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Digital Artist
Michael C Pearson
Posts: 1,343
Agoura Hills, California, US


http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Fap0Qw38aQ4/TiQ8zEMavVI/AAAAAAAAApE/Sbm2P4j7TBE/s1600/glossymed.jpg

I've been obsessing over adding a glossy effect in post lately and wanted to some feedback and am also hoping that other people have experience with this kind of processing and can give some tips. Basically it's lots of d&b to simplify the form/transitions while enhancing depth and shine followed by some gentle painting with white over the shine. Obviously this works better with the proper lighting and if the model has done something so their skin is moist. If the lighting is totally wrong and the model has dry skin, then the only way to do this would be blatantly painting in the gloss using your digital painting skills (I'm not at a level where I can do that yet).

I'm aware it's not the most masculine or realistic look. It's more of a quasi-illustrative/movie poster kind of style I'd like to refine. The first time I ever saw this look was in Amy Dresser's and Jill Greenberg's portfolios. Here's one of the pages in Greenberg's work that has lots of the shiny look: http://www.manipulator.com/Commissions/ … hiny-faces. I'm not trying to copy this style exactly, but it was my inspiration for this and I'm trying to develop my own take on the kind of highlight work she does. Jill's lighting is so perfect for the glossy/shiny look. I wish I knew someone who had raw files like that I could work on or I had the proper lighting equipment to take my own.

Here's a before after gif, but it's not the best to see what I've done as the raw file with default settings is fairly underexposed:
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qgDLDBRBSCE/TiQ6-YPX3fI/AAAAAAAAAos/QIuylVOxmnw/s1600/glossygif3.gif

Here's the raw conversion and the retouch so you can open them both in tabs to toggle back and forth (so you can see most clearly what I did highlight-wise)
Raw conversion
Retouch


Oh, and I stupidly can't find where I wrote down the photographer's name so I can't credit them as of yet for this. If anyone happens to recognize this image (from the challenge forum) please point me in the right direction so I don't have to go digging through like 8 pages of threads.

Here's another experimental glossy (from photographer Kristina Vassilieva, model Marie-Louise. and MUA Eimear) retouch I did but it's too overdone imo:
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-2UcVjBdb42c/Th-DmS5NLZI/AAAAAAAAAoM/f1CI87NTXRs/s1600/shinygif2.gif
slightly larger
(bonus question: Does that look like her boob or arm in the retouch? I can't tell)

Finally I even ended up trying it on one of the shots from the shoot that my avatar was taken from. Didn't quite work out. Besides the skin looking a bit like a boiled lobster, something is off about the shine in this one: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ptuad0v2WTQ/T … yshiny.jpg
Jul 18 11 07:26 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
FeatheredPixels
Posts: 327
Port of Spain, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago


wow you did a wonderful job especially on the female retouch. I love it! I myself am trying to experiment with this effect. So hopefully I can learn a lot from the responses on this thread
Jul 18 11 09:49 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Ledo retouch
Posts: 1,132
Lodi, California, US


I think you've done a very good job on both, the second one is like the
difference between a softbox and a silver beauty dish
Jul 18 11 10:06 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
nebulaoperator
Posts: 327
London, England, United Kingdom


I like that style of retouching. It seems to be quiet popular these days. I admire your work and get inspiration from you to try my self.
Do you make your own decisions how to get that look or get some tips from fellows retouchers , google?
To me it doesn't look like boob any more. rather a crossroad between two. It is flattened. I can only guess that nipple is down there. Excuses me being so straight forward.
Jul 18 11 11:31 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Chaviit0
Posts: 2,233
Wenatchee, Washington, US


AMAZING!
In the female picture, I think it looks like her arm.




http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=767309
Jul 18 11 11:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Pari Retouch
Posts: 693
Nāshik, Maharashtra, India


Great job! You are a master, I don't think they are overdone at all.

Just a thing that distracts a bit to me is the eye brows of the female, they got too bright maybe.
Jul 19 11 12:01 am  Link  Quote 
Digital Artist
Michael C Pearson
Posts: 1,343
Agoura Hills, California, US


Wow, that was way better feedback than I was expecting. Looks like I'm on the right track!

nebulaoperator wrote:
Do you make your own decisions how to get that look or get some tips from fellows retouchers , google?

It was through analytical observation of the glossy look in other retouchers work (as well as just shiny skin in general) and by testing myself against some of Amy Dresser's before/afters (see this post and this post for details as to what I mean by this). I'll flatten the arm/boob so it looks more like an arm.

Pari Retouch wrote:
Just a thing that distracts a bit to me is the eye brows of the female, they got too bright maybe.

Thanks, I totally forgot to take care of those. I was either going to lighten them (or remove them) so that they look like a stylistic choice or darken them enough to look natural. Right now they're kind of in the middle which makes them distracting. Nice catch.

Jul 19 11 06:05 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
PJKRetouching
Posts: 322
Claremorris, Mayo, Ireland


This is amazing I have been trying to create tricks to making a glossy look on skin, so far I only know how to add shine to skin.

Gloss seems to be much harder to achieve for some reason and it's probably because gloss looks really smooth on skin but to keep it looking real you have to keep texture from the skin under the glossy highlights which is the real challenge smile

All though your image doesn't look glossy it looks more like the models are intensely moisturised glossy is more shiny with a lot less colour smile

Still well done very inspiring I like Kristina Vassilieva image you retouched more because of the sliver hues and tones in the skin smile

P.S THAT'S NOT THE RIGHT LINK TO THE FEMALE MODELS PROFILE smile LOL
Jul 19 11 06:08 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
nebulaoperator
Posts: 327
London, England, United Kingdom


MP Retouch wrote:
It was through analytical observation of the glossy look in other retouchers work (as well as just shiny skin in general) and by testing myself against some of Amy Dresser's before/afters (see this post and this post for details as to what I mean by this). I'll flatten the arm/boob so it looks more like an arm.

Thank you for links.  I am considering to get this one :RetouchPRO LIVE "Pointy Man" with Amy Dresser. And for others would recommend this one if you after this kind of retouching.

Jul 19 11 02:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Ashish Arora
Posts: 2,061
Delhi, Delhi, India


Your highlights look fake- there is too much color in them, watch that Mike!

And I would suggest you use Color Range to fill on Normal Mode than Overlay painting- looks fake- spot on! I mean use them both, right now you seem using only or more so the latter.

Study Amy Dresser's B/A- she is the best at light painting.
Jul 19 11 07:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Digital Artist
Michael C Pearson
Posts: 1,343
Agoura Hills, California, US


Appreciate all the great advice. Just dumping another attempt in here.

This is the image I'm using in my (incomplete atm) youtube series. I think I'm going to end up doing a walkthrough of the layers of the psds used in creating this one and then make additional tutorials based off questions in the comments. If I tried to do a walkthrough of the whole process, it would be like 7 videos (it's not really something that would work sped up - it's a bazillion tiny changes that slowly shape the final image that each need a couple sentences of explanation). It was a little trickier as the subject didn't really have any shine that I could build off of so I had to pretty much fake it completely. I find it visually appealing to look at even though the actual photo is so strange. Is it too harsh looking?
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-UOmJUiTsWV0/TivDQXzNcSI/AAAAAAAAAqA/hkhVnY8btPw/s1600/tealphilcomp.jpg

PJKRetouching wrote:
This is amazing I have been trying to create tricks to making a glossy look on skin, so far I only know how to add shine to skin.

Gloss seems to be much harder to achieve for some reason and it's probably because gloss looks really smooth on skin but to keep it looking real you have to keep texture from the skin under the glossy highlights which is the real challenge smile

All though your image doesn't look glossy it looks more like the models are intensely moisturised glossy is more shiny with a lot less colour smile

Yeah, I really shouldn't have named the thread "glossy" as it's actually "shiny." Glossy is a reflection of the environment on a smooth surface. Shine is a reflection of the light source that isn't limited to smooth texture. The method I used (painting white on the highlights) actually removes some of the texture from the highlights making the subject look smoother in a way. If you'd rather have your shine razor sharp, just use the blend if sliders to bring back some of the texture.

Ashish Arora wrote:
Your highlights look fake- there is too much color in them, watch that Mike!

Thanks, that's a really useful tip. Much appreciated.

Ashish Arora wrote:
And I would suggest you use Color Range to fill on Normal Mode than Overlay painting- looks fake- spot on! I mean use them both, right now you seem using only or more so the latter.

I didn't do any overlay painting except for the iris. I did all the dodge and burn with curves and then I topped it off with the selective color filled with white (on normal) trick. Are you saying I should do more of the fill with white as opposed to the d&b?

Jul 24 11 08:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Ledo retouch
Posts: 1,132
Lodi, California, US


I look forward to the videos, I remember a thread from months ago on
getting the "Jill Greenberg look" the one of the older man seems very
much that style, I think you did good work on them all
Jul 25 11 12:14 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
nebulaoperator
Posts: 327
London, England, United Kingdom


Thank you MP for sharing such a great work with us.  Tell us what was the hardest part of this retouch?  Did you use a reference image while working on it? I suppose you were testing your RAM'S limits too:)
Jul 25 11 01:36 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Ashish Arora
Posts: 2,061
Delhi, Delhi, India


MP Retouch wrote:
I didn't do any overlay painting except for the iris. I did all the dodge and burn with curves and then I topped it off with the selective color filled with white (on normal) trick. Are you saying I should do more of the fill with white as opposed to the d&b?

Ooh did you change the image?

I believe you can do a mix but there is a lot of fill required to really obtain those shiny silvery highlights- they look closer to reality and more convincing but that is my opinion.

Its all about experimentation and getting it nailed- love the second one you posted- the portrait of the wrinkled man- that's where you nailed it! big_smile

Jul 25 11 02:20 am  Link  Quote 
Digital Artist
Michael C Pearson
Posts: 1,343
Agoura Hills, California, US


Ledo retouch wrote:
I look forward to the videos, I remember a thread from months ago on
getting the "Jill Greenberg look" the one of the older man seems very
much that style, I think you did good work on them all
nebulaoperator wrote:
Thank you MP for sharing such a great work with us.  Tell us what was the hardest part of this retouch?  Did you use a reference image while working on it? I suppose you were testing your RAM'S limits too:)

Thanks. At first this retouch was an oversize to emulate her color toning so I used one of her images as my reference while I tried to match the color. Once I got the color close, then I went in and let loose, experimenting for hours trying to bring out as much depth as I could while preserving the transitions. When I was in that stage of the processing, I stopped looking at the reference and took the coloring in more of my own direction (a little more saturated and blue). 


nebulaoperator wrote:
I suppose you were testing your RAM'S limits too:)

I actually have a pretty powerful PC, but I have a habit of duplicating the psd once I get enough layers or I decide I want to experiment with a new direction. If my adjustments then don't work out, I just close the psd and resume where I was before.

Ashish Arora wrote:
Ooh did you change the image?

I think Imight have misunderstood what you were saying. By "overlay painting" did you mean d&b using an overlay 50% grey layer? I'm not sure what you mean by "change the image."

Ashish Arora wrote:
I believe you can do a mix but there is a lot of fill required to really obtain those shiny silvery highlights- they look closer to reality and more convincing but that is my opinion.

Your tip about the highlight needing to be less saturated really blew me away, thanks. It really improves the realism of the shine by a great deal. I also tried painting some of the background color into the shine (to see if it would look like it was reflecting the environment) but couldn't get it to look very good, so that experiment didn't succeed. Again really appreciate the feedback.

Jul 25 11 06:31 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Ashish Arora
Posts: 2,061
Delhi, Delhi, India


MP Retouch wrote:
I think Imight have misunderstood what you were saying. By "overlay painting" did you mean d&b using an overlay 50% grey layer? I'm not sure what you mean by "change the image."

Change as in replace the first image of the glossy male model.

Well, yes painting in overlay mode- with or without 50%- that doesn't cause any change other than helping visually to see your own paint map kinda.


MP Retouch wrote:
Your tip about the highlight needing to be less saturated really blew me away, thanks. It really improves the realism of the shine by a great deal.

Exactly. Highlights have less saturation because they are highlights, try burning a highlight- it will appear to be more saturated (visual)

Highlights are also sharper- so you can play with that too. Your second image looks better that way.

MP Retouch wrote:
I also tried painting some of the background color into the shine (to see if it would look like it was reflecting the environment) but couldn't get it to look very good, so that experiment didn't succeed

Ooh background color? Depends what sort of environment is it. Try this, it should work for your image:

Sample the lightest color from backdrop, new layer- fill with color so you have 100% opacity now clip to highlights layer and reduce opacity/play with it until desired result is achieved.

Jul 26 11 03:41 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Lulie Lens
Posts: 157
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


MP Retouch wrote:
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-UOmJUiTsWV0/TivDQXzNcSI/AAAAAAAAAqA/hkhVnY8btPw/s1600/tealphilcomp.jpg

Amazing work!
I'm completely floored by this transformation, and cant wait for the tutorial as well.

-Lulie

Jul 26 11 10:46 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
CM Retouching
Posts: 422
Paris, Île-de-France, France


Love the toning and depth but I'm not a big fan of the eyes, I think they don't look enough natural and to me it turns the nice guy into evil guy . Very good work still.
Jul 26 11 02:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Iliana Valeva
Posts: 350
Plovdiv, Plovdiv, Bulgaria


great job with the man congrats. The girl looks little fake for my taste
Jul 27 11 05:07 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
nebulaoperator
Posts: 327
London, England, United Kingdom


MP Retouch wrote:
I'll flatten the arm/boob so it looks more like an arm.

Still looks like a long flattened boob.
By the way wrinkled man is amazing. Eyes in my opinion is the heart of this portrait. He looks devilish and  you intensified and expressed  it through the man's eyes. He actually reminds me of Jack Nicholson in Shining. Well done  MP.

Jul 30 11 01:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
RON IMAGES EDITED
Posts: 482
Miami, Florida, US


Awesome work MP. I need one and one thing only ! Can you share the technique like you did for D&B, lol smile

Congrats, R O N...
Aug 01 11 06:05 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Grazian
Posts: 104
Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, Germany


Great Work!!!
Im really interested in your approach to this image!
Aug 03 11 12:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jhono Bashian
Posts: 2,432
Cleveland, Ohio, US


very nice
Aug 03 11 12:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Aakash Jain Photography
Posts: 3
Göteborg, Västra Götaland, Sweden


This processing is really nice especially the first and the third picture. Looking forward to the tutorial
Aug 03 11 03:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
RON IMAGES EDITED
Posts: 482
Miami, Florida, US


Ajain wrote:
This processing is really nice especially the first and the third picture. Looking forward to the tutorial

+1

Aug 03 11 04:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Digital Artist
Michael C Pearson
Posts: 1,343
Agoura Hills, California, US


I've started the "tutorial" which is more of a psd walkthrough. I'll later put out proper tutorials will cover specific techniques and how/when to use them.

This isn't really glossy, but might as well throw this one in here as well instead of creating a new thread. This was another super-experimental retouch. I'm not really happy with the texture and the overall image in general. I just don't find it appealing. I think I just need to spend more time on the d&b phase. I was also trying to develop a hazy-yet-not-glamour-shot type of look but I think I failed.

Feedback greatly appreciated!
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-JewJ0GwTy2U/Tjn39vZbGmI/AAAAAAAAArw/r74FTpFoZKk/s1600/bluebggif2.gif
slightly larger

I put this gif together for the hell of it. When I'm "playing" in photoshop (experimental retouching), I work destructively and make lots of new psds as I go in case I want to go back. I put together this gif of some of the key points in my process for those who are curious. Most of the styling comes from the local contrast, carving, and color toning, but the longest part of the retouch is the actual "retouching" phase. Looking at this gif now it seems like I should have pulled back on the carving/color-toning/local contrast phase. That's where it starts looking over-processed.
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-KSKSs6aatN4/Tjn3s7qju1I/AAAAAAAAArs/k04WYgU2a-o/s1600/bluebggif.gif

Here's another experiment:
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Hc1yQKpdA34/Tjflnkj_aKI/AAAAAAAAArg/y-5O8GRLlEg/s1600/bobbletilly_comp.jpg
The only parts I really don't like about it are the way the hands are really warped/fake looking, the smoke looking a little confusing, that one distracting clump of hair, and the text on the cup that I was too lazy to paint out. If I was going to try to fake a super-wide-angle/fisheye in Photoshop again, I'd take another picture looking down at the cup/hands and then use that as the starting point for the warping.
Aug 03 11 06:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
R O N - Images
Posts: 162
Miami, Florida, US


I think the blue bkgrnd is killing it a bit, but the overall image is good. I think the key for this effect is in the natural look of the image with the glossy punch  and playing with the contrast . WAITING FOR THE TUT.
Aug 03 11 07:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Grazian
Posts: 104
Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, Germany


MP Retouch wrote:
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-UOmJUiTsWV0/TivDQXzNcSI/AAAAAAAAAqA/hkhVnY8btPw/s1600/tealphilcomp.jpg

Would be great if you could tell us something bout the Light, that was used to capture the raw shot..

as i see its only one light above the head 45 degrees / octa/softbox type?

Aug 04 11 06:26 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Sofia Zasheva
Posts: 154
Sofia, Sofija grad, Bulgaria


MP Retouch wrote:
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-KSKSs6aatN4/Tjn3s7qju1I/AAAAAAAAArs/k04WYgU2a-o/s1600/bluebggif.gif

Here's another experiment:
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Hc1yQKpdA34/Tjflnkj_aKI/AAAAAAAAArg/y-5O8GRLlEg/s1600/bobbletilly_comp.jpg
The only parts I really don't like about it are the way the hands are really warped/fake looking, the smoke looking a little confusing, that one distracting clump of hair, and the text on the cup that I was too lazy to paint out. If I was going to try to fake a super-wide-angle/fisheye in Photoshop again, I'd take another picture looking down at the cup/hands and then use that as the starting point for the warping.

Try to curve a bit the smoke and the transitions are too hard in it....aaaand when you make highlights on the face, make them on the hands too, they now seem flat to me.

About the beauty - I think that the blue kills it a bit. Watching the gif I think I wouldn't change the bg actually, may be just play a tiny bit with the hue and sat. Or if you want it to be blue - cut down the sat because it's fighting the saturated face in front, though the combination (brown/orange and blue) is really nice.

Aug 05 11 12:58 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
RON IMAGES EDITED
Posts: 482
Miami, Florida, US


Sanonjr Photography wrote:
I think the blue bkgrnd is killing it a bit, but the overall image is good. I think the key for this effect is in the natural look of the image with the glossy punch  and playing with the contrast . WAITING FOR THE TUT.

+1

Aug 05 11 11:05 am  Link  Quote 
Digital Artist
Michael C Pearson
Posts: 1,343
Agoura Hills, California, US


I've got a couple more experiments to toss your way. The feedback I've been getting from this thread has really been helping me.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EZ38mDDMpvU/TjvX55nYoiI/AAAAAAAAAr8/_HAnXDq7x7k/s1600/whitewashcompmed.jpg
This one was an experiment with creating a really sterile, bright processing. What I don't like about what I did was the subtle difference in skin color on the legs compared to the rest of her body. Also maybe I should make her look even more colorless in general with darker black hair? Finally I just noticed the small horizontal line at the top of the image. 

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EMADvzJmAGI/TjvnYZECb1I/AAAAAAAAAsc/dv0a-atar74/s1600/beautycomp.jpg
Thoughts on the skin here? I should have done more hair retouching - that was pure laziness, no excuses. When I'm bored I love to retouch skin so this was one of those times. I just noticed I messed up her chin. Before it was centered and after the retouch it's smaller and over to the left. This was one of Vitaly's free raws btw.

Sanonjr Photography wrote:
I think the blue bkgrnd is killing it a bit, but the overall image is good. I think the key for this effect is in the natural look of the image with the glossy punch  and playing with the contrast . WAITING FOR THE TUT.

Thanks. I agree about the blue being too strong. I want to keep somewhat of a blue because I find the white/blue/tan color scheme appealing so I have to figure out a way to make it less gaudy next time. Tutorial is in progress. Turns out it's harder than I thought to explain my way through all the psds without becoming a stuttering mess.

Grazian wrote:
Would be great if you could tell us something bout the Light, that was used to capture the raw shot..

as i see its only one light above the head 45 degrees / octa/softbox type?

You're pretty close. It was a large shoot through umbrella (with a sheet over it for added diffusion) at a 45 degree angle from above and then a small softbox from below.

Sofia Zasheva wrote:
Try to curve a bit the smoke and the transitions are too hard in it....aaaand when you make highlights on the face, make them on the hands too, they now seem flat to me.
About the beauty - I think that the blue kills it a bit. Watching the gif I think I wouldn't change the bg actually, may be just play a tiny bit with the hue and sat. Or if you want it to be blue - cut down the sat because it's fighting the saturated face in front, though the combination (brown/orange and blue) is really nice.

Great advice thanks. Especially about the highlights on the hands - didn't even notice.

Aug 06 11 03:25 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Rhiannon Jansma
Posts: 71
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Be sure to link the tutorials!!!!!
so keen!!
Aug 06 11 03:34 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Grazian
Posts: 104
Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, Germany


great natural retouch an the lady in the second picture, like it

1st one,hair and dress looking to contrasty , their looking like "put on top" but the high key processing is really nice effect, maybe a softer edit on hair and dress
Aug 06 11 04:20 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Lulie Lens
Posts: 157
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


MP Retouch wrote:
Here's another experiment:
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Hc1yQKpdA34/Tjflnkj_aKI/AAAAAAAAArg/y-5O8GRLlEg/s1600/bobbletilly_comp.jpg
The only parts I really don't like about it are the way the hands are really warped/fake looking, the smoke looking a little confusing, that one distracting clump of hair, and the text on the cup that I was too lazy to paint out. If I was going to try to fake a super-wide-angle/fisheye in Photoshop again, I'd take another picture looking down at the cup/hands and then use that as the starting point for the warping.

Aside from what you mentioned, I would make the shoulders closer to symmetrical. Perhaps smoothing out the curve for the shoulder on camera left.

It might be better to just shoot the shot on the angle you are going for, because my eyes say somethings are off when looking at it. Such as how you see the top of the shoulders and coffee mug, and the neck cranks up to look at the camera.. I don't know if that is much help up thought you could make something of it smile

Also, I think what might be making the smoke look confusing is how it is unnatural to see coffee steam go higher than a few inches above the mug. You could try making it go up her nose, and really sell the message hehe

Aug 07 11 06:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Nobody and No one
Posts: 14
Washington, District of Columbia, US


Really fantastic work, especially on the girl.


Please please please give us the tutorial soon! I'm sure I'm not the only one super keen on seeing it smile
Aug 18 11 10:43 am  Link  Quote 
Digital Artist
Michael C Pearson
Posts: 1,343
Agoura Hills, California, US


Grazian wrote:
1st one,hair and dress looking to contrasty , their looking like "put on top" but the high key processing is really nice effect, maybe a softer edit on hair and dress

Thanks, I see what you mean.

Lulie Lens wrote:
Aside from what you mentioned, I would make the shoulders closer to symmetrical. Perhaps smoothing out the curve for the shoulder on camera left.

It might be better to just shoot the shot on the angle you are going for, because my eyes say somethings are off when looking at it. Such as how you see the top of the shoulders and coffee mug, and the neck cranks up to look at the camera.. I don't know if that is much help up thought you could make something of it smile

Also, I think what might be making the smoke look confusing is how it is unnatural to see coffee steam go higher than a few inches above the mug. You could try making it go up her nose, and really sell the message hehe

Thanks for the feedback. I mentioned the fact that I'd take another shot looking down at the cup and body and composite them together. The reason I'm trying to figure out how to do this in Photoshop instead of just using a fisheye or super-wide angle lens is simple - I don't own one! If I was going to make a habit out of doing shots like this I'd invest in one, but just for the occasional gimmicy shot I'd rather do a composite in photoshop than invest the money.

Everything else you said I agree with, especially the smoke.

To those still waiting for the tutorial - I've almost finished it. Sorry for the delay. There have been some technical difficulties. I'll post the link here when it's done.

I have some more images to throw your way:

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QuG2FlhysCk/TkOfokIU2mI/AAAAAAAAAtE/O-Gpy5r9Um4/s1600/auraora-148-as-Smart-Object-1-copy-2.gif
(photographer: Tawny Horton)
Not much to say about this one. I guess I like it. Nothing amazing. I should have made the hairband symmetrical. Maybe also made all the metals either silver or gold.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-4mjDLIoDH5M/TketVDBPXpI/AAAAAAAAAtk/GAkzMinBWCU/s1600/red22.jpg
before/after
The part that bugs me is the highlight on her cheekbone. It looks ugly - like it was partially blown out or something. I should have either retained more texture or went with a harder transition. You might also notice the slightly warmer coloring in the before/after. This is because I had second thoughts about the overall coloring after I had saved the before after and changed the larger version. Which look more appealing to you?

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-1y1j9J86ZNs/Tkt0XWlirAI/AAAAAAAAAuA/-4bzYRXLzN4/s1600/geisha2_med.jpg
before/after
I ended up doing so much lens distortion work and adjustments to her shape that the background was majorly jacked up(Yes I made her proportions thinner. I'm evil.). I'm aware the original background added to the concept but I didn't want to spend the time finding another background to replace this one with. The part that I really hate is the way I made the fabric look like it's bulging around her stomach. I can't believe I didn't notice this until now. I also now feel like I should have done more smoothing to her chest to make it match the texture on her face. Newbie move.

Aug 18 11 11:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
CM Retouching
Posts: 422
Paris, Île-de-France, France


MP : great experimentations. I feel like everyone can learn a lot in this thread.

Regarding the last three images :
1) The lightening of her eyes gives a surreal look. As if she was in trance state. But I think you did it on purpose

2) I really like it. The cheekbone looks a bit strong.

3) I like the face but not the rest of the body. The posture is strange and I feel like something is wrong with her proportions.
Also you decided to remove the background, ok no problem, except that now there is something we don't know what is it under her arm. I would remove it. I find the original image difficult and I don't know if you can really get a WOW result with it.
Aug 19 11 06:18 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Sofia Zasheva
Posts: 154
Sofia, Sofija grad, Bulgaria


MP Retouch wrote:
I've got a couple more experiments to toss your way. The feedback I've been getting from this thread has really been helping me.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EZ38mDDMpvU/T … ompmed.jpg
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EMADvzJmAGI/T … tycomp.jpg

I wanted to say something about those two that bothered me:
In the first image I'm losing her face. I see hair, dress and no face. It's too desaturated, the whole skin but the balance of highlights/shadows is nice I think.

About the second..I like the skin but don't miss brows, lashes, lips.. because it looks like you didn't care enough.

And btw, the last third photo that CM talked about. I just think that the crop is not fine. I'd losen the saturation in the blue bg and make that triangle between her and the fabric part of the bg (and make it a bit darker because it's logical to be in shadow there). Or.. lose the hand...

Aug 21 11 12:15 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Julian Marsalis
Posts: 1,191
Austin, Texas, US


MP Retouch wrote:
Appreciate all the great advice. Just dumping another attempt in here.

This is the image I'm using in my (incomplete atm) youtube series.

So where are these videos I love to check them out great work by the way....

Aug 22 11 01:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Dan Rockstreet
Posts: 2
Sindelfingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany


Julian Marsalis wrote:

So where are these videos I love to check them out great work by the way....

@Julian: MPretouch's Youtube channel

Aug 28 11 01:26 pm  Link  Quote 
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