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Common Problems

Lesson 24 from: Retouching & Adobe Photoshop Techniques

Lindsay Adler

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Lesson Info

24. Common Problems

Lesson Info

Common Problems

if I'm forgetting something that I said I would show remind me. But what I wanted to do is to work with a couple of people's photos that they send in that have common problems. So one of the things that I know that I ran into all the time This is one of the audience members photos is something like this. You have a stall, it small studio space. It's not deep enough to be able to maybe get that soft box out of the way, which is what you see on the left here. And then basically, if you're gonna have to do a pose like this in order to fit her feet in front of the background, you have to have her all the way back against the background and so that maybe you get the edges. You just Really, If you have a small space, you're up against this all the time, So I'm gonna show you a couple tricks on how to extend your background, make it look realistic. One of the things as well that I did in this photograph. This is what it looked like raw. Right now I'm in. Um, the Dhobi camera robber in this ca...

se is actually in light room. I'm in the develop module. If I hit are the short cut our it brings up my grid and Mycroft tool. And so it gives me a little bit of a grid and I can actually move so that I get that baseboard in a straight line because before it was crooked. So I'm watching for the baseboard lines up looks good, and I'm going to open it up in photo shop. And what we're going to do is find an easy way to clone in the background and extend it for situations like this. I also try to crop in as much as I can get away with. Um, what's nice is in cs six is new crop tool. You can still crop, but have that information available to you if you want. It's a nondestructive Croft tool, so I'm going to only crop loosely here so I can show you that new feature in CS six and the shortcut is command E to open up in photo shop, and I'm going to edit a copy with light from adjustments. And so if I did just edit a copy or original. It wouldn't have that straightening that I just did with the crop tool so that it and the first thing that I wanted to do is just show you that crop tool and then I'm gonna switch over and extend the background. So a CZ I said, this is new. Foresee a six. So if you don't have, say, six, Don't worry. Right now, when I have the bounding box for the craft tool, you can set, you know? So you have a few of the rule of thirds. If you want to have a preview of that, you can constrain, maybe say to a four by six. If you know that that's often what your client's purchase and right now, when I crop it selected to delete cropped pixels so this would act like normal crop like you've had in any other photo shop. If I turned that off when I crop flips a crop into here, for example, and I hit enter if I want to, I can still later on extend my crop back out, and all that information is still there. So it's really, really useful in case you all right, you want to see what it would look like if you know that they're going to get a four by six from later on your you know what they actually wanted in eight by 10 or something to that effect. So really, really useful tool. Good benefit of CSX. But let's just back out of that for now. And I'm gonna show you how to extend this background simply in the past. And this is I'm trying to make is applicable to everybody. But this is a really useful see Essex tool in the past. What I would probably have done was coming here and grab maybe my rectangular marquee tool. Select this background. It's like this background. Try to center this. You guys can see good command J to copy and paste it into a new layer, drag it up and then blend it. That would be my solution, and that's what I would do for you know if I have a great background or a Muslim. But in CS six, there's a tool that it's developed from CS five to see a six, which is content aware fill. But in this case, it's content aware extend. So I'm thinking of Let's say you're looking at a scene where you have, um, a lake, and then at the very, very end, it ends with something nasty, like there's no pickup truck and garbage cans. Well, if you make a selection of the lake, you can drag it over. And instead of just it's not just a copy and paste and blend. It actually looks at the repeated patterns that you've had in your scene and makes up pixels to replace it. So, for example, you'll see here, I'm going to make a selection of this area, and the tool is where our spot healing brush exists. And it's called content aware. Move tool now by default what it's set to its content. Where move so you can actually take a piece of your picture. Let's say you have a subject there on the left hand side. You can select them. Click and dragon move them. It'll blend in the old area so that they disappear. Copy and paste them, put them in the new place and blend it so that they're on the right hand side of the frame. Now it does that for you. I don't use it too often. I don't know. I mean, I'm sure there's a plaque ability, but it it's not that, um, useful to me. What is useful is to change the mode from move to extend. And this is how I take control of a lot of my backgrounds, and I often will have a subject, or they'll do something where they jump in there off the edge of the frame or the way that I'm zooming. I seemed edges of my background, so content were extend. You make your selection, you click and you drag it up and I'm just going to let go. It'll take a minute to process, but what it doesn't it doesn't just cut and paste it. It will actually blend it based on the patterns that it sees around, so that it's more believable. So if I zoom in here, I mean, you can't see that edge, and this is actually a pattern. So it's really, really great for faking patterns. But also whatever solid background you have on you, can you see that? Would you know? Because look, it's not just blending. See, here it actually makes up pattern. That's how content Aware works. So the same thing If we come over here, you can select this entire area and extend the background if you wanted to. Now this will work a little bit differently and I'm gonna show you how it might not work perfectly and you may have to tweak it, but it's still pretty nice. I could select this area and do my maybe do a little bit lower. It's kind of select right onto that baseboard and do my content aware extend of extending the background. And when I drag it over now, I don't know if you can see what the problem is going to be, but it's gonna have to blend those two patterns in. So let go. It's going to think, and it's going to blend and kind of make up what it thinks appropriate. And if it's not perfect, this is where you can kind of blend, so I would add a layer mask and start to blend those two layers together. So if you look because of this area here, it felt that it needed to fake an add additional background with that same pattern. I don't like it, but I also don't think if a client saw this you wouldn't notice. It looks natural. It depends on if it bothers you or not. So you could go ahead addle air mask. I can zoom in and see how it it made up. Pixels. It's not smeared. It's not blurred. It invented pixels for you, but I could go in with my black brush and kind of paint off and blend tow whatever looks good to my eye. And I could do later rapacity probably going more carefully than this. But you guys get the general idea so I could blend whatever looks natural to you. And I could do the same thing so I could keep going. So this is your solution when your backgrounds don't extend the way you'd want and even down here, you could do the same thing with the baseboard. But you may have to do multiple cause. I only have like, what two inches of the baseboard to work with. I don't have that entire background. So if I wanted to extend that baseboard, I'm just gonna merge down for teaching purposes. I can grab the baseboard just a few inches. I have there and I might have to do multiple extends. There's one Thio name. We have to clean up a little bit, but it's much simpler than trying to clone out of those two inches or copy and paste and blend. So that's common Problem number one. Um, and I would spend more time and clean that up, but that's good enough for me. Any quick questions on that? Before I move on to another, the background didn't extend far enough. Example. Okay, I'm sure there are actually hold on one moment. Okay. You're waiting for its catch up. Yes, no problem. I'll grab that other photo while we're waiting. Question from El Is his content aware extend destructive, destructive in the sense that it is creating and changing pixels. So, yes, something that's non destructive is like a layer mask or, um, adjustment layer. So it is technically destructive the way that it's changing your photo. But that's why duplicate the background there on DSO. Then I could always go back if I need to to blend so technically destructive. Keith below says, Can you do the background pasting even if the client foot or hand is outside of the background? Okay, so the question is, can you do it say that her foot in this example extended beyond the background. What I would do in that instance is I would do the content aware extend, and then I would have to do a mask to mask back in her foot. And so I would take that extended background, lower the opacity so I could see her foot, put a mask on and paint the effect away. Or use a quick selection to select the foot and then fill it in with black so that that extended background does not cover her foot as well. And honestly, I'm in my studio in New York. I I live in New York City, was an eighth and 38 and it's at the top of an industrial building now. It's It's great. It literally looks overlooks, um, the Empire State Building. You know, it's in a wonderful location, but it doesn't have the high ceilings that I would want. It's some places. It's 10. Some places it's 12. But I also photograph regularly six foot seven people who then put on three and chills. And so often they're jumping or moving in there too tall, and I do that exact thing. I have to extend the background and then clone out around their head or a mascot or on their head. Um, if you need to extend your background, what about if there's a reflection on the floor? So you're looking at this picture, and this is Ah, very pretty fashion image with the very like Austin will use reflections on the bottom and how we do that. In case you're interested in creating this in your studio is you buy plexi. It might be white plexi for a clean reflection, but if you extend your I, usually a seamless have a black and white seamless. If you extend your seamless out into the studio and then you put whatever plex and top it'll pick up the lair below. So it'll be black flux if it's on black. What if it's on Dwight? So I had this white plexi, but it was old and the reflection looked awful, and it also she was extending slightly onto the background. Um, this right here. Just so you know, this isn't the original file trying to crop it to a four by six. The way it had to do it was had add background, so you could just ignore this. So if you're looking this photo, I have kind of the white on either side. And then also a really ugly reflection that isn't, um, catching the entire photo. So let me show you again where we end up and I'll give you a couple tips on how I got there. So we end up to a picture with much more impacts to it. Not really that hard. I'm going to delete everything real quick. Okay, So what I can do pretty easily is what we just talked about is do my content aware extend because this is if there's a little bit of detail on your white background, you don't just want a paint white, because what you'll have is if you didn't notice, it goes to print and you just painted white. Then you'll have a whiter edge, and then we'll have a little bit of detail on the white background. Unfortunately, had things go to print where I'm like, Oh, awesome. There's looks like I painted with a white brush in the background because I didn't notice they were viewing on a different screen or a different color calibrated monitor than I Waas. So it's you're better off if you you can check to see the values with your eye dropper is actually see if it's going to be pure white or not. But you're better often content where extends if there's any texture in the background that you'll maintain it. And furthermore, if you're not working on white, you have to worry about that. So I'm going to grab my continent where extend click it over and it it should be pretty fast ticking a second more, you know, no problem. So I don't have to worry about cloning and cloning and straight lines. Same thing I can do over here on this edge. And I'm not going to get it perfect for time sync. But I would just do that a few times pretty quick, pretty easy. All right, so I come down to the bottom and it is dirty and messy and ugly and just kind of sucks. So what? I'm going to d'oh! I'm just going to make a selection of the bottom done here and for my peace of mind. I'm just gonna fill it with White, cause I don't want to see it anymore. It's upsetting me, um, someone to clean it up. Hopes not. Wait, switch. Okay. What I will tell you is this area around here? Um, if you look, can you guys see this on the screen? This area where it's kind of brown and dirty? Um, I will lighten it up with cloning, but if let's say there's a couple footprints and things, that's what I would do with portraiture with the color selection off, and it just smoothes it out. So similarly, in this example, if I'm going ahead and, um let's say I'm trying to blend these two right and some cloning and I'm cloning around D'oh! Hi, rapacity. I'm clowning around and you can see where I cloned and it doesn't kind of blotchy and it doesn't look so good. That's when I will frequently go up into portraiture after I've basically when I want to blend my areas together, turn it off, I'll pump this all the way up, and when you zoom in at sea before, after completing to that, see where I'm looking. There you go. You can see it right here. You know, it'll soften my edges, and so it makes that blending better. Once you put more time into it than this, particularly if you have wrinkles in your background. That's when I have a great background. Have a client and shoot them on the grey. And there were There's a wrinkle and he wanted out, and you can see the edges when you zoom in, you know you can see where you cloned. That's when I run Portrait shirt smooths out the background. So cancel on this one. Um, so a couple things that I would need to dio I want to bring back more detail in some of the dress area. So this is another time where typical you guys might think of doing the eyes for shadows highlights. But I can also do it for bringing detail out an address. So somebody has something with a lot of detail. For example, if a bride has a, uh, her white dress and the details blown out, I can bring that detail back in with shadows highlights. But instead of bringing back the shadows, I can actually pull back in highlights. So if you have a dress where part of it was in the sun, what I typically would do a double process the image. Open up once for her face another time for the dress and combine the two. But you can also go here and bring back a little bit of the detail in the highlights for this instance. I want to pull up a little bit more detail in the dress up here. We'll do that. And I'm only, ah, the altar option key to fill that in. And so I'm just going toe paint the effect in the dress just a little. Okay, so the next challenge that I want that I'm running into is I want this to be pure white. And in this instance, if I wanted to, I can really just do a levels. It's okay because he's going to be in silhouette. I could just kind of popped my levels, and right now I'm just dragging up my white point. So I grab my white point, drag it over, and if I hit, if I fill this in with black, so filling my mask it with black, I can just paint appropriately paint my weight brush so that those areas are now clean white, so I could do that. This was intended to be a silhouette. So I want to get rid of the colors. I'm going to turn it to black and white. Looks good. I'm just tweaking the colors and, well, anything I need to fix. So here's the last part. You know, I can extend the edges. I can clean things, clean up backgrounds, using portraiture to smooth things out. I can play with levels to clean up my background as well. But what happens if I wanted a reflection that I just don't have? Well, why would I, dio is I hit the command option shift e so it copies everything and puts it into a new layer. The reason that I want to do this is I selectively applied levels. So right now, what I'm going to do is actually just mirror the image and that levels effect wouldn't mirror with me. So make sure you practically what I would do. I would grab right for where her toe hits the ground because that's where the reflection would be. And I'm going to hit command J and then command T. And this gives me a bounding box that's transformed controls and then I'm just going to flip it over and to make it look a little more realistic. As a reflection, you can add a little bit of texture. You can add a little bit of noise. You might want to warp it a little bit. So Command T. We've done this 1,000, times work, so maybe I just wanna make it look like it's reflecting out of the ground. It's not exact, but it's close. Could you try that? You could also mess with your blend modes. I tend to back off the A pass It e just a little, because if it were true reflection, I don't think it would be that crisp. It's a little bit more believable to do something like that so I can extend my backgrounds and give myself a realistic looking reflection. And I do that often. The last piece that I would say is if you're trying to get a true silhouette in the studio and you have very small space, it is very difficult to do because what happens for a silhouette, you want to light the background and not let your subject so you want them to be on two different planes. You want the background of the lip but you're subject to not be eliminated. If you're in a small space and you have white walls, your subject is going to be eliminated. The lights going to bounce off the background, bounce off the walls, bounce off the ceiling. So this is one of the things where I say Okay, I couldn't get it to be a true silhouette. I wish I could do it in camera, but I have a small space. So I know that I can do it by burning and dodging or darkening down in post so I can grab an adjustment layer with levels, darkened things down and paint it in selectively. And I could also, you know, paint off the dress if I didn't want it to be as strong there and off of the bottom. But sometimes in post, sometimes during silhouettes, I definitely fix things and posts in that way. Okay, so I'm gonna see you have a question. Yeah. What did you use? How How would you do that? To get it as pulled off if she could. So my studio, I'm at this point for my studio. It is deep enough that I could if I actually wanted to. But if I am working in a small space, I have two silver reflectors, the silver dishes, the normal 167 inch or something pointed at the background. I have one pointed high so that it covers the top here and it's I don't have to wait it up too much, and one pointed low, and I want to get at an angle also. Where if I have plexi, I'm getting the reflection of the background in the Plexi, so that makes the Plexi nice and clear. Okay, so how it black with two office? I tried to get her as far out from the background as possible, and then in my studio, I have large V flats that are black on one side. What in the other? And I just put the V flats as close to her as possible in two ways. One So it's on either sign, but they actually fold in half, so I try to actually cup her honey either side, so it's black in the front, so no light is reflecting off. The walls in front of me are behind the camera and then also nothing from the sides. So those are really useful if you're in a small space, because you can either fill in light or subtract it. In my upstate New York studio, I used to hang black backgrounds on the walls when I was trying to do this was a pain, but you got to do it just curiously. Why don't use the reflection off the Plexi. You absolutely can. Um, it's just It was ugly in this example. It wasn't his crisp, and it was dirty. And I only had this big of a plexiglass, and so I missed part of my reflection. So you there. People have been shooting with Lexie and using that reflection forever. I just didn't do it. Well, any questions? Okay, Yes. Let's take some questions. A question from Logan. Zillah. Omar, How do you handle in New Jersey? How did handle having to use multiple layer masks? Do you flatten the image after working with one masks and then start the next Um okay, So good question. What do you thing is? Let's say maybe you're copping parts of the background and then you're trying to sample and it's all below. What I'll do often is group the multiple layers with the lair masks. And then if I'm cloning or doing something that I need to sample, I just make sure my clone is on current and below, and it will current. It will select from everything below. But that's also why I periodically will do my command shift E or command option shift E to merge all down and put on a top level. I don't merge merge, but I'll give myself that data on the top level. If I'm if I'm struggling with it, I try not to merge too much because that's always wanna end up needing to go back. Always, uh, something was L flash. I was wondering if this the normal speed would you retouch pictures? Mike, is your mic on? You need to hear me. We want to get here. I can hear them screaming. Fashion wants to know if this is the normal speed at which you retouch pictures. What's the average time it takes you on beauty retouching. So Okay, so beaut retouching. If it's going to be a close up beauty shot, I probably spend 40 minutes on it, but I get kind of intense, so I just while we're on that topic. I was going to show you a an example of a beauty retouch. Um, that took me much longer. So for this image it was showing was for a makeup artist portfolio shot. And so if I come down here, that's where it started. So she has ah, highlight on her forehead. She has detail on either side of her face, her lips, her and even her nose, slightly uneven ears sticking out. Her face isn't symmetrical. She has a lot of texture in her neck. And so something like this. This retouch probably took me about almost an hour when it's fashion images that are further back. Um, sometimes it only takes me 5 10 minutes, but I would say, on average, between 15 and 40 minutes, it really, really is going to depend. But the speed that I'm going right now, um, it says it's close. I've go the speed, but I zoom in a lot closer to 100% and make sure that I'm getting everything just right versus here. I'm clearly skipping things, for time's sake, a couple of clarification questions and from just me. What is the difference between extend and move mode in content aware. Okay, so I'm gonna show you. Let's see if I can grab a picture to show you what would be see if anybody has a good sample of what you'd like to move. And then also Photoshopped addicted says, what is the difference between using content where Phil and content aware extend? So just sure there's nothing good to move. So I'm just gonna open up the image and just see if you can understand roughly what's happening. That's it. All right. So what extend is doing? Is it You mean the difference between continent? We're filling content. Where extend is you're telling Photoshopped what you're doing, so it knows howto better calculate what to give you. You're saying OK, take this pattern and extend it versus if you're content aware filling. It's just saying whatever's here doesn't belong. And so you're just removing. So if I were content aware filling, I would just select this and then I would say Phil, content aware, all right. And so actually we duplicated background so you can see before after, and so it would look around and say Okay, based on what surrounding this area, what should I replace this with versus when you're doing content aware extend. So see it saying Oh, okay. I think that there's a foot down here that I might want to do. Okay. I mean, it doesn't work. Uh, versus if you do extend, you're saying I want you to extend this pattern and make it believable. So it's going to work better than Phil because you're giving photo shops and direction about how you wanted to make up those pixels. All right, so if you're looking here, it's going to blend content, aware move. You're physically moving pixels. So let's say switch it to move. If I wanted to move, I don't know if this will work of how well it worked, But let's say I select your body. If I hit move, I should be able to move her over here. It will try to blend her in and then erase and blend in where she was originally. So if I move for here, it's going to try to say, OK, move her torso over here, blended in with the existing area, and then since we moved it, take where she originally waas and get rid of that, Um, it's probably for elements may be an element in the background that you'd like to be in a different place. You select it. Continent where? Move it, move it to the other part of the frame. I'm really curious to see what it does to her. No. So it didn't quite work, but it kind of it, Um, and to see how when you moved it saying, We don't want to hear any more. So get rid of her, but move her over here. Nice. Okay. Other questions. A question from Brendan. See? And it's a It's a little bit long, so Okay, forget ready. In the case of the foot beyond the background, is there a benefit of using the extend than mask method versus using content aware? Delete first, then content where extend over the creative pixels, unmasking the extend out to reveal the foot. All right. To give a distinct answer. I would try both, and I know that's a cop out answer. But sometimes one is going to work better than the other. Sometimes it might work better to content aware. Still get rid of that foot to extend the background and then mask it out. Other times try the extent. Mask it out. This is why I sometimes will you spot healing. Sometimes we use patched. I don't always know. Like in that example, I thought maybe content aware, Phil would have done a little bit better example a little bit better than putting her foot there. Sometimes you think it would make sense like that. Background is a repeated pattern all around it. You think you'd be smart enough to grab it? It wasn't in that instant, so either one could work.

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Retouching Checklist
Beauty and Retouching
Creative Techniques

Ratings and Reviews


Fantastic Photoshop course. I knew Lindsay was great at Photography, Lighting, Posing and Public Speaking, but I am really blown away by her mad (great) skills at Photoshop. Lindsay really is a fantastic teacher. She turns what might be a more or less dry topic into a fun and entertaining topic. Thank you Lindsay and thank you CreativeLIve. You have a real superstar with Lindsay Adler.

a Creativelive Student

This is a great workshop for photographers wanting to learn and hone in on their retouching skills. As a photoshop user and photographer of 10 yrs I have been able to take away some further techniques to help better my skills and more or less tailor them. I would suggest you have some adv beginner knowledge of photoshop because I don't think some of the techniques you will be able to keep up with unless you buy it. There are two things that I wish she did better in her teaching and that is to teach new users to label all their layers and what they are as you are working. As you can see Lindsay ends up with 20 layers and unless your the one doing the editing you will have know idea what is what when you have to go back to it. So its best to teach this in the beginning so people get into the habit of organization early. Also I wish she used a Wacom. It really does cut your editing time in half and you have more solid movements in precisely selecting areas of a photo. From a photographer to other photographers. Use a wacom. You can start with a basic baboo for $89 and when the apple wireless mouse cost $69. Time is money, and a wacom truely save time! I used to use a mouse and my trackpad and once I switched I was like OMG what was I thinking before! So I wish she just emphasized that point more. Overall I think it was $99 well spent.

Christian G.

Not only is Lindsay very knowledgeable and a very good teacher but I REALLY TRULY appreciate her no-BS, straight-forward style.. No time wasted on long tangents talking about herself (or what have you), on cute remarks or on off-the-mark humor. She has showed us many great techniques, has presented to us various creative/different ideas AND she has also really been able to explain "how she thinks of a solution", how there is a bit of trial and error, "even" at her level.. All in a all, a truly excellent course and worth every penny!! Thank you Lindsay and thank you to the CreativeLive team for a great course!!

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