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Dodging and Burning Secrets & Included Brush

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Apr 03

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Dodging and Burning

You can add a ton of depth to your images by enhancing the highlights and the shadows, also called dodging and burning.

Today we are going over some great methods on both dodging and burning that will make the process much more simple for you and make sure you get the results you want.

Free Brush

If you have a pressure sensitive tablet (I use a Wacom Intuos4 Small) This brush is designed especially for dodging and burning, and will make a huge difference in how you edit!

Best of all, it is free.

Free Photoshop Brush

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  • Jesus Otero

    something its wrong with the video it stops at 1:29 every time its a fail lol i am sure you will get right on it.

  • Jesus Otero

    its working lol

  • Jan Justesen

    Hey Aaron, 

    I’ve heard you say a couple of times that you don’t know why some people use a 50% gray layer to dodge and burn.. I totally agree with you that it wouldn’t make sense to paint black and white on a 50% grey, but using a 50% grey soft light layer lets you use the traditional dodge and burn tools non-destructively.I prefer using the regular brush on a soft light layer too though :)

  • Bryan Dockett

    you’re a nut man and thanks for the awesome phlearns 

  • Marcelo Moya Ochoa

    Thanks! I needed this video!

  • arrowlili

    This is brilliant, thanks so much. D&B was actually one of the high ups on my to do list of tuts. like your method… now to just play catch up on all your other vids :-)

  • Rubén Chase

    I love how you dodge and burn without use the D/B tools included on photoshop, to avoid that annoying saturation problems. I will do that on the future! Thank you man!

  • Christopher Odd

    Great episode Aaron!

    I think the two most important things for people like myself to take away from this episode are:

    1) Learn to use the “Blend-If” function.  You do an AWESOME job of explaining it (especially in your PRO’s) and once peopel get the hang of it, you can accomplish a lot of different techniques.

    2) Know when to stop editing.  You’ve often said, “Apply the effect you want, then step away and come back.”  I find this to be extremely helpful.  I usually come back to an edit and reducde the opacity quite a bit as I realize I’ve overdone something.

    Just my two cents.

  • Anders Philip

    @aaron nace, there is a problem with the download link, it says – “you download restart” all the time..

  • Sarah Allegra

    I’m loving this series!  So many great tips and tricks!

    Here’s the thing about girls and underwear; it’s a big compliment if we want to wear your brand on our underthings.  It’s true that (probably) fewer people will see stuff on our panties than our shirts, but keeping a brand right next to out lady parts means we REALLY like it.  So get those in your shop :)

  • Thanh Nguyen

    i can’t Install brush, its need  Wacom Intuos?

  • Janninemccarthy

    Excellent episodes Aaron, i have a lot to learn, liking the dodging & burning tutorial, not seen it done this way before. Thankyou for the brush, just bought my tablet.

  • Sebastian Ortiz

    Great Idea in using color to Dodge and Burn… excellent episode… I’m just Phlearning, Phlearning, Phlearning along!!!  


    Ps… Thanks for the free Brush… maybe you can add it to your “Resources” page, unless, of course, it’s exclusive to this lesson… :)

  • Ttstinger

    Surely you should have pheatured Amy Dresser and not Jill. 

  • Ian Arneson

    Any advice for bringing out tattoos?

  • RvSliwa

    This is a great tutorial Aaron. Thanks for sharing your techniques.
    I used different type of Doge and Burn technique, but this one is clearly the best!

  • Sebastien Galtier

    after watching this ep. i tried to have a go at a photo i did a year ago !
    i think and hope i gave more texture and definition …
    happy to hear what you think ?

  • Ruud van Gaal

    That means swapping from dodge to burn with the O key a few times, right? With just a dodge/burn layer, you could use the default colors (black & white) and use X to switch from dodge to burn… It seems slightly easier.

  • Mary Beth Bueno

    Wow. this was an awesome tut! Thank you so much for taking the time…. Unfortunately, all I have is PSE 11. Is there any way to bring up those level menus (for your highlight layer, and shadow layer respectively) in PSE? I tried double clicking- no dice. :( I usually do very minimal editing… but have been wanting to find a non-hdr looking d&b. You got it! This is beautiful… just wish I could do it in PSE.

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