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

New Skin Retouching Action - Opinions?

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  #1  
Old 06-01-2014, 04:49 PM
cardmaverick cardmaverick is offline
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New Skin Retouching Action - Opinions?

I recently developed a very advanced photoshop action for professional skin retouching and would like some feedback on the results.

The best way to describe it is you keep the appearance of the skin texture and color but smooth out the sub-dermal layers. For example, if the model has shiny skin, it will still look shiny, just cleaner and smoother deeper into the skin. The action only takes a few minutes to apply and tweak to get the results you see below. Zero paint burshes required

Examples:

If you have raw files you'd like to see processed using the action, shoot me an email and we can make arrangements (dropbox or similar preferably) and I'll post the results.

The first two examples feature women wearing makeup that is beginning to fail. The action cleans the deeper layers of skin, but leaves the shine and skin texture alone.

The first example features an olive / medium tone model. There is a black and white high contrast version of each.

Color:

http://chrisnuzzaco.com/skin_action_...n_demo_002.jpg

Color 100% cropped detail:

http://chrisnuzzaco.com/skin_action_..._002_close.jpg

B&W:

http://chrisnuzzaco.com/skin_action_...emo_bw_002.jpg

B&W 100% cropped detail:

http://chrisnuzzaco.com/skin_action_..._002_close.jpg

This example features a lighter skin tone model. For this example, I had to crop into a wider angle photo. Both versions are 100% crops, but the detail is cropped much closer. Both have black and white high contrast versions to show more detail.

Color 100%:

http://chrisnuzzaco.com/skin_action_...n_demo_001.jpg

Color 100% cropped detail:

http://chrisnuzzaco.com/skin_action_..._001_close.jpg

B&W 100%:

http://chrisnuzzaco.com/skin_action_...emo_bw_001.jpg

B&W 100% cropped detail:

http://chrisnuzzaco.com/skin_action_..._001_close.jpg

In this third example, we have a Dark skin tone East Indian woman. She has on some makeup, in this shot, but not too shiny looking. I used the action to punch up her skin highlights a bit, smooth the sub-dermal layers, and giving her dimples some more definition. You can of course maintain original highlight / shadow levels and just smooth out the sub-dermal issues.

Color 100%:

http://chrisnuzzaco.com/skin_action_...n_demo_003.jpg

Color 100% cropped detail:

http://chrisnuzzaco.com/skin_action_..._003_close.jpg

B&W 100%:

http://chrisnuzzaco.com/skin_action_...emo_bw_003.jpg

B&W 100% cropped detail:

http://chrisnuzzaco.com/skin_action_..._003_close.jpg

These are pretty mild examples of what this action can do in only a few minutes per shot. I originally used high res images of various skin conditions while creating the action. That should give you an idea of what it can handle.

Here's the run down of features:

Smooths out skin while retaining all skin texture, or only the texture level you desire.

Maintains overall contrast of the skin (unlike other techniques that aim to mimic makeup by dulling highlights and lightening shadows).

100% non-destructive.

100% customizable during use and after you've run the action. There's several parameters you can tweak: contrast, skin texture, color, smoothing, and blending with original source photo.

Integrates into your layers work flow very easily as it's own group.

Capable of significantly reducing wrinkles and large dark skin patches.

You can dull shiny skin or exaggerate it.

You can target shadow and highlight areas.

No hard edge blending issues.

Start to finish, the action typically only takes a few minutes to use.

Last edited by cardmaverick; 06-01-2014 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 06-02-2014, 09:52 AM
umutyildiz umutyildiz is offline
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Re: New Skin Retouching Action - Opinions?

so blurred
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Old 06-03-2014, 04:50 PM
DJSoulglo's Avatar
DJSoulglo DJSoulglo is offline
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Re: New Skin Retouching Action - Opinions?

Looks like you let loose an action that destroys all the detail in the skin on these images. If that's what you wanted to achieve, then congrats! Personally I don't think that you can replace retouching with an action, but maybe I'm wrong.
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Old 06-04-2014, 12:02 AM
klev klev is offline
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Re: New Skin Retouching Action - Opinions?

I won't say never due to the ability to write various recognition algorithms, but even if you were to read the latest research on edge finding, there's nothing that can completely replace this kind of retouching. The reason is that quality work is very selective. What I notice is that the actions still leave a lot of pimples and blemishes. They reduce a small amount of mottling, which on images of moderate resolution could be accomplished in a relatively short amount of time. That doesn't mean you would achieve a highly polished look, but you aren't doing so here either. That way you at least wouldn't have the side effects that are present here. If you're interested in a bit more sophistication, you might want to start looking at some of the published research on the topic, some of which can be found without an acm membership. This is where I would start reading. If you have access to an academic library, also check out the graphics gems series by Glassner.

The things you're attempting to target fall at multiple widths with a non-stochastic but uneven distribution, and similar sets of shapes, and almost entirely discrete forms rather than continuous transitions. This suffers from being more of the same. If you wanted to make something more meaningful than what is already out there, at the very least you're looking at a plugin. I can tell you if I was going to attempt something like that, I would do it in matlab, not photoshop.
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:06 PM
cardmaverick cardmaverick is offline
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Re: New Skin Retouching Action - Opinions?

I don't personally use any plugins or actions for my client work, but one day while dodging and burning for literally hours on end, I started thinking about the accuracy of the hand based retouching I normally do. Nothing is more accurate than the image data itself, but, data is just data. You still need a human to interpet it. You can add more skin texture in if you want. Everything is adjustable. It's not really meant to be a one click solution, mostly trying to target the more tedious micro contrast high end retouchers spend hours on. To be brutally honest, I think most high end skin retouching (fasion in particular) looks crazy fake, just a more refined, stylized version of the kind of fake skin a plugin produces.
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