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Touching Up A 3d Image In Post

By Joseph Mirabello
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Date Added: 22nd June 2009
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Color Adjustment and Final Touches

An over-the-top 3d retouching example wouldn't be complete without some last minute color adjustment. This process is really easy and can be used for just about anything, not just retouching 3d pieces in post. Here's the image where we last left off:

Ever since Photoshop 6, Adobe has included these neat little things called "adjustment layers". Basically it's any of the "image>adjust>" effects that can be used as layers themselves, effecting anything below them and maintaining editbility. That's what we're going to use.*

*If you don't have Photoshop 6 or above, you can do this, but you need to save a flattened version of your file and use "Image>Adjust>" on that. Otherwise you won't affect all of the layers collectively.

Click on the small half circle icon on the bottom of your Layers Pallette. This opens a menu of various adjustment effects. Choose "Color Balance"

I wanted the image to have an overall more "blueish" tint. To achieve this I used the following settings:

This resulted in a much more "cold" and brooding feel, which is exactly what I wanted. Using subtle tint of color in your work can affect the overall feel. Follow the old color theory idioms: Reds are warm, energetic, and pop out. Blues are cold, slow and recede.

Other touch ups:
After all is said and done, I played around with the noise layer a little bit and I also applied adjustment layers to touch up contrast and saturation a little. Keep in mind working on a piece in Post is half technique and half personal preference.

Here's the finished image.

versus the original:


And here's a view of the final Layers and Channels Pallettes:

There are other effects we can apply to the picture, but for the most part it's about done. It may look a little too glitzy with all the different edits to it applied at once, but no one says you have to use all of them. Pick and choose what you think looks best in your image and if you can, try and use the 3d Package itself to calculate effects (especially backlights and depth-of-field effects). Don't feel the need to go as overboard as this example, being subtle can go a long way. Look at the Gallery and see if you can spot any possible post effects; on the best images you won't be able to tell if the effect was rendered or created in post.

I hope you found this tutorial to be useful/informative.

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