The Product Swap Technique

Apparel Brands: Are you in a Content Creation Hiatus?

So, what happens next?

All About Product Swapping

Since our early retouch roots, the name Happy Finish has been synonymous with high quality advertising imagery. One of our main staples has been the ability to offer creative solutions when brands have a production issue that couldn’t be solved on set, looking to fix certain criteria not possible in camera through post-production. When in need of production flexibility, many prominent apparel brands have been drawn to our ability to take pre-photographed talent and swap product or ‘re-dress’ in post, repurposing shot assets to give them a new lease of life. We first developed our techniques in this area when shoots couldn’t take place due to logistical or budget reasons – the redressing of talent offered an alternative solution to problematic productions.

Happy Finish Nike Retouch Home 2

So How Does It Work?

The methodology is a very structured one, derived from the skill sets of retouchers with decades of experience specifically in advertising retouching, be it product retouch or complicated multi-part comps. We usually begin by stripping back the existing details and textures and then building back up the new textures and details. Depending on the particular nature of the image we often shoot supplemental photography to allow us to sample textures or aid in the construction of a particular detail such as a collar. In order to output a cohesive re-dress it obviously helps to have access to as much resource as possible including any clothing samples, line arts, textural swatches or photographic assets from past campaigns / e-commerce that can be referenced, however this is not always necessary depending on the tier of work required.

Procedure: The Artist’s Explanation

We have a number of techniques, which we select based on a number of factors.
Factors include:

  • The quality of the asset, in terms of resolution, detail, and lighting. These factors help to determine to what extent the asset can be manipulated.
  • What we’re redressing from and to, ie can we keep some of the existing structure, folds and texture, or is it an entirely different garment?

We aim to keep the integrity of the original photography as much as possible, keeping the existing fabric folds and lighting if we can, so our first thoughts are not necessarily to do a typical ‘product swap’ whereby the new product is photographed onto a body double and comped in – we do use this method, however there are other techniques that are more faithful to the original photography and offer other benefits such as not needing the product sample, for example, sometimes we can work from line art, or inaccurate samples that we can sample textures from without needing the garment at all.

(Explained : Product Swap // Colorway Change Collection)

Why now?

During this global health crisis we are doing our best to keep wheels turning in the industry and keep putting relevant content out there. We are helping to create fresh campaigns for brands stuck in a content creation hiatus from their existing assets, keeping production costs at a minimum.

We produce imagery in this way for several brands that span menswear, womenswear, childrenswear, sportswear, footwear, accessories and leisurewear.

If you fall into this category and can’t currently co-ordinate new photographic productions or don’t have access to new products then reach out to us for a test.
We are here to help you find a solution.

​Need a test?

To arrange a test for your brand or for further information on how we work and costing tiers, get in touch with our team.

Written by:

Rebecca Skiffins, Head of Client Services

Contributed by:

Vahakn Vorperian, Represented Senior Retouch Artist

Tim Ashton, Represented Senior Retouch Artist

Breakdowns by:

Tom Berry, Senior Retouch Artist

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