Beautifying people in Vegas

Laurence wrote on 4/20/2013, 11:13 AM
I just bought BeautyBox and am trying it out by adding it to a recent project. Looks great but boy is it rendering slowly. I'm also using about a 5% vertical stretch to make them look a bit skinnier. Subtle, but between the two effects it really is quite amazing how much better they look.

What got me on to all this was doing stills and touching up the faces with Portrait Professional. Yeah, it's cheating, but boy does it look good. It put me on a quest to be able to do the same thing with Vegas.

I also tried the New Blue FX skin smoothing filter from Video Essentials, but that is nowhere near enough control.

Are there any other beautification tips that any of you all use?


Tom Pauncz wrote on 4/20/2013, 11:31 AM
+1 for BeautyBox, Laurence.
musicvid10 wrote on 4/20/2013, 11:50 AM
Beautification software would do nothing for me.
Ugly is what it is.
larry-peter wrote on 4/20/2013, 12:08 PM
I'm with musicvid. I do very little work where making beautiful people more beautiful is called for. I confront ugly every day. In my industrial work I do admit to occasional use of AE to remove skin tags or Vegas' Secondary CC to whiten teeth of a aging CEO. Glamorous work.

Laurence wrote on 4/20/2013, 12:09 PM
Here is without BB or the slight vertical stretch:

And here is with Beauty Box and BCC8 uprez doing a 5% vertical stretch:

Laurence wrote on 4/20/2013, 12:12 PM
It looks a little soft to me. There is a sharpening feature on Beauty Box that I currently have at 10%. I think I will push it a little further. You can also tweak the amount of skin smoothing quite a bit. I toned it way down from the defaults but I think it is still a little much.
john_dennis wrote on 4/20/2013, 12:31 PM
[personal opinion]

Stop tinkering with the original.

I recently commented to my wife about how many superstars have pointy chins. Now, I understand.

[/personal opinion]

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Laurence wrote on 4/20/2013, 12:44 PM
If this was Facebook, I would "like" your post. I'm sort of conflicted about this. On one hand I like honesty, on the other I really believe that making people look their best is at least half of what they pay me to do.


OK, I've backed off the skin smoothing a little and added a little more sharpening. Really curious as everyone's opinion of this.

Looking at it now, still way too soft! I absolutely swear it was way sharper before I uploaded it to Vimeo!
Laurence wrote on 4/20/2013, 1:16 PM
OK, the BCC8 uprez is where I'm losing the resolution. Taking it out of the chain and leaving Beauty Box looks pretty good. Will render and upload a version of that later.

Ahh! The quality setting on the BCC8 uprez was set to "fast". "Magic Sharp" is looking so much better.
rmack350 wrote on 4/20/2013, 1:34 PM
You can make a feathered mask for a soften effect over just the area you want to soften (or sharpen).

I find that if I can leave the majority of the image alone and just focus on the trouble area that the effect looks more natural. So, for example, you might retain the detail in people's hair and then it's harder to confirm that the face was softened.

The shots look very nice without the fiddling, but I can understand wanting to stretch your skills a bit.


Spot|DSE wrote on 4/20/2013, 2:12 PM
Copy an original track
Put blur and glow on the top.
Put the top track into Overlay or Screen mode (Sometimes Mult mode works, depends on source.
You can also use cookie cutter or a mask to cut/soften areas.
Toss em' both under a master Parent, control everything at once.
mx1497 wrote on 4/20/2013, 5:46 PM
Looks very good. What is that a Canon camera?

I predict, in the future, the beauty software will be built into the camera...or has it already happened?
JJKizak wrote on 4/20/2013, 7:14 PM
We have enough problems with stretchovision now without complicating the issue with this nonsense. Now with this stuff we will need automatic de-stretchers to get everything back to the way it is supposed to be. It took a million years of research to get the lens aspect linearity down to 1% distortion and now we go to the tweek the hell out of it mode to make people fat or skinny. Well lets see now, will we film today in the "fat" mode or "skinny mode". The TV manufactureres will have to add another 10,000 combinations of "stretchofat" or "stretcho thin" modes to view it properly. I can't wait for this new technology to hit the stores.
larry-peter wrote on 4/20/2013, 9:50 PM
In the far distant future, scientists will struggle with reconciling the theory of evolution with photographic evidence that 21st century humans were obviously made of plastic.
JasonATL wrote on 4/21/2013, 7:01 AM

I agree with your comment about being conflicted about this. When reading through this, I felt the same as others have expressed - that the "truth" is what it is.

But, we rarely every show the exact image as it is. We warm it up, cool it down, add a gradient, vignetting, add/subtract contrast, etc. to fit the look and feel we want. To me, the key is for the look (including the effects that we add to the talent) to fit the content.

By the way, I thought the content of the two videos was excellent and, in my opinion, better served in this case by the sharper, straight-forward, less-processed images.

If you have Magic Bullet Looks, it has "Cosmo" (a skin softener), which I almost never use. But I find myself using "Telecine Net" sometimes, which has the effect of softening skin and adding the glow that I think is probably similar to what Spot is suggesting. It also has a fairly aggressive look that can be dialed down as needed. It isn't a look I like for all content, but it works with some.

Finally, I agree that it is our job (or prerogative) to make it look good (better?). Sometimes that means softening skin, sometimes that means making it "harsher".
ushere wrote on 4/21/2013, 9:20 AM
just stick nylon behind the lens ;-)
rs170a wrote on 4/21/2013, 9:38 AM
just stick nylon behind the lens ;-)

Black, white, beige, nude, other colours?
What brand?
The questions are (almost) endless ;)

Spot|DSE wrote on 4/21/2013, 10:36 AM
Black nylon has a very smooth styling. It can also b place in front of the lens to a different a/effect.

In the process I mentioned above, applying slight vertical to the Parent works nicely too.
larry-peter wrote on 4/21/2013, 11:25 AM
+1 to the black nylon/net approach, along with lighting or post techniques that have an affect on the entire scene. To me, there is a creative honesty as well as an organic look to techniques that create an overall mood to a scene. I just haven't been pleased aesthetically by the software solutions (in camera or post) that deal specifically with skin.
RalphM wrote on 4/21/2013, 12:25 PM
I'm not much of a fan of the stretching, but the skin softening, etc. serves a valid purpose. .

People are generally uncomfortable when seeing themselves on video. Having seen on-screen movie and TV personalities, they subconsciously compare themselves to those images, forgetting that the talent had the benefit of professional makeup, lighting and post production support. Not every production has the budget for that level of support.

To the extent we can make our subjects feel better about how they appear, the more willing they will be to get in front of our cameras in the future.
smhontz wrote on 4/21/2013, 12:54 PM
I like a little softening on women's faces (and I think they appreciate it, too). But the stretching looks unnatural to me - like it's a weird race of giraffe people or something.
Laurence wrote on 4/21/2013, 6:16 PM
Stretch is gone. Looks unnatural to me too, plus it's too soft and it takes forever to render. Gone!

I actually like the softening on the two older people.
Rory Cooper wrote on 4/22/2013, 3:25 AM
+1 Yep call this plug Gawdy unblur with a simple slider. Realistic – delusional