Ever wanted to sculpt the face of one of your portraits like a pro but don’t know how? In this tutorial we will show you how to dodge and burn with lines in Photoshop. Not only is it as easy as brushing on lines, but fine-tuning effects for professional results.
Why dodge and burn at all?
The purpose of dodge and burn layers in Photoshop is to create dimension and shape cheekbones and other facial features to make the subject look more three-dimensional and not flat and boring. To achieve this, you need to dodge (add highlights) and burn (add shadows) your subject’s face.
There are several dodge and burn techniques. In this tutorial, we’ll show how to dodge and burn non-destructively with Curves adjustment layers. In further steps we will show you how to fine-tune these adjustments to create a more dynamic portrait. Another dodge and burn technique you can use is the Linear Light method.
If you don’t have your own photo, you can follow us. Download our sample image from pixel. Let’s get in right away…
1. Create two curve layers
First we need to create two Curves layers that will serve as our dodge and burn layers. Then we’ll invert the layer masks so we can use them in later steps.
- To create the Burn Layer, click the Adjustment Layer icon and select curves.
- Click to create a point in the center.
- Drag the point down.
- Double click curves 1 and rename to Burn.
- Select the mask and press ctrl + I to invert the mask to black.
- create a new one curves Layer.
- Click to create a point in the center.
- Drag the point up.
- Double click curves 2 and rename to Evade.
- Select the Dodge mask and press ctrl + I to invert the mask to black.
Check out our full guide to curves if you need a refresher.
2. Paint lines on the dodge and burn layers
In this section we will create lines that will serve as the basis for our dodge and fire. In the end, your subject’s face will contain all the necessary components to cushion the effects later.
- Press B for the brush Tool. Alternatively, you can click the brush tool icon.
- From the brush menu, choose a hard round Brush.
- Choose Evade layer mask.
- Make sure, that blend mode is normal, opacity is 100%and Flow is 100%.
- Do that foreground Color white. Press D and then toggle X key if necessary
- Brush lines onto the face where the highlights should be. Note that if there are already strong highlights in some areas, there is no need to brush over them.
- Choose Burn layer mask.
- Paint lines on the face where the shadows should be.
The image may look silly now, but the magic happens in the next section.
3. Feather the Dodge and Burn layers
Here we take our lines and turn them into beautiful zones of soft light and shadow.
- Choose Evade Layer.
- Double-click to open properties Menu.
- Increase the Feather Slider until the lines are nicely blended. Note that you can press Z to zoom in and out. Press OK.
- Choose Burn Layer.
- Double-click to open properties menu as before.
- Increase the Feather Slider until the lines are nicely blended. Press OK.
You can always return to the Properties menu in the Dodge and Burn layers to make adjustments.
4. Use Blend If to clean up the highlights and shadows
You may have noticed that we lost some of the hard edges that helped create a contoured look. In this section we’ll use Blend If on the dodge and burn layers to remove the highlights and shadows where they don’t belong to create a more sculpted look.
- Double click on the right side of the Evade Layer. That layer style Panel should appear.
- In which Underlying layershut Old click on the left handle and move it to the right until the effect looks more natural. Press OK.
- Double click on the right side of the Burn Layer. Once more the layer style Panel should appear.
- In which Underlying layershut Old press and click on the right handle to move it to the left until the effect looks more natural. Press OK.
- With the Evade level active, hold shift and click the Burn Layer. Both levels should be highlighted.
- Press ctrl + G to combine the layers into one folder.
- With Group 1 active, reduce the opacity to 0 and gradually move the slider until the effect is perfect. You can toggle them Group 1 Turn shift on and off to see the before and after.
5. Eliminate overflows with a mask
Sometimes the dodge and burn effects carry over from the subject’s face to parts of the image where they don’t belong. To correct this we simply create a mask in the group folder and use the brush tool to remove the effects.
- With the Group 1 level active, click on the mask Symbol.
- Press B for the brush Tool.
- Choose a soft round Brush.
- Set those foreground color to black. Press X to toggle it.
- Press Z to zoom in on the affected area. It may be difficult to see here, but there is some overlap along the model’s cheeks.
- Brush off the effects where they overlap the edge of the model’s face.
Not every image will require you to do this step, but it’s always a good idea to zoom in on your photo and see if there’s anything that needs cleaning up.
If you decide you want a more pronounced look, you can go back to the Blend If layers and adjust them. Likewise, you can even redraw the curve lines. Sculpting can be further refined if you use multiple curves to dodge and burn.
Here’s a more pronounced look that should be more visible on your screen or monitor:
Dodging and burning in Photoshop doesn’t have to be difficult
We showed you how easy it is to add lines to your subject’s face to act as dodge and afterburn zones in your portrait. If you’ve been along, you’ll know how quick and effective this method is for creating professional-looking portraits that look sculpted and three-dimensional. Now you can make all your portraits stand out from the crowd.
This article was previously published on Source link