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Too much plastic surgery?

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  • Too much plastic surgery?

    I took this photo and wanted to glamourize it. When I showed it to my client (wife), her first comment was: "I look dead."

    Did I overdo it?

    I used gausian blur, and created a history brush to remove wrinkles and blemishes, added lip color, makeup, lashes, reduced glare on glasses and reduced the size of the reflection in the eyes. I adjusted the line of the jaw slightly.

    I will reply to this post and attach the original for comparison. (I would really rather have suggestions/impressions for how to improve then have a wizard take the original and do a better job--I really want to learn!!!)

    Much thanks for your consideration. I love this site.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    the original

    Here is the original for comparision.
    Attached Files


    • #3
      I do not think you overdid it. In fact, I think you did an excellent job at removing the wrinkles, reducing glare, etc... but do have some suggestions-

      First, the "dead" look is a result of the color in the original photo. If you look at the color info for those areas on the face (around the edges) you will notice significant levels of Cyan and Black. (I edit skin tones in CMYK) If you remove most of that Black and lower the Cyan, her skin will look much more "alive".

      Second, you smoothed out her skin very well but left the hair the same! Go ahead and blur the hair a bit and maybe darken it a tad...and eliminate the rest of that reflection in her glasses.

      I went ahead and fiddled a bit with the image....I will write the steps down if you want...but I really have to get to bed right now!

      You have already made an excellent start on this and it just needs a bit of tweaking...hopefully the client will love it!

      Darn....just reread your post and realized you did NOT want anyone to take the image and fix it...just wanted suggestions...sorry about that. I read fast and thought the opposite. Like I said, I really need some sleep! I will be sure to write my steps down first thing tomorrow, if you want to try them out
      Attached Files
      Last edited by G. Couch; 09-05-2002, 02:22 AM.


      • #4
        Nice one Greg. I think you should tell us what you did though (when you wake up).


        • #5
          It looks good, too good.
          I think it order for it to look realistic to the customer, you have to leave some of her lines and wrinkles. I would layer your version over the original and adjust the opacity, to allow some of those "flaws" to show through.


          • #6
            I think you did a wonderful job, but I have to agree with Greg and Vikki.

            The suggestion that vikki made is dead on. One mustn't get rid of TOO many flaws. Esp if those flaws are part of someone we know over the years (Moles, freckles).

            Otherwise I think you done a marvelous job and I'm jealous I can't do something like that yet.



            • #7
              dump the background


              I agree with the suggestions that you received already. In addition to that I'd suggest that you dump the cloudy background and replace it with something else. The background and your wife's hair have too many colours in common. She is kinda 'drowning'in it. For a glamour pic you'll want her to stand out a bit more. But anyway, good job so far.

              Mind dancer


              • #8
                Okay here is my 2 minutes worth. One thing I noticed is that she kind of looked dead in the picture to begin with. What really jumped out at me is that even in the original, she is missing the dark outer lining around her pupils that most people have, at least it isn't visible. The eyes make a huge difference.

                I added that and also, added some warmer colors by adjusting the color balance, then I pasted the old into a layer over the new one and changed the opacity to 25% to add back in some of the character to her face.
                Attached Files


                • #9
                  These are great tips everyone. Thanks.
                  Greg, when you wake up, a little description of what you did would be very helpful to me.
                  Last edited by gland; 09-06-2002, 10:20 AM.


                  • #10
                    Welcome to Retouch Pro Avprod 1. You have the right idea in the glamourizing and I think you did a great job. You changed the background and that works however, 2 things that might help to glamourize better would be (1) to soften her hair so it doesn't look so sharp against her soft features of her face. That really stood out in my mind. You don't have to blur it just soften lightly. Also (2) it's not easy to glamourize someone wearing a t-shirt. I know that's getting into some real manipulations but I do think it takes away from your goal just a tad.
                    Now don't take all this criticism as a sign that you did any thing wrong. You definately softened her features and it looks great. Look forward to seeing more of your work. You're very good at this.


                    • #11
                      Lots of good suggestions...I especially liked chiquitita's comment on the eyes and overall warmth of the image.

                      The main problem is that the poor quality of the original is creating a lot more work than might be necessary. For me, the flash in the original has deadened her hair and created some very odd skin tones in her face....all things that contribute to the "dead" look.

                      I'll quickly outline what I did in my version I posted earlier.

                      1. First thing I did was to select the "dead" areas on the face. By dead I mean areas with high levels of Black an Cyan....under the chin, left hand side of her face, etc... If you sample these areas with your eyedropper, you get values like- C: 37 M: 55 Y: 51 B: 10. The Yellow and Magenta levels are ok but there is way too much Black. Most Caucasians will have little if any levels of Black in their skin...unless they have been visiting a tanning salon everyday for 20 years! The highlights on her face look fine, so it is just a matter of selecting the shadows and "opening" them up. There are a couple of ways to do this...I made a selection, feathered it by about 5 pixels and used "color balance" and "selective color" adjustment layers to remove a lot of the Black and lower the Cyan a bit. I usually place samples at several points on the image so I can watch the adjustments in the info palette.

                      2. For the hair I just made a selection and duplicated to a new layer. I set the mode for this layer to Overlay and applied a Gausion blur of around 6 pixels. The hair was a little too dark after that, so I reduced the layers opacity to around 60%.

                      3. Her face still looked a little flat so I made a selection and applied a curves adjustment and if I remember correctly, another selective color adjustment layer. I probably ended up with too much red in her face but at least the shadow areas look a little more natural.

                      4. Cloned out the remaining reflection in the glasses. This is just a matter of personal preference. To me, the reflection just screams out "Camera Flash!" and eliminating it makes the overall portrait look a bit cleaner and more professional.


                      • #12
                        Thank you

                        I appreciate all of your suggestions. I plan to play with the photo over the weekend. I will post again with a revision.

                        Greg and others, your attitude of teaching made it easy to see what you had done, I didn't mind that you posted.

                        BTW, the original was shot with my new Fuji 2-megapixel camera. Are there any posts about how to set up a camera for a better look? It doesn't have a flash sync port, so I can't use an off-camera flash.



                        • #13
                          Well, we do try to be constructive to help not hurt each other. And looking back at this thread you did get bombarded with alot of creative ideas to work with. Glad you thought they were helpful in your project. You've got a good foundation started and we hope we helped you with the fine tuning.

                          As for the camera shots, I don't recall a thread on that subject but I think that would be a good idea if you wanted to start one.
                          I think that Critiques/Opinions/Help requested forum would be a good place to start that thread. I know there are alot of photographers on this site who would really be able to give you some good tips on setting up the best shot.

                          Good luck and don't forget to let us see how you are coming along on this image.


                          • #14
                            Glad we can help...and can't wait to see your new version!

                            I'm the last person to ask about camera stuff...but I usually just try and shoot portraits in a bright enough room so that I do not need a flash. That way the colors usually seem more natural and I do not have to worry about any intense reflections from the flash. The original photo is not bad by any's just a difficult one to get a "glamour" style from.


                            • #15
                              Easy Fix

                              So as not to disturb her natural lines, I did this without any retouching of her shadows and wrinkles, just retouched the hair edges, and (mostly) the eyes--for the face/skin, I ONLY worked on color. Without fixing the eyes, it would have been almost an instant project, since step 4 made a huge difference:

                              1. Duped it and erased away background with fuzzy eraser, removing unattractive bulge at front of shirt in the process.

                              2. Smudged hair at edges here and there so it doesn't look so cut out.

                              3. Did some color adjustment to get the gray out of shadows and reduce the excess red tones.

                              4. Duped it and did gaussian blur on top layer and set it to overlay mode. This softened most wrinkles while leaving facial expression lines intact, brought out the shadows to reduce the flat "dead" look, and also gave her a bit of a glow.

                              5. Duped and set to color mode and smoothed skin tones even more by painting over it with big fuzzy brush, copying desired skin tones from here and there. Also got rid of the reddish hair along face (caused by gaussian blur overlay) by sampling colors from other parts of hair and painting over this boundary with low opacity brush. Added lipstick at this point.

                              6. The pupils showed the "tiny/red/single dot" effect of direct single flash, so I redid the pupils, making them grayer and larger, then put them back on the irises and added two light spots, then used brightness/contrast to bring out detail and make the eyes sparkle.

                              7. She had no eyelashes showing, so I selected the eye area and duped just that. Then, since there were not enough pixels to continue, I duplicated the picture and enlarged the copy and worked on that. I added a narrow line of black eyeliner, used smudge tool to create subtle eyelashes, then erased away any noticeable boundaries, resized it down to fit, and aligned it back over eyes, erasing away anything that wasn't eyelash area, then collapsed.

                              8. Added new background with clouds filter and colors sampled from her hair to help the erased edges to blend in, then flattened.

                              Attached Files
                              Last edited by ; 09-06-2002, 07:20 PM.


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