This section of the panel includes tools that you’ll generally use towards the end of your workflow to enhance image detail.
Dodge & Burn
There are a number of dodge and burn options available.
The three buttons under the non destructive section provide a way to mimic the actual dodge and burn tools without having to use them on a merged (or flattened) pixel layer.
They start out by creating a 50% grey layer and placing it in the Overlay blend mode. This gives you a layer onto which you can brush with a white brush to brighten (dodge) and a black brush to darken (burn).
When using one of the three buttons, any dodging or burning you do on these layers will be restricted to the corresponding tonal ranges of the image:
- Sh – Shadows
- Mi – Mid-Tones
- Hl – Highlights
This works by the panel adding a luminosity mask to the layer to restrict the visibility of the layer to either the shadows, mid-tones or highlights.
No matter what brush strokes you make in the 50% grey layer, the effect will only show through in the areas that the luminosity mask allows.
50% Grey Button
(This button should arguably be under the non-destructive section, but I couldn’t make it fit – maybe in a later update!)
This button provides a shortcut to a 50% grey layer in Overlay blend mode – without the luminosity masks supplied by the Sh, Mi, and Hl buttons.
You are free to use this without a mask at all, or you can add your own custom luminosity mask to it by first building a luminosity selection.
Use a black or white brush into this layer to darken (burn) or brighten (dodge) areas selectively.
This button provides a shortcut to creating a copied, merged layer on to which you can use the regular dodge and burn tools.
This is considered “destructive editing” because of the nature of the copied merged layer. Once you create this layer, any adjustments underneath this layer that you later tweak, add to, or remove, will not be visible in the finished image because everything underneath the copied merged layer is hidden by it.
In any case, you can simply press the “Regular” button to create that copied merged layer as you see fit:
Sharpening Method 1
This button adds a sharpening layer that uses the High Pass Filter to achieve the desired sharpening effect.
It works dynamically to add a higher high pass value the larger your image is, but with the layer being a Smart Object you can adjust these values after the effect has been created if necessary.
The panel also adds a luminosity mask to the sharpening effect to mitigate halos along high-contrast edges that would otherwise produce an over-sharpened look.
As with many of the effects and adjustments provided by the panel, if you have a selection active when you press the Sharpening Method 1 button, that selection will be loaded into the mask of the effect. Otherwise, the effect will be created with a black layer mask so you can brush the effect into your image with a white brush in the mask.
This effect has a very specific use, and that is to add contrast and drama to clouds.
For best use, run the effect without a selection active and then manually brush into it’s layer mask to reveal it in the cloud areas of an image.