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Photoshop provides several different ways to move paint around once you have applied it. The Smudge Tool is useful for blending small areas of color. It has the same effect as dragging your finger through wet paint. Blur and Sharpen are two sides of the same coin, so to speak. One increases the contrast between adjacent pixels, whereas the other diminishes it. The Toning tools (Dodge, Burn, and Sponge) are the digital darkroom equivalents of real darkroom tools and procedures. They can darken or lighten an image, or change the color saturation by either adding more color or removing some. These tools are mostly used for retouching pictures that you have scanned or shot digitally, rather than for creating your own art.


Q1: What's the difference between smudge and blur?
A1: The main difference is in the way you apply them. Smudging, because you're moving the pixels from point A to point B, tends to show the direction of the move. Blurring decreases the contrast between adjacent pixels, so they seem to blend together visually but with no hint of movement.
Q2:Can I saturate and desaturate on the same object? I want to make one side lighter and the other darker.
A2: Of course, you can, but the Sponge Tool might not be your best choice for darkening an object. Remember, it makes the color more or less saturated, which is not quite the same as darkening it. Try it and, if the effect isn't what you're looking for, try burning instead.
Q3:I understand the Sharpen Tool, but there also seem to be Sharpen filters. (Okay, I peeked ahead.) When do you use the tool and when do you use the filter?
A3: Use the tool when you have a small area that you want to sharpen. Use the filters when you have a soft focus image, or one that needs all-over sharpening. You'll learn how to work with the filters in Hour 14, “Filters That Improve Your Picture.”
Q4:My scanned picture has a very dark shadow. Should I desaturate it or dodge it?
A4: Yes. Try both approaches and see which works best for you.



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