August 29, 2006
-- by Dave Johnson
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How did they do it? It's all basic retouching, this has been standard practice for decades. I know because that used to be my job as a photo retoucher.
There's an old issue of AdBusters that went heavily into this sort of manipulation, you ought to see it. Someone leaked the retouch order sheet from a fashion magazine, it was a story about Michelle Pfeiffer's "Natural Look," but there was extensive editing to the images of her face and body, almost nothing was left unretouched.
It's fairly common to give women a little retouch to make them thinner by pulling the body in and up under the arms, a little tug at the waist to reduce the horizontal, etc. There is no great secret to it. If you want to try it for yourself, just get a straight-on portrait shot and reduce its horizontal (only) in Photoshop by just 2%. Compare it to the original, you'd be surprised at how much slimmer the person looks, and how hard it is to detect the change.
Posted by: Charles at August 29, 2006 9:08 PM
please Charles, "basic retouching"... They've changed her outfit in to a one piece and taken like 30 pounds off of her (see commenters at HotAir for details)
As for the person who wrote this post.. You're linking to me as someone making this Couric situation out to be a "liberal conspiracy".. in fact you link the word "conspiracy" to my post... where do I imply a liberal conspiracy about this?
Posted by: Randy at August 29, 2006 10:22 PM
I wouldn't say this is any "liberal conspiracy," it's more of a "beauty conspiracy" that is common to any women who appear in magazines.
It is rather hard to explain in words how the retouching is done. Picasso is quoted as saying, when asked to explain one of his paintings, "if I could explain it in words, I would have been a writer, not a painter!" It would be really easy to show you how it's done in Photoshop, and there are plenty of video tutorials sold to the professional market that do exactly that.
But the overall changes aren't as great as you think. I don't see any major rework to her outfit, the tones are reduced so it's flatter overall, you can't really see where the top overlays the skirt, it's all in shadow now. A little clone brush and the top merges nicely into the bottom. The original image has very poor color, it's too yellow, so a little color balancing was necessary. This also allowed the retoucher to conceal a little of his work, by darkening the areas below the arms, so it isn't so obvious what he's doing.
Anyway, to retouch and "slim" a woman, you merely need to do a little cutting, pasting, transforming, and cloning. But each area needs to be treated separately, you can't just reduce the whole photo horizontally, as some parts of the photo aren't symmetrical to the vertical axis. As an example, it appears her face is slightly slimmed, so the retoucher would isolate her face, set up an axis that runs vertically down the center of her face, and compress it slightly along that axis. The retoucher's art is making sure each isolated transformation is in proportion to the rest of her body, using his knowledge of human anatomy.
Slimming hips, for example, is relatively simple. You just take the real edge of her hips, cut out that profile, then repaste it a little bit inwards. With a little warping and transforming, you can make it match the rest of the body fairly easily, although this is a bit harder when the subject is wearing a pattern like a striped skirt. When the "patch" is in the right position and proportions, a little work with the clone brush and maybe even some hand painting, and you can hardly tell it was retouched. Some of the most minor retouches have significant visual effects, for example, a miniscule "lift" of the line under the armpits makes the torso and arms look significantly thinner. And this image has that specific retouch done to it.
Any skilled Photoshop artist would be easily capable of retouching and repainting parts of Couric's body skillfully enough to make changes that were almost indistinguishable from the original. And in fact, that is exactly the case, people had to overlay the pictures before they figured it out.
Posted by: Charles at August 29, 2006 11:02 PM
equally shocking is photo de-touching....
It's humorously (or clinically) revealing about the right-wing mind. They have their designated targets -- people they have decided, by whatever process they employ, are "liberals". Then they come up with some kind of attack on them. It's funny in this case that because Couric is a woman they've decided to attack her for being fat and trying to deceive the world about it. Says a lot more about their minds than about anything else.
It's much simpler than that. Not easy, but simple.
Erase patches under the arms and on the outside of the legs, then use the healing brush tool to fill in the background. Then use other tools to correct, etc.
Or, what I prefer to do is to select the erased areas, drag the selections over to representative bits of background, copy, drag back, and paste; then do the detail work by hand. It's less precise at first, but you get more control over the final result.
This is about a 30-minute job. Good work, but not master-class or anything.
Posted by: Sadly, No! Research Labs at August 30, 2006 1:04 PM
Come on Davie boy... you aren't going to even attempt to defend your claim that we (me in particularly) made this in to a liberal conspiracy. This is ridiculous, but far from an example of liberal media... we have dozens of examples of that every day, but this isn't one of them. This is just vain bullsh**, and not surprising considering we're talking about CBS here. Interesting development, considering their last anchor left in shame after using fake documents to smear the president on the eve of an aelection... They want to win viewers back by faking the appearance of their replacement anchor? You can't make this stuff up.
Of course they've taken the fall, even though Couric's handlers certainly had a hand in this.. But it doesn't matter, they dropped like 30 pounds off of her, changed up the colors, made her outfit appear as a one piece, etc. etc. By the way, they've admitted and apologized for this... When are you going to apologize for lying about what I said about this? Again, you say us conservative bloggers, and me in particular implied this is a liberal conspiracy and I said nothing of the sort. Where's the retraction? Oh that's right, liberals aren't concerned with honesty. (here's where you try to spin off on some tangent about Fox News, using the classic liberal diversion technique.)
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