Image retouching in today’s world

Remember that saying ‘the camera never lies’ .. Well in today’s marketing world, chances are it’s all a lie. I started my career at a retouching house in London. And at that time photoshop was so primitive, it didn’t even have layers. I spent a number of years learning about light, shade, perspective and depth of field from some of London’s most influential image retouchers.

Move forward a ‘few’ years and technology allows us to completely re-imagine the notion of image retouching. Computer Generated Imagery (or CGI) is common place in image creation… You probably can’t even tell. Send me a link if you find anything awesome.

My focus for this post is the fusion of Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) products into a real-time photographic background to create real looking imagery that can be used across marketing campaigns.

You see, shifting heavy, expensive machinery across the world, sending a team of stylists, photographers, art directors and operators is a logistical nightmare – let alone the expense when you get there and the weather isn’t great.. You’re getting the point.

Well how about if you use CGI technology – software like Cinema 4D, Maya, 3d Studio Max to create breathtaking, photo realistic CGI renders?

Then what?

Work with the end in mind. If you’re planning on having the CGI renders retouched into location photography, or even stock photography, work with the art directors and creative teams to gain an understanding of what the finished image(s) will be used for. By that I don’t only mean just the size the image can be reproduced at, but composition for the campaign.

By having access to the ‘back plates’ or the background imagery, the 3d artists can begin to ‘map’ the environment to determine the light source, reflections and shadows which adds further realism to the finished image.

At Voice, we have nearly 2 decades of image retouching experience. And the importance of capturing the essence of a brand by fusing photography and technology has never been so strong. The craft of creating beautiful imagery at post-production level, whether using traditional photography or computer generated imagery (CGI) is part of our culture.

In that time we’ve helped create imagery and campaigns for brands such as Yamaha Motorcycles, FANUC Corporation, CATERPILLAR, Aston Martin Racing, Jet Republic and GHD.

Take a look at a couple of our image retouching examples below for CATERPILLAR and Embraer.

If you’re interested in finding out more, send me an email at tim@realworldthinking.co