This is the second part of a comprehensive Dodge & Burn technique. To begin with, read the first part where the basic concepts of light and shadow used in painting are bright.

It turns out that glare and shadows are the main components of a two-dimensional image, thus giving a sense of volume and size.

In this part of the lesson we will discuss the correct choice of tablet and the correct working tune settings using the Dodge & Burn Technike

Mouse or Tablet

To begin with, we would like to note that while it is very possible to participate in retouching using a simple computer mouse, the chances of achieving outstanding results are slight. If you want to speed up your progress and work in comfort, it is highly recommended to purchase a graphics tablet. Today, Wacom tablets are five to seven times cheaper than they were when I was just starting to engage in retouching, so if you are serious about this business, don’t let the cost scare you off.

At first, retailing with the help of a stylus may seem very uncomfortable, but you will get used to it in a few days. And as soon as this happens you will never want to go back to a mouse again. Hand stylus is much more natural. With the help of sensitivity to printing, you can control strokes, transparency, and color thickness. The higher this sensitivity, the more responsive the tablet is, respectively. This means you have greater control over the retouching process.

Tablet Size

A retouching graphics tablet would have to be small because, unlike a digital artist, the retoucher has enough to move only the brushes, not the entire hand at work. The larger each of the tablet’s work surfaces, the more hands each must make to make a smear, often growing into raised hands and tension in the shoulders and back.

Therefore, although I work with a 27″ screen, I prefer to use a smaller tablet. My first purchase was an Intuos 3 Mediu m-Sized Tablet, but I incorrectly suggested that I needed a larger tablet, but suggested that I could only afford a medium-sized tablet (which cost $499 at the time). Then I got a smaller version of the Intuos 4 and it still works just fine.

Before you start working with your new tablet, install the latest version of the drivers from the manufacturer’s official website and cover the settings on the tablet itself. In the work mode, make sure you chose feathers instead of a mouse. In the settings, the tablet’s work surface should correspond to the full size of the screen.

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Next, configure the sensitivity of the pen. Personally, I always choose the softest pen available. Because the smear is soft and corresponds to the size of the pen. If you set the hard pen parameters, the size of the stroke will be much smaller than the selected size of the brush.

Photoshop Brush Settings

To open the Brush Settings panel in the Photoshop program, you can press the F5 key, select the Brushes section of the Window menu, or select the corresponding icon in the menu line as shown in the figure below.

Then familiarize yourself with the most important parameters shown in the Brush panel and set up your brushes for the most effective and accurate use of the Dodge & Burn technique.

In this case, only a few parameters are important for adjusting the brush, including brush shape (brush tip shape), shape dynamics (shape dynamics), and transmission (transmission). The importance of some of these settings, including spacing. And instead of spending your time and talking about the remaining parameters, I offer to download a set of brushes created specifically for this lesson.

The spacing parameter is responsible for adjusting the distance between each brushprint in a stroke, which affects the intensity of the smear. The tab sets the spacing value where the brushprint shape (brush tip shape) is equal to 25%. Larger values lead to the fact that the bar turns into several points, resulting in arbitrary values. It is much wider.

Shape Dynamics Dynamics Tab: Size Jitter – 0%, and in the Control column, select Pen (Pen Pressure). If you see an exclamation point when certain setups are changed, you will need to update your tablet drivers.

The minimum diameter is 50%, but this parameter depends on your own preference. A lower meaning creates thinner strokes and allows you to change the pressure of the pen while drawing. Increasing the diameter produces larger and softer strokes. Therefore, in most cases the most optimal option is a value of 50%.

Do not forget to disconnect the airbrush function in the settings panel. Otherwise, if you hold the pen at some point for a long time, you may accidentally affect a larger area than necessary.

You can download the set of brushes we have done for this lesson. These brushes are perfect for both local and global use in Dodge & Burn.

Starting Brushes and Pressure

To use the Dodge & Burn Technique, it is recommended that you use very low strength brushes. This allows you to build the effect slowly and carefully using many strokes. To do this you can reduce the opacity or pressure of the brush. Before the beginner, the question always arises how you need to adjust these two parameters.

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Simply put, it depends on how you use the pen. As for me, I prefer to reduce the opacity and leave the pressure at a value of 100%. Because after each stroke I immediately tear the feather from the tablet. This is my habit. Another retouch is to lower the pressure and leave 100% opacity to achieve the intensity of the effect without tearing the pen from the surface of the tablet.

Dodge and burn tool

Despite the fact that many of my colleagues, like me, do not resort to using the native tools of dodge and burn, they are still in the Photoshop program and they can be used too. However, there are a few nuances you should be aware of.

In short, the Dodge tool lights and burns pixels. The fastest and easiest way to use these tools is to make a copy of the layer and work with it. Hold the ALT key to switch between these tools.

However, there are several drawbacks to using these tools. They are very aggressive and it is difficult to control the intensity of the impact. They are based on algorithmic burn-in (darken the base) and masking (lighten the base) algorithms, and even the slightest impact usually results in a catastrophic change in the original color. The end result is an oversaturated bright spot rather than a slightly brighter area.

However, there are several ways to reduce overexposure of these tools.

First, reduce the tool’s exposure (Exposure) value from 1 to 10%. You can also prevent oversaturation of bright areas by unchecking the checkbox next to Protect Tone (Protect Tone), but it is recommended that the oversaturated areas be treated in the next retouching step because of the possible color changes that may occur. .

Another countermeasure is to use a new layer filled with 50% gray in Blend Mode Soft Light (Soft Light). This will greatly reduce color distortion and mitigate the effects of these tools.

To quickly create such a layer, hold down the Shift + Command (CTRL) + N keys, select the mode Soft light (Soft light) in the window that appears, and check the box next to the command Fill with Soft-Light-neutral. box next to the command Fill with Soft-Light-neutral. Color (50% gray) (Fill with soft neutral color 50% gray).

Even in this state, however, there is no escaping the problem of overdose, which will have to be corrected in future work. Once you have finished working with the Mask and Burn tool, use a new layer in hue or color blend mode to cover the saturated areas with the desired color and tone.

In the next part of the tutorial, you will finally get to know the most effective masking and burning settings and techniques.

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