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  • Dynamic Skin pore textures

    I have noticed a few sites that seem to advocate use of skin pore textures in retouching as oppose to 'a 6 hour dodge and burn' session.

    I just wanted to know what are your views on this. Not wanting to get into a bad habit I thought I would ask for peoples opinions here first.

  • #2
    Re: Dynamic Skin pore textures

    You should trust your instincts, you already suggest that this 'may' be a bad habit to get into. For all the people that tell you that there's no quick and easy solution to professional results, they'll be many more that will tell you there are.

    I can tell you, from my perspective that there are no shortcuts. But who will you believe?
    Trust your instincts and you'll know what to do.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Dynamic Skin pore textures

      nah, stay away from that bs.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Dynamic Skin pore textures

        what's next?
        replacing hair with hair?

        i agree, trust your instincts on it.
        if you feel the need to go that extra mile or if it turns out to be a shortcut for you pursue it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Dynamic Skin pore textures

          IMO, not for retouching. Very useful for restoration work. Why ? The premise with retouching is that you are working from a high resolution, well composed image in which the skin contains natural pores and those pores are evident in the image. The intent is to simply improve them, not replace them. You are looking for color variation, blemishes, skin damage, etc., all of which the human eye is wonderful at determining when the repair looks natural in the final image.

          In restoration work, there may be no skin in an general area of the face, such as one side of the face is missing or damaged. You may not be able to find matching skin from another area of the image. So, you must resort to borrowing skin from someone else, or applying textures from sources like you speak of. As improvements in software become available, these sources will certainly have more application in restoration work. However, the human eye and a patient hand are hard to beat for the art of retouch work.

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          • #6
            How I Use Dynamic Skin Pores

            I have used Dynamic Skin Pore Textures for quite a while.

            They are very efficient and effective to enable me to do a good retouch job very quickly and with good quality. Sometimes neither myself nor my clients can afford to spend the time or the money doing a 6 hour dodge and burn on the best 5 images in a shoot...thats almost an entire week of just retouching. So thats where the dynamic skin pores come in. They allow me to retouch an image believably in 10 to 15 minutes. The Dynamic part of the skin pores means that the pores match the look of the different kinds of skin on a face, and that they can be precisely positioned on the face or body and then continue to be adjustable in position, strength and intensity until you are satisfied with the effect. You just adjust the positioning and the intensity and blending until it appears correct to your own eye and judgment and needs.

            When I retouch quickly I leave a lot of obvious smooth areas on the face where I have made corrections. These dynamic skin pores are used to add the underlying textures back in so that the smoothing areas and spots no longer stand out. I used to be heavy handed...so im learning how to be more subtle.

            Its hard to say in words what this looks like...so im going to try to see if I can make up a quick video clip to show what I mean. I have an image im working on tonight which is a medium quality image with dark eye bags under the eyes and has blotchy skin...so it might be an OK image to show what I mean... This is just a quick screen capture at lower res so the video may be a bit soft...it should be a bit better at full size on a 1024 screen. Here is the link:

            http://screencast.com/t/vCcwbEtIVMs

            Edit: Yep, you can see it pretty well... But... Im going to see if I can do a better and maybe higher resolution capture job later on when I have some more time. This just gives you the general idea of what they are and how I use them. Higher res makes the file size bigger so its a trade-off.
            Last edited by ray12; 10-05-2009, 11:50 PM.

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            • #7
              Re: Dynamic Skin pore textures

              Ray, thanks for posting the video... Just wondering where your skin pore textures come from?

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              • #8
                Re: Dynamic Skin pore textures

                Hi Praha,

                The skin pore textures come from NYC models that were hired for their skin beauty. They were specially photographed and then the skin was extracted and then processed for re-usability in Photoshop. The different pore sets are now Photoshop plug-ins of a kind...they are stored in and work through the adjustment layers function... because we wanted them to be selectable, transparent, positionable and blendable. A while back we used to create manual skin pore texture masks and sheets...but now this newer methodology is much faster and versatile for us to re-use.

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                • #9
                  Re: Dynamic Skin pore textures

                  So where to get them if possible?

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                  • #10
                    Re: Dynamic Skin pore textures

                    I have a couple of questions for you Ray12
                    Do you use such a big brush when you're using the clone and healing tool?
                    Would it not be easier to do that with Dodge and burn? Meaning, you could of killed the eye bag with a big brush set to maybe 20 or 30 opacity in maybe 5 clicks (specially if you've got practice).
                    I understand that for practical uses specially clients can't really tell the difference, I'm also wondering if this works with all kinds of photos as different lighting would get different texture on skin, do you have any examples where DOF isn't as shallow to see it work on a face that big part of it is in focus and with texture?

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                    • #11
                      Re: Dynamic Skin pore textures

                      Originally posted by wizprod View Post
                      So where to get them if possible?
                      I second that question, where do you get these skin pore plug-ins for PS CS4, MacBook?

                      Steve

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                      • #12
                        Re: Dynamic Skin pore textures

                        Originally posted by SteveB2005
                        I second that question, where do you get these skin pore plug-ins for PS CS4, MacBook?
                        I somehow could bet that they're available on his website ;-): http://glamourretouching.com/skinporepatterns1.html

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Dynamic Skin pore textures

                          me walks in the thread

                          reads everything

                          restrains herself

                          goes away

                          x

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Dynamic Skin pore textures

                            Hi Curveo79,

                            Question on the dodge and burn.

                            When I look at skin retouching issues on a face I sometimes ask myself 3 questions:

                            1.) Is the problem area caused by a difference in brightness?
                            2.) Is the problem area caused by a difference in colors?
                            3.) Is the problem area caused by a problem in underlying texture?

                            If I can "identify" any of these specific issues in an area...then I know what kind of problem im working with...and then I may have several ways of dealing with or approaching the problem.


                            If its a brightness problem...yes, I totally agree with you... that a D+B approach would be a great way to go. As an aside...As you go along in retouching... you begin to realize that there are usually several "very different" ways you can approach "the same" problem" in Photoshop. It depends on the retouchers personal experience, their present preferences, what works for them today, and where they "are" in the journey of retouching "artistry". We are all looking to grow our methods...and we are all on the lookout for new "tricks" to solve problems that vex us. So its OK to think and approach a single problem in Photoshop with different viewpoints. Most of us are heading for pretty much the same city anyway...but each of us is on different tracks. So I might approach a brightness problem in one way...and you might approach it in a different way. In Photoshop...we might both be right!

                            So, Back to point...If its a color difference that is causing the issue...(lets say like the difference of colors around a wrinkle or a skin tone unevenness) then D+B is not the right set of tools...maybe something like a selective adjustment layer could be good.

                            BUT, If its a bad texture issue...(like my deeply fissured and textured eye bag in this video) then that is a deeper problem. Even if I fix the brightness and color issues... it could be that the bad texture problem underneath may still show up... even after brightness and color correction...and still be offensive to me and the model. The texture in this models eyes shows us that she really needs some sleep. Thats an embarrassing look for many people. So, we wanted to give her a new, more graceful, under the eye texture was our evaluation. In the past I would have wanted to get rid of the crevice all together...BUT then... I would be left with a "soft smooth spot". That retouched area would have looked "very obvious" in the past because there were NO skin pore details left in the retouched area at all! Yuck! Un-real! Total smoothness. That's the problem we wanted to overcome. That is why we saw the need for add-on skin pore textures for ourselves...to make our necessary retouching efforts look more like skin... and less like plastic. We use the skin pore replacements to allow us to retouch much faster, and to look more realistic than we were able to before. Are they perfect?...Hardly anything is perfect. But this methodology allows us to retouch 4-6 client acceptable images in an hour rather than to work the whole solid day on just one Dodge and Burn picture. It depends on what we think our time is worth...and what the client says he wants to budget or pay for this image. Today, the new marketplace sometimes only wants to pay 5-20 bucks for an image that looks good. The worth of peoples time... and the new economy have forced us to try to look at things somewhat differently in our business side of things.

                            In the video example, I was just showing a typical example of what I was working on that night. It may not have been the best image... or the perfect methodology...but I thought I would just show what we are doing with skin pore add-ins. Having skin pore add-ins does simplify our workflow and it does create some new ways of approaching images that are very different from what we were doing even last year. Making soft retouch spots, or harmonized skin colors, look less plastic, and less obvious, and more-so like real skin, is the direction we are working to go in.

                            Because the pores are totally adjustable in position, kind, intensity, depth and lighting direction... we are able to make the same retouch edit look more naturalistic or more idealistic in the same session. So we are often having to have the end-client look at the image and tell us what their preferred levels are. This is a touchy area with people. This skin thing... the softness, the naturalness, the pores look, smoothing, electronic foundation... is so highly individualistic...that it is only the "paying end-client" who can really judge what they want "this time" in "this image" for "this budget cycle" and for "this project". Its a real guessing game and a balancing act in many ways. Everybody has their own "sometimes strong" individualized opinion when they see an image...its just like art. Sometimes I see the same art very differently than even the person next to me. We try to make our retouches as totally adjustable as we can from the start... because starting an image over again... because you "guessed" the client the wrong way... is a real pain. So for us, non destructive editing, and things like adjustable skin pores, and adjustable everything, makes a lot of sense. Apologize for mixing business with art...but sometimes retouching is like art...and sometimes financial considerations enter into the artistic side of things...unfortunately.
                            Last edited by ray12; 10-07-2009, 11:50 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Dynamic Skin pore textures

                              Thank you for your detailed explanation.

                              Regarding the video example you where working on I found it weird that you used such a big brush specially on a macro on the face, normally I would use a smaller brush maybe 6 pixels and then work only on the texture of the eye bag if it bothered me at all (which in the end you just added kind of the same texture) and work with the eye bag as a "shadow" problem instead of erasing it off.
                              My approach is to work with the healing and clone tools to take away the bad "unique" (unique in the sense that they don't repeat, like really big pores) textures that are just going to be problematic (meaning more work) in D&B, rarely do I work the clone or healing tool with such big brushes because you end up with that problem you described in the video, and the result is exactly what "broader" D&B would of taken care of, hence why I only would use them in a circumstance where the texture of the skin (forget about the eye bag since you're going to make it disappear with D&B) is "good" or "bad".

                              As I mentioned I use D&B in two applications, 1 the broader and 2 the details. The broader would of taken care of the shadow part of the eye bag (which most of the time just leaves the texture intact) leaving you no need to "re attach" skin texture later. Of course D&B isn't without its extras, like "repairing" skin color that D&B accentuated (when darkening highlights or lightening shadows).

                              As I asked in my post, I would like to see an example where you can see more texture and see if works by using the "skin texture" replacement technique. Because in the example you posted in the video I still would of used D&B as an alternative (since the skin texture wasn't really apparent on it nor would I consider "bad").

                              I am putting you in a little bind since I only retouch my own work, so from the beginning I work to get the photo as "good" as my knowledge and hardware lets me "in camera".

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