A Wonderfully (re)Touching Story

Published December 5th, 2012

I decided to try a story for this project. The final image will eventaully be in my gallery, but this seemed like a good way to add updates as i progress with it.

First off, its good to have some time to sit down and do some good ol' photochopping again. Lots of day work and summer projects around the house kept me busy.

This shot was taken in August... i think it was the hottest day we'd had yet. I remember setting up the camera and lights, sweating all over the place in the garage, thinking 'the model will not be happy in THIS heat'. But it was all ok.

We got a few shots done. 2 of them are already in my gallery. This was the main "idea"; the reason we got together to shoot. So, its a shame I sat on it for so long before getting down to it. I did some quick edits on it right off the bat to get it set up. All of my combines and some basic masking. I think i spent a few hours working on the bike tire too, but after that I didnt touch the file till yesterday.

So yes, definitely good to get back into it and have this great shot to work on. I was happy with it right outta camera, but after yesterday and today, its realy starting to come alive!

Check back sometime on the progess. If you dont see the finished image in my main gallery, its still in the works.

EDIT: Finished!


Raw Shot

The basic capture, outta camera. Mostly good, but i liked the face better out of another shot.

  • July 4th, 2012
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • 50mm / f/8 / 1/200 sec

Head Shots

Here you can see the original shot, and to the left, the face I prefered. It had more attitude or something, and even though its not too girly, i like the muscles on the neck better too. i think cause they helped bring out the light direction better.


Head closeup

A close-up after the head transplant.


Basic Comp

Here you can see the final comp. Evrything is masked out from the background, the head is fixed, i did some liquifying (sorry clara :) and now we'r ready to start the retouching.


Bike Start

My ultimate goal is to make this look like a different R6. i dont want to keep using my bike and having the same looking bike in all my shots, so i will make this look more like a 'normal' R6, paint scheme wise. This was just the start of my basic touch ups.


Wheel closeup

I hate uneven tones. I didnt realy want to have to, but i couldnt leave the tire looking as it was. so blotchy and uneven. took some time, but it was worth it to fix.



Not a step i always do, but ill sometimes mark down where i want to make my lighting adjustments, and circle any problem areas.

though, as far as skin retouching, not much realy needed to do done. most of the work will be smoothing of leather, and overall light adjustment.


Retouch... so far

This is where im at currently. The hair has been fixed, and lengthened (the fan "on set, in my garage", wasnt cutting it as far as blowing it up into the air), the skin has been retouched and the lighting emphasized, and i added the sweat/shine on the skin. I ended up doing this last step because the final background will be a motorcycle race track, and for those who ride, you know you get damn hot wearing full leathers in the sun... so sweat seemed fitting, and helped with the form.


Bike Retouch

Today I did the bike. I wasnt sure what color scheme to give it, but I had a look on the googlez and like the look of this new 2013 r6. so i stole my colors from that! then i went with a double bubble style windscreen, since my cut-in-half windscreen is also kinda unique. besides the bar-end mirrors, i think its quite convincingly a different bike!

it wasnt a simple matter of select the dark parts and make them grey. mostly because of the custom camo pattern i have on some of the panels, but also because there would have been way to much noise simply raising black up to grey. so the new grey panels are 100% repainted from scratch.

i MAY put some race decals on it, but havent decided yet.



Here are a few of the passes that were rendered out, to then recomposite in PS. There were more than this, but this gives you a sense of how combining these layers adds up to a final pic.

I output the matte layers just because i knew id be wanting control over various bits of the background, so rather than try and select them with the lasso or whatever, i exported them at render time so the work was done for me.


All done

Here is the final picture (same as posted on my main page).

Without going and counting Id say, easily, 200 layers went into the phothsop file, and i had to merge alot of things down to keep it under 2gb on disc. It used 10gb of memory when open. It was pushing the limits of being too large for my machine to handle, and my setup is pretty capable.

So, much learning, much patience tried. Im happy to have it all wrapped up so I can move on. It was hanging over my head for too long knowing i had to get it done.

Stay tuned for more... whenever i have time to get stuff done!

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Andrew Keane  over 3 years ago
Great effort, worth the wait.
Ruben Loera  almost 4 years ago
Wow! Simply amazing! Seriously, thanks for sharing!
Eric Edwins (inactive)  almost 4 years ago
Excellent tour of this project. Thank you for sharing!