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  • Facial reconstruction

    I have tried searching for tips on this subject. If I knew the right key words I might have had better results. I am looking for resources on techniques and guidelines for reconstructing faces. I have a couple of images that have badly blown-out facial areas. In some cases a 1/4 of one side of a face is gone. I am not an artist and, being a man, know very little about makeup techniques. I'm learning to use my Graphire2 but I really stink in freehand drawing.

    Maybe there is a good book I can buy? I have Katrin Eismann's Photoshop Restoration and Retouching, and Martin Evening's Adobe Photoshop for Photographers.

  • #2
    I really stink in freehand drawing. - Kevin
    I'm a longtime member of THAT club! I think it was Mig or some other artist RP member who posted some info about symmetry related to the human face -- like where the ears and eyes should be, so that when restoring an extremely damaged photo, we would know where to attach a new ear, etc.

    Hopefully, someone willl remind us where that post is ("Search" doesn't work too well if I don't remember what term was used in the post...) On the net, I recently found a website with tips for cartoon drawing that included a bit of direction about facial symmetry (see "Horiz_sym" below), and the About webpages have a section on drawing portraits which have some info about facial construction. I knew "approximately" where to replace ears, but having a specific guideline can help when the photo doesn't give many clues.

    Lessons - Drawing Portraits

    Modes of thinking
    Attached Files
    Last edited by CJ Swartz; 12-17-2002, 12:09 AM.

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    • #3
      CJ I too am a member of THAT club. Thanks for the links.

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      • #4
        I just looked at that Horizontal Symmetry diagram and that's great for cartoons and all but that's not very realistic for humans at all. Who's ears are placed that high? Not mine! The middle of my ear falls at the end of my nose, not at the center of my eyes. That's crazy.

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        • #5
          Who's ears are placed that high? -- Alceria
          Hmmm, mine seem to be... Maybe that explains some of the looks I get when I go out...

          We'll all be happy to have someone who knows explain where everything lines up. On one of the links, an artist is drawing a woman and says that people's faces are different, but I'm hoping that there is some rule of thumb for us non-drawing types.

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          • #6
            Hi CJ. Thanks for the links. Some interesting reading. I've done some body part transplanting but that doesn't always work. I'm afraid that my poor hand-eye coordination will always hamper my artistic efforts.

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            • #7
              I'm not sure if this directly answers your question, but for really washed out facial features, I revert to Poser for shadow masks.
              Just get the face pose and features similar to your tattered original and output to grayscale. Blend with either an overlay or soft/hard light layer mode and create a mask to maintain details in the eyes, nose and mouth areas. It's not a cure-all, but it will improve facial features without airbrushing.

              VidKid

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              • #8
                Wow - very intruguing solution VidKid! Great - now I have another application to learn!

                Jeanie

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                • #9
                  That sounds interesting vidkid. How do I get information on Poser?

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                  • #10
                    Kevin, we have a few users of Poser on RetouchPRO, Vidkid obviously among them -- maybe starting a new thread asking for info on Poser would alert them to come chat about their experiences. (I couldn't get the "Search" option here to list threads that mention Poser, but I know it's been mentioned a number of times.)

                    Amazon sells the software, and here's a clip of their description:

                    Amazon.com Product Description
                    Poser 5 is an ideal 3-D character design and animation tool for artists and animators. Create 3-D figures using a diverse collection of ready-to-use 3-D human and animal models. Poser's innovative interface makes figure design, posing, and animating fast and easy. Map facial photos, grow and style dynamic hair, and create dynamic cloth to add extraordinary realism to your figure....

                    The interface is broken down into different rooms: Pose, Material, Face, Hair, Cloth, Setup, and Content. The new Face Room lets you map any face onto a 3-D head using just front and side photos of someone's face. Use the Hair Room to grow actual 3-D hair for figures in just a few steps. Go to the Cloth Room and convert objects into fully dynamic cloth with complete control of behavior. A full, revised reference manual is included....

                    Here's a page that offers tutorials and info -- if you start a new thread, I'll bet you'd get a lot of link referrals.

                    JCH Poser Page

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for the info CJ. That was enough info to let me know what it does. I don't have time for an additional software learning curve right now. I'll have to postpone that to another time. I'm more interested in Photoshop techniques right now that I can apply along with getting used to the tablet. Wish I had more time, and now with Christmas comming next week. Wow where does the time go!

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                      • #12
                        Just to follow up briefly, a high quality photo with the same pose, lighting and similar facial features will achieve the same results. The overlay shadow mask's opacity is reduced to somewhere around 30-50% depending how much detail is required in the face.

                        ____________

                        VidKid

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for the additional tip Vidkid! For those of us with tons of pictures around (I admit, I'm one of them), that's really helpful!

                          Jeanie

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                          • #14
                            Facial reconstruction can be one of the biggest challenges we can encounter as the wrong interpretation of some facial feature can completely alter the whole photo.
                            I've been considering scanning all of the photos in my collection and cropping each facial feature like say the eyes and saving them all to their own individual files. Kind of like those identikit pictures you see police on TV use. So if I have a problem with a particular feature say the nose I can open the file and see a number of variations of noses and maybe use one or part of one for the reconstruction. Scanning them all and setting up the files is going to take some time but I think it may be of some use for those difficult restorations. What do others think? Is it a good idea or a waste of time?

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                            • #15
                              I think that's an excellent idea Sandra. Maybe something like that could be collaborated on, we could all add our own until we have a good sized database of parts to use on restorations, which I think would be really valuable. Maybe a new "Parts Archive" or section of the gallery could be set up for this if theres enough interest?

                              - David

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