Introduction to Natural Retouching
We're gonna be getting into natural portrait retouching. And this is a topic that I feel pretty strongly about. I don't like to over-retouch anything, so I like to keep things pretty true to what they were, yet fix things that definintely need to be fixed. I know that there's a lot of different thoughts on retouching. These are my personal thoughts on retouching, so take that and kinda run with it. And look around at the way other people retouch as well. I know another CreativeLive teacher here, Pratik Naik, he does phenomenal portrait retouching. Just take a look at his work and see what he does, and take a look at retouching work and see what they do. The thing that we wanna kinda avoid is the overly retouched look. I'll teach you some methods on how we can avoid that. This really is an art form. There's an art form to the retouching, that you can go on a whole... That can be your entire career, is just essentially portrait retouching. Because there's a need for it, it's important, a...
nd doing it well and doing it right, there's definitely a place for that. Couple things you wanna think of, best practices that I consider best practices for portrait retouching. Again, I'm gonna add that caveat. We wanna be true to the model, yet make the end result more visually appealing. So we wanna be true to the individual that we are retouching, but at the same time, make the end result have things cleaned up. Like stray, flyaway hairs, I wanna make sure we clean up pimples that wouldn't necessarily be there. But we wanna avoid removing moles that might be what I call character embellishments. You know, you have certain moles on faces that just are beauty marks that make that individual, that's their character, that's the thing that makes them them. Other things that I'd be cautious of, I've got like a chicken pox scar here on my forehead, that's like a signature to my face. If I get rid of that, then when someone sees me the next time, they're gonna think that I just have this new crater in my head, but that's not necessarily the case. So we have to look at the model as we're shooting them and take these mental notes. Even if you have to take actual paper notes. Okay, that's actually a mole, that's not a zit. I'm not going to remove that because... In turn, you may offend somebody if you remove something that's actually really important to their facial features and their facial structure. Freckles, I'm Irish, a lot of my family is Irish. We have a lot of freckles. And if you remove those freckles, it removes parts of me as a character. So, this would be our before, and this would be our after, right? That looks pretty good. (audience laughter) Before. After. I mean, we're staying pretty true to the individual. No, see, this is not what we wanna do. We wanna go more for something like this, okay? So what we're trying to do here, is we're trying to look at the things that were wrong in the first image, and fix them for the second image. And you can see here what I've done with this photograph of myself... This is a really good thing to do, actually. I was very uncomfortable doing a retouching session on myself, because, it's like a self portrait. But it's not just a self portrait, it's a self portrait where you're pointing out all the things that are wrong with you. So, I challenge you to take your own self portrait, and retouch yourself because it's going to... You're gonna see some things about yourself, that will help you take those mental notes. Like I was telling you about that little crater that I got on my head, that's important. It's a chicken pox scar. But then other things here, like the zit on my forehead. We get zits, even adults do, it's part of life. Looking at things like stray flyaway hairs. This is proof that my hair is not always perfect, okay? I try, but it doesn't always work. Other things that you see that are happening here, the eyes. If you look right here in the center of the eyes, my eyes have this greenish-brownish type of look to them, whereas the regular photo doesn't quite bring that out, but I can bring that out later. Another thing you might not even see here, but what I've done is I've added my own catch lights to my eyes that are completely different from the catch light that I had before. So the catch lights in eyes are really important. We're gonna look at what happens if you look at eyes with no catch lights, it's the creepiest thing in the world, you look like a baby doll or something like that. My teeth, I don't know if this is like a hereditary thing, but my sister and I both, like our canines are yellow. It's like we're, I don't know, literally canine. So those, I know that my teeth have a yellowing on those canine teeth there, so I pay attention to those things and I bring that down a little bit. Other things that are really subtle that you might not notice are really hot spots from the flash or from the lights that I'm using from my light setup. Those hot spots are cleaned up, they aren't gone, they still help shape the face, but they're just not as harsh. They're not as harsh on the lip, they're not as harsh on the nose, they're not as harsh on the cheek. But ultimately when this is done, I haven't retouched this to the point that you can no longer tell who Blake Rudis is. All I've done is cleaned up some things that just don't look that great. It's just like a landscape image. I mean, think about things in a landscape. We talked about cloning things out in a landscape that are there, but we don't wanna ruin the integrity of that landscape, we just wanna cover up things that maybe don't make it as visually appealing. And it's the exact same thing that you're gonna see here when we get into natural retouching. So let's go ahead and hop into Photoshop. We're gonna talk about all kinds of crazy things. Basically everything that I showed you on this, we're gonna go ahead and do on this portrait.