Product Retouch (Part 1)

Product retouching is often an essential requirement and a useful skill for any photographer.

In this Photoshop class Viktor and Karl retouch a product image, shot by Karl. Simulating a typical photographer-retoucher relationship, Viktor works through the set list of requirements provided by Karl, methodically working through each step and explaining his process.

This initial stage of the retouching process sees Viktor work on focus stacking the image, removing dust and scratches, changing the background and making subtle adjustments to the tones of the specific highlights and shadows.

NOTE: You can download the visual aid layers used in this class from our Downloads section.

In this Photoshop class we cover the following:

  • How to retouch product photos
  • How to focus stack an image in Photoshop
  • Image clean up: Removing dust and scratches with Photoshop
  • Cutting out images using bezier pen tool
  • How to change an image background
  • Correcting saturation and tone in Photoshop

To understand the entire process of shooting and retouching a product image, you can watch the original photoshoot here, too.

More classes on retouching product images can also be found in our Product section.

If you have any questions about this class, please post in the comment section below ?


  1. Hi Carl, I’ve noticed that your videos only allow viewing ONCE – every time I stopped a video, either in progress or finished, if I come back to watch again, it would not play at all. If I click other fresh videos that I’ve not watched, they will play, so it’s not a network problem. Are you aware of this, or is it a feature of this course? I set a time to watch this course and only find that I am not able to proceed – how frustrating!

    1. BTW, switched to Chrome and it played! Using Safari it wouldn’t play – any idea why? I hate Chrome and don’t want to use it just for this course

  2. Andréanne

    Are the lens of the Viktor’s glasses tinted ? If yes, why and what kind of tint ? Is it for the purpose of retouching ? Thanks in advance et sorry for my bad english.

  3. Thank you to the both of you for another great class. I was wondering… were any adjustments made to the raw images before focus stacking them? In some of the other tutorials Viktor started with some Camera Raw adjustments before opening the images in Photoshop, so I was just wondering what his process would be for making raw adjustments in relation with focus stacking multiple images. Or would this step be skipped? BR Sanna

    1. Hi, to be honest I can’t remember. The only thing I normally do is colour balance check but that is usually set at the time of the shoot and then minor contrast or exposure adjustments if necessary.

  4. Gary Stasiuk

    I’ve learned quite a bit to speed up my selections with the pen tool. I also spent he effort to create my own actions to generate a new series of layers much as Viktor’s sets, but I’ve used my own sub routine actions, names and similar stack. After watching these as a set, I will forever alter my pattern for editing. I do much of what Viktor does but in a far more hap-hazard approach, even though I wanted a more coordinated, concise and organized layer set. Lots of little hints and suggestions that make the difference. I’m also very interested in techniques and approaches to colour grade images. If Viktor has that further on, I’ll eagerly watch those, otherwise I would be very interested in material related to that to be added.

  5. Sorry I’m new to this but when taking the images to stack together to get a sharp image is the focus point the same in each image (on the same point) or does it move with each image – hope this makes sense

  6. Greatest Tutorial Rarl and Victor, as all! But, I’ve got a question: where I can find the solarize preset (08’05”).

  7. Great tutorial. One question – for $30 product shots, what would be the fastest method to do cutouts to make it viable to offer within this price point?

    1. I have watched that video. But there is no info on performing cutouts of products from backgrounds. maybe I was not descriptive enough. I was wanting to learn the best method for doing post cutouts of products from plain backgrounds for pack shots. Many commercial photographers in my area offer it in their $30 pricing structure. So in order to be competitive I would like some advise of what the best method to do cutouts (deep etching) from backgrounds would be and or how precise those masks should be for the price. It is currently taking me way too long to provide that service

      Thanks for you help

  8. DougHowell

    Oops sorry hit the enter button, but I also wanted to say that Viktor is very methodical in his work and while it is laborious, Viktor is right to say it is important.
    If one knows about Photoshop and is adept, Viktor’s class is very easy to follow and adds many new techniques and tricks to use and greatly improve your results.

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