Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Burn Tool

Today we're going to investigate the Burn Tool and see what it can do for you.  You'll find this tool at the bottom of the tool set on the left side.  It's the yellow sponge button.  When you click on it, you'll be presented with 3 options:  the Sponge Tool, the Dodge Tool and the Burn Tool.  


The Burn Tool allows you to darken a photo or element.  You are essentially painting on dark accents with a brush tool.  You select the type and size of brush you want to paint with.  Next you select the range of darkness to adjust:  Shadows (which darkens the darkest parts), Midtones (which works on the average tones) or Highlights (which applies to the lighter parts of the photo).  Then you can adjust your Exposure level (I'd suggest starting at 50% to not get things too dark).


So let's take a look at how you can apply the Burn Tool to a photo.  First, always make sure you duplicate your photo layer so that you are not damaging your original.

This photo of the rhino is a little bit too light.  His skin color blends into the sand color and he doesn't stand out very much in this photo.

Before:

Using the Burn Tool settings above, I just brush over the rhinos skin to darken it up a bit.  Then I brushed over a bit of the sand to make it a little bit darker too.  So what do you think?  Better, huh?

After:

Let's try another photo.  This pelican is a little bit washed out.  She sun is shining on the logs making a few spots overly bright.

Before:

So if we brush over the pelican's body and then brush over most of the log area, you can remove all the harsh sun spots and bring out more dimension in the photo.

After:

You can also apply the Burn Tool onto elements.  Here's an adorable frog from Dream Big Designs 'A Charming Party' kit.


You can use the Burn Tool to brush along the outer edges of the frog to add some shadowing and edging.  You can make it as light or as dark as you want.  This is a great effect to apply to alphas as well.



The Burn Tool is fun to experiment with.  And you can always click "Undo" to start over and try again.  Have fun exploring this cool new tool.  Make it a great week!


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