Beauty & Hair Retouching High End Techniques Series Two

Beauty & Hair Retouching High End Techniques by Natalia Taffarel
Skill Level: Intermediate/Advanced

Beauty & Hair Retouching High End Techniques Series Two DVD

Completely new, updated and greatly expanded (11.5hours), Beauty & Hair Retouching High End Techniques – Series Two is hosted by the world renowned retouching artist, Natalia Taffarel. She is famous for her natural and completely seamless retouching style that is all about beauty and details. She leaves nothing a secret and holds nothing back as she explains in great detail her entire workflow and techniques, all the things she is famous for, her beauty and hair work. Natalia has a huge following and her DVD has been greatly anticipated by the retouching community for years and now, the wait is finally over!

The video is a screen recording with audio narration that makes you feel as if you have a private one on one instructor who sat you in front of their computer while they show you their techniques and explain every single step. You have full control of the playback and can easily pause, go back or skip forward to match your own pace.

All of the image files Natalia uses in the video are included for you to follow along and practice on for yourself. This includes the RAW and complete layered PSD files.


Physical DVD-ROM Version
To be shipped by mail
Regular Price: $249
Sale Price $62
Electronic Download Version
File Download size: 8GB
Regular Price: $249
Sale Price $62

Sample Video Clips:
Production Information:
*Sample clips are smaller and compressed for Web.Getting the most out of RAW Retouching Video Clip
Complete 33 minute segment from the DVD

Candy Lips Retouching Video Clip
Adding lip texture from an external source file

Inverted High Pass on Hair Retouching Video Clip
Evening out sahdow/highlight transitions

Two Disc Set

  • Disc 1: Video Tutorials
  • Disc 2: Work Files

Specifications:

  • Version: CS4
  • Runtime: 11.5 hours
  • Mac & PC compatible
  • Video Resolution: 800×600
  • Download Size: 8 GB

Minimum system requirements:

  • Resolution: 1024 x 768
  • DVD-ROM Drive & Speakers
  • PC: 800Mhz Pentium / Win 98
  • MAC: G4 / OS X 10.4 “Tiger”


Table of Contents:

The Best from RAW – 33 minutes

  • Different RAW converters
  • Looking at an image
  • Exposure vs Brightness
  • Contrast vs Curves
  • Vibrance vs Saturation
  • First conversion: Body
  • Split toning
  • Cross processed look
  • Clarity
  • Sharpening
  • Workflow options
  • Saving/loading presets
  • Second conversion: Face
  • Third conversion: Eyes
  • Masking & creating the working file
  • Extra conversion: Shadow detail
  • View mode for beauty retouching
  • Final masking

Composition – 48 minutes

  • Determine what to manipulate
  • Creating a stamp from layers
  • Removing background objects
  • Masking eyelashes, refining a mask
  • Painting in eyelashes
  • Making edges look natural
  • Faster, bigger liquify method

Skin Retouching – 1 hour, 17 minutes

  • Healing brush vs spot healing brush vs stamp tool
  • How the healing brush works, how to heal, when to heal
  • Healing alternatives
  • Healing on empty layer vs split

The High Pass Thing – 21 minutes

  • Description and use
  • How to
  • Identifying problem areas
  • Using high pass to visualize and choose the radius
  • Various uses
  • How now to overuse it

General Fixes – 56 minutes

  • Recognizing the elements to fix
  • Hair fix
  • Eye veins
  • Lip line fix with a curve
  • Eyelashes

 

Dodge & Burn – 1 hour, 20 minutes

  • Description and different uses
  • Using 50% grey in softlight
  • Using curve adjustment layers
  • Help visualizing the problem areas
  • Fixing saturation shifts
  • Real time dodge & burn with tips
  • Dodge & burn masks for color adjustment layers

Color & Sharpening – 29 minutes

  • Recognizing what to fix
  • How to fix local hue differences
  • Adding/recovering eye bag saturation
  • Removing local color casts with color balance
  • Using a gradient map to even out tones
  • Adding glitter to the lips
  • Sharpening using the split
  • Sharpening different parts with radius
  • Choosing a different radius
  • How to sharpen eyes, skin and details

Extras – 2 hours, 8 minutes

  • Introduction
  • Quick head shape correction
  • Correcting uneven eyelids
  • Removing unwanted hair
  • Reshaping the body with liquify
  • Bringing back highlights and texture
  • Changing eye color
  • Background change, patterns, gradients
  • Applying makeup: Base, glitter & shine
  • Applying makeup: Eye shadow
  • Tattoo, design over body
  • Eyeliner
  • Applying makeup: Texture from different source
  • Turning skin white
  • Adding eyelashes, colored eyelashes
  • Adding shine to skin
  • Tricks to make the image pop
  • Black & white conversion

Straight Hair – 1 hour, 57 minutes

  • Selecting images for the composite
  • Creating base working file
  • Using another hair source
  • Cut & Paste – mask
  • Hair liquifying
  • Matching hair sources with transform & warp
  • Basic masking
  • Use another source to add a fold of hair
  • Using detail from another source to replace shadows
  • Retouching hair vs retouching skin
  • Cloning in darken mode to remove flying hair
  • Selectively removing color casts on hair
  • Hair dodge & burn
  • Painting in hair to enhance texture
  • Fixing dry hair, cloning in darken mode
  • Drawing in hair to enhance dry hair
  • Removing hair from the background
  • Using inverted high pass on hair
  • Further dodge & burn on hair
  • Skin retouching & color correction
  • Cropping

Blowing Hair – 1 hour, 46 minutes

  • Working file review
  • Changing hair tone & hair masking
  • Compositing hair from multiple sources
  • Color correction using a gradient map
  • Removing hair from background
  • Cloning & drawing hair
  • Hair dodge & burn
  • Fix and reconstruct breast
  • Good bye

More About The Beauty & Hair Retouching DVD-ROM

The retouching tutorial shows Natalia’s complete workflow from start to finish as she works first on a beauty image and then the hair image, working in Adobe Photoshop CS4. The main goal of the tutorial is to show and explain the entire process and techniques needed for retouching high end beauty and hair images. Not only does Natalia show and explain the techniques she also explains the thought process behind the techniques and why they are used or why not or when. This makes for a much more thorough and complete learning tool, with the hope that the viewer can walk away with the knowledge needed to competently evaluate an image, envision the result in the mind’s eye, plan the process and execute the work needed to achieve the vision.

The images used in the tutorial were chosen specifically to accurately illustrate as broad a technique set as possible, with pimples, blemishes, scars, bags, large pores, wrinkles, discoloration, etc, all while still keeping the high end feel.

The amount of information presented is incredible and it’s highly recommended to view and study the tutorial at least twice, all while following along with the supplied project files.


The Reviews are in

Beauty & Hair Retouching

High End Techniques – Series Two

Pre-Release Review

 

Hello fellow Retouchers,

My name is Murray (A.K.A.) mistermonday on RetouchPro. I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to review, prior to its release, the much anticipated series two retouching training DVD from DigitalPhotoshopRetoching.com and hosted by Natalia Tafarrel. Before I dive into the experience a short preamble is in order.

I am a professional photographer with early focus on Nature and Portrait work then concentrating on Corporate Photography and retouching. I have been using Photoshop for 17 years and could be considered a Photoshopaholic. I am not yet in the same talent pool as World Class retouchers but hope to get there someday.

I am not in any way affiliated with Hot Pixel LLC, the owner and producer of the video, nor its host Natalia Taffarel. I have neither any obligation to nor bias toward / against the company and its staff. My evaluation has not been carried out for any compensation. Like many of you I have purchased numerous instructional DVDs over the years. Some have been quite valuable while others have been worth not much more than the plastic they were burned onto. Brief marketing ads very often do not provide you with sufficient information to determine the likely value of content, leaving you to take a chance. My goal is to provide this community at Retouch Pro or others like it, with adequate information to make an intelligent decision on whether or not this product represents appropriate value for its cost. To that end, I would like to offer some feedback on this 12 hour series.

The product comes as two DVD ROMs. The first contains all of the video files. The 2nd contains the original camera raw images and ‘beginning-to-end” PSD files with the entire layer stacks. Before starting the video I wandered into DVD2 to take a quick look at the working files. I was very pleasantly surprised. The images provided are of superb quality – RAW and 16 bit full res PSD files containing all of the layers, masks, textures, sources, and everything used in the video. WARNING: the working .PSD files, while spectacular, are huge in size. The main beauty retouch file is 1.25GB closed. The other two main retouching images are also around 1GB in size each. It is not often that training products will offer this type of quality. For those buyers who have older / slower computers you can convert these to 8 Bit to save some idle time. For many intermediate users, particularly those who are not experts in Photoshop, having the working files with all the masks and adjustment layers will be a very valuable resource. They enable the student to deconstruct and integrate the concepts presented by the host in the video. For some people, the working files alone will make their purchase worthwhile. So the producers get my first “E” for exceeds expectations. Now let’s move on to DVD1.

Opening DVD1, you double click an HTML start icon and a nice menu page opens in internet explorer displaying the list of video sections any of which are clickable. Beginning the process was the 2nd pleasant experience. The movies are of exceptional quality unlike most other videos I have seen (and I have viewed many). The images and text are razor sharp. They look just as good in full screen mode. In addition to the normal volume / stop / start / pause controls there is a vertical index on the left side of your monitor. Each video section (there are 10 as advertised on the DPR.com website) is broken up into a number of chapters (as high as 18) and this hypertext index allows you to randomly click on any one at any time and take you to the appropriate topic. This means that you do not need to drag the timeline slider at the bottom of the video window to go back to review or locate any part of the current movie. You skip around from sub topic to sub topic. The 12 hrs of video could have been compressed into 700MB of space but instead they consume the entire 4.7GB of DVD space giving you the high quality viewing. The audio portion of the show is clear and crisp with no background noise, echoes, or reverberations. So my 2nd “E” goes out to DPR / Hot Pixel for the excellent media quality.

Now for a brief word about our host. I have sat thru more than 100 hrs of various subject related presenters – some zany, some funny, some manic, and some dull. I won’t comment on any individual although some were really hard to take after an hour or two. Natalia’s presentation comes across smoothly and professionally, as many of you have heard in the demo clips on the web site. Her communication is very clear and smooth flowing. She is quite relaxed and at times humorous as the video proceeds. Her pace is neither too fast nor too slow and is well synched to her workflow. Her workflow is easy to follow – there is no accelerated video – the kind where everything is sped up to the point where you cannot visually follow or absorb the content. Her PS tool bar and option bar are always visible so you if your ears are momentarily distracted, your eyes will lock on to what’s going on. The only inconsistency I have to report here is on Video 8 – Extras. Of the 18 chapters in this video, there are a few chapters starting at #3 where her desktop workspace was shifted so that the Tool bar and Option bars are not visible. For that short number of minutes you will need to keep your ears tuned if you want to be aware of which tool is active. On the overall delivery, I enjoyed listening to Natalia’s voice and after hearing it for 12 hours I can honestly say I would have no problem listening for 12 more.

There is a ton of info in the 12 hr video but I will keep my comments short with only a few highlights and save some comment for Q&A at the end. Another point worth mentioning is that throughout the 12 hrs of content, Natalia never once uses a tablet, demonstrating that high quality retouching can be done with a mouse.

The pre-release DVD I reviewed did not have any introduction clip but started right in at the 01 – The Camera RAW video. I assume that there will be an intro on the production release. Most of you have seen the Camera RAW module as it was made available on their website as a promotional video. RAW is the best way to capture camera images and this module was an excellent vehicle with which to start the retouch journey. A valuable lesson from this video is the capture and compositing of multiple Camera RAW processings. While Natalia demonstrates this technique without them, Smart Objects can be included in your own work flow to add even more flexibility. For those who do not already take advantage of Camera RAW for initial processing, this video will give you a good perspective of its value.

02 – Composition: Natalia is a master in the use of Liquify and I am always amazed at what she can accomplish with it. The use of the mesh to transform very hi res images is one you should be aware of if you are not already familiar with it. The body sculpting in this video is quite impressive and the techniques both novel and useful.

03 – Skin Healing: You won’t want to miss this video on the very important topic of skin healing especially if you are not familiar with the recent technique of Spatial Frequency Separation. I think that the majority of students will not be well versed in this area. I think the subject deserves a more technical description of the math and mechanics of what is going on and what spatial frequencies are. However I can understand why there might not have been enough time on this DVD to cover it. I had been thinking about preparing a tutorial on the subject and now that the process will be given wider exposure, I will try to prepare a tutorial for RP in the few weeks.

Up to this point, the fixes Natalia has made have been relatively quick. But now for the rest of this Skin Healing video, you get a solid hour of real time skin retouching – pixel by pixel, zoomed in (and out) following every move, watching all the zits and bumps and tiny imperfections and dust spots cleaned up. It is well paced – fast moving but not accelerated. You get to see very clearly every spot that is fixed and how. There is no annoying background music as Natalia narrates as she works and lets some of her personality shine through. You can fast forward or skip the detail work entirely – it’s up to you and your level of expertise.

04 –The High Pass Thing: This is another essential technique for evening harsh transitions within an image. Some of you here at RP may have come across the process and know it as the Quick DeGrunge Technique. The variant in this video is used for somewhat more gentler and subtle application in a beauty retouch. The High Pass portion is achieved using a new more precise “Apply Image” High Pass. Except for some discussion on a couple of retouching forums, this technique has not been widely published if at all in training DVDs.

05 – General Fixes: Has many treats in doing things we all have to do but in ways which may be quite different from your usual method. I found that to be the case for me. They were not necessarily better because as you know in PS there are usually multiple ways to do the same thing. But there are some neat ways of using tools that I have always ignored. And then again there were clearly some better ways to do some things – like healing eye veins on a High Frequency Split layer. I loved the eyelashes technique – great eyelashes have sometimes not been my strong suit. This section moves at a brisk pace with lots of good techniques

06 – Dodge and Burn: Natalia goes through two of the more popular D&B techniques – 50% Gray Layer in soft light and

Light / Dark curves. She reveals an innovative technique to color correct any shifts that take place during the process. As for D&B the focus is both on the micro detail as well as the macro (contouring / sculpting with light). This video includes a 45 minute real time D&B. My same comments apply here as for the skin retouching – smooth pace, everything visible, you are free to accelerate or skip.

07 – Color & Sharpening: There are some innovative techniques in this section which I have not seen shown in other products. They include use of gradient maps for color correction and a scheme of multiple radius split image sharpening which further demonstrates Natalia’s approach to fine detail and precision in a high end beauty retouch. This video puts the final touches on the main beauty retouch image. The final high resolution image, as found on DVD2, is indeed a masterpiece of beauty and precision.

08 – Extras: This section has more to do with Glamour than high end beauty and it uses a different model. While all of the “extras” occur near the top of the layer stack, the layers below have been retouched in advance by Natalia so you still get a completely new retouch – but you are not walked thru the stuff you learned in the 1st 7 videos. The image is 1.78GB opened in PS and I eyed 40 layers before I stopped counting! Knowing that we all are requested to so some of these things by our clients, Natalia takes us through a whole bunch of techniques to address eyeliner, makeup, candy lips, glittery eyes, shiny skin, and making images pop. Here again she performs some impressive body sculpting with the Liquify tool. This video should really appeal to your artist / creative side. But the rest of the image represents more practice to perform a complete retouch.

09 – Straight Hair: Another separate important topic and therefore another model / image. Same comments as before – large file. Focus is on hair, something many of us don’t pay enough attention to. A high end retouch on hair can be more involved than on skin as Natalia demonstrates. Three techniques are worked on the hair:

  1. Cut, paste, mask
  2. 2. Clone in a blend mode
  3. 3. Drawing

It is also interesting to learn Natalia’s different method to remove flyaway hairs from the background.While this video is on hair, it also teaches some skin retouching, color correcting, and sculpting of the lips, cheeks, and eyes.

10 – Blowing Hair: Not only does Natalia mask out the model’s head of wildly blowing hair, she shows how to enhance the effect by grafting more of it from other source images and making it even more dramatic and wild. While this video is called Blowing Hair, the working PSD file is another entire retouch where the rest of the retouch up to the blowing hair has been completed for you and you have another 1GB retouch file to study after you have finished the hair part. The model in this video is the same as the one in Video 9 above except the pose is completely different with more body exposed, shot from a different angle and including a squished breast that needs to be fixed.

There is a lot more that I can write about but instead I will now switch to a Q&A format to address some of the questions that I am sure many of you will have.

Q: Is this DVD content a bunch of little individual techniques or does it have some cohesiveness?

A: The main retouch is an entire end to end process. One image – starting as a camera digital negative with all its flaws, visualized to where it needs to end up, and then transformed through an organized flow. Like a recipe or flow chart, everyone has one, they are all different. What to fix first, where to go next, when to heal, when to D&B. This flow is Natalia’s. It may not be for everyone but I think it follows a solid road. That being stated, the flow is iterative and totally non destructive. If you do not like the way she does a D&B or does healing, you can insert any of your own flow in its place.

Q: I am a novice to Photoshop. But I would like to learn high end retouching. Is this DVD for me?

A: Unlike many other DVDs out in the market, this one will not give you basic PS training. You do not need to be a PS wizard but you need to be familiar with all the basic tools, you need to know how to use layers and masks. As the advertising states this series is targeted toward Intermediate and Advanced Users. Should you buy the DVD? If you have a passion for quality retouching you can choose to purchase it and go through the training after you have acquired the necessary PS knowledge.

Q: I am an accomplished and renowned retoucher. Will I get any value from this series.

A: I have sat through videos by many well known retouchers, I was amazed at how very different their styles were. Some accomplished incredible beauty with the most elementary PS tools. I cannot help but think that watching a fellow colleague’s workflow might provide me with ideas that would enhance my own. If that is you, it may be worth the purchasing it. If you have a system that works and you are aware of most of the techniques shown and you are happy with your own approach, then it may not make sense for you.

Q: How will this DVD make me a better retoucher?

A: You will experience one retoucher’s philosophy, process, and techniques. If you are an intermediate student you will likely learn a ton. The rest will be up to you – practice, practice, practice, learn more then practice, practice, practice, and perfect.

Q: I am a seasoned Photoshop user. Does this DVD reveal a lot of Photoshop secrets or secret techniques.

A: In a sense, there really are no magical secrets. You may discover new ways to use tools that you are familiar with. You may discover new techniques that you are not familiar with. You may say “ Oh, s&#t, I never thought of doing that this way, and it is faster or produces better results, or gives me more control, etc. To what extent that is the case depends on your experience, skill level, and to what extent you may have been following some of the retouching forums. If you are planning to buy this DVD for $250 worth of new secrets alone, then don’t buy it – this DVD series is not the “Down & Dirty Tricks” of High End retouching. (And I mean absolutely no disrespect to Scott Kelby who I hold in very high regard).

Q: What would you have done differently in this series

A: I tend to be more technical and I know some members who like to understand in detail the mechanics or math behind some of the PS moves. I would have had a tendency to include a technical shallow dive into a couple of areas. High Pass, Blur, and Sharpening are examples. That be said, I think the majority of users would just

prefer to understand how to do something and would prefer not to have the details. In this case there was plenty of material to cover in the DVD and the resulting disc was pretty full.

Like everyone else, I have my own processes (and bad habits). After watching this series I can tell you that that I will now adopt Natalia’s technique to do some things because they will improve my workflow and cure my bad habits. But I can tell you that I will continue to use some of my own modules because I get the same result and am comfortable with them. The good news is that you can mix and match.

Q: Can you comment on the overall value of this DVD relative to other products available for sale or available for free on the internet?

A: I know that like me, many of you have seen video products produced by the well known gurus who are associated with NAPP and Lynda.com, PS Café, and a large number of independent PS wizards and artists. I have purchased and viewed many but I have not seen everything that is on the market. But from personal experience, this series quality, content, and style exceeds what I have been exposed to. I recently viewed a 10 hour series on retouching. The cost of that DVD was $150. It was aimed at the lower end – beginner to intermediate. It was not in the same class as this series two DVD and for $100 more, I feel the series two value was considerably better.

As for free stuff, yes, there is a lot of it out there. It tends to be a page here, a 5 min video there – isolated bits and pieces. You can learn a whole pile of tricks, tips and techniques. But you need to put them together all yourself. Sometime it’s better to follow a guiding light. And then of course you have the element of time.

Q:. $250 (This is MSRP; Some time limited discounts are available) is a lot of money. Is this DVD worth it?

A: Each person has their own sense of Quid Pro Quo (That for Which). Part of the reason I have written this review is to present more information about what you may be getting in the DVD. Assess the known info, and by all means feel free to ask questions of me and of others who will watch the product, and develop a really good gut feel if this purchase represents value for you. I have purchased a number of products that have not represented value and I am not shy to say so. For me, this series two DVD provides fair value for the price. But I am not advocating that anyone run out and purchase it without doing the analysis.

Q: I have some pretty poor quality images of models with terrible skin, splotchy colors, lots of grunge, and poor lighting. Can I use the teachings of this video to retouch those into works of beauty?

A: I would say that the challenge you have is one of restoration – not of retouch. As a former mentor of mine once said “you can’t polish poop”. The trick with Beauty

Retouching , like the polishing of raw gemstone, is to release the beauty that is inherent in the structure. You need to start with some quality photography.

Q: OK, so let’s say I have purchased and viewed the DVD and I don’t understand something or having a problem producing similar results. With some DVDs and Books, I have contacted the authors but they are way too busy to reply. What can I do for some support?

A: I am not able to speak for Natalia herself, who is a very busy person. However I can say from my attending a couple of popular Retouching forums, she has been extremely generous with her time and knowledge responding to requests for help. But not withstanding that, there is a very large community of retouch disciples, enthusiasts, and experts, on several retouching forums. They are a friendly and helpful community and I have rarely seen any question that has gone unanswered. There is a ton of support available out there – and the help is free.

I think I will stop here. If anyone has any comments or questions, please feel free to post a question here at RP or PM me.

Thanks and Regards,

Murray


Beauty & Hair Retouching High End Techniques: Series Two

When I heard Natalia Taffarel would be hosting the second DVD from DigitalPhotoshopRetouching.com, I was really excited to hear the world renown retoucher host the second series. So who am I? My name is Pratik Naik, I am a full time high-end photo retoucher. I work with international and national photographers specializing in beauty, fashion, and glamour. I have over 10 years of experience with Photoshop and am also a photographer.

I have had the honor of being able to Review this DVD in it’s entirety before it’s release. My purpose of this review is to give you a complete honest feedback of what I felt about this, not from my own aspect, but from the aspect of the target market. And if you have any more questions after this review, please feel free to contact me and I will be glad to answer any of your questions about the DVD you may have.

As a full time professional retoucher, and as a photographer, I wanted to see if this series would provide what retouchers and photographers alike would need to really enhance their skill set at any level of experience. I wanted to answer the questions that everyone has in mind. Is the product worth the price? What can this product teach me that I already do now know? These are the kinds of questions I will be going into detail about.

Being that I have seen Natalia’s work in the past, and because I also have been retouching beauty for quite some time, I was intrigued to see what new techniques I could learn at my level, while also keeping in mind what someone who has just started retouching would learn from the DVD.

I had yet to see a full tutorial set explaining everything one needs to know which could be easily understood by most people. However, seeing Natalia’s work and experience, I was confident this was the video that our industry has been waiting for.

The package itself comes with two DVD disks. One is a set of working files that contains all the 16 bit PSD files, and all the original files Natalia used during her tutorial. Everything you need during the video is clearly categorized from the working files disk. The PSD files are very detailed with all the layers still in tact. Nothing is flattened and it allows you to follow along with the video tutorial very seamlessly. Even without the video tutorial itself, just being able to flow through each layer allows you uncover most of the secrets to beauty retouching. When you first open up the PSD itself, it looks very intimidating if you are not too familiar with Photoshop as there are multiple adjustment layers, masks, and groups. However, once you open the video tutorial it will be easy to follow along from the start.

The second DVD is the actual tutorial. Once loaded, it provides you with a very easy to navigate menu option.

The 11.5 hours are broken down as follows, numbered and explained below. Each of categories are linked to the corresponding videos. However, keep in mind that each of the categories are further broken down into sub categories. This organization method is one of my favorite aspects of this tutorial. Should you need to go back to a certain area in the future when you are going through your own image, you can easily pinpoint the section you need to go to, whether to refresh your memory or learn a sub-topic all together. You won’t have to sit through the entire thing of fast forward till you stumble upon what you are looking for. Everything is right there for you and it’s easily accessible.

As a narrator, you won’t feel 11.5 hours have gone by, Natalia does a fantastic job explaining everything in detail. I approached the video as if I had just begun with Photoshop and have a very basic knowledge of the program itself. With this mentality, I still felt as though I was not at a disadvantage. She takes the time needed to explain every tool in detail, with tips and tricks along the way and alternatives to help you save time and create an efficient work flow. I never felt once that I needed something re-explained to me because she does it so effectively. Her voice is easy to listen to, and when I revisit the DVD in the future I will have no issues listening it to again.

Even as a professional retoucher, you will find things you probably did not know about beauty retouching, or ways to do the same technique much faster or precisely.

Video Categories

01 – The best from Raw:

The final exposure you work on from the RAW will be your base for the rest of the image, without this your entire work flow could be compromised. Right off the bat, the video jumps right into it without wasting any time. She explains the great advantage of using RAW and how to get the absolute most from it. Everything from multiple exposures, using capture one vs camera raw, and maximizing the natural dynamic range from the RAW file. Even after dealing with RAW since the format has been available, I found many items worth taking away from this section.

02 – Composition:

One of the most under looked aspects of retouching is the composition. Often retouchers will make the image free of flaw but forget to re-interpret the composition. I know that personally this is a topic I have struggled with in the past. However, there is a science to the madness on what to look for and why it should be adjusted. She explains what needs to be done, and solid methods on how to reach that point without wasting much time. The best sub-category within this section is the ability to repaint complex eyelash structure via channel masking, and as an alternative, repainting eye lashes in a systematic

fashion. This is one aspect of beauty retouching people usually have trouble with. Another note of importance is she will also give away how she uses the liquification tool, which was nothing short of magical. I have never seen a tutorial like this anywhere before and coupled with her fantastic masking ability, this section along could be worth the price of the DVD alone.

03 – Skin Retouching:

This is where Natalia really shines, her ability to seamlessly remove all flaws from the skin without removing any texture at all. She gives us multiple ways to achieve this effect that many people have such a hard time achieving by getting into a technique known as spatial frequencies. Not only does she show you how to do it, she goes over all the tools in detail, as well as why one way is favorable over the other, and the exact science of how it is working. This is important because it will allow you to carry this method into retouching much more than just skin. The amount of detail she goes into is something that cannot be put into words. Although the DVD is almost 12 hours long, it is a semester worth of material.

04 – The High Pass Thing:

Although the title is very mysterious, it’s a special technique Natalia shares with us which allows us to quickly even out the transition between highlight and shadow with ease, without skin quality. This is another tutorial that I have previously not seen anywhere before.

05 – General Fixes:

Much like the composition section, this section goes over exactly what to look for in an overall image on what to fix, and why they need to be fixed in terms of skin, hair, and eyes. One problem area that some people face is retouching hair, she goes over multiple ways (three to be exact) to retouch hair in detail. It provides you with a time saving approach to retouching hair naturally without looking fake.

06 – Dodge and Burn:

In my opinion, dodging and burning with perfect precision, goes in hand with retouching skin and retaining all skin quality. That is the million dollar question in retouching: How can we retouch skin, and dodge and burn so that we have perfect skin without removing skin texture, and provide a smooth transition between highlights, midtones, and shadows? This section answers the second part of that question. Not only in one method, but multiple methods and why each method is useful. I will say this again, Natalia is fantastic about explaining her techniques to a point where anyone can understand what she is doing, why is doing it, and what benefit it can have to you. She makes it look so easy that it provides the viewer confidence in their own ability rather than discouraging them by intimidating the viewer. I have seen many good tutorials that only appeal to a higher experience level, but this is not one of them.

07 – Color Correction and Sharpening:

This is where it all comes together in the first image. Being able to effectively balance all the colors in a systematic approach while allowing you to pinpoint what needs to be corrected. I have personally seen how many people tend to forget this final step, where images have a variance in color cast through the skin tones without being corrected, it can create the illusion of a blotchy appearance and it is vital to be corrected. This section provides a non-destructive, creative, and time efficient way to fix the colors

in the skin tones in a quick and acceptable manner.

08 – Extras:

As if the first seven sections weren’t comprehensive enough to beauty retouching, Natalia starts out with an entirely new image and focuses on primarily the makeup aspect of retouching, as well as other liquification techniques, and background composites via masking. The makeup renditions take center stage on how to go about changes in makeup.

09 – Straight hair:

One of my favorite sections of all, and one area where people tend to struggle. This comes in handy for retouching for hair stylists or getting absolutely perfectly straight hair and the secret behind how to do it. Going further into detail would exploit the procedure, I will just let you check it out for yourself!

10 – Blowing Hair:

Another one of my favorite sections goes into detail about how to recreate the illusion of blowing hair without distorting the hair beyond recognizable terms. It incorporates how to use various hair samples to effectively add to the final composition of the image. Primarily delving into advanced masking techniques to accomplish your final goal.

Some Questions You May Have

I am a beginner, how much will I learn?

As mentioned before, even though you are a beginner, there is so much to learn from this video tutorial that you will be coming back for months digesting the material. The good news, and I cannot stress this enough, is that Natalia makes understanding everything she talks about so effortless, that you will be reminded of some of your favorite teachers in the past. Some people have talent, but few can teach the way she can. Natalia not only knows what she is talking about, but she systematically is able to reach out to any audience and explain everything she is doing.

Even as she goes along through her tutorial, she explains the importance of each tool in Photoshop that is applicable to that very exact category she is lecturing about. It will almost allow you to discover each tool again and various ways to use it. If you’re starting out or you have just basic knowledge of Photoshop, this is as close to a complete retouching DVD as you will get. You could not have asked for a better instructor.

 

The price is high, could I find tutorials like this one on the Internet for free?

Without giving away any secrets to what you are about to experience, I have looked through some of the best tutorials online, granted that you will find out how to achieve what you are looking for, most of the time you are left out on why some techniques are favorable amongst others, and also a lack of alternatives presented online. Natalia does a great job explaining which technique is favorable for certain situations as opposed to others. And most of the time you will decipher that on your own when she explains the alternatives to the same solution. She not only expresses her robust knowledge, she empowers you to use it successfully. As mentioned previously, once I finished reviewing the DVD, I felt like I had sat through a semesters worth of material that no source online could have provided me thus far.

What are the cons of the DVD?

The negative aspect of the DVD is how much time is takes up, however this is also a positive as it gives you what you’ve paid for. Even the working files alone are worth the price of the DVD alone. On another note, the files are very large, with the main PSD file exceeding far above 1 GB. It will take time to open if your system is slow, but once open you can easily follow along.

How is the quality of the DVD?

The voice and video is crystal clear, and the video quality is great. Even at full screen everything is still readable. I had no issues whatsoever on the compatibility and playback.

Conclusion

I hope this review served to be informative on what to expect from the video. The main take away is that regardless of your experience level, there is a lot to learn from this tutorial. I rediscovered my love for Adobe Photoshop watching it through the eyes of a world class retoucher , Natalia Taffarel.

Even from all the webinars and tutorials I have seen online from other retouchers, I feel this encompasses a broad range of techniques that can be put to use not just in beauty retouching, but for practically anything that requires Adobe photoshop to correct.

Should you have any additional questions that were not answered by the review and you would like to know, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at XXXXXXXXXXXX@XXXXXXXXX and I would be happy to provide a reliable answer to anything you may have in mind that will allow you to make an informed decision about purchasing this review from an outside point of view.

Thank you for reading,

Pratik Naik


Physical DVD-ROM Version
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Regular Price: $249
Sale Price $62