Retouching Skin with Dodging and Burning

retouching skin with dodging and burning

A vital technique for every retoucher to master, dodging and burning is a non-destructive method for retouching. This video tutorial demonstrates a successful workflow for utilizing dodging and burning on skin.

We previously shared Zoë Noble’s tutorial on using the clone stamp tool to clean skin and address texture concerns. Cleaning the skin should be done prior to dodging and burning, which involves lightening and darkening specific areas of the image. In this video, Zoe takes us through each step of her process: layer settings, masks, curve adjustments, visual aids, brush settings, and fixing saturated color shifts.

As addressed in the video, this technique requires practice, as well as a sound understanding of human anatomy. Dodging and burning, particularly global dodging and burning where dimension and sculpting often take place, can make it easy to over-contour, just like with makeup. Understanding bone structure and the natural qualities of the face is vital to producing a polished, but believable retouch. With proper practice and patience, mastering dodging and burning can help elevate your retouching to a whole new level.

Zoë Noble is an English photographer and high-end retoucher, currently based in Berlin. We previously shared her tutorials on using luminosity masks for color grading, as well as using the clone stamp tool. To view more of Zoë’s tutorials, visit her YouTube Channel. To view more of her work, visit her website.

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