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Better D&B using curves (need advice)

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Old 06-29-2011, 06:02 PM
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ray12 ray12 is offline
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Re: Better D&B using curves (need advice)

D+B is always a tough uphill battle to gain working skill with. A lot of people feel your agnst.

With the pure, raw D+B tools in the earlier versions of Photoshop... there used to always be a slight yellowish or brownish artifact that would get left behind in the retouched areas... and those brown spots would always dirty up and further complicate the retouch. You ended up having to go in after that discoloration addition to the D+B.

Then in CS5 they now have the "Protect Tones" switch on the D+B tools so that this extraneous color artifacting is strongly reduced...Thank you Adobe! If you dont have protect tones checked...then you will most likely have some stray pixels to further clean up. It helps with artifacting in the raw tools.

Using curves is a great alternative method of lightening and darkening pixels before and after a pimple or pore...but the curve itself is "non linear" at its ends... and it tends to introduce some slight contrast bump and a "slight saturation boost" of its own. Have you ever noticed that enhanced contrast effect on just a standard adjustment layer? You ended up getting a slight contrast and saturation gain in addition to the lightness gain you were looking for. Its almost like your tools are giving you two steps step back.

There are two things you could try to reduce introducing that slight contrast and saturation bump:

1.) Bring up the end points of the curve so they are parallel to the linear center-line. Make the curve will now add lightness without adding the increased contrast as well.

2.) Some other people use the "luminosity blend mode" instead of the "soft light" blend mode when using a straight curve based D+B methodology. You will notice that "luminosity blend mode" lightens up the base image...but introduces less contrast and saturation gain with the correction. (Check this look out on just a regular adjustment layer). It still lightens the pimple pixel...but the unwanted contrast and saturation bump are reduced.

These two tricks of straightening the curve out in one case...and using a luminosity blend mode to reduce cross color gain...sometimes makes the dodge tool effect more pure in its application...and introduces less unexpected and unwanted color, contrast and saturation artifacts in the process.

D+B is hard enough to master without painting with a tool that also adds in its own unwanted twists.

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Last edited by ray12; 06-29-2011 at 06:13 PM.
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