Photoshop Series : Power Of Color Dodge !!!

Color dodge, for those who are unaware about this term, i m going to explain it from the very beginning !!! All photoshop users are aware of the layer blending modes, like screen, overlay , hard light , soft light and many more. layer blending modes are the representation of how one layer affects the layer below it , each blending mode have its own special feature , concerning how it handles the brightness, colors, and various other features .


Most of you might have tried them at least once i guess, maybe by mistake, or maybe just playing around with which one actually looks the best for a particular kind of image. i have always been confused about what text effect to use in a particular poster, website header, or some random text that you plan to do.  i have received alot of queries about how i did the ” coming soon” text effect on this website long time back.

So, besides ” overlay”, screen , hard light soft light, we have one mode called color dodge. what this blending mode actually do is, it makes the above layer feel as if there is a light source beneath it and the light is dodging throught the layer. For color dodge to work properly , we shud make sure we have a good varying background beneath, that can be anything grudge, or maybe just simple gradient of 2 or more colors.

so lets get started with color dodge, after this tutorial , you will be able to make something like .



One thing to be noticed here is, its not a regular glow effect, cause u can see the glow varies from one word to another, and is uneven all throughout.

i ahev experiemented with color dodge alot, you can check out the poster i made for my friend zombie, that is all about color dodge + blurs .

Now lets hit the main point about, how to achieve color dodge properly.

firstly, start off with the background u wish to keep for the effect to work, in my case i m starting up with just a simple black background, u can have any image, or any texture u want. for ease of size management, create a new file with 800 x 600 pixels dimension.

next just put the text you want, in my case i am going to write ” nemesis effect” , now just duplicate the text layer ( right click on it n select duplicate layer ) .


When you have duplicated the layer, make a group by clicking the “create a new group” icon just at the bottom of layers pallette , and drag the “nemesis effect layer COPY” to this group . After that select the group 1, rename it to “dodge” and from its layer blending modes, change the  ” pass through ” to ” color dodge ” , you will immediately notice some change to the text.


Now for the main effect to work, select the other layer the one at the bottom, named ” Nemesis Effect” and not the copy, go to filters > blur > motion blur . make sure the angle is set to 0 and change the distance to somewhere around 280, to make it look something like lines drawn across the text.

and now for main text, select the text layer tht has been placed inside the group , then go to filters > blur > gaussian blur , set it to somehwere around 3 pixels , now the dodging effect must b really visble in the text, if the text is a little lighter, just duplicate the layer inside of the group, 1nce .

now for the bottom layer, press ctrl + t, and make it a little bigger than height from the text in front.


Boom …..there you have it, the text color dodges to the layer beneath it,  you can try with differnce styles fonts, with differnt blur levels, images and absolutely anything. using color dodge gives you some really nice effects. the possibilities are endless :) , so just keep experimenting with color dodge, its really very very powerful and real time saver !!!!

besides this if you still arent happy with the effect, try applying ” outer glow” to the text inside the group, this would help you tweak the text a little bit more………


for any furthur clarification, please post in the comments below, i will respond sooner !!!!

May 20, 2009 at 1:42 pm | Tutorials | 4 comments

4 Responses to “Photoshop Series : Power Of Color Dodge !!!”

  1. Raman Sharma says:

    Hi Am!!

    Very nice tutorial.. it’s really very helpful.
    I found it very helpful. also it’s gud for beginners.

    Thanks for sharing..

  2. GoKu* says:

    Yuhooo… my first teaching lesson – - nice job neme…

  3. Kelly Brown says:

    Hi, gr8 post thanks for posting. Information is useful!

  4. Abhinav says:

    gr8 tut sir esoicially for beginnners like me :)

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