RetouchPRO

Go Back   RetouchPRO > Technique > Photo Retouching
Register Blogs FAQ Site Nav Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


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

Is a plugin a sin?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #31  
Old 12-01-2013, 10:04 AM
Flashtones Flashtones is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 956
Re: Is a plugin a sin?

Klev, the micro contrast can be good for bringing out details. It's very easy to go too far and turn stuff to grungy crap, as you note. But there can be a sweet spot that's good.

I often use it for diamond enhancement as I work on a lot of jewelry. In contrast, I'll sometimes use noise reduction to smooth the metals. So if you have an item that is, lets say, platinum and diamonds, it can be difficult to create separation between the two because of the lack of color contrast. One way is to subtly color tint them apart, another is to draw out or create density differences, and another is edge/textural difference. I sometimes use Topaz Detail or Adjust for the latter to add edge to the diamonds, and use Topaz DeNoise to smooth the metal. The trick is to find the right frequency/radius of texture to enhance without drawing out too much noise, as you note. It's not always easy, and I've, regretfully, gone too far many times in the past.

It's also good when you want to accentuate details, like tree bark, craggy stones, an old sailor's face, textural landscapes, perhaps closeups of eyes for drawing out the texture of an iris, the pebble grain of leather, the nap of a towel, etc.

Similar effects can sometimes be done by sharpening multiple radii in PS. In such cases I'll make a merge layer, turn it into a smart object and then do unsharp masking at something like a radius of 1 px, then again at 5 px, and then again at 30 px (all at different amounts).

Another tool I use often is Russel Brown's: Edit Layer in ACR (which is now a filter built into Adobe CC, which I don't have.)

http://russellbrown.com/scripts.html

With it you can make a stamp merged layer, convert it to a smart object and edit it in Camera Raw. The combination of the Clarity control along with Sharpening and Noise reduction can be pretty good.

As far as RAW developers go, PhotoNinja has a very interesting "details" slider that does similar to the Topaz Adjust details slider, but in the raw stage.

Anyway, I'm constantly experimenting with these tools due to the nature of my work, and just cuz I find it fun. Still don't have it all worked out, always searching for the holy grail...
Reply With Quote top
  #32  
Old 12-03-2013, 12:01 PM
ray12's Avatar
ray12 ray12 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: NYC
Posts: 320
Re: Is a plugin a sin?

A plug-in is not a sin. Here is an additional way to further extend the control and the artistic application of a plugin's effects.

There are many plugins that produce a look that you really enjoy and like to use. I say go ahead...but...I add one extra control step to my plugin looks. Add in a black or white mask to the layer that has the results of your plugin... for complete technical and artistic control.

I add in a black, hide all, retouchers layer mask, to the layer that has the plug-in effect. What this black mask does is to hide the results of the plugin...and it allows me to paint the plugin effect back into the image with complete position and strength control. Using a very soft, low opacity 5%, white brush allows me to artistically add the plugin back into the image just where I want it...and at exactly the perfect strength anywhere in the image I want. This gives me complete technical and artistic control over the look.

I could do just the opposite as well...if I really like the look of the plug-in. I will put a white, reveal all, mask on the layer that has the results of the plugin. This will allow ALL of the plugin effects to be applied to the image...then I will paint with a very soft, low opacity 5%, B L A C K brush. This black brush will allow me to "paint away" the effects of the plug-in exactly WHERE I want it less obvious...and it also allows me to perfectly control the strength and intensity of the plugin look exactly the way I want it. Its a real-time visual process...so I can see the results immediately so I can get the effect just perfect. I might like more of the effect on the cheeks... and less on the nose and eye sockets for example.

For me this is the best of both worlds...I can have my plugin effects...and yet I am still in perfect commany of where it gets applied and how strong it is in each pixel across the image...and I can change my mind instantly by using the opposite color brush to reverse my choices.

Perfect looks...and perfect control...instantly reversable without penalty...an artists (retouchers) dream!

Cheers

Ray
Ray@GlamourRetouching.Com
Reply With Quote top
  #33  
Old 12-03-2013, 02:30 PM
lkroll's Avatar
lkroll lkroll is offline
Senior Member
Patron
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 4,746
Re: Is a plugin a sin?

Plugins/programs are tools. Even during the early days, photogs physically "retouched" their captures; even hand colored some since color film wasn't available at first. Plugins just makes life easier for certain things so what's wrong with that?
Reply With Quote top
  #34  
Old 12-04-2013, 08:06 AM
vincent prior vincent prior is offline
Junior Member
Patron
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: portsmouth uk
Posts: 14
Re: Is a plugin a sin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ray12 View Post
A plug-in is not a sin. Here is an additional way to further extend the control and the artistic application of a plugin's effects.

There are many plugins that produce a look that you really enjoy and like to use. I say go ahead...but...I add one extra control step to my plugin looks. Add in a black or white mask to the layer that has the results of your plugin... for complete technical and artistic control.

I add in a black, hide all, retouchers layer mask, to the layer that has the plug-in effect. What this black mask does is to hide the results of the plugin...and it allows me to paint the plugin effect back into the image with complete position and strength control. Using a very soft, low opacity 5%, white brush allows me to artistically add the plugin back into the image just where I want it...and at exactly the perfect strength anywhere in the image I want. This gives me complete technical and artistic control over the look.

I could do just the opposite as well...if I really like the look of the plug-in. I will put a white, reveal all, mask on the layer that has the results of the plugin. This will allow ALL of the plugin effects to be applied to the image...then I will paint with a very soft, low opacity 5%, B L A C K brush. This black brush will allow me to "paint away" the effects of the plug-in exactly WHERE I want it less obvious...and it also allows me to perfectly control the strength and intensity of the plugin look exactly the way I want it. Its a real-time visual process...so I can see the results immediately so I can get the effect just perfect. I might like more of the effect on the cheeks... and less on the nose and eye sockets for example.

For me this is the best of both worlds...I can have my plugin effects...and yet I am still in perfect commany of where it gets applied and how strong it is in each pixel across the image...and I can change my mind instantly by using the opposite color brush to reverse my choices.

Perfect looks...and perfect control...instantly reversable without penalty...an artists (retouchers) dream!

Cheers

Ray
Ray@GlamourRetouching.Com
Thats exactly how I use portrait pro in Photoshop, although portrait pro is a standalone programme, I use it as a plugin ,through the filter menu in Photoshop, as you say perfect control ,perfect results ,what more could you want.
Reply With Quote top
  #35  
Old 12-09-2013, 05:44 AM
AngeloDau AngeloDau is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 4
Re: Is a plugin a sin?

if there was a plugin to do auto-retouch with good quality, do you think that we're so dumb to work hours and days on skin and hairs?

a retoucher do retouching, a photographer uses plugins
Reply With Quote top
  #36  
Old 12-09-2013, 09:43 AM
vincent prior vincent prior is offline
Junior Member
Patron
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: portsmouth uk
Posts: 14
Re: Is a plugin a sin?

were not talking about "AUTO-RETOUCHING", [if there is such a thing] its about using programmes as plugins to get quality results, therefore cutting down work time, if you don't use all available resources ,then your short in your armoury.
Reply With Quote top
  #37  
Old 12-25-2013, 01:40 PM
SZStudio SZStudio is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 44
Re: Is a plugin a sin?

List time I've created several free presets for Google Nik, Topaz, onOne, Magic Bullet Photolooks plug-ins, also some presets and profiles for Photoshop itself (Color Lookup).

I love creating new algorithms, the possibilities are endless
Merry Christmas to all!

http://colorlookup.blog.com/
Reply With Quote top
  #38  
Old 12-28-2013, 07:18 AM
RobertGarcia RobertGarcia is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: New York, New York
Posts: 77
Re: Is a plugin a sin?

If your taking hours to d&b you are not doing it correctly I do some pixel level d&b that is where you are slowing your self down. Second if your a pro (hi end) you most likely don't use any plug ins. Now if your a pro doing weddings and hi volume work I can understand going that route, try it and see. I think Portraiture is just a Inverted high pass? am I correct. There is always that tendency to try the short cut I do too but I end up taking longer because of.
Reply With Quote top
  #39  
Old 12-28-2013, 03:35 PM
plugsnpixels's Avatar
plugsnpixels plugsnpixels is offline
RetouchPRO LIVE Guest Artist
Patron
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: LA area
Posts: 2,027
Re: Is a plugin a sin?

The topic of whether or not plug-ins are of value or legitimate for certain uses comes up pretty often. There is not a blanket answer for this; each scenario must be considered on its own.

Portrait retouching is one of the most intensive forms of retouching, so it's probably better that you maintain a manual, hands-on approach to it. Of course depending on your client and other factors (such as the level of reimbursement for the job, time available to complete it and your skill level at the moment), plug-ins such as Portraiture or onOne's Portrait might be just fine.

Valid points were made above about being sure you learn something about the process if you're going to use a plug-in or action (these are totally separate beasts), and that's good advice.

For those creating fine-art or other artistic interpretations of an image, plug-ins, actions and texture overlays are extremely handy for rapidly advancing the process and opening up many creative avenues. I dare say these add-ons in many cases can do things you can't do in an image editor alone, or if you can, make your work much easier and quicker, as well as flexible.

My favorite type of post-processing (I am not a portrait retoucher) is to add various artistic effects to my images, making them into something totally different from where they started. See URL below for a free ezine dedicated to this genre of digital imaging.
Reply With Quote top
  #40  
Old 12-28-2013, 04:28 PM
SZStudio SZStudio is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 44
Re: Is a plugin a sin?

plugsnpixels

I'm a big fan of your website, and I've added Plugs 'N Pixels to my blogroll
It worth thousands words!
Thank you for the discount codes as well
Reply With Quote top
Reply

  RetouchPRO > Technique > Photo Retouching


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Photoshop: FFT plugin for Mac Joofa Software 9 06-20-2017 10:23 PM
FFT/IFFT Plugin 64-bit Photoshop CS4 eugz Photo Retouching 3 10-30-2013 04:41 AM
FFT 64bit plugin?? nazca13 Software 6 03-21-2013 04:06 PM
Plug-In: Which plugin is this? Doug Nelson Software 7 06-12-2011 01:35 AM
Old Russian Church Photoshop Impressionist Plugin Bossman Critiques 2 03-22-2011 04:35 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:56 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright © 2016 Doug Nelson. All Rights Reserved