How to get faster at Photoshop retouching? at

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Old December 23rd, 2007, 10:09 PM   #1
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How to get faster at Photoshop retouching?

Hey, I booked a 100 picture montage and have been preparing the pictures. Timing myself on a timer, it goes between four and ten minutes per picture to retouch.
I run a batch automated filter that runs dust & scratches, auto levels or similar, auto color and resizes it to DV. So that's already done.

Then, for the simplest pictures, I crop, zoom in to 300%, and clone stamp out any imperfections - speckles, dust spots, major scratches, age spots.

The average time for this part is 4 to 5 minutes unless I have had to clean up major stuff.

There must be a faster way. 100 pics x 5 min per pic, plus scanning time----?

Suggestions --? Thanks in advance.
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Old December 24th, 2007, 10:54 AM   #2
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If you're using Photoshop 7 or better, the healing brush tool is great. Look in the manual or internet for exactly what it does, but its very similar to the clone stamp.

Not really sure if its much faster, but I think it works better than clone stamp in certain situations
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Old December 24th, 2007, 11:46 AM   #3
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Unfortunately, some things, like retouching photos or anything else that can't really be automated, take time. My only tidbit is to become as comfortable as you can with the keyboard shortcuts and just hone your skills over time.
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Old December 24th, 2007, 03:39 PM   #4
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Use something like Lightroom to correct them in batch or write an action to automate stuff that you do the same for every image. Be sure to use a scanner with dust/scratch elimination... and hire a make-up artist next time!
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Old December 26th, 2007, 04:36 PM   #5
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I did automate a batch action for auto functions and a DV resize, which is a help. Dust & Scratches too.

Some of the pics took up to 10 minutes but for some basic one I got it down to about 1.5 min. Man this took FOREVER. Some of it is probably knowing when to say when. I didn;'t charge extra for retouching, it;'s included in the montage but I probably spent - oh, 100 photos averaging out at 5 min each - 500 minutes -that's a long time.

Then it;'s about the same to keyframe each of the photos, (45 sec to 3 min) and to scan (1 min or so).

It';s also becoming quickly apparent that if I do this, I will need to have a Wacom tablet and pen to avoid carpal tunnel. My wrist is killing me.

Your suggestions on pricing, getting faster, or anything related are welcome.
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Old January 10th, 2008, 06:04 AM   #6
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Definitely do yourself a huge favor and get a Wacom tablet.

I've been using one for the past several years and wouldn't do that sort of task any other way. In fact, I haven't touched a mouse in all that time except to initially set up the Mac. Once the Wacom drivers are installed that's it. The mouse goes behind the monitor never to see the light of day again. For more precise positioning I also have a track ball nearby.

The difference between a Wacom tablet and a mouse is like trying to draw with a pencil, and then trying to do the same drawing with the pencil attached to a brick.

It won't be quite so simple making the transition from mouse to a tablet. But after a week you'll wonder why you hadn't gotten one long ago. And the tip is pressure sensitive which means your retouching can be very subtle. People are even known to create original artwork with it.

I did thousands of color corrections doing prepress at a newspaper. Black-and-whites took about 90 seconds. Color took about two minutes. Mind you that's pure deadline work and after getting a lot of practice. And that was only color correction. No retouching or anything fancy although I was picky about the results.

Compare that to the time it takes me to do rotoscoping: five hours to do a three-second shot of a mom running with her two kids and a soccer ball.

You seem to be in the ball park when it comes to time. Especially if you're trying to do a good job of each one.
Dean Sensui
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Old January 17th, 2008, 08:45 PM   #7
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Lightroom and image processor

If you can swing it get Adobe Lightroom which is geared towards photographers. Along with the built in presets you can create your own which you can run as a batch processor then Photoshop image processor to resize your images. You can even go a step further and go to the Adobe bridge and make a stack from the photos and export that stack as a video.
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