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  • Stuck in retouching.

    Hi Guys!

    I've been retouching for about 5-6 years now with some breaks. I know basics and some advanced techniques. I watched: Natalia Taffarel videos, Art of D&B, Kelby Training and some other stuff that I don't remember now. Is there any interesting videos, tutorials for professional fashion retouching? What I should do to improve my skills?

  • #2
    Re: Stuck in retouching.

    The best way to improve you skills is Practice, Practice and again Practice

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Stuck in retouching.

      Originally posted by ---ROB--- View Post
      The best way to improve you skills is Practice, Practice and again Practice
      I disagree, and the OP is looking at the wrong material. Why the hell would anyone need instruction related to the concept of lightening or darkening areas to help blemishes blend into their surroundings? It makes no sense to me. When people swoon over finished work, they are generally unable to see through the various abstractions applied due to their subtlety, and they have to be subtle so that the work doesn't look terrible. There are basically 3 things of importance if you are inexperienced. One is basic foundation skills. These include a real sense of perspective, proportions, and basic color theory. The second is a reasonable level of comfort with the tools. The individual can navigate photoshop and any other software involved. They have at least a comfortable understanding of what various adjustments and blending modes do. They can draw straight or curved lines with a graphics tablet that do not waver or skew. Third they need to understand their subjects. If they're people, it's important to understand their structure. Having some basic understanding of various lighting conditions helps as they are highly contextual.

      The advice to just keep doing what you're doing is why so many people plateau. It's too easy to fall into a hypnotic state if that is how you are guided, and it won't translate well to actual jobs where you have some kind of budget and time limit. I can probably think up a good reading list. Videos that instruct people how to burn and dodge are a ridiculous concept and a waste of money, as that has nothing to do with the vision for a given image. It might be interesting if such videos went into real problem solving and indicated how they attempted to find a solution to various requests, but no one I've asked has indicated anything of the sort. If you're going to pay for video content, it should be something that really addresses an inductive method of problem solving in the work. Otherwise it's just a set of muscle memory exercises, and that is ridiculous.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Stuck in retouching.

        Thank you for answers. Klev what would you recommend, any videos or books? I think the best way is to watch real time retouching of pro but it is of course impossible... I still can't achieve look of pros like you can see in vouge or similar publications.

        Yes it's true that you can watch final result of pro retouched photos but you still don't know HOW:

        http://st1le.org/wp-content/uploads/...n_Schuller.jpg
        http://www.gosee.de/images/content/s...1_562b79a7.jpg
        http://wearesodroee.files.wordpress....13-2014-11.png

        Skin looks so brith, clean, nice and it's not too over D&B. Nice contrast, all details are fine and some "pro" look.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Stuck in retouching.

          Well, the first one... nose definitely gives it away as the texture is a bit softer then on the cheek for example.

          Second one plays with colours a lot, the ground, skirt, glove, skin, stockings and sky are cooler, yellow details in the clothing are warmer, and soem of that is applied to hair, and the gate looks coloured a bit, too.

          Third one has all the busts DNBed to look perfect, and the dresses are all coloured individually. Lots of dnb with channel selected on the garments to give them contrast. Could also be selective colour adjustments.

          Basically, I can say form my experience as I was lost often, too.

          You do this:

          Make sure the exposure is right in conversion, and that you don't clip anything if it badly affects other areas(in that case you might want to do a couple of conversions).

          Now, remove all the distractions.

          Once it's clean, you'll notice that colour is off in some areas. You make them blend.

          Now, you'll notice that it's flat in some areas. You add contrast using DNB, contrast adjustments...

          Once that is done, you go on top, select the areas you want to contrast by colour, and apply your colour palette.

          So texture>lighting>color.

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          • #6
            Re: Stuck in retouching.

            Originally posted by szeryf1989 View Post
            Hi Guys!

            I've been retouching for about 5-6 years now with some breaks. I know basics and some advanced techniques. I watched: Natalia Taffarel videos, Art of D&B, Kelby Training and some other stuff that I don't remember now. Is there any interesting videos, tutorials for professional fashion retouching? What I should do to improve my skills?
            If you have access to Lynda, I recommend these tutorials by Timothy Sexton:

            http://www.lynda.com/Timothy-Sexton/1131948-1.html

            He's a senior retoucher at Gloss Studios here in NYC, an honest to god working fashion retoucher.
            I've picked up some great tips from watching these, and I've been at it professionally for a while now. Retouching is a career-long learning process.

            As far as your examples go, do not discount that the photography,styling, and casting were great to begin with. From my experience, working from the raw images of more established photographers shows that they simply do their jobs better than more up and coming or amateur photographers.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Stuck in retouching.

              Tim Sexton is the real deal! I second that... I have personally worked with him.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Stuck in retouching.

                Hi there szeryf1989, So far i've worked for a creative agency and a few jewelry companies and fashion people and i was suprised by some of the stuff they did to achieve the end result...something I wouldnt do but the client cant tell the difference and they dont care how its made, they just wanted the end result. I am relatively new to the retouching side of things and i find myself always looking up new ways of doing things, or just new techniques in general for retouching. Ive watched so many videos, read a quite a few handful of tutorials online and ive come to realize some techniques are good to get things done quicker and fake things such as texture. Others are meant to keep things more natural. The best one ( IMO ) is frequency seperation. Theres programs that can help with these kinda things. I use portraiture for my LF but havent found anything for HF yet. Im speaking in the sense of speeding things up with best results possible.

                The best tutorial ive come across, as far as keeping natural skin details and smooth color blemishes, is in this video:

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJycRWd13vo

                its quite long but the guy does a good explanation. The reason i brought it up is bc when i viewed the first link u posted i felt as if there was skin textured that seemed fake ( i might be wrong ). It seemed like it around the nose (by the shadows ), in the forehead ( spotty areas ) and the bottom left side of the chin. Seems to me they used 50% grey, add noise and embossed it a bit with opacity on low or masked it out a bit to smooth things out. seems like it.

                As far as improving ur skills go, I think the best thing is to find ways to do things accurately and fast as hell. Some people would not honestly care if you spend 3 hours doing something that can be achieved in 5 mins using a software, plug-in or downloaded action scripts. They just want the end result. I know of someone that can edit over 100 images for a lookbook in under an hour, yet it takes me a bit longer than i anticipated to do the same thing. The reason is, they have done it so much that they just dont care about perfections. The final look result is the same to the client. I guess what im trying to say is, achieve what the client 'wants' vs 'technicalities' in the image. The less work u put on urself and the faster u can get those results that the clients 'wants' to see in his final image, the better it will make u look. Also dont forget that the less u spend in retouching the more u enjoy life in general. Life's too short to spend it working all the time.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Stuck in retouching.

                  I don't advise portraiture or splits for most retouching especially hi end. I like the split for wrinkles in clothes I have used it for that. f.y.i. the skin on that video looks plastic a sure fire way not to get hired. Just from the sound of the video he is concerned with short cuts and he hasn't gone past that.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Stuck in retouching.

                    well ive used the same technique but haven't gone that extreme to erase the lines. I like to keep my images good on their pores and portraiture helps gets LF done faster as for HF i use high pass on linear light and then use either a low opacity or mask in/out certain areas on the high pass layer.
                    I see nothing wrong with splits and i think in the end it comes down to how far the retoucher takes it. Like i said earlier clients would care less how long it takes u to do something, all they care are about is the end results. Give the client what they asked and do it fast, accurately and with less time as possible.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Stuck in retouching.

                      Thank's voidsource, RobertGarcia, eraanexact and skoobey for replies. It's great to get opinions of pros. First of all I will watch Tim Sexton videos.

                      Skin retouch? I use Spilt and healing brush tool on HP for basic cleaning and next I use D&B to organize shadows and highlights. Recently I noticed that D&B soften the skin and it's easy to overuse (doing plastic look)... Is there any more Hi-end technique? voidsource maybe your video example will be better? (I didn't watch it so far)

                      Do you know any interesting videos to get more information about chanels and using it to protect textures?
                      Last edited by szeryf1989; 12-25-2013, 05:19 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Stuck in retouching.

                        i think people are focusing much on what the end result is on that video when the idea was to show how u can get rid of issues known while doing D&B. I dont know if anyone actually saw the entire video as it will show u what my focus is on it.
                        Everything is good with moderation. D&B is good but doing it by strokes can be a real pain in the ass. Hence the video that gives u an inside as to how to do it faster. Frequency splits are probably the best method as skin retouching goes. I dont see or have seen anything else that can as good as that and that is used more constantly than that.

                        szeryf1989, i think if u watch that video ( yes i know its long and it might get boring ) but if u watch it in its full without forwarding u will know why the guy does it like so. In the end he gets really good results, as far as plastic looking goes i think he might have gone a bit too far but it also depends on the persons point of view. Ive seen d&B overused to the point where u loose texture on it and then people 'make' texture using noise, which to me is like u could have avoided that if u did a fq split.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Stuck in retouching.

                          Originally posted by voidsource View Post
                          Ive seen d&B overused to the point where u loose texture on it and then people 'make' texture using noise, which to me is like u could have avoided that if u did a fq split.
                          That's incorrect. The reason is that you could remove texture no matter how you split them up. All it requires is that one layer exerts enough influence to cause details to blend in. It's not difficult to prove. The real way to deal with this would be to pay attention to what you're doing, not rely on the software to make the right decision.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Stuck in retouching.

                            im not talking about software though im talking about using a layer for ur d&b.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Stuck in retouching.

                              Originally posted by voidsource View Post
                              im not talking about software though im talking about using a layer for ur d&b.
                              You'll find that if you post on a forum, there's an enormous spectrum of comprehension within a given topic. What you stated would suggest to many of them that the use of a burn and dodge layer solves the problem of overdoing the work. It doesn't. You can always overdo it regardless of layers. I don't care if you think what is often (somewhat incorrectly) referred to as split frequency prevents this. It doesn't, because it's entirely possible to effectively generate the inverse of the texture on one layer or the other. If you want to avoid overdoing something, you are better served by learning to better analyze the image. That way you don't lose time on work that will be immediately backed off.

                              Comment

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