Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Art of Shading

Previously, in the Beauty Retouching tutorial, we saw how to use two adjustment layers for this, one for the highlights and one for the shadows. In this tutorial, we show how it was done old school. Many Pros are still using this method to shade their final image. Take a look how to Dodge and Burn the alternate way.

This is a very simple technique and takes more skill than understanding. Here we are using D&B(dodge and burn) only on the final image, after it has been completely retouched. See how to do that in the link above.

First open the file in your Photoshop/Elements.

Now, create a new layer and fill it with 50% gray.

Select the layer to make it active, and change the blend mode to Overlay as shown below.

When you do this, your image becomes visible again. This gray layer is your 'canvas' for D&B. The tools are shown below.

Lets try dodging first. Select the dodge tool(range should always be midtones) and keep the exposure setting to not more than 20%. Paint on the areas you wish to make lighter, for example the area below the eyes, cheek and chin highlights, forehead and nose highlights(if they are flat), white area in the eyeballs etc.

These are good start points, but you should really know how to shade, and judge on image to image basis. This book is quite popular and should help you develop that skill:

How to Draw Lifelike Portraits from Photographs

Simmilarly, for burning, select the burn tool and with low exposure, paint on areas that need to be darkened. Again, only for a starting point, we can tell you the usual areas that need burning: edges of hair, lips, cheek bones, eyebrow etc. The above shading book should help you in this regard.

Also, if you need to undo or erase any stroke, you can use the paint brush tool and simply paint it with gray and it will go back to original. You can also play with brush opacity to give subtle effects. When you are finally done with shading, the layer thumbnail should look something like below.

Here is a closer look of our D&B canvas. The white strokes are the parts we made lighter with the dodge tool, and the darker shades are from the burn tool.

Since we worked on a retouched image with almost perfect tones already, the difference is not drastic. That being said, the subtle difference before and after the D&B shown here, is what makes for a 'trained' or an 'experienced' eye.

1 comment:

  1. Even if you are done with these Sid, thank you so much for sharing.