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How to achieve this effect?

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  • How to achieve this effect?

    hello guys,

    I am new here, but I joined to learn some interesting stuff with u guys

    I got a technique I find to be more and more popular and I dont really know how it is done.

    The most interesting thing for me is 1. skin tone 2. details - when zoomed into photos like this one, there is just 1 - 2 skin tones and no skin pores etc.

    The effect is a little bit cartoonish but it is not quite a cartoon stuff here

    Appreciate any help from you guys!

    Sample pictures:

  • #2
    Re: How to achieve this effect?

    Lighting, make up, models, styling, and then, when the photo is made and cleaned up in post, you boost the light by dodging and burning.

    You will not achieve this effect without a properly lit photograph.


    • #3
      Re: How to achieve this effect?

      Flexmanta, I know that, lighting comes from a single beauty dish and is a litlle bit overexposed. Also, a bit more make up than usuall etc. I got all that covered.

      The thing is, that the photo is not processed with D&B only. U can get similar effect by smoothing and then enhancing details, but this way u loose all the color from the photo, also quality is getting really low.

      I am interested in how it is done but in post processing terms


      • #4
        Re: How to achieve this effect?

        Light does not come from a single beauty... on the first one there's at least 3 lights just on her.

        I really don't know what kind of answer you expect, a filter name? That's not the way it works. It's impossible to know, with a well retouched photo, what has been done to it without seeing the before'n'after.


        • #5
          Re: How to achieve this effect?

          Thanks Flexmanta,

          Dont get me wrong, I dont need a plugin name or anything like that. About the light, 1st photo is beauty dish + snoot from the back. The model is pasted onto a backdrop I guess. Anyways - the lights I understand more or less.

          I dont want any plugins or I dont need to copy the setup I am wondering how to achieve the skin like the one on the image. If u look at the face of the model, there are maybe 2 - 3 colors. It is a little bit unnatural, maybe even cartoon-like.

          If u can help me, I am gonna appreciate any tips.

          "That's not the way it works. It's impossible to know, with a well retouched photo, what has been done to it without seeing the before'n'after."

          I know that, I am not asking workflow, plugins and I dont ask how the photo was taken etc. All I am asking about is skin. Also, this is not a classical retouch, it is more of an artistic way to retouch a model. No perfect skin here, exactly oposite. All totaly overdone and changed. I think it is even easier to tell what was changed when looking at a photo like this.

          Flexmanta - I saw loads of your retouches, I respect your workshop, I know you are more into classical retouch, where nobody can tell if the photo was changed. I hope, u might come with an idea, how can u actually overdo some of the techniques used in retouch, to achieve such an effect

          uugh - what a long post


          • #6
            Re: How to achieve this effect?

            Ok, in that case, if you want to know about what was done to the skin, im afraid the answer will be almost the same. Unless you get to see the before and after to see what she had on that skin and what she doesn't have now, there's no way to tell.

            2, tones? Im afraid not. Try gradient mapping a skin in the most realistic way you can just with 2 tones. The duotone on skin for color correcting should only be applied to small areas and with colors picked specifically for the area to be corrected. When you d&b a lot, you often have to deal with decoloration and gradient mapping on different blending modes is always an option. Regarding what was done for getting a flawless skin, well, it's impossible to tell at that size. My opinion is that she didn't even need that much retouch on her skin. There are some photographs of models with perfect skin that really save you time, as you don't have to d&b pores and can easily get away just with healing. Other tecniques can also be called dodging and burning, such as using inverted high passes to tame drastic color and light transitions and smoothing the facial features. In any case, and for almost every needed skin finish, blurring is NEVER the way to go.

            Is there a similarly lit photo that you would like us to work on so you can learn some things?


            • #7
              Re: How to achieve this effect?

              ok, here is the photo, it is straight out of raw, no changes done. The only one I have, that is overexposed, took it while setting up the lights I think it is gonna be fine for what we are trying to do.



              • #8
                Re: How to achieve this effect?

                Fluffy, Welcome to RetouchPRO Hope you enjoy your stay here and make lots of friends. Poke around, ask questions, offer help, have fun!

                The sample lady in the corner I don't think much has been done in post except for cloning out the person or apparatus that held the corner of her cover-up (and they forgot to put the shadow back in!)

                The second sample looks to me like a simple masked Hue/Sat layer with the reds reduced

                I did a basic levels on your original.. then a masked multiply layer to darken the light areas
                used a masked Hue/Sat layer to reduce the reds and yellows some
                darkened lips, eyebrows by painting them black on a new, reduced opacity, overlay layer

                I think it compares pretty well to the second sample

                ~~~ Target ~~~~~ Original ~~~~~ Result ~~
                Attached Files


                • #9
                  Re: How to achieve this effect?

                  Wow, thank you Baldy, I think it is a good direction. Also thanks for welcoming me here, I am watching this forum for quite a while now.

                  I attached 2 more photos within the same style (I think it is all 1 photographer or studio) so u can see exactly the style I am talking about. U are pretty close with the photo u posted, but I think there is just a little thing missing. I am gonna try to do something with the sample u processed, but if u can, check the links I pasted. I cannot find a bigger image anywhere, hope the photos I attached will help u understand me

                  Sorry for my English, didnt use it for a while and its getting rusty



                  • #10
                    Re: How to achieve this effect?

                    Originally posted by Fluffy View Post
                    I think there is just a little thing missing.
                    LOL give me a break .. only spent 5 minutes on your picture..
                    and I totally agree with flexmanta,... to achieve the technique you want "you boost the light by dodging and burning. You will not achieve this effect without a properly lit photograph."

                    The effects you want can readily be achieved with judicial Dodging and Burning (D&B)
                    This is an example of what can be done with D&B (Give it a few seconds to change)

                    A PSD showing the layers and steps can be downloaded here
                    a PDF tutorial can be downloaded here

                    I know this sample is NOT exactly what you want or even close but it is a sample of what is possible on the extreme side
                    The amount of change or cartoonish effect is determined by you, your needs and your skills ..

                    I realize that D&B may not be the answer you want but it is the right one


                    • #11
                      Re: How to achieve this effect?

                      I gave it a shot -

                      -lowered exposure raised recovery in camera raw so I'd have more to work with.
                      -lowered vibrance
                      -tuned color with selective color
                      -used luminosity masks to adjust values
                      -healed/cloned skin
                      -dodge and burn
                      -painted in bright colored makeup on a color blending mode layer
                      -raised vibrance, then used the blend if sliders to fade the yellows
                      -slight lucisart application for the clarity
                      -deconvolution sharpened with smart sharpen (low radius, high amount) to make it crispy
                      -unsharp mask for contrast
                      I'm sure I'm forgetting things. It took about an hour. Ignore my sloppy hair cloning >.>

                      I tried adding bright eyeshadow but it made her look cheap. Feel free to tweak it.
                      Attached Files
                      Last edited by mikedimples; 02-08-2010, 02:06 AM.


                      • #12
                        Re: How to achieve this effect?

                        Wow, Mike, that is really nice retouch, especially that the photo wasnt perfect

                        I am gonna try to use your instructions, BUT I do not understand some of the stuff, if that is cause of my english - sorry for that

                        deconvolution sharpened - I dont know what is deconvolution
                        portraiture - also no clue what that is

                        I am trying to retouch the photo using your instructions as I really like what u ve done with it. I will try to post my effect as soon as I am gonna be happy with my effect


                        • #13
                          Re: How to achieve this effect?

                          Deconvolution is a kind of sharpening. High pass style sharpening increases perceived sharpness through edge contrast. Deconvolution uses an algorithm to "unblur" somehow, I'm not really that familiar with the technical side of it. Smart sharpen works in deconvolution mode if you use a very low radius and a very high amount.

                          Portraiture is a plugin that smooths skin, kind of like surface blur but with more options. I used it to smooth the skin on her shoulder and remove some excess detail in her face. Use sparingly!

                          I probably should have mentioned that the majority of my retouch came from the dodge and burn stage and the airbrushing stage. During dodge and burn, I subtly reshaped her facial structure by altering the shadows and highlights. Airbrushing is where I basically re-painted parts of the model (mainly the separation lighting on her arm/jaw/neck, and some blown out areas).


                          • #14
                            Re: How to achieve this effect?

                            Thank you Mike, I am on it now We'll see how it all goes. I really like your retouch and hope I am gonna be able to achieve a simillar results. All I need is portraiture plugin, but tell me is it really different from smoothing the skin with Lucis Art?

                            Also, how do u use High Pass? with overlay, soft or hard light?



                            • #15
                              Re: How to achieve this effect?

                              Umm, let me comment on this. Im a purist regarding skin retouch. No plugin should ever touch the skin that made it to your camera sensor. It's almost an insult to each cell... haha. Now, what is smooth skin? It's one with no flaws. Pores are not flaws, they are what make skin, skin. So, what yo do to get smooth skin? Get rid of the flaws and only the flaws by dodging and burning and in the bad cases, cloning and healing.

                              Inverted high pass can be used for evening out steep color and light differences. It should be applied selectively and if you obtained the high pass through the apply image procedure, it should be used with the linear light blending mode at 100% if you offset accordingly.


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