After we’ve dealt with the ghost mannequin and it’s no longer there, it’s time to retouch the garment to make it look nice, symmetrical, and tidy. Symmetry is very important in mannequin retouching. To achieve symmetry, we are willing to make a lot of effort. The only exception is when the item is non-symmetrical itself, for instance, when it has one sleeve, or when one side is longer than the other, and so on. But it doesn’t happen very often, as most of the clothes people wear are typically symmetrical. And there’s other good news: the mannequins used in the shooting process are always symmetrical. So the problem of symmetry only arises when the garment was not put on the mannequin properly by a photographer or an assistant.
If the raw images you get for retouching lack symmetry, and the garments look poor and untidy, this is the shooting problem and requires action on that stage, not on the retouching stage. The reason why is that retouching a poorly dressed mannequin can take up to half an hour, which is completely unacceptable in catalog retouching. Half an hour of retouching time makes the resulting image too expensive and not reasonable in terms of e-commerce content production.
As I already said more than once, all the people involved in the process of content creating should be responsible for what they do. The items they work with should be treated properly: cleaned, ironed, steamed, brushed, dressed, placed, lighted, shot. The idea that “everything that is done wrong can and will be resolved by retouchers” is absolutely wrong. If you’re a retoucher and you keep getting really bad images, you shouldn’t be retouching them for hours as if it is the proper way to do it. No matter how skilled you are, the garments that were not taken care of in the previous stages, will never look great after the retouching stage.
I’ll show you a set of images where every garment was shot twice. The first time it was hastily put on a mannequin without much care for symmetry, and the second time it was carefully adjusted to achieve a good symmetrical look.