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The Art & Business of High-End Retouching

Lesson 17 of 32

Retouching Workflow: Content Aware


The Art & Business of High-End Retouching

Lesson 17 of 32

Retouching Workflow: Content Aware


Lesson Info

Retouching Workflow: Content Aware

Now another magic thing with your spot healing brush said to content aware I'm going to go in and highlight it this may or may not work just as a you know I had fans warning but sometimes it does if it does it's the best thing in the world when it doesn't it's really annoying so I'm going to cover the whole strand of here what it does is it removes strand of hair but replaces it with the underlying texture of whatever it was that was there because content who are selected what it does is it says all right if this is going to be removed, what is going to take the place of it so it does a job of calculating and then replaces it accordingly? Sometimes again it doesn't work great sometimes it does the thing to remember is your brush size for content where must be a little bit larger in the strand of hair taking out because he needs a sample areas you know above and below it and that's how it really works when you're cloning is replacing whatever it was whatever's there with whatever should...

be there kind of guessing what's under it suits sample areas next to it in covert so that's what it's doing for a quick version so sometimes when you have flyaways and things like that that's going on, you know what were we just did earlier so again, sometimes you know, flyways, it makes it really quick if you don't have any me that's really finicky to go ahead and use this little content to our trick, just content where the spot healing brushed it does depend off on the directionality of how you brush yes, exactly like you can going can be doing squiggles across the hair, you have to literally cover the direction of the hair itself, yet leaving just enough space to sample those two points. Yeah, good point, like you fighting by content, aware, right? My content over a spot hitting brush? I couldn't do little I could do a patch of circle because it doesn't really know what you were expecting, right? It's like trying to assault for dinner? I don't know like you're trying to fight with it. There's a question about whether how you would do from joe photo como how do you deal with soft facial hair on women? How much to remove and best technique to do so? Excellent. So this will be a multi step technique, and at this step of the process, what I'm going to do is essentially just take away the ones that illuminated at this level when resumed out at this point, you realize that nothing much is eliminated right now, so everything is coming in whenever you're zoomed in and what that means is that I wouldn't touch it right now because later on is where we're going to be doing most of the evening regards the hair, okay, um, it's fine to take with things that are the hairs that are most illuminated, but don't take with everything because you'll be left this patchy, disgusting piece of skin and that's worse than the hair you started with it's going to be one of those things that when we're finished, you'll see why it adds to the character of the image rather and takes it away. But it's hard to visualize that, especially when you have this step and you just want to take with everything right now see here tickle fires here, maybe couple on this side and again, the reason I'm zoomed in at this point right now is just to take away the things that I saw zoomed out, but I wanted just a mineral quick and have it, you know, become much easier for me and this guy's here you can kind of see a months I'm not as precise as people would expect me to be in regards to just take you way things, because in the next step, what happens is we're going to be evening out tonality and blotchy nous and really efficient manner, so right now I save my save my wits and for that point, because it's not so imperative of the moment. The most important thing is you're moving the things that actually matter to you the most in a pretty efficient manner. Uh, see here, a couple more, and that means not again. Double check. Now let me actually do one thing about this line. Now, this line right here, okay, is really interesting. Some people say let's, take it out. Some people say, hey, you know what? Forget about the line, keep it in there. It's natural. So what do you do? Obviously if you want to keep it in, you keep it in if you want to take our lights in it this we're probably gonna do it. You could light in this by dodging and burning or lighting up things. The next step. However, if you want to do it now, there's one thing you can do two things, you can do it. I just sort of a second one, so I'll show you one way first we're going to go in with our heating brush and I'm gonna have my hearing brush set to something that's going to cover the actual line here. Oh, please work and say in a sample of top to come down and I'm going to go and what happens is it use it out but has this little strand of discoloration we just find because you can go over it again one stroke and prove that discoloration but let's say you don't want me completely you want something in between you can goto edit and fade healing brush and what that does is now the last trick that you did you can fade it out so you don't have to have it all but you can light it up that's always fantastic because you don't know if you want thing in between that's great but if you want more or less you can change it just based on whatever struck you doing and I recommend doing this instead of adjusting the opacity on the layer because what happens is when you adjust your passing and the later it is just so pass on everything you've done okay so when he'd save again command us it's saving the background and now let me undo that real quick uh you could even do that the cooling brush just wantedto say I love my fate tool and I have ah action that I made for it but you have tio erase a step if you try to make that an action oh, because you're making an action in between stuff getting planes writes that goes like connor into to this sense the actions of a little bit more than you anticipated tio the action is fine because it's now button, but you have to, like, make the action a little bit offered I understand you have to go through sometimes actions work um in a way that you don't expect them to, you know, when you think it should go right? It goes wrong for having very finicky sometimes because fade only does it to the last thing that it's done before. So you're doing an action in between you have lake? Yeah, definitely definitely understand now the good thing is, with this fatal also worked to the cologne brush, so you can say, you know what? I'm going to slit my clone brush and then do it again, or you could just have a really low flow so it's, like you're fading in instead of doing two steps so you can say my flow is going to be nine percent or something really low gentle okay under ten percent is considered quite gentle, at least from my understanding in a sample and then just stop brushing and what happens is it fades that line but keeps the texture around the area. Okay, you could do multiple things it's just relative to whatever it is that you wanna do, um and that's the best part about someone you do it again just by a little bit, I won't do a lot step right, alicia a repo is wondering why not do healing and cloning on the same layer doesn't look practical to go from one layer to another it is the only reason I'm doing it to there's a secure you guys my what I hear and what I call a typically I would do it on one layer great and some people are really organized they'll have healing for the face you may feel like your arms and the stack it all so it's really cool because it allows you to essentially just you know, do it do it however you want to the other thing is sometimes you can't healing claw on the same layer because it does this weird thing I'll show you hopefully I can reproduce it so let's say that I've um I'm gonna I'm gonna experiment and see if this actually works here it may not let's say that you clarify when you're saying that you fade the healing brush you mean reduced capacity? Uh okay, so what? I mean what I mean by that is let's say I go ahead and hell, this little strand of hair I don't mean opacity in the sense where I just capacity here in layers what I mean is I just saw a pass ity based on the fatal when I'm when I said fade, the healing rush essentially meant yes adjust capacity under the fade option but typically I've seen I try not to see adjust capacity because it confuses people instead to do capacity on the layers. So yes, what I mean is, once you've healed out anything you'd like just going to edit and fade and adjust capacity under the fade menu fantastic uh see what we're getting out there so let's pretend um I heal, including the same layer let's say I'm going to clone this guy out here now, let's say I take a healing brush and start healing around it what tends to happen is you get sometimes you get little fringing going on in areas that you heal or clone and it's a very odd occurrence I don't know why that happens. What does happen sometimes, which is why it's also a good year sometimes to separate the two in cases that it does happen and it's not something that can continue to reproduce, but when you do see that effect happening, don't wear that halo is coming from that's what's happening, so maybe at a new blank later and start working on that before going forward. So again now giving with this section here okay? Or even the section here the way there's hacker is multi step so first and foremost I'm not going to cut it out completely, eh? I'm not going to cut out because it was very obvious but bea, I want to be less distracting so what I do is I first start out by healing as much as I can to get more real estate space on the skin start healing, healing, healing and he as much as possible without running into any problems on go go, go and here I guess I'm not really worried about the color of my skin as long as I know I textures but your face properly we're gonna easily be able to fix all of that later on so don't get so bogged down paying attention, which is very difficult sometimes I know uh here so that didn't work for you to start getting really blotchy so that's probably where I'm going to stop there with my heading brush now what I'm going to do now is I'm going to take my clone brush good mike lonelier and let's say with a really low flow by five percent our experiment I'm gonna sample below it right here and then I'm going to start brushing buff and what happens is this starts to fade out the hair in a manner that would replace it naturally and what it does is any area that goes into the actual scalp itself you khun mask out so let's say for example I did a little bit more where I went even further of the scalp just to get a good coverage of the skin what I could do then is at a mask and slick my brush and then with a low flow again say ten percent or so brush uh there we go oh dear thank you that's really fresh mood see again and brushwood works on those flat layers but not homeland clears that's where you have to make sure readjust your brush and what happens is you get rid of that here that's on the scalp without going into here itself I know it's a lot lighter right now but again this is we're going to fix that in the lying step we're gonna even it out so don't worry about that so much for the main takeaway there is it's easy to remove things that on the scalp I'm gonna brush us a little bit back in to kind of give it a natural wispy area so it's not completely cut out as I mentioned so it's more transition over okay similarly I'm gonna come back on this side and with a low flow I'm gonna go and brush across and sample areas that are very similar that weekend tackle little flyways without going too far and that'll mask it in later someone in gold it further and go into the scalp and then I'm going to have my clone brush a mask and then come back just three and suddenly it's not completely gone with less distracting than it wass before that makes sense and what happens any of the areas that have changed luminosity? I'm going dark in a leader just to match what it was before I'm not to do that now again blighting and everything comes later don't do everything at one go, okay? All right, so essentially what I want to do is create some clean, flat, even skin the things that I don't mind are things like discoloration, you see splotches on the skin, these bright spots, things like that, I'm not touching right now that should not come right now should come the next step, okay, also, the step should be things like dust spots in the background like I did, or even if you had read lines in the eye and the way that take care of that essentially just zooming by heating brush with a really small, hang blurt heating brush and just feel it out now we can see a little bit more take care of anything that is really, really, really bothering you because I know some people like you didn't take that thing out of that thing out here. There was a question about lips and in particular how to deal with, like, basically adding chapstick effectively, like any cracking lips like that now she doesn't really have that yeah, do you know, do we have anything coming up? Where we'll deal with that, or would you be able to talk to it? Sure so one of the things that you can do right now is say, urinary, which I don't recommend begin hurry when you were touching, but you were in a hurry. You can go to your clone brush, select the actual area beside the actual chapped lip like a valley, take it and then brush it him. So what happens is, as you notice their review it again is when I sample and brush you noticed actual lip becomes fuller and plums out because the texture of the underlying the texture of the layer, that the texture of the lip portion next to the chapel it will fill it in it's like a filler, so to speak, but you'd usually want to do this during the lighting step so that you can lighten up those cracks. But this is also a good wave have extremely chapped lips where you have you controlled by flow again if you notice flow is already taking part of everything without the flow. It's very hard to do some of these things that I'm doing, and even going across, you know, the ends of the lip it's something that you can, um, take care of now by essentially just sampling with a clone brush. And brushing here's the cool part. I have a hard time going at this angle with my hand, my my preference is going like this and not like this, but I'm going to do is rotate my canvas really quick and then take care of that whole area and then go back accordingly so that it looks funny, but you know, you gotta do what you gotta do. Uh, someone assemble next to live itself with a brush, take care of that little makeup line and make it street is possible again. I'm not worried about the fact that it got lighter. I'm going to be fixing that in the next day. No, this is like what he's doing? But trust me on this, we weren't laughing, laughing at ourselves up there like I didn't know dorian, let me in here. The other thing is, I'm not trying to make it ultra precise because I think the main thing is I'm trying teo make sure you're getting the techniques down rather than spending double time getting everything super precise. However, as long as you walk out with the same concept and techniques is my main preference. Yeah, so clearly this is a lot lighter than I would have liked, however, since big since there aren't any great heiress a source from aiken try again just because I'm picky what you can do is then see that for the next for your lighting, that area back in or darkening back in, it blends in perfectly, so let me actually going under that reflect me do one more thing one more time, just in case I have something that has a better and result and sometimes it's ok, tio, you know, do things over and over again because you may not have luck on the frisco and it's quite natural sometimes I don't have luck on first day that I'm working on something come back the next day with ideas and I bounced back between people and a lot of my colleagues are good like that because we typically will work with each other, so say, I'm working with another re toucher what I will do is we will bounce ideas back and forth on a job, and sometimes I may not be able to do something as well as something else, and so he'll either tackle that portion and I'll outsource it to him or we'll talk about it and say, what techniques would you recommend this crease? Nothing worked for me and we will call together and talk to each other just like I mentioned yesterday talking to your colleagues you come with so many ideas like that, so never feel ashamed of saying I don't know how to do something and there may be questions today we're also have no idea, you know, I wouldn't look into that speaking of not knowing how to do something a lot of books it's kind of funny it's the simple things when you rotated the canvas like oh rotate the candidates so simple but dan ji was wondering, is there a way to snap the canvas back to the original angle without trying to eyeball it? Yeah so the way that you do it is you go over here once you have your rotate button active, which was which is your e under a shortcut since you've changed it by default is our okay so in case you wanna add a shortcut first it's are by default once you hit you rotate something as you rotate tools active there's a reset view button here and it'll just snap back perfectly oh man, that's actually really call in question it's funny because I'll tell the rotate u'll but I forget sometimes that tells how to re set it so the entire world was done rotated like I'm so sorry I didn't tell you to go a year later they come back I never knew fantastic question no let's see if there's anything else we can do right now, um we could also have an option of doing we can fill it in a little bit here we can either you save that for a darkening stage where we're essentially just darkening that portion because in the makeup world that's kind of like I shot I know filler what if I'm not? I don't know I'm gonna make a part I don't what they're called, but what is he called? Okay, yeah, thank you and so you'd fill it in right make it darker or would you sing better and have a nice eyebrow brush? Which every wound probably like and uh so I'm gonna take my clone brush said on my layer again, make sure your mask is not active as you working because if your mask is active as you working, you're going to be trying to copy and paste the stuff within the mask and nothing's goingto happen you'd be really frustrated so again, so we small details was good thing because you can replace back and forth once you get this fortunate, so again, make sure you click on the layer itself always make sure layer is active there's always a little checklist if you don't know what's wrong sometimes you may actually come across the point where I don't know why something's not working there's typically a few things while that happens one you're not on the right layer, make sure he earlier is active number two you're not on a mask make sure mask is not active number three you don't have q selected cues quick mask quick mask will make your life miserable because we'll queue was quickness I changed it, but typically quick quick mass does is it tries to make like a quick selection and once you get other quick mask, it makes a selection for you, so if you have quick mask enabled it's going to be a problem because by default quick mask askew that's why I changed it to get the other, um that's a koala for grass shamefully so shit oh yeah, caps lock if you don't know where your brushes where's my brush in so tiny, make sure your caps lock is that on? Because if it is, you're never going to get out of that old crosshatch. Um secondly, your flow make sure it's not one percent all the time because if you're trying to do saying really quickly, I don't know why it's working it's because it's not one percent so few things keep in mind make a note of that because it is something that happens all the time. And I was just about to that because I asked that prick mass elected, I'm not so smart sometimes now, uh, going into your clone, we're going to go and fill little gap in real quick and select the outside here you notice it filled in there may be some repeating patterns sometimes not noticeable sometimes it is, you know, get the patch that essentially works best for you and if luminosity changed again, don't worry about it. We're gonna fix that next step, you know, make do with what you have is long as you can take care of things now that are available to you, it's probably better than just, you know, try and get everything perfect right now because that creates off oddly more problems than fix is okay now and remember again, no one's going to see that they're going to be zoomed out looking at your image like this no one's going to see it look cool on brush thing you did, and just because you can see it doesn't mean they're going to see it it's kind of like when you go on facebook, he's facebook it as an example a lot because hope prominent everyone has it not because I'm endorsed by facebook, but now I'm not just me, but if you go on facebook on your timeline, you tend to look at images from other artists and your friends and you tell him, oh my god, it's so beautiful what do they say? Oh, thanks, but I think it's not that great right is because they see all the mistakes, but the rest of world isn't seen like if you go to every one of the images on my website, you will seem stakes and that wasn't a ploy to get you go to my website but just to show you that is it true? You know, we always have mistakes that we do, but we make him out to bigger than what they are is very similar to, you know, reality and human nature we look at ourselves, we see all the flaws, but no one else has really seen them because they're all focused on their own flaws, right? So that's kind of principle like, if I came out pajamas, you guys probably care, you know? But I'm not gonna do that just because they contradict us and because the producer said not through that I will happily plug your website. Everybody go check out solstice retouched dot com his work is amazing. Obviously you can see it here, but if you want to see a lot of his finish work solstice reset retouch thank you for that. Okay, fantastic. Now again, the angle of this whole process is to get skin flats on dh to the point where was the descript distracting blemishes are taken care of? I'm not worried about transitions I'm not worried about, um, you know, deep color changes and things like that not worry about making transitions beautiful now this is just the clean this most important stage because if you don't do this correctly the rest of your work is really weird and you don't have to happen now let's see what what can you do going forward going forward here let's go and zoom and just a little bit to make sure that we have everything that we saw over here taking care and we do um I'm gonna zoom in just for the pixel beavers and show you what I left behind you can see people are really freaking out going all these little strands of hair you should take them out they're awful but you know if you if you're not so concerned it zoomed out it's going to add later too how beautiful image looks you're not going to see it again, eh? But just to show people what I do I'm gonna do a few more okay? I literally do the same thing over and over again I sample in a good area and pace over the individual flyways are strands of hair you know the funny thing about cameras these days are you tend to notice details that you never notice about yourself so if you ever take selfies I know you guys you do uh you learn more about yourself then you ever imagine in all the years that you look in the mirror see some here again just the ones that extremely prominent you can tell I'm not super careful but you know as long as my principal stay intact from sampling from very similar area on pacing on over the blemish or fly away that has very similar texture then you know you're typically find the shaving brush takes care of most of guesswork for me which is fantastic I don't have a slowdown and use my clone brush to hell or clone individual here's one of which is definitely what I want to get away from okay let's see here the other cool thing with a clone brush is if you are actually working on the edge of the dress you'd sample on close the skin and then brush away I do want to apologize I've been noticing that when I'm hearing sometimes during in the cooler that's it's my mistake okay typically you would heal on the heating wear color on the clothing but again it's just for organization I'm just so used to doing all in one layer it just makes sense to me which is why I'm always having a and s as my clipping variable okay let's see if there's anything else I really really want take care right now if we're going to the next step I think that should really be it right now I'm going to go ahead and hit safe for command s okay now next portion is in regards to lighting and it's going to be a two step process now what I mean by that is I'm going to show you a couple of methods, even our transitions and me skin more beautiful. The first method is very traditional and one that I recommend getting really good at because it's extremely powerful and has no limited control. You have it's also very simple, and I think people tend to forget about process because people are so engrossed in this frequency separation thing, they forget about classical techniques that you need to know in order to have this control and that is dodgy and burning and dodging, burning something that really prevents you from going too far, sometimes because it's frequency you can get really carried away, and you can tell people who use frequency and abuse it, because with that what happens is people tend to go overboard because they have almost no limitation and they don't know how to control that rain, and it looks like a mess sometimes so dodging burning something that you really need to know in order to even out skin. Naturally, it prevents you from going too far. Dodging burning allows you to also accentuate highlights and deep in shadows and contouring and things like that from makeup and lighting. Okay, so let me go and get started take before you go into lighting if you would go to the bottom of the image so you can see that on the camera right? That you see a little bit off her finger and maybe literally right at the very bottom it least I think from this distance it looks like there's a little bit of the forefinger over here over here right there yeah. And so where would you if you were going to change that? When would you change? Okay if I was to change that or remove it so there's two things you can do if you decide that you want to just look a file about to change the shape of it dog being looked at liquefy area if you want to remove it now is the time you do so because this step is essentially the removing step, the cleaning staff and the way that I would do that, um is I'll take my clone brush again know what I'm gonna do first let's get rid of this guy here with a guy I don't like you calling it a guy know where that came from? Sorry about that, okay, so my flow is going to be set to say twenty percent little quicker than ten percent I think the best thing is to practice of flow get a use of how it works when assemble the background were everything I'm not going to be super detail right now, but what happens if you're super detailed you tend to get really particular next the edges and takes forever with a comb brush, right? So instead what I do is I literally covered the entire area and then with the mask going to come back and with my regular brush making sure damascus selected and I have black as my brush color because black heights you know, that's not foot shop one one that has to remind people black is a color you used to hide what you've done white is a color to reveal what you've done and again I'm using black because I'm going to hide the part the part of the hand that went into the dress because I don't want that background seeping into the dress just in the background now again without brush selected I'm going to have black is my color now I'm going to be going over here on the dress itself and coming in fine teen the edge of the dress what happens now is I can do it really quickly without having to pester around by taking my clone russian being very careful next edges could be sloppy but so efficient and much more precise and similarly you do the same over here with the bottom portion that kind of you know takes care of that, but I do know that this is something that I recommend leaving to the photographer, so I'm just going to quickly reveal that back they may give me one suggestion, another to move or keep it, typically it's something that probably removed as well. But you know, I'll just keep it out right now just for the sake of keeping it is close to regional as possible in case felix, like why'd you do that, I don't want to take it out. Um, I'll take care of any last things that I see again before you go into lighting. This little guy here, clammy, it's, really bothering me. As you can see. When you work with files that are extremely in detail, you get more, um, well, that's for the state when you work with follows a capture more detail. You want to spend more time working because what happens, you just see more things, so we want to get away from that practice. We want to get to a practice where, no matter what you shoot with the workflow and time will still stay the same amount.

Class Description

One of the biggest challenges a photographer faces is the amount of time spent on retouching images. Creating a beautiful high-end finished photo requires the right tools and techniques — but the process doesn’t need to dominate your workflow.

Join international retoucher Pratik Naik, owner of Solstice Retouch, as he shares his secrets for creating beautiful photos in less time. You will also learn the business and marketing side of retouching — everything from working with clients to creative branding opportunities.

During a live photo shoot, Pratik works with photographer Felix Kunze, demonstrating how photographers and retouchers can work together to craft a final product that exceeds the expectations of both parties. You’ll learn every single step of the retouching process by watching as Pratik turns Felix’s raw photos into high-quality images.

Whether you’re a photographer who wants to present high-end final images to your clients, or you want to break into the world of retouching, Pratik will provide you with the skills necessary to be the best at your craft.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 14.2, Adobe Lightroom 5



Really wonderful course, thanks. May I suggest a fantastic idea for maybe those who purchase the course? It would be extremely useful to be provided with a summary of the content of each video segment, perhaps a 30-60 second video with written 'dot-point' sheet at the end of each segment, to be reviewed at a later time. It just takes too long to replay each video to get the important messages. The notes provided by Pratik were a step in the right direction but they need more detail of what was presented, including tips and tricks, in each segment. In this way, once having watched the entire course, you could go back and review the nitty-gritty aspects of each segment quickly and efficiently. These quick 'summary' clips could make up a separate 15 minute video, recapping in detail the hard-core content of the course, without interruptions from questions. This would be extremely useful and hopefully not take the presenter too long to film. I feel this would be a wonderful 'added value' aspect of buying the course, as it would not be available for for free viewing. It would certainly encourage me to buy more of the available courses. Keep up the great work at Creative Live! I have stopped my Kelby subscription and just watch you guys now!! Well done!! Peter Bourne Australia


Pratik has been a revelation and a revolution at the same time, even kinda a benediction because of its huge generosity to show us such an efficient and powerful workflow. His genial approach turns impossible things into possible. What amazed me most, was Pratik ability to see further the shot and take the best of it to reach the perfection. The original photo is still there, very recognizable, but through a precise and meaningful workflow, it becomes eye-catching, high quality, high impact. Pratik is a wonderful person, very genuine, high talented, with a sophisticated sense of the aesthetics and arts. This course changed drastically my way to look at photoshop and at the retouching techniques. Thank you!!

user d3cdf7

I have been a retoucher since 1992 and a commercial photographer and I am amazed at the wealth of information Pratik is teaching us. Love his great sense of humor. Yes, retouching takes me way into the early part of the morning...up to 4 am. I've learned to listen to Books on DVD from the library which help my attitude much better. Several degrees behind me and I know I was meant to make a difference with portrait photography. NO ONE wants reality, especially at elder ages. So I continue to learn to retouch professionally and not use a quick retouch filter which renders a fake look. I may incorporate a light retouching filter, but I find I must always do some manual retouching first, in order to have the appearance look real. Which is the old first rule to retouching itself. In the film days, I use to make my own texture screens in order to create more beautiful faces. My photographer friends would ask for my help in using them, when they had blurred an important celebrity shot. The texture screen would help spread the dots and give the appearance of your digital noise now. The results were the image looked more focused Thank you Pratik Naik, for being so generous with your techniques. I am interested in how to price out retouching jobs, as I have been told I give my retouching away with my photography. Thanks,, Jeri Goodwin-Akari cherished moments photography in walla walla, WA