We all remember Antti Karppinen from his original Photoshop techniques such as color matching for compositing images and creating composites with multiple exposures. In this video, Karppinen takes the challenge one step further and explains how he achieved the porcelain look on his recent project “Ghost in the Shell Robot Geisha” image.
First, he creates the standard frequency separation layers, and uses the lasso tool on the low-frequency layer to make the transitions on the colors smoother. Then, he uses the smudge tool on the high-frequency layer to get rid of all the skin textures to make the model’s face smoother. In this way, he gets the matte looking like a smooth surface on the model’s face.
The second step is the part where you’ll require basic 3D techniques. Karppinen uses Blender which is a free and open-source 3D modeling and rendering software, and he uses a free human head model in Blender, by setting the lights in the 3D scene as he did on his photo shoot. Therefore, he achieves the actual reflections on the final 3D render, that he can use as reflections layer on his photo. The final step of the project is just combining the 3D render with reflections and the actual photo itself, by adjusting with puppet warp tool in Photoshop.
This glossy porcelain looks on models have also been used by the retoucher Cristian Girotto, on his personal projects and collaborations with well-known photographer Tim Tadder. We sure don’t know whether they used the same technique on those projects, but this method that Karppinen explains look quite close in terms of the result.
What do you think about this technique? Would it be possible to achieve the same result without using 3D software? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.