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How to learn stylistic retouching?

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Old 04-25-2014, 07:00 PM
camiloacosta camiloacosta is offline
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Question How to learn stylistic retouching?

Hey guys, so I'd like to learn a lot past just skin, hair, clothing retouching and go in deep into stylistic retouching.

I'm looking to work with fashion photographs and would like to learn how to achieve the LOOKS you see in editorials ad campaigns etc in magazines like Vogue and things like that with the colors, curves used to give a scene drama and all that really cool stuff.

I imagine I need to learn color theory and am already looking into that, but would like to learn a lot more. What resources are available or what would you guys recommend.
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Old 04-25-2014, 10:38 PM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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Re: How to learn stylistic retouching?

Check out some of our videos. Several of the featured retouchers actually have worked for Vogue.
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Old 04-26-2014, 09:58 AM
klev klev is offline
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Re: How to learn stylistic retouching?

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Originally Posted by camiloacosta View Post
I imagine I need to learn color theory and am already looking into that, but would like to learn a lot more. What resources are available or what would you guys recommend.
You don't need as much as you might think. You should just understand relationships between colors. You should keep a couple things in mind. One is that the original photo does have quite a bit of influence in the end result, even though they are heavily retouched. You should gather reference, and try to match finite elements. Generally if you were working on a photo, you would start with the broader aspects and work down to the smaller ones from there. If you want to know how they got a certain skintone or specific highlights, you're best off working on just that as you're otherwise likely to overdo the broader adjustments in trying to match the look.
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Old 04-26-2014, 01:57 PM
camiloacosta camiloacosta is offline
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Re: How to learn stylistic retouching?

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Originally Posted by klev View Post
You don't need as much as you might think. You should just understand relationships between colors. You should keep a couple things in mind. One is that the original photo does have quite a bit of influence in the end result, even though they are heavily retouched. You should gather reference, and try to match finite elements. Generally if you were working on a photo, you would start with the broader aspects and work down to the smaller ones from there. If you want to know how they got a certain skintone or specific highlights, you're best off working on just that as you're otherwise likely to overdo the broader adjustments in trying to match the look.
Okay, that's the conclusion I'd be coming down to. So I should work on global adjustments first like, temp, exposure, contrast, etc. and then work my way down? Is something like masking out the model and doing her skin separately, clothes separately and thinks like that what normally happens?

If there's even a single video of someone doing anything like this, lemme know!
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Old 04-26-2014, 05:03 PM
klev klev is offline
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Re: How to learn stylistic retouching?

If the skin is really striking and obviously difficult to achieve, it's probably masked out. You can mask out anything. It's just that sometimes there is some amount of blending and cleanup around the edges to get it to work. Remember these things aren't perfectly delineated. It's good to keep the global adjustments in layers, but yes you would generally want to do them first and work your way down. It's just if you're inexperienced it's easy to try to force too much into global adjustments. If you don't have a sense for when to move down to the more regional or detail elements, start off by working on something small and seeing if you can match a magazine shot with similar lighting on that one small part. It could be eyes, lips, a bracelet, etc. Jewelry and accessories are adjusted just like anything else. I suggest you also try to understand the narrative of some of these fashion stories. They want the clothing to hang and be presented in a very specific way, and the prominent features of it generally have to appear striking. A lot of stuff can be shaded. You can adjust eyes to look a bit more focused by paying attention to the irises. Cheekbones are often shaded. When it comes to skin some anatomical reference material may be helpful as a common mistake due to inexperience is to destroy the volume around certain muscle and bone structures.

I want to add that not everything has to always be masked out entirely. It's just that you have to aware that details count and things may be adjusted as necessary to fit the narrative.
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