In my opinion, mastering negative dodge and burn is the key to any beauty retouch. There are many steps and many hours that go into a great retouch, but negative dodge and burn is as essential, if not more so, than any of them. The term "negative dodge and burn" is one that I first heard from fellow retoucher Pratik Naik. It was the concept of having a specific process of removing distractions and smoothing tonal transitions through dodge and burn that was responsible for one of the biggest jumps in my own personal retouching game.
In the growing wake of low-budget, special effect action minis whose audience has become larger and larger on YouTube, Sam and Niko's "Real GTA" steps the game up once more with a perfect assimilation of the popular "Grand Theft Auto" video game into real, Los Angeles life. Complete with sound effects recreated as similarly as possible within the actual game, the same Los Angeles street scenes, and smashing special effects (like the famous wads of cash exploding out of recently killed bystanders), "Real GTA" reminds us both how ridiculous and subsequently fun it is.
Heck yes! I'm pretty dang pumped about this post. Ever since the middle of high school, I've been immensely interested in "the process." You know, that middle bit between point A and point B that nobody but the artist ever sees. I've always loved peeking behind the scenes to see where something started and what kind of work and thought went into creating the finished product. I know I'm not the only one because a lot of you have asked to see before/after's of certain shots on my...
The era of 360-degree filmmaking is upon us. Google, in collaboration with The Mill and production company Bullitt, has released the 360-degree short film "HELP" for free on Google's mobile storytelling platform Spotlight Stories. The film is full of explosions, aliens, and action all within a beautiful 360-degree world.
In Part 3 of the Dramatic Beauty Portrait Tutorial, we will finally get into the first main step of the skin retouching process. Basic skin retouching involves addressing subtle skin and texture issues on our portrait images. We will not only look at techniques for skin retouching in Photoshop, but also discuss the theory behind our decision process during the retouching process. I will also show optional techniques for those looking for quicker or alternative options during their portrait or beauty retouching. In case you missed it, during Part 1 of the tutorial we went over the lighting and shooting of our image and in Part 2 we looked at the "pre-editing" process.
With less expensive gear being introduced all the time, we have seen a boom in time-lapse films in recent years, making it easier for just about anyone to make their own time-lapse clips. But with the deluge of videos comes innovation and the need to differentiate yourself. Filmmakers have used time-lapse in some creative ways with production techniques like multi-axis motion and post-production software like After Effects to achieve wild results. A relatively new approach is compositing live-action footage over time-lapse video, and it is pretty easy to do.
In just about every video I edit, during my last or second to last round of revisions I find myself having to add titles, credits, name graphics (lower thirds), and one or two other pieces of text to help explain and give context to the video. Here are my go-to techniques for cranking out decent looking graphics both quickly and efficiently.
A lot of people associated HDR with over-processed, surreal images. This is not always the case. Shooting HDR can be very useful in different circumstances. It is often seen in real estate and landscape photography and can be very useful to balance a wide range of light levels. There are many programs out there for merging images together to create an HDR photo, but one of the simplest ways to create these dramatic photographs is using Photoshop's built-in HDR Pro.
Flare has become a huge part of modern photography for how it can add both depth and excitement to an image. Many of us have resorted to manually creating lighting effects using Photoshop or by layering pre-made textures above our photos. Red Giant, however, looks to replace and augment this rather tedious process with Knoll Light Factory.
Our cameras today are extremely powerful with settings and features that help us archive stellar image quality. But sometimes the images we come home with just don't capture the true essence of what was photographed and what our eyes saw. The photo is just a bit overexposed or underexposed and doesn't capture what we felt in that moment we pressed down on the shutter button. We fiddle and tweak in Photoshop with sliders and brushes, but there is another tool to add to the arsenal: masks. Specifically, luminosity masks.
We are all guilty, or have been guilty, of slamming out edits right after a shoot, only to realize we don't like what we've done when we see it the next morning. As any artist can attest to, the morning after can be a sobering, if not disquieting, time for you when you recognize that your hasty post work is simply no good. Can you avoid this blunder? Yep, with a self-imposed doctrine of pre-editing your most important of project images instead of knocking out flawed or misguided finals in haste.
In Part 1 of our Dramatic Beauty Portrait Tutorial, we looked at the lighting setup, gear breakdown, and shooting of our dramatic beauty shoot. In Part 2 of the tutorial we will now look at two different ways of exporting and preparing your image for retouching. The first method involves creating versions in Lightroom and exporting directly to Photoshop. The other method utilizes Adobe Camera Raw and the ability to make variations within Photoshop. I will also discuss the overall goal of our pre-edit stage.
Coolors is a fantastic new app that I stumbled across the other day. It is an incredibly easy and intuitive way to generate a beautiful 5 color palette for any situation. Primarily developed for designers it has instant appeal to us photographers. We deal with colors in most of our work and knowing how to match and complement effectively can make or break the images we create.
Since its first version, Photoshop has changed quite a lot. The functionalities it offers are greater now than ever before. But plugins are legion and for beginners it is hard to differentiate the ones that are truly useful and those that are just a waste of money. The Retouching Academy Beauty Panel has been around for a little while and was revamped very recently. I use it all the time when retouching but I get many questions about it. I am frequently asked if it is worth its price and if it makes my retouching any better. Here is my take on the panel, why I bought it, and above all, why I keep using it everyday.