Practical Beauty Work – Why You Need To Be Offering It

May 7, 2018

Beauty work and re-touching can be a great additional source of income as a freelance colourist. Dan shares his thoughts and kicks off a new series on getting involved in retouching.


Easily Add More Revenue By Perfecting Beauty Work

I’ve recently started doing practical beauty work as part of my service as a freelance colourist.

As a colourist working in London on many fashion and high-end brand spots it was incredibly common for clean up and retouching to happen but I was never the one to do it.

I think the term ‘beauty work’ is a little misleading also. It alludes to something very specific, however in reality, it’s more of an overarching term for image retouching.

Here is an example of some typical requests i’ve had in the grading suite from minor to major:

  • “Can we smooth out the creases in those trousers?”
  • “Can we take away those eye bags and freshen her up”
  • “Can we remove all those tattoo’s?”
  • “The model is making the devil horns sign, need to change this to a thumbs up”
  • “We like the head and neck from one take and the body from another. Can we combine these”

Obviously, there is a line between what is possible in the grade and what needs to be sent to compositors for proper retouching.

In this Insight, I’ll be focusing on what I’d like to call “practical beauty work”

What I mean by this term is basic clean up practices on people and, more importantly, what is actually achievable in DaVinci Resolve.

Another exciting prospect is, with Fusion being added to Resolve, what we can offer as colorists has increased by 10 fold.

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Homepage Forums Practical Beauty Work – Why You Need To Be Offering It

  • Joshua Howey

    I’m super excited for this series! The one thing I think I’d benefit from the most is seeing how you do all of this quickly. Speed is so important and so making sure to highlight the little things that help with efficiency would help so much. Thanks!

  • Great article, Dan! I really look forward to learning more about business of beauty work. On your spreadsheet, does the grading # of hours indicate how long it would take to do the beauty work in the grade or the grading time after?

  • jaime alcina

    The Soften and sharpen fx is awesomwe and fast tool!.

  • Bernd Gareis

    Yeah, Dan you got a lot of stuff open, the Ikea Behind the curtain, now this one. But always interesting, for me the main reasons to subscribe.

  • Very nice write up. I’ve graded for this director for selfrdiges and have made the mistake of assuming that we would mostly be doing colour work and not much beauty. The problem was also that we were up against a hard deadline and couldn’t get another day to polish both the grade and the retouch. Not my best work in the end.

  • Ron Illingworth

    Dan, just a question about your Unbreakable Rule….

    “I’m not cleaning up during my grade time.

    I will never ever start allowing these things to impact on the time I can spend grading.”

    By “cleaning up,” are you referring to the touch-up work or to the horrid mess of a timeline that Editors sometimes pass onto Online?

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