Digital Plastic Surgery

Status: Online tutorial
image For those who still don't realize that all those beautiful models you see in magazines have benefitted from the aid of photoshop, the Swedish Ministry of Health and Social Affairs has created an online tutorial to demonstrate exactly how photo editors manipulate appearances. They write:

The media world is becoming increasingly fixated on appearances. And the number of tricks used to achieve the increasingly exaggerated ideals is growing. Many models have plastic surgery and even more are retouched so they appear to have bigger breasts, smaller stomachs or fuller lips. We wanted to show how easy it is to change someone’s appearance in this campaign.

Now they should do a companion tutorial to show what real plastic surgery can do.

Body Manipulation

Posted on Wed Dec 14, 2005


Well, when you think about it, even makeup is a form of "retouching." Combine that with colored contacts and botox shots and you can look just as phony in real life.
Posted by Citizen Premier  in  spite of public outcry  on  Wed Dec 14, 2005  at  10:25 PM
I always wondered about those coloured contacts: do they make the world look coloured to the person wearing them?
Posted by Accipiter  on  Thu Dec 15, 2005  at  03:57 AM
That site is rather interesting. I've not had the opportunity to see before and after pics before
Posted by Nettie  in  Perth, Western Australia  on  Thu Dec 15, 2005  at  06:09 AM
I don't know if a plastic surgery one would be what they're going for. It may just convince girls that they should get plastic surgery or something.
Posted by Razela  in  Chicago, IL  on  Thu Dec 15, 2005  at  10:13 AM
As someone who wears colored contacts, I can answer that question, Accipiter. No, they don't make the world look colored unless the colored part slips onto your pupil, which usually doesn't happen. The center of a contact that goes over your pupil is clear.
Posted by Sakano  in  Ohio  on  Thu Dec 15, 2005  at  01:37 PM
It's simple. Photoshop's "smart blur" filter is the key, and one of the reasons why Photoshop is so expensive. That, and "diffuse glow". A combination of the two will at the very least fix blotchy skin. Playboy's centrefolds from the early 1990s seem to have been transformed into quasi-airbrush art as a consequence (perhaps because people feel less guilty about buying a magazine with illustrations of nude women rather than photographs of nude women, because illustrations are less real).

When I first used Photoshop my respect for graphic workers fell a couple of notches; firstly because of the "lens flare" filter, and secondly because of the above. I had a similar feeling when I bought my first proper synthesiser; Kraftwerk weren't all that clever after all, they were just first on the block.

As for "the media world is becoming increasingly fixated on appearances", this seems naive.
Posted by Ashley Pomeroy  on  Thu Dec 15, 2005  at  03:07 PM
This is a great tutorial - I work in the industry (photography) and I'm always amazed at how fantastic my stuff can look after several hours with the re-toucher.

Another thing they could have commented on is how photo shoots for images like this usually involve professional hair, makeup and wardrobe people as well as impressive photographic lighting (very, very sympathetic) and hundreds, if not thousands of images, for the one they finally choose.
Posted by Alastair  on  Thu Dec 15, 2005  at  03:16 PM
I clicked on the 'online tutorial' link... MY BROWSER KEEPS CLOSING WHEN I DO!!!
Posted by Christopher in Joplin, Missouri  in  Joplin, Mo  on  Fri Dec 16, 2005  at  04:45 AM
Several years ago one of the TV news magazines had a segment on eating disorders and they went through the computer tricks used to make models seem even "better" than before. The only one I remember is making the legs longer but I know there were others and since this involved eating disorders they probably involved making the body appear slimer. Hollywood is doing a good job teaching young girls to kill themselves.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Sun Dec 18, 2005  at  08:07 PM
Hell, I'll have a paranoia
I'm starting to think that many plastic surgeons could use photoshop retouch to show the amazing results on some before-and after pic.
You know, something like
Posted by Lucy  in  Dallas  on  Wed Nov 28, 2007  at  04:10 AM
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