Forums > Digital Art and Retouching > Let's Talk About Carving

Retoucher

Robert LC

Posts: 944

Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands

Michael C Pearson wrote:
You need to have an overall idea of the form you're going for. This will guide whether you dodge the dark spot or burn all the light skin around the dark spot. It's not always in the best interest of the image to just dodge a dark spot.

Completely agree, however I have to admit that I find it sometimes (jobs where the client has a tight budget/deadline) easier/faster to just 'smooth a gradient' when there's a lot of grunge, and carve later.
Generally though, I like to be as efficient possible (and Dodging something which you later are going to burn is really not) so that the carving is really a creative process for adding depth and enhance/change features and leave the 'smoothing' part to DnB.

To help seeing your changes, a nice help can be duplicating your window and set one on a zoomed out scale, while working more zoomed in on the other:

http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRTbTrRuscyDHXkdCPlVavlpTexwDkZd4kIExi4aRptlQJGv5E-

MP, I see you're using your full name now, the world better recognizes smile

Jan 12 12 11:02 am Link

Photographer

Julian Marsalis

Posts: 1191

Austin, Texas, US

nebulaoperator wrote:
...
following  Stecyk  and Lanenga animate gif conversion tips I made it but! if we want   to make sure that no website will ever use them in any way  how do we get gif file on here  without using external service ( link )?

You can't sad but true once it's on the net nothing you can do to stop peeps really if they want to steal it. The only way to not have your work stolen on the net is just not ever post your work on the net...

Jan 12 12 12:23 pm Link

Photographer

Julian Marsalis

Posts: 1191

Austin, Texas, US

More carvings plz lol.

Mar 06 12 08:20 am Link

Retoucher

Ovidiu Oltean

Posts: 179

Sibiu, Sibiu, Romania

This topic should not die.

Sep 26 12 11:31 pm Link

Photographer

Dan OMell

Posts: 1335

Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia

updates, please!

Sep 27 12 01:05 am Link

Photographer

kerouaq

Posts: 8

Honiton, England, United Kingdom

Taking a slightly esoteric view of "carving" where its adding more depth to an image by adding highlights and shadows - I've been using this method: re-exposing a digital negative (once to capture highlights, once for shadows, and a "base" layer, and then re-exposing for specific parts of the image - eg, eyes, teeth, lips etc..) and using masks and various layering methods to carve out a better image.

I know its not strictly the DnB carving style but just another tool that helps get the job done.

Sep 27 12 02:36 am Link

Retoucher

AKMac

Posts: 330

London, England, United Kingdom

I wonder whether anybody would be interested in using white chalk, charcoal and grey paper to develop their awareness of tonal modelling (to use the traditional term). It might surprise those who are unfamiliar with these media how fast they can produce work. Erasing, smudging and many other techniques can be used, and working at speed is easy. You could knock out twenty or thirty tonal sketches in the time it takes to do one D&B image. And getting your hands dirty is very good for you.

Sep 27 12 02:05 pm Link

Photographer

Dan OMell

Posts: 1335

Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia

yes, I would be interested in the digital version of this technique, even in the old Flemish  6 steps technique if it's appropriate. or it's too far-fetched?

Sep 28 12 12:26 pm Link

Retoucher

AKMac

Posts: 330

London, England, United Kingdom

I think that might be going a wee bit over the top, Dan.

Sep 28 12 02:03 pm Link

Photographer

NothingIsRealButTheGirl

Posts: 33594

Los Angeles, California, US

Sculpting The Face - Webinar with Ryan Kingslien

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEiBYgBmhH0

Nov 27 12 11:26 pm Link

Retoucher

Ovidiu Oltean

Posts: 179

Sibiu, Sibiu, Romania

Face Sculpting by Amy Dresser
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kG31bW0yka4

Jan 12 13 08:02 am Link

Retoucher

Peano

Posts: 4106

Lynchburg, Virginia, US

About opacity and flow ...

Regarding high opacity and low flow, versus low opacity and high flow: A point I don't think has been made
in the discussion above is about the difference in the quality of the gradient you get with each method.

Illustration:

- Pen pressure controls off (or just use a mouse)
- Color pure black
- Brush size 150 px
- Brush hardness 0%
- Repeated strokes to build up a dark center fading at the edges

Draw your own conclusions.

http://img801.imageshack.us/img801/2654/flow3.jpg

Feb 02 13 01:28 pm Link

Photographer

Mask Photo

Posts: 1404

Fremont, California, US

Peano wrote:
About opacity and flow ...

Peano, I've noticed that I get lots of step-chunks if I use brushes with any spacing, so i turn spacing off, and i get a much smoother stroke. It does, however, increase the flow significantly. Am I doing something dumb?

Feb 03 13 08:04 pm Link

Retoucher

Peano

Posts: 4106

Lynchburg, Virginia, US

Mask Photo wrote:
Peano, I've noticed that I get lots of step-chunks if I use brushes with any spacing, so i turn spacing off, and i get a much smoother stroke. It does, however, increase the flow significantly. Am I doing something dumb?

I guess it depends on what job you're doing. If you're using a 100% hard brush and need to draw clean edges, you might need to drop the spacing. But with a 0% hard brush and the setting I used above, I got a smooth gradient with the brush left at the default 25% spacing.

Feb 04 13 05:13 am Link

Photographer

Simon Jackson

Posts: 118

Manchester, England, United Kingdom

Found this incredibly helpful thread whilst trying to find info on carving. Not done much proper photoshop retouching in a while so needed a bit of a refresher. Anyway, here's the photo i worked on straight from the camera, followed by my retouched version:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/--O0nqj0z0Dw/UQo2m1MRoMI/AAAAAAAAQTc/eLajIgDtnGU/s1200/DSC_2091_orig_srgb.jpg
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-61fLOKOxARo/UTR_jW9z4XI/AAAAAAAAQgs/0YMnu7U5Q6g/s1200/DSC_2091_sRGB11-001.jpg

I'm not completely happy with it, but i think i reached that point where i was going round in circles to some extent. I decided it was best to call this one done and move on to another. I might come back to it later, but I think attempting a broad range of shots with a broad range of lighting is the best idea at this stage in order to learn/practice more. Carving doesn't come naturally to me at all! I'm not a natural artist, especially not in 3 dimensions, so trying to shade accurately on faces etc involves a lot of trial and error. Thanks for the resources on planes of the face too! I copied a little jpeg from one of those sites and had it has a layer in my PS document so i could be looking at it whilst i worked. Was invaluable. As I said, I don't think I'm there with it yet, but hopefully if i keep practising on different faces in different lighting i'll get to a point where the anatomy of the face comes more naturally to me. I'm also tempted to purchase one of those heads so i can light it myself and experiment!

EDIT: new version - re-worked his face a bit. Much happier with it.

Feb 14 13 05:17 am Link

Photographer

Simon Jackson

Posts: 118

Manchester, England, United Kingdom

Peano wrote:
About opacity and flow ...

Regarding high opacity and low flow, versus low opacity and high flow: A point I don't think has been made in the discussion above is about the difference in the quality of the gradient you get with each method.

Illustration:

- Pen pressure controls off (or just use a mouse)
- Color pure black
- Brush size 150 px
- Brush hardness 0%
- Repeated strokes to build up a dark center fading at the edges

Draw your own conclusions.

A lot of the early stuff i read around d&b retouching (correction or carving) suggested a low opacity rather than flow. I got quite frustrated at first trying to make this work, especially for carving. I found smooth gradients impossible to achieve. I decided to to ditch that method, stick opacity all the way up and use very low flow, and that's now my preferred technique. I usually use 1% flow for correction and between 1% and 3% for carving. For me this felt a lot more natural - more how i'd expect a felt tip to work, or something like that. I suppose to some extent it depends how your brain is wired.

Feb 14 13 05:28 am Link

Photographer

Feverstockphoto

Posts: 595

London, England, United Kingdom

The hand tool, spacebar shaking image to catch something i use this technquie for examining images for things like sensor spots, artifacts etc... I use the word jiggle, 'jiggling the image around' smile.

Anyway back to reading! smile.

Feb 14 13 01:16 pm Link

Retoucher

Megan E Griscom

Posts: 453

Bordentown, New Jersey, US

Lanenga wrote:

Create 2 layers (make sure not of them are locked).
1 with the before
1 with the after

Open animation palette. Window > Animation
Both layers will show up on the timeline.

Drag corresponding timeline to start later than the other.

Optionally change overall durration by draggin main timeline.

File > Save for web

Change to GIF

Bottom right corner turn looping on.

Save

I have CS6 extended and there is no 'animation' in the window drop list...

Feb 21 13 03:42 pm Link

Photographer

NothingIsRealButTheGirl

Posts: 33594

Los Angeles, California, US

Megan E Griscom wrote:
I have CS6 extended and there is no 'animation' in the window drop list...

He probably means 'Timeline' down at the bottom

Or Window > Workspace > Motion

Feb 21 13 03:57 pm Link

Photographer

Julian Marsalis

Posts: 1191

Austin, Texas, US

Ugh I could really use a class in this I think lol...

Jun 10 13 12:15 pm Link

Photographer

Ruben Vasquez

Posts: 3115

Puyallup, Washington, US

Julian Marsalis wrote:
Ugh I could really use a class in this I think lol...

Natalia suggested to take drawing lessons once. Definitely some of the best advice I've taken.

Jun 10 13 12:26 pm Link

Photographer

Julian Marsalis

Posts: 1191

Austin, Texas, US

Ruben Vasquez wrote:

Natalia suggested to take drawing lessons once. Definitely some of the best advice I've taken.

Yeah I use to draw tons years ago maybe time to take that back up...

Jun 10 13 02:21 pm Link

Photographer

NothingIsRealButTheGirl

Posts: 33594

Los Angeles, California, US

Michael C Pearson wrote:

Grazian wrote:
as i see you have darkened more in orderer to blend the averall form better, looks clearer and more cleaned up now , now when i look at my 50% grey layers 1st atempt i have made the oposite ive lightened more

Much better! You're a quick learner. A mistake I see lots of dodge and burn newbies making is that they tend to dodge way more than burn.

Grazian wrote:
One thing MP i would like to ask you, when you do your carvings which brush settings do you prefer for the work like opacity and flow i think i need to get a bigger tablet im only using this super small version

I've fine-tuned these settings over the years and they are very specific but work amazingly well if you get it right.

• I use a large Intuos4 for the 2080 (something like that) levels of pressure sensitivity, but the large size is more for digital painting so you can draw with your arm rather than your wrist. A smaller tablet size is fine for retouching.
• I use a program called Tablet Pressure Curve tool which lets you have much more control over the pressure curve than the Wacom configuration tool allows (it allows you to reduce the amount of pressure needed to get to 100%). Here's a picture of the curve that works for me (Wacom's configurator doesn't let you work with the end points). It also has solved the Intuos 4's problem with quickly wearing nibs.
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-j7jrxUCI_3I/TvmVZeWz-gI/AAAAAAAAA8Q/nBWILO7JoyQ/s1600/pressure.jpg
• I tweaked the settings until I got to a point where I can go from 0%-100% with comfort, meaning I don't have to press super hard. To test to see if your settings are good, on a white document get a black brush with only pressure set to sensitivity and opacity/flow set to 100%, make a small circular selection and fill it with black (for reference), then next to the black circle see if you can go to that same pure black in a single stroke without pressing too hard. If you can't, then you need the tool. I think it's PC only.
• I use a 100% soft brush with both opacity and flow set to pen pressure and spacing set to 5%
• In the option bar I use 50% opacity, 2% flow

With those settings I can lightly let my stylus drag over the tablet to apply a low opacity stroke (I barely have to apply any pressure at all) and without digging into the tablet's surface I can achieve 50% opacity if I need to (dedicating all 2080 pressure sensitivity levels to that 50% opacity stroke which allows an incredible degree of precision in how much opacity you want to paint with), then if I need more I just lift and apply the second 50% opacity stroke (and even a third as two 50% opacity strokes don't actually add up to a full 100% opacity stroke in Photoshop for some reason). It's very comfortable to dodge and burn like this and since I've gotten it all perfect it's improved the speed of my retouching by quite a bit.


I know! Isn't it beautiful?

Nice tool.

I missed that when it was first posted.

Jun 10 13 02:35 pm Link

Photographer

Camerosity

Posts: 5317

Saint Louis, Missouri, US

Ronald Nyein Zaw Tan wrote:
"Carving" to me is a specialized dodging and burning, where the retoucher is adding highlights and shadows.

This is part of it.

Ronald Nyein Zaw Tan wrote:
My take on carving is this: assuming you lit your image well, you just trace over the natural and preexisting highlights. At times, when a highlight abruptly ends, you can "extrapolate" and trace further, thus extending where the highlight should continue and end more properly.

This is another part of it.

I consider the third part (expanding on part of Michael Pearson’s post above) to be shading – darkening shadows and lightening highlights, for the most part.

Often I’ll darken a shadow – with more darkening closer to the edge of the face – and brighten specular highlights such as those that run lengthwise on a nose, an arm or leg.

Not just on skin. Sometimes I’ll do the same thing on leather – or even on a dress that forms natural pleats below the waist, to emphasize the shadows and highlights and, in some cases, texture. I’ve done the same thing on feathers, leaves or berries in headpieces. Even lips.

Since things that are lighter seem closer to the camera, and things that are darker seem farther from the camera, “shading” the shadows and highlights can enhance the 3-dimensional appearance of objects as well faces and bodies.

Sometimes I use darker and lighter curves adjustment layers for D and B. Occasionally I just use a brush to paint on a blank layer. Often I’ll multiple-process an image in ACR (maybe once for the face, one for arms and legs, once for the garment, once for the background, just as example) and just use an image that is darker or lighter than the base layer for D&B. With the latter method, instead of using black, you're always burning-in with a darker shade of the same color.

Kinda like this:

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130108/13/50ec9027d3534.jpg

Jun 10 13 03:38 pm Link

Photographer

Ronald N. Tan

Posts: 2746

Los Angeles, California, US

I think the topic of "carving" was a good topic, I am curious why someone decided to bump it up?

Jun 10 13 05:03 pm Link

Photographer

Julian Marsalis

Posts: 1191

Austin, Texas, US

That be me and my need to learn more about this fantastic skill I still fail at.

Jun 11 13 08:56 am Link

Photographer

Daniel Ecoff

Posts: 416

SHERMAN OAKS, California, US

Carving = D&B I like to use the AL curve method over 50% gray on SL for this.
Used with FS. Pretty much my standard for cosmetic work.

Time consuming and tedious,, YES
there are other ways of doing Cosmetic work without FS, but are less controlling but still non-destructive, iE: blank layer using Healing Brush. This i leave for large blemishes. You can also try using Dust and scratches for minimizing hair or ache/blackheads and layer masking it in. I use 2 layers for this, 1 for HL and 1 for Shadow with appropriate settings.

The workflow gets simple once you are accustomed to it. I have an action for the base.

http://i831.photobucket.com/albums/zz238/DEPhotographix/BA_1000.gif

Jun 11 13 12:21 pm Link

Photographer

Jakov Markovic

Posts: 1128

Belgrade, Central Serbia, Serbia

In order for it to be viable, it needs to be "real". Real=antaomically correct IN THE GIVEN LIGHT=following the original.

It's about enhancing what's already there.

Basically, it is about creating contrast by darkening some areas, and lightening other. Pushing the image.

Same for the skin areas, same for the trees, the birds and bees, for everything.

Now I am no genius, but just by observing, you can tell when someone knows to paint, and paints it as it is, as opposed to making these perfect-doll looking creatures, that always look off.

Follow the original after the basic clean up (otherwise you'll follow the mess).

smile

Jun 11 13 03:04 pm Link

Photographer

Jakov Markovic

Posts: 1128

Belgrade, Central Serbia, Serbia

In order for it to be viable, it needs to be "real". Real=antaomically correct IN THE GIVEN LIGHT=following the original.

It's about enhancing what's already there.

Basically, it is about creating contrast by darkening some areas, and lightening other. Pushing the image.

Same for the skin areas, same for the trees, the birds and bees, for everything.

Now I am no genius, but just by observing, you can tell when someone knows to paint, and paints it as it is, as opposed to making these perfect-doll looking creatures, that always look off.

Follow the original after the basic clean up (otherwise you'll follow the mess).

smile

Jun 11 13 03:04 pm Link

Retoucher

fotoretusz

Posts: 122

Włocławek, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Poland

Nov 01 13 02:21 pm Link

Photographer

cwwmbm

Posts: 464

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Okay, so a) this topic should not die
b) this is what I did yesterday after spending few hours reading this forum + with the generous help from member pellepiano who gave one of his PSD files.

This is nowhere near the level of some of the folks who participated in the thread, yet it's probably the best I've ever done in that area of retouching.

The back story is that she wanted a portrait that would show her personality - "fun, quirky, weird".

I would really appreciate the thoughts of y'all - what did I do wrong, how do I improve, etc?

Before:
http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s4/cwwmbm/IMG_0675_zpse8ee552b.jpg

After:
http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s4/cwwmbm/IMG_0675-Recovered_zps4b8d78c2.jpg

Dec 20 13 01:23 pm Link

Photographer

D A N I E L

Posts: 136

Silverdale, Washington, US

Your best bet would you be to write in the Critic forum as we are not allowed to critic other people's work outside that place.

Dec 20 13 07:55 pm Link

Photographer

cwwmbm

Posts: 464

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

It's a thread for people to talk about a certain technique, practice it and give people pointers. I think it's ok, especially since I'm openly asking for it smile

Dec 20 13 08:11 pm Link

Photographer

Oscar Partida

Posts: 732

Palm Springs, California, US

it's pretty good !

Dec 20 13 11:10 pm Link

Photographer

Jakov Markovic

Posts: 1128

Belgrade, Central Serbia, Serbia

Why would you enhance someone's nose and chin, and not eyes, jawline, cheekbones?

I'd do it the other way round.

Dec 21 13 07:20 am Link

Photographer

cwwmbm

Posts: 464

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Jakov Markovic wrote:
Why would you enhance someone's nose and chin, and not eyes, jawline, cheekbones?

I'd do it the other way round.

How would you go about it? Any chance you could draft something up with the original image so that I would see the direction you have in mind?

Dec 21 13 11:59 am Link

Photographer

Jakov Markovic

Posts: 1128

Belgrade, Central Serbia, Serbia

You just take your time and repeat what's already there. Not like what I did in 15 minutes, but I hope you get the point.

http://img546.imageshack.us/img546/2825/ocz8.jpg

Dec 21 13 03:04 pm Link

Photographer

Ronald N. Tan

Posts: 2746

Los Angeles, California, US

I would leave the muscle line on the forehead intact, because that crease from the skin was a direct result of the quirky expression she's making. That's what I would do.

The chin area on your version needs to be toned down. Remember that lighter things are protruding and darker means receding.

On the hair region, I would paint in the matching hair color to address the hairline (gap) on the head. Do you see it? Darkening the roots a bit so she has uniform hair. Those are minor cosmetic adjustments.

cwwmbm wrote:
Okay, so a) this topic should not die
b) this is what I did yesterday after spending few hours reading this forum + with the generous help from member pellepiano who gave one of his PSD files.

This is nowhere near the level of some of the folks who participated in the thread, yet it's probably the best I've ever done in that area of retouching.

The back story is that she wanted a portrait that would show her personality - "fun, quirky, weird".

I would really appreciate the thoughts of y'all - what did I do wrong, how do I improve, etc?

Before:
http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s4/cwwmbm/IMG_0675_zpse8ee552b.jpg

After:
http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s4/cwwmbm/IMG_0675-Recovered_zps4b8d78c2.jpg

Dec 22 13 01:27 pm Link

Photographer

Jakov Markovic

Posts: 1128

Belgrade, Central Serbia, Serbia

I did a it a bit more.

http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/7123/hsnn.jpg

Dec 23 13 12:08 am Link

Digital Artist

Ana-Maria Nedelea

Posts: 113

Oneşti, Bacău, Romania

Jakov Markovic wrote:
I did a it a bit more.

http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/7123/hsnn.jpg

please stop dont do other.

Dec 23 13 03:36 am Link