How to work with Chasing Light: Facial Contouring

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  By Pia Lopez
How to work with Chasing Light: Facial Contouring

Hello all, today we have a really short tutorial about how to work with the “Chasing Light“ workflow from Sleeklens. More specifically, we will be working on facial contouring, using the light and dark brushes. So, let’s get started.

Now that I have my image up and ready, the first thing that we’re going to do is add highlights to her face to contour the areas that we want to really stand out. For this purpose, we are going to start out by going into our “Chasing Light” brushes, choosing the LIGHT – Brighten brush.

When it comes to Portraits and faces there are specific areas that you may want to highlight or darken to contour the face a little more. You also want to the direction from which the light is coming. In the photo that I am working with, the light appears to be coming from the subjects left side. Even though that is the case it is still straight forward on her face, so we will go ahead and highlight areas such as the forehead, in a sort of inverted triangle, turning the Exposure and Highlights up a bit. We’ll do the same right under the eyes, on the chin, bridge of the nose and also the “cupids bow” between the nose and upper lip.

Some of the others areas that I like to highlight, just to make them stand out are the center of the bottom lip and some of the muscles in the neck.

Even when the user chooses the brushes that come with the “Chasing Light” Workflow you still have the ability to go over to the panel and play with the sliders in order to get the photo the way you like it.

Now that we’ve applied the brush, we can move the little hand cursor over and highlight the affected area, you will be able to see exactly where your brush was applied. If necessary, you can still make adjustments with the sliders, In my case I’ll slightly turn up the Exposure, since I am highlighting here.

Next we will go back into our “Chasing Light” brushes and select the LIGHT – Darken brush. I will use this brush to contour all of the areas where there would normally be shadows. You could use the Darken brush to contour any areas that may want to look smaller.

The typical areas that you would use this brush would be up along the hairline, on the temple, under the cheek bone, along the jaw line and also along the sides of the bridge of the nose. Remember that you can make adjustments to the brush size and the sliders in the panel as you go along. The Darken brush is also useful for filling in eyebrows and also darkening the make up just a little, which will really help the eyes pop out.

So, there it is! We have gone over how to contour using the light and dark brushes from our “Chasing Light” workflow. If you look at the before and after in the video, you’ll see that we have basically added a little more light to the photograph.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and found it helpful. Hopefully you can try it out for yourself soon.

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Pia Lopez

Pia Lopez is a self-taught photographer, graphic designer and ArchViz artist. As Content Director of, her work is driven by her two biggest passions: technology and art.

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