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Adobe Photoshop CC Bootcamp

Lesson 37 of 118

Brush Mask: Curves Dodge & Burn


Adobe Photoshop CC Bootcamp

Lesson 37 of 118

Brush Mask: Curves Dodge & Burn


Lesson Info

Brush Mask: Curves Dodge & Burn

So we've already talked about dodging and burning as it pertains to a gray layer. Now let's talk about dodging and burning with something like a Curves adjustment layer. Before when we talked about dodging and burning, we talked about dodging and burning on one layer, we filled it with gray, we used Soft Light Blend Mode to push and pull the lights and the darks throughout the image, remember that? So now what we're gonna need to do is I wanna separate those. I wanna make sure that my darks are on one layer and my highlights are on another layer. I wanna make sure that my dodge is on one layer and my burn is on another layer. So I'm gonna do that with a Curves adjustment layer. So if I click down here, I'm gonna go ahead and make one Curves adjustment layer, then I'm gonna make another Curves adjustment layer. And you see by default they come in with mass forming. I'm gonna change this one to Dodge. I'm gonna change this one to Burn. So with these selected I'm gonna go ahead and just t...

urn the eyeball off really quick on this one, click on this Curves adjustment layer, and bring up the curve to about right there. Now masks have a unique property just like every other layer as we talked about before, and that unique property is that you get two possibilities for each mask very quickly and very easily by reversing the data. So I bring that curve up. When I bring that curve up for dodging it's making the whole image lighter. So what I need to do is I need to protect the entire image. So I'm gonna click on this mask and press Control + I. That's invert, I'm gonna invert that mask from white to black. So now by inverting that mask to black I'm basically saying, "Okay, curve, "you can affect the whole canvas, "but wait a second. "Now I need you to not touch the canvas at all. "I'm gonna fill it with black "so that you don't affect anything that's going on "underneath this dodge layer." So I'll turn the eye on on the Burn for a second. Click on it, bring this down, make the whole image darker. Let's go about right there. And then I'll press Command or Control + I on the Burn. So now if you can guess what I'm gonna do, I'm gonna use white to paint on that mask. So instead of using black to just conceal things, I can use white to bring things back. So you have to-- With this, I think you have to kind of be on one side or the other. It's hard to really imagine a mask and how it works with both white and black working at the same time. So how I like to think about masks is whatever is black is not affecting my canvas. Whatever is white is going to affect my canvas. And that is typically how I think about it because if you ever try to thing about both categories where you're like that whole black reveals, white conceals-type thing, it's just too hard for me to wrap my head around that one. I need a really one quick, simple approach. Black will allow anything that's underneath to show through, and white allows the effect that I'm working on. And that's how I think of it. So now if I were to click on this dodge layer and if I press B for my brush tool, I've got a very large brush, so I need to make it smaller because I'm trying to dodge here, very meticulous dodging and burning. If you look at my layers palette, if I were to paint on this with black, it's not gonna do anything. But if I were to press X, the X key will switch me from black to white. If you ever find yourself in a rut with your palette down there and you wanna quickly change them from black to white, D will default those colors from black and white, and X will switch them. So whatever you're working on, if I press X I'm now painting with black because that's the primary color that you see down here in my layers palette, or in my color palette. If I press X I'm now working with white. So with this Dodge I can just start looking at this image and seeing areas that I want to draw the eye towards a little bit more. So I wanna draw the eye a little more towards this area. Maybe bring that up a little bit. Again, we talk about dodging and burning as being you the artist to make light where light was not, correct? So I'm dodging there to brighten that up, dodge there to bring that up. And the question is, here at this point, is Blake, you talked about that other Dodge and Burn layer and now you're showing me another one. Which one do I use? Well it really comes down to personal preference and what you choose to be the Dodge and Burn that you like. The quick-and-dirty Dodge and Burn is the one I showed you before which is the 50% gray layer using just the Dodge tool and the Burn tool. This is a little bit more tedious and it's more layer-intensive. It's not necessarily more labor-intensive, it's just more layer-intensive. You have two layers now to think about instead of one. Okay, so that will be a good Dodge. I'm just kind of dodging around areas to brighten certain areas up that I want to become a little bit more prominent. If I look at my Burn, again, I've already got the white selected, so now I have to click between these layers. It's not like before where we could just press Alt or Option. It's not gonna flip between layers like it would with the old Dodge and Burn. With this one we're gonna have to just manually click on our layers. So I'm gonna darken down some shadow areas. I might even darken down this back area back here. Darken down this, maybe darken down underneath these waves to make them look a little bit more violent. And really when it comes to dodging and burning, it's all up to you. It's what your eye sees, what your eye likes, and how you wanna push and pull the viewer around the image. So now I might dodge this area back here to brighten up that light that's coming in from back there and dodge these waves to brighten those up. So if we press Alt or Option and we look at this Dodge and Burn, that's what I did. I can click on the next one. That's the Burn, that's the Dodge, and they are still just maintained within their curve. The really cool thing about doing a Dodge and Burn this way, though, is that you're not restricted to just pulling the curve down or pulling the curve up. Now that you have the Burn selected here, as we pull this down we can make our dodging, we can make our burning, actually, a little bit darker or even a little bit brighter. We can even say, "Okay, we want the dark areas "of what that's affecting to be a little bit darker," and then brighten them up a little bit too. So it tapers the affect and uses the curve, the curve data, to manipulate that Dodge and Burn a little bit more. Same thing with Dodge. If I don't want this to-- Maybe I want it to be a little bit brighter. Brighter in the darker areas but not necessarily bright in the bright areas. Bring that down a little bit. So it gives you a little bit more control over what happens with the dodging and burning process than just I painted with white, I painted with black on a gray layer that's set to soft light. With this one you're using the curve and the advantage of all of the data that's available within that curve to push and pull that curve around the image. All the while, when we pull that curve all the way up, just remember we gotta invert that mask so it doesn't affect the canvas at all. And then we bring back that effect with white. So black will reveal all the stuff underneath. We reveal what we wanna reveal with white.

Class Description

Adobe® Photoshop CC® is a valuable tool for photographers, but it can also be intimidating. In this all-inclusive 20 lesson course, you’ll go from opening the program for the first time to creating images that really stand out. Join Blake Rudis, Photoshop expert and founder of f64 Academy, as he shows you how to maximize your use of Photoshop. 

Topics covered will include:

  • Class Introduction & Bridge, Adobe Camera Raw, Setup Interface, Cropping and Layers
  • Layer Tools, Masks, Selections, Clean-Up Tools and Shapes & Text
  • Smart Objects, Transforming, Actions, Filters, and Editing Video
  • Custom Creative Effects, Natural Retouching, Portrait Workflow, Landscape Workflow, and Composite Workflow

Don’t let the many aspects of Photoshop prevent you from maximizing your use of this amazing app. Blake will help you develop the confidence to use your imagination and create the images that you will be proud to share with your clients.


Adobe Photoshop CC 2018


  1. Bootcamp Introduction
  2. The Bridge Interface
  3. Setting up Bridge
  4. Overview of Bridge
  5. Practical Application of Bridge
  6. Introduction to Raw Editing
  7. Setting up ACR Preferences & Interface
  8. Global Tools Part 1
  9. Global Tools Part 2
  10. Local Tools
  11. Introduction to the Photoshop Interface
  12. Toolbars, Menus and Windows
  13. Setup and Interface
  14. Adobe Libraries
  15. Saving Files
  16. Introduction to Cropping
  17. Cropping for Composition in ACR
  18. Cropping for Composition in Photoshop
  19. Cropping for the Subject in Post
  20. Cropping for Print
  21. Perspective Cropping in Photoshop
  22. Introduction to Layers
  23. Vector & Raster Layers Basics
  24. Adjustment Layers in Photoshop
  25. Organizing and Managing Layers
  26. Introduction to Layer Tools and Blend Modes
  27. Screen and Multiply and Overlay
  28. Soft Light Blend Mode
  29. Color and Luminosity Blend Modes
  30. Color Burn and Color Dodge Blend Modes
  31. Introduction to Layer Styles
  32. Practical Application: Layer Tools
  33. Introduction to Masks and Brushes
  34. Brush Basics
  35. Custom Brushes
  36. Brush Mask: Vignettes
  37. Brush Mask: Curves Dodge & Burn
  38. Brush Mask: Hue & Saturation
  39. Mask Groups
  40. Clipping Masks
  41. Masking in Adobe Camera Raw
  42. Practical Applications: Masks
  43. Introduction to Selections
  44. Basic Selection Tools
  45. The Pen Tool
  46. Masks from Selections
  47. Selecting Subjects and Masking
  48. Color Range Mask
  49. Luminosity Masks Basics
  50. Introduction to Cleanup Tools
  51. Adobe Camera Raw
  52. Healing and Spot Healing Brush
  53. The Clone Stamp Tool
  54. The Patch Tool
  55. Content Aware Move Tool
  56. Content Aware Fill
  57. Custom Cleanup Selections
  58. Introduction to Shapes and Text
  59. Text Basics
  60. Shape Basics
  61. Adding Text to Pictures
  62. Custom Water Marks
  63. Introduction to Smart Objects
  64. Smart Object Basics
  65. Smart Objects and Filters
  66. Smart Objects and Image Transformation
  67. Smart Objects and Album Layouts
  68. Smart Objects and Composites
  69. Introduction to Image Transforming
  70. ACR and Lens Correction
  71. Photoshop and Lens Correction
  72. The Warp Tool
  73. Perspective Transformations
  74. Introduction to Actions in Photoshop
  75. Introduction to the Actions Panel Interface
  76. Making Your First Action
  77. Modifying Actions After You Record Them
  78. Adding Stops to Actions
  79. Conditional Actions
  80. Actions that Communicate
  81. Introduction to Filters
  82. ACR as a Filter
  83. Helpful Artistic Filters
  84. Helpful Practical Filters
  85. Sharpening with Filters
  86. Rendering Trees
  87. The Oil Paint and Add Noise Filters
  88. Introduction to Editing Video
  89. Timeline for Video
  90. Cropping Video
  91. Adjustment Layers and Video
  92. Building Lookup Tables
  93. Layers, Masking Video & Working with Type
  94. ACR to Edit Video
  95. Animated Gifs
  96. Introduction to Creative Effects
  97. Black, White, and Monochrome
  98. Matte and Cinematic Effects
  99. Gradient Maps and Solid Color Grades
  100. Gradients
  101. Glow and Haze
  102. Introduction to Natural Retouching
  103. Brightening Teeth
  104. Clean Up with the Clone Stamp Tool
  105. Cleaning and Brightening Eyes
  106. Advanced Clean Up Techniques
  107. Introduction to Portrait Workflow & Bridge Organization
  108. ACR for Portraits Pre-Edits
  109. Portrait Workflow Techniques
  110. Introduction to Landscape Workflow & Bridge Organization
  111. Landscape Workflow Techniques
  112. Introduction to Compositing & Bridge
  113. Composite Workflow Techniques
  114. Landscape Composite Projects
  115. Bonus: Rothko and Workspace
  116. Bonus: Adding Textures to Photos
  117. Bonus: The Mask (Extras)
  118. Bonus: The Color Range Mask in ACR


a Creativelive Student

Amazing course, but don't be fooled into thinking this is a beginner's course for photographers. The problem isn't Blake's explanations; they're top. The problem is the vast scope of this course and the order in which the topics are presented. Take layers for example. When I was first learning Photoshop (back when we learned from books), I found I learned little or nothing from, for example, books that covered layers before they covered how to improve/process photographs. These books taught me how to organize, move, and link layers before they showed me what a layer was actually for. Those books tended to teach me everything there is to know about layers (types of layers, how to organize them, how to move them, how to move them two at a time, how to move them two at a time even if there are other layers between the two you're interested in, useful troubleshooting tips, etc. ) all before I even know (from a photographer's point of view) what it is the things actually do. The examples of organizing, linking, and moving mean everything for graphic designers from Day One, but for photographers not so much. Blake does the same thing as those books. Topics he covers extremely early demand a lot of theoretical imagination for a photographer who doesn't already know quite a bit about what he is talking about. Learning about abstract things first and concrete things later only makes PS that much harder to understand. If you AREN'T a beginner, however, this course is amazing. I thought it would be like an Army Bootcamp, taking you from zero and building you into a fit, competent Photoshop grunt. Now I think it's more like Army Bootcamp for high school varsity jocks. It isn't going to take you from the beginning, but the amount you'll get out of it is nonetheless more than your brain can imagine. I've been using PS for years to improve my photographs, and even to create the odd artistic composite or two. The amount I've learned in the first week is amazing, and every day I learn something -- more like many things -- which I immediately implement to improve my productivity and/or widen the horizons of what I can achieve. If you ARE a photographer who's a Photoshop beginner, I'd take very seriously the advice Blake gives in the introduction: Watch one lesson, and practice the skills and principles you learn in that one lesson for two weeks. THEN watch the next lesson. You can't do that of course without buying the course, so it's up to you to decide whether you'd like to learn Photoshop and master Photoshop all from the same course. Learning it first and mastering it later will cost more money, but I think you'll understand everything better and have a much more enjoyable ride in the process. As for me? I'm going to have to find the money to buy this course. There is simply way too much content in each lesson for me to try to take on all at once, but on the other hand I don't want to miss anything at all that he has to share.

Robert Andrews

Blake Rudis is the absolute best in teaching photoshop. His knowledge and how he presents the instruction is clear and concise - there is NO ONE BETTER. Yes, his classes require some basic skills, and maybe I'd organize the order of (or group) the classes in a different order, but, let me be clear - if anyone is to be successful or famous in the Photoshop world, it should be Blake Rudis. I strongly recommend his teaching. I started photography and post processing in 2018, and because of this class, I'm know what Im doing. The energy you get when you create something beautiful is profound, it makes you bounce out of bed (at 4AM) like a 5 year old, to go create. It's a great ride! Thanks Blake, & Thanks Creative live.

Esther Gambrell

WOW!!! I've been purchasing CL classes for several years now and have watched HOURS of "How-To Photoshop" classes, but this is the first one I've actually purchased because of the AWESOME BONUS content!!! SERIOUSLY??!!?!? A PLUG-IN??? But not only that, Blake is SO easy to understand, and he breaks down concepts in different ways to connect with different people's learning styles. I REALLY appreciated this approach because I am a LEFT-BRAINED creative that has an engineering background, so I really connected to what Blake was saying. THANK YOU FOR THAT! There are TONS of Photoshop courses out there, but I found this one to be the most helpful in they way Blake teaches concepts so that you know WHY you're doing what your doing. I feel like he taught me how to fish with Photoshop to feed me for a lifetime instead of just giving me a fish to feed me for one day. This is the BEST overall PS course out there!!! Thank you!!!!