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  • The skin in my edits looks pasty and grey

    Finally plucking up the courage to post in this part of the forum!

    I do a lot of low end retouching for a group at flickr, where people ask us to edit their photographs for them.

    I recently found a series of tutorials that give me just the techniques I wanted for facial edits - except for one thing.....the skin in my edits still often ends up looking grey and pasty. Other people's edits often have a lovely brilliance about them - clear whites and delicate rosy toning - that sort of thing. Mine on the other hand look heavy, and often very grey. I'd be really grateful for any tips to help me improve in this respect.

    Here's an edit I did this morning, using a pic that was posted at sxc by Liannelaan.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: The skin in my edits looks pasty and grey

    Originally posted by Canna W View Post
    Finally plucking up the courage to post in this part of the forum!

    I do a lot of low end retouching for a group at flickr, where people ask us to edit their photographs for them.

    I recently found a series of tutorials that give me just the techniques I wanted for facial edits - except for one thing.....the skin in my edits still often ends up looking grey and pasty. Other people's edits often have a lovely brilliance about them - clear whites and delicate rosy toning - that sort of thing. Mine on the other hand look heavy, and often very grey. I'd be really grateful for any tips to help me improve in this respect.

    Here's an edit I did this morning, using a pic that was posted at sxc by Liannelaan.
    Let me guess.... just one radius and way too low/like 15to21?

    x

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    • #3
      Re: The skin in my edits looks pasty and grey

      Let me guess.... just one radius and way too low/like 15to21?
      I'm sorry but I don't understand that - could you contextualise it a bit please....

      Basically, I used the skin tutorial here....

      http://www.christyschuler.com/retouching.html

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      • #4
        Re: The skin in my edits looks pasty and grey

        What exactly did you do? God mother's referring to the radius of the high pass (if you did suck a thing).
        What work are you comparing your retouch to? Sometimes people think that all the retouch work is done with a 3 step 5 minute technique. Most of the time its a technique that takes hours. search for the Dodge & Burn technique which is the base for most of the high end work...

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        • #5
          Re: The skin in my edits looks pasty and grey

          I think I used a high pass radius of about 11...with just one go at the high pass filter.

          Below is another before and after example - more representative of the bad stuff I do... I actually thought the first one was not too bad... With the girl below I also tried modelling her face a bit, which I have done much too crudely.

          I know about the dodge and burn technique, but it is not appropriate for the quick fixes we do in this group at flickr. There are also lots of other people doing quick fixes there who do it so much better than me.

          I stand in total awe of high end retouches, and maybe one day I will work my way there. This stuff here is a completely different ball game....but a bit of help with it (if possible) would be much appreciated.

          The model below is from sumja at sxc.
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            Re: The skin in my edits looks pasty and grey

            well it might surprise you but the example you posted from flickr doesn't have any highpass technique applied to it most of what I see is healing and clone tools, and adjustment layers for contrast and brightness. The other thing is that the photos are different, the light is better on the example on flickr than both examples you have posted here... I would go with less is more to start with...

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            • #7
              Re: The skin in my edits looks pasty and grey

              This one had a green cast to it, so just choose the green cast and brought down the intensity and and move to red a bit.
              Attached Files

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              • #8
                Re: The skin in my edits looks pasty and grey

                well it might surprise you but the example you posted from flickr doesn't have any highpass technique applied to it most of what I see is healing and clone tools, and adjustment layers for contrast and brightness. The other thing is that the photos are different, the light is better on the example on flickr than both examples you have posted here... I would go with less is more to start with...
                Thank you for coming back on this one. I'm a bit muddled. The technique I used on both these pix involves using the high pass filter. You create 2 layers with skin only on them. The lower layer you blur using surface blur, the upper layer you use with a high pass filter.

                You are right about the healing tool (I used the patch tool under the eyes), and various bits of cloning. You have eagle eyes to see the latter (or I have much to learn!)

                Thank you for the advice less is more. Certainly with the 2nd girl my efforts at modelling her face with light and dark are horrible!

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                • #9
                  Re: The skin in my edits looks pasty and grey

                  This one had a green cast to it, so just choose the green cast and brought down the intensity and and move to red a bit.
                  That is a huge improvement in her colouring. Did you do something like go to hue/saturation and decrease the saturation on the green tab, and then increase the saturation on the red tab?

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                  • #10
                    Re: The skin in my edits looks pasty and grey

                    That would work ok, I did a color shift, color cast.
                    Last edited by MiningArt; 12-29-2009, 02:40 PM. Reason: edit

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                    • #11
                      Re: The skin in my edits looks pasty and grey

                      I don't know about that technique it kind of sounds like the degrunge but you do this on one layer not 2
                      http://retouchpro.com/tutorials/?m=show&id=213 (if you have trouble accesing it just log out of the forum)

                      LOL didn't know you did the retouch on the flickr one as well... Well as you can see you don't need to blur the skin all the time you just have to judge what parts of the portrait need retouch..

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                      • #12
                        Re: The skin in my edits looks pasty and grey

                        That would work ok, I did a color shift, color cast.
                        I'm not familiar with those tools, but if the sat hue thing works okay, then that's fine...

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                        • #13
                          Re: The skin in my edits looks pasty and grey

                          I don't know about that technique it kind of sounds like the degrunge but you do this on one layer not 2
                          http://retouchpro.com/tutorials/?m=show&id=213 (if you have trouble accesing it just log out of the forum)

                          LOL didn't know you did the retouch on the flickr one as well... Well as you can see you don't need to blur the skin all the time you just have to judge what parts of the portrait need retouch..
                          That tutorial looks fantastic. A kind of refinement on the tutorial I was following. I am printing it off as I type, and will do it right now. Thank you!

                          Not sure what you mean by "you don't need to blur the skin all the time you just have to judge what parts of the portrait need retouch.." but I will do the tutorial, and hopefully have a better idea afterwards.

                          Thank you so much for that link...

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                          • #14
                            Re: The skin in my edits looks pasty and grey

                            What I meant with that line is that you don't always have to blur all of the skin or use the technique on all of the skin. There will be times that just adding a technique to a certain part of the skin will "heal" it enough that you don't have to do it everywhere.

                            With the degrunge technique use a low opacity brush on the mask about 20% (play with the final value) if you over do it you'll end up with pasty looking skin. Also do the technique with different values and experiment in working with more than one layer of the technique together to get different looks.

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                            • #15
                              Re: The skin in my edits looks pasty and grey

                              What I meant with that line is that you don't always have to blur all of the skin or use the technique on all of the skin. There will be times that just adding a technique to a certain part of the skin will "heal" it enough that you don't have to do it everywhere.

                              With the degrunge technique use a low opacity brush on the mask about 20% (play with the final value) if you over do it you'll end up with pasty looking skin. Also do the technique with different values and experiment in working with more than one layer of the technique together to get different looks.
                              Thank you very much indeed for explaining.... I will do the tutorial again, trying to incorporate your suggestions.

                              Now, another thing..... In the tutorial he talks about making a duplicate layer and then running the High-pass filter on it. "Look for a radius where the details are visible but the grunge has disappeared." By grunge I think he means blotchiness. I found this really difficult to work out. With regard to the attached image, I wondered what High pass filter radius other people might choose, in order to remove the "grunge".... (It would really help me to get a better idea of what I am looking for, if I know how other people are approaching it....)

                              LATER ADD : No - how silly of me. Please ignore the above para. We are given excellent guidelines for doing this in the tutorial.....
                              Attached Files
                              Last edited by Canna W; 12-31-2009, 10:44 AM. Reason: Made a stupid request and wanted to cancel it.

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