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The Art & Business of High-End Retouching

Lesson 29 of 32

Retouching Workflow: Male Model


The Art & Business of High-End Retouching

Lesson 29 of 32

Retouching Workflow: Male Model


Lesson Info

Retouching Workflow: Male Model

Let's, go ahead and start working on the meal image that we have the male model yesterday or day before time, place and let's go and pull that up and I'm going to process that through camera raw rather than capture one innocence is just to give a refresher, you know, on high process things through camera rob versus capture one as well. Since we have people doing both, I got a good question from somebody saying, can we use smart objects through capture one? And the answer is not from what I know, however, what I would do to circumvent that is export multiple exposures say have a base exposure and I'll export that, then I'll have an exposure based on another area of an image, and they'll export that and they'll stack them in photo shop and then masculine so it's the same principle, it's just another way to go about that case anybody was wondering now, let's, see here we have our raw files and image you're gonna be working on is one to do for and I did not memories that what ever done fro...

m our selects scene, we shot quite a few images this's also testament to the fact that whenever you work on images one of you shoot images, you're never going to get all of them as keepers, what happens is you shoot a bunch of files eventually you get a few of them that are quite nicely, which is why you want to again, do you do diligence and make sure lighting everything is perfect as possible practice shoot and not wing it on set? Because then there's less of a ratio of keepers, too, images that you don't love. Okay, so I'm gonna hit open and we have our file here, and if you notice the way it renders in camera is different from capture one as well. So it's always interesting to know you know how different files are rendered differently based on the engine use. So, again, I'm going to go in in my camera profile and see if I prefer unusual is standard, since it is my choice at the moment and see, as you know, as a photographer, for instance, which one I prefer, I think the neutrals did okay in the sense where it neutralized a lot, the highlights in the shadows where it didn't emphasize it quite a bit, however, because this is a male image. I do love the fact that it really pronounced some of the highlights and tweaked the shadows to make it look more rugged innocence, so I'm gonna keep that, and I'm not going to just any of the primary who's here in the camera profile. However, this is another option in case you decide that you want some you know that there's more red casio intricate individually because you have your rgb channels here however also in your tone curve there is channels as well so you don't have to necessarily go into your camera profile you can say well overall I notice it's a little bit read so I can go and fix that and it may render differently just based on the screen you're using at home to see this video but keep this in mind this is all about perception and not about actual numbers from myself it's just based on whatever you prefer okay so creon bread cream blue on dh I will probably keep it that way or for a quick version you could just go into your temperature and balance out whatever color perfect job for your temperature excellent so I think that difference is minor but it's at inappropriate. Now again what I will do here is start with exposure and they keep it somewhere around here where it seems he over overall balance. The reason that I picked this past file specifically was it was a closer shot so I have more work to do to demonstrate for you guys the shots that I had previously where he was sitting on the couch looked quite different because who is much further away? I did how much to work on so I didn't pick those images just for that reason alone, in case anyone was wondering why I made this particular select. So aside from my exposure, it looked quite good straight at the camera I'm gonna go in and tweak my white and black point like we discussed previously, I'll bring this out a little bit, and I will take my black point and bring this hand over here now, uh, let's, see, now I realize that I kind of like the overall look of this except for the areas that are being clipped or a little bit dark within my shadow region, so what I will pretty much do is adjust those specific regions, either with my justin brush or smart object, I'm going to go ahead and you smart objects just also as a refresher to show you how this plays a part in this processing work for as well. So a quick shift and hit open object, I won't do anything else, however, you can also enhance clarity for male work because it really pronounces some of the fine details across the image it across his face because men or a masculine you want to see more texture, sometimes in the face, so you know again, personal preference, nothing standard there, ok, brilliant, now we will hit open object and let it load that's a long time and then we will go ahead right click again not at the somme, neil because as different options but on the on the title itself and hit new smart undergrad copy once the copy is open, all the book like again second exposure all turned on my white white point here so that I can rescue some of the details in the face and when I also do is increase some of the shadows just a bit like so so I can bring back some more detail here in the shadow area I'll hit. Okay, andi, I will know he was a mask with the top copy, which will be essentially for face details and shadows. Now I'm gonna click on the master quick and then zoom in my brush well, he's a really low flow about three percent and then quickly just bring back a little the detail actually, you know, I did that the opposite way I was supposed to start with black and then use the white brush to reveal the details. So that was my mistake. So again, this top copy is going to be selective, meaning I'm only going to play two particular areas I'm going to start the black mask and then reveal just the areas that I wanted to showcase because that's what I mean my smart object copy for now on the second version I have my mass selected russia said to white and now I will use a white paintbrush and go ahead and gently bring back some features here you can see some of the highlights are just being brought back naturally because we tried to this info to shop what happens is because the colors may be washed out it would be much harder to bring back the exposure so it's always best to do things that were blown out in the raf because you want it you don't want to try to fix that later otherwise you have to you know go through the pain of trying to fix hot spots and things like that manually which can take a lot of time as you saw earlier all right now let's also apply this to our shadows I'll do a quick or flow this time just so we can hurry this process up and what happened here it was our shadows have comeback also do the same for some of our interior on the garment and then maybe some of the shadows leg no I mean back and so forth so we get a little bit better much uh but more detail and the image let's also go and reveal some of the bits in the hair and what that gives us is a new image that is quite clean the differences quite minor however it's very important because it brings back just the amount of detail before areas are being clipped for instance and you know I think that's really important since we won't we don't clip anything but you still want to detail even in the brightest highlights and that's essentially how I control that okay from now on let me just combine the two together and merged them since this is going to be our base exposure and anything we do from here on out we can go back and adjust the smart object anyway since we're going to be re touching over this image so it's still relevant to keep small objects at this point I'm just going to combine them okay so I command e once I both selected and this will be our base exposure no I'll go in on dh first and foremost take care of starting from the face so the workflow will be pretty much identical where as we will click on the you were quick on your folder maybe cleaning the blank layer on we will start heating including this time I'm just going to start healing including on just one layer and I'm not going to separate the two on dh I'll go in he's my hitting brush the reason I zoomed in much further this time was the fact that I'm working specifically on the face and from the outside most of the frame isn't filled up by the face like our view shot wass and then we're gonna go in and select our healing brush and start healing essentially from men I tend to leave a lot more detail on the face I won't remove a lot of you know, skin texture and things of that sort because you expect to see it more so on men so I go over in the forehead some bits here down here is a little bit more says we can get a little closer now that's why working? I think on men's files are a little bit easier because you don't have to go so in death I'll do some larger pours there some across the bridge of the nose maybe uh some people asked me you know what you think? What under eyes you know what the lines and dies either two things happen they say they say either remove it or soften it typically they won't keep, um some of the lines underneath, but what they will do is they will soften it so I will either just use my hitting brush, remove it and then he'd fade or if I find that I'm just removing portion of the line like I did there I'll keep the rest of it here and that way it doesn't extend to far across the bottom the face because now it's not distracting but you still see a bit of normalcy you see that he still has his character but it's not completely removed I noticed this from out there someone's uno quick that guy uh come back out and similarly don't forget to retouch years uh, no, it becomes really funny whenever you see an image that's retouched really nicely but they forgot that years it happens a lot on dh that's the first giveaway if you want a good learning experience, go to a mall and look at all the images on the storefront if you think they're all perfect using every retouch is perfect go in and check it out you'll see every single you'll see flaws and every single image and what happens is it's sometimes it's hard to get everything and sometimes they leave things intentionally just to keep things looking a bit normal but sometimes you know it's a lot of mistakes that's quite shocking so it's a good exercise to see if you could notice things that you would have done differently gives you a good perception about opinion and taste makes you realize that you know our opinions are as different as each other now what I do with beards and obviously we would never remove it that would be terrible, so that would be really bizarre I will essentially even it out in this, but what I mean is you see these patches that are lighter and the lighter up here maybe I will even out through, say, dodging burn, for example, or maybe a little bit of frequency, but I'm not going to remove any part of the beard, okay, I was moving on the lines here appears well, some more bits of here now, red lines. Like I said, I will remove it or keep it or whatever the intention is based on where was asking, but exercise let's, go ahead and actually remove it right now to show you oh, I take care of it. You notice I'm actually concerned more about the line itself and the color that's being contaminated because I know with our workflow we can come back and the next step and just easy take care of that. So you have nothing to worry about. Don't waste time fixing everything in one go and you can see my brush is quite small. My sourcing is quite near to the air that I'm healing and I continue to remove the lines, okay for us. No, nothing that not not saying that again. Pretty if you want to talk a little bit about worry lines, he doesn't have any but retouching worry lines on men and women. Yeah, that's a great question, let's see let's pretend that I want to follow the same consistency with a look of the rest of the image. What I will do is anything that happens with frown lines or lines in the forehead or under the eyes will get the same treatment across the board in the sense that if I have removed the under eyes or soften them, I will apply that exact treatment to the top of the head or the forehead based on his expression in this case, I realize that you expected it based on his expression, so it didn't actually stand to be so much. However it would be great to soften it up so I'll do the same thing. We'll take either my clone brush my hairbrush and be very gentle about it. With my clone brush, I can control how gentle I with my flow and my hand brush I could do it with might edit and fade option, so I'll take my clone brush this time just assure you some diversity on go ahead and make sure it said to cram below and start gently just cloning the point where a lot of it is softened up just a bit and same thing up top here you can also see this too you're dodging burn if you'd like to soften it up, but the main principle remains being that I won't remove it completely, however, I will soften up the area to a certain extent and you'd always undo it in case it doesn't look good and so forth and so on so when I give you all his options because sometimes either heating rush including bush clone brush won't work as well so you can undo the option there and then take care of it as the next step because it does fall from one categorization of their sometimes so let's say that I'll save that till later and I will you know he'll dodge it not dodge yes, I will dodge it out over later to take care of that. Okay um now I want to see that his hair is okay because the guy however this bit here probably should be taken out, so instead of just sampling a little bits and taking out one by one, I'm going to do one grande selection, so I will say use my clone brush quite large, sample a distance away here a little bit higher flow and make a selection like so and then what I will do well, I should let's make another selection up here maybe a little bit better just to get a random sampling of area she noticed I wasn't so concerned about how detailed I was because I'm going now is a mask uh set to a black brush my flow will build it high and now I can basically come in and detail out where it's going to be affected and the reason I did this is if I had to manually go in and use a really small clone brush to come in what would happen is that it's going to be much harder to make a perfect selection and this way with a mask you can easily go in and make a really quick brush stamp and they worry about the other part later so it's like you're doing doing in two steps so let's go and clean that up I'll leave a little bit that guy maybe maybe not maybe yes okay, maybe not and then I can just you know that guy quick ok and then come in and just not little here there so what happens now is reason oregon I can quickly take care of that guy and I also realized I went a bit further than I expected they hear something that beautiful on dh continue accordingly. I don't mind this area's so much with his other hairs and the reason I'm gonna leave this for now um actually no let's go in and take her just one of them so you can see what I do so again I'll rotate my canvas and I will for the sake of a story I'll put a new blank letters you can see exactly what I did for this individual area, so I'm going to do it later I'll have a new blank layer same properties currently below I'll take my clone brush I will sample where the hair should be continuing so say I'm going to start moving this here here I'm going to copy and paste exactly where the hair transit here progression should go so a copy in the border here and start brushing and what happens is it replaces what's there with what should be underneath which is essentially what you're copying with and what this does it essentially removes the hair without disrupting the pattern and this to me is pretty much my go to method for removing strands of here it's because it makes it so much easier and sometimes does it mention the reason why I don't use dark inner lytton is because sometimes you get a lot of hailing going on the edges of the hair that you're moving just because you have hair strands that sometimes illuminate on the edges but not on the main area or vice versa and you know it's just one of those things where you have to practise and see both methods and see what works for you and sometimes one method won't work on a current area and you can use multiple techniques so there's no right or wrong it's not you know it's not like picker choose you can always one use anything you want but to me this seems to be something that uh I have stuck with her quite a while and quickly enough I can just turn on and off and down here is god like sham wow just completely gone that reference is going to be outdated in a few hours and was going to watching a few hours later thinking what is he talking about similarly I go forward as you can see this is a lot of fun a little bit higher psyching quickly just get really clean strokes so it's all in your sampling it's all in your technique but the principles are quite simple I mentioned earlier you know a lot of my principles a really simple because I don't like to make things over they complicated you know maybe you like to have a lot of techniques on your belt this is fantastic I I do know a few but they all fall back to the same principles in the same techniques they're all based off the same principles as well so you know I'd rather have a few of the network all the time then to me that you really never know when to use what the other thing is you want to make sure that you don't overdo it it's easy to get carried away which is why you must always ahmad again and make sure things were looking quite nice in this case I think that you know everything's good except for this little here here that's falling down that's illuminated and you ask me well how do you know what you are? What? To not remove again zoom out see how the hair flow is going don't worry about minor distractions worry about the things that are major and fix it accordingly all problem you probably removed just this this end uh point of hair here and keep the rest of it just so we can move on protecting you used the angle part of ah it's really nice uh where did where did you go? Underbrush setting, isn't it so essentially like angling your russian changing dimension so here's the deal with that some people say hey, you know what? I I angle my brush and what that means is under window and brush or sometimes I think it does show up here maybe not maybe just me thinking out loud okay, so under window and brush you will see that you have these little points on the brush. What that does is it modifies notice that the bottom is modifying your brush like it's a three defective who's beautiful and it looks really nice and it looks really cool like a comb looks like your cooling the hair however the problem with this is say I go in one direction you see how white it is so it's displacing too much hair and instead what you can do is instead of angling it and again the problem angling it say I want to remove me give you a good example let's say on from this piece of here here you take this angle and in theory select and obviously just start brushing certain moves you know the flyway. However, if you notice the brush itself is quite large along the wit so different displaces mohr information the necessary however, just to get the hair itself your brush as he quite small and the length of the brush is different from the width. So whenever I go back to normal, the brush itself now covers in with and length aboutthe same proportion and so I just keep my brush round at all times. The other problem with having a brush that is quite wide in with is that if you have to keep changing angle so say I do this stroke strand of here, here and in the strand of hair here in the strand of hair here your alternating different stroke links you just keep alternating your brush the size and direction when it flattens out, which can be quite annoying. So I haven't found in particular, I guess use for it because this guy here being that it's so tiny can take care of the hair itself so that's why I don't as well so I was actually referring to the angle and the clone, so I find that particularly women working with hair there you could find a nice section of hair, but the curvature is wrong. I see is and by using the angle appear you, khun matched angle of oh that's, right? Yeah, I think that's definitely better way to go about it in regard to the brush size that's. That's a good point and I guess I got off on that tension for a good reason because that was actually question. I remember people that ask us. Well, my sourcing point also to go off on that topic whenever I'm doing here work, my sourcing point will always first and foremost be right along the edge of the hair direction. And then instead of just doing little circles like this, I will follow the curvature of the actual hair self in a few kicked quick strokes to take care of individual hairs. Um, so it's very much like your frequency where I'm not going to go up and down over the hair it's going to be more along the curvature of each individual strand of hair, and this is why I also utilize my rotation function so that it makes it much easier, much easier for me too switch over based on whatever angle that I'm working on and as you can see, I am going and getting carried away with my hair as well, which I should be doing on dh I apologize about that. So let's go and exit the brush function here, command zero to bring back at warp speed and then we'll go back up top, make sure there's anything else you want, take away may be all you know, clean up a little bit. These recipes over here, it's remember your healing rich does not have flow on capacity, but you do have you edit and state option. All right, so I'll keep that not roll. I won't touch anything else at this step of the game. We'll go in and check if there's a thing on the garment. Since this is a suede, I think you're going to get natural patterning going on, which doesn't distract so much because it is suede it's not so necessary to even out everything a little patch because it would end up looking more like plastic if you did that and sweet has a character stick where you see different the final patterns, just based on how it's being handled so that's totally fine in this regard and it's important because just based on the materials as you're working on. They have different properties you do want to override those properties because things start looking very bizarre so again air on this side of being natural and things will work out for the better the best at least um let's see if there's anything super distracting will take care of now there doesn't seem to be now I know you're probably wondering this little guy here um they're few ways that we can take care of that we can either later on dodge I'm burn and hide all of this or we can just sample with our clone brush and take a good portion of top on just piece it in whoever I think burning it will be a little bit better uh just for the sake of showcasing how that would work now let's go on to a little bit of our next step because I think this is pretty clean in terms of his face alternately on enough and you'll see what I took out what I didn't let's go up to his hair I can see that even with his ear there were some red veins reliant it to care that to care of the eyes I took care of some of the beard there were spots close to his eyes and that's pretty much it in that regard okay great let's go ahead and save this under the raw will keep it there it's safe

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