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Author Topic: Creative Dodging and Burning in Photoshop CS5  (Read 21610 times)
Lightbox
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« Reply #40 on: April 12, 2011, 12:40:39 AM »
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I use luminosity masks alot, but they have a different purpose to what dodge and burn achieves. Luminosity masks are based on actual image content so are limited to darkening or lightening the tones that are already present in your image. Dodge and Burn is used to alter image content independently, anywhere from a pixel to pixel basis going upto larger areas of your image. At a pixel level this is used to smoothen out the tone of an area without loosing image detail, and image detail could be anything from skin on a person to carpet on a floor.

If all you want to do is lighten an area and target a specific tonal range then luminosity masks are where its at, but most often their focus is to wide for detailed work and you will only alter what already exists within your image.

Dodge and burn is more about creating shadows where there weren't originally shadows, smoothening the transition or roll off from a midtone into a shadow or highlight, creating a light to dark transition where previously it may have all been a midtone.

Using the technique of an adjustment layer set to Screen/Multiply I rarely notice changes in colour and saturation, only if a major change is made it becomes obvious to the eye on screen. I always start my workflow with clean up and dodge and burn, after this I go onto colour correction which often involves very localized recolouring of image content to smoothen out colour tones and control hues. If there are major colour shifts this part of my workflow takes care of it, otherwise I can use the mask created when dodging and burning to target those colour shifts.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2011, 03:57:00 AM by Lightbox » Logged

elliot_n
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« Reply #41 on: April 12, 2011, 08:52:12 AM »
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If you're going down this rabbit trail of complex dodging/burning, here's another option. Use curves adjustment layer with a luminosity mask, then place that layer into a layer group and add a mask to the layer group.

Thanks Sheldon. I've been meaning to check out luminosity masks. I'll have a play with Tony Kuyper's tutorials.

At the moment it seems a bit counter-intuitive to me. I'm already using curves adjustment layers that target specific tonalities in the image (highlights, mids, shadows etc.), so I wonder what's to be gained from an action that selects these tonalities in advance.
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Sheldon N
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« Reply #42 on: April 12, 2011, 06:31:24 PM »
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I use luminosity masks alot, but they have a different purpose to what dodge and burn achieves. Luminosity masks are based on actual image content so are limited to darkening or lightening the tones that are already present in your image. Dodge and Burn is used to alter image content independently, anywhere from a pixel to pixel basis going upto larger areas of your image. At a pixel level this is used to smoothen out the tone of an area without loosing image detail, and image detail could be anything from skin on a person to carpet on a floor.

If all you want to do is lighten an area and target a specific tonal range then luminosity masks are where its at, but most often their focus is to wide for detailed work and you will only alter what already exists within your image.

Dodge and burn is more about creating shadows where there weren't originally shadows, smoothening the transition or roll off from a midtone into a shadow or highlight, creating a light to dark transition where previously it may have all been a midtone.

Using the technique of an adjustment layer set to Screen/Multiply I rarely notice changes in colour and saturation, only if a major change is made it becomes obvious to the eye on screen. I always start my workflow with clean up and dodge and burn, after this I go onto colour correction which often involves very localized recolouring of image content to smoothen out colour tones and control hues. If there are major colour shifts this part of my workflow takes care of it, otherwise I can use the mask created when dodging and burning to target those colour shifts.

I use the same methods for dodging/burning as you, curves adjustment layers set to screen or multiply, and it works great. What I'm describing is just a way to do that same dodging and burning, but to do it through the filter of a luminosity mask. The luminosity mask simply excludes certain tones from being affected by your edits, but otherwise everything remains the same.

You can use it in conjunction with a screen or multiply adjustment layer, or actually make adjustments in the curves, or even other blending modes and other types of adjustment layers. By placing the adjustment layer with a luminosity mask into a layer group with a mask on it, you can "paint in" the areas like traditional dodging/burning by painting on the Layer Group mask.

I've found that it allows me one additional layer of control that I wouldn't otherwise have. The Luminosity mask narrows the tonal range I want to adjust, the layer group mask allows me to brush in the specific area that I want to affect. Obviously if you don't have a specific need to focus on a certain tonal range for your chosen image, there's no need to add a luminosity mask to the process.

I've attached an image showing what the layer grouping looks like in use...

Another cool variation on dodging that I've seen is to use the 50% Gray (or empty) layer set to overlay mode, but to then use colored paint instead of white/black for dodging. Just use the eyedropper tool to sample the color of your subject in the area that you're going to dodge, then increase the brightness of that color a little bit, then paint on your dodging layer. This seems to work best with dodging, and I've really only used it on landscape images. Just another thing to toss in the bag of tricks.
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elliot_n
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« Reply #43 on: April 13, 2011, 03:52:41 PM »
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I've just worked my way through Tony Kuyper's Luminosity Masks tutorial:

http://www.goodlight.us/writing/luminositymasks/luminositymasks-1.html

I don't really get it.

It seems like a convoluted (and file expanding) way of doing something that can more easily be achieved using regular adjustment curves.

Surely a curve with a couple of anchor points IS a luminosity mask?

For example, if I want to boost the shadows with an adjustment curve, I'll anchor the mids and the highlights, and then add a point or two to the shadow area of the curve.

And if I then want to paint this effect in locally (i.e. dodge/burn), I'll just fill the layer with black, and paint with white.

What am I missing here?
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Sheldon N
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« Reply #44 on: April 13, 2011, 11:44:00 PM »
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I've just worked my way through Tony Kuyper's Luminosity Masks tutorial:

http://www.goodlight.us/writing/luminositymasks/luminositymasks-1.html

I don't really get it.

It seems like a convoluted (and file expanding) way of doing something that can more easily be achieved using regular adjustment curves.

Surely a curve with a couple of anchor points IS a luminosity mask?

For example, if I want to boost the shadows with an adjustment curve, I'll anchor the mids and the highlights, and then add a point or two to the shadow area of the curve.

And if I then want to paint this effect in locally (i.e. dodge/burn), I'll just fill the layer with black, and paint with white.

What am I missing here?

The luminosity mask gives you so much more control than a regular point curve. When you are making just curves adjustments trying to pin down certain areas of a curve so as not to affect those tones, it limits what kinds of adjustments you can make in your target area. When you use a luminosity mask to control the tonal target area, you are more free to make your desired adjustments with the curve tool. You can really use it to do more targeted things like adding contrast within a narrow tonal range, pulling back the most extreme highlights, and so on. I also find that the curves I make in a luminosity masked layer are much simpler 2 or 3 point curves with broad sweeping adjustments, rather than a 5-6 point curve when you are moving the target area just one point at a time.

In practice, they are quite easy to use. Run the action to build luminosity mask (takes 2 seconds), choose the appropriate luminosity mask for your edits by control clicking on it (loads it as a selection), then add a new adjustment layer. The active selection will automatically be populated into the adjustment layer's mask. The only reason for a layer group with a second mask is because you can't dodge/burn on the luminosity mask without messing it up.

I will say that I find the luminosity masks more suited for landscape type images rather than portraiture.
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Lightbox
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« Reply #45 on: April 14, 2011, 12:05:25 AM »
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Curves are a great tool but as Sheldon has pointed out above, luminosity masks have a smoother roll off than a multi point curve targeting just a small tonal range. Also they make it easier to visualize than a curve layer as you can see exactly what your affecting with the luminosity mask without the distraction of colour, you can also further change the mask by painting with a brush, using a levels or curves adjustment directly on the mask, endless really. Another thing I do often is slightly blur the luminosity mask which gives you a nice smooth transition for whatever adjustment you might be using the mask for.

Working with channels you have a lot more power to combine masks using selections or using calculations, also you can save the masks for use on other adjustments further on in the edit.
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