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Photographer
THRobinson
Posts: 869
London, Ontario, Canada


I've learned a lot from these forums, and YouTube videos, been using D&B a lot on my images, using non-destructive methods on their own layers but, since everyone does it differently I was wondering which way was considered the best.

Basically, wondering about two things in particular...

1) Until now, I've been creating a new layer, set as Overlay, and clicking the 50% Grey option. But a few tutorials I've seen say use Soft Light with the 50% Grey fill. Which is better, Overlay or Soft Light? Why?

2) Range... I've been leaving it on midtones because I figured if the layer was 50% grey, there was nothing but midtones. Is this correct? or is it pulling info from the layers below it?

Thanks.
Sep 06 13 06:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Laura Bello
Posts: 1,198
Rochester, New York, US


I use soft light layer and I don't actually use the dodge and burn tools I use a brush set to 100% opacity and 1-3% flow.  I select colors on the skin that are the highlights or shadows then select a color for each that's more desaturated and something a little darker or lighter, then just paint in the dark and light areas.

I don't really know why this works better than overlay but it seems to be good for me.
Sep 06 13 06:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Krunoslav Stifter
Posts: 3,843
Santa Cruz, California, US


THRobinson wrote:
Basically, wondering about two things in particular...

1) Until now, I've been creating a new layer, set as Overlay, and clicking the 50% Grey option. But a few tutorials I've seen say use Soft Light with the 50% Grey fill. Which is better, Overlay or Soft Light? Why?

Overlay will effect the underlying layer more and give you more stronger contrast effect, when working to achieve subtle changes overlay can be too strong and give you more side effects with color discoloration that you have to fix.

Soft light offers less contrast in a single brush stroke but offers less shift in underlying color where you paint.

There are other popular options as well. Like using two curves layers with layer masks. One for burning and one for dodging


THRobinson wrote:
2) Range... I've been leaving it on midtones because I figured if the layer was 50% grey, there was nothing but midtones. Is this correct? or is it pulling info from the layers below it?

Thanks.

Blend modes work by comparing and adjusting the layer with the blend mode and the one bellow it. But if you fill the layer with 50% gray, soft light and Overlay and few other blend modes ignore the 50% gray or mid gray color. making it effectively transparent. The true D&B effect happen only when you use your brush to paint with any color or two that is not 50%gray.

However you can D&B on an empty layer as well set to soft light or overlay. It will give you the same effect. The reason why we fill the layer with 50% gray is mainly to see where we have D&B afterwords. On an empty layer sometimes its hard to see the brush strokes. But they work exactly the same on the layer underneath.

Sep 06 13 07:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
GK Retouching
Posts: 347
Denver, Colorado, US


THRobinson wrote:
I've learned a lot from these forums, and YouTube videos, been using D&B a lot on my images, using non-destructive methods on their own layers but, since everyone does it differently I was wondering which way was considered the best.

Basically, wondering about two things in particular...

1) Until now, I've been creating a new layer, set as Overlay, and clicking the 50% Grey option. But a few tutorials I've seen say use Soft Light with the 50% Grey fill. Which is better, Overlay or Soft Light? Why?

2) Range... I've been leaving it on midtones because I figured if the layer was 50% grey, there was nothing but midtones. Is this correct? or is it pulling info from the layers below it?

Thanks.

Natalia does a wicked one using curves. Tried it last night, and I honestly prefer her method. Just easy to make subtle adjustments later.

http://vimeo.com/68360962

Sep 06 13 07:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tulack
Posts: 502
Albuquerque, New Mexico, US


THRobinson wrote:
1) Until now, I've been creating a new layer, set as Overlay, and clicking the 50% Grey option. But a few tutorials I've seen say use Soft Light with the 50% Grey fill. Which is better, Overlay or Soft Light? Why?

Any contrast mode (all seven of them) have 50% gray as neutral color. It means when 50 % gray blends with image result doesn't change. When you dodging and burning you make this 50% gray less gray or more gray. Since it's contrast mode, contrast increased in dark areas and decreased in light when you darkening and vise versa. Any blend mode are just curves. Here is the difference between two modes. https://sphotos-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/q71/1238203_10153197129740153_1159439253_n.jpg
If you know what curves are, you would have your answer.

THRobinson wrote:
2) Range... I've been leaving it on midtones because I figured if the layer was 50% grey, there was nothing but midtones. Is this correct? or is it pulling info from the layers below it?

Gray has nothing to do with midtones. Gray is neutral color for contrast blend modes. We use midtones because if you would look at histogram, you will see that majority of your image in midtones range.

Sep 06 13 08:50 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tulack
Posts: 502
Albuquerque, New Mexico, US


Stolen Fate Design wrote:
Natalia does a wicked one using curves. Tried it last night, and I honestly prefer her method. Just easy to make subtle adjustments later.

Blend modes are curves. She just does it manually, when using blend modes is kind of "auto" settings.

Sep 06 13 08:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J O H N A L L A N
Posts: 9,743
Santa Ana, California, US


I do it with two curves layers.
Sep 06 13 09:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Seoul Photography
Posts: 389
Seoul, Seoul, Korea (South)


THRobinson wrote:
I've learned a lot from these forums, and YouTube videos, been using D&B a lot on my images, using non-destructive methods on their own layers but, since everyone does it differently I was wondering which way was considered the best.

Basically, wondering about two things in particular...

1) Until now, I've been creating a new layer, set as Overlay, and clicking the 50% Grey option. But a few tutorials I've seen say use Soft Light with the 50% Grey fill. Which is better, Overlay or Soft Light? Why?

2) Range... I've been leaving it on midtones because I figured if the layer was 50% grey, there was nothing but midtones. Is this correct? or is it pulling info from the layers below it?

Thanks.

Calvin Hollywood does both. He uses soft light for skin and overlay for things like hair, eyebrows, lips and stuff like that.
I assume he also uses overlay for clothing.

Sep 06 13 09:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Digital Artist
Koray
Posts: 6,679
Ankara, Ankara, Turkey


apart from whats mentioned above I sometimes use a copy of the background layer set to luminosity blend mode and use the actual destructive dodge and burn tools on it.
Sep 07 13 12:41 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
DerW
Posts: 252
Willich, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany


Tulack wrote:
Here is the difference between two modes.

Actually this is the difference when blending an image with itself with these modes. However with dodge & burn we rarely blend the image with itself, so this might be a bit misleading.
Instead we use black and white to darken or lighten the image, which is the same as using these curves:
Pure white: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/7124285/Foren/ModelMayhem/Soft%20Light%20white.jpg
Pure black: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/7124285/Foren/ModelMayhem/Soft%20Light%20black.jpg

The curves are pretty similar to shifting the gamma slider in levels to 2.0 for white or 0.5 for black, which is important to keep in mind because this means that soft light will affect the darker parts of the image more than the lighter parts (you can shift this behavior if needed by surrounding your soft light layer with invert layers).

Overlay is a lot more linear, all the values up to 127 (128) are set to black (white), the rest is linear to 255 (0).
Pure white: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/7124285/Foren/ModelMayhem/Overlay%20white.jpg
Pure black: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/7124285/Foren/ModelMayhem/Overlay%20black.jpg



Jonas

Sep 07 13 02:25 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Adam J Caldwell
Posts: 289
London, England, United Kingdom


I use both 50% grey layer set to softlight & two curves layers.

The 50% grey layer is for the micro level D&B work.

Curves are for the rest.
Sep 07 13 04:10 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
THRobinson
Posts: 869
London, Ontario, Canada


Thanks for all the replies...

I was watching someone do the D&B with curves yesterday actually, in a CreativeLive tutorial... though he used the 50% grey method for burning and a curve layer for dodge. I guess it's personal preference since I'm seeing some do one way, some do another, and some use both... though I do like the idea of the 50% layers for hair/clothes and the more subtle curves for skin... looks like I need to make a new action.
Sep 07 13 06:00 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ACPhotography
Posts: 8,606
Plainview, New York, US


I prefer 2 curves layers with a Hue/Sat layer attached to each to correct any saturation issues.
Sep 07 13 06:11 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
TMA Photo and Retouch
Posts: 708
New York, New York, US


I like to use softlight more...it is much less contrasty than overlay.  If you overshoot painting a pixel area with overlay...sometimes you get a white contrasty blooming effect around the pixels that were not intended. They get brighter and much more contrasted than desired.  For me using overlay sometimes creates unwanted artifacts in the retouch...where softlight is less noticeable and still does the job properly.
Sep 07 13 06:23 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Feverstockphoto
Posts: 519
Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom


The problem i found with 50% gray layer is the discolouration it causes as mentioned above, i find this harder to fix, i can never get colour to match satisfactorily when painting on blank layer with nearby colours and blended to colour mode. With the curves method there's far less colour shift and it seems easier to fix. But i'm no expert so that doesn't help either! smile.
Sep 07 13 06:29 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Retouch007
Posts: 403
East Newark, New Jersey, US


delete
Sep 07 13 06:33 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tulack
Posts: 502
Albuquerque, New Mexico, US


DerW wrote:
Actually this is the difference when blending an image with itself with these modes.

I don't think you understand what I said.

Sep 07 13 07:55 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J Sigerson
Posts: 586
Los Angeles, California, US


Krunoslav-Stifter wrote:
However you can D&B on an empty layer as well set to soft light or overlay. It will give you the same effect. The reason why we fill the layer with 50% gray is mainly to see where we have D&B afterwords. On an empty layer sometimes its hard to see the brush strokes. But they work exactly the same on the layer underneath.
Tulack wrote:
Gray has nothing to do with midtones. Gray is neutral color for contrast blend modes. We use midtones because if you would look at histogram, you will see that majority of your image in midtones range.

I think you guys missed that he's talking about using the actual Dodge and Burn tools on a grey layer. That can't be done on an empty layer. The "midtones" he referred to is one of the tool modes (highlights shadows midtones), so theoretically what he suggests should work, even though I always used the dodge tool set to highlights and the burn tool on shadows, so I could build the effect slowly. I don't use grey layers often, but the one advantage they have over blank layers or curves is being able to use those tools, with their unusual properties.

I tend to save the dodge and burn tools for masking, but they do have a subtlety that a brush has a hard time imitating. Great for building up tiny shifts in luminosity even more carefully than a 1% brush.

Sep 08 13 06:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tulack
Posts: 502
Albuquerque, New Mexico, US


J Sigerson wrote:
I think you guys missed that he's talking about using the actual Dodge and Burn tools on a grey layer.

I think you are not reading carefully. OP said he using midtones, because 50% grey is midtones. I said we using midtones because softlight and overlay are contrast mode. And as you see in the image there is contrast loss in highlight and shadows when you use this modes. I mark it red if you couldn't see it first time.
https://sphotos-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/q71/557479_10153204641950153_1318253970_n.jpg

So, midtones is only area left as you see. And why would I talk about midtones if I don't think he is using actual dodge and burn?

Sep 08 13 07:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Retouch007
Posts: 403
East Newark, New Jersey, US


delete
Sep 09 13 06:19 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Natalia_Taffarel
Posts: 7,481
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina


Tulack wrote:

I think you are not reading carefully. OP said he using midtones, because 50% grey is midtones. I said we using midtones because softlight and overlay are contrast mode. And as you see in the image there is contrast loss in highlight and shadows when you use this modes. I mark it red if you couldn't see it first time.
https://sphotos-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/q71/557479_10153204641950153_1318253970_n.jpg

So, midtones is only area left as you see. And why would I talk about midtones if I don't think he is using actual dodge and burn?

The OP meant mid GRAY as in 50% gray

Sep 09 13 06:53 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Robert Randall
Posts: 13,842
Chicago, Illinois, US


Tulack wrote:

I think you are not reading carefully. OP said he using midtones, because 50% grey is midtones. I said we using midtones because softlight and overlay are contrast mode. And as you see in the image there is contrast loss in highlight and shadows when you use this modes. I mark it red if you couldn't see it first time.
https://sphotos-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/q71/557479_10153204641950153_1318253970_n.jpg

So, midtones is only area left as you see. And why would I talk about midtones if I don't think he is using actual dodge and burn?

Whenever you post in a thread that interests me, I read everything you write at least four or five times, and even after that much effort, I never understand what you are saying.

Sep 09 13 07:50 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
THRobinson
Posts: 869
London, Ontario, Canada


I have yet to post a question, that didn't end in some sorta dispute. big_smile

What the OP (me) was saying, was, that when I used a D&B layer, if I turned off all layers except that D&B layer, the D&B layer is 50% grey. Then you see all the dark/light changes made to that layer.

I don't know near as much as I would like about Photoshop, so, I'm likely wrong in my thinking but, I figured that the D&B layer sat on top of the image, then using a blending mode like soft light or overlay, anything less than 50% grey lightened the area, anything more than 50% grey darkened it.

Since the layer itself is solid 50% grey, I thought when looking at the Painting Mode->Range it didn't make sense to change it to anything other than midtones, because the entire D&B layer was a big midtone... I just turned it down to 8% exposure and did my thing.

... that being said

After reading more, I've since made a nice action that created a D&B folder, with a curve layer for dodge, another for burn, and a 50% grey soft light layer for dodge and one for burn. Using the curves for skin and the 50% grey ones for stuff like clothing/hair.

Also an action using some newly learned freq separation techniques for skin. If someone is willing to take a peek and see if what I made makes sense, PM me. smile
Sep 09 13 08:14 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tulack
Posts: 502
Albuquerque, New Mexico, US


Natalia_Taffarel wrote:
The OP meant mid GRAY as in 50% gray

No he did not. He meant "range"
https://sphotos-a-pao.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/q71/1236693_10153207116200153_2097162988_n.jpg

He using midtones range because 50% grey is midtones.

"Range... I've been leaving it on midtones because I figured if the layer was 50% grey, there was nothing but midtones."

and again.

"Since the layer itself is solid 50% grey, I thought when looking at the Painting Mode->Range it didn't make sense to change it to anything other than midtones, because the entire D&B layer was a big midtone.."


Folowing this logic we should use highlight range for any darken mode, and shadows for any lighten mode, because white and black are neutral "colors" for it.

Sep 09 13 11:07 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tulack
Posts: 502
Albuquerque, New Mexico, US


Robert Randall wrote:
Whenever you post in a thread that interests me, I read everything you write at least four or five times, and even after that much effort, I never understand what you are saying.

I am sorry.

Sep 09 13 11:15 am  Link  Quote 
Digital Artist
RixDigital
Posts: 159
Crystal Lake, Illinois, US


Stolen Fate Design wrote:
Natalia does a wicked one using curves. Tried it last night, and I honestly prefer her method. Just easy to make subtle adjustments later.

http://vimeo.com/68360962

I have been using her method as well and have liked the process so far.  The one thing I really like about using separate curve layers for lighten & darken is that you now have two separate masks.  Those masks can then be applied to two different saturation layers to adjust colors as needed.  Sometimes when you D&B, the resulting colors end up being too much or too little saturated.

With the single layer approach, while it's convenient to just have to paint on a single layer, you won't be able to address the saturation with the process stated above.

Sep 09 13 12:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
THRobinson
Posts: 869
London, Ontario, Canada


Tulack wrote:
Folowing this logic we should use highlight range for any darken mode, and shadows for any lighten mode, because white and black are neutral "colors" for it.

See, how I thought it worked was that painting mode-range-shadows was used on areas that were shadows (>50%), highlights were used on highlights (

Sep 09 13 01:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tulack
Posts: 502
Albuquerque, New Mexico, US


Midtones are related to your image, not your d&b layer. Grey layer gives you nondestructive way to do it. You can do it with out grey layer and have same tonal range same result, only destructive. When you blend it, its not two layers anymore, but one. Midtone range has nothing to do with grey layer. The only reason it's grey, because it's invisible in any contrast mode. Try to use empty layer in softlight or overlay mode and then paint with white and black brush. You would have same result. It's blend mode makes lighter or darker, not grey layer.For same reason we use black layer in any lighten mode and white layer in any darken mode. Because it's invisible in this modes, and when you blend it, image doesn't change. As was said before grey layer used to see where your brushstrokes are. Nothing else. I separate your image to highlights, shadows and midtones, so you can see what is affected with every range. Everything darker than white is affected.

https://sphotos-a-pao.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/q71/s720x720/1097989_10153207833560153_282666279_n.jpg
As you see, majority of your image in midtones and it's up to you to decide which tones you want to affect.
Sep 09 13 02:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
THRobinson
Posts: 869
London, Ontario, Canada


I think where I'm lost is that if I have a layer, 1 layer only no photos at all, and it's a solid 50% grey layer set to soft light... I can see the grey. Which I understand is simply there for the user to see something and with nothing below the layer it has nothing to blend with.

But, since I use the dodge/burn tool (not black/white) I'm thinking (for example) if I grab the dodge tool, it's dodging the 50% grey... not the photo because in this case, there isn't one. It's only affecting the contents of that layer. And since that layer is a midtone, I would set the range to midtone, because that's what I want to change and make lighter in value.

I think that's where I'm lost... the range 'midtone'... do I use it when I'm altering something that is a midtone? or if my goal is to make it a midtone? What's underneath shouldn't matter since I can D&B a 50% grey layer without anything beneath it at all.
Sep 09 13 02:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
THRobinson
Posts: 869
London, Ontario, Canada


Stolen Fate Design wrote:
Natalia does a wicked one using curves. Tried it last night, and I honestly prefer her method. Just easy to make subtle adjustments later.

http://vimeo.com/68360962

Been watching that today actually, looks good... lengthy and a lot of ummmm-ing going on though. big_smile

I've been doing pretty basic stuff, would like to work towards the next level I guess you could say. Want to make sure I have the basics of skin and D&B down before doing anything else... the forums here are great for that.

Sep 09 13 02:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tulack
Posts: 502
Albuquerque, New Mexico, US


THRobinson wrote:
And since that layer is a midtone, I would set the range to midtone,

You making a mistake here, if you think 50% grey is midtones because it's in the middle between 0 and 100%. Midtones are much wider then 50% grey. It's about 20-80% range. And 50% grey has nothing to do with grey "color". This image for example 50% grey.
https://sphotos-b-pao.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/q71/998304_10153207868990153_1453972906_n.jpg

Sep 09 13 02:37 pm  Link  Quote 
Digital Artist
Koray
Posts: 6,679
Ankara, Ankara, Turkey


Sep 09 13 02:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Camerosity
Posts: 5,054
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


THRobinson wrote:
I think where I'm lost is that if I have a layer, 1 layer only no photos at all, and it's a solid 50% grey layer set to soft light... I can see the grey. Which I understand is simply there for the user to see something and with nothing below the layer it has nothing to blend with.

But, since I use the dodge/burn tool (not black/white) I'm thinking (for example) if I grab the dodge tool, it's dodging the 50% grey... not the photo because in this case, there isn't one. It's only affecting the contents of that layer. And since that layer is a midtone, I would set the range to midtone, because that's what I want to change and make lighter in value.

I think that's where I'm lost... the range 'midtone'... do I use it when I'm altering something that is a midtone? or if my goal is to make it a midtone? What's underneath shouldn't matter since I can D&B a 50% grey layer without anything beneath it at all.

It's similar to making a mask. Thinking of your layer is a mask might help. A mask doesn't have to be all one tone, and it doesn't have to be 100% of any tone anywhere.

Instead of using putting a 50% gray layer over the image, make the layer 100% black. That certainly affects how you view the image below it!

When you use a white brush on the 50% gray layer, you make the "mask" in that area lighter than 50% gray. When you use a black brush, you are making the "mask" darker than 50% gray.

Where the "mask" is lighter, the photo is darker. Where the "mask" is darker, the photo is lighter. You are viewing the photo through that "mask" or layer.

Sep 09 13 03:07 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Camerosity
Posts: 5,054
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


Stolen Fate Design wrote:
Natalia does a wicked one using curves. Tried it last night, and I honestly prefer her method. Just easy to make subtle adjustments later.

http://vimeo.com/68360962

I prefer the use of separate black and white curves adjustment layers.

Another method I learned from a Natalia tutorial is multiprocessing RAW files. For example, I might process the image once for ove tonality - or for a specific part of the photo (the model's skin for example). If I want to darken or lighten the background, I might process it again for the background. And again for the garment and again for the hair.

Tonality is not necessarily the only difference between the layers. Color temperature, contrast (using the contrast curve), saturation and any other number of variables can be adjusted in various layers through multi-processing.

I sometimes use these layers for dodging and burning the base layer.

The bottom layer is the one that best represents the overall image. Each of the layers above the bottom layer is masked with a black mask and painted into the image with a white brush, so that all the layers are blended (not to be confused with blend modes) into the together into the final image.

When I have multiple layers (where tonality is the only adjustment made) I'll often use one of the layers for dodging or burning the overall image. For example, if the sky is too dark in the original layer, and there's a separate processing to darken the sky, that layer and its

It may be my imagination, but it seems to me that this affects hue and saturation less than using two curves.

Sep 09 13 03:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
THRobinson
Posts: 869
London, Ontario, Canada


Tulack wrote:

You making a mistake here, if you think 50% grey is midtones because it's in the middle between 0 and 100%. Midtones are much wider then 50% grey. It's about 20-80% range. And 50% grey has nothing to do with grey "color". This image for example 50% grey.

I understand that 50% grey is a midtone, and that it's the middle of a range... I also understand that greens and reds and yellows etc when converted to B&W can appear to be the same level of grey, etc... which is why I never use the convert to B&W option in camera, I always process it manually so stuff doesn't blend together.

My point was that if I am on a layer that is 50% grey, and as you just said yourself, midtones range from about 20-80%... then why would I switch my painting mode range to highlights or shadows, and not leave it on midtones?

It's not sampling from the current&below layers, since I can D&B on a layer with absolutely nothing below it at all... won't look good, but it can be done. The fact that a midtone range is 20-80% tells me that unless I plan to dodge/burn it in either direction by more than 30% of the original 50% grey, I shouldn't have to worry about switching my paint mode range.

If I were D&Bing directly on the photo layer, I totally understand switching to highlights when on a highlight, shadows when on a shadow or dark areas, etc... but since I am on a grey layer and only altering grey pixels with a +/- range of 60%... the blend mode makes it look like the photo was changed, but no photo pixels were changed... then what use is the highlight/shadow mode.

Sep 10 13 04:34 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ruben Vasquez
Posts: 3,088
Puyallup, Washington, US


THRobinson wrote:
If I were D&Bing directly on the photo layer, I totally understand switching to highlights when on a highlight, shadows when on a shadow or dark areas, etc... but since I am on a grey layer and only altering grey pixels with a +/- range of 60%... the blend mode makes it look like the photo was changed, but no photo pixels were changed... then what use is the highlight/shadow mode.

Because even if you were only working on a gray layer, highlight and shadow mode still have a different effect (i.e. more or less intensity). Give it a try and see for yourself. Open a new file in Photoshop and fill it with 50% gray. Grab your dodge and burn tools and start making brush strokes using the different modes. Each one affects it differently. With the burn tool, I found that midtones had the strongest effect while shadows and highlights were nearly equal. The dodge tool on the other hand, had the weakest effect with shadow and the strongest effect when set to highlights.

Blending that gray layer in softlight/overlay with an image below it only increases that effect. You can still get away with using only the midtones just fine. It's just that certain areas may require a little more effort to get the effect you want.

Sep 10 13 05:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Swank Photography
Posts: 18,977
Key West, Florida, US


Ariadne Photography wrote:
I use soft light layer and I don't actually use the dodge and burn tools I use a brush set to 100% opacity and 1-3% flow.  I select colors on the skin that are the highlights or shadows then select a color for each that's more desaturated and something a little darker or lighter, then just paint in the dark and light areas.

I don't really know why this works better than overlay but it seems to be good for me.

I'm going to have to try this as well.

I have found dodge/burn to be too harsh in many instances.

I too use it at 100%, but not as low as 3%..I usually fade it alot...but trying your way actually might turn out a better result.

Sep 10 13 05:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Swank Photography
Posts: 18,977
Key West, Florida, US


Natalia_Taffarel wrote:

The OP meant mid GRAY as in 50% gray

Natalia I have t say as a retoucher, lady you know your shit. I do try and learn off of you.

Sep 10 13 05:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
NothingIsRealButTheGirl
Posts: 32,026
Los Angeles, California, US


Tulack wrote:
This image for example 50% grey.
https://sphotos-b-pao.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/q71/998304_10153207868990153_1453972906_n.jpg

That image is only 50% gray if you desaturate it using the saturation in the Hue/Saturation/Lightness slider, which is a terrible way to desaturate an image.

http://www.digitalartform.com/assets/Hue-Saturation.jpg

You want to use a method (for starters) where luminosity = 0.299 x red + 0.587 x green + 0.114 x blue

Sep 10 13 05:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tulack
Posts: 502
Albuquerque, New Mexico, US


THRobinson wrote:
My point was that if I am on a layer that is 50% grey, and as you just said yourself, midtones range from about 20-80%... then why would I switch my painting mode range to highlights or shadows, and not leave it on midtones?

On grey layer by itself you can use any range, you can even use white or black brush with the same result. All you do is making grey lighter or darker. When you bland it, think as there is no grey at all. When you blend it, you apply curve. Because curve, as you seen above, looks this way, we using midtones. You can change curve manually and use highlights with the same result. 

THRobinson wrote:
The fact that a midtone range is 20-80% tells me that unless I plan to dodge/burn it in either direction by more than 30% of the original 50% grey, I shouldn't have to worry about switching my paint mode range.

No, you just using mask, When you using midrange, photoshop masks highlight and shadows so they wouldn't be affected by your brush. Grey has nothing to do with it. The way mask works try to open any image get white or black brush, change it's mode (brush mode) to overlay or softlight and paint over image.

Sep 10 13 05:18 pm  Link  Quote 
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