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RetouchPRO LIVE "Black & White" with Gry Garness

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Old 03-10-2011, 12:34 PM
ape ape is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 6
Re: RetouchPRO LIVE "Black & White" with Gry Garne

Hi, I just watched the black and white rebroadcast, the audio was skipping through the show so I missed whole sections.

I have seen the recipe above for the black and white film look, but I don't understand step 7) about the minimum dot and the blending mode, is this for the above layer or is it for a new layer and how do you set the minimum dot?

Great show though.

Also if I remember rightly she scaled up the noise layer by 30% ...?

I hope someone can help

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Old 03-11-2011, 03:25 AM
grygarness grygarness is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: London, UK,
Posts: 36
Re: RetouchPRO LIVE "Black & White" with Gry Garne

Hi there

As I remember the notes posted were just the basic values used for each process. Let me explain Minimum Dot:

Printers don't deal well with image areas where all detail gas been blown out to 255 (if we're thinking RGB). This would result in zero ink when the image is CMYK converted, and it's hard for printers to maintain a smooth transition from no ink dots to a light level of ink. What pre-press people often do is to put gray into the highlights to compensate, usually by using the Levels Output slider. For me, that's not a very satisfying solution, as we tend to lose contrast and the gray won't only be applied to those extreme whites. My own method is to make what I call a "Minimum Dot layer" at the very top of the layer stack, in the following way:

Make a blank layer.

Fill it with 250/250/250. To get the color, use the color picker. If you're working in color, use a CMYK color 3/2/2/0 which will give you nearer 248, depending on color space. You will now have an almost-white image.

Blend the layer to Darken. This will cause it to darken only the colors in the below image that are brighter than the value of the layer itself (250 or 248). In other words, it won't affect the midtones or mid-highlights.

Apply a low level of noise directly to the layer. I used 0.75 here, Gaussian, monochromatic. This is to introduce some pixel variation, so that you don't just get a flat light gray, but a more lively surface.

I usually experiment with the opacity of the layer. Although Darken mode theoretically works as described above, it's not perfect. This is not a visual impact layer and you should hardly see the difference on screen when toggling the layer eyeball. I use this layer as lightly as possible, and of course, the very best thing is to have no clipping in the first place, so don't use this technique as an excuse to clip highlights.

Minimum Dot is a full tutorial in my Digital Retouching e-books, where I also show how to use Threshold to judge the clipping.


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Old 03-11-2011, 04:07 AM
ape ape is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 6
Re: RetouchPRO LIVE "Black & White" with Gry Garne

Hi Gry,

thanks for your comprehensive and swift response, really impressive all this during a time when you seem to be extremly busy with many projects apart from just your retouching work.

I have been browsing your website for a few years now but never actually bought your books or DVDs. I have to say your knowledge of PS, old school (film) and print process is very impressive.

I am an established photographer who worked his way up through assisting and printing in the darkroom.

I was on the brink of hiring you for one to one for my assistant a few years ago... but hey ho the banks collapsed and everything went topsy turvy.

I am currently brushing up my ps skills to work on a self funded project about Gouchos in argentina, one issue I am coming across is the need for an artist/draught persons eye when retouching. Ok it is easy enough to get the recipe, fiddle with it to get the right overall result but right placement and lightness of touch to get dodge/burn or other effects is a whole new skill.

Thanks again.

Ps Lith printing in the darkroom is a complete misnomer, it has nothing to with the mechanical lith printing process. The name comes from the high contrast developer which was used for producing high contrast graphics, that's why it has to be diluted so much so your prints don't go straight to black and white and it affords you some time to snatch the print from the dev before fully developed.
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Old 03-11-2011, 05:33 AM
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nebulaoperator nebulaoperator is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: London
Posts: 390
Re: RetouchPRO LIVE "Black & White" with Gry Garne

Thank you Doug
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Old 03-19-2011, 02:33 PM
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RLPA RLPA is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Southern Illinois (St. Louis area)
Posts: 8
Re: RetouchPRO LIVE "Black & White" with Gry Garne

Just watched the rebroadcast and glad I did. Very nice. Thank you.
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