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Thread: Neon Lights Blast~

  1. #21
    Senior Member RUSHVision's Avatar
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    I edited the tut to add another image. Take a look at the 'Making The Cuts' section again and see if it makes any more sense now.

    The cuts were made by using the Burn Tool on the Layer Mask. To explain that a little more, you want the Burn Tool to be set to affect the Highlights and the Exposure set very low, like less than 10%. This will allow you to affect the transparency of the mask in a more subtle fashion than hitting it with the Brush Tool.

    To help you understand Layer Masks...
    When you first apply a Layer Mask and set it to 'Reveal All', that mask is a separate layer that is completely filled with white. This layer has some special properties and is tied to the layer that it is masking, but basically it's a layer that's filled with white paint. The darker that paint becomes, the less that shows through of the layer underneath. That is why if you choose to 'Hide All' when creating your Layer Mask it is completely black instead of white.

    Most of the tools that can be used to lay down or manipulate paint can also be used on a Layer Mask. So when I say that you should use the Burn Tool on the Layer Mask, that action will have the effect of covering up a portion of the light gradient since it will be darkening the mask.
    mrush


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  2. #22
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    Yea, i get it now. Thanks for the explaination.
    1 unrelated question, i usually just use brushes on the layer mask.. Does burn or dodge really work better for subtle maskes like you said? Or just a preference?
    -s7N
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  3. #23
    Senior Member RUSHVision's Avatar
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    It often works better for me. The reason is because instead of laying down a particular color...even if you use a tablet with the opacity set to pen pressure...the Burn/Dodge Tools allow you to instead make pretty much anything either darker or lighter. The Range lets you decide whether you want to affect the highlights, midtones or shadows, and the Exposure controls the amount much like the Flow on the Brush Tool.

    Remember though, that with the three different Range settings, it is quite possible to run the tool over an area of the image and not get the effect you are looking for because you have it set to Shadows when it should have been set to Highlights. For instance, if you have it set to Shadows when you use the Burn Tool on a Layer Mask that was set to Reveal All, then nothing will happen since there are no shadows in a layer with all white paint.

    So it's really a matter of preference. Feel free to do whatever it takes to make the pixels dance to your personal tune. If you can make the Brush Tool work better for you than Dodging/Burning, then there's certainly nothing wrong with that. Don't make the mistake of disregarding the benefits of a tool before you've given it a thorough shakedown, though. I largely ignored the Dodge/Burn Tools for years before I finally realized how incredibly useful they are.
    mrush


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  4. #24
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    I see i see.. Will give burn/dodge more trys on layer masks.
    But i have to say burning and dodging photos looks great..
    -s7N
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    and

  6. #26
    Senior Member RUSHVision's Avatar
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    That's lookin' better, dude. I might suggest a couple of things, though. In the top ones it looks like there are three separate gradients on the beams that are coming out under his feet, one for each 'ray'. I think this would look a little better if they all had a single light source which came from the point where they all meet. You could do this by create a single large ray then cutting those slots out of it, then could adjust the color and hue of the individual pieces.

    As for the bottom image, the ray beneath his feet are looking a little too uniform, if you know what I mean. This is a spontaneous eruption of light and color based off the dynamic movement of the skater. As such it should have a more spontaneous and dynamic character itself. I would allow yourself to be a little more 'artistic' in regard to their placement as well as in the way each gives off it's glow. There is a similar 'problem' with the sparkly balls in that they appear to be a little too uniform as well.

    So this is a nice step up, but I think you can push yourself a little further and let go of your need to rely on premade effects quite as much. Nice job overall though, I just want to try to help you take your stuff to the next level.
    mrush


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