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Retouching Test for Junior Retoucher Position

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  • Retouching Test for Junior Retoucher Position

    Hi Everyone,

    I will be taking a 2hr. photo retouching test this coming Friday for an advertising agency in Orange County, CA. Since this is my first time taking the test, could anyone provide some advice on what to expect? Would their be compositing involved or is it just retouching of different photos? Also, how good would they expect the finished image to look like? I have a hunch that I will be working with car photos, since the manager was gesturing towards photos of retouched cars during the first interview.

    Thanks in advance, for any help or advice you'd be willing to give!

  • #2
    Re: Retouching Test for Junior Retoucher Position

    You're asking the wrong questions, just like everyone before you . No one can tell you what their test is like unless they worked there and the test remains unchanged. It may or may not have been refined over time. It may not even be a fair method of assessment, but no one can give you more information than that. It could involve anything that may be required of you at your future place of employment, but when people say "just retouching" on here, they typically mean cleanup of blemishes and minor details. In the case of an ad agency, they may have more than that, because changes may involve cleanup, changes in art direction, and necessary composite work.

    Here are a few suggestions that may help, regardless of what the test is like. I don't know what you normally work at, whether it's a notebook, a workstation, notebook with external attached, etc. I'll assume you have a graphics tablet. If you don't that will be difficult, because if you do this for a living, you use a graphics tablet of some kind. Mice are not practical in that they lack both the precision and speed. Anyway you should practice a few different things and vary your lighting, seating, and tablet mapping if possible. That may not sound precise, but little changes in mapping ratio and things throw me off. You should get out of your comfort zone somewhat with it, because you will need to adapt quickly to whatever is in front of you.

    Second asking on here what the subject matter might be is a complete and utter failure on your part (and you should be embarrassed for not doing your own research), but you still have time to correct it and not make this mistake with future interviews (by the way I've made it too, most of this is from experience). That ad agency has a web page. Look at what they produce for their clients. Study it, and learn as much as possible about that range of subjects. This means if people look at anatomy. If it's cars examine detail shots of headlamps, other glass components, and paint under different lighting conditions to get some idea of the overall shape and response to light.

    The third thing you should do is practice masking and examine your overall layer organization. You're applying for a low level position, so expect to do an enormous amount of masking and create quite a few layers. These things can grow very quickly, so the important parts are to group things effectively, not create more layers than necessary, make the layer stack it as friendly as possible to revision work, and use short descriptive and consistent naming conventions. For masking you need to practice both painted masking techniques such as quickmask and the paintbrush tool, as well as clipping paths. There should not be obvious bumps or poorly placed anchor points on your path hulls.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Retouching Test for Junior Retoucher Position

      Klev nailed it

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Retouching Test for Junior Retoucher Position

        One thing Klev did not mention - color management. Very important for a well rounded graphic artist. You can really screw things up when you mishandle color spaces. And don't be surprised if they give you a color-blind test - we do.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Retouching Test for Junior Retoucher Position

          Color management? How in the world would that be relevant in a two hour test? The shop probably works in one space and converts to whatever if necessary. Don't confuse him with that stuff.

          Listen, eat your Wheaties and relax. You aren't going to fool anybody about your abilities at the moment, so just sit down and hit it as well as you can. Consider it a learning experience. You could be the best retoucher within two hundred miles, and maybe you won't get hired because you have something hanging out of your nose or you just don't fit in to the "culture" of the place for some reason. Maybe you're too old, too young, too fat, dress weird, who knows. Just smile and do your best.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Retouching Test for Junior Retoucher Position

            Originally posted by Benny Profane View Post
            Color management? How in the world would that be relevant in a two hour test? The shop probably works in one space and converts to whatever if necessary. Don't confuse him with that stuff.
            Color management is always relevant, no matter how simple.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Retouching Test for Junior Retoucher Position

              Hey, thanks for the input everyone- really appreciate the feedback I've been getting on here. I'm just a fresh college grad, and having no real training/ professional experience doing retouching before, I just wanted to ask since I wasn't sure what to expect. Thanks again for the help !

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Retouching Test for Junior Retoucher Position

                Originally posted by Shoku View Post
                Color management is always relevant, no matter how simple.
                You manage in a pre press shop, right?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Retouching Test for Junior Retoucher Position

                  Originally posted by yychoco91 View Post
                  Hey, thanks for the input everyone- really appreciate the feedback I've been getting on here. I'm just a fresh college grad, and having no real training/ professional experience doing retouching before, I just wanted to ask since I wasn't sure what to expect. Thanks again for the help !
                  Good luck, and check the mirror before you leave home!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Retouching Test for Junior Retoucher Position

                    Originally posted by Benny Profane View Post
                    You manage in a pre press shop, right?
                    Proper color management should begin with the originator, not the user. When it's left up to the user, unintentional mistakes can happen.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Retouching Test for Junior Retoucher Position

                      Oh, c'mon. Now you're just pulling words out of you know where.

                      Retouchers work in whatever space they have to, which should be a simple form of Adobe RGB, if not just that, and the pre press guys handle the conversion. At least, in the best, simplest, and purely efficient high volume workflow I was intimate with, that's how it worked very well. Retouchers should concern themselves with the magic of Photoshop and CGI. That's hard enough. Very few do it really well.
                      Retouchers make bad to mediocre pre press specialists, and vice versa. Viva la difference. At least in a proper workflow.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Retouching Test for Junior Retoucher Position

                        Originally posted by yychoco91 View Post
                        Hey, thanks for the input everyone- really appreciate the feedback I've been getting on here. I'm just a fresh college grad, and having no real training/ professional experience doing retouching before, I just wanted to ask since I wasn't sure what to expect. Thanks again for the help !
                        You didn't mention how the test went. I was unaware of the no real training. It's a little odd that you made it to that point, yet they went with a test. I would think if they're willing to take on someone truly inexperienced, they would be more interested in potential.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Retouching Test for Junior Retoucher Position

                          Originally posted by klev View Post
                          You didn't mention how the test went. I was unaware of the no real training. It's a little odd that you made it to that point, yet they went with a test. I would think if they're willing to take on someone truly inexperienced, they would be more interested in potential.
                          Hi klev,

                          Just messaged you.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Retouching Test for Junior Retoucher Position

                            Hello,

                            I'm curious, how did the test go and what was on it??

                            Thanks,
                            Phil

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Retouching Test for Junior Retoucher Position

                              Originally posted by philipwarner200 View Post
                              Hello,

                              I'm curious, how did the test go and what was on it??

                              Thanks,
                              Phil
                              Hi Phil,

                              Just messaged you

                              Comment

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