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Retoucher
Megan E Griscom
Posts: 421
Bordentown, New Jersey, US


I've been practicing a lot with files I've found on MM...I'm just learning Photoshop and would like anyones opinion please of what is working and what could be better. I've seen some really interesting skin retouching that looks very sharp, but havent been able to achieve it just yet. Not sure what I'm doing wrong but if anyone would like to comment I would be grateful.

#1
http://img856.imageshack.us/img856/4937/sb3forum.jpg
By mxmed at 2012-08-12

#2
http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/6323/grph1cropforum.jpg
By mxmed at 2012-08-17

#3
http://img844.imageshack.us/img844/1530/adx2forum.jpg
By mxmed at 2012-08-17

#4
http://img571.imageshack.us/img571/5821/grph2cropforum.jpg
By mxmed at 2012-08-17
Aug 17 12 07:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Matt Forma
Posts: 373
Denver, Colorado, US


These all look over processed and unnatural. I would say you should try to learn more about retaining texture in the skin. High frequency separation is a nice technique for this, google it.
Aug 19 12 11:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
AKMac
Posts: 304
London, England, United Kingdom


I agree with Matt. It takes a lot of time to achieve, but you need to enhance the skin texture rather than removing it. Frequency separation is a good way of approaching this, and there is lots of easily accessible info about this.
The other thing that might be useful is to look at the relative saturation of lights and shadows. For example, in the second image you've posted, the shadows are over-saturated. An easy way is to deal with this is to Cmd/Ctrl click on the RGB thumbnail in the Channels Palette (this will make a selection of the whole image based on light/dark values)> create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer (a mask with the luminosity values of the image will be automatically created)>Invert the mask so it becomes a negative image. Now you can reduce the saturation in the shadow areas while leaving the lighter areas as they were. Forgive me if you know all this already.
Aug 19 12 11:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Megan E Griscom
Posts: 421
Bordentown, New Jersey, US


Thanks both of you for your feedback. I don't know anything about the frequency separation you mentioned but I'll look it up and find some tutorials. Thanks!
Aug 20 12 08:01 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Megan E Griscom
Posts: 421
Bordentown, New Jersey, US


AKMac wrote:
I agree with Matt. It takes a lot of time to achieve, but you need to enhance the skin texture rather than removing it. Frequency separation is a good way of approaching this, and there is lots of easily accessible info about this.
The other thing that might be useful is to look at the relative saturation of lights and shadows. For example, in the second image you've posted, the shadows are over-saturated. An easy way is to deal with this is to Cmd/Ctrl click on the RGB thumbnail in the Channels Palette (this will make a selection of the whole image based on light/dark values)> create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer (a mask with the luminosity values of the image will be automatically created)>Invert the mask so it becomes a negative image. Now you can reduce the saturation in the shadow areas while leaving the lighter areas as they were. Forgive me if you know all this already.

No I don't know any of this already...lol! I've only been working with Photoshop for a few weeks now and there are many things I have to learn about it.

I watched this video here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMyaeZmkZD8&feature=plcp

and I did not see that it improved the image at all. When making the mask and smoothing it I saw no changes in the image, at all. I can see the mask is there but the image doesnt look any smoother  to me. When I went to the high freg layer to remove blemishes it didnt seem to me working at its usual capacity, leaving the redness of the blemish behind.

So I'm confused at this point. I must be doing something wrong but I followed the steps right along with the video.

Aug 20 12 08:03 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
AKMac
Posts: 304
London, England, United Kingdom


I think confusion is inevitable to start with. It's not an "instinctive" technique. Also the video you have mentioned runs through things pretty fast.

There are two common uses of frequency separation.

The first one is to split the image into a high frequency 'texture' layer and a low frequency 'blurred' layer to allow you to manipulate those separately. For example, in the high frequency layer, you might clone 'good' skin texture onto areas of 'bad' texture without affecting the broader colour and tonality of the underlying low frequency layer. Alternatively, you might work on the lower frequency layer, subtly blending areas of colour or tone, without affecting the texture preserved in the high frequency layer above..

The second common use of frequency separation is a technique called Inverted High Pass, which is used to smooth tonal transitions and 'grunge' while preserving finer textures. IHP is a semi-automatic technique, and an over used shortcut /trick, but when used with discretion and good judgement it can render excellent results.

I think, to start with, it is best to learn how to use the frequency split technique. That will help you to understand the fundamentals. If you search here and on RetouchPro you will find lots of useful information. It is easy to do - more difficult to do well.
Aug 20 12 12:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Megan E Griscom
Posts: 421
Bordentown, New Jersey, US


AKMac wrote:
I think confusion is inevitable to start with. It's not an "instinctive" technique. Also the video you have mentioned runs through things pretty fast.

There are two common uses of frequency separation.

The first one is to split the image into a high frequency 'texture' layer and a low frequency 'blurred' layer to allow you to manipulate those separately. For example, in the high frequency layer, you might clone 'good' skin texture onto areas of 'bad' texture without affecting the broader colour and tonality of the underlying low frequency layer. Alternatively, you might work on the lower frequency layer, subtly blending areas of colour or tone, without affecting the texture preserved in the high frequency layer above..

The second common use of frequency separation is a technique called Inverted High Pass, which is used to smooth tonal transitions and 'grunge' while preserving finer textures. IHP is a semi-automatic technique, and an over used shortcut /trick, but when used with discretion and good judgement it can render excellent results.

I think, to start with, it is best to learn how to use the frequency split technique. That will help you to understand the fundamentals. If you search here and on RetouchPro you will find lots of useful information. It is easy to do - more difficult to do well.

Thanks so much. I was sent a link to this vid, which is an hour long.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RM0byiIcTJ0
and I have a better grasp now. He lost me towards the end when he went into dodge and burn ( I do it on two separate curves layers) but I think I got the separation part down. I didnt do it do well however.  The areas on the models cheeks and nose where the light hit ended up having a scaly texture to them. When I sampled texture from other areas it worked pretty well but the overall look was flat, even after dodging and burning. She had a nice dewy kind of skin but I seemed to have lost it somehow. I will just keep practicing! Thanks for your help.

Aug 20 12 02:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Digital Artist
Arte Imaginarium
Posts: 82
Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand


It is true that you made these look over-processed. There is one thing I do like about the first one which is - you made from the nose to the eyebrows look painted.

I guess if you had of carried on with that kind of look through out the image, it would have looked awesome and would turned into more of a...illustrative retouch opposed to the norm.

smile
Aug 20 12 10:56 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Megan E Griscom
Posts: 421
Bordentown, New Jersey, US


soulkyrie wrote:
It is true that you made these look over-processed. There is one thing I do like about the first one which is - you made from the nose to the eyebrows look painted.

I guess if you had of carried on with that kind of look through out the image, it would have looked awesome and would turned into more of a...illustrative retouch opposed to the norm.

smile

Thanks but I'm not sure what you mean...smile. She had makeup fall around her face so I just cleaned up her eyeshadow some. Her lips look a little dry to me but I couldnt figure out how to make them look a little glossier, all the tutorials I watched made no sense. I was really concentrating on the skin so I'm kinda bummed it looks overdone. I'm trying to learn the HF separation technique but the result looks flat to me. It takes off all the natural glow/shine to the models skin. And I thought blurring the skin was a big no-no? I will keep practicing, thanks for your feedback. It really does help.

Aug 21 12 06:10 am  Link  Quote 
Digital Artist
Arte Imaginarium
Posts: 82
Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand


Ok - what I meant is, given I understand you were aiming for the HF separation technique what you actually did whether you realised it or not - was make her appear digitally painted which "isn't" a bad thing either.

Thats the difference between high-end retouching and illustrative retouching.

High end leans more toward the look you were initially trying to achieve, the flawless skin, glossy lips, good balance of light and shadow etc. What you kinda achieved was more of the illustrative look, which gives the appearance of an image being painted.

So...I wouldn't be too hard on yourself. You may not have achieved the look you hoping for but you managed to achieve another. Which is better than most people who start out in this game.
Aug 21 12 10:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Megan E Griscom
Posts: 421
Bordentown, New Jersey, US


soulkyrie wrote:
Ok - what I meant is, given I understand you were aiming for the HF separation technique what you actually did whether you realised it or not - was make her appear digitally painted which "isn't" a bad thing either.

Thats the difference between high-end retouching and illustrative retouching.

High end leans more toward the look you were initially trying to achieve, the flawless skin, glossy lips, good balance of light and shadow etc. What you kinda achieved was more of the illustrative look, which gives the appearance of an image being painted.

So...I wouldn't be too hard on yourself. You may not have achieved the look you hoping for but you managed to achieve another. Which is better than most people who start out in this game.

Thanks a lot. I'll go back and look at my layers in that image. I can never remember what I did. I think I see what you mean...maybe like a watercolor or brushed effect? Yea I wasnt goin for that...lol....the model had such pretty poreless skin that I tried not to do too much with it. Just blemish removal, d n b and a Portraiture filter on very low settings. I'll keep practicing...thanks again!

Aug 22 12 06:49 am  Link  Quote 
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