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Miscellaneous objects retouching

There are lots of other items that can be sold online. Bags and shoes are the most popular, but you might encounter things like hats, gloves, wallets, umbrellas, cosmetics. Miscellaneous objects than need retouching, nothing more.

There is nothing specific about these items, nothing that we haven't mentioned already. If you work with cosmetics, it means you work with reflections and dust on plastic or metal surfaces. Hats will often be made of or decorated with fur, which is tricky to isolate. But there's nothing special about all these items. When you know how to retouch objects, you can retouch any objects, they just differ in size, shape, and material.

You know already how to work with metal, plastic, leather, textile, and other materials, you know how to work with shapes, how to remove reflections and props from the images. When you work with really big objects, you have more lighting issues, as it's hard to make the lighting even when you shoot really huge things like wardrobes or window shades. When you work with small items like jewelry you'll deal with focus issues, as it's a problem to shoot tiny things while keeping the images sharp enough.

It doesn't really matter which objects exactly you are dealing with. Think of them not as items like bags, shoes, hats, and gloves, but as shapes and materials – smooth or textured. This is what matters when you retouch objects. In the following Photoshop tutorial, I'll retouch a few different items so that you can see that a belt is not much different from a suitcase.

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This belt was properly prepared and shot in good conditions. The background is clean, as well as the belt itself. All I have to do here is use the Magic Wand to select the background, run the isolating action and restore the shadow with the History brush. After resizing and aligning, it looks perfect and I don't even have to clean any trash as there's none. Catalogue retouching is not about making ugly things look nice, it's supposed to be a smooth and fast process. So don't be surprised when there's nothing to do except isolate and resize, because this is normal.

This key chain here is hanging on a piece of wire, which I'm going to remove with the help of the Eraser and the Clone Stamp tool. It's a good idea to zoom as it's a pretty small area. I don't have to be very precise as I am going to smudge it a little with the Mixer Brush afterwards. After isolating with the usual combination of the Magic Wand and the isolating action, I'll resize and align the image and use the Spot Healing tool to remove a few grains of dust from the toy. That's all.

The tie's top is overexposed and it also doesn't look straight. I'll use the Liquify to improve the situation. Then I'll use the Burn Tool on the overexposed part to make it darker, but it doesn't work so well as it also becomes bluish. The Burn tool often causes weird color shifts despite the Protect Tones checkbox being checked all the time. So I'll switch to the Brush in Color mode and paint over the bluish spot to fix it. All that's left is isolation, which is done with the same method as before. Don't be surprised that the shadow looks so huge, as it's a pretty normal shadow for an object like this. As long as all the ties on the website look like this, it's okay. Make sure there's no trash in the shadow. And I'll also use the Brush in Color mode to desaturate it, as it's too blue. Before using it, I'll press D to set the Foreground color to black. Now it works the same as the Sponge tool, which can also be used for the same effect.

This ski mask has a pompom made of fur, so I have to pay attention when isolating. I'll do the same thing as always – use the Magic Wand together with the isolating action. Then I'll restore the shadow with the History brush – here I just have to watch for the pieces of background sticking to the object – this is where the shadow is supposed to be. The pompom was partly eaten, so I'll restore it, too, and then use the Dodge tool in Highlights mode to make the gray halo around it less noticeable. After aligning and resizing the image, there's nothing left to do with it.

Let's retouch something that was not shot properly for a change. This bottle of nail polish is seriously blending with the background. It might be tricky to isolate it with the Magic Wand, but this method is still preferable to using the Pen tool as it's much faster. I'll make a Rectangular selection around the bottle so that I don't have to use the Magic Wand too many times, set the Magic Wand's Tolerance to 5 and click it around while holding Alt to subtract the background from my selection, thus selecting the bottle only. It is not a perfect selection though, but it's easy to fix if I press Q and switch to the Quick Mask mode. There I'll grab the huge Eraser with a relatively hard tip and use it to fix my mask. I'll press X to switch between the Black Foreground and White Background color samples so that I can use just this Eraser to both add to and erase from the mask. It doesn't have to be perfectly smooth as the isolating action has a smoothing effect as well. All I have to do is quit the Quick Mask mode by pressing Q again, invert the selection and run the isolating action. After that all I have to do is restore the shadow, align and resize and remove this dark dot from the bottle. That's it.

The last object for today is this suitcase. There are some threads hanging from above, probably used to hang and support bags, so I'll just erase them all. The suitcase is pretty dirty, but don't worry, we'll deal with that later. As for the isolation process, it's as simple as before. I'll just click around with the Magic Wand. But I'll make a small shadow this time, just to show you that it doesn't have to be big. I'll use the Quick Selection tool to include it into my selection. After running the isolating action, I'll use the History Brush around the wheels to restore the shadow. Time to align and resize. As the image is pretty small now, almost all the dust and dirt is gone. This is why I did not bother to clean it before – because I would have done a lot of unnecessary work. Now I'll just run the Dust & Scratches action, the one that works in a subtle way, and use the History Brush to remove dust and a single hair stuck to the wheel. And we're finished.


As you see, it doesn't really matter which items exactly you are working with. There are no unique items in product retouching, they have similarities and common properties. Do what you have to do with each kind of surface and solve all the problems one by one, and you'll be fine.

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