No announcement yet.

PE2: Color burn mode?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • PE2: Color burn mode?

    I am a relative newbie with PE2. I tried using the color burn mode to tint a scene. I did it as follows: Using the color burn mode on a new layer, I tinted the scene with the paint brush. In creating the new color burn mode layer, I could have chosen to have the layer covered with the color burn neutral color white or leave that new layer transparent. I tried tinting with the paint brush on the color burn mode layer, with and without using the color burn neutral color white and the results of tinting with the paint brush seemed to be the same. That is, in one case the color burn layer was filled with white and in the other case it was transparent before I started tinting. In both cases tinting with the paint brush appeared to have the same results.
    Why would one use the neutral color white in a color burn layer (or black in a color dodge layer) rather than leaving the layer transparent?
    Richard Hirschman

  • #2
    Rich, I don't use APSE, but what you describe sounds correct.

    The neutral colour in a blend mode is treated as transparent.

    Why is this a benefit when one can as you say paint on an empty layer to do the same thing?

    In the full version, one often uses channel blends in layers - which I believe APE can do with Richards HP tools.

    So when blending say the RED channel data in a layer in a blend mode over an image...there is no transparency and there is only white/black/levels of gray. In this case knowing that white, black or 50% gray is treated as neutral (transparent) is a big deal.

    For example, a lineart scan or ink drawing etc can be blended in multiply mode over other layers - making the white areas appear transparent and mixing the black into the underlying tone/colour.

    Hope this helps,

    Stephen Marsh.


    • #3
      Hi Stephen,
      Thanks for your response. Because I am a relative newbie with PE2, what you are describing is beyond my capabilities at the moment. So I am still a bit confused as to the difference between using the color burn layer with and without the color burn neutral color white.


      • #4
        Rich, if you are just simply painting on a layer in this blend mode, then there is no difference.

        Transparent layer = no effect to underlying pixels

        Neutral blend colour = no effect to underlying pixels

        Painting in a tone that is not the neutral blend colour will have the same effect either way, as your tests have shown you.

        In Photoshop (and PSE) - there is usually more than one way to do one task. Sometimes there are 'right' and 'wrong' ways to do things, but usually things are a bit more free than that. This can make it hard for a newbie, as the seeming lack of structure can seem haphazard or random - when to the more advanced user these are benefits called flexibility. <g>

        So, if just painting an effect in with this mode - just stick to using either a new transparent layer or using a white filled layer and do not worry too much further for now.

        The important thing is that you do understand the importance of the neutral blend tone - which it sounds like you do. As mentioned, more advanced techniques such as blending another image or one of the original images channels into the image in this blend mode will show more use for the neutral blend mode property than simply painting in the effect.

        Does that help? It sounds like you are doing fine picking things up, a little more play should bring all this home. One often needs to constantly read and practise to make these concepts second nature.

        Stephen Marsh.
        Last edited by Stephen M; 08-02-2003, 06:31 AM.


        • #5
          Hi Stephen,
          Thanks for reexplaining and for an informative answer. I am getting it - slowly, but I am still a little confused after trying an "experiment.," as I will describe. The "experiment," suggested to me that tinting in a new transparent layer may give different results than tinting in a layer with a neutral color in that layer. Here is what I did and perhaps you can explain to me why I get different results in each case. I used an image of a woman with black hair and wanted to tint a little of her hair so that the tinted area had a shiny, gold color. I used a new color dodge layer with an opacity at 33%. First I added that new color dodge layer without the neutral color black in the layer (transparent layer). When I painted a little bit of her hair with white in that new layer, the area that I painted just turned a dull white color. I then deleted that new color dodge layer and added another new color dodge layer, but this time, I used the neutral color dodge black in the layer when adding the layer (layer>new>layer). This time, when I painted with white in that new layer, the hair appeared the way I wanted - shiny, with a kind of golden color.
          Why would the results differ depending on whether I used a new color dodge layer without the neutral color black (a transparent new layer) or a new color dodge layer with the neutral color black?
          Thanks again.
          Last edited by Rich10; 08-02-2003, 07:38 AM.


          • #6
            Hi Rich, not sure here - I am not seeing this. I just did a test as you described.

            Blonde hair, white brush 100% opacity colour and a new layer in colour dodge mode at 33% opacity.

            The effect is the same either way for the edit, except for the edges.

            The only difference I can see is the way that the edge blending is handled between the version on a transparent layer and the version on the black neutral blend mode layer. When I go to advanced colour settings and check gamma 1 RGB blending for painting/blending edits - then the result is exactly the same as for the transparent layer.

            So, if you do like the gamma compensated (default) edge blend effect - where the edges are darker...then use the neutral black fill for toning with this blend mode.

            If you prefer a cleaner edge, then use a transparent layer or use gamma 1 RGB blending in advanced colour settings (full version)...not sure if PSE has this feature.

            Stephen Marsh.


            • #7
              Hi Stephen,
              Thanks again for your response. After reading your post, I tried it again and again the two methods led to different results. If you have the time, could you try the two methods on dark hair using the color dodge tool. That's what I did when I saw a big difference in the hair as a function which method I used - a color doge transparent layer vs. a color dodge layer using the neutral black. In both cases, I painted with white, as I previosuly described. If I can find a blond haired person in my photo collection, I will try what you did.
              Thanks again.


              • #8
                Hi again Stephen,
                I did a little test on tinting hair to show you what I mean. I overdid it on the hair for the sake of clarity. Please see the photos at:
                I used two photos. I probably won't leave them in the gallery too long because my daughter in law might not be pleased. :-)
                The first three photos are a black hair test. The second three photos are a blond hair test. In each case I used a new layer in the color dodge mode set at 100% opacity. The paint brush was set at 10% opacity. The first photo in each of the two groups is the starting photo before I did anything. The second photo in each of the two groups shows the results from using a color dodge layer without checking the "color dodge neutral black" box and then painting with white on the new layer. The third photo in each of the two groups shows the results from using a color dodge layer with the "color dodge neutral black" box checked and then painting with white on the new layer. If you compare photos two and three from each of the two groups you will see that the results are quite different for each. The third photos in each group have a shiny look while the second photos in each group have a white look. Perhaps I am doing something weird that I don't realize, but it seems to me that checking or not checking the "color dodge neutral black" box when making the color dodge layer leads to very different results when you then paint that layer with white. I sure wish I could understand why that hapens. Any further comments are appreciated.
                Thanks again.


                • #9
                  I agree Rich.

                  Your images show a difference.

                  Today, my tests also show a big difference - unlike yesterday.

                  Truth be told, I have not used this blend mode much for toning. I generally use an overlay layer in mid gray [neutral blend] for this. When using these more 'exotic' blend modes, I am usually blending a grayscale channel over the image in a layer, or a dupe of the colour image in a layer, and not painting.

                  My expectations have proven to be inaccurate in all areas of this test.

                  At this point I would suggest that you keep exploring and note the differences between various colours and tones and how they react to the blend modes and the edits in question and then to use the appropriate effect when you need it.

                  This is a very good question and I would like to find the time to answer it, but that is not possible at this point in time - anyone else care to step in here?

                  Stephen Marsh.


                  • #10
                    Hi Stephen,
                    Thanks for your advice and all the time you put into this thread. I have a thread on this topic working in the Adobe Photoshop Elements User to User forum. There are some guesses there but I am waiting for a few more posts to see how it all unfolds.


                    • #11
                      Rich, please let the forum know what the outcome is on the other list - with luck an offical Adobe explanation will be forthcoming. <g>

                      As mentioned, I use overlay for toning when using a technique like you describe - and this 'feature' is not present with overlay, results are the same if the layer is transparent or filled with the netural blend colour [50% gray].

                      But then as you have found, some other blend modes do react differently to the same edit performed on either transparency or the neutral blend colour.

                      Perhaps it is due to the neutral blend not being 50% gray - who knows?

                      Stephen Marsh.


                      • #12
                        Hi Stephen,
                        Here are a couple of responses pasted together from the Adobe Photoshop Elements forum written by a guy named Chuck. His explanation makes sense to me.

                        >>Richard, I tried your experiment and got the same result. Here are some
                        thoughts about what you experienced.
                        Color Dodge is a 'lightening mode' , which means that painting on the layer with any color brighter than black has the potential to brighten the
                        underlying image. In the case of Color Dodge, it will also tend to make the
                        colors more saturated. When you start with a Color Dodge layer full of black
                        and then paint (in normal blending mode for the brush) with white at a low opacity, you're in effect removing black, but only some of it (you can see
                        that on the thumbnail for the layer) - you have some gray left behind. On
                        the other hand, when you paint with white on a Color Dodge layer that has no black fill, it's really very much like just painting over the layer below
                        with white - no black to absorb it and do the dodging. If you paint on that
                        'empty' (unfilled) Color Dodge layer with a dark gray instead of white, I
                        think you'll get the same effect as painting on the filled layer with white.

                        Richard, the black is neutral in that it's the only color that can fill the
                        Color Dodge layer that doesn't affect the view of the image below (because
                        everything except black lightens). And when you paint on it with white at
                        10% opacity, you're mixing white with black and getting a dark gray. Try
                        painting on the one without the color dodge neutral black box checked, but
                        instead of white, try dark gray; I think it looks a lot like the one with
                        the box checked and white paint. Thanks for posting the comparisons in your gallery. <<
                        Last edited by Rich10; 08-03-2003, 11:40 AM.


                        • #13
                          Thanks for the reply Richard.

                          Thanks for the thread too. Perhaps my guess about the black neutral blend colour was close after all.

                          So, what can one take away from all this?

                          If toning in a layer which offers the choice of a neutral blend mode - one should probably take this option.

                          Stephen Marsh.


                          Related Topics


                          • Doug Nelson
                            Dodge/Burn layer
                            by Doug Nelson
                            Dodging and burning can be problematic at best. One alternative method I use occasionally is to create a new layer, set mode to 'multiply' and turn the opacity WAY down, then paint with black and/or white (or gray). I feel it gives me more control, plus it also seems to be more tolerant of errors. And...
                            05-20-2002, 01:27 AM
                          • WandererX
                            local color correcting
                            by WandererX
                            I'm having a little bit of a problem with my local color management and was wondering if someone could give me some advice. Couple of questions here. First, if I'm dodging out a dark area on the skin and one layer doesn't get the tone light enough would I add a second layer and dodge with two layers?...
                            09-14-2009, 02:36 AM
                          • dario
                            Color dodge eliminate yellowing. Why?
                            by dario
                            Hi, it's me again with my comics restauration hobby.
                            I just discovered a nice trick to eliminate automatically the yellowing of the old pages, but i do not understand why it works. Can you explain it ?
                            Here is the trick
                            When you have a yellowed comic page (first image) create a...
                            03-08-2006, 03:48 AM
                          • nudisco
                            pockets glowing through the pants
                            by nudisco

                            I've got a problem, there is a picture of man in white striped suit, but on the pants yu can see through the fabric the pockets, its a bit brighter. How do i make it disappear, to look like all the same without damaging the stripes....
                            03-09-2009, 05:00 AM
                          • abdul10000
                            Whats the deal with the 50% gray background?
                            by abdul10000
                            I read so much about 50% gray background in this forum, but for whatever reason cannot understand its exact purpose.

                            It seems people use it with blend modes like soft light, overlay, etc for some special effects. For example, I can't understand how its applied to D&B instead...
                            12-30-2007, 08:52 AM