This month I am diverging from hardware and mechanical setups and instead focusing on post processing pictures and what editors to use when cost is paramount.
So what software is best?
Well that's subjective, and difficult to say, but when cost is not an issue, photoshop is best. It handles about anything.
The one way to get a older copy is via ebay and get something like CS5 or CS6 for around a few hundred.
Next we have (PSP) Paintshop pro X8/9, which also you can buy for about $50-$100. I used to use this program until I started getting paid for work, then I had to upgrade to Photoshop.
But I will say, PSP has been a workhorse for me for many years. It does not handle large files well, and can crash a alot, but when it works it is excellent.
How about photoshop elements? - My wife uses it and she feels it is simple enough for basic tasks.
Look at some of the software below for ideas
So let's get started into my workflow:
I copy my .raw files into Capture NX-D, a free program from Nikon to edit the .raw files. Here I basically adjust cropping and sometimes lighting across a set.
Next I load these .raw images into photoshop, then I correct the white balance, brightness and contrast. Often for a set, I will create a profile to apply to all my pics
Sometimes this is basic, and I convert to 16bit .png for preserve quality. Next convert to .jpg and resize to a smaller size like 1200x800 to give to vendors.
Now, when I want a real effort to be put into the pics, I will remove all lens dirt and mistakes like lint, hair from the model. This is achieved with the clone tool or a more elaborate way using content aware tool in photoshop.
I also adjust color of clothing to accent things like pnaties or a shirt, and remove backgrounds via a dodge tool to brighten the background to pure white. Then this creates a high key light effect where I only want the model focused. Cloth props create wrinkles and I need to remove these with the dodge tool. Sometimes the creative wrinkles are ok.
What about stocking runs or holes? I have noticed in some pics I had to remove problems in promo pics such as holes in pantyhose that escaped my eye during the photoshoot.
More elaborate editing was done when I want a effect and need to do lots of painting with a tablet to create a scene. I am showing a few here. These are beyond the scope of this blog, but there are youtube tutorials for about anything. I use zbrush and 3dsmax for many projects as I started in 3D art prior to getting into dolls. I am showing a pics here for you that I created from scratch!
Anyway, the best advice is start from youtube tutorials and even get into a class with an instructor led course. You can take classes at a college which will help tremendously. I am self taught, and have always enjoyed computer work.
This one was made is 3dsmax and zbrush and rendered in Vray. Post painted in photoshop
What strikes me about this one is the facial expression on the 'live' girl. The wires coming out of the 'inactive cyborg' came out nice and just look at the cyborgs ass! Damn, that's lovely to look at. So much in this scene that strikes me! Expressions are everything in these renders..
Part of a set for JM and YL. These pics go out to their resellers.
One of my favorites. Sent this one out for printing 24x36
She can be naughty, but heck she loves the attention!
Click image for gallery and full-size photos.