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Dbl-chins, sagging jowels, flabby bellies

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  #1  
Old 02-09-2011, 01:22 PM
drode drode is offline
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Dbl-chins, sagging jowels, flabby bellies

The title says it all. Lot's of the folks I shoot are not young, toned models. They're average people, middle aged moms and dads, chubby teens and such. I'm not inclined to take someone and remove 20 years and 40 pounds but I want to make them look their "natural" best. As I search the interwebs for advice, techniques and tutorials, I never seem to find much on how to do this really well. I've found a few things but they were pretty crude.

I realize that posing often make the biggest difference but it's not always enough and I may not always have control over the posing and lighting.

Any suggestions where I might find more info on fixing common problems for the non-model?

Thanks in advance!

-Dan
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:09 PM
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shift studio shift studio is offline
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Re: Dbl-chins, sagging jowels, flabby bellies

Hey Dan,
I'm wondering how much time you are willing to spend on each portrait (or each person in the portrait)?

--Shift Studio.

Last edited by shift studio; 02-09-2011 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:23 PM
drode drode is offline
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Re: Dbl-chins, sagging jowels, flabby bellies

The short answer is, as much time as it takes

I don't earn my living from photography or retouching so I have the luxury of spending as much time as I need. I'm not an expert retoucher by any measure but that is the quality level I aspire to regardless of the subject or how much I charge.
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:46 PM
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Re: Dbl-chins, sagging jowels, flabby bellies

I think my answer is not what you are hoping to hear, but the same techniques you use to make a young, toned model look better are the same ones that will make the average person look better...
-liquify for shaping - but hold back from perfection.
-skin - you can find many many techniques on the subject... one thing I believe helps someone look there best is to start with frequency separation - try some high radii, then smooth out the tones like crazy on the low frequency - do a little bit (or a lot) of cloning on the high frequency, do some contouring on a 50% gray layer blended using soft-light.
- sharpen/enhance the eyes
- fix the hair - removing fly-aways and cross-hairs can really help (as long as you do it well)
- fix the clothes - bends that could be smooth or straight, wrinkles, often heavy people, men especially, will be wearing a shirt that is too big, and looks sloppy. Use whatever techniques necessary. Straighten a man's tie if its not.
Jowls - on a copy, do some liquifying, copy the collar on top, add appropriate shading to make it look like the overhanging jowl is now inside the collar - it works, but can be tough to get it right.

I think these things can help make a person look their best, and not obviously retouched. Just enhance the good things and subdue the bad.

I hope this helps a bit - I know its not the most organised response

--Shift Studio.
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Old 02-09-2011, 03:03 PM
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Re: Dbl-chins, sagging jowels, flabby bellies

- don't forget to whiten the teeth and eyes a bit - but not so it's unrealistic.
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Old 02-09-2011, 03:26 PM
drode drode is offline
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Re: Dbl-chins, sagging jowels, flabby bellies

Thanks! Every bit of advice I get helps. It's all in the details, so little hints sometimes go a long way. BTW - I was nosy and took a peek at some of your portrait work. You obviously understand how to shoot and retouch normal, non-model people. Very nice work!

I'm getting better and better with skin. The frequency separation technique really helps. I find myself doing a lot of D&B to either even things pixel-by-pixel or to reform shadows and highlights to contour. I still have a long way to go but I've taken some big steps forward recently. It's seems to me that developing an "eye for retouching" is just as critical as the technique.

Learning how to smooth wrinkles, to me, is not unlike working on jowls and double chins. I know conceptually what I want to do but I'm not sure how to make it as realistic as possible or what tools are the best place to start.
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Old 02-09-2011, 04:28 PM
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Re: Dbl-chins, sagging jowels, flabby bellies

Quote:
Originally Posted by drode View Post
You obviously understand how to shoot and retouch normal, non-model people. Very nice work!
Thanks Dan - I don't shoot anything myself though.

Wrinkles in clothes? I know I sound like a broken record but ...
- do a frequency separation (you need the texture separate from the colour)
- turn off the HF layer, working on the LF layer do what it takes to remove the darkness of the wrinkle (patch maybe, or patch with a pure white texture maybe if the LF is smooth enough, or one of my favourites, smudge tool set to 'lighten')

- turn HF's visibility back on, patch, or clone texture if necessary, or if good texture needs transforming, make a hard rectangular selection on HF, fill with 50% gray. Copy a piece of good HF texture to a new layer move it where it needs to be, transform as necessary, erase any overlapping texture.

Hope that helps too.
--Shift Studio.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:53 PM
drode drode is offline
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Re: Dbl-chins, sagging jowels, flabby bellies

Thank you! How you think about fixing something like this (maybe this, maybe that) really helps me more than a step 1, step 2, step 3 tutorial.

Frequency separation, while kinda new to me seems to have 1000 uses.
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Old 02-10-2011, 05:57 AM
julianmarsalis julianmarsalis is offline
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Re: Dbl-chins, sagging jowels, flabby bellies

Quote:
Originally Posted by drode View Post
Thank you! How you think about fixing something like this (maybe this, maybe that) really helps me more than a step 1, step 2, step 3 tutorial.

Frequency separation, while kinda new to me seems to have 1000 uses.
It slices and dices its the swiss army knife tool in a retouchers tool bag.....
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Old 02-10-2011, 02:47 PM
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shift studio shift studio is offline
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wrinkle removal screencast

Quote:
Originally Posted by drode View Post
How you think about fixing something like this (maybe this, maybe that) really helps me more than a step 1, step 2, step 3 tutorial.
I was thinking that if I could only show a technique, it would be so much easier for me, and more clear for the viewer. So, I decided to give that a try.

The screencast is here (done a little roughly):
http://www.screencast.com/t/F0xsIcxJROv

I know you didn't ask for a wrinkle removal technique, but I thought since I already started in this thread, I'd link it here.

--Shift Studio
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