Catalog > Free Tutorials > 5 Wacom Tricks: Frequency Separation, Object Removal, and More!
  • 5 Wacom Tips: Frequency Separation, Object Removal, and More!

  • by Aaron Nace
    November 19, 2019
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Download the Sample Images, Brushes, and the Action!


Click the link below to download the sample images, sample PSDs, custom brushes, and the PHLEARN Frequency Separation Action.

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Tutorial Description

What can a Wacom Tablet do for you and your workflow? We’ll show you! Learn how to use a pressure-sensitive tablet to create realistic atmospheric effects like rain and snow, remove common objects and distractions, and even apply professional techniques like dodging and burning and Frequency Separation!

Be sure to click on the download button above to get our custom Rain and Snow brushes, our Skin Retouching Brush, and our PHLEARN Frequency Separation Action!

Installing Actions & Brushes

To load the PHLEARN Frequency Separation Action, click on the Window menu and then click on Actions to open the Actions dialog. Click on the drop-down menu icon at the top right of the Actions dialog and select Load Actions. Navigate to the folder where you saved the Action and select PHLEARN Frequency Separation.atn.

To load the brushes, click on the Window menu and then click on Brushes to load the Brushes dialog. Click on the drop-down menu icon at the top right of the Brushes dialog and select Import Brushes. Navigate to the folder where you saved the brushes and select PHLEARN Wacom Brushes.abr.

wacom tablet dodge and burn photoshop

Wacom Intuos Pro

Get complete control of your editing with 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity! Perfect for blending effects and for a more ergonomic, natural feel as you work.

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What is a Wacom Tablet?

A Wacom Tablet is the most popular brand of pressure-sensitive tablets that work with Photoshop, Lightroom, and other creative software suites. While pen tablets aren’t a necessary part of the editors toolkit, they do make it much easier to create subtle, natural-looking effects while making the overall editing experience more ergonomic.

Rain, Snow, and Atmospheric Effects

Adding rain or other atmosphere to an image can help to set the tone and tell the story. The difficult part about creating these effects is making sure there’s enough depth and natural variation so that it looks realistic.

A Wacom Tablet can help you add that natural variation by simply applying more or less pressure as you paint. Using the Brush Settings dialog, we can turn our normal soft round brush, into a brush that recreates the shape of rain or snow. Then we can use the pressure-sensitivity settings, we can change the size of the rain or snow by applying more or less pressure. This allows us to put rain or snow into the foreground, middleground, and background of a photo, creating realistic depth.

Object Removal

The Spot Healing Brush Tool is our go-to for taking care of common blemishes and distractions in photos. But a pressure-sensitive tablet can make the process even easier!

You’ll usually want your brush size to be similar in size to the object that you’re trying to remove. But if you’re working with an image that has a lot of distractions of varying sizes, constantly having to change your brush size can become tedious.

With a pen tablet, you can set the brush size to pen-pressure, which will allow you to change the size quickly and naturally as you as work.

Dodge & Burn

Dodging and burning is one of the most talked about techniques in photo editing and retouching. The process involves enhancing the natural highlights and shadows in an image, making brighter areas brighter and darker areas darker. Since we’re painting with light, a soft and subtle approach goes a long way in making the effect both powerful and realistic.

A Wacom Tablet gives you that control and precision. With so much variation in size, shape, and intensity, pressure-sensitivity gives you the ability to handle almost any situation with missing a beat.

Frequency Separation

The most powerful of all retouching techniques, Frequency Separation involves separating the texture of an image from the color and tone. This allows you to edit each independently, so there’s no risk of damaging one while you edit the other.

All of the benefits of a pressure-sensitive tablet come together for advanced techniques like this. Being able to quickly change brush size, control precisely how much of an effect is applied, and adding natural variation are all key to great to retouching. Combined with our custom Photoshop Action, a Wacom Tablet makes Frequency Separation easier than ever!

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