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  • Retouching dirty floors

    Our studio photographs dance portraits every year, and at each dance studio, we have about 100 pictures to retouch. We use a white background and use Adobe Photoshop to touch up the dirty spots where people tracked on the floor. It takes me many hours to do this, and I'm wondering if I'm doing it the most efficient way. I would like to get some advice from the community on any methods out there I don't know about.

  • #2
    Retouching dirty floors

    We recently photographed dance portraits at two dance studios on a white background. Altogether, I have about 200 images to retouch. I have two major problems to fix: Scuff marks on the floor and heavy shadows. I have been using the brush tool and the clone tool to clean this up, but it is very time-consuming, and my brush keeps leaving "trails" that I have to fix as well. I am trying to find another method that is more efficient and effective. I am running out of time, and the method I'm using is taking many hours. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thank you in advance for your help.

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    • #3
      Re: Retouching dirty floors

      There's a good chance someone may be able to give you valuable timesaving advice. But you need to post examples. Every scenario is different.

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      • #4
        Re: Retouching dirty floors

        I am not in my studio office right now, so I don't have access to any of my files. I will try to post an example later this evening.

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        • #5
          Re: Retouching dirty floors

          Ideal world only!- If you shot with the camera in the same position throughout the shoot you could retouch the floor once, use it as layer on the other images (assuming the same magnification) and paint/restore the good floor through a layer mask.

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          • #6
            Re: Retouching dirty floors

            Without seeing an example this may be a poor suggestion or overly simplistic. Is there anyway that you could use selection of the floor and copy and paste it over the problem areas? Is the floor patterned or a single color?

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            • #7
              Re: Retouching dirty floors

              Wouldn't that be nice! :-) Unfortunately, that's not the case. Am I the only one who has this problem? How does everyone else handle this?

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              • #8
                Re: Retouching dirty floors

                Haha; Post a pic and you'll no doubt get some good suggestions.

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                • #9
                  Re: Retouching dirty floors

                  What kind of background do you use? IF you use roll paper you can unroll more paper to remove dirt spots during the shoot. You can also ask people to clean the bottom of their shoes (supply what's needed to do that), and ask them to keep off the paper unless they are being shot.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Retouching dirty floors

                    True, an example would help. Ideally your shots are tripod-based and the problem areas are similar in all shots.

                    Does popping Levels brighten up the white areas (or would you get blowout)?

                    Maybe use the Mop tool, ha!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Retouching dirty floors

                      I see we have two threads with this question by the same OP; perhaps they can be merged.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Retouching dirty floors

                        You could shoot the floor while it's clean. Use that as a background layer behind all your images and just paint in clean floor.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Retouching dirty floors

                          Sorry, I'm new to this. I wasn't sure if the first one posted so I posted another one. I don't know how to merge them together. Thank you all for the suggestions, even the funny ones! :-) Crazyfly1, good suggestion - I actually do have a clean background I can use, but my question is, how do I do this while saving my shadows? I want the pictures to look realistic. Plugnpixels, thank you - I have popped my levels as much as I can without blowing out detail. The spots are still there. We'll have to talk to the creators of Adobe Photoshop about a mop tool! :-) Shoku, yes, we do use roll paper, and we could keep rolling it out, but we use the same roll of paper for different shoots until we run out, so rolling it all out during one shoot seems like a waste. Actually, believe it or not, they did wipe their feet. We taped a towel to the floor in front of the background, and every dancer wiped her feet, but it still didn't help. PastBCPresent, I like your idea, too. That works well until you get to the shadowed areas, and then it gets tricky. Okay, you all want pics, so here's a couple of examples. Every photo is different - different poses, different props, girls of all different ages and sizes. Now, do you see the challenge?
                          Last edited by dbphotos97; 04-27-2013, 02:28 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Retouching dirty floors

                            Have you tried using dust and scratches on the floor and shadow area only?
                            Or maybe to a gradient on the floor and then brush the shadows back in a bit.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Retouching dirty floors

                              Okay, I just tried using Dust & Scratches, and it worked! I have actually tried doing that before, but I didn't adjust the radius and threshold enough, and it didn't appear to be working. But, this time, I put the radius at 100 and the threshold at 0, and it worked great. You can't get too close to the subject or props because it will bleed, but what I did is take smaller selections close to the subject and use the clone tool to clean up what was left, which wasn't much. There is no perfect solution, but this is much better than what I was doing, and quicker, too. Thank you so much, ksparticus. Can you explain your second suggestion further, about the gradient? I didn't follow that. Also, I would like to thank everyone who helped brainstorm with me? This forum has been so helpful!
                              Last edited by dbphotos97; 04-27-2013, 11:15 AM. Reason: clarify

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