Apr 03, 2012

Dodging and Burning Secrets & Included Brush

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.

Download the Free Phlearn Dodge & Burn Brush

Enter your email below to and we will email a download link for the dodge & burn Brushes we used in this episode.

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(will not be published)

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    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 🙂

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      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.

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    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 🙂

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    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!

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    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.

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    Anders Philip

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

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    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 🙂

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    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.

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    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… 🙂

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    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!

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    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 ?

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    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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    Great video, but the brushes didn’t install. Always seems that when someone offers a preset it is for the wrong version. I have CS6.

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    Binder Paul-Stephan


    I may be stupid… but the brush zip …. just seems another zip … an infinite number of zip files to be exact ….


    much apprichiated ! love your videos!

    best regards Paul

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    The brush file appears to be zip, but the program does not recognize it as zip and refuses to extract files from it.
    Please help

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    There is DEFINITELY a problem with the Photoshop Brush file. It does not extract. PLEASE recheck the file. Many ThanX

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    James Smith

    I’m not having any luck getting the brush zip to open, even renaming it doesn’t seem to work, any help would be appreciated. Thanks.