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Darkening by Curves and then Overlay Dodge/Burn

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  #1  
Old 03-20-2017, 10:05 PM
beefhitler beefhitler is offline
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Darkening by Curves and then Overlay Dodge/Burn

I was watching a compositing video a while back where I saw the artist do something which is new to me. Sorry, I do not have the link to the video anymore but I believe it was a Lynda video.

Anyway...

The artist places an object in the scenery and then goes about the usual work of color matching etc. Then he uses a curve layer with a mask to darken a part of the object since there was some shadows there. The usual blending stuff as you are aware of.

Then he went about compositing, blending the other elements of the scenery.

BUT towards the end, he goes on to use the Dodge and Burn Tools on a blank layer filled with 50% gray and overlay mode to do the dodging and burning on the main element of the scenery. He did the same with the rest of the stuff in the background too. But since the main focus of the scenery was a car with a guy, he probably spent most of the end times there. Ofcourse, he also spent some time on the background elements. My purpose of this paragraph is about him using the Dodge and Burn Tools.

I am a pretty newbie guy to this but couldn't he have achieved the same using a curve layer DURING THE TIME when he was actually darkening parts of the object? AND if not during the time, why is he using the tools and not something else like a curve or levels layer?

Why is there an Overlay Blank Layer filled with 50% Gray used with Dodge and Burn Tool and not something else like a Curve Layer?

I know the purpose of the overlay blending mode and the 50% gray thing BUT what I am not sure is why prefer the TOOLS and not some curve/level adjustment layer? So to speak, it isn't just him, I have noticed a lot of other compositing artistes use the tools quite a lot.

I thought the Dodge and Burn Tools were pretty frowned upon?

Also, I must note, this was not a beauty retouch. The dodging and burning were all either on objects like cars, a house, maybe on two or three people sitting somewhere in the scenery.

Can anyone please care to explain the basics here?

PS: Most of my knowledge on dodge and burn have come from reading this forum. And/or slightly from watching Youtube. My general idea is to use curve layers to dodge and burn. Beauty retouching is something I have never been inclined to so I generally tend to incline towards landscapes and lately been practicing compositing. Apart from using Luminosity Mask on landscape images, when I am doing compositing I have either done light painting using a blank layer with a low opacity brush; OR I have used curve with layer masks to achieve the same thing.

Till now, I was always of the opinion that Dodge and the Burn Tools are frowned upon so I had never really bothered about using them in my workflows.

But the stuff I have been into lately-- Compositing Sceneries, I have seen a lot of artistes use the Dodge and Burn Tools on 50% Overlay on a Blank Layer for light painting etc.

Last edited by beefhitler; 03-20-2017 at 10:28 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-20-2017, 10:59 PM
klev klev is offline
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Re: Darkening by Curves and then Overlay Dodge/Bur

People use all kinds of tactics, and no one else cares if the results are good and revisions are not overly complicated. I think you're focused on best practices here.

The dodge and burn tools are fine for the most part. I wouldn't personally use a grey layer set to overlay, because I find it difficult to control. It often produces a lot of undesirable color shifts. Soft light has similar problems. You will notice that pixels in heavily painted region start to converge toward the same value. You can of course correct this using yet another layer, but I prefer to avoid the photoshop arms race.


Quote:
But the stuff I have been into lately-- Compositing Sceneries, I have seen a lot of artistes use the Dodge and Burn Tools on 50% Overlay on a Blank Layer for light painting etc.
This part is incorrect. Dodge and burn tools don't produce an effect on a blank layer. Try it.


Quote:
Apart from using Luminosity Mask on landscape images, when I am doing compositing I have either done light painting using a blank layer with a low opacity brush; OR I have used curve with layer masks to achieve the same thing.
This sort of thing is derived from illustration techniques. I'm not that great at them. If you're going to do a lot of this, you want to learn about illustration. Most of this isn't terribly relevant. You could do a good job or a very bad job with either of these tactics.
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Old 03-21-2017, 05:42 AM
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Tony W Tony W is offline
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Re: Darkening by Curves and then Overlay Dodge/Bur

You can if you wish use the dodge and burn tools on a layer set to Overlay or Soft light but it needs to be 50% grey, it will not work on just a blank layer.

TBH I rarely touch these tools preferring to paint with a black brush for burning or a white brush for dodging on a layer set to either Soft light or Overlay - optional to have a 50% filled as it works just fine without.

If you really have to shift values by a large amount then it may be preferable to use a masked curves layer and paint in correction where required

Just experiment and use the tools that get the job done without worrying too much about a 'correct method' because such a method may be wrong under certain circumstances
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Old 03-21-2017, 11:36 AM
Sabrina81 Sabrina81 is offline
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Re: Darkening by Curves and then Overlay Dodge/Bur

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Originally Posted by beefhitler View Post
I thought the Dodge and Burn Tools were pretty frowned upon?
A lot of people (like me) frown upon those tools when they are used destructively, directly on a pixel layer. But the method you describe (blank layer filled with 50% gray in overlay mode) is nondestructive. Instead of the D&B tools, you could paint with white or black and get virtually identical results. Using curves layers for D&B is just an alternative nondestructive technique.
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Old 03-21-2017, 01:57 PM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Re: Darkening by Curves and then Overlay Dodge/Bur

Can someone summarize the question so I can try to help the guy out It's quite a read as it is. I use DNB on masks all the time.
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Old 03-21-2017, 03:43 PM
klev klev is offline
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Re: Darkening by Curves and then Overlay Dodge/Bur

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Originally Posted by skoobey View Post
Can someone summarize the question so I can try to help the guy out It's quite a read as it is. I use DNB on masks all the time.
The TLDR version really is that he wants to know if a set of best practices exists.
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:22 PM
beefhitler beefhitler is offline
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Re: Darkening by Curves and then Overlay Dodge/Bur

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Originally Posted by skoobey View Post
Can someone summarize the question so I can try to help the guy out It's quite a read as it is. I use DNB on masks all the time.
Sorry, my question ended up being too verbose.

Like Klev said, I was asking about the best practices for dodge and burn for things other than Fashion Retouch.

I know Fashion Retouching on portraits use and prefer curves and or 50% gray layer with the brush tool. What is preferred in stuff like Compositing where we have to work on several smaller sized objects? Or what is the situation for something like a Car retouch?

Klev and the others who have answered my question, thank you. I would go with the fact that any method might work with anything and it's a matter of preference.
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Old 03-22-2017, 05:45 PM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Re: Darkening by Curves and then Overlay Dodge/Bur

There is no other. It's all shapes. Doesn't matter if it's a person or a lion or a leaf.

For cars you do the same, but there is an added element of stroking paths, and using paths as masks. Because polished objects like cars require smooth transitions.
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