MAKING OF … Artifice

Here’s a video of my common retouching process, using the example of my „Artifice„-series:

Music by CHiLL-iLL.

I try to work in a non-destructive way, which means, that it is possible to undo every step of processing at any given time. To do so, it is important to work with layers and layer masks, and to choose the right tools! Admittedly I should use a different technique than the Patch Tool (J) to remove blemishes. smile But I just love it, and I prefer it much more than the Spot Healing Brush (J), which would work on an extra layer (and therefore would be non-destructive).

1. LIQUIFY: Duplicate the background layer (Cmd+J). On this layer I used the Liquify tool to edit the shape of the body and face.

2. RETOUCH: With the Healing Brush (J) and the Patch Tool (J) I removed unwanted blemishes. The Curves layer on top is helping me to make them more visible, as I darken the image.

3. STAMP: I used the Stamp Tool (S) at 20% Opacity to even out skin complexion

4. HIGHLIGHTS / SHADOWS: I created two layers, filled them with 50% Gray and set the layer mode to Soft Light. To enhance the highlights I used the Dodge Tool (O) and painted with a soft brush on the first layer. Range is set to Midtones and Exposure to 50%. For the shadows I used the Burn Tool (O) and painted with a soft brush on the second layer. Again, Range is set to Midtones and Exposure to 50%. If the result seems to intense, just reduce the layer’s opacity as desired.

5. EYES: With a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer I removed a bit of the eyes‘ redness. And I applied the same layer mask to a Curves Adjustment Layer, to brightem them. Furthermore, I used the Dodge Tool (O) again, to add a bit of a spark to the eyes!

6. HAIR: With the Stamp Tool (S) I removed the hand in the top left corner. It somehow just irritated me. wink Because of that, I had to paint in some strands of hair. Which is easier to do, when using a graphic tablet like the Wacom Intuos! Use the Brush Tool (B) at a very small size, like 5, and choose a matching hair color. I blended them in, using the Blur Tool (R).

7. FINISHING TOUCHES: At the end of the retouching process I added some contrast with a black and white layer, shaprened the image with the High Pass filter. And added a texture overlay to make the studio backdrop more interesting.

Any questions? Please ask! smile

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