Fundamentals of Post-Production

In this informative live-show replay, Karl focuses on key post-production techniques and the four cornerstones of manipulating images in Photoshop.

Starting with the most important concept, Karl delves into colour and colour theory, explaining why it is so important to understand the RGB colour model. He also explains how, by understanding hue, saturation and luminosity, we can make almost any adjustment, including ‘sharpening’ an image, ‘removing’ creases in clothes or even smoothing skin.

Showing ‘before’ and ‘after’ examples of some of his own commercial images, Karl demonstrates his workflow and explains how he decides what needs to be retouched.

As the show unfolds, he answers common questions from members. These include ‘What is noise?’, “What are the best tools for skin retouching?’, ‘How can I change the brightness of an image without affecting the colour?’ and more.

In this class:

  • Understanding the RGB colour model
  • What is hue, saturation and luminosity
  • How to ‘sharpen’ images in Photoshop
  • Guiding the eye in an image
  • Burning and dodging in Photoshop
  • Professional retouching workflow in Photoshop
  • Adjusting colour and contrast using Curves

Remember you can also find a whole range of additional classes in our Post-Production section, ranging from beginner to advanced. 

Questions? Please post in the comments section below.


  1. Could you please remind me the correct name of the professional retoucher that you mentioned at the beginning of the video Victor F…? I could not understand the last name. Thank you!

    1. Hi, that’s Viktor Fejes you will see him in many of our Advanced Photoshop Classes and CGI work, check out the post production section. His company is called ‘Gild Studios’ in Los Angeles.

  2. I”m sitting here editing today and I am really enjoying these videos. I only subscribed recently, however, learning so much. Thank you!

    1. Thank you Sophie, glad to hear you are enjoying it. If you have any questions just let us know, all the best Karl.

  3. 2nd question today…
    What is the advantage of creating burn and dodge layers instead of simply using a burn/dodge brush, set to increase or decrease luminosity by the amount of your choosing?

    1. Hi Stephen, there is more control by using a curves adjustment layer for the B&D rather than the B&D tool, plus the layer is editable afterwards.

  4. Great explanation thanks. Question:
    You talk about software ‘recovering’ data from RAW files, or something similar. Is it that each pixel has a value of hue, saturation and luminosity, but the camera actually captures more potential values for each pixel that you can use the software to ‘uncover’? This is the impression I got. Or is it that just one value for each of the 3 elements in each pixel is recorded, and only RAW files allow you to change every single one, whereas once processed (to Tif or jpg or whatever) you can change fewer of the pixel values? Thanks it always confuses me when I hear about data being somehow hidden in pixels or being ‘recoverable’ like some ghostly presence…

  5. Hi Karl,

    I would like to learn about how to simulate motion blur in post production. Is it covered in any of the existing classes?



  6. thx
    i think it´s crutial to keep coming back to the basics. repeating and practicing and binging them back to awereness.
    sometimes i just do because i can and know how, just by using the tools. but thinking of the workflow on such a basic level show´s me how much more is actually possible.
    so thx for that.

    Robert Hartl

  7. Thank you for this Live Workshop! This was very eye opening and made me look at Photoshop very differently. One of those moments where it finally just clicks. The advance Post Production videos were a great further deep dive into this. This is the information I have honestly been searching for that other instructors are not teaching. I really need to figure out how to get to the workshop that Tim and you teach. Thank you for this awesome information.

  8. Thank you for your response.
    To clarify, I currently keep “two” 16 bit files – A “master” in one folder with all layers in tact, and a “print ready” in another folder which is flattened to one layer. If my printer automatically converts my 16 bit flat file to 8 bit, my thought was to just keep the “print ready” files as an 8 bit rather than the 16 bit I use now.
    For what it’s worth, I do print with a RIP from Image Print. I’ll check with them. I print with a 24″ Epson P6000.

    Thanks again so much for your response, and your attention to my inquiry.

  9. Hi Karl,

    This was a great episode; I’m always learning something new with each presentation. I was wondering, can you recommend any publications or online documents that go into depth about visual perception science? I think it is a powerful creative element (even a bit mystical!). On more than one occasion I have been on your portfolio site, or Tim Flach’s, just boring my eyes into the images wondering what is giving that extra UMPH! in addition to the well known techniques.
    Hope all is well with you and your Team! 🙂

    1. Hi Peter, I’m glad you enjoyed the show. I’m afraid the research that Tim and I have conducted over the years comes from a variety of sources including science papers, books, studies and scientific tests as well as the study of how and why optical illusions work. They are very varied and also include the study of the art work of the old masters and also a study of how the human brain processes colour and luminosity. We have collated all of that information into an understandable format in our workshop and as you understand for business reasons that is the only place we are happy to reveal all of what we’ve taken many years to learn

  10. VERY informative. One question –
    I believe you stated that printers all print @ 8 bit. I didn’t realize that. I do all my own printing on a wide format Epson. I edit in 16 bit, and send it to the printer as a flattened 16bit file. Does my printer then convert it down to 8 bit when it prints?
    If so, it seems like I could save my 16 bit “master” file as a flattened 8 bit file to send to the printer rather than my flattened 16 bit. Is that right?
    It would certainly save space on my hard drive, as the saved 8 bit file for printing would only be half the file size of the 16 bit.
    Thank you. Michael H. Cothran

    1. Hi Michel, yes printers only work from an 8 bit image but if you are keeping an 8 bit as well as a 16 bit then surely you are increasing your storage requirements. If you are looking for speed then converting your 16bit tiff to an 8bit even jpeg at quality 10 may speed up the printing process, it depeneds on the type of rip that your printer is using.

Leave a Comment