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

what am I missing for decoding this look?

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  #1  
Old 09-09-2016, 09:51 PM
justinkmcclure justinkmcclure is offline
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what am I missing for decoding this look?

I pinged the retoucher and asked if she did IHP, and she said "no, I never do that"...

Other than dodge and burn, how is this look achieved without any IHP or blurring?
I know FS is done, so is it "painting" above the low?

I love the smooth texture and I can't seem to replicate exactly. Would some of this be added grain?

been banging my head practicing for about a month and i can get this result with initial cleanup, dodge and burn, median blur, add grain, then gradient map...is that what she is doing?
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:56 PM
klev klev is offline
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Re: what am I missing for decoding this look?

IHP can produce artifacts and doesn't really improve the aesthetic. Skin is overdone, so I don't know why you would want to reproduce that. It's too mushed out coming off the top of the bridge of the nose, and you don't have enough lash detail to balance the amount of contrast in those eyes.

You could probably do a better job than this with practice and some attention to detail here.

Here are the important points that I suspect you're missing. You won't get the skintone to stand out like that without some amount of masking. It's the ability to balance out that background or dress without messing up the warm tan skin that makes it striking.

You will need to identify bright regions skin regions that throw the entire thing off. Sometimes when someone's chest or arm is way too bright it will make the person's skin appear washed out or flat.

You need to get the balance right. In this case background, eyes, and dress all have a rather cool tone. This makes the skin appear warmer.

Also be careful not to overdo things. It's really really easy to overdo accentuation on eyes or cheekbones. If you're not sure, don't do it at all. It's a very small part of this image, yet people often go after that because they don't know what else to do.

Post what you're working with if you get a chance, and good luck. Also smoothing skin is easy. This looks overdone to me. It can be done better without any kind of frequency separation, IHP, or any other such engineering hack. Hacks should not be pivotal to your workflow if possible.
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Old 09-10-2016, 06:37 AM
justinkmcclure justinkmcclure is offline
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Re: what am I missing for decoding this look?

I guess what i like overall is the smoothness in transitions and how clean the pores look. I haven't been lazy with searching for answers, and it seems everyone says 'dodge and burn, dodge and burn'...but there is no way that image is all dodge and burn.
I want my retouching to be "wow" because i feel we live in an age where there is image saturation so so get anyone's attention, we have to give them something worth looking at.

Here is an image i did a couple days ago - before and after. I know you are a tough critic, so i'll embrace. ha. i've been working hard on learning good techniques - probably every day for the past year or so.

this image: proper cleanup, dodge and burn, then FS with a cleanup layer above the 'low'. To get some smoothness I did some median blurring, lastly color correction and sharpening with the top layer of fs.

what could i improve upon? what else can i do to get the results from the original image in regards to pores and smoothness?
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Old 09-10-2016, 08:26 AM
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Tony W Tony W is online now
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Re: what am I missing for decoding this look?

See if this link is any help
https://fstoppers.com/post-productio...technique-8699
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Old 09-10-2016, 09:17 AM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Re: what am I missing for decoding this look?

I work both with small private clients and for global agencies, and there is no going around DNB. Do you know what DNB is? It is painting with light. A very simple concept. Either you can paint well, or you can't.

This is why many people stumble with retouching, they don't realize that it is all manual labor. What is your "clean up layer" above the "low"? Is it perhaps painting on a new layer? Why do you think that is a good idea?

Retouching is not about hidden techniques, it's about using basic tools but keeping the entire concept in mind.

Back to the point, your sample is VERY different from the desired image. One is beauty, other is portrait. Models are different in every possible way but gender, from the outfit, pose, age, weight, skin tone, hair type, styling, jewelry, intent... No, they can't look the same. Color scheme is not the same, either. You do things one by one, I fix issues one by one until the image looks "right".
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Old 09-10-2016, 09:34 AM
justinkmcclure justinkmcclure is offline
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Re: what am I missing for decoding this look?

I'm definitely not going out DnB, quite the opposite, I've embraced it however I seem to not get the same smooth texture other retouchers achieve. From the image I attached previously...I dodged and burned for quite a while.
I'm not looking for shortcuts as I've edited images for hours and hours, just trying to achieve that smooth and clear result that I see from some of you.

The cleanup above the low (after FS) was light airbrushing to smooth out the harsh highlights. Before that I did DB with a previous cleanup of healing/clone, etc.
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Old 09-10-2016, 11:00 AM
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Re: what am I missing for decoding this look?

The original in your first post looks like it may be the work of Julia Kuzmenko and I do believe she does not favour IHP.

If you do like the look of the image you posted here then you should not be put off by others subjective rumblings and it is no sin to try and emulate such and then move on to your own ideas.

You do need to start however with an image that is close in style to what you want to achieve

With respect you do not seem to be doing yourself any favours in getting where you want to be with the image you have chosen to work on and to be fair it is IMO rather overworked turning a normal looking happy woman into a waxwork copy of herself.

Not trying to be harsh or overcritical here and I hope you can see what I am getting at.

I suggest that you do two things to help you make the step from where you are now to where you aspire to be.

1. Download or produce your own decent raw image with detail that looks similar in style to the one in your original post.
2. Study the link posted and watch the video - this is by Julia Kuzmenko and it may help you get the early first steps correct.
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Old 09-10-2016, 11:26 AM
justinkmcclure justinkmcclure is offline
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Re: what am I missing for decoding this look?

Tony, no offense taken for sure. I do not get better by being overly sensitive.

The before/after picture was my work - possibly overworked, but i guess I'm overworking and figuring out where to cut back.

it seems to produce the type of image originally posted i would need the subject to be in proper makeup with equally distributed lighting.

I lit the subject (of the picture posted) and I tried to evenly distribute the light but it was hot and highlights were abundant.

so that smooth look is a result of proper lighting, makeup and really good dodge and burn? Just trying to focus my practice!
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Old 09-10-2016, 02:13 PM
Tulack Tulack is offline
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Re: what am I missing for decoding this look?

Quote:
Originally Posted by justinkmcclure View Post
so that smooth look is a result of proper lighting, makeup and really good dodge and burn? Just trying to focus my practice!
Take a look at this dodge and burn example. Specially look at mask by itself.


https://app.box.com/s/3cgylw0ihbr09v4d4nctnkbxfkvbsbyf
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Old 09-10-2016, 02:25 PM
justinkmcclure justinkmcclure is offline
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Smile Re: what am I missing for decoding this look?

Tony, this is perfect...is this your work?
totally what i wanted/needed to see.

I'll assiduously study the layers to see what i'm missing.
thank you much, exactly what I needed
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