Can AI retouch a portrait better than a skilled editor?

by Jeremy Gray

Posted on Tuesday, December 21, 2021 at 10:45 a.m. EST

Looks like artificial intelligence, or AI, is all over the place in photography right now. It is present in software like Photoshop, Luminar, Capture One and even the cameras themselves. AI can do a lot. But can he retouch the skin of portraits? Untangle Dinda from PiXimperfect answers this question in his latest video.

In the video below, Dinda tests a Photoshop plugin, Retouch4me. The AI-based blemish retouching software can be used as a plug-in or as a stand-alone application for macOS and Windows. It costs $ 93, on sale from $ 124. There is a separate AI tool, Dodge & Burn, which uses AI to selectively lighten and darken a portrait. It costs $ 112, on sale from $ 149. The tools are expensive. However, if they work well, it could be a worthwhile investment for portrait photographers as touching up skin by hand can take a bit of time.

Therein lies the big question, do the tools work well? Dinda compares the Retouch4me tools to other AI tools, such as Luminar and Photoshop’s neural filters. He also compares it to manual editing. Dinda is exceptionally good at editing. However, even for an experienced editor, it can take at least 30-40 minutes to manually remove imperfections and perform dodging and burning. If you need to edit multiple images, the time adds up quickly. On the other hand, the Photoshop action works almost instantly and does a really impressive job. See for yourself.

Dinda then moves on to a larger discussion about the limits of AI versus human creativity. AI tools can save you a lot of time and a lot of hassle. For some tasks, even complex ones like skin retouching, AI can do an amazing job. However, wherever there’s room for human creativity to enter the equation, AI can’t quite match a skilled photographer. At least not yet.

If you’re looking to learn how to do high-end skin retouching by hand, which is a useful skill to add to any bag of portrait or fashion photographer tips, see below to watch Dinda work on the photo. shown in the video above.

He has lots of fantastic Photoshop tutorials covering virtually every photo editing topic on his YouTube channel, so be sure to check them out.

(via PiXimparfait)

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