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

Trade secrets.

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  #51  
Old 01-19-2013, 03:01 PM
edgework edgework is offline
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Re: Trade secrets.

We got along for years using just the cloning tool. Everyone developed their own ways to clone skin without obliterating texture. Those techniques still work, and I've no doubt some people still use them. A lot of the problems those techniques addressed went away with the healing brush. I'm sure when that tool first appeared some people said "Interesting problems to highlight the advantages of the healing brush, but none that can't and aren't overcome on a daily basis without it." And they would have been right.

So what?
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  #52  
Old 01-19-2013, 03:52 PM
Gratin Gratin is offline
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Re: Trade secrets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by edgework View Post
We got along for years using just the cloning tool. Everyone developed their own ways to clone skin without obliterating texture. Those techniques still work, and I've no doubt some people still use them. A lot of the problems those techniques addressed went away with the healing brush. I'm sure when that tool first appeared some people said "Interesting problems to highlight the advantages of the healing brush, but none that can't and aren't overcome on a daily basis without it." And they would have been right.

So what?
Because steps taken since the beginning have been about simplifying the process, not making it more complicated. Or forcing you to work in 16bit.

I mentioned earlier in the thread I have nothing against Frequency Separation, and I've no doubt people find good uses for it. However it's a very good example of a solution that is big on complexity and short on application, opposed to D&B which is rather the opposite. Much like a lot of good retouching.

This is a good time to ask a question I've been wondering though - Those who incorporate FS in your workflow, how does your layer stack look? How much do you keep editable? If you're correcting colour or tonal graduations, I take it you keep the image separate throughout the whole process? Or do you split, clean/balance skin/D&B etc, flatten and then mask/work on global colour afterwards?
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  #53  
Old 01-19-2013, 04:02 PM
RobertGarcia RobertGarcia is offline
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Re: Trade secrets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by edgework View Post
We got along for years using just the cloning tool. Everyone developed their own ways to clone skin without obliterating texture. Those techniques still work, and I've no doubt some people still use them. A lot of the problems those techniques addressed went away with the healing brush. I'm sure when that tool first appeared some people said "Interesting problems to highlight the advantages of the healing brush, but none that can't and aren't overcome on a daily basis without it." And they would have been right.

So what?
I wasn't retouching back then but I hear that the clone tool has changed a lot in a good way and it is possible to do way more thing with it now. Clone and d&b are done together in my opinion.
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  #54  
Old 01-19-2013, 05:16 PM
eraanexact eraanexact is offline
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Re: Trade secrets.

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Originally Posted by Gratin View Post
Because steps taken since the beginning have been about simplifying the process, not making it more complicated. Or forcing you to work in 16bit.

I mentioned earlier in the thread I have nothing against Frequency Separation, and I've no doubt people find good uses for it. However it's a very good example of a solution that is big on complexity and short on application, opposed to D&B which is rather the opposite. Much like a lot of good retouching.
Very well put!
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  #55  
Old 01-19-2013, 09:54 PM
kav kav is offline
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Re: Trade secrets.

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Originally Posted by RobertGarcia View Post
Yes, this is true if you don't know what your doing and you need it for skin go right ahead but if you really know how to use the healing brush, clone and d&b you won't need to use it. Check out the webinars with Tarantino, Beene and Dresser don't kid yourself into thinking it is necessary. It's great for beginners or those who don't have the time to really learn the tools. Step into a retouching house and see them work you will amazed at the simplicity, speed and results.
I hate adding file complexity, but I think you're ignoring one thing here. He concentrated on solving specific problems, where most of these guys use it in fuzzy descriptions. I have some of my own things for specific problems. Let's say part of a garment is really really messed up and it has to be replaced with a built in section in pieces. I'll put a solid fill layer over the part I know I'm going to replace just so the original really messed up part doesn't distract me. If I need to I can click it off again, and I'll just delete that fill layer later. Another example would be if I have to comp certain things and I'm concerned about perspective. Photos won't automatically line up. You may have different lens distortion, scale, and perspective. Sometimes I'll draw out perspective lines to see where they would theoretically line up. It gives me a reference for scale and perspective based on a dominant element or portion. Sometimes it's way more useful than eyeballing it, and it only takes a couple minutes.

Regarding things like skin, I personally find dealing with blemishes should only account for a fraction of your time with most images if you have a good system down to prevent having to smooth or bring back the same areas multiple times. I find it to be much more time consuming dealing with problems where you can't really use as much of what is there, because the shape just doesn't work. it can be weird lower eyelids where the subject is suffering from a hangover. It could be rolls of fat or crushed elbows or a really scrunched up part of a dress. If it's bad enough that you have to build it in and shade it like a puzzle, that can be time consuming. Hair problems and dealing with things like color can be time consuming. Messing with the lighting and falloff can be a time sink too. I just don't find skin smoothing to be such a time consuming aspect of the overall finishing aspect of a given image if you're not forced to hit the same skin details repeatedly.

I'm getting off track. I like that edgework pointed out how he uses something to solve a particular problem rather than just saying it's great. I don't personally like to use that. The one time I tried it was when I needed a little extra fine detail for a texture map. It came out less crunchy than the high pass filter. Obviously that has nothing to do with retouching.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertGarcia View Post
I wasn't retouching back then but I hear that the clone tool has changed a lot in a good way and it is possible to do way more thing with it now. Clone and d&b are done together in my opinion.
I think he's talking about how it used to sample differently. I can't find an example online at the moment.
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  #56  
Old 01-20-2013, 08:13 PM
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Benny Profane Benny Profane is offline
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Re: Trade secrets.

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Originally Posted by 0lBaldy View Post
Frequency Separation Techniques for Portrait Photographers Long but very comprehensive so even I can understand the concept and advantages ... If you can last the hour and thirteen minuets then you will have a good grasp on how to use Frequency Separation and how to edit on BOTH the high and low frequency layers
Quote:
Originally Posted by edgework View Post
Two immediate advantages with frequency separation:

• If you use the healing brush, and curse it every time you edge too close to an area of dramatically different value or color and produce a blurry mess, healing only on the top, hi-freq layer will eliminate that problem

• If you have uneven color over an area (i.e. red blotchiness, or uneven transitions in skin tones), a layer between the low and hi-freq layers will allow you to paint color without affecting the texture and detail. Turn off the hi-freq layer and just smooth out the low-freq tones with a paint brush, as desired.

neither of these techniques can be accomplished with a normal image and "standard" retouching or color techniques.

Additional blurring of the low frequency layer, while keeping the original hi-frequency texture layer, will mute the hi and low tones. Used judiciously, it makes for smoother transitions. Abused, it makes for an image that causes eveyone to say "Oh, you used hi-pass blurring" and not in a complementary way.

It's a tool, not a magic button.



Hey, that's kind of cool. Yes, there are a few good uses. Thanks.

Last edited by Benny Profane; 01-22-2013 at 07:21 AM.
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  #57  
Old 01-21-2013, 01:01 AM
RobertAsh RobertAsh is offline
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Re: Trade secrets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
This Model Mayhem site you speak of is blocked at my work site because it's recognized as soft core porn. Classy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
So, again, what's up with this frequency separate thing, since I can't access soft core.
There is never a dull moment with Benny in the house

I'd have to agree. There are a lot of models there who seem intent on being the next Maxim cover girl or being in some low-rider calendar in a mechanic's shop. And there are lots of photographers and just guys with cameras there who love photographing and displaying them.

But there are also a good number that don't do nudes, and who have decent-to-edgy/interesting portfolios that don't cross the line into, let's say, 'company-blocked content'. So it's a mix.

That said, many of those women on Model Mayhem look a lot nicer than many of the way-too-thin females so in vogue in high fashion today. I'd much prefer to see more of those normal to awesome looking women in fashion magazines modeling high fashion wear compared to the body types that are chosen currently, that would provide a needed alternative and a genuinely fresh look.
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  #58  
Old 01-22-2013, 10:08 AM
jonnyseymour jonnyseymour is offline
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Re: Trade secrets.

This thread was quite interesting. and the first post was very true.
I have been a proffesional retoucher for around 6 years now. I have worked in advertising for 4 years and now fashion for the last two.
My toolset pretty much is just the clone tool and curves. not even a healing brush.

Seriously thats it.
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  #59  
Old 01-23-2013, 03:34 AM
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oneredpanther oneredpanther is offline
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Re: Trade secrets.

I am endlessly impressed with people who seemingly manage to retouch professionally using just one or two tools. It's like building a fully-functioning 747 using lego while wearing gloves.

I fear that egoistic puritanism occasionally blocks a retoucher's receptiveness to new streamlining and efficiency improvements. Some retouchers are doing things like they did in Photoshop 5 because that's how they did things since Photoshop 5, irrespective of the vast advancements made since then.

Retouching to me is the prototypical "black box" problem. You have an input and an output. Whatever transformations occur within that black box are utterly irrelevant. Pixels in, pixels out. The only considerations are how long it takes and what it costs.

One could retouch with a mouse and curves alone, and I don't doubt there are sadists who derive an immense chest-swelling pleasure from such a thing. There are still luddites who build websites in Notepad. But we choose not to because there are superior workflows.

We're either making good output or making bad output. How we do it is irrelevent.

Last edited by oneredpanther; 01-23-2013 at 08:50 AM.
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  #60  
Old 01-23-2013, 04:29 AM
jonnyseymour jonnyseymour is offline
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Re: Trade secrets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oneredpanther View Post
I am endlessly impressed with people who seemingly manage to retouch professionally using just one or two tools. It's like building a fully-functioning 747 using lego while wearing gloves.

I fear that egoistic puritanism occasionally blocks a retoucher's receptiveness to new streamlining and efficiency improvements. Some retouchers are doing things like they did in Photoshop 5 because that's how they've been doing things since Photoshop 5, irrespective of the vast advancements made since then.

Retouching to me is the prototypical "black box" problem. You have an input and an output. Whatever transformations occur within that black box are utterly irrelevant. Pixels in, pixels out. The only considerations are how long it takes and what it costs.

One could retouch with a mouse and curves alone, and I don't doubt there are sadists who derive an immense chest-swelling pleasure from such a thing. There are still luddites who build websites in Notepad. But we choose not to because there are superior workflows.

We're either making good output or making bad output. How we do it is irrelevent.

Well working around the london fashion houses i can tell you this is how it is done. when working for a lot of clients they like to see you doing everything maually and by hand.

its almost like a robot could be programmed to carve a chair. BUT one carved by hand is appreciated a lot more...
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