dodge-and-burn

THE LAYERS CHEAT SHEET PART TWO
(PART ONE HERE)

Once again, I’m no expert- there are things about these layers I probably haven’t covered, so please try them out for yourself!

Layers 1-7 help your contrast. They are usually a pair of the former two groups I went over in my last post.

1. OVERLAY:  Helps your contrast by boosting your lights and darks, while the more mid tone pixels aren’t affected as much. It does this based on the layers beneath it.  “Screens” the lights, “multiplies” the darks. 
2. SOFT LIGHT:  Similar to overlay, but a “softer” effect. You can think of soft light as more transparent.
3. HARD LIGHT: You can look at hard light as an intense version of overlay, with much brighter colors and a much less transparent look.
4. VIVID LIGHT:  This is the heavy metal version of overlay- think of it similar to color dodge and color burn.  Very intense colors, good for finding interesting lighting and color combos.
5. LINEAR LIGHT:  Crazy amounts of contrast and color is added here, even more than vivid light.  so heavy metal 
6. PIN LIGHT:  This one is interesting because besides it also being an intense contrast layer, it can add random noise to the active layer.  Apparently this is a combo of the lighten blend mode on the light pixels and darken on the dark pixels, but the noise effect is what makes it really interesting imo.
7. HARD MIX:  You will turn this mode on and be like “no” but it is actually adjusting its fill will reveal another overlay-ish type layer.  It throws the colors on the active layer towards a more primary color such as blue, or magenta. 
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8. DIFFERENCE: This will invert your colors, taking into account the layers below. If colors are very close, they will be black.
9. EXCLUSION: This also inverts your colors, taking into account the layers below. If colors are very close, they are grey. Exclusion and difference are layers that would be good for graphic pieces, I haven’t really gotten used to incorporating them in my painting workflow.
10. SUBTRACT: Similar to the above layers, but more intense. You will notice that the darker you make your active layer with Difference, exclusion, and subtract, the lighter and more transparent looking the result will be.
11. DIVIDE:  Divide, however, usually results in crazy highlights that are pretty opaque unless the layer is fairly light, and then it will begin to go transparent. 
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12. HUE:  Makes the lower layer take on the hue of the active layer.
13. SATURATION:  The lower layers take on the saturation of the active layer.
14. COLOR:  The lower layers take on the color of the active layer.
15. LUMINOSITY:  The lower layers take on the luminosity, or brightness, of the active layer.


Once again, I’m no expert, but I hope this helps. Thanks guys!
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The Signs as Dodge and Burn songs

Aries: Let Me Through

Taurus: Three Dollar Hat

Gemini: Open Up (That’s Enough)

Cancer: Impossible Winner

Leo: Cop And Go

Virgo: I Feel Love (Every Million Miles)

Libra: Lose The Right

Scorpio: Be Still

Sagittarius: Rough Detective

Capricorn: Mile Marker

Aquarius: Too Bad

Pisces: Buzzkill(er)

Quick Colored Sketch Tutorial

So, I get asked quite a bit about how I color these traditional sketches. I’m going to give a quick step-by-step process for anyone who wants to give it a shot. It’s actually fairly easy. Also, for this tutorial, I won’t be doing shading / highlighting. This is just a simple tutorial on flat colors.

Step #1: Upload the image:

I use Photoshop to color these sketches, but I think any image program that allows for layers will do the trick. So, first I upload my sketch. Usually I set the image to black and white because I like the results, but playing around with colored/textured paper is fun too; it’s up to you and what you prefer. First thing I do is create a duplicate layer of the sketch and set it as the top layer. I then change that layer setting to mulitply. It will make your sketch appear darker, but don’t worry, that’s normal. You can set a white background if you prefer not to have the sketch so dark.

Step #2: Add colors:

Now for the fun part: adding colors. As you can see in my image, I use a lot of color layers. If you’re comfortable using only one or two color layers, then go for it! :) I take the original brush tool (one of the default brushes on Photoshop) and color on each layer. I typically use a mouse to color these, but you can use a tablet too. I prefer my tablet when I have it. Make sure you set the color layers underneath the top sketch layer! Feel free to experiment with the layers, brushes, opacity and colors. Whatever suits you best.

Step #3: Final touches:

The last thing I do is go over the top sketch layer with the burn tool. This darkens the sketch and helps it stand out among the colors. (I had already used the burn tool on the previous picture, so you won’t see any difference between the two images.) You can use the burn tool at any time, so you don’t have to save it for the end. That’s just how I go about it. I typically have the brush tool set on Shadows with a 50% Exposure:

Also, if there are areas that are too dark, try using the dodge tool (connected to the burn tool). Just be careful not to overdo it and wash out or over expose the sketch. And that’s it! Pretty straight forawrd and easy, I think. I hope this was helpful. Good luck, everyone! Keep on drawing.

2

Before-After Series #2

This one I made last spring and is my very first outdoor scenario ever, thus, I didn’t succeed with is as well as I wished. One thing for sure: I procrastinated making this pic for weeks. I was damn afraid to do something I’d never done with sims 4 before and the fact that I’ve got extreme expectations for myself did not help.

First things first, I don’t/didn’t have Reshade. (never used it to be honest).

1. I began by exploring what I can do with the sims 4 world. I attempted to find a lot that might have a large meadow with a horizon far away. Well, I could not find any such lot.
I’m so used to open world from sims 3 (where you can openly mod outdoors to your liking) so the sims 4 world restrictions are not easy to get used to. (At least the outdoor lighting is much better in ts4) So, I settled on a lot that could give me the illusion of a meadow from a right angle. This is what I had in the very beginning:

2. I build a meadow which was just spamming flowers on the field with moveobjects on. I went with these cute cc daisies, and to match the realism of the flowers I also modded the sky. Then I tested poses and various camera angles.

3. I soon realized I did not like the realistic flowers and sky, it just didn’t feel right to me. I adore the cartoon style of sims 4 so I needed to get it back asap. So I switched the cc flower to maxis match flowers and tried different colors with the whole scene.

4. Once I chose my favorite screen shot, I then began to edit it. My editing methods aren’t fluent, I just try different things to see what I like and I use a lot of adjustment and mask layers.

  • First I used unsharp mask at 60% just to bring out some detail
  • Then I used Topaz noise reduction on 0.04 to get a bit of softness because I don’t like sharpness with sims 4, I want to stay close to the clay style
  • Then I tried out topaz clean basic blemish removal preset just for the surroundings because it made the grass, flowers and sky look nicer. I used mask layer to softy brush the effect off of the sim (that’s what that weird black-gray blur indicates in the picture below, haha)
  • after all that I needed to brighten up the big white flowers and the model to balance them with everything else. So I used Curve adjustment layer. Most importantly I used it with mask layer to paint the flower and the model visible only. Nothing else was affected by the curve adjustment.
  • Then I used dodge and burn tool to shade the sim model. I darkened the shadows on her and added a bit of highlight for depth.
  • Next I applied slight amount of Gaussian blur on whole image but used the mask layer so the blur was applied onto the front flowers only
  • Then Brightness and Contrast: brightness 8 / contrast 17
  • Then Selective color: RED +9 +17, GREEN +16 -25and BLUES +12 +11
  • Gradient map of #f4dbf6 and #d05ed7 with Soft Light mode 40% opacity
  • Color Balance: Midtones Yellow/Blue -18
  • Lastly I created a simple radial gradient layer with overlay mode and used free shine brushes to stamp sun rays on the pic with soft light mode and finally added dust speckles with a free brush as well. For what reason? I dunno.

Well, that’s all the randomness it took me to get the image done. It’s a big mess of adjustment layers for sure (〃∀〃)ゞ I Didn’t know what I wanted, just kept testing. So in no way is this a tutorial but just how I made this pic with some description.

Player Two (Full Story) Be More Chill Fanfiction

“Awesome party, I’m so glad I came” Michael jeered sarcastically, giving a lonely glance at Jeremy, who chatted away happily, completely unaware of the anger and betrayal Michael felt. He clenched his teeth in disgust and hurt and stormed out the door.  

  As Michael slowly shuffled away from the house, he felt his throat began to close, and hot tears brim his eyes. When he cried, there was a rawness to it, like the pain was still an open wound. He would clasp onto something for support, anything, a table or the back of a chair, and then his whole body would shake, but since he didn’t have that at the moment he gripped the sleeves of his hoodie. The sobs were stifled at first as he attempted to hide his grief, then overcome by the wave of his emotions he broke down entirely, all his defences washed away in those salty tears. When he at last turned his face to the house, to face Jeremy, his face shone a picture of grief, loss, and devastation. It was the face of one who had suffered before and didn’t know if he could do it again. Then, just when he thought the breakthrough would come, his shutters would come down, his emotion walled off behind a mask of coping. He would just wear it until everything was right again, he didn’t know another way. He tore off his black thick-rimmed glasses, and he wiped the remaining tears from his eyes. His dark hickory eyes, once filled with delight and cheerfulness, had now lost their light and filled with hurt and betrayal. His dolce skin, was now flushed from his crying, and Michael put up his signature red hoodie, to conceal his face, and continued to walk.

  He didn’t get very far when he heard a wail from, presumably a female student, coming from down the street. The alarms sound, an odour of smoke in the air, and Michael can see the black curling particles visible, swirling out of the house. The glowing embers leaped and twirled in a fiery dance, twinkling like stars in the cool October air before cascading to earth like gleeful fire fiends, setting alight and lighting up the darkness of the night. Michael gaped at the scene down the street, the house emitting the choking black smoke from the windows, and into the air. Michael slowly stepped towards the the burning house, his body felt numb and he felt suddenly disconnected. This wasn’t the house, this couldn’t be the house where they were throwing the Halloween party. His senses soon returned and adrenaline kicked into his veins, he bolted towards the house, running past and shoving other students who were trying to run away. “JEREMY?” He cried out, looking desperately for his friend, even if Jeremy didn’t consider him it anymore. His brain began foggy and Michael felt the panic begin like a cluster of spark plugs in his abdomen. Tension grew in his face and limbs, his mind replaying the scenarios of what could’ve happened to him. His breathing became more rapid, more shallow. In these moments before his personal hurricane, he glanced around at the other students, hoping to see him among the crowd, or even one of them seen Jeremy leave the house. Their faces were covered in ash and soot, and coughing up the remaining smoke from their lungs, their clothing seared from the burning flames. “Jeremy!!” Michael shouted again in desperation, ignoring the tightening in his chest, and fear plastered on his face, his eyes sparked with concern. The other students turn and glanced at each other, murmuring to each other, some among the lines of, “I haven’t seen him” and “I don’t think he got out”. They turned back to Michael, with worry and remorse for the teen and simply said, “I don’t think he got out Michael”. Michael gasped, he ran his hand through his thick umber hair, and cletched his teeth, feeling as if he’s been punched in the gut. A student came up to him and put a hand on his shoulder to ground him, “It’s ok Michael, it’s going to be ok.” Reality spun around him and came crashing down, and he bit his lip, desperately trying to refrain the sobs from deep within his throat. He glanced at the house, “You think he’s still in there??” Michael asked, his voice soft and worn. “Michael I…” the female student responded, before Michael tore from her and bolted to the house. “MICHAEL!” the female student cried, her protests for him going in vain as he ran inside the burning building.

   The black smoke curled around him, fogging up his glasses up with ash. “JEREMY!” the Filipino called out, looking among the burning ashes for his friend. Michael gasped for air as the black smoke filled his lungs and coughed into his hoodie, trying to block out the rest of the thick smoke. He wandered through the house, the fire burning around him as it licked up the walls. The flame burns with colours he never thought were possible from a fire. With each flare another possession alights, and the house is closer to collapsing in shambles. The videos of house fires bare such little resemblance to the real thing. The screen shows a TV version, small and cold, black smoke billowing toward the sky. In front of the real thing the radiant heat is intense, scorching Michael’s skin. It’s more like a colossal campfire than anything else, casting its yellow glow into the night. The smell dominates every breath and the flames are louder than he expected, roaring as they consume what was once a fine home. Within the house the fire spread with ease, turning the once pretty first floor into a maze of flame. Black smoke billowed up the stairs and the alarm soon died a long time ago. As Michael dodged the burning flames, and falling debris, he heard his headphone beep a small melody, signaling bluetooth has been connected. “Wha-?” Michael started, before coughing into his sweater once more. “Michael Mell” a male voice came through the speaker’s, “Jeremy Heere’s best friend.” “Jeremy? Where is he?? Is he ok?” Michael grew anxious, the fire soon burning brighter around him. “I am his Sqiup, and in order to help him, you must do what I instruct” the voice ordered calmly. So this was the pill that made Jeremy ditch him. THIS WAS THE PILL THAT STARTED ALL OF THIS! “How do I know that you’re actually going to help me? I mean, why should I in the first place, considering I’m WAY too lame for Jeremy!” Michael barked at the voice. “Have you considered that if Jeremy, ‘doesn’t make it’, I’ll cease to exist as well” the Squip answered back cooly. “Fair enough” Michael growled, and continued searching through the house. “Oh, and Michael” The Squip said, “I was wrong.” Michael hummed in response, honestly he wasn’t concerned how wrong he was, he just wanted to find Jeremy. “Take a left here” the Squip commanded. Michael broke into a sprint, and followed the Squip’s directions. “Y-You nEEd tO hUrRy Michael!” the Squip said, his voice glitching through the speakers of his headphones. Wait, the computer actually sounded…worried. “JEREMY!” Michael shouted. “JEREMY!”, he ran and turned a corner and saw a wooden door blocking the way. “He’s in here, isn’t he” Michael stared at the bathroom door, which was blocking his way to his friend.

The door was scratched and dented with chipped brown varnish, it had a brass door knob dulled with age and greasy fingermarks.

He placed his hand on the door to see if any heat was radiating from it. He learned the trick from the hundreds of demonstrations of what to do in a fire in middle school, he just never thought he would actually need to use them.

  The door wasn’t warm, so Michael reached for the doorknob and jiggled it; the door was locked. Michael furiously twisted and turned the knob for no avail, but what startled him the most is that there was no keyhole for the doorknob. The door wasn’t locked, it was jammed! The Filipino again felt the panic rise in his throat. Michael began to kick at the door, and ram his shoulder into the wood, being not very successful. “JEREMY!” he called out, hoping his buddy would hear him and know that he wasn’t alone. Michael tried again and again and became increasingly frustrated with his futile attempts to gain entry. He planted one foot on the ground, grasped the door frame and thrust the other foot with all the might he could muster and slammed it into the door with a loud yell…hoping to unhinge the door from its frame.  The door began to rattle, and the center began to bulge slightly with each blow. The knob looked as if it would pop out, and dust puffed out from the frame, which started to separate from the wall. Michael took a few steps back to prepare himself for the final blow and rammed his shoulder again into the door, causing it to collapse with a loud crash. Michael collapse with the door onto the hard tile floor of the bathroom and let out a groan. He grasped his now injured shoulder and looked around the smoke filled bathroom. A boy was curled against the side of the old white tub, his slightly curly caramel hair flopping delicately over his left eye, his stripped red and blue shirt hard to miss among the flames that were now licking towards the ceiling. Michael gasped softly and bit his lip from crying out, “J-Jeremy?”. He shuddered, blinking away the tears forming in his eyes. “JEREMY!” Michael choked out and skidded to his friend side, fiddling with the zipper of his jacket and tore it off, wrapping it around his friend to guard him from the flames and suffocating smoke. He held his unconscious friend tightly in his arms as the fire swirled around them, choking black smoke filling the room. They were going to die, Michael didn’t see another option. Michael stared at Jeremy, his breathing was wheezed and shallow, and his face was pale, far too pale. “Don’t worry buddy, I’m gonna get you out of here. I promise.”

  Jeremy’s eyes fluttered open, although only half-way, Michael can still see Jeremy’s bright green eyes stare back at him, glazed and seemingly tired. Jeremy smiled softly staring back at him, before collapsing back into Michaels arms, his grin fading. “JEREMY? Oh god! Stay with me buddy” Michael gripped Jeremy’s shoulder tightly. He could see the orange flame forming just outside the fallen door and he knew the bathroom exit was no longer an option. His only option was the window that hung just above the toilet, luckily it was just big enough for Michael and Jeremy to wiggle through. Michael wheezed into his arm and coughed violently, shutters going down his spine as his charred lungs begged for air. The Filipino soon regained his strength after his coughing fit and his body kicked into an adrenaline rush, just seeing Jeremy’s motionless body in his arms. He lifted his friend up, who was surprising light, and heaved him onto his back. He gripped Jeremy’s arms to tighten them around his neck to keep him from slipping, and climbed onto the toilet to open the window. Michael fiddled the window’s handle and swung it open, releasing the fresh cool air into the room. Michael gasped, taking in the air into his lungs and started to swing his leg over the window sill. He stared down and sighed, thankful that they were on the first floor, and leaped from the burning building.

   The fall wasn’t long nor should it have injured them, but Michael must have fallen on his ankle wrongly and gritted his teeth in pain, giving a glance at Jeremy reassuringly. He limped to front of the house as the flames burned. He released Jeremy and held him in lap, removing the red jacket from his shaking frame. Jeremy had 2nd degree burns traveling up his right arm, it was angry red with blisters forming in his skin. Michael winced seeing the injures his friend gained in the fire. He rewrapped the red jacket around him as he rocked back and forth, gripping Jeremy, pulling him close and becoming overcome with emotion. His crying was both ferocious and noisy. He blinked briny tears from bloodshot eyes, his thick lashes stuck together in clumps as if he’d been swimming. The tears made wet tracks down his face and dripped from his stubbled, wobbling chin staining his shirt. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” he repeated over and over gasping for breath. Jeremy’s jade eyes slowly opened and stared at Michael, “M-?” He wheezed, and sat up quickly hacking up the smoke from his lungs. Michael rubbed his back reassuringly and gripped his shoulders to steady him. Jeremy relaxed and settled back into Michael’s arms. “Michael?” he choked out, his eyes slowly returning to normal. “I’m right here buddy” Michael smiled warmly. “You came back” he sounded surprised. “Of course I did! You can’t get rid of me that easily.” Jeremy whimpered softly and stared into Michael’s eyes, “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry” his body became wracked with sobs. “Hey! It’s ok! Oh god, Jeremy!” Michael frowned. The two boys huddled there watching the flames devour the burning house until the wailing of the ambulance finally arrived.

   Jeremy had 2nd degree burns along his right arm and grazes on his forehead and cheek. The doctors praised Michael for his bravery saying Jeremy wouldn’t have survived if he remained in the burning house. Michael shrugged and said any good friend would have done it. Michael suffered a sprained ankle, bruised and bandaged shoulder and was required for crutches for a few weeks. As Jeremy was recovering, Michael wobbled in his hospital room and made his way to the chair next to Jeremy’s bed and sat down. He stared at Jeremy who laid peacefully in the hospital bed, bandages wrapped up his right arm which were red from slight bleeding. Michael sighed and leaned back in the chair. Jeremy looked over at him and smiled softly, “‘ey Mike” he said raspily. Michael grinned back, “How ya feeling buddy?” Michael asked. “Pretty sucky honestly” Jeremy laughed. The boys laughed together until Jeremy broke into a coughing fit. Michael put his hand on his shoulder, and waited for the episode to subside. “Michael” Jeremy looked at his friend, guilt filled his eyes as his coughing fit died down, “I’m really sorry. I was such a douchebag to you! I know you didn’t deserve it, and yet you still came back to save my sorry a-” “Jeremy” Michael interrupted his rambling, “I forgive you, it’s ok. You’re my player two man! We promised each other we would always have each others backs! I wasn’t planning to break that promise especially since you almost died!” Jeremy played with the fuzz on his sleeve not making eye contact with Michael. His eyes glazed with tears finally made eye contact, “I don’t deserve you” he stared at his lap, “I don’t even deserve to be alive right now!” “Hey!” Michael shouted. “Don’t say that! Don’t ever say that! You’re my player two! I need you! We need each other! Please!” Jeremy gave Michael a guilty look and they finally clasped each other in a warm, slow and luxurious hug. Their chests rising and falling against each other, their breaths in unison, and the warm blood that they could feel in each others’ embrace. “No matter what! We’re always going to be a team.”

                                                End