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High End Micro Dodge and Burn

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  • High End Micro Dodge and Burn

    So I've seen and read countless tutorials on dodging and burning. Many were extremely helpful and have definitely pushed my retouching skills forward however any time I try to find any kind of in depth tutorial regarding MICRO dodge and burn it would seem like there's hardly anything available. It almost seems like an industry secret at times. Can anyone possibly point me in the right direction?

    Thank you.

  • #2
    Re: High End Micro Dodge and Burn

    Micro is a relative term. The transition from broad D&B structuring of form through to minute detailed work is a gradual one. If you could describe more clearly (with examples) what you mean by Micro, it would help in answering your query.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: High End Micro Dodge and Burn

      The perfectly uniform skin that was achieved in this link was done with micro D&B. It is this level of perfection that I am trying to achieve as well.

      https://fstoppers.com/post-productio...etup-more-9281

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      • #4
        Re: High End Micro Dodge and Burn

        I don't think there is any difference in the technique required for broad D&B work, and for the type in the example you linked. If there is a difference it is probably in the visualisation/assessment of the work, where being zoomed in can be problematic. Personally I would have another window or windows open at useful zoom settings to help in assessing the effect of such close work.

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        • #5
          Re: High End Micro Dodge and Burn

          Originally posted by V1972 View Post
          The perfectly uniform skin that was achieved in this link was done with micro D&B. It is this level of perfection that I am trying to achieve as well.
          There are a couple things to mention. First I think that looks overdone, and if you aren't used to doing such a thing, you should be very careful. It's easy to destroy any sense of muscle and bone structures that way.

          The term micro isn't universal. They used it there, but I think it has a bad connotation. You might sometimes use a very small brush, but you want to avoid constantly zooming in past 100%. It makes you lose perspective.

          Apart from that if you're going to work on very fine detail, you need a lot of control. Open a blank document. Switch to the paintbrush tool. Test out how precise you can draw straight lines, sweeps, circles, etc. You'll see some deviation, and it's important to note that over a lot of work put into a given image, those deviations do come up if you're dealing with very fine details. That's pretty much what you should work on, because like I said, zooming way in all the time makes you lose perspective. Also there's no such thing as an industry secret, and you can find old posts from that author on here.

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          • #6
            Re: High End Micro Dodge and Burn

            Then why does that article make such a huge distinction between local D&B and global D&B? They specifically mention that global D&B is used for sculpting the face while local D&B is used to even out the skin texture and tone. I could of course be wrong but I'm just trying to understand how certain retouchers can retouch skin to magazine quality. I'm not looking for any kind of shortcuts and I don't mind spending hours on 1 image but I just want to know how it's properly done. Thank you.

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            • #7
              Re: High End Micro Dodge and Burn

              Originally posted by V1972 View Post
              Then why does that article make such a huge distinction between local D&B and global D&B?
              It's a distinction made to help the intended audience here. I would have written it differently, but here's the issue. You want to be able to revise things, so you often use different layers to do fine detailing. That way if you have to use the history brush or something else to back off an overdone portion or one where you changed your mind, you won't affect something meant to taper the lighting.

              I do it like this. I make a test layer, typically channel mixer for dodging. I boost red -> red, green-> green and blue -> blue a bit. They're not all equal, and I often use different layers for different parts of an image. The idea is that I can paint over a darker portion that I wish to smooth out and the color will trend toward that of the lighter portions nearby if done over a 2-10 pixel radius. I typically use between 20-50% brush hardness on small details. It keeps things from bleeding over too much.

              If I can find an image that I like that which does not generate any copyright issues, I may make a tutorial of my own. It wouldn't be so much a how to as a case study with mistakes to avoid early on. The problem is that I can picture all of it, but I don't know how well this comes across without examples, including ones of what can go wrong.

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              • #8
                Re: High End Micro Dodge and Burn

                Originally posted by V1972 View Post
                Then why does that article make such a huge distinction between local D&B and global D&B? They specifically mention that global D&B is used for sculpting the face while local D&B is used to even out the skin texture and tone. I could of course be wrong but I'm just trying to understand how certain retouchers can retouch skin to magazine quality. I'm not looking for any kind of shortcuts and I don't mind spending hours on 1 image but I just want to know how it's properly done. Thank you.
                Because it's addressing amateur community, and it is almost impossible for someone off the street with no previous art knowledge to shade the face with any anatomic preciseness.

                So they divide it into steps. Truth being that many retouchers (like myself) do local (clean-up) dodge and burn on different set of layers layers than global (shading) dodge and burn. And even those come in multiple sets. That is because clients(or you) can change their minds, and you don't want to redo all that tone evening in order to reduce or change shading.

                Technique is the exact same, only difference being how zoomed in you are.

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                • #9
                  Re: High End Micro Dodge and Burn

                  Originally posted by skoobey View Post
                  Because it's addressing amateur community, and it is almost impossible for someone off the street with no previous art knowledge to shade the face with any anatomic preciseness.
                  I agree that a lot of these tutorials are aimed at the amateur community which is exactly why I am always in search of real world high end techniques that actual retouchers use. As I said before, I am in no way looking for any sort of shortcuts. I'm willing to do the work but finding materials and tutorials that are aimed toward advanced retouchers has not been easy which is why I was hoping someone here could perhaps point me in the right direction. Thank you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: High End Micro Dodge and Burn

                    Originally posted by V1972 View Post
                    I agree that a lot of these tutorials are aimed at the amateur community which is exactly why I am always in search of real world high end techniques that actual retouchers use.
                    Here's one from a guy that used to post on here. He charges quite a bit for access, and I'm sure it's an attempt to cover his time and recover any costs on something with a limited market. You can read the headings without purchasing the series, and you should note that he refers to a lot of the same stuff that I discussed in earlier posts (a year or more ago).

                    If I had access to some images that I really liked with permission to do whatever I want and post them, I would probably make one that includes coverage of reference material and some reasoning on how to avoid flattening muscle and bone aspects of the face.

                    No one ever talks about stuff like that, and they never mention things like how to test your drawing accuracy. It can alleviate a lot of frustration if you're able to ensure that things always behave as expected.

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                    • #11
                      Re: High End Micro Dodge and Burn

                      Practice makes perfect. Klev, remember things I did couple of years back?

                      Just look at the images all the time, and analyze, V1972.

                      What none of these tutorials teach is why, for that you really need to study art(you don't need to go to college, but you do need to be involved in art one way or another).

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                      • #12
                        Re: High End Micro Dodge and Burn

                        Originally posted by skoobey View Post
                        Practice makes perfect. Klev, remember things I did couple of years back?
                        I remember. I think it was more than two years ago when you were really having trouble, and I strongly suspect you're better than me at it at this point. When I said I would probably do a video series if I had the right images, I meant one that actually talks about references and looks at some of that detail. It would be an enormous amount of work though.

                        What most of them do is walk through a relatively straightforward image after having done it once before. I don't think that's terribly interesting. Their original pass should at least be shown either in cuts or at higher speed to gain some perspective for what they thought about, what changed their mind, etc. The issue as you mention is often one of judgement. I've commented many times on how to fix mechanical issues, and they are the same way I went about testing my own skill on the mechanical stuff.

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                        • #13
                          Re: High End Micro Dodge and Burn

                          Originally posted by klev View Post
                          Here's one from a guy that used to post on here. He charges quite a bit for access, and I'm sure it's an attempt to cover his time and recover any costs on something with a limited market. You can read the headings without purchasing the series, and you should note that he refers to a lot of the same stuff that I discussed in earlier posts (a year or more ago).

                          If I had access to some images that I really liked with permission to do whatever I want and post them, I would probably make one that includes coverage of reference material and some reasoning on how to avoid flattening muscle and bone aspects of the face.

                          No one ever talks about stuff like that, and they never mention things like how to test your drawing accuracy. It can alleviate a lot of frustration if you're able to ensure that things always behave as expected.
                          I have the videos from Conrad and they ain't worth $200. You can learn more from a speed process retouch from YouTube.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: High End Micro Dodge and Burn

                            Originally posted by Bettelyoun View Post
                            I have the videos from Conrad and they ain't worth $200. You can learn more from a speed process retouch from YouTube.
                            I figured as much. I should have been more clear on the point about covering his time. Things like tutorial videos are not a viable source of income with the possible exception of something like lynda.com, and even then I'm not sure what they pay. I don't personally think that concepts like burn and dodge work are that interesting on their own, given that they're a small fraction of what needs to be learned. I must have drifted somewhat when writing that post, because I remember including that to show that that the headings really describe some mundane stuff.

                            The other reason was to show that there aren't any real trade secrets here. I've commented a bunch of times how various things could have been achieved in any given image.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: High End Micro Dodge and Burn

                              There are a couple of reoccurring issues IMO.

                              1. Delusion that Photoshop does things for you and that you haven't found the right option or technique. Only one program can do that - Human Brain Program, Photoshop is just a tool. Everything is done manually, there are smarter ways to do things now that it's digital, but image is still a labour of love.

                              2. Thinking that learning the tools will make you an artist. Anyone that wants to replicate some file first must realize what is it that they like about the original.

                              3. Lack of dedication. Noone became good at anything over night.

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