Portrait Professional

A few people have asked me about Portrait Professional – the retouching software.

From most of my work, you can see I don’t do a terribly lot of retouching.  There are some cases, however, when a client asks for it, or the image / portrait in its given style would benefit greatly from a bit of “smoothing.”

I do not subscribe, however, to the idea of airbrushing to the point of my clients being unrecognizable (cough! Marie Claire!  Vogue! COUGH!) — I also don’t like the way the software automatically reshapes the face & features.

I thought I’d share a few screen shots of the process when retouching in the software, and let you decide if it’s something you like or not.  🙂  (I have Portrait Professional 9).
The first step after selecting the gender of your client and uploading the photo is to locate the features.  You do this by plotting the points of various markings on the face, ie: corners of the eyes, tip of the nose, corners of the mouth.

The next step is to adjust the outlines they prompt you with (based on your plot points) to be the correct outlines of the various features.  This is to assure the “smoothing” software layer doesn’t affect things like teeth, nostrils, eyes, etc.

After that, you see the whole face plotted out and make final adjustments so the outer lines surround the face.  This is so the computer doesn’t go over hair, backgrounds, etc.

When you save the previous step, the computer then spits out it’s suggestion, or starting point, for the “beautified” face.  Here is what the computer gave me:

Side by side, it’s difficult to detect the reshaping it’s done.  Here is a GIF to show you how it’s brought her nose down, changed the shape of her forehead, made her eyes bigger, changed the shape of her mouth…

make gif

I don’t feel that.  I don’t like that.  And in fact, the program gives you SUCH control, that you can actually change the face a LOT more than this.  But for me, I feel if the face needs a change in shape, it’s probably because I either posed my subject incorrectly, or used the wrong lens.  Or both.  🙂
That said, here’s an example of what I’d probably turn over to the client if they needed retouching and I elected to use this software.  It might be a poor example because this girl has great skin and clear eyes.  But, for a quick example, not so bad.  🙂

At least you can trust that her face is exactly the shape it was in the “Before” photo. 🙂

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