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In Photoshop CS5: Creative Compositing, Chris Orwig demonstrates how to take photographs to the next creative level by combining images in Photoshop. This course covers multiple compositing scenarios, including portraits and architecture photos, from selecting the images, to blending photos with layer masks and blend modes, and resizing and sharpening the results. Chris also covers tips and tricks design to inspire and increase the drama and interest of photographs. Exercise files are included with this course.
At this juncture, we are going to experiment with one more layer that I have included in this file and we are going also take a look at a fascinating way that we can work with color and tone. Let's go ahead and turn on the visibility of this top layer title book page. Well, here you can see we have this old page. It's not even sharp, there is no lot of detail here, and it doesn't cover the whole image. Well, let's free transform this to stretch it out a bit. To do that on a Mac press Command+T, on Windows press Ctrl+T and let's just stretch that out and then press Enter or Return.
Now, here at this juncture the image is even looking worse, because we've stretched it out. We've essentially worked with an image that doesn't have a lot of good quality and made it even worse. Well, that's okay, because we are going to use blending. Whenever you blend, it hides all of that pixilation or problems with certain images or scans or photographs. So, here what I want to do is I want to create an edge along my image and also bring in this texture. If I simply change this to a blending mode say of Soft Light, I get the texture, but the edge isn't really working for me.
So, what I need to do then is go back to my Normal blending mode and then use one of my selection tool, say like the Magic Wand here. And what we'll do is simply click on the white area here, which highlights this edge. Next, we are going to click on our adjustment layer icon and then choose Solid Color. What that will do is it will fill this area with a color. Currently it's black. Let's leave it that way just to see what's happening here. Well, now that we have that color there, if we go to the book page and if we change the blending mode to Soft Light once again, well, now we have that nice edge there, the nice blending, except black doesn't really work. Well, no big deal.
Double-click the icon for that solid color layer and here I am going to choose White and click Ok. Well, now all of a sudden I have this really nice white edge. The great ting about this is that what we can do is we can click in both of these layers while holding down the Shift key, then use the Move tool and we can click and drag to reposition this. Say, we want just a little bit of a distressed edge there something which creates a little bit less of that effect. We can also then press Command+T Ctrl +T to free transform that so that it stretches over the entirety of the photograph.
The fun thing about this is that what it can do for us is help us add different type of edges or aesthetics in order to make things look even a little bit more distressed. All right, well, let's go ahead and take a look at that before and after. Here is before and then after. One interesting option for this photograph. All right, well, what I want to do next is take a look at color and tone. I am going to turn off these top two layers, because let's say we've decided we just want nice and straight edges. But I want to do something interesting with the overall color and tone.
Well check this out. What you can do is go back to your bottom layer. To do that, I'll first double-click the Mask tab, so I can see all my layers, and then I scroll down until I get to this bottom layer here, my Background or original photograph. The next thing I am going to do is copy this. Press Command+J or Ctrl+J to do so. Here you can see we've two versions of our Background. Then what we want to do is click and drag this all the way to the tippy top of our layer stack. Now, once we have that above, essentially we've removed everything that we have done, all of our texture.
Here's after and then here is how the image appeared before. Well, what I am going to do with this top layer is I am going to change the blending mode and also change the Saturation of it. Let me show you what I mean. I am going to take this to a blending mode of Soft Light and just by doing that alone, I all of a sudden have something which is kind of intriguing. The next step is to click on your adjustment lLayer icon and to choose Hue/Saturation. Now, what we want to do is make some kind of a shift here. Let's say I am going to work on the Saturation. What I want to do is go on to those blues and I want to remove of the blues there, so I am going to reduce those.
I am going to go into the master channel. I am going to increase the overall color saturation. Now, I want this applied to just the underlying layer. To do that, we'll click on this icon here which will create a layer clipping mask. So, then what we can do is as we go into these different channels we can start to see how we can control these different areas of the photograph. In this case, I just want to bring down or bring out those Blues, but I still have an interesting look here with the overall skin tone. Take a look, there is before and then there is after.
So, we've brought back on top of all that we've done this layer. We can go into this layer. We can control these different areas of the photograph, control the different tones and colors. We can work on these colors, so that we can come up with a pretty interesting photograph, either bringing in color or removing it. This gives us a completely different way to potentially interpret this image. We can also work with our opacity and just bring this down. Perhaps you want something that has a little bit more of the original color in the mix, but you don't want all of that color there.
Well, now here we have that option. All right, well finally let's evaluate all that we've done with this photograph. Here we'll press F to go to full screen view mode, I'll zoom in a little bit on the photograph, and then I'll press the F7 key to bring up my Layers panel. If we click through our layers, what we'll discover is this was the original image and then we started off converting this to black and white, brightening up the screen. We thought about our contrast here, keeping it down, keeping it low, a nice bright image will do. Then we've worked on our overall color, just subtly tweaking the color, building this up, knowing that we would change it more and later.
We then worked on tone, darkening some of the background, bringing more focus to the face. This adjustment was interesting. This was where we added that fiberous filter, just building up some texture. Then we brought in film grain and we brought that in on a blending mode of Soft Light. Blending modes are so important when you are trying to create this vintage effect. Next, we've looked at how we could use a Curves adjustment just to bring out or draw out more of that look. Then from there we experiment with different textures, like this old paper texture or how we can combine different textures together.
We also explored how we could work with edges and how those edges could then add a little bit of a darkening effect or color here on the edge of the photograph. From there we've explored with other techniques like looking at how we could combine perhaps an edge of an old book in order to create a different or distinct edge. Then finally we explore with color and tone, and this last adjustment layer was an exploration and how we would work with the original layer using that blending mode of Soft Light to come up with the different version of the image. All right, I am going to go ahead and turn off the visibility of this top layer, and just go for this kind of muted brown sepia-toned image.
The last thing that I want to say here is that if ever you find any of these adjustments are too strong, well, click on those layers. You can always modify them. Because we've created this layer by layer, we can always go back and change those adjustments in order to get the exact look that we are going for. All right, well, finally, I am going to zoom in a little bit closer so we can evaluate this up close. Here we have it, our overall before and then after.
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