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How do you make even gradient skin transition?

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  #1  
Old 11-30-2011, 08:32 AM
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How do you make even gradient skin transition?

Hi everyone,

I will start this thread with a positive and optimistic note that people will share their techniques.(some of them, maybe )
Lately I was observing a lot of high end skin retouching. What my retouched skin lacks is that fine transition. People talk that a lot of DnB required and when I approached one high end retoucher he or she told me that it sometimes requires even 9 hours of it. Beauty shots. Then I was told by same retoucher that these days not many clients prepared to pay that high price.Certainly there people who will pay that price and other retouchers successfully do that.
So for the less pixel level DnB involved what technique do you use or on the top of that to get that really good transition. But not plastic one.
I use grey 50%, usual curves DnB, also gradient map, colour mode painting.
Nevertheless I miss that nailed it factor in my retouching.
So I thought I give a go and ask how you manage to do it.
here is a sample of my later retouch : http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/...g?t=1322662836
Thank you, Tom
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:36 AM
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Re: How do you make even gradient skin transition?

Hi Tom,

you might want to take a closer look at bandstop filtration.
Natalia has explained what this is and how she uses it here: http://nataliataffarel.tumblr.com/po...rted-high-pass
And of course macro level dodge & burn (which I usually do with a 50% gray soft light layer).
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:42 AM
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Re: How do you make even gradient skin transition?

That was rally quick reply. Thanks John,

I forgot to mention that I know about IHP technique. She also explained that this is considered to be a dirty trick. I was wondering to my self if that dirty technique has a certain category of retouch that she would not use. But I guess she would answer that her self.Would you ? I do a little bit of IHP but most of the time I try to avoid it.
By the way do you use a curves in colour mode t dodge at all?
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:50 AM
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Re: How do you make even gradient skin transition?

As I said, you could also use macro level (global) dodge & burn, it requires more skill but can lead to better results.
Sometimes I use lighting and darkening curves, but not for my usual dodge & burn, no.

Jonas
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:03 AM
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Re: How do you make even gradient skin transition?

So what do you use it for then for? (lightening and darkening curves)
I also found this link from modelmayhem: http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?th...1#post11346441
This is part of the how to get skin transition good. i think you know that all ready.
By the way what do you normally use for carving?
Tom
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:52 PM
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Re: How do you make even gradient skin transition?

Well, mostly global adjustments, sometimes localized adjustments, but never as localized as pixel level dodge & burn :-).
This is because using curves really slows my workflow down when I have to switch layers all the time, so I rather use the soft light mode.

Uhm, you sure that the gradient map is used to smooth transitions in skin rather than smoothing color?
Because gradient maps work on luminosity information, so harsh transitions should and probably will remain harsh transitions unless you lessen the contrast which is not a really good way to smooth transitions globally imho (however you could use a midtone mask and lower the contrast there that might give you a little softer transitions though I don't like this technique as it doesn't give terribly much control).
For carving I use my soft light layer again :-).
However I do this on a new layer above my micro level dodge & burn layer so that I can blur the layer if needed to further smoothen the transitions.
I also use a much larger brush and zoom way out when doing this so I'm not distracted by details and can concentrate on the overall form.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:41 PM
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Re: How do you make even gradient skin transition?

You are right about gradient purpose.If I correct it will map from dark to bright as most but not really to unify gradient. I think I do it for colour uni purpose. Should have separate this one .
So you in fact blur 50% grey? Am I correct?
Thanks Tom
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Old 11-30-2011, 06:13 PM
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Re: How do you make even gradient skin transition?

I don't always blur my carve layer. Just when my strokes are too well defined and introduce harsh transitions :-).
In this case a little controlled blurring of the carve layer is most of the time a good way to smooth the transitions again.
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Old 12-01-2011, 12:59 AM
Siciliana Siciliana is offline
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Re: How do you make even gradient skin transition?

I think that applying additional tailored blurs to areas of tonal transition on the low frequency in a frequency separation can give nice transitions without too much work. Again, not something to go overboard with or you will get a weird effect almost like the bandstop.
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Old 12-01-2011, 04:09 AM
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Re: How do you make even gradient skin transition?

FWIW blurring the low frequency information is technically a bandstop.

In all cases the important thing is not what you do but rather how you do it. You can do a number of different techniques and try out thousands of methods, but in the end, if you don't do them right, none of them will look any good.
Only practice makes perfect!
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