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paint out blemish on face

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Charles Little IIpaint out blemish on face
by on Feb 5, 2010 at 2:32:47 am

I'm trying to determine the best approach to cloning out the large blemish on the guy's face in this image here:
I'm good with the stamp tool in Photoshop, but a moving image is altogether different...
anyone know of a good tutorial which could set me in the right direction here?

thanks for your help COWers!
twitter: @charleslittle2

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Todd KoprivaRe: paint out blemish on face
by on Feb 5, 2010 at 5:53:40 am

I'd try something like the Change To Color effect or maybe the Colorama effect to push the purple to the color of the surrounding skin. Animate a rough mask to follow the blemish (essentially, crude rotoscoping). Put this mask on an adjustment layer. Apply the color-change effect to the adjustment layer.

Because you're using color matching, you don't even need to have a very precise mask.

Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
putting the 'T' back in 'RTFM' : After Effects Help on the Web
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David JohnsonRe: paint out blemish on face
by on Feb 5, 2010 at 12:29:39 pm

I'm not in AE now so I can't check to be sure it isn't a third-party plugin, but using the same method Todd described, I've gotten much better results with a Tri-Tone plugin than Change Color or Change To Color. Colorama can do the same, but it requires more effort.

The reason is, although they appear to be, skin pixels aren't all one color so, without applying color variations, you'll likely end up with a noticeable one-color patch over the corrected area.

Whichever plugin you go with, it can also sometimes help to add a tiny bit of grain over the corrected area, although that depends on the footage and isn't always necessary.

Sometimes, I've also found it helpful to use a masked duplicate of the footage instead of or in addition to an adjustment layer, but again, that depends on the footage and isn't always necessary.

By the way, if you do it via painting, you're creating extra work for yourself because you'll probably have to motion track the paint to the footage.

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Michael SzalapskiRe: paint out blemish on face
by on Feb 5, 2010 at 2:17:14 pm

Perhaps, once the client receives your bill, they will realize it is much easier to fix things like this during production with makeup.

I agree with David and Todd's suggestions. They should still work, even if he turns his neck and you get a wrinkle there.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.

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Dave JohnsonRe: paint out blemish on face
by on Feb 5, 2010 at 2:33:28 pm


Michael makes a great point ... related to his point, don't fall for it when clients or anyone else tries to convince you that this kind of post work is just part of regular "editing" that shouldn't affect costs or turnaround time.

It's true an ever-increasing number and variety of things can be fixed in post nowadays, but very many people tend to conveniently forget (or refuse to understand/accept in the first place) that "fixing it in post" generally costs 3-5 times as much as fixing it during production ... almost regardless of what the "it" is.

By the way, I failed to mention in my first reply ... don't forget to feather your mask(s). Also, using blending modes and/or opacity can help resolve issues like wrinkles, textures, etc.

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Dave LaRondeRe: paint out blemish on face
by on Feb 5, 2010 at 3:32:43 pm

I understand that you now have to play the hand you've been dealt, but I agree with other people: this should have been taken care of with makeup. This will be a hard lesson learned for both you and the client, I fear.

The suggestions for a fix will probably do the job, but the fix will never look as good as doing it the right way the first time.

Dave's Stock Answer #2:

When you're out on a shoot, and you say, "we'll fix this in post" without knowing PRECISELY HOW you're going to fix it in post, don't shoot it! You'll only end up shooting it over again.

Since post typically costs three times the cost of production, fixing something in post is not a way to save money, but rather a way to spend more of it.

And, before you say "well fix it in post," always consider who's doing the work, especially if you're the one doing the work.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA

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Charles Little IIRe: paint out blemish on face
by on Feb 6, 2010 at 2:12:44 am

Thank you all so much for your input and suggestions. Yes I was able to quite effectively remove the blemish from the subjects face with an animated garbage matte that followed the birthmark.
I then replaced the masked out area with another area of the subjects face that was blown up to approx 150%. I just performed a little color correction and the area moved together quite naturally.
It's not a broadcast quality piece of retouching by any means, but for this particular presentation reel, it did get the job done.

If you're interested I will post the results. I would be interested in your feedback on that as well.

I love the COW.


Charles Little II
twitter: @charleslittle2

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David JohnsonRe: paint out blemish on face
by on Feb 6, 2010 at 8:37:23 pm

Glad you found a solution. I for one would like to see the results ... always helpful to see results of different methods.

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