Retouching FAQ - Tips & Tricks

A place to post retouched pics, plus tips and discussion about retouching techniques.

Retouching FAQ - Tips & Tricks

Postby minustirith » Wed Jun 22, 2005 2:24 pm

This thread is intended to be a repository for retouchers to post their tips and tricks and a place for newbies to post questions. I, for my part will do my best to answer any questions posted to this thread and welcome any feedback (good, bad or even ugly)!

To get things started, here is a link to a very well done "Beauty Retouching Tutorial". Enjoy---

http://www.graphic-design.com/Photoshop ... ching.html

The tutorial provided is by Marija Matijasec, a professional photo retoucher from Vinica, Croatia.


Look forward to any other suggestions... :D
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Postby minustirith » Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:29 pm

TIP - Nose jobs

With regards to step 3 of Marija Matijasec's tutorial, I kind of disagree with her use of the pucker tool. It's cool, yes, but can only be used for the most subtle of nose jobs. Used to much and you distort area's better left untouched. I prefer using the lasso feathered, cutting off a piece of the nose and overlaying the cut piece back ontop of the original. The new layer can then be freely moved and/or stretched (even puckered) without distorting the surrounding area's of the picture. Apply the layer and retouch with the clone stamp (15% - no more) to clean up any imperfections. The result, if done right is virtually undetectable. A good choice to try this on is Paris Hilton. It's amazing how much a nose job can improve her features. :wink: (Sorry, TP)
Last edited by minustirith on Mon Sep 19, 2005 7:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby minustirith » Wed Jun 22, 2005 6:14 pm

TIP - Photo Realistic Effects: General Rules of Thumb

Many of the contributors of retouched photo's have enjoyed the obvious satisfcation of applying color to their favorite celeb photos. But just applying color is not enough, if you want to produce a realistic effect. Here are a few general rules of thumb I use to get such a result (in no particular order):

NOTE: The following tips assume you already have Photoshop and are at least somewhat familiar with it.

1. Applying lipstick turns a matt finish into a shiny finish. A shiny finish reflects light and therefor has less detail and more white "blobs" and "sparkles". The texture changes. Learn to use the clone stamp to modify texture to achieve this. Also, remember where your light source is such that your reflections are positioned correctly. (More on this one in a seperate tip)

2. The thing not to do is "over-saturate". Applying too much color can produce a dramatic effect, but at the cost of realism. I find that using the color variations, followed by desaturating a tad, produces very realistic effects.

3. Apply a color to the lips that compliments the eyes, hair and outfit, just as the woman would do herself, were she to pick a color. It seems like a little thing, but it goes a long way in making the retouch look real.

4. Doing just the lips may not be enough. Flesh out the look by balancing the makeup. A little mascara (use the burn tool) can create a more believable retouched mouth. A touch (and I mean just a touch) of blush can help too. Always match the blush to the base color of the lips.

5. Use a HQ pic. Low quality photo's actually can require more work because you have to match the lossy texture of the JPG as well as the texture of the skin. It's a royal pain and the results are doomed to be less then perfect.

6. Temporaraly expand the image size. The higher the resolution, the better. Pick the highest resolution your work station can handle. Then do your retouching. Once the retouch is done, reduce the image size back to it's original dimensions. You will find that the filters and tools work better this way and it will help even out your retouched areas with the non-retouched areas, providing a (hopefully) seamless transition.

7. Don't ever use the magic wand. It's a lazy man's tool. Take your time with the lasso tool and do it right. Don't forget the ALT key as it is essential to keeping your lines smooth. I find "saving" my selection can be useful later on in the retouch process, so consider using that option.

8. Don't forget to feather your selections. Not too much, either. The level of feathering depends a lot on the resolution of the image, but sometimes, no more then a 1 pixel feather is needed.

9. Use Layers!!! I can't stress this one enough. If you haven't learned to use layers yet, do it now, before you do anything else. Layers allow you to control the level of intensity that ANY effect will be applied. Layers allow you to undo your efforts with ease. Layers are your friend. Learn to use layers!


DISCLAIMER: I do not profess to be a professional graphic artist nor any kind of artist what-so-ever. I do this simply as a hobbie and only wish to provide other members of this forum with some of my experience.
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Postby glossover » Wed Jun 22, 2005 8:02 pm

Thanx Minus :wink:
It's me now -> :hmmm:
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Postby minustirith » Thu Jun 23, 2005 2:10 am

Gloss, does that mean your pondering the FAQ or are confused by it?
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Postby Adam » Thu Jun 23, 2005 4:59 am

Thanks for the retouch tips minus. As many years as I've messed with Photoshop, I just recently started using layers more, and the palette that pops up when you double-click on a layer is great. It lets you select what percentage of that layer will be visible. This is one of the ways you can colorize lips while alowing the skin texture and gloss highlights to remain visible, not buried in added color. Adding new color is something I rarely do anyway, simply because I hate to remove the realism of skin texture.

I am including a pic below that shows what you can do without touching any coloring tools. I did those changes by using the lasso, and tweaking first the levels, then the curves, and then the contrast control. Each one just a little bit, but combined, what was not very colorful before became pretty nice. And that color matches the rest of the picture, bucause I only used the elements of color already present on her skin.

For what it's worth, here's some things I can share on using the lasso tool. Remember... slicing a bit off the selection (with option or alt held down), or adding a bit more to the selection (with shift held down) is a life saver. In the old days I didn't know that, so I gave up on the lasso. After all no one's hand is good enough to get a complex selection (like around a hotty's lips) on the first attempt. This tip will be old hat to you minus, but maybe not to others. Shift/lasso allows you to add, and Alt/lasso lets you take away. (cool little plus and minus signs pop up on your cursor to help remind you)

Ditto on the 1 pixel feather too, unless the selection (or lips) are very tiny. One pixel feathering is essential to avoid a telltale "digital edge" that any unfeathered selection creates.

One thing I discovered by accident is the wonders of using Command-shift I (as in India). That does something called Invert Selection. Many times in pictures a babe's lips are already a nice color, but just need a little "snap" to em. Or in similar cases her lips are even better than nice, but the whole picture is kinda murky and dark. First lasso her mouth carefully and either brighten it or darken it as the case requires with levels or curves.

In Levels (i.e. Commant-L) try this: Drag the mid-tone arrow to the left to brighten it from 1.00 to a higher number. 1.06 or 1.08 will often do wonders. Or, if you want to darken the color, and “goth-ize” her mouth, then go the other way, down to .92, or .85.

Now here’s where drama can kick in. Let’s say you’ve goth’ed her lips down to .89 or so. Next you invert the selection, so everything EXCEPT her lovely mouth is selected. Go back to Levels (or curves if you prefer) and drag your midtones up. this hightens the contrast between the rest of the picture and her lips! Boing! Be careful because a little bit of difference makes a huge impact on your eyes. Sometimes a 4 point midtone darkening of the lips, and a 4 point lightening on the rest of the pic can deliver all the electricity needed. Remember to use Command-Z often to undo what you just did, and be sure what you changed is an improvement or not. Also every time I make a critical lasso slection, it's essential to use Command-H (hide edges of selection). Then whatever changes are being made to the selection, I can see it naturally, and not be distracted by the “marching ants” of the little line that shows the selection. That way toggling the undo feature back and forth lets me concentrate on my question... better... or worse... (you know, just like the optometrist says, over and over) ;)

Another thing to remember if the babe’s mouth is open, "deselect" the inside of her mouth, with the lasso and option (or alt on wintel) key held down, like I explained above. Cut the hole out of the donut so to speak, so what you do to her lips later on will not affect her teeth, tongue, etc. Hey, you don’t want to turn her teeth dark and dirty at the same time as you goth her lips. By the same token, if you lighten everything except her lips (using my invert selection idea), you’ll brighten her teeth and stuff at the same time!
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Postby minustirith » Thu Jun 23, 2005 5:55 am

Excellent post Adam. Your use of the curves is amazing. I've used that technique myself but not to the same effect you have. I'll have to give it a go again and see if I can't duplicate what your talking about. The result from the pantyhose girl was flawless.

Good points too on the use of the lasso tool. So much of that is old hat now, that I forget to even mention it. Glad you got into the layers thing too. It's the holy grail of Photoshop tools.

While what you described works well to keep skin textures the same, I suggest that you don't be afraid to just get in there and mix things up a bit when working on the lips. Look at my Lindsey Lohan post:

http://www.lipstickfetish.org/forum/vie ... php?t=3122

Look at the side-by-side pic in particular. You will see from the before and after that the texture is radically altered and simplified. Plenty of shine has been added. And yet even after such a radical change, the effect is still (what I hope to be) realistic.

One important trick to remember when applying shine: Apply the shine relative to the same direction that the shine exists on the pupils of the eyes.

Thanks so much for your tips. I hope more out there will contribute to this thread. You've given me something to think about, I'd like more of that.
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Postby minustirith » Tue Jul 12, 2005 2:15 pm

Another fantastic tutorial is as follows:

http://www.informit.com/articles/articl ... Num=5&rl=1

This one shows you how to smooth skin tones with various techniques including using the green channel as a guide of sorts. Scroll down a few pages and there is an excellent example of a makeup retouch that is about as professional as it gets. I was blown away with the quality.
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Lipstick -> Gloss!! :-)

Postby John_zld » Sun Jun 25, 2006 4:38 pm

Hello, can anybody help me a bit on how to retouch a picture that a person wears normal(matte) lipstick to retouch it that she wears gloss at the final result of the retouch?
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Postby Saffie » Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:16 am

Some time ago I had a link to a great site with HQ - UHQ photos of celebrities. Then I changed computers and lost all my links.

Any thoughts on what the site might have been? I'll recognise the name.
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Using the tools

Postby fetishfreak » Fri Aug 31, 2007 1:55 am

I have Jasc Paint Sho Pro 8.1 and also PhotoImpact Pro and the problem is using the damn tools.
The clone tool thriws me way off because it doesn't really tell you how to use it and the help topics say use this and use that with little or no explanation at all. In Paint Shop Pro there is a feature to lighten or darken and everytime I click on it it only shows lighten. I have tried everything to do to make the darken feature work and I will be damned to make it work.
Both programs have the help topic and PhotoImpact even has video to show you how to do stuff. The problem is besides that they are telling me how to do everythng but what I really want it for really sucks.
I want to know how to change or enhance lipstick in women's photos and also to match their nails with the same color.
Does anyone have anything or any ideas that will help me before I throw the entire computer agaisnt the wall and smash it into tiny pieces?
I have many fetishes and this forum is merely one of the many.
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Postby Lipstick Lover » Sun Mar 23, 2008 9:55 pm

Found this today and thought it was quite good. Thought I'd post it for our retouchers and any wanna-bes as well...

http://www.bspcn.com/2008/03/09/33-awes ... tutorials/
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