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  • Critique needed here

    Hi, there. It's me again. I made a few more works and post one of them for critique. So, please, be strict.
    http://imagizer.imageshack.us/a/img912/6456/dWeJMr.jpg

  • #2
    Re: Critique needed here

    I think you're still struggling with basic concepts. Don't worry, just keep practicing and reflect on other people's work.

    Skin is sort of smooth and hazy and way too magenta.
    Last edited by skoobey; 08-19-2015, 05:22 AM.

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    • #3
      Re: Critique needed here

      Not bad, smooth uniformity is not there, when i look at your after result i still feel that it need another retouch, but looking at before shot i can see what efforts you did, retouching is not an easy game and it needs time and patience and other things maybe, so that i didn't try to be a retoucher and just stay as a photographer.

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      • #4
        Re: Critique needed here

        Do you have the absolutely unretouched original? A highlight reflection in the eye appears to contain lashes, and they don't appear to be part of the reflection due to scale, lack of distortion, and angle. The final revision has a pretty glaring mistake in that regard, and it's important to learn to spot those things. I see a similar case of what I would regard as bad judgement on the cheek.

        Ultimately I think you need to build up some sensibility for what looks weird to and obviously misrepresented to a viewer. I also wouldn't apply such heavy capture sharpening. It doesn't look great, and it gives the impression of grey hairs on the right hand side of the image.

        I also agree with Skoobey's comments, but I didn't want to talk about the really mundane portions. The only thing I want to add is that you'll often have to adjust the skintone somewhat independently from the background. Here you just made the entire thing more magenta, and in most cases, that will not be desirable for a somewhat neutral background.

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        • #5
          Re: Critique needed here

          Thank you all for your time and comments.
          Regarding magenta, I really like the resulting color, although it does not look natural. This is probably my personal taste. Next time I'll get it right.
          I have raw image, but photo are not mine. Reflecting really looks very weird.
          I agree that the hair look gray. Can you suggest how to fix it?
          Actually, I want to learn to make more natural faces. But I'm not always sure what is remove and what is left? What can you advise based on your experience?

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          • #6
            Re: Critique needed here

            Originally posted by polyester View Post
            What can you advise based on your experience?

            I wasn't sure whether the reflection started out that way. It was obviously a distorted light source, but it's possible to turn that into reasonable. In your version you chopped off part of her iris, and I don't think that's the way to go.

            The grey haired effect is mostly due to capture sharpening. You applied a lot of capture sharpening. I never use that much. It brightened highlights in hair, which may have also lost a small amount of saturation in the process. I would use less capture sharpening. If a couple strands of hair are way too bright, cloning them out can get rid of the appearance of grey hair. Most of it is contextual here.

            Regarding natural looking faces, the cheek area is mostly just overdone. Anatomical illustrations and photos help. You can find them on google or something like 3d.sk. Looking at lots of reference material will help you get a better idea of the location and shape of certain muscle and bone structures.

            I would suggest that you carefully consider each step. I don't think the cheek was perfect in the original image, but you made it worse. Don't touch the more subtle aspects until you have tackled the really obnoxious ones and verified that nothing looks weird. Group any layers you use for retouching (not global color and contrast adjustments) and click those on and off to compare to the original. If anything looks weird, remove the retouching. In some cases that can be done with the history brush. Some of it can be faded. Just don't fade anything things like cloning and the healing brush. If you feel like you need to fade the entire thing by 10-20%, that means you're still overdoing it.

            I'm also a fan of smaller steps. Spend an hour or two at most on an image. Ask for suggestions, but be specific about what was done. Describe your goals well. Make sure you know exactly what you're trying to accomplish with each step.

            One last tip. This is just to test mechanical ability and the ergonomics of your setup. Some people use less than ideal setups, such as a mouse or a small tablet. Test your results on a blank canvas. Create a new image. See if you can draw straight lines, circles, or sign your name comfortably. If you cannot do any of that, the accuracy isn't where it should be. It can really slow your work.

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            • #7
              Re: Critique needed here

              I began to use a tablet instead of a mouse, less use heal tool and devote more time to dodge & burn. For me, this is very different from previous(Before and After). What are you think? I move in the right way?

              Besides, thank you for your advice. Now I start with thinking about what I want to get. Also, I try don't destroy the anatomy of the face

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              • #8
                Re: Critique needed here

                Not a bad start, but the tone/color in the face and body are too much like a crayola flesh color. While the original was a bit too yellow, the after shot is too unrealistic in it's tone. Maybe a happy medium from there. Also, you missed a few blemishes like the mark in her lip and the pierced ear. If this is just for your own use, not a big deal, but for commercial purposed it would not be suitable.

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                • #9
                  Re: Critique needed here

                  Originally posted by polyester View Post
                  I began to use a tablet instead of a mouse, less use heal tool and devote more time to dodge & burn. For me, this is very different from previous(Before and After). What are you think? I move in the right way?

                  Besides, thank you for your advice. Now I start with thinking about what I want to get. Also, I try don't destroy the anatomy of the face
                  Good job. That is a huge improvement for a short period of time. I think you can still improve quite a bit from this, but I can you thought about it. Be careful with things like that shadow along the cheekbone region. They're tricky, and they start to look weird if they become too thick and flat. Also be careful when you have facial hair on a woman, and you're masking out a background. You have kind of an inconsistent line there.

                  This one has some tricky details, like that jaw. Even in the original, it has different patchy parts that have some discoloration. The facial hair is also rather prominent. I've dealt with that before, and it's always a bit tricky.

                  Another good practice to get into is preview your retouching work (not contrast changes) on and off as you go. You'll catch stuff faster. Maintain snapshots too. That way if you mess something up and it was good, you can you use the history brush. It works on any layer that existed at the time you took that snapshot.

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