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

how to do high end retouching advertising style

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  #1  
Old 02-04-2013, 09:19 PM
hoony0411 hoony0411 is offline
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how to do high end retouching advertising style

Hello Everyone,
I am really interested in commercial photography. Especially post production.
For example, I found lots of ad using photography+3D rendering +Illustration.
I want to know what kind of software I need to study and use for processing commercial look photography.

I have some links below

http://www.behance.net/gallery/AND-T...ER-IS-/3946323
http://www.inspirefirst.com/2012/02/...yves-lemoigne/

Please give me the answers if anyone can help me how to do those kinds of high end retouching skills or what to study.

Thank you!
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  #2  
Old 02-05-2013, 02:12 AM
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Repairman Repairman is offline
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Re: how to do high end retouching advertising styl

If I were starting from scratch I'd go to an art school with a good 3d course. In my day it was all life drawing and graphics but now the colleges are churning out very good Maya artists. Take look at Modo, Cinema and Studio Max also. All the good 3d guys I know 'picked up' PS along the way. If full time education is not an option, you can take classes in any of the above mentioned - not cheap, but it may fast-track you up the ladder. Other than that, it's all real-world experience, midnight oil, and who you know! This forum really doesn't cover the nitty gritty of retouching life - pushing pixels around is really only half the story. Good luck with your endeavours.
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:52 PM
kav kav is offline
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Re: how to do high end retouching advertising styl

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Originally Posted by Repairman View Post
If I were starting from scratch I'd go to an art school with a good 3d course. In my day it was all life drawing and graphics but now the colleges are churning out very good Maya artists.
Schools are extremely useful for that, as it's easier to learn if someone can point out some of the more finicky software aspects early on and identifying some of the shader behavior as well as the points of different render passes, topology, and texturing (retouching things to work as projected textures). The older and still valid method would be to composite 2d elements either shot specifically for that or licensed stock photos. This meant a certain amount of drawing paths and shading or color correcting various things to match as close as possible. It still works. It's just if you're starting today don't limit yourself.

I found a nice link showing a ptex workflow for this. You can do basically the same thing with mental ray with a slightly different workflow. You'd still have to UV everything, which they avoided here with the use of Ptex. At a basic level you could do this a spherical pano shot in hdri, assuming you take a lot of shots and correct for distortion with a lens grid and appropriate software. You wouldn't be able to get smaller objects perfectly that way even from a fixed angle, but you could get things like the ground plane and any major structures as long as everything is captured correctly and the 3d camera is correctly set up and positioned to match the one that shot the original pano. Another camera would be tracked to match the actual shot. For example with the pile of photos on the woman, you could make those with 3d cards with the photos mapped that way. You'd match the render cam in terms of angle, focal length, film back, etc to the one used to shoot the image. You can even reverse match distortion and account for aperture blades. Feature films often use 3d environment scans to build the digital set and a lot of tracking markers to match camera moves. Obviously that isn't feasible, but you get good results with a spherical pano head and a dslr. The method in the first link would be more time consuming, but it's ultimately more flexible. You need a lot of resolution to reproject things at a variety of angles, thus the reason he was using 4k maps for things like counter tops.

I still think basic drawing skills are fairly essential. 3d apps give you a lot of stuff for free. They set up perspectives automatically and everything, yet you can sketch something out ideas much faster as long as you know how these things work. The things you see in those links would have required a significant amount of planning. Think about what goes into that. Relative scale is important so that things don't look out of place. Perspective needs to match as close as possible between elements. They also have a lot of general tuning. Maybe this wall needs to be a little darker here or the lines in the ceiling need to be defined slightly to keep it from feeling like a set. On here the focus often ends up more on fundamentals of photoshop.

If you're going to enter school today, I'd also strongly suggest paying attention to the use of motion and video as well. These things are likely to become further integrated. It isn't an area where you should be too conservative, although you obviously need skills in one area that are good enough to fill a specific job role.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:32 PM
hoony0411 hoony0411 is offline
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Re: how to do high end retouching advertising styl

Thank you for all those replies.

I went to 2 yrs photography program and want to continue studying in those filed but Do I need really drawing skills because I have never had drawing experience. The most important thing is I am 27 years old which is pretty old to start something new and difficult.

DO i just need to focus on photography rather than studying something completely new?
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:53 AM
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Aladdin Aladdin is offline
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Re: how to do high end retouching advertising styl

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Originally Posted by hoony0411 View Post
The most important thing is I am 27 years old which is pretty old to start something new and difficult.
Wow!!!

I agree, at this point in your life's timeline, the only advice I may offer is for you to sign up for a retirement home...much easier and a lot more rewarding!
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:15 AM
kav kav is offline
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Re: how to do high end retouching advertising styl

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoony0411 View Post
Thank you for all those replies.

I went to 2 yrs photography program and want to continue studying in those filed but Do I need really drawing skills because I have never had drawing experience. The most important thing is I am 27 years old which is pretty old to start something new and difficult.

DO i just need to focus on photography rather than studying something completely new?
Saying commercial look photography is too broad. Everything you linked has some amount of compositing. Do you know how to mask? Can you shade things in photoshop? Much of that stuff is just needs more highlight here, wall should be more that color, etc. It's just tweaking colors and shading in highly controlled ways. 3d is a different and huge subject in itself. Making CG elements for compositing typically means rebuilding the entire set in CG and modeling fine barely visible details so that the CG elements can really stand up to the photographic ones. Both of these topics are completely different from photography, so plan to invest a lot of time. There is no way to escape that if you want sufficient control over your work and wish to do everything yourself.
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:24 AM
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Repairman Repairman is offline
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Re: how to do high end retouching advertising styl

Hoony, if you're 27 now you could easily be a good 3d artist by the age of 30. Depends on how much effort you want to put in. 3d skills aren't essential but that's the way things are heading and you'll enhance your employment prospects if you get on board now. That said, if you are a talented photographer you can work that angle; ie just learn enough PS to enhance your own pix - clients generally only want a result, they don't care about the process. Drawing skills are not essential but they make life easier - knowledge of composition combined with draughtsmanship are extra tools for you to muster when PS runs out of ideas! Work out where you want to be in 10 years time and start the ball rolling now.

@kav. Nice links - reminds me why I never learned Maya! Reckon I could handle Modo though
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:06 PM
RobertAsh RobertAsh is offline
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Re: how to do high end retouching advertising styl

Couldn't agree more. Think 10 years ahead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoony0411 View Post
The most important thing is I am 27 years old which is pretty old to start something new and difficult.

DO i just need to focus on photography rather than studying something completely new?
Hoony, when I was 15 I thought I was too old to start learning to play the saxophone - because I knew of people who started when they were 9 years old. What a mistaken way to think, that thinking cheated me out of some good opportunities -- and out of some great fun!

There are people in their 40s and 50s and older starting new careers in different fields. A very famous artist, Grandma Moses, started painting when she was 75 years old - and painted for 20 years before she died at age 95.

You're never too old to expand yourself.
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  #9  
Old 02-06-2013, 01:08 PM
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Benny Profane Benny Profane is offline
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Re: how to do high end retouching advertising styl

pfffftttt......kids these days.
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  #10  
Old 02-06-2013, 01:51 PM
kav kav is offline
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Re: how to do high end retouching advertising styl

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Originally Posted by Repairman View Post

@kav. Nice links - reminds me why I never learned Maya! Reckon I could handle Modo though
Blah Maya is a strange program. Since you mentioned modo, the foundry bought them out. I'm wondering if they'll improve on its renderer. The two most annoying things in that program (I did a trial a long time ago) are its renderer and the way the viewport makes it easy to flip upside down (might be correctable via preferences). In the OP's case learning to mask should be the first priority. It's needed for making decent textures for 3d elements and retouching/composite work. Beyond that it will help him build up a steady hand for better accuracy. All of these things are obviously good. I mentioned perspective simply because comp elements may or may not line up, or if you're choosing them, you want to choose ones that match as close as possible. Some practice illustrating also helps get used to building up shading and highlighting things and judging values. It's not like he needs to be perfect at it. I meant it shouldn't feel like a taboo subject.

I found this making of link a long time ago. Nothing he did in that video was that technically difficult. He found an existing model of the building. The diffuse maps involved some extremely basic composite work using stock textures. The portal lights were to simplify lighting calculations using a physical sky as even if you had a physically based description for the sun, stochastic irradiance sampling is problematic when it takes up maybe .1% of a hemispheric sky dome. I'm going to stop myself from explaining how glossy reflections are calculated. Anyway he rendered in vray and graded it using magic bullet and after effects. It's not the most technically complicated approach, yet he chose tools that worked with what he wanted, and I can respect that.

If you look at the finished piece from that guy, it's very nice. The modeling is fairly low poly, most likely with some amount of rendertime smoothing, but it's well done. The textures are presumably sourced photo textures. I just wanted to point out how much textures can help sell the look. You can even use .hdr or .exr textures (note my ptex link in prior post) in some renderers (including vray) for some of those beautiful indirect reflections. Having some photography background is very handy there. It's difficult to paint a lot of realistic variation. It's possible, but you end up creating a lot of job specific brushes. I tried it with marble. I concluded that comping photo textures and removing lighting variations is good for a base. You can do separate painted gloss/reflection maps and use particle based dust for bits of realism. It's just trying to paint something that will take up significant pixel space is brutal. If you watched that full vimeo video, you can see what I mean about limits on certain parts like where the books fly forward. You can see the lack of page density as they didn't proxy in a hero object by camera distance. The difference is I still really enjoy that short film. If you did that for a very large print, it would look cheesy.

There are other good methods of texturing. Take a look here. It's a little more of an illustrated video game look, but the guy highlights some very cool techniques at the bottom of the page. You can take models with sculpted detail and bake something like occlusion for a nice visual base to start painting color. Obviously if you want to light it comped into another shot, you wouldn't want to paint in so much lighting. If that was destined for something like an iOS game, they probably had to bake most of it into lightmaps, which is completely different from offline rendering. My point was that it's easy to obtain some guidance for painting in the colors.

I'm really not suggesting the OP learn all of this. I think masking ----> retouching ------> find a modeler with decent skills on whatever forum and use retouching skills to texture their models and lighting skills from photography school to light and render it. Some basic knowledge of shaders, passes, and optimizing sampling and GI may be necessary there. That might be a sensible path. Alright I'm done typing. I type fast, but this is getting way too long.
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