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

Re-touch FLOW CHART

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  #1  
Old 08-11-2008, 04:31 PM
danielcohen00 danielcohen00 is offline
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Smile Re-touch FLOW CHART

Hello

I am quite new to the whole retouching world. I am meeting a photographer tomorrow to discuss me helping him out professionally as a re-toucher.

I have searched around for a work-flow diagram to show him what I would do to his photos when he gives them me. I thought this would be a great way to ensure he will be getting the best out of me.

I know this is a very general question but I think it will be mostly weddings or food photography; photographs with promenant whites.

I will tell you what I think I would do and please could you correct me if you would do it any different. I presume I would use Lightroom for productivity but for the sake of keeping it familiar to everyone; my skills are mostly in Photoshop.

1. Crop image if required to a favoured composition/straighten image.
2. I would spot the photograph, clone and dust marks out.
3. *Check exposure, make sure the histogram is full from left to right. Check for any unwanted colour cast, firstly adjust by eye using color balance tool and curves tool and the using Hue/Saturation to detect colours in the whites.
4. Deepen shadows and lighten highlights using curves or levels. *Check highlights are no brighter than 5%, check blacks are no darker than 95%.
5. Use dodge/burn tools to bring back detail or balance shadows/highlights.
6. Clone stamp or burn out and distracting elements.
7. Sharpen image
8. Export as TIFF?

I am not sure what I would export the file as. TIFF files are huge, but JPEG is way too destructive.

I would be very grateful of any opinions! Thanks so much,

Dan
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  #2  
Old 08-11-2008, 04:48 PM
pixelzombie pixelzombie is offline
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Re: Re-touch FLOW CHART

don't use color balance, avoid using levels if you can, and save as psd files but only after turning off "Maximize PSD and PSB file Compatibiity"..leaving that option on will double the size of psd files...
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Old 08-11-2008, 05:33 PM
sirespen sirespen is offline
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Re: Re-touch FLOW CHART

really? Didn't know that! Love this forum, every day you can learn something new

Ciao!
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  #4  
Old 08-11-2008, 10:04 PM
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DJWaxx DJWaxx is offline
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Re: Re-touch FLOW CHART

What? Sounds like jibberish. —joking

I use all tools, dependent on my analysis of the photo. I do try to avoid certain tools, however; but when you need a quick adjustment use what you know. And, unless it's a quick fix, why would you rely on your eyes? Utilize the info window, the numbers don't lie but your monitor might, especially if not properly calibrated.

Anyway, do you know the final destination of the images? If used for printing, what type of press? At some point you'll have to convert to a CMYK profile.

Finally, if you have the storage space, I suggest that you use adjustment layers. Finish all processing, then save your unsharpened, full-sized, RGB PSDs with layers. I like to save a separate file— flattened CMYK TIFs, sized and sharpened specifically for final purpose—more efficient for pre-press, RIP, etc. This way, if the image is to be reused on a different project later, days or years, you retain all of the information in the PSD version, just create another custom TIF.

Last edited by DJWaxx; 08-11-2008 at 10:12 PM.
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  #5  
Old 08-12-2008, 04:04 AM
Hendrik Hendrik is offline
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Re: Re-touch FLOW CHART

My workflow:

1. make the image ‘good as possible’ inside Lightroom (white balance, curves, color adjustment, capture sharpening)
2. Retouch layer, doing global retouchments (clone, healing brush)
3. D&B layer, for skin (4 layer approach)
4. Localized adjustments (eyes, lips, hair, all on separate layers)
5. Background retouch and clothing.
6. sometimes a little bit of High Value Degrunge (HVD), without destroying skin texture, but to equalize skin unevenness)
7. Straighten image, when necessary.
8. Save as a 16-bit tiff

9 Crop/upsample/downsample, specific for intended needs.
10 output-sharpening


I would not crop or resize the image, before you know what the use will be. In my opinion, this is te last step, right before output sharpening.
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  #6  
Old 08-12-2008, 04:57 AM
sirespen sirespen is offline
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Re: Re-touch FLOW CHART

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hendrik View Post
6. sometimes a little bit of High Value Degrunge (HVD), without destroying skin texture, but to equalize skin unevenness)
7.
What does HVD mean? Inverted High pass layer set to overlay to equalize the skin unevenness?
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  #7  
Old 08-12-2008, 08:32 AM
Hendrik Hendrik is offline
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Re: Re-touch FLOW CHART

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirespen View Post
What does HVD mean? Inverted High pass layer set to overlay to equalize the skin unevenness?
You have the normal degrunge method to remove skin blemishes, but now you choose a much higher value for the tonality differences in the skin.

e.g. let's say for a normal degrunge you would have choosen Gausian Blur 3 and High Pass of 9, for the High Value Degrunge I choose GB of 9 and HP of 27. The correct values depends on the image resolution. I don't apply this on all the skin. Opacity 50% or lower.
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  #8  
Old 08-12-2008, 10:34 AM
SilvaFox SilvaFox is offline
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Re: Re-touch FLOW CHART

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJWaxx View Post
What? Sounds like jibberish. —joking

I use all tools, dependent on my analysis of the photo. I do try to avoid certain tools, however; but when you need a quick adjustment use what you know. And, unless it's a quick fix, why would you rely on your eyes? Utilize the info window, the numbers don't lie but your monitor might, especially if not properly calibrated.

Anyway, do you know the final destination of the images? If used for printing, what type of press? At some point you'll have to convert to a CMYK profile.

Finally, if you have the storage space, I suggest that you use adjustment layers. Finish all processing, then save your unsharpened, full-sized, RGB PSDs with layers. I like to save a separate file— flattened CMYK TIFs, sized and sharpened specifically for final purpose—more efficient for pre-press, RIP, etc. This way, if the image is to be reused on a different project later, days or years, you retain all of the information in the PSD version, just create another custom TIF.
Yep. What he said.

I also wouldn't tell your photographer HOW you're doing any of this. No cropping anything, and I'd leave out the dodge and burn part or he may strangle you right there in the studio.
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  #9  
Old 08-12-2008, 02:25 PM
quadupix quadupix is offline
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Re: Re-touch FLOW CHART

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hendrik View Post
My workflow:


3. D&B layer, for skin (4 layer approach)
Could you elaborate on this for me?

Thanks
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  #10  
Old 08-13-2008, 03:58 AM
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DJSoulglo DJSoulglo is offline
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Re: Re-touch FLOW CHART

Search the forum for Dodge & Burn or skin retouch.

There's plenty out there.
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