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Libraries & Layer Management

Lesson 34 from: The Business of Professional Photo Retouching

Lisa Carney, Simon Peter Raible

Libraries & Layer Management

Lesson 34 from: The Business of Professional Photo Retouching

Lisa Carney, Simon Peter Raible

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Lesson Info

34. Libraries & Layer Management


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Who Should Be a Retoucher?


Genres of Retouching


Comp vs Finish


Lisa's Path to Retouching


Simon's Path to Retouching


Establishing a Look


Who is The Client?


Lesson Info

Libraries & Layer Management

Favorite thing libraries oh I love libraries. If I could dance right now I'd dance for you guys this is my favorite thing. Libraries have become, oh God I can't stop. Libraries have become my modus operandi I have a bag of tricks that are now bag of tricky's. God genius. I bet half the people out there can't spell either 'cause we're visual people, we're dyslexic it's why we do visual arts. So some of the things I put in my bag of tricky's to use when I go to other agencies or just when I'm comping or doing common things and this is just a few things that I use. I have a ton of gradient, so actually you can't see this here 'cause there's no label. That is actually not a blank layer, what that is, that is a file that's got different gradient maps in there. And when I go anywhere and I'm comping they're usually the things I use for my style and color. I can drag that on and all 42 come right on in I pick the one, two, three that I want and ditch it and it's on the cloud, I could be in I...

taly and get this. I could be in France or I could be in Culver City. Could be anywhere. There are often flames and fires and elements we use in our Hollywood life to make things look textural and cool and I just saved them tons of flares. So brushes, I do have brushes and they're just in case I can't load up my brushes I use 2018 but most of the agencies I work at are still on and we haven't talked about this. Most of the agencies where I work at the freelance finisher is low person on the totem pole and they don't wanna buy licenses for everybody. So I often have to work in 2017 still, there's a ton of stuff in 2018 that will speed up my job flow. My ability to work, tons of stuff and I get there crash I can't work the same way. There's nothing to do about it other than to know and have some back-up so have some stuff stuck in your libraries so you can do the old school way. So something to think about on that. What else do I wanna say about libraries? Some agencies you cannot get on creative cloud because they have lock down they have blocks and you can't so. Do I do this? I do. I have, I think it's just stuck in my bag. I have a hard drive with this stuff on it in my purse, like in my computer bag and I actually don't pull it out very often and that's on the emergency situation where I can't get online to get them from libraries. Cool? Mmhmm And then this was you showing your finer stuff. Oh yeah, yeah. We're going back again for one second. When you do make the alias, so if I go into someone else's server I'll see all their different servers and then each one of those is their clients. Then in each one of those it will be different jobs and it gets more and more complicated. Then I'll just grab this at the very end make an alias and drag it to my desktop or I could grab it and you slide it right there and it will make a alias right in this mother home thing. So there you can see my last job was with y'all. That's how you do it. Now again that's on a Mac, we don't use P.C.'s there's nothing really to talk about we just happen to be on Mac's, we don't use P.C.'s We can't help you there. Yeah he has all his jobs in one folder, all his backup he goes to one folder it goes to his server I don't do that I probably should do that, that's a good one. This is a really good tip especially in house another agency. Ah my favorite part. Get down, get funky, get loose girl. Layer management I wanna talk to you about this. I spoke the other day about there's a particular ad agency in town that they do smaller boutique finishes. I love their stuff it's so creative and so cool. And their files are built beautifully and I wanna talk about why I say they're beautiful. This is Layer construction, this is how I would suggest whenever possible you build your photo shop files like this. It is very simplified, I understand real world you're gonna have to make some adjustments here but in an ideal world here's how I suggest you build your layers. You wanna have your background on the bottom, it's rocket scientist isn't it. Background on the bottom, I honestly don't wanna tell you how many times I've had files where you have a background and someone has masked out to have the people underneath show, it happens all the time it's ridiculous. Think of it like a pyramid background on the bottom and then you build your elements up. Then generally you have your main character, your main people, your items, then you put the color correction on top, so this is a sample of it. This is actually a sample of it when it gets a little complicated so you have background, main character, color corrections and effects, overall corrections so basically color, this is all color. Then we have this ubiquitous thing that we do to our files which is in our finishing notes and we'll talk to you about it which is to add grain. We add grain to every print file, we add grain to every print file we send out, we do not add grain to web files okay, no grain on web files and we sharpen. We have the type, we talked about the type. The type is in the folder and hopefully it's a live layer and a shape layer, hopefully. And then we put guides and crops on top, if you build this way it is so easy to make changes, oh swap out a character. You don't have to swap out a character and then find the color underneath, all the colors on top. Okay it's very basic. It is a very basic system but it's beautiful, it works like a charm and I will give some numbers. Average finish one sheet finish for this company is four to six hours. Average finish for your other companies is eight to 12 and a bunch of it has to do with this. Okay, another thing that I've not called out here on this file and you're just gonna have to listen and write this down. When they put textures or stock files in there they put them in with smart objects and when you put them in with smart objects, finisher's like us can res it up and replace it with a high res and we don't have try to find out how to scale it will scale automatically. So smart object building, we've a class on that filters and smart objects that talks a bit about smart object building. So I wanna say this again and I'm gonna say this slowly, when you're putting in elements if you put them in as smart objects when you have to replace them with the high res you can automate it and it makes building a file much quicker. However there is a caveat on this, you don't wanna drag a file from your desktop or folder into Photoshop and have it make it smart object, you want it to be a layer. I'll say that again you do not want to drag a file from your desktop or from a folder and have it become a smart object layer in Photoshop because it will always have to be flat. And what if you need to edit it. If you double click on it and you edit it you have to merge it down to save it back again. So what I like to do is I open said object in Photoshop I make it a layer with the name of the file, heaven forbid. Make that a smart object then drag it in, okay. There is a droplet you can get that you can double click on a layer pardon me a file and it'll open in Photoshop and it will make it a smart object with a layer. Name it's an automated, it's a droplet. So, anyway here's a little side extra bonus for you. So again really basic background, people, color on top. When you can do not put the color on the bottom. Now I know sometimes you gonna have to, sometimes that's just the way it is but if you can avoid it please, please, please build your files like this. And yeah this color correction they only wanted it on the main character, they masked it out, okay. And you can link these so they move together. Also why that's good is someone who has not built the file can come and look and they know I can give him the job, he'll open that. He knows exactly what's going on, there's not a lot of detective work going on to figure it out because it's so basic. Cool, it's you, its all your. It's me color coding layers within files in Photoshop. This is color coding once again but these will be the layers in your layer pallet in Photoshop. Okay the next thing is color coding actions in Photoshop. We went over that. Color coding pull down menu items we talked a little about. And color coding files within folders in Finder. We've got a theme going on here it's called color coding and again he does this I do not and I'm trying to work it into our system. So not only did he color code his folders outside in the finder that you guys saw, he's actually color coding his layers. Do you have a system like what layers do you. What would you color something adjustment layers green or type blue. There are a couple again the lighter adjustment layer makes lighter goes green if it makes it darker it goes purple but a new thing I just started when I went in and had to work on this very complicated file. It was photo, after photo, after photo it was The Walking Dead stuff, it was huge it was curve layers , 1290 adjustment layers. 75 different scans, different images plus all the hair plus all the illustration shadows it got massive. I would scroll through folders, here's your folder I couldn't divi it up to left side right side at all worked independently. But from there what I would do is I would name the whole folder that I was working on purple. So now everything else is not uncolored and the only thing I'm working on is purple. So I'm like okay and this has to go to here and down to the purple one. The purple one I was working on when it was done I would color it green, so it's kind of been touched, it's not perfect and you just making stuff up and you're just color coding on the fly. So this ones a problem it goes red I gotta ask for a scan for that or where did you get this, I need bleed for it I gotta ask for another hand. So red ones I gotta ask questions for it later. Yellow ones I touched it but I gotta do something first before I come back to it, it's not done. Green is definitely done, green's fine cross it off the list purple you're working on and it just evolves as I need it. So I'm gonna point out some stuff. One this is how you do it, you control click on the name on a Mac. Now he's got a system, you gotta come up with your own system but you also gotta not keep changing the system. Can you imagine if red for you is trouble files and then next week red for you is adjustment layers. Well you're gonna be all over the map so maybe consider coming up with a system and put an extra monitor or something. You can also change the names, the other thing we don't have it noted here and I apologize for that all my adjustment layers I put a bullet in front of it. Option eight in front of, so when I'm looking for my layers I don't know if you know this you can hit control command, I know my hands do it and don't even know control command and click on the document. And every layer that is visible where that pointer is clicking will show up. Well if you put a bullet option on everything that is an adjustment layer, you'll know it's an adjustment layer not a paint layer. So I don't call, I don't have an adjustment layer called darkening curve, if I'm darkening I just call it curve darkening. But if I'm painting and I'm darkening guess what I call it darkening, so how can I tell from a distance what's a curve or an adjustment layer on the document. I can see it on the layer's pallet but if I'm trying to find it that's how I find it. Bullet which is the option eight right in front. Shall we go on to our lovely worksheet? Please. Cool so let's talk about work flow and worksheet and all this fun stuff, I'm trying to think how I don't wanna go to far over we're just about here. Just hit the highlights. Alright so this is the worksheet that comes with the file, I'm hoping everyone can see on this screen and I apologize if it's a little difficult but you'll have full res files to download. This is where it gets very specific and we've been talking about this so at the beginning of the day I said file management right size. We were talking about size and safety what you might wanna do here and we don't usually announce it. Is this is where you're gonna write if you're gonna have to res up later, again I don't usually announce that 'cause clients don't like to hear that. Clients want to think you're doing the job exactly at the size they asked for so kinda keep that a little quiet. Now color profiles you've got srgp, color match, rgb, other, blah, blah, blah. This is really important swop, gracle and cmyk. When we're delivering versions I am delivering multiple color spaces, when I am delivering versions I have to deliver multiple color spaces. So when I deliver for television for example I generally do a graph gracle, it's a gracle cmyk. 90% of our stuff is gracle 'cause it's going to a printer. So we don't label it special, we just call it dot cmyk. However when we have to send it to a magazine, send it somewhere where we have no control over the printing it's always swop, so those files get labeled dot swop cmyk but that's the only time. For you guys whatever you're work flow is if normal is swop then just call your cmyk and you know it's swop and your gracle call it something else. It depends on your work flow but I have to deliver definitely different kinds of cmyk so in my version folder you'll see all sorts of ones and then you have to change your color settings for the conversions. You need to pay it a lot of attention to that. Break downs, break outs this is where you let yourself know what I usually do in these is because I have other ones I'll have like a 19 by 38, a 22 by whatever. I'll write those numbers in there. Ah look we wanna help you out, we wanted to let you know is it a rights purchase, rights manage, it's copyright free. It's not your job as a finisher, it's not your job to do this but boy don't you look good when you go to your client and you say hey is this cool. Anything to make you look good is great, price per image, blah, blah, blah we're gonna talk about delivery later.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

File Naming Convention Sample
Estimate Worksheet Form
Finishing Delivery Example
File Naming Convention Explanation
Worksheet & Billing Checklist
Solar Curves Action

Bonus Materials

Adobe Stock Contributor
Alien Skin Software Discount Code

Ratings and Reviews

Bill Buckley

I'm a photographer who wants to be as good at Photoshop as possible. In my field few retouchers get hired, so it's all on me. Plus my creative vision cannot be accomplished by photography alone. Not to mention that in the field, as a photographer I can't always be perfect. Photoshop to the rescue. This is possibly THE best class I've purchased on Creative Live, and they've all been good. Great insight, entertaining, well taught Lisa and Simon were awesome. Bought more LC tutorials based on this course.

Kari A. Youkey

This course just opened my world. I started ( back in the Jurassic era) as an illustrator/drafter ( pen and ink), then CAD programmer, then GIS analyst with photoshop just coming onto the scene pregnant and unplugged focusing on parenting and my inner artist. I was gifted an IPad 6 years ago in the mist of my Taxi Mom years. My favorite ‘hobby’ became manipulating images and an addiction to Adobe apps. Now, In my new empty nest status, I have been trying to figure out my next direction in life....and CreativeLive has been a wonderful resource to explore different creative opportunities, feeling somewhere between photography and graphic design, I wanted to ‘paint’ photos with my tool of choice the tablet, not the camera. ...but it wasn’t until this course that I clicked with an Aha! I don’t have to become an photographer? I could get paid to retouch? Other people’s photos?.....and, I have a work history skill set that backs it up! Thank you so much for this course! Loved the instructors and how they shared their experiences and knowledge. You two have just provided a wonderful map and whole new path to explore and inspired a much needed creative spark to get back to work❤️. Thank You!

a Creativelive Student

Lisa knocked it out of the ball park again! Amazing work Lisa and Simon! I just can't find the many words that express how much I gain with each and every course she teaches. Once again, a wealth of information that was given in a down to earth manner. I absolutely love her teaching style! Amazing course Lisa and Simon, awesome job!

Student Work