Forums > Digital Art and Retouching > Dealing with LARGE tattoos

Photographer

Eye of the World

Posts: 815

Corvallis, Oregon, US

I have some images where one of the people's arms have full sleeves of dark tattoos and I need to remove them in a natural way and make him non-identifiable. I am comfortable with cloning and patching and have no problem dealing with isolated areas. In this case with full sleeves there is little to no skin of the right texture or tonality to borrow from. In addition, the images are already in duotone so using another image and person as a source is problematic.

Any suggestions?

Sep 06 13 07:27 pm Link

Photographer

JoshuaBerardi

Posts: 615

Davenport, Iowa, US

Sounds like a total pain.

Reshoot.

Or, use an arm from another image? (oh god!)

Or, air brush a new arm. (ohhhhh that's going to suck to do)

Sep 06 13 09:23 pm Link

Photographer

Tulack

Posts: 667

Albuquerque, New Mexico, US

If you good with drawing shapes, then just paint it and apply skin texture.

Sep 06 13 09:32 pm Link

Photographer

Don Garrett

Posts: 4475

Escondido, California, US

Tulack wrote:
If you good with drawing shapes, then just paint it and apply skin texture.

Yep, I have several images in my portfolio that are painted into - some are very large areas. If painting is a problem for you, (to get realistic), then you are in trouble, and will have to reshoot.
-Don

Sep 06 13 09:48 pm Link

Photographer

Eye of the World

Posts: 815

Corvallis, Oregon, US

A reshoot is not an option. I can paint over it, but I would need some guidance on creating texture that matches a male arm with hair, then applying that to a curved surface, like the bent elbow.

There are a couple of images with the same lighting that have some uninked skin I could use. Is there a simple way to use the clone stamp and sample on one image and apply on another, since only one is active at a time? The only way I could think was to enlarge the canvas and temporarily paste the source material alongside.

Sep 06 13 09:49 pm Link

Photographer

Tulack

Posts: 667

Albuquerque, New Mexico, US

Eye of the World wrote:
A reshoot is not an option. I can paint over it, but I would need some guidance on creating texture that matches a male arm with hair, then applying that to a curved surface, like the bent elbow.

There are a couple of images with the same lighting that have some uninked skin I could use. Is there a simple way to use the clone stamp and sample on one image and apply on another, since only one is active at a time? The only way I could think was to enlarge the canvas and temporarily paste the source material alongside.

There is no curved surface. Images are two dimensional. It's just shadows and highlights. Paint shadows, it will give you curves. Than apply texture. Then get hair brush and paint hair.

You can easy clone from another image without pasting it.

Sep 06 13 09:56 pm Link

Retoucher

GK Retouching

Posts: 387

Denver, Colorado, US

You may find it easiest just to replace his arm entirely with one that matches or gets close. Depending on the tattoo you can also try picking it apart, by lassoing around the area, then go edit, fill, content aware.

Sep 06 13 10:10 pm Link

Photographer

Digital Czar

Posts: 936

Oak Park, Illinois, US

Eye of the World wrote:
I have some images where one of the people's arms have full sleeves of dark tattoos and I need to remove them in a natural way and make him non-identifiable. I am comfortable with cloning and patching and have no problem dealing with isolated areas. In this case with full sleeves there is little to no skin of the right texture or tonality to borrow from. In addition, the images are already in duotone so using another image and person as a source is problematic.

Any suggestions?

I know this is not the answer you were seeking but I had to ask.
Perhaps it begs the question of why wasn't this thought of before shooting with that model? I can't believe you didn't notice the sleeve before shooting and not think there could be a retouching issue. Talk about making huge hills to climb....

Sep 06 13 10:19 pm Link

Retoucher

Natalia_Taffarel

Posts: 7665

Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Digital Czar wrote:

I know this is not the answer you were seeking but I had to ask.
Perhaps it begs the question of why wasn't this thought of before shooting with that model? I can't believe you didn't notice the sleeve before shooting and not think there could be a retouching issue. Talk about making huge hills to climb....

+1

I don't understand why someone would shoot a tattoo to remove it.

Sep 07 13 08:08 am Link

Photographer

Laura Bello

Posts: 1632

Rochester, New York, US

Natalia_Taffarel wrote:
+1

I don't understand why someone would shoot a tattoo to remove it.

Agreed, especially a full sleeves which I really see no good way of removing successfully.  My best suggestion it shoot someone else's arms with the same lighting and shop them in the best you can.  Other than that you're shit outta luck.

Sep 07 13 09:20 am Link

Retoucher

Rafael_Alexander

Posts: 84

Atlanta, Georgia, US

clone/heal

Sep 07 13 12:45 pm Link

Retoucher

AKMac

Posts: 344

London, England, United Kingdom

If you could post the image it might help.

Sep 07 13 01:24 pm Link

Photographer

Jakov Markovic

Posts: 1128

Belgrade, Central Serbia, Serbia

It is easier to just re-shoot. You can always paint anything, but might I remind you that all the greats used to paint masterpieces for months or longer, so unless you have that time to achieve photo-realism, just re-shoot.

Also, these sorts of interventions are considered "unreasonable requests". smile So don't promise them to anyone.

Sep 08 13 07:34 pm Link

Photographer

Eye of the World

Posts: 815

Corvallis, Oregon, US

Natalia_Taffarel wrote:

+1

I don't understand why someone would shoot a tattoo to remove it.

Because the criteria for where the model wants to post these was not known at the time of the shoot. Any individuals in the image other than the model have to be non-identifiable, and only after the fact were we informed that masking tattoos by blurring or other (simpler) means was not acceptable.

For most of the images I have been able to selectively crop to just leave hands, or avoid the arm completely. On others there was more of the underside showing that was not so heavily marked and more easily cloned. It was easier to modify the series by taking out some images than climb that hill.

Sep 08 13 11:14 pm Link

Retoucher

Mike Needham Retouching

Posts: 369

Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom

It puzzles me slightly that as the photographer you are so bothered as to what the model wants or 'requires', was she a client or does she have some sway over the destination of the images? It would seem the easier option if you have just the odd photo that is not suitable to leave them out of the final edits.

Sep 09 13 05:07 am Link

Photographer

Jakov Markovic

Posts: 1128

Belgrade, Central Serbia, Serbia

Whenever a model or whoever figures out that they want to do something absolutely different it calls for a reshoot.

Sep 09 13 12:48 pm Link