Most of what will make a good dodge and burn has nothing to do with the actual dodge and burn process, your brush settings are very important. When painting in Photoshop you don’t want either black/white or off/on, you need some grey area. In this tutorial we show you what brush settings to use in order to make a great brush suitable for dodging and burning. This will make sure that your results will look a lot more natural and you will be able to control your output much better.
The Many Ways to Dodge and Burn
The thing about dodging and burning is that there are many different ways of doing it. Today we are going over a technique that involves using two different curves adjustment layers and layer masks. This is a technique that I have come to prefer after doing this for many years. If you have a different technique, please share it in a comment, we are glad to hear about it!
As with everything in Photoshop, there are always going to be many ways to get something done. Do what you are comfortable with and that is usually going to be the best option for you!
Photoshop Dodge and Burn Tips:
- Use separate layers for dodging and burning. This will allow you to change the impact of each by lowering opacity of the layer
- Choose a brush that will allow you control of how much “ink” will be out down
- Try using FLOW instead of OPACITY in your brush settings.
- Keep your FLOW LOW, somewhere around 5-10 percent seems to work best.
- When burning or darkening, paint over the areas that are darker to enhance them.
- When dodging or lightening paint over the lighter areas.
- Don’t go overboard. The goal here is to enhance, not make things look like a cartoon.
- Have fun! You will be amazed at the difference you can make to an image just by dodging and burning.
Thanks Ben Welsh for the image.
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