dance schools, school dances, etc. While you certainly can't get the quality of retouch most of the people on this forum espouse in just a few minutes, you can certainly make major improvements to "out of camera".

Regarding opening and saving the images, IOpener is a great plugin for Photoshop. It opens each image for you in sequence, runs whatever actions you've specified, can save multiple copies of the image (such as a PSD and a JPG), then closes the image and opens the next. It still takes a minute or so to save/close/open, but since it does it for you, you can use that minute to switch over to another program, check email, grab a refill on coffee, etc instead of having to think about the process.

IOpener also has a much better Batch Process than PShop's built-in Automate Batch. What I usually do with bulk retouch is run a set of actions overnight and save the PSDs, then go back the next day and do the personalized parts of each image.

My bulk workflow (quick and dirty, certainly not what I would do for an individual client, but just takes a few minutes):

Overnight with IOpener:
1) duplicate layer, then run Imagenomic Portraiture (mentioned before) - default settings BUT then reduce layer to 50% so it's not too plastic
2) stamp up and run a local contrast (unsharp 20-50-0), reduce layer to 50%
3) stamp up to create a "retouch" layer for later
4) teeth: hue/sat layer with yellows at -60, then a black mask over the whole layer
5) a levels layer I've customized to this set of images (I don't run autolevels b/c then it adjusts each individually and my lab needs consistent levels.)
6) soft light levels layer at 10% for a little pop

The Next Day:
1) Run a white brush over the Teeth layer mask to whiten teeth
2) Select Retouch layer and gauss blur at 3 px, make a snapshot and set the history brush to it, then go back to the unblurred state (3 px works well for me b/c most of my bulk work is full-length.)
3) Use history brush at 100% on any blemishes, stray hairs, threads hanging down, etc
4) use history brush at 30% to reduce shine and undereye circles
5) manually clean up anything else like bruises on the legs
6) stamp everything to the top, select the Red channel, and unsharp mask 200-.3-4

I then go back through the set and use IOpener to crop, vignette and logo the images to whatever size the students' packages include. I used to do this after each image, but I find even though it adds open/save/close time to run it as a separate process, it saves time in that I'm not mentally switching gears back and forth.

Hope this helps. I'm writing this quick, so if anything needs clarified please let me know.

Last edited by juliewood; 08-14-2008 at 01:48 PM. Reason: left out a step
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