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That Soft Dior Look for Portraits

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Old 11-05-2008, 06:07 PM
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ray12 ray12 is offline
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Re: That Soft Dior Look for Portraits


About using Levels VS Curves.

You are correct, they pretty much do the same thing. Some retouchers use either of the controls...levels or curves. More recently I am using curves because it has great power...but I will use the center slider of levels to adjust the gamma of an image...the gray parts of an image. This levels gamma slider is great for opening up really dark, clogged up black areas of an image and bringing the detail back into the black or very dark regions.

I use both curves and levels as adjustment layers now because that makes them non destructive to the image... and that allows me to get back in and adjust them over and over again if I need to. It also allows the underlying pixels to be all the detail is retained.

Using these 2 controls as adjustment layers also makes a layer mask automatically become visible in the layer. I usually do a control or command I to invert the mask to a black hide all mask, then use a white brush to paint in the lightening effects just exactly where I want them. Using curves with a layer mask is VERY Powerful!

Hope this helps some.


Last edited by ray12; 11-05-2008 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 11-05-2008, 06:10 PM
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ray12 ray12 is offline
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Re: That Soft Dior Look for Portraits

At long last... im just starting production on a retouching DVD. Im going over these and many other retouching principles and workflows. I may put up a web site later on... to put all my lip gloss, eye lash and skin texture brushes and other stuff in one place.

Ive just gotten done a year long research study on what retouchers are using and what tips and tricks they feel proudest about...and from that I have found... a number of common workflows and ways of doing things have emerged.

The first DVD I have in mind is "the basic retouch process" itself and 3 or 4 ways to do each part of a retouch (levels, color balance, blemish removal, skin smoothing, pore texture replacement, Hollywood eyes, lips, glosses, eye lashes, hair and facial contouring etc etc)

It has been soo slow to produce it...ill post an update when I get close to finalizing it.

Thanks for all your nice comments.

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Old 11-09-2008, 02:46 AM
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Nasturtium Nasturtium is offline
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Re: That Soft Dior Look for Portraits

Excellent tutorial! Learned a lot of new things, and 'fed' my Photoshop habit. lol

The only suggestion I can make is to select everything in the blue channel and mask it with white. Then adjust the opacity. (From the free tutorials (Portrait Glow) at Photoshop Cafe -requires registration)

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Old 11-09-2008, 12:20 PM
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WillP WillP is offline
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Re: That Soft Dior Look for Portraits

Great Tutorial Ray. I use this technique a lot and love it's ease of use. Thanks for sharing it.

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Old 03-13-2009, 12:26 PM
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ray12 ray12 is offline
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Re: That Soft Dior Look for Portraits

I have the preliminary video training DVD done on this tutorial finally! The tutorial comes out to about 3 hours of flash tutorials and contains significantly more information and detail than the tutorial here does. I have also done about a year long interview process with some of the best retouchers here in New York City and London and have incorporated some of the best practices from them as well in the content. Ive been amazed to discover that some of the most powerful techniques also turn out to be some fiarly easy ones to learn and use.

Im hoping to get a web site up in the next month or two...ive reserved GlamourRetouching.Com for the site right now...but im terrible at now THAT has been the slow part. First it was learning how to produce hi- res desktop videos, and now it is learning DIV Tags in about a multi-discliplined education!

Ill post the Glamour Retouching Resource Site when it gets also hoping to have some high end specialty retouching brushes there as well. Things like lip gloss, eye lash, catch light and skin pore texture brushes as well. I will be planning to sell some of these high end stuff...but I may do a good discount for the friends ive made over here at RetouchPro. Thanks for your encouraging e-mails and comments! Im getting there!

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Old 03-13-2009, 12:38 PM
robotdevil robotdevil is offline
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Re: That Soft Dior Look for Portraits

I've been quite inactive on here for some bit, but am one hundred percent excited about the site and all the knowledge that i'm sure you've gleaned. i am on board!

keep us/me posted

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Old 03-13-2009, 03:20 PM
woofw woofw is online now
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Re: That Soft Dior Look for Portraits

Ray, I can't wait for yr site to be up and yr DVD training.
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:11 PM
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spharris spharris is offline
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Re: That Soft Dior Look for Portraits

i can't wait for this!!
i am such a visual learner!!
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Old 05-21-2009, 06:39 AM
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timmy1729 timmy1729 is offline
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Re: That Soft Dior Look for Portraits

I have been waiting for a DVD that shows how a pro does the "basic retouching" and other everyday processes. I will be one of your first customers :-)
I enjoyed this tutorial and I can't wait for the DVD and website!
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:04 PM
fotogen fotogen is offline
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Re: That Soft Dior Look for Portraits

Originally Posted by ray12 View Post

I know I didnt go into skin texture masks in the fullest possible detail because of space and other reasons. Maybe I should do another tutorial someday on just that part of it. But... here is some additional information.

Attached is an actual low-resolution version of a hi-resolution skin mask so you can see what one looks like... and actually play with it. There are portrait masks for full and side views. You only need a couple.

Here is how to work it:

1.) Put a portrait on layer 1. (You can smooth the skin out because it wont matter later on. You will be able to totally adjust the final skin texture appearance to suit your own taste.)

2.) Lay the attached mask over the portrait on layer 2. Be sure to Set the layer blend mode to "SOFTLIGHT". The mask itself will mostly disappear... and only the textures will remain!

3.) You use Free Transform to adjust the size of the mask so it overlays on top of your model. Approximately match up the eyes and mouth. You can use the warp function to precisely fit the mask if you like. This isnt going to be perfect... but its close enough to get the general idea of it. My mask isnt going to perfectly fit your model.

4.) Look at the image. All the skin lines are going in the right direction and are in the right place. Now...adjust the opacity slider on the 2nd layer. Notice how you can make the skin texture however weak or strong you want. Try it at 100% strength. It might look better at 36% opacity to you.

5.) If you are somewhat advanced - then use a black (hide all) layer mask on layer two. Now the texture mask will totally disappear for just a short time. Now... paint with a soft, low opacity (30%) WHITE brush on that mask. Where ever you paint with white - the skin texture will begin to show through on your portrait! Paint some skin texture on the cheeks, paint less on the nose, paint medium intensity on just a small corner of the eyes, paint even more on the cheeks again to make it even stronger in this one place. Now you have TOTAL CONTROL over WHERE the skin texture is placed...and exactly how STRONG it will be. If you make a mistake - change back to a Black Brush and paint with it to correct your problem. You can apply and smoothly blend the textures any way you want artisticallywith this technique.

Here are some totally random thoughts:

- You can create your own masks so they face the way you want. You can composite several different mask textures together into one image. There are ways to adjust the lighting direction in Photoshop.

- Skin textures can be strong or subtle, or maybe only hinted at, in other places. You dont have to be biologically perfect to make a good artistic expression. People looking at your photograph will never anayze to see if those skin pores are really from the subject. Pores are pores. People will get the impression just fine.

- There are hundreds of hi-res images a week to choose from on the forums listed.

- The masks -- as well as your portraits -- are of real 3D people shot with a 2D camera - so the 2D/3D issue is not really a problem in my experience...everything is 2D inside of Photoshop anyway...they usually match up very well.

- It takes some time, effort and some interesting experimentation to get the results the magazine artists get.

- You can use one skin mask for the cheek texture, another part of another mask for the eyes, and even a third mask that has only great forehead textures. Use the layer mask technique to paint in the exact textures - exactly where you want them - and as strong as you want them. A little bit from each mask in different places. Some places may be left smooth by choice.

- Use layer masks, shading techniques, and traditional artist techniques to achieve the look of 3D depth that you want. There are techniques to make a 2D image look really nice.

- After a while you eventually end up with a sheet of collected cheek textures, forehead textures, eye creases etc. Build your own library. These accumulated libraries are what add value to a professional.

- You can even make up and use the models very own original skin as a texture mask - and then put that detail back in later - after you have smoothed out the skin tones. This produces a nice controlled balance between smoothing and realism.

Hope this helps some.


I just joined this forum and absolutely love your tutorial on adding skin texture. Do you mind pointing me to some high resolution skin texture maps please? I really like that one that you have on this thread.

Thank You again
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