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How to Get This Quality of Skin Retouching

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  #11  
Old 11-03-2013, 05:36 AM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Re: How to Get This Quality of Skin Retouching

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Originally Posted by klev View Post
Ehh.... I wouldn't do that at all. What I dislike is the lack of uniformity to the shadows, the lack of focus in the eyes (could be solved with a little work), the consistently bright background, and it could use a little color correction on lips, teeth, and clothing. I mean if you want to have that nice highlight and the shadows seen here, those shadows on the arm should be matched by the shadows elsewhere. The hair could use better definition, as it would make it more interesting. The background needs an offset in both color and falloff along the edges. While I'm not a huge fan of a vignette effect or anything remotely resembling one, I want something to make it feel less sterile, like there is some sort of defined lighting there. I don't want the edges to be that bright because they draw me off the edge of the page. The hand to me is way overly bright. I can see exactly what is wrong, but its potential is limited somewhat by the initial lighting. The OP isn't THAT far off though, which is promising.

I'm going to point out a few things. The images linked aren't excessively high in contrast. They just have a lot going on. I mean the eyes are really well done. They grab you. The irises have a touch of fill in key spots. Catch lights are just bright enough. Whites of the eyes carry that subtlety that ensures they have that feeling of convexity. Hair has a lot of detail. Backgrounds have a color which directly contrasts skin and clothing. The shadows don't feel blocked up, but where the OP is at, that arm will never come out right if you try to bring that up. You are better off just bringing the other areas down to match. It's important to see this stuff. As your eye drifts away from the main points of focus, it falls into shadow, making that area less interesting. There are key points of separation all over the place, and eyes and lips are prominently featured wherever possible.

Just getting the color offsets right in terms of making the background contrast the subject a bit better and ensuring that it doesn't look like one flat dimensionless plate like in Superman II would be a huge improvement. Then try to get the shadows and highlights on the subject to be a bit more synergetic with each other rather than all over the place. The other interesting thing in the ones attached is the color of garments. They're very prominent compared to the softer tones used elsewhere, and the features are well formed overall. I don't like the t-shirt loose in the front, as she has big boobs. It kind of makes her abdomen a bit too shapeless beneath them here. Anyway I write a lot, but I can see the potential for an immense amount of improvement.



I would avoid luminosity blending most of the time. Have you considered how color perceptions are built independent of the photo? In something like the eyes, where you see the reflection of the light, you see the color of the light. The more direct surface reflection, the closer you get to the color of the light. On skin as light passes through the various layers, a certain amount is lost to heat due to the sheer number of internal reflections as it passes through layers of skin and reflects off blood vessels. That gives you the skin color in the deeper regions. Shadows generally receive their color from reflections cast by other objects, so it's reasonable to expect that shadows may have a somewhat different cast than the highlights, as they represent something closer to the perceived color of what they're reflecting than the initiating light source itself. I thought I told you all of this.
I didn't takl about luminosity blending, more about luminosity aspect of hsl perception. I learned something.
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  #12  
Old 11-03-2013, 11:42 AM
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daygraphics daygraphics is offline
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Re: How to Get This Quality of Skin Retouching

Rokets12,

I am not sure you have followed your post or subsequent responses, but suffice to say that they are a number of ways that you can get closer to the examples that you've referenced. It also equally important to mention that old adage, "there are lots of ways to skin a cat." I believe you will be much farther ahead by really playing with your setup lighting, positioning, aperture and speed adjustment. Just take sample shots - making adjustments and assessing the results. Keep fine-tuning until you have something that more accurately resembles the effect you want.

Klev gives you a very detailed lesson on color and color theory, subtractive light, absorption and reflective qualities of specific organic substance - i.e. skin, eyes, etc. This is very helpful if you understand the nature of light and color. But some have never been taught color theory - either formally or informally. Speaking for myself - it was required in school. Some more interested students took advanced classes that went into the whole electromagnetic spectrum (infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, x-rays, gamma waves, etc..) and fell into the school of physics.

If you can "absorb" this kind of info - pun intended - then read up and run with it. It will only make your color/lighting decisions easier.

But in the meantime, continue to perfect your lighting and camera settings while honing your retouching skills.
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  #13  
Old 11-03-2013, 11:53 AM
klev klev is offline
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Re: How to Get This Quality of Skin Retouching

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Originally Posted by skoobey View Post
I didn't takl about luminosity blending, more about luminosity aspect of hsl perception. I learned something.
This pleases me greatly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daygraphics View Post

Klev gives you a very detailed lesson on color and color theory, subtractive light, absorption and reflective qualities of specific organic substance - i.e. skin, eyes, etc. This is very helpful if you understand the nature of light and color. But some have never been taught color theory - either formally or informally. Speaking for myself - it was required in school. Some more interested students took advanced classes that went into the whole electromagnetic spectrum (infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, x-rays, gamma waves, etc..) and fell into the school of physics.
Did you major in physics or some branch of art? I always thought physics was a good science requirement subject for art majors, and there some very comprehensive older books on the topic that can be found used for $10-20 if the OP finds himself genuinely interested in the topic. I pointed out those specific items, because I find the semi-continuous cast throughout the image rather than contrasting colors to contribute to a feeling of flatness. I totally agree with you that working on lighting would provide the greatest benefit, but I thought some improvement in post results might also be motivating.
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  #14  
Old 11-03-2013, 12:38 PM
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daygraphics daygraphics is offline
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Re: How to Get This Quality of Skin Retouching

Hi Klev... you nailed it - and you are right on. Physics - particularly as it relates to color - is a great compliment to any Art Majors curriculum. I was an Art Major. BFA. Found color fascinating - and was one of those who took the advanced courses beyond what was required. By the way... I agree with all that you have contributed.
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  #15  
Old 11-04-2013, 01:18 AM
rokets12 rokets12 is offline
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Re: How to Get This Quality of Skin Retouching

Thank you to everyone who replied to my post. Clearly I have much to learn and I appreciate the detailed answers that you all gave. Since this photo was taken, I bought a 4x6 foot white reflector to replace the 43inch reflector that was used in my sample. It seems like that is a big part of what I was missing, in addition to all the other tips you all have given me. Thanks a lot guys. I've got some homework to do.
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