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First real attempt

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  • First real attempt

    Hi guys n gals. My name is David, from Ireland and I have been reviewing tutorials by Michael Woloszynowicz and Julia Kuzmenko. I have pretty much followed the outline of initial frequency separation to get a decent tonal base and then used curves (Dodge and Burn). I also added some blush etc for colour.

    I would be happy to receive some pointers please. This is my first attempt at really trying to draw out the best from a beauty image, without going over the top. The white lines over the shoulders catch my attention, but what other aspects of the image do you see which require further attention.

    To state the image is not mine, it is a practice image by Isaac Ruiz, found over at Retouch Academy.
    Last edited by BallistiX; 11-27-2015, 06:58 AM.

  • #2
    Re: First real attempt

    BallistiX, Welcome to RetouchPRO
    Hope you enjoy your stay here and make lots of friends.
    Poke around, have fun!

    Unfortunately, the link does not work

    Just one thing to help the forum... If you use Photoshop you can post fairly large pictures which are under 100k using the 'save for web' function in Photoshop as described in this thread:
    (Size, Quality and/or Format your Attached Images..)
    The save for web function in the latest Photoshop is hidden under File>Export>Save for web (legacy)

    This thread explains (How to attach Files/Images to your Posts or Threads )

    If you want to post a larger resolution that is over 100K then you can host your image elsewhere and attach a link in the thread (as you did here.... BUT, the link is dead!), which is the reason to always also attach an under 100K version (so the thread remains useful in the future, regardless of external links). (link to the highest resolution.. or the largest size you can upload)

    If you become a "Patron" You can attach files up to 1MB to any post, You won't see any ads on the site, There's a private forum just for Patrons, You can display an automatic signature under your posts, Your posts will clearly identify you as a Patron, so everyone knows of your generous support.

    When you post your work, post how you did it. or, post stages of your work. there's nothing like a picture sequence to show how a thing progressed to the final stage.

    Each post helps thousands of future users, not just you.

    Welcome aboard !


    • #3
      Re: First real attempt

      Fixed that link Olbaldy.

      Sorry it was broken.



      • #4
        Re: First real attempt

        Most people make things worse on their early attempts. You didn't do that, so I call it a win. Here is a list of details that I would normally suggest you address. I don't know that you'll learn more by focusing on one image though.

        The eyes make little sense to me. The bright highlight in the bottom is too saturated, too fuzzy for such a bright one and just doesn't look right. Whites of the eyes aren't very balanced. I would take a look at other images with heavy eye makeup for ideas. I would probably balance the lash makeup to be a bit more symmetric between the two eyes.

        The eyebrows should have been shaped.

        The nails, lips, and to some degree parts of the skin now have an orange tone. I suggest some familiarity with makeup colors, because the starting ones were more realistic.

        The hair line is pretty strange on the left side, but I'm not sure what I would do about that.

        The hand is way too bright. You made that a bit worse, especially the sploty color in one of the hand creases and just below a finger.

        Skin overall needs to be brought into better balance. You have naturally occuring brighter and darker points corresponding to anatomical features, but you don't want the outliers so much such as a bright hand. They steal emphasis. There are a couple parts with very minor skin blotchiness too. The nose is somewhat off color, and much like the brighter portions, the shadows need more uniformity. The shadows on the bridge of the nose look a bit weird right now.

        You want to look for makeup defects. The lip makeup is smeared, and you didn't compensate for that at all. I think the highlight could be adjusted very slightly for a better shape, but it's a minor thing. Cleaning up smudges and things would be a big improvement, even with the clenched teeth (nothing you can do about that).

        Contrary to my words above, you shouldn't flatten out that t-zone at the top of the bridge of the nose quite so much. It looks a little flat now. Remember this stuff should be subtle, and that is an anatomical feature. A really bright hand is not one. You did the same thing on the chin and cheeks. I wouldn't eliminate everything. If it's way out of balance, I tone it down a bit. I try to avoid flattening out someone's facial features.

        I don't think you spotted some of these things due to the lower contrast of the original. They aren't as prominent there, but they're still obvious to me. I also know you probably have reasoning for each thing. I can include more of my own if it isn't clear.

        Overall I'm not thrilled with the choice of image. Her ears don't look great. The hair is kind of bad. The nostrils are prominent. Teeth are clenched. Lighting is okay, not perfect. I think it has too much stray light, and some aspects aren't balanced very well. I think if you try to think about the details as you go, you should progress quickly.


        • #5
          Re: First real attempt

          Thx for the constructive feedback Klev.

          I don't shoot models, so have to make do with the practice images I can find in RAW format.

          Noted on the bottom of the eyes.

          I had used a range picker action from darker and lighter parts of the models face, to collect a tonal range for her hand, guess that the range picked was not dark enough.

          When you say shadow uniformity, I am guessing you mean the same depth and size each side, due to flat lighting?

          More local dodging and burning to bring skin tone together, got it.




          • #6
            Re: First real attempt

            Originally posted by BallistiX View Post
            I don't shoot models, so have to make do with the practice images I can find in RAW format.
            It varies between members. Sometimes I comment on lighting regardless of whether the person asking set up that shot. It's a good point to consider when choosing images or determining what you will adjust.

            Originally posted by BallistiX View Post
            I had used a range picker action from darker and lighter parts of the models face, to collect a tonal range for her hand, guess that the range picked was not dark enough.
            There's nothing wrong with using color pickers, but you need to take the time to evaluate your results. I evaluated it visually. The hand shouldn't really draw your attention, because it's not the focus of the image. If it still draws attention from her face, the hand can be considered unfinished. The hand actually looks brighter to me in the after version, so I wonder wheter other layers negated your progress there.

            Originally posted by BallistiX View Post
            When you say shadow uniformity, I am guessing you mean the same depth and size each side, due to flat lighting?
            I have a few very bad grammatical habits, which is the reason that was unclear.

            When you look at an image, shadows won't necessarily all be the same brightness level. You still want to avoid a really greyish appearance. Sometimes certain shadows are not very deep, but it's obvious they should still be there. I often bring these closer to the brightness level of the deeper shadows in the image through the use of masks and adjustment layers.

            Originally posted by BallistiX View Post
            More local dodging and burning to bring skin tone together, got it.
            Sometimes a model has a slightly tan face, but her chest, arms, and shoulders are not tan. It can look washed out, so I tend to deepen that. Lighting and makeup can cause similar problems. If it's a small highlight that corresponds with some anatomical feature, I don't tone it down any more than absolutely necessary. I think you went a little far on the parts I mentioned in my last response.


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