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How to avoid over-burning skin?

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  #1  
Old 08-11-2008, 10:03 PM
kenwood kenwood is offline
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How to avoid over-burning skin?

Hi, I am using the burn tool to darken part of a subject's skin. However I more I burn the more 'burned' (reddish) the skin look. What are some of the techniques to avoid or prevent over burning skins?
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  #2  
Old 08-11-2008, 10:36 PM
Insensitive. Insensitive. is offline
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Re: How to avoid over-burning skin?

Well for one, you need to change the strength of the burn. I like to start at aroun 15% and i'll add or take away from it if i need to, but in most cases, 15 is good. Also if the skin has alot of red in it, it will burn that deep red veryyyy easily. Most photographers want the skin to have a very neutral tone, nothing too red or too yellow or too pink or too pale or too etc. So some color correction may need to be done to the image to take the redness out to begin with. But mainly, a lower burn strength is what you need.
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  #3  
Old 08-11-2008, 10:39 PM
Mike Kalcevic Mike Kalcevic is offline
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Re: How to avoid over-burning skin?

Instead of using the burn tool, try using a soft light layer with 50% gray. Then use a white or black brush, ~80% hard, 100% opacity, 1-4% flow to paint in the soft light layer. With the soft light blending mode, you're only changing the grayscale part of the color, rather than with the burn tool set to normal, where you're multiplying the color. If enhancing the color is what you need to do, try doing another 50% gray layer, but change the blending mode to overlay. Painting on this layer will be the same as multiplying or screening the color.
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  #4  
Old 08-11-2008, 11:05 PM
0lBaldy's Avatar
0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: How to avoid over-burning skin?

Some things I have gleaned from RetouchPRO threads:

The dodge and burn tools that reside in the toolbar are destructive tools. They are used to adjust exposure, not shading. If you must use them on skin, always use the midtones range setting at about 5%. They generally are NOT used for D&B Skin Retouching to balance tones.

Before any retouching...MAKE A BACKGROUND COPY! Adjust the overall color of a photo (no point in retouching anything that will be blown out or hidden in shadows in the end). Adjust Levels and make color adjustments through curves (adjust the individual channels) and an occasional hue/sat layer. De-saturate the reds a bit... as most peoples' flaws are reddish in nature, this diminishes some the areas vs. actual bumps.

Remove the pimples and do light spotting on an image, Rubber stamp (Clone) out major stuff (on a copy of the original layer of course) at 100% or more on normal mode. Make sure that all the cloning/healing is completely unnoticeable. Hairs looking too obvious? Don't be afraid to hit them one by one with a small diameter healing brush You should be able to remove all the hairs without botching the texture. You want no big blur blobs or step-marks. Dodge&Burn later, to balance tones.

Even out the skin tones to be basically the same hue, saturation throughout a figure/face/image. Use the lasso with a fat amount feathering on it and circle/trace areas that you want to adjust using curves. These typically will be very subtle in nature... with the middle of a channel's curve just pulled up or down a notch or 2.

With D&B(softlight) retouching always start in very close then, move out, and repeat. If you shrink your magnification by 50%, make your brush size correspondingly larger. That way, you won't actually be obliterating the D&B or healing strokes you already made at full size. It is not necessary to zoom in to whatever view the resolution of the image allows for viewing individual pixels. It is rare to go above 2-300% view. Most work is done at 100% or less. The further in you zoom you loose focus on what you are trying to achieve. It would help to keep two instances of an image open all the time. One is focused (set to view) the most you can of an image. While the other one has the zoom factor needed to do retouching. The larger updates as you go along so you can see what looks strange or where you need to go next.

The important thing is to get the hard stuff done at the bigger views and then progressively zoom out and using a larger brush and lower opacity, then brush some more.

Refer to already existing highlights/shadows and exaggerate and/or simplify them. Make a new layer, fill with 50% Gray and set that layer to "Softlight" and paint black or white (again, 0% hardness on the brush, 100% opacity, 1-5% flow) to carve down or up. Dodging and burning into a Gray layer will pretty much duplicate the effect of painting white and black, but sometimes it works better to use actual tones sampled from the image: a highlight that hasn't blown out, and a shadow that nice and dark, but still showing tone. This is useful if white and black are creating discoloration. Switch from dodging to burning and back again simply by pressing the "X" key. This method sometimes adds saturation to the carved shadows.

It is OK to do some minor dodging and burning directly on a second copy of the retouched image layer.. Keep it pure and simple. 0% hardness brush, still at about 3% flow. it's easy to lightly mask out what's overkill. You can even try plain old painting white on an empty layer set to "normal"-- 0% hardness on the brush, 100% opacity, 1-10%% flow.

Don't be intimidated when someone tells you it's crap. If it's true, they did you a favor.
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  #5  
Old 08-12-2008, 12:08 AM
Insensitive. Insensitive. is offline
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Re: How to avoid over-burning skin?

Oh he's talking about dodge and burn skin perfecting? I thought he was talking about overall photo darkening and highlighting.
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  #6  
Old 08-16-2008, 10:02 AM
kenwood kenwood is offline
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Re: How to avoid over-burning skin?

So much good info that I never thought of, thanks all.
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  #7  
Old 08-17-2008, 03:49 PM
sirespen sirespen is offline
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Re: How to avoid over-burning skin?

Can you please explain why you use 100% opacity and low flow setting instead of low opacity and 100% flow. I tried to paint on a white layer, but i don't get the advantage of your settings! Thanky you very much for the informations!

Ciao Sebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0lBaldy View Post
Some things I have gleaned from RetouchPRO threads:

The dodge and burn tools that reside in the toolbar are destructive tools. They are used to adjust exposure, not shading. If you must use them on skin, always use the midtones range setting at about 5%. They generally are NOT used for D&B Skin Retouching to balance tones.

Before any retouching...MAKE A BACKGROUND COPY! Adjust the overall color of a photo (no point in retouching anything that will be blown out or hidden in shadows in the end). Adjust Levels and make color adjustments through curves (adjust the individual channels) and an occasional hue/sat layer. De-saturate the reds a bit... as most peoples' flaws are reddish in nature, this diminishes some the areas vs. actual bumps.

Remove the pimples and do light spotting on an image, Rubber stamp (Clone) out major stuff (on a copy of the original layer of course) at 100% or more on normal mode. Make sure that all the cloning/healing is completely unnoticeable. Hairs looking too obvious? Don't be afraid to hit them one by one with a small diameter healing brush You should be able to remove all the hairs without botching the texture. You want no big blur blobs or step-marks. Dodge&Burn later, to balance tones.

Even out the skin tones to be basically the same hue, saturation throughout a figure/face/image. Use the lasso with a fat amount feathering on it and circle/trace areas that you want to adjust using curves. These typically will be very subtle in nature... with the middle of a channel's curve just pulled up or down a notch or 2.

With D&B(softlight) retouching always start in very close then, move out, and repeat. If you shrink your magnification by 50%, make your brush size correspondingly larger. That way, you won't actually be obliterating the D&B or healing strokes you already made at full size. It is not necessary to zoom in to whatever view the resolution of the image allows for viewing individual pixels. It is rare to go above 2-300% view. Most work is done at 100% or less. The further in you zoom you loose focus on what you are trying to achieve. It would help to keep two instances of an image open all the time. One is focused (set to view) the most you can of an image. While the other one has the zoom factor needed to do retouching. The larger updates as you go along so you can see what looks strange or where you need to go next.

The important thing is to get the hard stuff done at the bigger views and then progressively zoom out and using a larger brush and lower opacity, then brush some more.

Refer to already existing highlights/shadows and exaggerate and/or simplify them. Make a new layer, fill with 50% Gray and set that layer to "Softlight" and paint black or white (again, 0% hardness on the brush, 100% opacity, 1-5% flow) to carve down or up. Dodging and burning into a Gray layer will pretty much duplicate the effect of painting white and black, but sometimes it works better to use actual tones sampled from the image: a highlight that hasn't blown out, and a shadow that nice and dark, but still showing tone. This is useful if white and black are creating discoloration. Switch from dodging to burning and back again simply by pressing the "X" key. This method sometimes adds saturation to the carved shadows.

It is OK to do some minor dodging and burning directly on a second copy of the retouched image layer.. Keep it pure and simple. 0% hardness brush, still at about 3% flow. it's easy to lightly mask out what's overkill. You can even try plain old painting white on an empty layer set to "normal"-- 0% hardness on the brush, 100% opacity, 1-10%% flow.

Don't be intimidated when someone tells you it's crap. If it's true, they did you a favor.
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  #8  
Old 08-17-2008, 04:10 PM
GFD GFD is offline
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Re: How to avoid over-burning skin?

@0lBaldy

thank you very much for info. Thats what I was looking for.
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  #9  
Old 08-17-2008, 05:23 PM
0lBaldy's Avatar
0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: How to avoid over-burning skin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirespen View Post
Can you please explain why you use 100% opacity and low flow setting instead of low opacity and 100% flow. I tried to paint on a white layer, but i don't get the advantage of your settings! Thanky you very much for the informations!

Ciao Sebi
When you paint a color you want to use the color you picked, If you use low Opacity then the colors you picked will be sort of watered down or muted, so you use full opacity (which can always be changed later in the layers pallet) and just use a little at a time (flow) to build it up..

Try a test using both settings side by side to compare the difference
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  #10  
Old 08-17-2008, 08:00 PM
warnerphoto warnerphoto is offline
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Re: How to avoid over-burning skin?

Burning in increases density (luminosity) AND saturation. If you are using a layer enabled program such as PS, make a duplicate layer, in the dropdown in the layers palate, switch from normal to luminosity. Now your burning in will not increase saturation.
Chuck Warner
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