Skin Re-touching in Autodesk Combustion

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Skin retouching is mostly used for photographs, but rarely used with videos. Doing it with photographs is much easier than with a video. A photograph is a single image whereas a video is made up of many such images called frames and each frame is dissimilar to each other. There could be 15 to 30 frames in a one-second video. Thus making the task of skin re-touching in a video near to impossible. In this tutorial, we will see how to re-touch skin of an actor to remove blemishes and scars with the help of Autodesk Combustion 2008.


Video footage used in this tutorial can be downloaded from Hollywood Camera Work.

Step 1

Create a new composition. File->New

Skin Re touching in Autodesk Combustion

Step 2

You will see black composition screen. Now add footage File->Import Footage. You can change video format, resolution, etc by clicking on Source Option button.

Skin Re touching in Autodesk Combustion

Step 3

You will now see your footage in your composition. You need to do little adjustment to your workspace. You can use the toolbox buttons to add, change, zoom and switch the views. Use two or more view port layout by clicking the “view port layout button”. Change first view port to schematic view.

Skin Re touching in Autodesk Combustion

Skin Re touching in Autodesk Combustion

Step 4

Create new composition with the name “Upper Layer” and attach this composition node to previous one.

Skin Re touching in Autodesk Combustion

Now add discrete keyer and attach the node to “upper layer composition node”

Skin Re touching in Autodesk Combustion

Skin Re touching in Autodesk Combustion

Step 5

Before we do any visual enhancement, we shall create a new composition to see changes done to the final output. Otherwise, every time you will have to shift each composition node to view port to view the changes. Create new composition File->New. Name this composition “Final Composition”. Link it to previous node. Now to view this composition in the view port, select composition layer from the workspace area and drag it to view port. You can now view the final output.

Skin Re touching in Autodesk Combustion

Skin Re touching in Autodesk Combustion

Step 6

Double click on Discreet Keyer node to get its controls. Use the color dropper to select the skin area. Use tolerance offset, softness offset (important for later steps) to cover as much of skin area you can. See that you don`t over do this.

Skin Re touching in Autodesk Combustion

Step 7

Create a new composition and name it “lower layer”. Link lower layer composition node to first composition node.

Skin Re touching in Autodesk Combustion

Step 8

Now add compound blur Operators->Blur/Sharpen->Compound Blur. Link the nodes as shown in the screenshot.

Skin Re touching in Autodesk Combustion

Step 9

Double click on compound Blur Node. Go to compound blur control panel and change the value of blur until the blemishes and pimples disappear.

Skin Re touching in Autodesk Combustion

Step 10

Add Discreet Color Corrector Operator (Operators->Color Correction->Discreet Color Correcter) and add its node between compound blur and the final composition node. This will allow you to change the skin tones. Double click on Discreet Color Corrector node to get the control options. Values will depend totally on the video of the actor that is used. Also don`t over do this. In addition, we will again do this step for entire footage later on. If you are new to this, it is better not to change the values for now. You can come back to this later once color correction for entire picture is completed. Make sure that the layer are properly organised. “Lower layer” should be below “upper layer”.

Skin Re touching in Autodesk Combustion

Skin Re touching in Autodesk Combustion

Step 11

Add sharpen between Discreet color corrector and final composition node. Sharpen just a little bit.

Skin Re touching in Autodesk Combustion

Step 12

Create a new composition and drag it to view port. Add “add Noise” (Operators->Noise->Add Noise) and “Discreet Color Corrector” (Operators->Color Correction->Discreet Color Corrector) Operators and link the node as shown in the screenshot. You can use other color correction tools also.

Skin Re touching in Autodesk Combustion

Step 13

Double click on Discreet Color Corrector to get the control options. Adjust the curves and Histogram for midtones, shadows, higlights and RGB channels. This adjustment totally depends upon your video footage. I used the following vales that work for me with this footage.

Skin Re touching in Autodesk Combustion

Step 14

Double click on Add noise and slightly increase the noise. This gives your video more natural look.

Skin Re touching in Autodesk Combustion

With few minute adjustments you are done. Render the output composition.

 

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