Friday, November 16, 2012

PP - Example 2 : Twice the taste

Over the last few days, I've been looking into retouching and have learned a few new techniques, and also noted that even the pros can spend an hour or more, tweaking an image to perfection.  So I gave my beer bottle another go.  Here are the results - original on the left and tweaked on the right.

First of all,I took two pictures - one with the main label lined up, and then a second with the neck label lined up.  The first job was to cut and paste the neck off one to the body of the other.  This went quite easily, with only a minimum of healing brush and cloning required to disguise the join where water drops were suddenly cut in half.  I think that just having the labels aligned makes a huge difference!

After merging these two into a single layer, I then used a mask to mask the bottle and reflection, while I painted the background white, discarded it as too clinical, and then applied a uniform gradient of a very pale blue (could have been a bit stronger in retrospect).  I then masked everything but the reflection part, and applied a white gradient to tone it down a bit.

The final step was to do some light sculpting.  This involves adding a new layer at the top, switching it to overlay mode, and filling it with 50% neutral gray.  Because it is 50% neutral and in overlay mode - this has no visual affect on the image.  However, if you then paint on it with either a black or white brush, it has the effect of darkening or lightening the image. So, I masked off everything except the bottle, and then I used a very soft large brush at about 5-10% opacity with white, to run up and down the middle of the labels and eliminate that mid-line shadow, then with black down the right hand side to tone down that flash highlight.  The image to the right shows what that gray layer looked like if I took away the actual image, so you can see the areas that were darkened or lightened.

OK- the difference I made was nowhere near as pronounced as those of the pros doing the demos I watched, but I was quite pleased with it as a first effort.

Until next time
Happy Snappin',

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