This Video Will Show You Why You Need To Take Breaks While Retouching

I stumbled across this video that really blew my mind. A woman ages right before your eyes and you don't realize it is happening. You can feel a change but it's gradual. Once you reach the end and look back, you can't believe how much change has happened in just 5 minutes. 

Anthony Cerniello was behind this video. He states, “I attempted to create a person in order to emulate the aging process. The idea was that something is happening but you can't see it but you can feel it, like aging itself.”

What I find interesting is that in just a short period of time, even though we witness such a huge change, we don't feel like much has happened for every moment that passes. Our eyes and mind become acclimated to seeing things as they are. We don't bring back the past into consideration so much as we're watching it. We focus on the moment as it is and almost disregard the progress that has happened.

It reminds me very much of retouching. This is the perfect video to express why it is so important to take breaks if you're sitting at your desk retouching for a good period of time.

For some people, the retouching process is usually a lot longer than 5 minutes. It's even longer if you are retouching a portrait or a beauty shot, where you usually spend a considerable amount of time. Has it ever happened where you come back after a period of time and look back at your results only to dislike what you've done? This is a common occurrence and the effect seen in the video really shows us why that is the case. As we tend to work forward, we usually cannot remember where we came from and our minds begin to accept the work we've done as normal. Even if we begin to steer in the wrong direction, we usually do not doubt the retouching decisions we've made to get to that point. So when we look back at the original, we forget just how much we've actually done. Sometimes this is for the better, but that is not always the case.

In the process, it becomes detrimental to our workflow to not take breaks and look away for brief periods of time. Over time, we get a better sense of judgment over how far to go but it always helps to take breaks when necessary.

Personally, after every 20 minutes of work, I tend to take a couple of minutes and check e-mail, get a glass of water, or something that allows me to look away and reanalyze the image. Often, sleeping on the image and coming back to it the next day for important work is crucial. I see areas I missed or went too far on.

In the process, don't forget to save as often as you are taking breaks (if not more).

Point aside, this video was incredible. Here is a list of everyone included in making it:

Still Photographer: Keith Sirchio
Animator: Nathan Meier
Animator: Edmund Earle
Nuke Artist: George Cuddy
Music: Mark Reveley

[Via Vimeo]

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Mike Kelley's picture

What a gorgeous triumph of photography, videography, and computer animation.

Mike Kelley's picture

Also, this should be a Sigur Rós video.

Dave Piper's picture

amazing work ! Love it

fucking amazing !

The list of "everyone included in making" the video did not include (a) model(s). Are we to believe this was all CGI? Was there never a real person photographed? Wow. However it was done, it was one of the most surreal experiences I've ever had.

David Geffin's picture

this just blew my mind.

Good advice too, thanks Pratik, great post

Alvin Toro's picture

OMG! This is better than watching the Teletubbies on meds...

Artistic in every aspect!!

Here's how it was done:
Source: Chris Moore from the vimeo upload

Sam Wagner's picture

it is incredibly amazing, and way to tie in an interesting point about taking breaks! the way i do this, is when i'm editing in photoshop i make a duplicate layer of the original image so all i have to do to see my progress is to turn off the layer i'm editing, then i can see where i was when i started-it helps in a similar way to taking breaks

Just amazing!!!

christian lacasse's picture

very well done!

I think I aged during this video

pretty cool tho

well said. I too take a break every 30 minutes or so. you dont realize sometimes how much some of the editing to the pictures youve done till you see it later on. sometimes its too much and you dont notice when editing but a day after.

what I say is, do your work, then save all the layers, come back the next day and then decide if its ok. if you need too just lower the opacity. you can also do a batch automate that will flatten all images and save to jpeg if you need to.