Monday, 15 November 2010

Why I Hate the Dodge/Burn Tools

I've had a few people ask me this - What's wrong with using the dodge/burn tools?

Well. What's wrong... Hm... Maybe we should start with what's right about them. Nothing. Absoloutely nothing. While they're incredibly useful for eyes, digital art & photomanipulation, they're horrible for editing Stardoll pictures. Why? Take a look for yourself:

The left leg has been shaded in the way I would use, and the right leg has been shaded using the dodge and burn tools. Granted, I have no experience with using them whatsoever, so this looks worse than it might usually look, but you get the idea. When I zoomed in, I noticed that actually, it looks something like this:

Does that look accurate? No, Do those colours look natural? Not unless you have some weird light or you're trying to shade a worm.
You'll also notice how much more crisp and precise my method looks, this is attractive in many ways, one being that it looks alot like Stardoll's original graphics (which is why Style magazine was so successful in it's day, it stuck to it's Stardoll roots) another being it looks proffessional (you could use the graphics you make today in your future CV, meaning a better job AND it'll be impressive because to be able to produce graphics like this at our ages is pretty good material to work with for the future) and lastly, it's easier to see the light source. We know that the light is shining directly onto the object and that the skin isn't oily or dirty. The dodged/burned leg looks rather oily and orangey, almost like Katie Price's leg o.O

Another great thing about my methods is that you can get intimate with the details. As you can see, I've contoured the leg muscle a bit for definition. This also is effective in folds of skin, where the bone peaks (eg. the collarbone) and fingers/toes. The more detailed your body is, the more reallistic it will look.
Your "homework" for next lesson is to study the human form a bit. Look at where the muscle is and how the lines are contoured, also look at how fat lies on skin, a great exercise for body tone is to draw a very overweight person, which allows you to study how shade and light fall onto contours and "bulges". As I said before, I'd love to see your work, and I'll probably feature it on the "Your Stuff" page soon after I see it :)

Happy Hunnigraphicing!

- Hunni x x x


  1. Thank you! Now, everywhere I look, I try to imagine creating the graphic version of it. This includes shading for muscle definition, points of light like shading in a room vs. outside, etc. I am working on a graphic for my magazine and have used what I learned from your first lesson on shading. When I finish the graphic, I will send you a link on stardoll and maybe you can give me your opinion on it, like critique and what to fix on my future poses?

    And thank you so much. I really love your tutorials and advice, as well as explanations of things. I hope this comment isn't annoying to you, I just truly appreciate this blog!


  2. Thanks for the lessons. I took a huge break from Stardoll, but I wanted to visit with some old friends, just to find that everyone is gone and Stardoll is a ghost town. Its good to see that you're still around, though. You gave me hope, and with these tutorials, people can mae their own graphics and maybe Stardoll will make a comeback... or not.

  3. I only use the Burn Tool for some of the darker tones in shading. When I first started using it I hated the orange-spongey color, but I played with it and finally set it to Highlights, and 4% exposure and it works fine :D

  4. ♥ This is an awesome blog.

    Coming up with impressive graphics is impressive on it's own but sharing it with poeple like us is beyond words can describe.

    Thanks Hunnigall! xoxo - Noelle ♥

  5. Haha I love your posts and tutorials :). Thanks for sharing Alice :D


Leave me a comment, I like to read them, I like to cry at them, laugh at them and I also like to look at them and say to myself "hm... he/she must be on drugs"

- Hunni x x x