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

What is the "must-have" retouching knowledge?

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  #11  
Old 04-27-2015, 01:50 AM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Re: What is the "must-have" retouching knowledge?

@klev

Exactly.

You simply stand there looking at the image, and learn the "rules". For example, shinny things have small defined highlights.

Last edited by skoobey; 04-27-2015 at 02:02 AM.
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  #12  
Old 04-27-2015, 01:57 AM
klev klev is offline
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Re: What is the "must-have" retouching knowledge?

@skoobey

There's also the issue of perceived color. Some people allow them to go too saturated, but these are subject specific issues.
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  #13  
Old 04-27-2015, 02:02 AM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Re: What is the "must-have" retouching knowledge?

True, that's why you can use a reference image and compare while working.
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  #14  
Old 04-28-2015, 01:47 AM
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AKMac AKMac is offline
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Re: What is the "must-have" retouching knowledge?

If you want to be a really good, all-round retoucher. Learn to draw. Study European painting from Renaissance up to the Neo Classicists, the Pre- Raphaelites, and John William Waterhouse, Frederic Leighton, James Tissot and the like. Study great photographers.

Regarding colour theory, you should be able to visualise the Photoshop Color Balance sliders in your mind and fully understand the relationships of RGB and CMY. If you can't, then study them until they're firmly embedded in your mind. This is the ABC of colour theory.

Last edited by AKMac; 04-28-2015 at 02:27 AM.
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  #15  
Old 04-28-2015, 03:10 AM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Re: What is the "must-have" retouching knowledge?

I'm not sure that drawing is essential. I am quite good at drawing, but while shading is similar to drawing in some aspects, it's not quite the same skill, you only really need to draw things here and there, but for the most part it's just about enhancing the image, and you already have the reference.

I say this because I know many artists that are great at drawing, but it doesn't really translate into hyper realism that is required by retouching.
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  #16  
Old 04-28-2015, 03:34 AM
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AKMac AKMac is offline
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Re: What is the "must-have" retouching knowledge?

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Originally Posted by skoobey View Post
I'm not sure that drawing is essential. I am quite good at drawing, but while shading is similar to drawing in some aspects, it's not quite the same skill, you only really need to draw things here and there, but for the most part it's just about enhancing the image, and you already have the reference.

I say this because I know many artists that are great at drawing, but it doesn't really translate into hyper realism that is required by retouching.
The OP asked what skills would be necessary to become a "great" retoucher.
But even at a moderate level, I would say that drawing is relevant. Particularly if you're dealing with the human figure where a lot of our inherited aesthetic actually comes from drawing and painting.
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  #17  
Old 04-28-2015, 04:14 AM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Re: What is the "must-have" retouching knowledge?

Honestly, I can't really say because I was drawing before I became a full time retoucher. Just seems like a different skill to me, I don't deal so much with proportion, mostly with shading in retouching.
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  #18  
Old 04-28-2015, 05:38 AM
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Re: What is the "must-have" retouching knowledge?

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Originally Posted by skoobey View Post
Honestly, I can't really say because I was drawing before I became a full time retoucher. Just seems like a different skill to me, I don't deal so much with proportion, mostly with shading in retouching.
Maybe you're taking your drawing skills for granted then. Or maybe the sort of retouching you do is more to do with global adjustments?
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  #19  
Old 04-28-2015, 03:03 PM
klev klev is offline
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Re: What is the "must-have" retouching knowledge?

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Originally Posted by skoobey View Post
Honestly, I can't really say because I was drawing before I became a full time retoucher. Just seems like a different skill to me, I don't deal so much with proportion, mostly with shading in retouching.
It helps with hand steadiness. It helps with good shading technique as opposed to a naive practice of remain within an undefined boundary. This often is necessary for good transitions. It helps you get used to looking at reference, because you have to create something from scratch. That makes it much more obvious if something is off. It helps in understanding perspective.

I think the color theory comment from the original post is a little poorly defined, because most of the time we're trying to look at the way the brain will process a set of stimuli. Trying to completely quantify this by measurement can be misleading. Even the concepts of primary colors are just a way of partly correlating wavelengths to peak cone sensitivities.
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  #20  
Old 04-28-2015, 04:32 PM
Shoku Shoku is offline
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Re: What is the "must-have" retouching knowledge?

The only technical issues I think about when retouching are white point. shadow point, and gray balance if there are a lot of neutrals. This is essential when retouching for print.
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