Thursday, November 21, 2013

Awareness of Advance Skin Retouch Techniques for Digital Darkroom Editors

Rich textured skin always scores high on the digital platform.  Every editor should be concerned with developing advanced skills for it.

Skin retouch is a common requirement for digital darkroom editors of all levels.  Making the skin look flawless while keeping the original texture is a skill learn with years of experience. It can be done with extensive pixel-based retouching available with imaging software.  With varied brushing techniques and a bit of color, tweaking the photos, editing can be spiced up to make the visuals look presentable to the viewer. It is not the mere cosmetic modification that lures the viewer but also the overall quality of the snap.

Photoshop offers many features for advanced skin retouch. It is also possible to give the photo a healing touch, add a matt finish or gloss and airbrush the skin. Even the delicate area around the eyes can be brightened with contrast. Clients who work for high-end fashion magazines, billboards, fashion house and printed media value such advanced skills of editors.  It is of a very high caliber and done by experienced editors only.  The fashion industry sells grand dreams and requires perfect images each and every time.  Flawless skin advertisements bring in more consumers and this has been achieved with the latest imaging equipment. Every single skin retouch is done in a complete manner.  A high-end camera like a Phase One P45 or P65 can produce a perfect shot.  Then the editor does a series of steps to create a striking portrait, to improve skin tones, modify shadow and light patterns to increase the effect and enrich the eyes and skin.

One of the keys to have a clear image with a skin retouch is with the magic wand tool. With the clear color background, the magic wand can design miracles. The editor zooms on the edit 200% and using a small soft brush like 21px/0 hardness he can get rid of the small imperfections.  Using smart filters to soften the skin gives the professional editor the ability to create the magic in the photo while maintaining its flexibility.

For altering and smoothing the skin color, one easy method is selecting a color as per the color channel to get the required shade.  Another method is to create an empty layer fill with a tan skin color set, then mask and reduce its opacity to suit the image. These techniques will give a smooth and even skin color while retaining its originality and natural shading. With the help of layers it is done. Try also some frequency separation with the help of two duplicate layers in the background. It can improve the color and texture of the overall edit.

This can be applied to highlight even the lips, the nose, the chin, the cheek, forehead and eyes.  Apply a blur with the magic wand tool in order to get the desired effect.  Leave the blending mode on normal and reduce the opacity of the layer according to the desired effect. Always learn to satisfy yourself with the image first before pleasing the client. Skin retouch maybe a deceptive art but convinces viewers if done rationally.