A Jaw-Dropping Demonstration of Beauty Retouching Done on 4K Video

Beauty retouching on still photographs of faces is both ubiquitous and controversial in some industries. You’ve likely seen your fair share of tutorials and demonstrations that show amazing feats of Photoshop, but did you know that the same ‘shops can be done on video? And not just any video, mind you: 4K video.

A Japanese company called Foton Inc. claims that it has developed a new retouching technique that can be applied to 4K video, without damaging the quality and without having to compress the video first. The above demo of the technology is astonishing.

Foton’s Vimeo page has a number of other videos demonstrating tools it has created that allows edits that bring Photoshop-style edits to the world of super-high-res footage. These tools can be used directly on videos without having to tediously retouch each individual frame they comprise.

It appears that the software is advanced enough to track with subjects’ faces as they moved around the frame, allowing for the edits to be consistent throughout the entire video without any blurring (look at how clear the skin is!). Although the new technique does away with frame-by-frame editing, Foton says it still spent 3-4 days creating the short proof-of-concept clip above.

No word on whether we’ll be able to use these tools on our own computers anytime soon, but it’s crazy to see that we might. Pretty soon we may be hearing familiar cries of “shopped!” in the comment sections of video sites.

(via Fstoppers)

  • uksnapper

    Im not impressed.
    Most retouching results in smooth plastic images that fool no one.
    The public know that and silently snigger at the deceit.
    Sadly they still buy the products in the vain hope they will transform them

    .Big mistake.

  •!/thelonelylights Adam Cross

    the retouching done in this is very minor, tbh – they only needed a make-up artist to do the exact same work but the one thing I disagree with strongly is the part where they whiten her skin – really not cool

  • ColorMeDark

    That must be that “jaw-dropping demonstration of beauty” part. Geesh…

  • Nick

    Well, it looks pretty good to me. Then again, I have to wonder about the sickening desire to retouch too much.

  • uksnapper

    Whilst the finished snap has removed blemishes it has lost detail in both highlights and shadows
    I’m not impressed in fact Its rather a poor demonstration and would only convince me to avoid

  • uksnapper

    Jaw dropping ?
    well thats a journalists headline grabber without,as usual,substance

  • uksnapper


  • Esrhan

    Interesting. My eyes are constantly drawn to the original. Maybe because she looks like human and not an android?

    This is also far from being actually practical. What about motion blur, objects passing over the face, camera motion, large subject motion, xyz movement, lighting changes and different facial expressions? Cue the make-up artist instead…

  • SeaJay711

    I think they’re on to something, but the result is still a bit too much “correction.” Also in this example, she doesn’t move around much. -Barely moves.

  • Colby

    It’s incredible how everyone who comments on the posts on here is apparently amazing at everything. Get at any of these people below if you want to see some truly amazing stuff to post about haha. Ooooooh the internet is a funny place.

  • McPhoto

    Lighter skin is very widely considered to be more attractive than darker skin. This video is to demonstrate ways to increase the attractiveness of the subject.

  • Kole Montross

    If this little clip took them 3-4 days, then it’s still MUCH faster to do it frame by frame. That’s extremely light, easy retouching that anyone worth their salt should be able to do in less than 5 minutes. I’d wager the good retouchers working with the bulk wedding and senior portrait studios could do a frame in 1-2 minutes. Possibly faster. It’s been ages since I’ve had to do speedy bulk work but I’d put money on my peers being able to put Foton to shame when it comes to sheer speed and accuracy.

    That’s not to say that the technology isn’t extremely fascinating with a lot of potential. But it seems a bit premature to be announcing it. They should develop it a lot more before flaunting it. It needs to be a LOT faster process before it’ll be of any use to anyone. And like other people have mentioned, what about fast movements, things passing in front of the face, etc. That’s a straight on shot with minimal movement.

    One day, it’ll be there. We’ll have something like this that works and works REALLY well. Today is not that day.

  • Furio Alessandro Rossi

    horrid. i hate retouch. Makes beauty an “artificial thing”

  • guest

    do you not understand that models are basically just aesthetically pleasing coat hangers and blank faces to showcase products? when you’re selling a product for say, lipstick, you don’t want the model’s zits to distract viewers from the focal point.

  • guest

    .. people just like contrast. altering the lighting of the image makes her features pop out more, simple as that.

  • Martyn

    The girl is beautiful without the correction. If you’re not willing to video / photograph the truth, then just become an animator and draw the damn thing how you want it in the first place!

  • Max

    Hardly jaw dropping…

  • Peter

    ” the one thing I disagree with strongly is the part where they whiten her skin – really not cool”


  • Dan

    You can’t video/photograph the truth. There are always choices involved that distort the truth. Choices made by the filmmaker/photographer (framing, blocking, perspective, time) and choices made by the hardware (the way the camera processes the information it gathers and the way it gathers this information in the first place).

  • Peter

    Doing it frame by frame would create unwanted artifacts when viewed in motion. This technique avoids that without the need to track each individual edit.

  • sierrarobba

    in 2006 xmen 3 maintain de ageing in 1st scen.

  • Matthew Wagg

    Oh dear, so its not enough to photoshop the life out of still images, now its doable on moving images as well. Cue up all the talentless ‘portrait professional’ crew to bring plastic skin to video now as well. It has to stop.

  •!/thelonelylights Adam Cross

    I don’t care what it’s “considered to be” it’s morally and ethically wrong. There’s a reason why people go crazy when they see whitened images of Oprah, BeyoncĂ©, Aishwarya Rai – etc. It’s just wrong

  • szore


  • szore


  • abdul

    please tell me what is the name of software using in this tutorial……………..please

  • Neoracer Xox

    Its been done since the invention of photography lmao

  • Theresa

    This is common practice in post production for film and tv since more than 20 years. Don’t see how this is supposed to be innovative. Particularly since the footage ain’t even sophisticated. Good example Arian gave: Lola VFX. We worked with them on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, where Brad Pitt’s and Cate Blanchett’s faces were turned younger throughout half of the movie.

  • j

    You know, I’d really like to see this kind of retouching on a man. I’m sick and tired of seeing women being deconstructed through Photoshop or other means. We really are living in an augmented reality I call faked reality, where nothing is as it seems. No wonder people are disappointed, bored and no longer amazed by real life. Fakery and makeup are so much more interesting and colorful… Let’s live like the Lawnmowerman and just deny what’s real…

  • John McCormick

    Love the technology. Hate the abuse of said technology. Let’s not setup people to be unable to achieve the looks they are bombarded with daily.

  • 11

    men dont need retouching

  • guest

    it’s not ‘truth vs lies’–don’t confuse the beauty industry with beauty. like I said, models are basically coat hangers.

  • guest

    I have dark skin myself, and I’m not really bothered by this.

    For a still image, increasing contrast to make facial features (eyes/eyebrows/etc) stand out more is something people are inherently attracted to. I see this more as, editing the scene to appear as if the raw data had different lighting–because given more lighting, the model’s skin WOULD look like that. This is different from say, Oprah’s makeup team purposely making her skin lighter.

    But I understand what you mean, and it is a pretty fine line to walk across. What I thought was a little weird, was how they randomly tweaked the left eye to be slightly larger–which I guess was just to demonstrate the program’s capabilities, but still.

  • Just Justin

    Is it just me or has Resolve, Nuke/Smoke or even AfterEffects been doing this dropping of jaws for a while now?

  • Daniel Austin Hoherd

    Great link, really interesting.

  • cosmo_polite

    video quality sucks, but yeah. Any professional compositing artist could do face clean up like in the peta pixel post within 2-4 hours…max!

  • V+

    Hi folk,

    They found a new way and perform good skill on motion retouching… It’s not a new software, but technic they had developped for HighRez.

    I’m doing R&D on motion retouching… As the resolution is increase, in fact we will need retouching in the nears future for 4K and 8K screening… I made some 4K retouching viewed on full HD and 4K monitor… When we view on internet, the retouched video seem too soft or overdo by the video compression to save bandwith.

    To solve occlusion, motion blurr, make-up and other stuff, we can fixe it with a 3D data like Lola made for Benjamin… You need a lot of skill and a team to be on time… That day will be

    Doing subtile retouching frame by frame, it will take more than 5 minutes… I hate people said something they never do themself… I’m Highend fashion retoucher and I know what it’s time consumming to retouch picture for fashion industry… It’s not about technic, but how to judge correctly your work. Don’t forget 4K and 5K will take a lot of space and rendering time on raw process…

    We appreciate the lies, when we don’t know the true… We are genetically like beauty of human being… But, now we are fouled at the end…


  • wtever

    Its just simple compositing.

  • ted


  • Dremy

    How is it morally and ethically wrong? I think you are looking for an issue in something where there really is no issue.

    I work as an art director and every single shoot we work on has a direction. We push the colour (which includes the skin tones), whether it be whiter, cooler, warmer etc to achieve a stylistic direction. It has nothing to do with the idea that white skin is more attractive than darker skin.
    It’s the idea of creating a beautiful image to help sell a dream.

  • Zaini el-Akhmad

    i like it no matter how bad other comments are. But they will not take my money so soon, not for another year at least.

  • Zaini el-Akhmad

    its just brighten the skin not whiten i think.

  • Ashley Brazell

    I’m a very white girl, and when I lived in Japan I would get asked by many Japanese local girls how I get my skin so white. It’s their culture. You can buy skin whitening cream at the local convenience store. Please, don’t knock someone else’s culture before you understand it. You don’t have to agree with it, it’s not your skin.

  • Adam Cross

    I don’t think you know much about the nature or history of colonialism, oppression and internalized racism. There are problematic reasons why people look to whiten their skin and why companies exist that produce skin whitening products. Try educating yourself on the subject.

  • Ashley Brazell

    Yes, because now you know everything about me after reading that one comment! Oh people of the Internet, just stop assuming things about people.