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Dodge and Burn Method. Please advise

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Old 09-29-2010, 01:57 AM
ShogunSho ShogunSho is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 55
Dodge and Burn Method. Please advise

Dear all especially Retouching Experts,

I have question with regards to the Dodge&Burn method.
First of all these are my method.

I tend to use the 50% grey fill method with my D&B.

At this stage I'm confused as I get various different recommendation. I tend to use both due to uncertainty and mistaken in selecting either of the blend mode.

I'm not sure whether I'm suppose to change the blend mode to "soft light" or "overlay".

1. At some resources I get the advise of "Overlay only". As this would make it identifiable when using the brush stroke.

2. Another said better to use Soft Light. Overlay is not recommended as it will boost the contrast more and distort the colors .

Then normally I would go to Selection---> Color Range. I would then select each part one by one at Shadow, Midtone, Highlight in order to color my black/white brush on.

I would like to know, do you Dodge the Shadow and Burn the highlight? How much opacity of the brush?

As for the Midtone, if I was to dodge, how much different should it be in terms of lightness as compare the the Highlight.

and if I was to burn, how much different should it be in term of darkness as compare to shadow.

Sorry if my wordings may sound confusing. I would like to know the advise and the reason why you use that method.

Thank you very much in advance and any tips and advise are very much appreciated.
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Old 09-29-2010, 03:35 AM
Cuervo79's Avatar
Cuervo79 Cuervo79 is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Guatemala
Posts: 372
Re: Dodge and Burn Method. Please advise

Well regarding the blending mode its subjective, meaning if you like to use overlay you can do it, or if you find soft light better use that. Remember that you can not only use the 50% gray layer, you can also use two separate curves layers to do the same, or even use two solid color layers one in white and one in black to do your dodge & burn.

I don't know why you go to "selection > color range" when doing dodge & burn is purely using "my eye" to se what needs adjustment. I also use "visualization layers" (one adjustment layer to desaturate and another to create more contrast in the skin) to see the "problems" better.

Regarding the opacity of the brush I go from 10% opacity to 20% opacity depending on what you're working I also play with the flow in the same numbers.

When to dodge and when to burn as I said depends on your eye, but basically if you see a dark speck to soften it or make it desapear you dodge it (lighten it) if I see a white speck I do the contrary (darken it)

To have an idea of what it looks like check this thread out it has the before and after image and also the masks for each of the dodge & burn I did with the photo
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