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Looking for Jewelry Retouching Tutorials

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  #1  
Old 05-16-2016, 06:07 PM
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mgilvey mgilvey is offline
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Looking for Jewelry Retouching Tutorials

Greetings all,

Can anyone point me in the right direction? I've searched YouTube for videos on retouching jewelry, and most of them are just painful to watch. Is there a good source where I can learn about it. I've been photographing with a 37mp Nikon, a 105micro and focus stacking and the crud that is revealed within any piece of jewelry is overwhelming. I'm wondering if there are some more efficient ways to retouch rather than one stroke at a time.
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Old 05-16-2016, 11:59 PM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Re: Looking for Jewelry Rotouching Tutorials

You either want quality or speed. I did some jewelry jobs, and every piece of dust is cloned out, then everything DNB to make it super smooth. Painting things as a quick fix can work pretty well combined with paths, but not for the higher end of the market. Of course, making paths and masking every detail out is a must whatever product you're retouching.
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Old 05-17-2016, 03:00 PM
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shift studio shift studio is offline
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Re: Looking for Jewelry Rotouching Tutorials

I agree with scoobey's comments above.
I've done a few hundred jewellery images over the past 15 years. All for high-quality offset printing. The work is done meticulously, manually retouching every imperfection 'one stroke at a time' without shortcuts. So my advice is to resign yourself to that fact and then attack the image, knowing you'll be there for a while.

A bit of advice - for every image, do any transforms (for symmetry/aesthetics) first. Then make paths for everything, including every stone, all surfaces, and even chain links should be pathed.

Then break up the retouching into groups of like surfaces/materials.

good luck.
--shift studio.
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Old 05-17-2016, 09:01 PM
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mgilvey mgilvey is offline
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Re: Looking for Jewelry Rotouching Tutorials

Thank guys. Between what you've said and the videos I rented today on this site, it appears it can be a very time intensive process. I've shot estate jewelry in Washington dc in the past and did the retouching but, I would say not at the levels in the videos. This it the first customer I've had since then so I decided it was time for a refresher course. For my client, I'm trying to break it down to phases where I do a chunk of retouching and then find out if he's satisfied with it. If not, I'll do more but there will be additional charge. I try to get it to a good point in the first go (putting 1-2 hours in only).
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Old 05-18-2016, 12:45 AM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Re: Looking for Jewelry Rotouching Tutorials

While that is a good idea for portrait photography, I can tell you right away that it won't work for products simply because the clean up alone takes a lot more time. If I were you, I would make sure they provide you with samples of work that they have had done in the past, and are 100% satisfied with, as well as the final choice of the images, or combination of images(if you've shoot rocks from different angles etc.) before you begin the actual work. But don't underestimate you effort, you've made some good shots for $ dollars, if they want a 10000 dollar retouch alongside it, then they must pay 10000, there is no such thing as them having a "good deal" if they are looking for a Tiffany/Cartier level of post production, because it's costing you time.

P.S. I think, given that you shoot reasonably clean(not a lot if any fingerprints etc) that you can clean up simple rings in 1-2 hours, but everything bigger, or with more detail, will involve more time.
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Old 05-18-2016, 07:10 AM
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mgilvey mgilvey is offline
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Re: Looking for Jewelry Rotouching Tutorials

Thanks for the feedback. I did get samples; to this point, the owner of the shop has been photographing them him self. noisy, soft uncleaned images to this point. Basically, anything I do will be light years better, before I start retouching.
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Old 05-18-2016, 04:21 PM
klev klev is offline
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Re: Looking for Jewelry Rotouching Tutorials

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgilvey View Post
Thank guys. Between what you've said and the videos I rented today on this site, it appears it can be a very time intensive process. I've shot estate jewelry in Washington dc in the past and did the retouching but, I would say not at the levels in the videos. This it the first customer I've had since then so I decided it was time for a refresher course. For my client, I'm trying to break it down to phases where I do a chunk of retouching and then find out if he's satisfied with it. If not, I'll do more but there will be additional charge. I try to get it to a good point in the first go (putting 1-2 hours in only).
There's a lot of stuff that's done at very high volume where even two hours might be cost prohibitive. Even on that stuff, you use clipping paths and a lot of tedious work. It's just labor intensive by its nature. You do need to be careful, because it's likely that without a lot of practice your level of skill in this area will be insufficient to command your usual rate while providing a competitive service.

You should also be very careful about saying "light years better". Their expectations for your work will differ significantly from what they have now, because now they are paying for it.
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Old 05-18-2016, 07:29 PM
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mgilvey mgilvey is offline
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Re: Looking for Jewelry Retouching Tutorials

All great comments and thanks for keeping me humble.
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  #9  
Old 05-19-2016, 02:44 AM
lensrabbit lensrabbit is offline
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Re: Looking for Jewelry Retouching Tutorials

Alex Koloskov has some tutorials on his Photigy site:
https://www.photigy.com/

Mostly focused on jewelry photography but there are some post-production videos which might be helpful as well.

First line of defense might be to pay a jeweler to professionally clean the pieces if possible. If there's a lot of pieces and of course depending on type, value, insurance and client; it might even be beneficial to invest in an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner and the knowledge to use the equipment carefully.
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Old 05-19-2016, 03:03 AM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Re: Looking for Jewelry Retouching Tutorials

I don't think they are paying the photographer to shoot anything but pristine jewelry.

Using gloves on set is a good idea to avoid smudges and fingerprints, but he already knows that.
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