Commercial Retouching Workflow With Sef McCullough

Commercial Retouching Workflow With Sef McCullough

3 Seasons

Sef McCullough shares the post-production workflow which has made him one of the world's leading high-end retouchers. Sef reveals for the first time his bullet-proof approach and advanced techniques to change the way you retouch. This tutorial will improve your skills and give you the understanding of how to deliver high-end commercial images to your clients.

High-end commercial retouchers often keep their methods and workflow as a well-guarded secret in order to stay ahead of the competition. Sef McCullough is on the leading edge of commercial retouching with his mastery of Photoshop. As one of the world’s most sought after digital artists, Sef’s workflow has been taught to only a handful of his peers. Sef has partnered with us to bring you his workflow and an in-depth look at many of his techniques in this incredible tutorial, “Commercial Retouching Advanced Workflow.” If you are wanting to learn advanced post-production techniques combined with a bullet proof workflow, this tutorial will be your game changer. We combine both a product shoot and a lifestyle shoot to prove to you that an advanced commercial workflow can be applied to any image and the subject matter doesn't actually matter.

Commercial Retouching Workflow With Sef McCullough
  • Introduction and Creating a Plan

    Episode 1

    With the entire process of retouching a commercial shoe complete, apply the system to a new lifestyle image. Shift to working with an image that has more environmental qualities. Focus on creating a plan to retain the natural reality of the shot, while gaining full creative control of the subject...

  • Linked Workflow

    Episode 2

    Begin retouching the lifestyle image by creating balance in the RAW file. Use a smart object workflow to create flexibility in raw changes. Enable profile correction and correct lens distortion. Leverage the power of Adobe Camera RAW. Create an image with the highest level of detail in data, that...

  • Shoe Retouching

    Episode 3

    With a linked workflow established, begin honing the replacement shoe elements for compositing into the main lifestyle base image. Shape and refine the shoes with the Liquefy tool in Photoshop. Use silo clipping to create clean mask, cutting clean, flexible paths for compositing. Leverage the kno...

  • Integration

    Episode 4

    With clean clipping and isolation of the replacement shoes, integrate these elements into the main lifestyle base image. Utilize Liquefy to tweak the shape of the replacement shoes, using the original shoes as a base target. With the shoes placed, develop a process to integrate them with the athl...

  • Isolation

    Episode 5

    Move through retouching the lifestyle image in Photoshop. In this next section, focus on isolating all of the elements in the athlete. Completely deconstruct the athlete, with the same process applied to the shoe. Separate shirt from skin, shorts from athletic tights. Learn to break everything ap...

  • File Setup

    Episode 6

    With the athlete completely broken out into distinct masks for each body part, begin to create a folder structure for the organizational workflow. Break out each body part into named folders moving incrementally for seamless integration. Create smart objects, setup liquefy guides, and follow proc...

  • Cleanup

    Episode 7

    After creating clean edges for all of the isolated elements of the athlete subject, move forward into frequency separation to cleanup the skin and apparel. Utilize a refined, advanced texture cleanup method of frequency separation, that eliminates unwanted haloes and distractions. Create believab...

  • Skin Clean Up

    Episode 8

    Using the advanced texture cleanup process of Frequency Separation 2.0, retouch skin with ease. Wipe away distractions using the power of Photoshop's mixer brush. Avoid the fundamental flaws of frequency separation, learning advanced concepts and implementation from high end retoucher, Sef McCull...

  • Color Change

    Episode 9

    Continue to leverage the preparation, organization, and clean edges built using, the silo and two pass clipping process. Retouch with creative front of mind, focusing on color control and manipulation for the athlete's apparel. Using hue/saturation and curves, enjoy creating your own look for a l...

  • Subject and Background Integration

    Episode 10

    Advancing towards the final stages of the lifestyle image retouch, focus on the perimeter outline of the athlete in relationship to the background of the image. Work to create a clean, refined, high end extraction for stand out results. Learn a couple of tricks from high end retoucher, Sef McCull...

  • Mood and Grade

    Episode 11

    The critical and technical construction of the image has been the majority of the focus. Transition into the establishing story and mood through grading the lifestyle image. Moving towards final touches, focus on adding contrast and manipulating saturation. Use curves and the targeted adjustment ...

  • Final Look and Fixes

    Episode 12

    Congratulations! You've completed the Commercial Retouching course with high end retoucher, Sef McCullough. In this final video, work with Sef to finalize the lifestyle image. Follow his markup to fix any distraction and complete the color grade for a finished, deliverable image. Thank you for pu...