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How to enchance highlights easily and confidently ( 1 Secret tips )

How highlight work

In this article you'll see

Definition of highlight

How to enchance highlights requires from you a basic understanding of the concept. So before going into the technical parts of the process using Photoshop. We should see what highlight mean in a simple way : The most illuminated part of a figure ( simple ball here ) is what we usually call highlight in digital painting. Now, the intensity depend on the material you are trying to render. The more your material reflect light, the more your highlight will be visible.Example : Glass, water, metal ... These are the most reflecting material. definition of highlight

How to enchance highlights

There is basiclly two ways in photoshop to apply your highlight. Whether you choose the color of your light ( like sunlight ) and you pick a light version of it ( yellow light, blue light, green light ) Then you substract 15% to 25% luminosity to this value to make your halftone according to the law of inversed square. Whether you simply go for blending mode.

Burn/Dodge tool as a solution

definition of highlightThe second way consist of using the burn/Dodge tool as shown in the screenshot. How to use Burn/Dodge tool ?Burn/Dodge tool is structured with three section :
  1. Highlight : the most illuminated value of your scene/painting.
  2. Midtone : the values that are in the middle beetween highlight and shadows.
  3. Shadows : The darkest value of your scene / painting.

How to use it to fix your values ?

How to enchance highlightsIn order to use properly Burn / Dodge tool. You must create a new layer just like the screenshot shown here. Then fill it with a grey of 50% luminosity and apply overlay blending mode. That way you will not break your values when using the tool. Define where your light is and where you shadows are then proceed to simple touch with your pen while it's activated. Be sure to check the case : ''Protect the tones'' so that it won't burn your image by affecting the hue / saturation. 

Conclusion

Highlight alone cannot make a piece standing. Even if you add shadows. You need a deep understanding of Midtone, reflected light, light transition through different material. If you want to go further in your understanding of how light work. We recommend you these free ressources across the internet. The phenomena of Light transition in painting Choose your colors artisticlly How light affect colors

In this article you’ll see

Definition of highlight

How to enchance highlights requires from you a basic understanding of the concept. So before going into the technical parts of the process using Photoshop. We should see what highlight mean in a simple way : The most illuminated part of a figure ( simple ball here ) is what we usually call highlight in digital painting. 

Now, the intensity depend on the material you are trying to render. The more your material reflect light, the more your highlight will be visible.

Example : Glass, water, metal … These are the most reflecting material. 

definition of highlight

How to enchance highlights

There is basiclly two ways in photoshop to apply your highlight. 

Whether you choose the color of your light ( like sunlight ) and you pick a light version of it ( yellow light, blue light, green light ) 

Then you substract 15% to 25% luminosity to this value to make your halftone according to the law of inversed square. Whether you simply go for blending mode.

Burn/Dodge tool as a solution

definition of highlightThe second way consist of using the burn/Dodge tool as shown in the screenshot.
How to use Burn/Dodge tool ?

Burn/Dodge tool is structured with three section :

  1. Highlight : the most illuminated value of your scene/painting.
  2. Midtone : the values that are in the middle beetween highlight and shadows.
  3. Shadows : The darkest value of your scene / painting.

How to use it to fix your values ?

How to enchance highlightsIn order to use properly Burn / Dodge tool. You must create a new layer just like the screenshot shown here. Then fill it with a grey of 50% luminosity and apply overlay blending mode. 

That way you will not break your values when using the tool. 

Define where your light is and where you shadows are then proceed to simple touch with your pen while it’s activated. 

Be sure to check the case : ”Protect the tones” so that it won’t burn your image by affecting the hue / saturation. 

Conclusion

Highlight alone cannot make a piece standing. Even if you add shadows. You need a deep understanding of Midtone, reflected light, light transition through different material.
If you want to go further in your understanding of how light work. We recommend you these free ressources across the internet. 

The phenomena of Light transition in painting 

Choose your colors artisticlly
How light affect colors

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