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The Art & Business of High-End Retouching

Lesson 16 of 32

Retouching Workflow: Healing Brush


The Art & Business of High-End Retouching

Lesson 16 of 32

Retouching Workflow: Healing Brush


Lesson Info

Retouching Workflow: Healing Brush

Excellent, yeah, now I'm going to keep going with the process that we originally doing, which is our amazing healing including work is so exciting sorry audience but however, since you're too and and you must be just excited as I am oddly I don't know why about hearing including retouching but it's it's odd when you tell your friends and family how much you love it and then they just see you cooking me on your computer like you're a madman, right? I don't know where that passion came from um, so we're gonna go and start by just essentially hearing those things that we do see from this distance and I did mention earlier that a lot of these, uh, beauty marks and lines and considered optional in the sense where it's based on whether or not you particularly want to remove it or not, however, I'm going to be ruined them just for the sake of practice and doesn't mean that you should be keep that in mind remember everything's all up to opinion and is artistically based. The last thing I forgo...

t to mention is when you're working on a new blank layer to heal the reason why it works is that when you called to current and below under the sample option, this is what allows you to do so what this basically means that if you have it sent to current layer and you start healing on a blank layer, nothing is gonna happen because what it does is it once it says that you're trying to source on a blank layer and pace on blank lair, and because there's nothing on a blank layer, it doesn't work, but when you have a healing breast selected and you go under sample size, are simple and said current and blow, what that means is it's sampling everything on that layer or below it, and then pacing the results on that blank layer, which is what works this's great, because you don't have to double a duplicate your background and be it saves a lot of space on your psd because as you notice, we have just a blank layer and just little it's information in there, so the far becomes really, really light, which is fantastic, especially if you're on the go, we don't have a space or she's one really clean fast work with that being said, make sure you save and I didn't say bad me, right file save, because if you don't, chances are you're probably going to have a crush and you want to crush. Now, when you do save, save it to the location that you intend to, most people typically keep it within the folder that they have all their selects meeting. So you know, based on whatever your categorization is with your photography, you have a shoot done and then when you're working on a psd can save it in the slacks folder under p s t s which is really nice it makes it easily accessible or within the rafah's itself, which is fine as well, just depending on whatever you prefer, I do that way where I have the selects from the clients will have a client folder let's say john sent me a bunch of files and then with these raw files under that folder and have a sub folder named p s t s and then I'll save my pieces within that folder or I may just save it within the same john folder, which has the raw files there, so whatever it is that you do stick to that, I have no particular preference with saving and things of that nature now going forward with our blankly, I'm gonna continue healing and as I mentioned, I don't have a particular process in regards to what I hear first, what a heel second is just whatever stands out to me first and you'll notice that I keep clicking um option are all quite often because I want to keep on re sourcing different points of the image and you'll notice that every time I heal something I circle make little circles that essentially cover the blemish because what happens is sometimes people make dots they'll go in and start clicking randomly but they only dot everything what happens is the blemish itself doesn't get covered completely so before letting go of my pen my mouth whatever that you use hopefully a tablet I cover every little area that I want to heal first before going forward and essentially what that does is it takes care of all these little guys without having to do multiple strokes this is also I have my brush pressure off because I don't want my pen to be half the size of this little guy here or this you know I want to make sure that every stroke that I do is very obvious so I let the size of the cursor dictate exactly what size my individual heating strokes are going to be and there's no guesswork it's kind of mundane and it's very pretty state british standard and straightforward sometimes people ask you what do you hear you not heal? I think that's pretty much up to a personal preference but what I do recommend it if you see an area of flat skin that's extremely flat that doesn't have any pits of pores or what do you call it blemishes you know leave it alone if it's something that's a discoloration issue leave that step where we do with color because we own a separate areas that we are saving for the individual areas what I mean by that that sound confusing was if I'm hearing now I don't want to be healing things that do with color or lighting right now like I'm not going to go ahead and heal that hot spot oh she's seen so we'll try and do that patch to a hot spot and then like try and drag it over. This is always a very zen moment whenever people are working again his weird zone uh it's kind of odd being watched by like sixteen thousand people because they're over your shoulder judging every little stroke that you're doing, which is great, yeah, of course they are, which they should be because it opens up a dialogue and says I would've done it this way and I would have done that way, which is fantastic because you know again this is an art and whatever it is that you decide to do is your own personal preference there's no wrong or right way except what I would say is removing every single bit of texture that would be awful um yeah let's look into that whole discussion again. Now I'm going to continue down the arm real quick and remove more of the things that I see and again these beauty marks typically would be left if it's an actress or somebody who's of notable figure but if it's a beauty shop or you have something where they don't want to be seen you take it out because they're destructions. You notice the question no photo maker and phobia sorority both were questioning how far you're zoomed out. Is this the normal distance that you want to be when you're doing these sort of this sort of work? Sure, right now I'm zoomed out a twenty five percent and I don't I don't want you to get caught in percentage is caught up in percentages because depending on your camera, so this one was shawna phase one, meaning you have fifty mega pixels it's extremely large this would equate to say forty or fifty percent on five mark three, maybe so it's just relative to the image, but the main takeaway there is that you do want to be a one hundred percent you want to be about half the distance picture wise, where it kind of fills up the frame along the with of your photo shop and this is a good enough distance because even though no one's still going to see that this level, it still has enough detail, you can make better decisions most of the time let's be honest, you're printing these images and they're not going to be extremely large, you're gonna print them for people's books or you've been printing them are saving them for the web so for the web it's a lot smaller, even print a lot of print washes out details sometimes, which is why people say over sharper over sharpton for print. Why? Because some of these details get washed up anyway, and what happens is people tend to spend more time with details that don't matter, which is why I would recommend just zooming out about this level or a little bit more to start out with, because you're just taking the things that are most important. First and then kevin patrick robbins, you're going, are you moving the brush in the direction of the cellular structure in the skin? A long lines, for instance, so essentially, the way my brush is going to be moving is going to be going in action, a circular motion it's the main teko army importance is the sample area rather than the direction I brush, because each blemishes typically round, so the difference being the way that operate is that my sample area will be the exact zone or region that luminosity is? Well, then your face that that's really messed up. When I'm sampling, I'm sourcing from the ear that is very equal to where the blemishes so if the blemishes in the highlight assemble on the highway, so that is a direction I brush will go, it won't be where I sample say outside of arm and worked inwards that's not what my whole intention is, so that is kind of it's irrelevant that sense if you don't mind, I think great session good good robot wonders whether you're just using the healing brush for speed, he says the quote unquote proper traditionally way was just cloning, which he thinks produces better results wonder if it's just speed that's a factor other folks were wondering whether you use the healings or the spot healing brush, or and then also if you could go over the healing brush setting size pen settings and sure so the reason I use the healing brush is I found that it is true that it's very elitist to say let's, use a cologne russian, not music, even russian sure, if I had another five hours, probably is a clone body because you have to be extra careful in the center of the clone brush again. As I mentioned, let me switch the colon virtual quick is every time you source and paint, the luminosity will change based on where your pasty you have a high contrast image like this one. Good luck to you, it's gonna take a long time, so she on edges like this where you see you don't have much area to focus on, and I think people just don't have that level of control and patients anymore and me included I'm not going to put myself out of there I think yeah, I I would consider that a bit lazy however I think they're healing brush has a really nice algorithm where as long as you're sampling correct texture and clean skin it doesn't really good job of replacing it and so if you want to use the club rish you can but I'm hell thing that the healing russian does a good job or at least a comparable job so the clone brushwood do even if you spend additional few hours of high contrast the clung stamp works much better than healing brush right? Yes, however, it depends on your independent source from yeah, but the same time when I will do it I was still sort of source from the same areas in the high contrast point making the heating brush work even better in the corn brush for that reason that's a good question and what was the other ones he had mentioned? I think it was why do I use the dealing drugs versus spot healing? Oh this spot healing one of the reasons spot healing I'm going to mention this to you as well is cia six and sees he has actually done a good job it's not healing in the sense that they have this new thing called content aware region not sonia not gonna hype it up it's called content where meaning that instead of sourcing, you can just start clicking on each blemish and it finds the area that you should replace for you. So it's one less it's perfect. In theory, however, I found that as you're working content where things get sloppy, you tend to rush just because you have this safety net of always going to source for me. It's fine, so two things happened there people tend to click much faster and go through the image and they leave half sloshes everywhere it happens, I watched him number two. What happens is, since they rely on the source point, what that means is that they don't think about did my did my blemish get source properly because it does the average estimate and if you've ever used content to were regularly to fill something, you know it's not bad grade it's okay, it looks all right, but sometimes it really doesn't really bad job, and so for that reason, I don't use the content or hear english from major jobs, but if it's something quick and simple, I think it's fine it's just, you know, pros and cons one of those things, but also just because our workshop is dedicated to more proper techniques, I thing I stay away from that door, their most controllable, you know, place so that you can you know, defined that to all the way you want to, because you've also also change that completely from, you know, when you're saying he'll english, I think that, you know, we think of it differently than how you can completely change that to your advantage and create so much more control. Absolutely, I think people dismissed the simplest tools, mohr because there's more advanced features, but sometimes the more advanced features can really slow you down just because of what it can produce, so don't don't get into the mindset of more complicated the better. That doesn't really mean anything sometimes mean looks flashy and it's great, but the reality is we're focused on results that's what we're after we're done after flashy, right? We're after spending twenty hours in an image in making crazy techniques were after getting clean result as quick as possible. That's the intention now, the other thing is people tend to ask me why I don't use the patch tool. Well, I think the patch was okay birthing again with the patch tool, you have to make a selection first and then dragged that selection to heal something. It just feels like a lot longer process for every step you're doing, so it kind of defeats the purpose as well. But I don't dismiss it, I think it's fine, if you do is a patch, it'll you know, it's up to you, but again, the other things with this hearing brush, you get a much smaller point of coverage, so it covers the exact area that you'd like. And the other thing with the hitting brush is it can basically hell, it makes like a custom bandage essentially because I essentially do circles, so what that does is like a mini patched and I can custom design whatever patch I'm gonna make. So hairbrush is the patch to us now. As I mentioned, the areas that I want to talk to remove with my hitting brush zoomed out are pretty much taken care of on the skin I'm gonna start doing and just little bit more to take care of the bigger areas before I do. I also want to get to the clone brush a little and starting with little flyaways on top of her head as well. So I'm gonna go in and out a new blank layer, and I said this to clone or label it is clone now with a layer active, I'm going to go back to my clone brush again, said to current and below. Switch my clone rush with s and increment my work up and my flow beer on twenty percent just be gentle but quick I'm going to edge out law the flowers and background the reason why this is important I don't want to look cut out but I want to feather out the fire is so the point to the point where the ones that stand out much further away from the head are going to feather out the same time I don't make crease lines or making look exact so doesn't look completely cut out from her does that make sense so it keeps the integrity of the hairstyle but yet still has a controller ruin the fireplace so I'll do some over here and keep in mind typically whenever you're working on an image they're always there always be good questions I come up since whenever I'm working alone what happens is you don't really think about the steps you're doing and then as you're working through it you have to explain every little detail sometimes there may be details that are missed them you know I definitely welcome all those questions that come through especially you know clarify what we take for granted I think it's funny even as photographers were re touches we take for granted everything we know we have to tell it to somebody it's like if you have a child has he why did you do that like all for god's sakes so I'm just going in here real quick, and fashion tv is wondering while healing when you use the different modes, like normal dark enlighten, you can talk about that. Yeah, so typically what happens is when you have a healing rusher, clone brush, the blend modes should be actually controlled by the layer here and what that does is it impact the way that interact with the layers below? I'm not going to get into the section two hundred now, because it's quite in depth about blending moods, but my main takeaway here is that just because you have your clone brush and you said it to say light in a dark and over here, it won't matter what matters is the blend mode that set here. It's going to override the setting that's over here. So some people have a blankly, and they said to hard light in a dark, and they won't work because what that means is that if this is still set to normal it's not gonna work what's gonna work is it will only work if you have, like, a solid layer, and then you come in, change it here, because then the actual brush character six change, but if you're on a blank layer, it won't work because sampling the layer below it and the takeaway again there is that the blini moves will only work on a blank layer. Typically, if you go in and override it through here. So let me give you a quick example, see if I can make sense of this. So typically, the way it works is I'm going to say, um, lytton and I'm going to set the color let's say we select something like this. It's, like a dark color what's gonna happen is I'm going to paint with hundred percent flow one hundred percent capacity. So what what's happening now is because I selected this dark color it's not gonna light in any of the light colors. And the reason for that is because it's set to lighten whatever the color is chosen is only going lighten up any clothes that's darker than that color. Okay, so another example being if I select a bright color here, since most of the image is actually darker it's gonna lighten up most of the image except for the highlights, and we're done beautiful now, similarly, if I have something said to darken, what this means is if I select, say, the white color again nothing's gonna happen because it's only going to darken up the colors that are lighter than the clothes I have chosen. And the best way to actually get ahold of this or get a good idea of what's happening is actually played with it, play with colors and play with the two, and it makes sense that way. Now, the reason I mentioned that to say how this a normal washington be wrong is going to hell areas um, I haven't said too light in here, you see, nothing happened, the light and property didn't work. Why? Because this blend mode here overrides whatever this is here and that's a big mistake. Many people may and looks like it's working. Why? Because you see it's working everywhere, so yeah, it's definitely working, but it's not actually it's not doing what you think it is, so don't make that mistake okay and so definite want to take a side point to clear that up because it is one common question that people don't even know they have until I pointed out like, oh yeah, actually, I didn't know it because people take typically is dark inner light in order to remove flyways, but the problem there is that what you use that much true flyways? You tend to get a lot of edging around the fly away because when you're working with images that have a lot of detail, each fly away has dark points like points sometime ames many images do more than the ones that don't use blending would've darken enlighten it may remove part of flowers but you see ghosting and that's not right we're going to get into harold but later too, so but that's a side point that I want to throw out their case anyone was wondering I think they were well, I hope they were what is wasted like ten minutes someone said to clone a clone rush that's it back to normal in case so we remove some of these extra five I'm not gonna get too caught up right now because I do have a hair section but just to take other ones that really annoying me also there's this little guy here and because I can see this fly over this distance now I'm going to zoom in and take care of that, but I'm not going to stay one hundred percent okay says so that I can easily work to take care of that little detail so let's go in and go into the jungle pixels and I'm going to fly away now you could use two ways either cloner heating brush I'm gonna make it hard for myself just to show you that is possibly the heating brush when I go back to my healing layer, select my hitting brush, make it really nice and small and I'm good removed this little strand of hair think retouching is like magic like you see you want to know how it's done the second you find out oh that's obvious you so with that being said, for example, whenever I work on edge is what usually happens with the heating brush and I think everyone knows is whenever I source somewhere else and I paste on the end you get this really disgusting blob right there's a way to circumvent that on the way to do that any time you work on the edge source on the edge itself and then brush and what tends to happen is it doesn't make that blob what it does is actually copy that edge and that transition and it perfectly blended together, so you're just copying edge to edge and it's brilliant it works on anything that you think of that has an edge fantastic especially, you know, on the side of the face or you know, here or whatever again let's uh continue on with that guy here I'll go up first, taking care of bit by bit. You also knows that I'm not doing the whole strand at once, it's literally just by pieces and that's the main taker and I was just really little guys little by little till we get to something that's salvageable sometimes I think also people get too caught up in being ultra perfect oh, that mix of didn't you get replaced perfectly and honestly, that's a waste of time? I think because at the end of the day, whenever you finish up everything you'll see how beautiful still, even though I'm being quite tasty and it is, I think personal preference as well, but let's see this look here, same thing with eyelashes you khun sampled eyelash over there and remove it, and what happens is we'll pay sy eyelash and it'll start taking care of those areas, and what happens is you can go through just carefully take it out and if you can't, if something happens, which is impossible, then you get your clone brush it's our taking it away, I'll see here, so I'll do that right now for this section we're going to my comb brush, which has already on which I should have been ish I should in my healing brush, I'll go anyway. Let's continue the rest of this, by the way, I didn't get the testes image prior to coming here, so I hope everything works out fine, which is great because you can really see what uh what happens in a real world situation and I think that's what I kind of wanted teo encompassing the show is that, you know, sometimes you're faced with problems, you just don't expect it it's, good to see you know what, what, what someone would do working through it, for example, let's, go back out. This turns on enough, and you see the stray hair is gone within a minute or two. It's not so bad, considering it went through some pretty complex areas that were really scary.

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