Retouching is a vast and complex business. Pratik Naik, from Solstice Retouching, is one of the most proficient retouchers in the commercial market today. In this new tutorial, Pratik shows you his analytical approach and best practices for advanced retouching of: portraits, skin, men’s images, commercial headshots, lifestyle and beauty imagery. Topics from basic setup, to understanding an image to advanced and specialized techniques, are covered in great detail.
Pratik begins this portrait retouching tutorial by showing you how he sets up his workflow, and teaches how to properly assess and understand an image with industry standard language. Pratik will walk you though each beauty retouching step from initial image clean up, to some of his most advanced techniques which eliminate many of the challenges facing retouchers. The lessons Pratik shares will bring you not only greater understanding of retouching best practices, but will teach you how to most effectively give your images professional polish.
Properly retouching beauty and portrait photography has always posed challenges for retouchers and photographers. Pratik Naik will share his analytical approach and advanced Photoshop knowledge to give you an effective workflow for skin retouching in beauty and portrait images.
Keyboard Shortcuts (9:08)
Welcome to the Beauty and Portrait Retouching course with retoucher Patrik Naik. In this advanced training series, explore topics from RAW processing to color theory, industry expectations, to image analysis and cleanup. Work with portraits, commercial headshots, lifestyle, and beauty. Follow Patrik as he examines and demonstrates best practices in a Photoshop retouching workflow. In this video, dive in with a look at some of the best and most useful keyboard shortcuts to help you both expedite and maximize the quality of your workflow.
Wacom Tablets (8:58)
Every professional process has a toolset. For portrait retouching, a tablet is essential to a clean, precise, and efficient process. Examine how to optimize settings in your computer's system preferences. See practical advantages of using a tablet with Photoshop examples.
RAW Processing (10:25)
In this section, explore the power of camera RAW processing using Capture One. Compare Capture One and Adobe Camera RAW processing capabilities to maximize image fidelity and quality.
Color Theory (7:06)
In this section, listen as retoucher Patrik Naik examines his views on color in a photography and portrait retouching workflow. Use Adobe Color CC to start building a foundation in color schemes.
Color Application (13:04)
With Adobe Color CC as a starting point, apply color in an intentional way to images within Photoshop. Using blend modes, the color picker, and hex code, apply color with motivated moves to create distinct looks in your imagery. Develop a workflow for integrating Adobe Color CC swatches across your image captures. Practice creating a 2 tone look manipulating color in shadows, mid-tones and highlights.
Develop a method to export your images from Photoshop for delivery and archival. Consider best practices for compression, color space, format and resolution to create high quality, optimized deliverables for your high end portraits.
Industry Expectations (4:19)
In this section, listen as retoucher Patrik Naik discusses the balance of creating a natural portrait in a retouching workflow. Finding the balance point between eliminating blemishes but retaining facial characteristics. Presenting the portrait subjects in their best light, while not eliminating the elemental details that make them unique.
Analyzing the Image (3:26)
Using Capture One, learn to examine an image before the retouching process begins. Develop a system that can be repeated across multiple portraits, to maximize your time and effectiveness as a retoucher. Focus on beauty retouching by removing under eyes, eliminating blotchy skin tone, and common facial blemishes and distractions.
RAW Processing (5:03)
Using Capture One, follow retoucher Patrik Naik in processing a RAW image portrait to create a natural and neutral image base for retouching. Examine highlight and shadow detail, to develop a neutral exposure for the greatest latitude and quality for finishing.
Initial Cleanup (23:51)
With a neutral raw base, begin the beauty retouching process of a natural portrait image in Photoshop. Examine format and bit depth best practices, along with working color spaces, before diving into the retouching workflow. Using a balance of the healing brush and clone stamp tool, begin the initial cleanup process on the model's skin. Work globally to a more refined and localized approach for skin repair and cleaning.
Dodge & Burn (23:22)
With skin cleanup complete, continue forward with the dodge and burn stage of the retouching workflow. Learn how to create balance across micro-transitions, enhancing dimension while protecting natural, smooth skin tone. Using a multi-layered approach, leverage the power of Photoshop's curves and masking capabilities, to showcase beautiful, natural skin.
Color Toning (7:25)
With the corrective and repairing portion of the workflow complete, advance to the color toning stage of the retouching process. Follow retoucher, Patrik Naik, as he demonstrates the power of color manipulation and enhancement using Photoshop's color toning tool set. Create vibrance and mood with curves, channels, pushing the image towards final delivery.
Industry Expectations (3:49)
For this section of the training series, shift focus towards retouching images with men as the subject of your imagery. Examine industry expectations, the retouching approach when dealing with a man's skin tone and texture. Examine the characteristics of grit, specularity, more pronounced texturing and exercising restraint in the natural tone. Using Capture One, develop a repeatable plan for retouching your images in Photoshop.
Analyzing the Image (4:33)
Continue analyzing a portrait image of a man, looking at pores, stubble, facial structure breaking down specific elements to retain and distractions to eliminate based upon industry and client expectations versus personal taste.
RAW Processing (5:08)
Using Capture One, follow retoucher, Patrik Naik, as he processes a RAW image capture to be retouched in Photoshop. With this example, prepare an image of a male subject, with ideal dynamic range, exposure and neutral white balance, retaining resolution and bit depth for the retouching process.
Initial Cleanup (22:22)
Begin the retouching process with skin cleanup across the male subject's skin texture. Work quickly and efficiently using the healing brush and clone stamp tools for a textured, natural skin tone.
Dodge & Burn (24:37)
Build on your experience, practicing dodging and burning with a male subject. Using helper layers, curves, masking and Photoshop's paint brush - enhance dimension and highlights with intention for textured, masculine, skin tone.
Sharpening & Color Toning (14:02)
Move the retouching process into the final stage, focusing on sharpening and color toning. Using high pass filtering, develop a refined finish to the skin texture and tone, retaining and enhancing detail in the skin pores and overall texture. Adjust contrast, along with hue/saturations - focusing on tonality over vibrancy. Add color through curves and manipulate channels to create a the final deliverable image.
Industry Expectations (5:10)
In this section of the tutorial, focus on the process of retouching for commercial headshots. Take a more refined approach, emphasizing a clean, professional appearance. Examine the lighting and styling in a commercial environment, compared to a creative portrait approach. Identify the kinds of elements for retouching cleanup and the consistent requests that come from photography within this market.
Analyzing the Image (13:43)
With a clear understanding of a commercial portrait industry expectations, develop a plan for your retouching process using markup in Photoshop. Follow retoucher, Patrik Naik, as he examines areas across skin, hair and wardrobe that will require detailed attention during the retouching process. Learn to examine every detail across the subjects face with precision and balance to create professional, clean portraits.
RAW Processing (6:32)
After creating a game plan with markup in Photoshop, begin your RAW processing for a corporate, commercial headshot. Using Capture One, balance color, exposure, dynamic range across shadows and highlights to position the RAW image at the highest quality possible for retouching in Photoshop. Adjust saturation to create a balanced, even skin tone. Examine exporting formats, bit depth options, color space, to create a high quality variant.
Initial Cleanup (40:06)
With the RAW processing complete, begin the retouching process for your commercial portrait headshot. Using your game plan, cleanup fly aways, under eyes, and a variety of other distractions across the subject. Use the markup layer as reference as you retouching using a fast and efficient workflow with Photoshop's retouching brush tools. Learn best practices from experience retoucher, Patrik Naik, as he works through a methodical approach using the healing brush and clone stamp tool.
Dodge & Burn (20:04)
After completing the skin cleanup pass, transition to creating a polished, even and dimensional skin tone. In this section, leverage the power of Photoshop Actions to expedite your workflow, while maintaining quality and control over the appearance and file integrity of your images. Use Patrik Naik's Dodge and Burn Complete Setup action for your retouching workflow.
Move towards the final stages of retouching your commercial headshot portrait image. In this stage, learn to apply and use Photoshop's Liquify filter tool. Adjust pressure, size, and density settings to adjust and manipulate the subject. Focus on natural and believable wardrobe adjustments for more perfect symmetry and pleasing lines.
Masculine Approach (13:47)
With the example subject of a woman in a corporate headshot complete, focus on a comparative example with a man as the subject. Utilize similar techniques for cleanup with different emphasis on pore size and facial hair. Examine the skin, hair, and wardrobe, taking a high level view at retouching a masculine corporate headshot.
Industry Expectations (7:09)
In this section, explore the retouching process for lifestyle images. Examine the difference in lighting style and the importance of color and environment in creating this style of photography. Analyze the story elements that create the tone, mood, and aesthetic identifying production elements that create the look.
RAW Processing (10:43)
With an established style and industry expectations for lifestyle, us an example image to begin RAW processing within Capture One. Leverage some of Capture One's retouching capabilities to create an iconic aesthetic with golden tone.
Initial Cleanup (22:54)
Move quickly and efficiently, continuing to build on your experience across genres to create beautiful portrait imagery. For this lifestyle portrait, use the power of Photoshop and repetition to create beautiful skin sone with a natural aesthetic. Fly through skin cleanup, removing blemishes with confidence as you leverage the power of intentional moves, using the healing brush and clone stamp tool. Make a solid foundation, targeting major distractions, refining to smaller more details blemishes.
Dodge & Burn & Frequency Separation (25:35)
Leverage the power of actions to quickly create smooth, textured skin maintaining natural dimension and tone. Utilize the Dodge and Burn and Noise actions, refining their results with retoucher Patrik Naik. Identify problem areas and focus on specific facial features to build and maintain dimension. Then use the Frequency Separation action to split apart texture and color information for more control in creating, editing and maintain even, beautiful skin tone.
Sharpening & Color Toning (20:46)
Finish your lifestyle portrait retouch with the final layer of sharpening and color toning in Photoshop. Implement the power of Photoshop's gradient maps and channel mixer for stylized color editing and finishing.
Industry Expectations (9:45)
In this section, focus on the final genre of study with Beauty Portraits. Follow retoucher, Patrik Naik, as he relays his industry experience in retouching for beauty. Compare and contrast this genre against the others, focusing on the fantastic, rather than lifestyle. The product rather than the emotion of the subject. Transition from retaining realistic, natural image results to a state of idealized perfection. Focus on intensity and precision to create industry leading, beauty portraits.
Evening Skin Tone (30:46)
With beauty portrait imagery, skin quality is non-negotiable. In this first section analyze color tone, texture, shifts, distractions, blemishes via Capture One. Focus on creating the most balanced base and depth for retouching. Before moving the RAW data capture into Photoshop, use Capture One's color editor to correct specific details, leveraging the power of its specific tool sets. Work to eliminate drastic shifts in color, leveraging the power of Capture One to create continuity and uniformity in skin tone before performing more advanced retouching practices in Photoshop.
Fixing Hair (34:12)
Transition from Capture One and RAW processing to the advanced retouching section for beauty portraits. In this module, remove your inhibition and tackle one of the most complex elements of any image - hair. Follow retoucher, Patrik Naik, as he demystifies the process of eliminating flyways, managing gradient backgrounds, controlling form and body to hair, and at times manufacturing new hair elements for the best results. Learn to create industry leading beauty images, with tools to approach any challenge with hair.
Analyzing the Image (10:02)
With industry expectations established and a tool kit to approach the most challenging hair scenarios, switch into retouching a beauty image from start to finish. Follow retoucher, Patrik Naik, by building a comprehensive plan for skin and makeup. Build a methodology to produce industry leading results.
RAW Processing (6:00)
Use Capture One to create a balanced RAW base layer for the highest quality image possible. Examine what to refine at this stage of the process by creating a wide dynamic range image for Photoshop retouching. Define what manipulations are most effective and then prepare the image for Photoshop.
Initial Cleanup (50:35)
With a plan, processed image, and expectations, move into retouching for a Beauty Portrait. Follow retoucher, Patrik Naik, learning keyboard shortcuts and best practices to quickly and effectively retouch skin. Use the healing brush and clone stamp tool, work methodically and with precision to create perfect, desirable skin tone for the genre. Listen as Patrik explains his approach to specific targeted areas of facial structure and features. Work on the primary blemishes and distractions, refining each pass of retouching to more targeted and smaller details. Learn the reasoning behind the technique to develop a natural instinct for the highest quality, client demands.
Dodge & Burn (25:34)
With the skin cleanup complete, transition to creating fantastic, even skin tone. Leverage the power of actions while understanding the helper layers, to create textured and dream like aesthetic. With the macro level details covered, focus on how to control the micro level details, in an industry of intense scrutiny. Develop a feel for painting dimensional, even tone, creating a beauty standard of professional imagery.
Frequency Separation (13:48)
Examine the pros and cons of using frequency separation in your skin retouching workflow. Run the action, examine the results across three different processes. Define the limitations and effects on texture, anatomy and overall tone. Develop an approach to retain dimension, color, texture and beautiful lighting, while creating another layer of polish in your beauty portraits.
Fixing Skin Color & Color Toning (19:36)
Skin for beauty portraits requires time and patience with attention to detail. Having completed the initial cleanup and multiple passes to create even tone, texture, and overall dimension, shift your focus to color. Work in a corrective process that then shifts to a creative tonal process. Follow retoucher, Patrik Naik, as he enhances and enriches skin tone for high end beauty portraiture.
Intro to Beauty Image 2 (3:59)
For this final section of the tutorial series, focus on common problem areas within retouching portrait images. In this example, tackle a variety of common issues to add more techniques to your workflow. From unwanted sideburns, to hotspots, to drastic skin blemishes - tackle them all with confidence and ease.
Hot Spots (15:32)
In this section, learn how to control and eliminate frustrating hot spots in skin tone. Look at a couple of methods that are typically applied in this scenario and evaluate their effectiveness. Leverage the power of Frequency Separation to eliminate the toughest hot spots in skin texture, while maintaining tone, texture and vibrancy.
Blotchy Skin (19:37)
For additional technique, examine an image with a subject that has more uneven skin tone. Explore the healing brush, Frequency Separation, and dodge and burn methods for creating a more even tonal surface. Compare and contrast the methods and hone your skills to balance the proper techniques for the most challenging scenarios.
Peach Fuzz - Easy (12:38)
With firm techniques established for hot spots and blotchy skin tone, develop an approach for eliminating unwanted "peach fuzz" or hair follicles in a beauty retouching workflow. Follow retoucher, Patrik Naik, as he first demonstrates an easy method. Using a combination of healing, clone stamp, and noise, eliminated unwanted peach fuzz with ease.
Peach Fuzz - Hard (22:03)
For this section, focus on more complex hair distractions that conflict with skin tone. Using the healing brush, noise and a methodical approach to dodge and burn, retouch complex hair away with intent and confidence.
Arm Hair (11:13)
Transition from peach fuzz to arm hair, focusing on complete removal of the element from your image. Develop a process, using Photoshop’s healing brush and dodge and burn capabilities to create smooth, soft skin tone.
Forehead Hair (22:14)
As you work across the subjects face, examine a new surface - focusing on the hairline. Explore how to deconstruct the boundary with the healing brush, establishing a new, cleaner boundary. Learn to paint new natural hair while preserving skin texture and tone as you retouch forehead hair in an efficient, natural and methodical way.
Eyebrow Hair (11:52)
In beauty, there are so many critical details. Eyebrows are no exception. In this part of the series, follow retoucher Patrik Naik, as he examines best practices for achieve form and shape, while learning to exercise restraint in your retouching. With tools you have grown familiar with, focus on creating clean, balanced eyebrows for a beauty portrait.
In this section, focus on eliminating hair flyaways with a clone stamp and masking methodology. Learn to quickly and efficiently contain distracting and disorganized hair for high end, industry leading results for your beauty and fashion portraiture.
Armpits - Closed (15:29)
For this example, build on a variety of techniques covered in previous sections to tackle a challenging area in portrait photography - the armpit. Use a combination of Photoshop's healing brush, clone stamp tool, and dodge and burn to create aesthetically pleasing subjects, while minimizing distractions.
Armpits - Open (11:27)
Build on the previous example by tackling an open armpit on a subject. Dive into a free form exercise exploring how to create natural, textured skin tone, while hiding open armpit hair distractions in your image. Follow retoucher, Patrik Naik, as he iterates through a series of techniques using the healing brush, clone stamp tool, and dodge and burn methodology to retouch a challenging area of a subject's skin.
Blotchy Shadows (5:30)
For this example, learn to control color shifts in the transition from shadows to highlights. Combine the power of dodge and burn with frequency separation to create smooth, even transitions within the dynamic range of your imagery.
In this technique, focus on creating smooth, beautiful fingernails, with high finish texture, clean transitions with skin, and a detailed specularity for layered detail. Follow retoucher, Patrik Naik, as he clones, brushes, and finesses this detailed and subtle nuance of a beauty portrait image.
Eyes & Eyelashes (17:01)
Building off of previous lessons, dive deeper into retouching eyes and eyelashes for beauty portraits. Learn to paint subtle, natural and realistic eyelashes to enhance their volume and texture. Create depth, sharpness and enhance dimension to amplify the character and emotional story in your subjects eyes.
Congratulations! You have successfully completed the Beauty and Portrait Retouching series with retoucher, Patrik Naik. For this final example image, focus on building contour to create a dynamic, dimensional subject. We encourage you to continue creating and sharing your work and progress within our community. We want to hear your questions, critique your progress, and support your growth in the creative arts. We look forward to seeing what you will make!
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