Hair poses enormous challenges to even the most seasoned commercial retouchers. Sef McCullough shares his ground-breaking processes for tackling the problems hair can create in an image. Sef's methods for isolating, extracting, and recreating hair will forever change your post-production workflow.
Welcome to Hair Retouching with high end retoucher, Sef McCullough. Commercial retouching encompasses a tremendous amount of knowledge and application, with techniques and workflow that continue to evolve. Some of the most challenging work involves the unpredictability, unique, and incredibly dynamic component of hair. In this tutorial series, follow the advanced, yet linear methods of one of the industry's best retouchers, Sef McCullough. Tackle complicated images, for the most painful hair extractions and manipulations to develop intelligent, strategic workflow for your retouching.
Basic Cleanup Part 1 (25:03)
For the first image, dive in with advanced techniques for hair retouching a fashion portrait in Photoshop. Watch as high end retoucher, Sef McCullough, demonstrates standard practice in retouching flyaways and why those methods simply don't work. Watch comparative examples using the clone stamp tool, dust and scratches, and surface blur. Examine why these methods are not useful for an advanced image in a high end workflow. Review client notes and markup for the creative brief. Then develop a new method to tackle the challenge of an advanced retouch for flyways in this first image.
Basic Cleanup Part 2 (30:49)
Continue the hair retouching method on the fashion portrait image. Work to contain, manage, and manipulate the edge of hairline with significant fly-aways. Focus on developing a clean edge and shape that you can control. Utilize gaussian blur, masking, camera RAW filtering and a variety of other Photoshop tools to create realistic luminosity and specularity as you blend a new method with the standard. Learn to manage the hairline as well as flyaways overlapping skin. Use an advanced texture cleanup method and a custom Frequency Separation 2.0 action to clean and retouch skin.
The Natural Edge (41:18)
With the first image complete, transition to a new fashion portrait for a completely different task in hair retouching. Follow high end retoucher, Sef McCullough, in a procedural method for hair extractions and background replacement. Use Photoshop to create custom brushes for creating new hair detail, improving shape and form to the original hair composition and styling. Leverage the power of channel pulls, refine perfect edge extraction for natural results when separating subject from background. Use Liquefy and see the power of paths in this retouching process.
The Natural Edge Cleanup (14:24)
Continue retouching the second image, focusing on extraction and background replacement. Use Frequency Separation 2.0, painting techniques, and the power of a median based workflow, to manage volume and dimension within the body of hair. Digitally comb hair with a realistic, natural, high end look for commercial, industry leading results.
The Natural Edge Eyelashes (13:22)
Create a custom brush in Photoshop, to paint realistic, styled and natural eyelashes. Manage shape dynamics to develop the perfect fade and taper. Manage opacity, flow and stroke to create beautiful, crafted and dimensional eyelashes for a fashion style image.
The Natural Edge Low Contrast (44:53)
For the third image in the this retouching series, formulate a process for hair retouching when working with low contrast images. Work in multiple color spaces to extract a precise channel pull. Manipulate RAW data, using Smart Objects. Comparatively analyze multiple methods for creating a channel pull. Experiment with calculations, blend modes, curves and levels. Find the most efficient and effective method of creating a precise mask for hair extraction.
Textured Hair Extraction (32:19)
Move forward to a new, fun and textured hair example, applying channel pull methodology for a clean extraction from the background. Tackle fringing, manage background color bleed. Working with a select image from photographer, Adam Levey, follow high end retoucher, Sef McCullough to create a bright, beautiful compelling image into a new, single color background.
Color Grading Part 1 (16:41)
With new processes and a procedural workflow in hand, tackle the toughest image yet in a hair retouching workflow. Watch high end retoucher, Sef McCullough, use a variety of methods and iterate through problem solving to create a vibrant, colorful, creative image. Use a variety of methods from the toolkit to tackle the fifth and final image in this series.
Color Grading Part 2 (37:59)
Continue the hair retouch for the fifth and final image in this hair retouching series. Focus on defringing, using a color map, creating clean masks Lean how to analyze what hair detail to keep and what to eliminate as high end retouch, Sef McCullough works step by step to manage the most complex hair retouching assignment yet. Manage shape, edges, variable focus, and a host of issues across a complex hair element. Weigh when to manage and finesse existing hair and when to create your own.
Color Grading Creative (18:42)
Having completed the primary goals of extraction and cleanup, move forward into the story component of the retouch on this final image in the series. Using Photoshop, manipulate color saturation, hue to create a dynamic, complimentary image. Manipulate gradients, control banding, and see the power of the Destroy Bands action. Learn best practices for proofing the final deliverable image as you complete the final image for hair retouching.
The Wrap Up (3:52)
Congratulations! You have successfully completed the Hair Retouching training series with high end retoucher, Sef McCullough. But the learning doesn't end here. We encourage you to continue to apply these concepts to your work and share the results with our community. Our goal is to see you utilize these techniques and processes in practical ways. Go! Create. Practice. Fail. Iterate. Complete. And share your work. We are excited to see what you will create!
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