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Archive 2012 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin
jzucker
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


I'm getting extremely blotchy skin using the default settings. It renders the software unusable.

Using a canon 5d MK II, windows 7, photoshop cs6

Anyone using Portrait Professional?

I'm having a problem with blotchyness. Here's an example:

www.jackzucker.com/images/ppblotchies.jpg

Portrait professional, shot in raw, histogram is normal, resolution = 5,616 3,744, no not the first time. Happens most of the time.

I'm wondering also if the image size (5d MK II) is contributing to the problem. I don't see this happening on web size images but on 21MP images it happens on every image. Some worse than others. Sometimes I can correct with the healing brush but this image was unusable after PP. I have several emails into their customer support. It's too bad too because I love the program. Saves a huge amount of time for things like brightening the eyes, surface blur with auto-mask for eyes, nose, lips, portrait resharpening, etc.

My guess is that it saves about 20-25 minutes per image but it just doesn't produce professional quality results at this point. I'm hoping that I have some configuration file that's out of whack or something simple or that someone else has also seen this and knows a workaround.







Jul 17, 2012 at 10:54 AM
RDKirk
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


Do you have an example of how it handles actual skin problems?

Otherwise, the solution is to dial down the skin smoothing sliders.



Jul 17, 2012 at 04:57 PM
jzucker
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


Dialing down the sliders does not help in this case. More and more I'm thinking it's a resolution issue. If I resize the exact same image down to websize, the exact same (default) parameters produce no artifacts.

It does do a good job reducing overall rough skin. It seems to work approximately like my manual workflow:

Heal major acne with healing brush
dup layer
surface blur with non reveal mask
paint in skin with white brush
reduce opacity of blurred layer
copy eyes onto their own layer, set blend to screen, non reveal brush
paint in iris and whites with white brush
reduce opacity to taste
create fill layer with neutral gray
dodge and burn to create contouring
create composite layer
do final, last minute changes there including selective sharpening, liquify, etc.

However, it's about a 15-30 minute task vs. 3 minutes with PP. I have filed a problem report with Portrait Professional. I'm going to send them some data files tonight. I think the program is in bad need of an update which seems to be "just around the corner" for over a year now.

Hopefully I get a solution, otherwise it's back to the manual method.

I also use Portraiture 2 which works great but doesn't do the eye retouching or sharpening but that is a possibility. The thing is that while portraiture 2 does a great job softening skin, it does not obviate the need for healing brush whereas PP seems to get rid of about 90% of the blemishes.



Jul 17, 2012 at 05:10 PM
JBPhotog
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


FYI, I am getting it too on 16 bit Tiff files from my Nikon. I have turned Off Face Sculpt, Eye, Mouth and Hair controls. Leaving Skin Lighting and Skin controls On. The default of 5 Medium sensitivity on the Skin controls and the blotchiness is visible as in your screen shot. The Touch Up Brush has no affect to reduce these, it looks like a default way of crunching the pixels and makes the software pretty much unusable.


Jul 17, 2012 at 06:38 PM
jzucker
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


JBPhotog wrote:
FYI, I am getting it too on 16 bit Tiff files from my Nikon. I have turned Off Face Sculpt, Eye, Mouth and Hair controls. Leaving Skin Lighting and Skin controls On. The default of 5 Medium sensitivity on the Skin controls and the blotchiness is visible as in your screen shot. The Touch Up Brush has no affect to reduce these, it looks like a default way of crunching the pixels and makes the software pretty much unusable.


Thanks for the feedback. If you convert to 8 bit does the problem go away?

And what's your alternative workflow? Similar to mine?



Jul 17, 2012 at 06:45 PM
JBPhotog
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


Yeah no change from a 16 bit to 8 bit. Check this out, the higher the Spot Removal Sensitivity the more blotchiness shows. In fact it changes default horizontal skin highlights to vertical ones in patches which produces the blotchiness.

Oh forgot, yes I have to do it manually, time eater for sure. I really think I need to try out Portraiture 2 or Mama Shans brushes if I want to save a bit of time.



Jul 17, 2012 at 07:03 PM
vsg28
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


I have had the same issue. I also tried out PP Studio that has more options as well as RAW support and found the same thing. The studio version has better options but the end result still looks too blotchy/fake.


Jul 17, 2012 at 08:02 PM
jzucker
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


vsg28 wrote:
I have had the same issue. I also tried out PP Studio that has more options as well as RAW support and found the same thing. The studio version has better options but the end result still looks too blotchy/fake.


too bad. Did you guys report this? They are acting like they've never heard of this problem before.



Jul 17, 2012 at 08:14 PM
vsg28
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


I did report once, but never heard back from them. I would like to see if anyone did get a response for this.


Jul 17, 2012 at 08:28 PM
JBPhotog
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


Nada response.

Anthropics is very poor at customer service. I bought version Studio 64 version 10 last fall and still waiting for the v11 upgrade. I'm beginning to agree with others on their forum that the v11 is just a ploy to get people to buy the current version.



Jul 17, 2012 at 11:03 PM
 

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Mescalamba
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


I found that SW as very poor solution to something I need to do manually anyway cause no program can produce skin I want. Its pretty much useless.

For sort of "fast skin solution" is Color Efex.. neither that is perfect tho.



Jul 17, 2012 at 11:07 PM
jzucker
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


i disagree that it's a poor solution. Other than this bug, i have found it to be an excellent tool that has the potential to save a huge amount of time for a portrait business. It's obviously not meant for high end fashion but this bug is a deal-breaker IMO. Hopefully there will be some response from my ticket and the session file I supplied.


Jul 17, 2012 at 11:30 PM
JBPhotog
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


Maybe you'll have some luck with these guys, keep us posted if you wouldn't mind?


Jul 17, 2012 at 11:47 PM
jzucker
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


JBPhotog wrote:
Maybe you'll have some luck with these guys, keep us posted if you wouldn't mind?


I definitely will. It worries me that they've been hawking the version 11 upgrade for a year with no promise or hint of a shipping upgrade. Makes me wonder if there are any developers there? Could just be a marketing front for a 1x-only implementation of a retouching algorithm...I hope I'm wrong...



Jul 17, 2012 at 11:57 PM
jzucker
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


I heard back from Anthropics after sending them the raw session file for the image. Anthropics is saying they can't see the artifacts. Here's a cutout of what they are claiming they don't notice.

http://www.jackzucker.com/images/ppblotchies2.jpg



Jul 18, 2012 at 10:58 AM
RDKirk
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


I asked the question before: What happens when you use it on rough skin?

I've seen with noise reducers that if you use them on images that actually have little noise that they create artifacts, but work just fine with images that have heavy noise. It seems like if they don't have anything to work with, they do something to it anyway.



Jul 18, 2012 at 11:35 AM
jzucker
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


RDKirk wrote:
I asked the question before: What happens when you use it on rough skin?


Same thing. Artifacts.


I've seen with noise reducers that if you use them on images that actually have little noise that they create artifacts, but work just fine with images that have heavy noise. It seems like if they don't have anything to work with, they do something to it anyway.


The way these programs work is by using various combinations of surface blur, gaussian blur, inverted high pass filters, etc. They are not actually analyzing blemish patterns. It's not like a noise reduction software package. If it were, you'd have to create a profile for each image of the types of blemishes the person has. And what if a person has acne in some places and not in others? The software needs to not generate artifacts with high resolution images. The same image does not generate artifacts if resized down by 1/2. That's telling to me...




Jul 18, 2012 at 11:44 AM
vsg28
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


jzucker wrote:
I heard back from Anthropics after sending them the raw session file for the image. Anthropics is saying they can't see the artifacts. Here's a cutout of what they are claiming they don't notice.

http://www.jackzucker.com/images/ppblotchies2.jpg


Why am I not surprised?



Jul 18, 2012 at 04:53 PM
JBPhotog
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


jzucker wrote:
I heard back from Anthropics after sending them the raw session file for the image. Anthropics is saying they can't see the artifacts. Here's a cutout of what they are claiming they don't notice.

http://www.jackzucker.com/images/ppblotchies2.jpg


What setting are you using for the Spot Removal Sensitivity? It changes default horizontal skin highlights to vertical ones in patches which produces the blotchiness you are seeing. Try turning it off and see if you get the same thing. If that works they you'll have to use the Spot Healing brush in PS first before applying PortPro.


Edited on Jul 18, 2012 at 10:27 PM · View previous versions



Jul 18, 2012 at 08:52 PM
jzucker
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


I'm using setting 5 (out of 10). You've solved the problem. Thanks though it shouldn't produce results this bad.

Even a setting of 1 leaves artifacts. A setting of 0 does not create the artifacts. So now what?

Obviously, turn it off and do spot retouching with the healing brush...Will have to evaluate how the skin looks without this. I wonder about the high rez images?



Jul 18, 2012 at 10:02 PM
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