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

Pascal Dangin & Box Studios

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  #11  
Old 10-17-2009, 12:14 PM
KR1156 KR1156 is offline
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Re: Pascal Dangin & Box Studios

yes they know photoshop, they know as well as any highend retoucher should....but the difference in retouchers is their aesthetic and artistic vision and dedication to do something the right way. They work on some excellent campaigns, and it takes more than photoshop skills to please their clients.

like someone said recently, i would rather have a retoucher who was 70% artist, and 30% technical.

an example of dedication.....I get a client who doesn't bring in any profit to our company at the moment, and may be the case for a while....but when i retouch let's say and editorial for elle magazine, i do it as well as i do any of my jobs....and if things are looking off, maybe the color work is gone too far, or something is off, i'm willing to start from scratch to please my client. know why....in the end it's my name on the retouching side of that job, and everyone remembers the bad stuff they see.

and on that note, Box and every other highend shop is willing to do the same.
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  #12  
Old 10-17-2009, 03:35 PM
eraanexact eraanexact is offline
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Re: Pascal Dangin & Box Studios

Agreed with KR1156.

Also, one of the things I've noticed is that in great beauty and fashion work, the color and contrast moves are done first in adjustment layers on top, followed by any liquifying/body sculpting, and then the actual technical retouching. Getting the color balanced and overall mood established is what seperates a technical retoucher from a true artist.
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  #13  
Old 10-18-2009, 10:24 PM
vapour vapour is offline
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Re: Pascal Dangin & Box Studios

When it comes to fundamental "color balancing" or "color correcting" is this typically a global move or usually done selectively or locally.

IE. Mask out every part of the image... skin, hair, sky, grass, jeans, top, purse etc etc?

Or like I asked, a global curves adjustment?

Obviously I would assume maybe both, but what do you start with? How do you know when to take your next move?
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  #14  
Old 10-19-2009, 04:51 PM
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Markzebra Markzebra is offline
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Re: Pascal Dangin & Box Studios

Use your brain Vapour, and learn the stuff upside down. No technical knowledge or tricks ever made anyone any good. OK folks probably last post from me, nice knowing you

Last edited by Markzebra; 10-19-2009 at 07:53 PM.
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  #15  
Old 10-19-2009, 10:50 PM
vapour vapour is offline
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Re: Pascal Dangin & Box Studios

I understand the benefits of breaking rules and doing things upside down, but you have to know the rules before you can break them.

Mark I'm not for sure if your comment was just a lash out because you are maybe from a competitive retouching studio then Box, but the point of my question was not to make this dark art of retouching even more mysterious...

I just want to encourage a 'high end' conversation on here so that there actually can be some creative room to move forward with these fundamental tools.

Use my brain...

- It didn't come naturally when Photoshop loaded that I could make a mid-tone mask by using a gradient map with black on both ends and white in the middle

- Or that I could use a 50% gray layer on Soft Light and paint with white and black to creatively dodge and burn a portrait similar to almost painting to transform a photo

- The Photoshop resource disc didn't come Luminosity Masks so that I could adjust my highlights and my shadows locally

- There wasn't an action for lasso-ing portions of an image and creating a Curves adjustment layer for local contrast and color control

- I didn't automatically think to desaturate my dark dark shadows to eliminate color cast

No... all this was learned by forums like Retouch Pro or Googling for tutorials etc etc. So while my question may have seemed, perhaps, juvenile to some for me I'm just wanting to learn something new or at least get a new perspective on the tools I already have and know.
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  #16  
Old 10-29-2009, 10:14 PM
BellaAllure BellaAllure is offline
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Re: Pascal Dangin & Box Studios

great stuff here! I didn't know some of that stuff either vapour..until you just mentioned. I'm a newbie!
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  #17  
Old 10-29-2009, 11:24 PM
jaduffy007 jaduffy007 is offline
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Re: Pascal Dangin & Box Studios

I'm "new 'round these parts", but I have to say that so far, each thread I've opened with anticipation of learning something has left me terribly disappointed. Vapour, I think your thread idea was great. Too bad everyone seemed more interested in presenting airs of superiority versus sharing anything of value.

Vapour, thanks for mentioning the mid-tone mask and luminosity masks topics. I guess I will turn to google vs retouchPro in hopes of learning about those topics.
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  #18  
Old 10-29-2009, 11:58 PM
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mikedimples mikedimples is offline
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Thumbs up Re: Pascal Dangin & Box Studios

Quote:
Originally Posted by vapour View Post
- I didn't automatically think to desaturate my dark dark shadows to eliminate color cast
Not to mention lightest lights. Great info, any newbies lurking should study this post.
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  #19  
Old 10-30-2009, 02:22 AM
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seattle-light seattle-light is offline
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Re: Pascal Dangin & Box Studios

Of course, Vapour is right. But then so is everyone else.

There are a whole lot of techniques that high-end retouchers are using out there that aren't readily apparent from reading a book about Photoshop or even a book that focuses specifically on retouching (most are just scratching the surface, because going deeper would be almost pointless as it would simply lose most readers).

And some of those techniques border on alchemy or even rocket science (to the point that you wonder how anyone ever figured out how to do that).

But the fact is that everyone is using different techniques in different combinations. There is no simple (or complex) formulaic recipe for doing great retouching. And I'm sure that Box Studios approaches each image in a slightly different way and that every person working there will approach any given image a little differently.

The idea that there is a proprietary Box Studios method or workflow seems a bit of a stretch in my mind. But the "dark art" of Box Studios doesn't seem all that mysterious.

If you put a group of highly skilled retouchers together in a room -- people who eat, breathe, and sleep retouching -- and get them to work together for a few years, they're going to share their ideas about retouching and techniques. Over time, you're going to develop an incredible brain trust of retouching and visual problem-solving techniques.

If they're working on each other's files, they may come up with specific ways to name layers and an order for layering the work so that they can walk into each other's
files without being completely lost -- a kind of loose, collective working method.

If you have ten people who've worked for ten years each with some of the best photographers and agencies around, you've got 100 years of collective work experience and an even greater wealth and diversity of collaborative, learning experiences. So the potential for creative cross-pollination is incredible.

Putting a group some of the best retouchers together and tasking them to do even better work seems like a recipe for doing great work. How's that for a secret formula?

I've been retouching for quite some time, but I learn something new with every single person I work with. Sometimes the biggest learning is from the people who are "greenest" (maybe because they haven't yet learned the proper way to do things, so they've accidentally found a completely different way).

I for one would love to hear Vapour explain how he's using mid-tone masking.

But the "Tell me how how they're doing it" question is not as simple as it sounds (and it's kind of lazy). I can see why people get tired of it. Because you're basically asking how a highly skilled group of people with 100 years of experience in retouching on thousands of projects would approach retouching differently and expecting that approach to be distilled into a few paragraphs (when it would be difficult enough to pick up if you were in the room working with them day in and day out for a couple years) or in a list of their ten proprietary magic-bullet techniques.

Some of the best retouchers I've worked with have a very limited bag of tricks (surprisingly limited). But they know exactly how to use them to achieve the desired results.

I would suggest that you concentrate on refining fundamentals, and seek out specific techniques to address specific problems as you need them. Asking how Box Studios does it is a question that simply could never be effectively answered in a quick post. And it seems more productive to build up your own skill set and add specific techniques as you need them than to try to follow Box Studios. Build your own robust toolbox.

Solve one problem at a time until you have no more problems to solve. And don't worry about running out of problems. As you solve one set of problems, new ones will appear to take their place (and usually the new ones will seem more complicated that the earlier ones, even if they are minor problems in comparison). Perfection can seem like an elusive thing.

Hope you are doing well. Take care. Alan.
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  #20  
Old 10-30-2009, 09:28 AM
vapour vapour is offline
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Re: Pascal Dangin & Box Studios

Quote:
Originally Posted by seattle-light View Post
If you put a group of highly skilled retouchers together in a room -- people who eat, breathe, and sleep retouching -- and get them to work together for a few years, they're going to share their ideas about retouching and techniques.
Isn't that what RetouchPRO is suppose to be, but without the boundaries of a location based office? BOX is limited to those retouchers sitting in that logo-less black building in New York. RPRO, to me, is limitless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seattle-light View Post
But the "Tell me how how they're doing it" question is not as simple as it sounds (and it's kind of lazy).
I'm not lazy. I wasn't asking for a consolidation of 10 years of retouching to a single paragraph. This is a forum. So I was wanting to start a high-end DISCUSSION by starting with one paragraph and hopefully lead to more posts then that... dare I say, DAVE HILL thread.
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