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The Art & Business of High-End Retouching

Lesson 31 of 32

Retouching Workflow: Fashion


The Art & Business of High-End Retouching

Lesson 31 of 32

Retouching Workflow: Fashion


Lesson Info

Retouching Workflow: Fashion

It's it's always humbling teo you know be on a stage like this and showcase what I know in love because at the end of the day I'm just another person likes to work on pictures and not another not everyone likes work of pictures but another you know, every touch here who likes to work behind the screen and create beautiful art I think that's why we're in this industry right to create art that we love on showcase to the world what we love and hopefully it's received well, one thing I learned today more than ever is the fact that this industry I think is a very connected industry we all of us rise together with in this world and as artists even though we're competitive we still appreciate each other and what we do at photographers rita cher's so you know, on the surface we tend to you know how this discussion who's better who isn't but collectively I've learned that we all support each other in a way with things like creative life and resource is like this so it really means a lot to be h...

ere and allows me to showcase again what I love now we don't have a lot left to do with four shot because I essentially wanted to illustrate everything I did and as I mentioned yesterday I'd reformulate the course to showcase the most important things that I wanted to bring to you guys lastly I wanted to give you guys a little behind the scenes of what it is that harry touching actually looks like people always ask me can you retouch this hair to look like revlon and the reality is depends it depends how good the production is prior to now fortunately a week or two I got this really beautiful file that I had retouched and I want to show you the ends of proper harry touching before and after and maybe showcase so few techniques here and there and what happens so let me go and open up that father for a shop for you um actually before we get to that point felix actually took a raphael with his stony point and shoot camera which she gave to me to show you what it looks like prior to uh retouching if you notice in the raw processor it looked very similar to what the other fathers effect in the raw processor the point being again the one he wanted to bring home was it it's not about you shoot with realistically you know light is light and the way the camera vendors the light may be a little different here and there but the principles must still be there you have to know the light properly you have to have basic principles and you can't photo shop technical accuracy later and there's a good visualization or just showing you what it looks like even if you shoot the point and shoot camera or ivy marked is, you know, irrelevant at that point it's more about understanding photography that is larger gear that's what I think at least um that's it for that little guy let's go back out and I will show you what I wanted to in regards to the raw file cia program and jace punk kanye again is one of the reasons why I'm sure use file now this image was basically, I think either first portfolio or uses for some commercial intent on dh it looks very beautiful, it looks luminous, the oranges are very vivid not on the screen particularly, but morsel on my monitor is the fact that when we do hair work, people always wonder how the before image looked in something like this where it looks like they spent hours and hours retouching image the reality is even though we may have spent a long time, I want to show you what before looked like just to show you an illustration of where this image starts from and this is a reflection essentially of what before images I'm sorry after images look like once we're done with harry touching and now when I said it before picture, you're going to see what level of detail is taken care of on set to ensure that the work is done as cleanly as possible for hair work? Okay somebody close that up real quick and I'm gonna open up the file because it was shot with I believe that the eight hundred or d three yes, there we go and I'm gonna reset these values back to default and this was essentially how the fall was taken and you notice it is underexposed maybe just a little just to see a lot of the details in the highlights, I'm not sure what the reason for that was maybe it's just maybe I'm just guessing really good who knows on same process, you know, you'd increased exposure, increased the white points and black points just as a good base and then work a little bit later with colors and adjustments. So I'm gonna do something just very general quickly to kind of, um enhance some of the details name is a little charity and when I open this image or quick so what happened is you notice that most of the structure of the hair was exactly how it is in the after file and me go and open that as well. Oh, action did a really good conversion and actually much close after fall, okay, great that's that was luck, by the way, I didn't intend for that to happen the main difference here mean actually make sure that it is matched appropriately before you go any further there we go, there's before and after follow I'm using control tab to actually shift between tabs this's also way that I used my work flow in case I have one image that has a set of notes and one image that is the image I'm working on, I'll go and start working on one copy, then I'll hit control tab on a mac and flip over to the other tab in case I've had, I don't have enough space, so looking back on my screen, you'll see that going back and forth, the amount of work that I've done on the image looks very minimal because you can see that the after fall has a lot of beautiful tones and looks really clean and smooth, but on the before foul it's almost there, except when you look in the image, you see all these little flyways that have come through this is where majeure majority of the work goes into taking place with the same techniques that I showed you before is by individually selecting the clone brush and her moving these little flyways. So when you look at a really beautiful image from the surface, the work that must be done on set must be extremely clean as possible, as much as possible, using care products and getting exactly where you want to be, so my main takeaway here is do as good as you can in pre production to get hair files as close as you can because it's a very common request for people that ask for a very messy hair files to look really revel in perfect and the answer is no that's not gonna happen unless you take your due diligence so even within hair, even within fashion, everything must be done as if there's no photo shop and photo shop is only used to clean up and not fix people's airness mistakes okay? And simply stated again, the way that I ended up fixing this was essentially going in every single little hair and taking michael clone brush and having fun all day long rulings little strands of hair and what happened was that the end of the day the structure of the original hair came through. It looked natural, beautiful and that's kind of you know what I wanted to showcase right there so again, let me actually give you a small little taste and take care of something in case you missed it earlier so again, using rotate function would come in and for this hair in particular at sample and essentially just come in and remove every strand of hair going forward and what would happen is the hair itself would be erased or uh removed isn't a clone rush and I continue progressively going across the image hair by hair unfortunately, here doesn't really have a shortcut you can use blending worlds like dark inner lightened but again I mentioned as they did before with dark and light and you get a lot of halo ng across hair's depending on if the hair is either too dark or too light or if the borders of each hair or too dark or too light therefore I just stick to regular clone brush you continue forward doesn't look like fun no answers no it's not fun next um let's go and talk about that fashion file that we had shot yesterday and we'll cover a little bit of that we won't cover in complete detail the things that I would do differently for a female fashion file rather than men's fashion, so we'll go and and make sure I have the right image here and look three in our, uh, capture one so let me go open and capture one again for a second and we're going to take this image that we had and we are going to export our variant uh see here export variant on dh here we go, uh selects this lex fuller image name I'm going to be the same format I will keep it to p t s d oh, actually, you know what? I learned something even you even though you can't export as a smart object, you can export as a dmg, which would then open in camera as well, in case you're wondering yes, you can do that through capture one psd for now could be a bit over your baby's. Fine. I'll keep the resolution for the same now, and I'll export that one variant into our exports folder. As you can see it's gonna pop up with this activity showing you that it is exporting and rendering our lovely, iike, raw file into a psd. No way for that to come out. It's done so I'm gonna open that. I wish this is voice activated, you know, go on open. It would save me a lot of time. I think that's coming in the next version of c c. Yeah, I think so. In fact, I'm developing it. So stay tuned. Wait to the end of the show and I'll show you how to voice activate photo shop. I'm just going, by the way, don't please. We're doing that at four o five. Yeah, at the after party. See you there. Okay, great. Now with female fashion as I mentioned the skin and works for regarding the skin is going to stay the same, I'm not going to go through this hole. Fashion file again because I don't just sitting here for two hours doing the same thing, but you know the technique is the same regarding the skin and the hair and all of that. However, with creases and garments, I would do another approach now, as I mentioned before, you go ahead and rip creases you don't want to every crease unless you want her looked like gumby it's very imperative that every creases in taking care of because when a model is seeing a particular position, there will be some creases there and it's very standard, I think it's very human to want to take out everything you see on the surface you don't want to do that because realistic reasons remember this is very important that there will be creases on the image and it's not about taking care of every single increase what it is, what is important is taking care of things like these little, you know areas right here with his wrinkles, and we want a lighting them up to match the starting area. We also wanna light in these little, not little, but quite heavy creases going across the sides and maybe even lytton or remove these areas here, but what I won't do is I'm not going to remove this era here because that is expected visually speaking, ok, so I'll do this I'm going to pretend that you know without workflow that we have taken care of the skin even though we haven't but the workforce were going to say the same for the skin so just disregard that a cz we're working forward I'm going to use a workflow just for taking care of these creases and the dress so abiding by the work for that we have started I'm going to select first and foremost any folder labeled cleaning cleaning okay now I'm gonna select a new blank layer and now I will use my clone brush so what I will do here is we're the same properties as I mentioned earlier is my flow is going to be the indicator of how fast or slow I'm going to remove or lighten these creases so I'll start by sampling an area closer down of a random selection here and then coming across and covering or lightning some of these intentions here and so what this does is it gives us a solid base that's good enough at the moment you work further because these dark and light areas you can dodge and burn to blend in better later okay, so I'm not going to be particularly detailed about that now, but I just want to move the me increases if you're ever not confident and you want to play around you can always liked a new layer each time you go forward just in case you want to erase that particular there we'll remove it and so forth and I've done the same here where example the area above just to kind of remove that area and I'll mask it in a bit just to see how it looks we could also use helper layers to showcase or show what it looks like in dark airs in case you can't see it clearly on my monitor it looks quite dark so I'm going to use this curve layer here bring it up a bit just to see what's happening and you can see I have used clone brush over outside of the dress actually no that's actually inside the dress and the original portion is showcasing through so again I'll keep this layer on just so that I can see in the dark on dh always my clone brush sample outside here and then quickly just remove that indention using my clone brush well see here okay fantastic not one in your office for a second training on and off and what's happening what's happening is it's progressing from dark to light rather fast so there's two options we can mask and feather it out or we can use our dodging burn concept concepts to even out a lot of the dress now keep in mind it's not absolutely perfect and that's okay because you can always re sample later on if necessary to get a perfectly clean look or because this dress has a lot of patterning. Chances are once you light and dark in the area, people are going to really know, because now look, they're so don't get too wound up and seeing all these little details like I mentioned, you know, it's, just like a personal trait when we focus on the bad heirs of ourselves, but reality is evans focusing but their own self and not focusing on you? Similarly, when we see the mistakes that we've done when we're working. It's not always obvious to the other person, who's looking at the image, this is one area that people are not going to really look at, because the attention is usually focus on the eyes and the body, okay, so going forward, let's pretend that we wanted to keep on going andi, we would essentially do the same thing for any of the rest, any of the other creases that you're interested in, kind of softening up, like, for example, maybe she'll soften up this a sample, but lower here and just gently do cooks quick stroke, and you can see the crease is still there, but it soften, softened white um, quite a lot. Now, with that being said, I'm gonna go on on dh actually let me do this, let me make sure that let me add a mask just to see how it would look if you feather that out right now if it would be faster than even dodging and bring that section so I'll take my brush used a black brush on a white mask and just feather out just a little bit ok brilliant uh reduce the density to see our before and after on that mask okay so what I'm gonna do is essentially just keep what I did originally and so I'll delete that mask and now I'm going to go into our dodge in bern actually just gonna dodge right now because I don't need really needs to burn at the moment I may not even need to solve this have a dodge layer and I will d saturate just to see our overall look I am going to another curve layer just to see what it looks like in the dark again and see what it looks like in the darkest parts of the image just to bring it up temporarily groups tastic now will go into a curve and we will start lightning the actual curt earlier aunt I'm going to use a low flow o one percent and I will start here at the top we have all these little creases uh the mail all of it and I will spend some good quality time getting comfortable with stress and all their details this is always one of those things that you know requires a lot of focus on making sure that you're doing it correctly because it's very easy to over dodge which is y flu is so important especially on dresses and it allows things to blend in a little bit better this would be an area that I would burn with this white stripe here I would burn that in that blends in better with the surrounding dress and let's continue further with our dodging onto the same with intentions here here is here on dh maybe some here I'm not gonna make it extremely perfect because again you do expect to see a little bit increasing going on um I will dodge a little bit of the dark bits here it's a bit so it has a better transition andi museum out now I'm going to burn a little bit so all out of burn layer well coming close and then start burning the bright areas to blend in a little better I think dodging bernie's with those things that needs a lot of practice because by default it's hard to essentially see everything that's why I keep zooming out and I I realized my eyes to see exactly what areas into focus and what doesn't because otherwise there's no way to dodge burn this level there's no way you have to go out you have to see exactly what it is that standing out to you before taking care of um, the area that you're targeting and I'll bring that'll bit and go back to my dosh layer, and then I'm going to dodge a little bit of the dark areas on side address just that blends in a little more and again, I'm gonna flatten out everything completely, but just to get a good indicator of you can see when I dodge and burned, a lot of those creases had dissipated again. It didn't disappeared completely, but I think it was enough to keep a natural progression. And so the beauty of that is just essentially to divert the eyes away from the dress and again, the beauty of the erosion burn is that allows you to really find you and focus where you want attention to where you don't you khun slim her down with burning, for example, if you if you think that you know her dressing to look a little bit slimmer, you can select the, um burn lier and go on the other side, for example, and just start darkening, and what happens is that the illusion is that it slims the dress down, so, you know there's so many things you could do an ultra light like that so you can either use it through increases you can use it to slim her down that's kind of the methodology used for treating fashion files and again, if there's any discoloration that goes on after dodging and burning you khun then select a new blank color earlier on dh even out any of that discoloration so you know again, don't settle for taking care of everything in one go focus on doing one thing at a time and it will make life much easier for you okay, so you notice the creases are much more appealing the moment that they were before so that's kind of what my take is increases so both a mix of keeping things natural and allowing you to still look more refined so mix of refined a natural thought going too far and that's kind of how I would take care of a lot of fashion images on dh I got assets yesterday or you know, I know this is probably come up is what do you do about something like this cap here so again typically would take a donor file where we have images that are shot on location that day with more applicable material to paste in. However, if there's not looking in the frame and start copying pacing areas and this example, I'm going to copy and paste the area which is the left side of frame into the rights of the frame and used dodging burning to really mask it in a way that we do this is very simple well, not really simple but it's it's gonna look simple and it will be simple once you practise it I will create a new emerge visible there and here I did this because I'm going to use this file to essentially copy really quickly the wooden plank area copy and paste I will then I'll delete this colony this anymore take this layer dragon over here with her leg and all and keep that leg in there for really know versatile all stretching all of it and I know you're wondering why you stretch it out. Well, well you'll see why whenever you start darkening this part of the area, you're really not going to notice um what or pixels are there it's just something to fill the space without making it too obvious? I will then darken this layer and you could do this by going to image adjustment and curves and the difference with this curve here is it doesn't create an adjustment layer it applies a curve directly to layer itself, so when I click here and I had just a curve, it starts adjusting the darkness of the layer it's selfish you noticed instead of adding an adjustment layer on top and I'm just going to justice curve to match kind of the background I'll hit okay and then I will essentially mask it in and so I was a mineral quick else liked really quick flow and sort of just blended in like that and we'll move it down just a bit on the selection key, and I'll move the whole aired out so you can see it matches quite well and if it's still darker or lighter, you can use the curve again to bring it up luminosity till it matches you can also dodging burn selectively on top of that to see if it blends, and he also completed by making sure the wood planks are aligned by just using your kurt using your mask and going a little bit further or just transferring, extending those planks further and it'll blended sometimes mean I'll be completely perfect. However, the takeaway there is it's better to fill an area even though it's not perfect, then to keep it looking completely blank, then you can mask it on, do whatever, and people typically won't have their attention coming in through this area. What the important factor is is that, you know you want to fill the space. I know there was actually a piece of top here now should attrition started from here and then moved it down, but you know, there wasn't enough material, so what I would do to compensate for that is what actually sample a piece of the wall and then cover this portion here maybe or something like that the technique would still be the same is essentially just copying and pasting with whatever you have sometimes it doesn't work, sometimes it does. I actually remember on set on the first day what happened was felix, I'm shot some composite images where he he had a lot of files with assistant in the frame and he had his hand there and I was like, felix, you needed, you know, go back! I don't want to take care of this later, and he shot a lot his composite images and what I found out was didn't work because the position of the light in the composite images will be different, so didn't line up properly. It's always a good idea to shoot on a tripod sometimes whenever you are working on fashion, for instance and you wanted company to add love, compass it for frames. Now again, I noticed that I should have probably started a little bit higher, which is totally fine. You can then essentially just copy a bit more or just start over and piece it starting from scratch, but the technique will be exactly the same. I just couldn't tell because my mother was little bit dark, so that's kind of all I want to talk about in regards to fashion on dh, collectively speaking, that is all I want to talk about in regards to for shop

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