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  • New to RetouchPro—Thread Suggestions + Question

    Hello, world!

    I'm brand new to RetouchPro, and figured I'd ask the community for some thread suggestions.

    I'm a professional retoucher with a BFA in photography. I've been using photoshop for many years, but am relatively new to retouching professionally. Accordingly, my photoshop proficiency is fairly high, but my retouching proficiency is fairly low—I'm hoping to optimize my workflow, find tips and tricks that make common processes faster and better, and learn to solve more advanced problems.

    I have a question for the community right up front, I'm sure there is a dedicated thread somewhere, I'd love to have the link. I'm wondering what folk's techniques are for precisely selecting low contrast areas precisely.

    In my case, I'm working on a project for a client who has a line of shampoos and shaving products. The bottles are all white, and they're printed with grey and light color text. They hired a "lifestyle" shooter to make the pictures, but want a more product oriented look. Because of the "lifestyle" lighting (read: 100% ambient) the text often overlaps shadows (and coincides very closely in value), making it tricky to even out the tone of the bottles without brightening the text too much. Accordingly, I want to select the text in order to precisely mask it out.

    I spent two hours last night using quick selection, lassos and pen tool along with smart radius and refine edge to get a solid selection, but the project is 100+ pictures, so this approach is obviously not sustainable.

    They also happened to use a tattooed model, and accordingly I need to make similar selections of his tattoos to be able to work on the color and value of skin tones and tattoos separately.

    (images attached)

    Thanks in advance for your guidance, and sorry for the unreasonably long first post! I'm looking forward to getting to know all of you.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: New to RetouchPro—Thread Suggestions + Questio

    Stating the obvious perhaps but it would have been easier to comp 3 focussed shots and create the ambience with blurs and curves. I wouldn't bother retouching the text; much easier to reset it and blend it into the bottle - your customer will want logo and text to be pristine and with minimum distortion whilst remaining plausible as packaging. I would also tidy up the shapes so that the products were symmetrical individually and as a group. The reflections are rather fussy aswell and I would graduate them to zero opacity to about half. Hopefully you have a bit more density in the originals that will enable you to enhance the curvature and light roll-off etc. If all the products are tubes and jars you should be able to make a tool kit of standard gradations that simulate light and shade edge roll-off. Don't worry about it looking over retouched - that will give it a premium look. Sounds like a good earner!

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    • #3
      Re: New to RetouchPro—Thread Suggestions + Questio

      Thanks for your reply! I couldn't agree more on comping multiples—I do much more architecture retouching than product, and feel like a fish out of water without different exposures to comp in. I like the idea of resetting the text—client actually asked me to recreate the logo in illustrator this morning anyhow.

      In terms of gradations, I see that lots of people on here really like to use them, but I haven't had much success with using them for anything other than lightening and darkening corners etc. Any tips or tricks in terms of using gradients to shape forms and/or remove glare? (I do a fair bit of work on cars, and everyone suggests using gradients to hide reflections in the paintwork.)

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