In this tutorial, we show you how to clean up and retouch photos of products to a professional standard
Advertising campaigns attract consumers to the professional images of their products. With all commercial photography, it is an important step to ensure each image as a good quality and high standard for print. Using software such as Photoshop in such industries and using similar tools and techniques, one professional results can easily be obtained at home using your own photographs.
In this tutorial, we would like to show you that using Photoshop CS4 to improve a product shot like the professionals and the image of a bottle of perfume shot. Glass objects can be extremely difficult to light and photograph, with distracting reflections and refractions, which can often prove to be difficult to improve or remove post-production. However, by using some simple adjustment techniques in Photoshop, we will show you how to correct, improve and enhance your shots, improve the overall image exposure and contrast as well as insert unwanted colors and remove dust particles For, to see as consumers again
Follow with our simple step-by-step guide and implement some of our basic improvement tips, which can help you get high-quality product shots results that will not appear in the portfolio of any of the profiles.
Step 1: Create a new layer
Open up your product photo file in Photoshop. In the Layers palette, duplicate the original layer by Ctrl/right-clicking on the Background layer and selecting Duplicate Layer. Rename this new layer ‘Exposure correction’.
Step 2: Cropping in
Select the Crop tool from the Tools bar and click on the top corner of the image, dragging the crop cursor diagonally down to the opposite bottom corner. Holding the Shift key to keep the original proportions, pull up the bottom corner cursor, cropping out the edges until you’re happy with the position of the perfume bottle in the frame.
Step 3: Adjust levels
Open a Levels adjustment layer to make corrections to the overall image exposure (Image>Adjustments>Levels). Begin by pulling in the slider on the left-hand side (Highlights) of the histogram to where the mountainous range begins to gain height. Now move the midpoint (greys) slider along to create a punchier contrast.
Step 4: Clean up
Now create another new layer titled ‘Clean-up layer’ and select the Clone Stamp tool that is located in the Tools bar. Adjust the brush settings so it has soft edges and is sized proportionately to the dust spots that you want to remove (you may need to alter this as you go). Keep the Opacity at 100%.
Step 5: Cloning out
Zoom in to check for obvious marks and spots. Using the correctly sized Clone Stamp tool select the area next to the mark; holding down the Opt/Alt key to select the clean area (for each flaw), place the cursor over the mark you wish to remove and press down to clone it out.
Step 6: Masking
For harder-to-remove dust marks on reflective surfaces cut out the area using the Quick Mask mode (press ‘Q’ on your keyboard for a shortcut). Select the Brush tool with 100% Opacity and paint the area, using the Eraser tool to correct any errors. Hit ‘Q’ to preview the selection line and, when happy, go to Layer>New>Layer via Copy (or Cmd/Ctrl+J) to create a cutout of what you have masked.
Step 7: Remove finer dust
Select your new cutout layer and go to Layer>Filter>Noise>Medium and blur the pixels with a 8px Radius, or thereabouts. Now adjust the Opacity of the layer to around 80%. Edit the layer by first selecting a Darken blending mode and then Linear Dodge (Add). You can reduce the overall layer opacity if you need to.
Step 8: Replace colour
Even out the background colour by selecting Image>Adjustments>Replace Color. Use the Eyedropper tool and click on the darkest background area (eg the right-hand corner), drag the Lightness slider up to brighten out the dark regions and create an evenly white background. Make sure you zoom into your image and check that the white is the right brightness and blends with the already existing white background colour.
Step 9: Colour correction
Remove the warmer tones from the bottle and bring out the blues using the Color Balance adjustment layer (Image>Adjustments> Color Balance). Enable Preserve Luminosity and begin working your way through the sliders, adjusting through the Highlights, Midtones and Shadows. Continually toggle the Preview button on and off so that you can see the modified results as you go along. Remember, you don’t have to make adjustments with every slider; work gradually for best results.
Step 10: Final touchups
Zoom into your image and check for any unwanted marks you may have missed that still need to be cloned out. If you want to make further adjustments to the tonal range in the bottle use the Replace Color adjustment again and select a light blue area. Lighten this using the Lightness slider slowly to avoid cut-out-like results.
Step 11: Contrast and flatten
For a final contrast, boost use a Shadows/Highlights adjustment layer. Really push the Midtone Contrast slider for best results. When happy with the final look save the layered file separately as a PSD file in case you wish to go back and edit further. Now flatten your final image layers (Layer>Flatten Image).
Step 12: Sharpen up
Before you save your final image make sure it is sharp, adding definition to edges and improving the overall quality. Go to Filter> Sharpen>Unsharp Mask and activate the Preview button to monitor the effect. Up the Amount to 100% with Threshold at 0 levels and bring the Radius up slowly to around 2.6px.
Step 13: Resize
Now you’ve made the last tweaks you’ll want to resize it for web or print use. For a good-quality print, you will need to increase the image resolution to 300dpi (go to Image>Image Size>Resolution). For web use, decrease the resolution to a smaller value such as 72dpi.
Step 14: Saving
Remember to watermark your images before you upload them to ensure they are copyright protected. Once your work has been correctly resized to suit your output you should save the final image as a JPEG file (File>Save As>Format: JPEG) and then print out for your portfolio or upload to your online gallery.
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