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Using Dodge and Burn with Overlay

From: Photoshop Blend Mode Magic

Video: Using Dodge and Burn with Overlay

In this image the background could use a little bit of darkening, bring out some contrast there. It's pretty typical in landscape photography for the distance to be a little bit faded, and lacking contrast where the foreground has most of the contrast. Now some of you may have used the Dodge & Burn tools. Nothing wrong with those tools. They have actually gotten better in CS4. But I actually find using a Dodge & Burn layer to be much more flexible and faster, even faster than using my curves or levels and having to mask things off as adjustment layers and whatnot.

Using Dodge and Burn with Overlay

In this image the background could use a little bit of darkening, bring out some contrast there. It's pretty typical in landscape photography for the distance to be a little bit faded, and lacking contrast where the foreground has most of the contrast. Now some of you may have used the Dodge & Burn tools. Nothing wrong with those tools. They have actually gotten better in CS4. But I actually find using a Dodge & Burn layer to be much more flexible and faster, even faster than using my curves or levels and having to mask things off as adjustment layers and whatnot.

So a Dodge & Burn layer, what is a Dodge & Burn layer? Well, a Dodge & Burn layer is nothing more than a layer filled with gray set to Overlay. Now if you remember the make better key is the Option key on the Mac or the Alt key in Windows. If you click the New Layer icon without the modifier key down, you just a get a new layer Layer 1. Okay I'm going to undo that. If you hold down the Option key or the Alt key and click, you get a chance to name the layer. So I'm going to call this Dodge & Burn. But you also get a chance to choose a blend mode for the layer. So we'll choose Overlay and then you can fill that new layer you are creating with the color that is neutral to that blend mode, meaning the color it ignores.

So Overlay ignores gray. So I'm going to turn that on. Click OK. And now I have a Dodge & Burn layer waiting for me to use. If I turn the background layer off, you will see that indeed there is a layer filled with 50% gray, but when it's being composited down and it's set to Overlay of course, the gray pixels are ignored. So now I'll get my Brush tool, B for the Brush tool, pick a nice big soft brush here. Maybe start with a medium Opacity maybe 30% or 40% just by pressing the number 3 of 4. And now anywhere I paint with black, I'm going to be darkening the image or burning it. Anywhere I paint with white I'm going to be lightening the image or dodging it.

So it's pretty easy to start doing this now. You just reset your colors back to Black & White D for Black & White, turn out that way already, and then you just lower the Opacity by typing a number and then you just start painting. So I'm darkening the sky. So I'm going to paint with 30% black and I'm just brushing real big soft brush strokes here, kind of filling the background area, and as I go across you should see the contrast of the water and the mountains getting improved and seeing some more details, just kind of taking that background haze of the image here. Come back over here on the mountains, and real simple, nice big soft strokes and nothing too complicated here.

Okay. So I'll just stop for a second and let's go take a look at this Dodge & Burn layer now. Now if I turn the bottom layer off, you will see anywhere it's 50% gray nothing happens. Anywhere it's darker than 50% gray the underlying image is going to get darker. So let's switch our colors X for exchange, do exchange of our foreground and background colors, and I'm just going to go across the foreground a little bit, with white now, I think this is too fast, so I'm going to Undo that Command+Z, Ctrl+Z. I am going to lower my Opacity. Right now its 30%. I'm going to make it 10% by just pressing the number 1, and I'm just going to very gently come in on some of the darker parts of the foreground here and just going to go again kind of come in with a nice big fat strokes here, with my big brush, set to a low Opacity.

And again let's take a look at the before and after. Here is before and there is after. You should see a pretty big shift happening now, and if I turn the bottom layer off again, again anything that's 50% gray, no change anything that's lighter than 50% gray, the underlying image is going to get lighter, anything that's darker than 50% gray the underlying image is going to get darker. So it's a very versatile, if you burn too much of an area here come back in multiple strokes here and now this is getting too hot. Just press X to exchange and paint back with the other color to darken that back up again.

So it's non-destructive, it's on its own layer, you can go back and change it anytime, very flexible, trick here. I'm going to go burn this little bit up. That's the wrong color. So I'm going to undo it. X for exchange again. I'm just going to take off a little bit of haze here. A little bit more in the mountains, just kind of bring out some more contrast in that portion of the image. So there you have it. That's using a Dodge & Burn layer and again that's just a layer filled with gray set to Overlay, then just paint with different percentages of white and black and you've got your custom way to Dodge & Burn an image.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Blend Mode Magic
Photoshop Blend Mode Magic

46 video lessons · 25561 viewers

Michael Ninness
Author

 
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  1. 2m 25s
    1. Welcome
      1m 33s
    2. Using the exercise files
      52s
  2. 13m 9s
    1. The three kinds of blending in Photoshop
      1m 49s
    2. Blend modes, blend modes, everywhere!
      1m 38s
    3. Cycling through the blending modes
      2m 1s
    4. Three blending modes you must know
      5m 8s
    5. Blending mode keyboard shortcuts
      2m 33s
  3. 3m 13s
    1. Roughening or pointilizing edges with Dissolve
      3m 13s
  4. 34m 40s
    1. Removing halos with Darken
      2m 26s
    2. Bringing down hot highlights with Multiply
      3m 50s
    3. Tonal correction with Screen and Multiply
      3m 35s
    4. Combining adjustment layers with blending modes
      3m 58s
    5. Creating a composite from a single Camera Raw file
      5m 56s
    6. Creating a cast shadow with Multiply
      4m 50s
    7. Creating artistic edges with Multiply and Screen
      3m 39s
    8. From iPhone to Photoshop: Colorizing line art with Multiply
      6m 26s
  5. 14m 47s
    1. Removing dust spots with Lighten
      1m 36s
    2. Adding lightning to a sky with Screen
      3m 20s
    3. Adding a lens flare effect with Screen
      2m 27s
    4. Reducing halos when sharpening with Lighten
      3m 55s
    5. Creating a faint soft-edged line drawing with Linear Dodge
      3m 29s
  6. 1h 5m
    1. Using Dodge and Burn with Overlay
      4m 34s
    2. Reducing wrinkles with Overlay
      6m 37s
    3. Using graduated neutral density filters with Overlay
      5m 32s
    4. Custom vignettes with Overlay
      3m 30s
    5. High-Pass sharpening with Overlay
      4m 16s
    6. Smoothing skin with High-Pass sharpening and Overlay
      5m 29s
    7. Textured patterns with Overlay
      6m 21s
    8. Textured type with Overlay
      2m 55s
    9. Creating a dramatic diffused glow with Overlay
      2m 49s
    10. Creating a subtle glow with Soft Light
      2m 57s
    11. Creating a medium glow with Soft Light
      4m 25s
    12. Simulating film grain with Add Noise and Soft Light
      3m 54s
    13. Recovering detail in over-saturated areas with Pin Light
      8m 30s
    14. Creating 80's pop art with Hard Mix and Multiply
      3m 15s
  7. 5m 7s
    1. Aligning layers with Difference
      5m 7s
  8. 12m 51s
    1. Reducing color noise with Color
      2m 13s
    2. Avoiding false saturation with Luminosity
      5m 33s
    3. Recovering detail in blown-out highlights with Luminosity
      5m 5s
  9. 26m 27s
    1. Getting better sepia tones
      5m 15s
    2. Using antique color effects
      5m 5s
    3. Combining multiple exposures
      4m 34s
    4. Replacing the sky in an image
      3m 44s
    5. Splitting edges when sharpening
      3m 15s
    6. Displacing type around contours
      4m 34s
  10. 22s
    1. Goodbye
      22s

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