Although most retouching artists and photographers love to retouch skin and faces, retouching hair is often seen as a necessity rather than an enjoyable activity. Yet, despite the retouching challenges, a skilled hair retouch makes a tremendous difference in obtaining a clean editorial or commercial look in the final image.
With this video course, our goal is to teach you how to fix common hair issues in beauty, portrait and fashion photography using simple retouching tools and techniques and offer a variety of methods to take the struggle out of the process. In some lessons, we will show you alternative methods for battling common hair issues in post-production so you can choose whichever works best depending on the image at hand.
Please keep in mind, this is not a beginner course; it requires some basic knowledge of Photoshop tools, layers, adjustment layers, blending modes and masks. However, we do provide additional setting details for the tools used in video lessons as well as the layered PSD files, so you can easily apply the same concepts to your own work.
This isn’t a course to teach you how to completely transform the look of the hair in an image, or make it look like the absolutely flawless, polished hair in a hair product advertisement – the market for that type of photography and retouching is incredibly narrow and those skills, intensity and endless hours are rarely needed outside of that market. Which means the amount of time you would need to devote to mastering that type of tedious hair retouching would likely have minimal return on that investment.
On the contrary, this course is designed to help you learn to tackle the most common challenges with hair in your personal and commercial work in the beauty, portrait and fashion genres of photography – the largest photography and retouching market.
Along with the video course, you will download 4 images in the form of layered PSD files. These images were photographed in Los Angeles by Michael Woloszynowicz & Julia Kuzmenko exclusively for the Retouching Academy courses and students.
In the enclosed PSD files, we preserved the layers that Michael created at the time of the recording of the respective lessons, so you can analyze them; and we also left other hair issues in these images for you to practice. We’ve marked up specific problematic areas, named our markup layers “assignments” and referenced the relevant lessons.
We encourage you to go further: retouch these images completely and share the results in the Retouching Academy Community Group on Facebook for peer and pro feedback, or on your social media tagging Julia and Michael and @retouchingacademy.
Here’s a quick BTS video from the shoot where these practice images were captured:
Besides the layered PSD files, we have also included the custom brushes and actions that Michael mentions in the video lessons:
- RA Hair & BG Brushes.abr – our custom brushes for background work and drawing in hair strands in focus and slightly out of focus;
- RA HR Custom Actions.atn – our custom actions that will set up the necessary layers for your Dodging & Burning and Frequency Separation work.
Intro: TYPICAL CHALLENGES AND COURSE OUTLINE
- Typical Hair Retouching Challenges
- The Course Outline
- The Images We Will Be Using
Lesson 1: CLEANING UP THE OUTSIDE PERIPHERY OF THE HAIR
Video 1.1 Removing Hair in Bulk
Video 1.2 Drawing in Hair Strands
Video 1.3 Adding Noise
Lesson 2: CLEANING UP THE INTERIOR OF THE HAIR
Video 2.1 Strays Crossing Face
Video 2.2 Interior Hair Removal: Using Spot Healing Brush
Video 2.3 Strays Crossing Hair
Lessons 3-5: ADVANCED OUTSIDE PERIPHERY CLEANUP
Video 3 Outside Edge Cleanup: Grafting Hair
Video 4 Stray Hairs Cleanup: Brute Force Method
Video 5.1 – 5.3 Advanced Outside Edge Grafting
Lesson 6: INTERIOR HAIR GRAFTING
Video 6.1 Covering up Revealed Scalp
Video 6.2 Filling Gaps Against Background
Lessons 7-10: DODGING & BURNING; COLOR CORRECTING & SHAPING HAIR
Video 7 Dodging & Burning for Hair Retouching
Video 8 Color Correcting Hair Shade Inconsistencies
Video 9 Dodging & Burning to Contour Hair
Video 10 Shaping Hair
Lesson 11: ADVANCED HAIR REPAIR: CLEANING UP FOREHEAD & REMOVING BABY HAIR
Video 11.1 Grafting Skin to Cover up Baby Hair
Video 11.2 Using Frequency Separation to Clean up Forehead
Video 11.3 Fine-Tuning the Results Achieved in the Previous Two Videos
Video 11.4 Refining the Appearance of the Created Hairline
Lesson 12: WIG HAIRLINE REPAIR
Video 12 Using Frequency Separation and Other Tools to Improve the Appearance of a Wig Hairline.