17 Jun 2014

Non-Destructive Dodge and Burn

Philip Avellana, Australian Landscape Photographer, Photoshop, dodge, burn, non destructive, technique, editing, post processing
Ray of Triangulation - Dodged & Burned Manually

Dodge and Burn is a very useful technique in Photoshop (and is frequently used as well) that many digital artist uses.  Basically you lighten (dodge) and darken (burn) parts of your photo according to your liking.  Although the Curves and Levels tools do quite a good job globally, Dodge & Burn polishes it out to finish in specific-hard to reach areas.

Many might already know this technique in Photoshop but some might not.  When I'm editing my landscape photos, I use a non-destructive layer that does dodge and burn.  This is a separate layer that can be painted over and over.  To create this when you're in Photoshop:

1. Open an image
2. Hold 'Alt' and Click 'New Layer Icon' (a dialog box opens)
3. Do the following:
  • Name: Give a name to the layer
  • Mode: Overlay
  • Tick: Fill With Overlay-Neutral Color (50% gray)
4. Click 'OK'


Philip Avellana, Australian Landscape Photographer, Photoshop, dodge, burn, non destructive, technique, editing, post processing
Non Destructive Dodge & Burn Layer

Philip Avellana, Australian Landscape Photographer, Photoshop, dodge, burn, non destructive, technique, editing, post processing
Created a Dodge and Burn Layer

This creates a gray layer on top.  You can do Dodge and Burn by simply painting this layer with the default brush (black and white).  Some important points before proceeding:
  • Click 'D' to immediately select the default brush (black and white brush)
  • Click 'X' to Toggle between white and black brush
  • Increase / Decrease the Opacity of the Brush - this increases and decreases the degree of dodge and burn
  • You can create a layer mask to this layer
  • Toggle the 'eye' icon on a layer.  This will turn on/off the layer thereby turning on/off it's effect on the image
I noticed that I'm using about 8 - 20% brush opacity.  If I want the maximum, I do 80%.  I just paint them over again and again.

Modified Dodge and Burn Layer





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