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Retouching white plastic sandals

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  #1  
Old 08-01-2011, 08:48 AM
Gregdev Gregdev is offline
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Retouching white plastic sandals

Hey guys

I'm new to serious photo retouching having worked primarily as a journalistic photographer I've never had to do more than the basics.

I'm playing around now and trying to learn more refined techniques.

Here I;ve got a photo I shot of a white plastic sandal on a black background.
I had two 1000W minipans and used a reflector for some fill.
Obviously the lighting gave a nasty yellow cast but I pulled the colour temp down to about 2800 in the raw file before I saved the JPEG you see here.

I would use the quick selection tool to pull it from the black background, and add a white light wrap to get rid of the black cast but then the curves and layers just don't give me the color correction I need. The colours remain terribly flat and I can't get rid of the colour cast.

How would you pros go about retouching this?
Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

You can find the TIF here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/5623968/24June-102.TIF
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File Type: jpg white_test.jpg (85.7 KB, 73 views)
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  #2  
Old 08-01-2011, 09:12 AM
DJSoulglo's Avatar
DJSoulglo DJSoulglo is offline
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Re: Retouching white plastic sandals

You mean something like this??

Cut it out with the pen tool, then just use a curve (see the screenshot). Use Hue sat to desturate the yellow. Then I added a quick selection to the pink(ish) details (from the green channel).

Good luck.
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File Type: jpg Screen-shot-2011-08-01-at-4.10.03-PM.jpg (90.2 KB, 70 views)
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  #3  
Old 08-01-2011, 09:33 AM
edgework edgework is offline
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Re: Retouching white plastic sandals

LAB is the place to handle a cast this severe. Neutral in LAB is dead-center on both color channel curves: 0, 0. Your sandals are reading 5 in a and 23 in b. If you put an anchor in the middle of each curve and plug in the numbers: 5 input, 0 output for a, 23 input, 0 output for b, you will kill the cast. Then you can deal with the contrast in the lightness channel. The contrast there is sufficient to allow a mask to be easily created, both for the overall outline, to kill the black background, and also to create a selection for the design. Back in RGB, that latter mask allows for a simple curve pulling cyan out with a steep Red curve. The black fringe goes away with Refine Edge.
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File Type: jpg Sandal.jpg (93.2 KB, 66 views)
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  #4  
Old 08-01-2011, 10:22 AM
madclark madclark is offline
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Re: Retouching white plastic sandals

Guys, I don't know why you're having such trouble with this. Just add a curves adjustment layer, hit Auto and voila. If you want to be a little more specific, you could use the eye droppers to to tweak this some, but getting rid of a color cast here should be dead simple. You could add a secondary Hue/Saturation level to make the purple pop if you wanted, but this should be a no brainer.
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  #5  
Old 08-01-2011, 10:35 AM
Gregdev Gregdev is offline
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Re: Retouching white plastic sandals

Great stuff guys, thanks!

A couple of follow-up questions:

DJSouldGlo - your curves have different values for R G and B as well as the main curve - are you doing this by eye? Using desaturate is something I had a doubt about - using it to pull out colour casts - does that not leave other colours duller? Could you explain what you mean by adding a quick selection to the pink on the green channel? Why did you do this and what is the effect?

edgework - the LAB tip is invaluable - thanks! I will need to play around with it as I'm not familiar with using LAB much, but I love the idea.

madclark - I tried the auto but it never seems to work and particularly on images with a severe colour cast like this one - and without a clear black and white point I'm a bit lost on using the eye-droppers.

Thanks again to all!
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  #6  
Old 08-01-2011, 10:45 AM
edgework edgework is offline
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Re: Retouching white plastic sandals

Quote:
Originally Posted by madclark View Post
Guys, I don't know why you're having such trouble with this. Just add a curves adjustment layer, hit Auto and voila. If you want to be a little more specific, you could use the eye droppers to to tweak this some, but getting rid of a color cast here should be dead simple. You could add a secondary Hue/Saturation level to make the purple pop if you wanted, but this should be a no brainer.
Just a personal preference of my own, but I never use auto anything in Photoshop.
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  #7  
Old 08-01-2011, 10:49 AM
madclark madclark is offline
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Re: Retouching white plastic sandals

A curves autocorrect should get you in the ballpark. If it's not visibly better check a few things:

* Is your monitor calibrated? The curves adjustment may be correct but you still see a color cast because your monitor isn't adjusted to render correctly. With a color picker, check to see if your whites, greys and blacks are numerically correct (meaning your RGB numbers should all be the same - 255 for pure white, 128 for grey, 0 for pure black)

* Are you viewing the image in a proof mode? Make sure your proofing tools are turned off while you're creating adjustments. This is only to help you prep an image for final output and shouldn't be on during your regular workflow.

Here's a tutorial that will show you how to use a curves layer to remove a color cast by hand. Try this once to better understand what's happening to remove the cast. There are some instances where it's very difficult to remove a cast but it's usually in special circumstances. An image right out of the camera should not be an issue.

http://www.dpchallenge.com/tutorial.php?TUTORIAL_ID=24
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  #8  
Old 08-01-2011, 11:02 AM
madclark madclark is offline
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Re: Retouching white plastic sandals

When opening the TIF, Photoshop used the camera RAW dialogue which has a white balance picker. Choose different areas of the shoe to see what looks right. I opened it, did the mask and tweaked it with a little curves adjustment for contrast and brightness in 5 minutes. I guess I don't see what the issue is that eveyone else seems to be having problems with.
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File Type: jpg 24June-102.jpg (81.7 KB, 39 views)
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  #9  
Old 08-01-2011, 11:59 AM
Gregdev Gregdev is offline
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Re: Retouching white plastic sandals

Thanks folks!

Followed your various advice, added some other retouches and ended up with this.

Still unhappy about a slight blow out on the strap in the front and some uneven white coloration, as well as an odd little cast that seems to be hanging around the name on the strap, but overall - much better!

Some of the difficulty is definitely my monitor - I know it is a mortal sin but I'm always on the move and all I have is my laptop. Software monitor calibration is not up to much, but could anyone recommend anything I could use to help me?


cheers!
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File Type: jpg white sandal edit.jpg (94.4 KB, 44 views)
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  #10  
Old 08-01-2011, 06:20 PM
Flashtones Flashtones is offline
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Re: Retouching white plastic sandals

Quote:
Originally Posted by madclark View Post
I guess I don't see what the issue is that eveyone else seems to be having problems with.
What'd I miss? I don't see anyone having a problem.
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