#054 - Beauty Re-Touching in Resolve
2 min read

#054 - Beauty Re-Touching in Resolve

Who needs digital make up anyway...

From time to time I’m asked in casual conversation for my opinion on the photoshopping of models on magazine covers...

It’s easy to find examples of the abuse of Photoshop, shaving pixels off of arms and thighs, blurring complexion until the face is a plastic mask, etcetera.

And these examples may lead one to think that the digital manipulation of the people is an inappropriate or even morally questionable step, given how it skews the representation of models, creates unrealistic body-image norms, and generally gives readers and viewers an entirely wrong idea about how people look.

— Alexis Van Hurkman

When it comes to the subtle (or not so subtle) art of 'beauty re-touching' in colour grading and visual effects, it's worth thinking through your own opinion on it, especially if you're being asked to do things you feel uncomfortable with.

Colorist, Author and Director Alexis Van Hurkman has a well-thought through article covering the topic of digital make up vs digital manipulation, which is well worth a read in full.

His principled solution to these kinds of requests seems both balanced and practical, given that people rarely look their best in high-res:

Don’t make any correction to the color, contrast, or texture of someone’s complexion that couldn’t have been done by a makeup artist doing a naturalistic job.

— Alexis Van Hurkman, Colorist

He goes on to elaborate:

This is the main rule I live by in the grading suite, and that’s the rationale I use with clients who want to push me to do more.

Usually this explanation suffices.

Sometimes it doesn’t and the client who’s paying my bills pushes me to go farther anyway, but I’m lucky in that being the exception rather then the rule.

— Alexis Van Hurkman, Colorist

So how do you help people look their best with some subtle and naturalistic digital make up?

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