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In Photoshop CS6 Essential Training, Julieanne Kost demonstrates how to produce high-quality images in a short amount of time, using a combination of Adobe Photoshop CS6, Bridge, and Camera Raw.
The course details the Photoshop features and creative options, and shows efficient ways to perform common editing tasks, including noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, retouching, and combining multiple images. Along the way, the course explores techniques for nondestructive editing and compositing using layers, blending modes, layer masks, and much more.
Another fun way to take multiple images and combine them together is in an action sequence. On a case like this, you want to make sure that the camera stays in the same position and your subject matter is actually moving between the multiple frames or exposures that you make. So let's take a look at these three images. I'm going to tap the Spacebar while I am in Bridge just so that we can see them. So you can see here is one exposure, the camera was on the tripod and I'm standing in one position. If I use my arrow key and we go to the next image I've moved over to that position and in the third image I am sitting down in front.
So let's tap the Escape key. I want to select all of these images and I'll choose the tools menu and go to Photoshop, and we're going to have Photoshop load these files into a single document as layer. So I'll choose Load Files into Photoshop layers. Bridge will hand off the three files that I had selected and here they are on the layers palette. We can see there's the image one, image two, and image three. As I toggle on and off these layers I can actually see there's a slight movement between this top layer and the next one down.
So even though my camera was on a tripod, something here moved. So I'm going to select all of the layers in my Layers panel by clicking on the top one, holding down the Shift key and clicking on the bottom one. And then, I'm going to use the Edit menu, I will come down to Auto-Align my layers. I will go ahead and choose the Auto option, and for the best quality we will go ahead and leave on my Lens Correction options, and click OK. We can see when I toggle on and off the Eye icon for these different layers, they are perfectly aligned.
We can do this the easy or the hard way. I prefer the easy way. I'm going to select this top layer and I'm going to add a layer mask, just a plain white layer mask. I will tap the D key to make sure that I have my default foreground and background colors. But I want to be painting with black, so I am going to tap the X key. Then, I will tap to B key to access my Brush, and let's just double-check our settings. It should be set to Normal mode with an Opacity of 100%. When I said that we could do this the hard way or the easy way, what I meant is I can either paint myself out of this image or I can try to paint myself into another image which then would require me to kind of guess where I am standing.
So it's much easier to just paint me out. Which, you might be thinking, is the exact opposite of what I want, but in fact, it's not, because once I've got myself completely painted out, then all I need to do is invert the mask in order to have myself be showing and hide the rest of the background. So my mask is selected on the Layers panel. I choose Image>Adjustments, and then Invert. So now what we're seeing, if we hide the other two layers, is we're just seeing me on this layer.
And the nice thing about doing it this way is I can also come in and check and make sure that I actually did mask myself properly. So while I'm still on the mask, if I want to make changes now, I can't paint with black, I have to paint with white. So I tap the X key and then I just make sure that we've got my whole hand there and we've got my whole foot down here and here. It looks like I missed a little area right in here, and we can paint right up there. Excellent! Now let's turn on the next layer. You can see that I've moved positions over to here, so we're going to use the same technique.
I will click on that layer. I will add a mask. I have my paintbrush, but I better switch by tapping the X key so that I'm painting with black and I will paint myself out of this layer as well. As soon as I've painted myself out, all I need to do is go to the Image menu, use Adjustments, or use the keyboard shortcut Cmd+ or Ctrl+I in order to invert that. Again, we can see that I've missed some areas, but before I start painting, I tap the X key to exchange my foreground and background color and then we paint the rest of this in.
Better I get my feet down there and make sure that everything is visible. Excellent! Let's turn on the visibility of the last layer here and you can see I have a little bit of an issue, because I've actually captured myself right on top of where I was standing. So I need to go back in and just finesse this mask a little bit. So let's zoom in. Use just Cmd++ to zoom in to 100%, hold down the Spacebar in order to reposition this, and then remember it is this layer here, the middle layer that's causing the problem.
So I need to adjust the mask on the middle layer. So I have my Paintbrush selected, and I actually need to hide more of the information on this layer. So in order to hide the information, I'm going to paint with black as my foreground color. So I will tap the X key again and then I will click and paint. But I want to make sure that I get a smaller brush here, much smaller, and I can actually paint away a little bit too much. See how painting away my feet there I'm now able to see through to the background layer and it's the background layer where my pants here and the coat is.
So obviously I have painted away a little bit too much. So I tap the X key again. A little bit smaller of a brush, and then being a little bit more careful here, I am just going to paint up along the edge of the jacket there, around the edge there, and come back here, and just paint that out. Again, if you go too far, tap the X key. The other thing that could be really helpful here is to actually get a little bit harder of a brush, a harder edge brush, and then just paint that away right there so that you can't see the scene.
Let's zoom back out by using Cmd+- and then I just need to crop this. So I'll grab the Crop tool or we can tap the C key. I will leave it unconstrained. I just want to crop a little bit off the top, and maybe just a little bit off the bottom. You can see there's the snapping behavior. It's a little hard for me just to trim a little. So if I hold down the Ctrl key, I can actually temporarily turn off that snapping behavior. Tap the Enter or the Return key in order to apply that crop.
It looks like I didn't crop quite enough on the right. So we'll pull that in as well, hit Enter or Return, and then you can see I didn't want to crop off my foot, but I have a little bit of an area here. In fact, let's tap the V key to move over to the Move tool and Cmd++ or Ctrl++ to zoom in. I need to fill in this area right here. So I can do so by just using maybe the Clone Stamp tool. So I will tap the S key and then I'll hold down the Option or the Alt key to set my sample point.
It can be a pretty small area there, but what I better make sure of is I better pay attention to what layer I'm on. So in this case, I actually am only worried about the bottom-most layer. So I will click on that layer and then making sure that my Sample is set to All layers, I will go ahead and click and paint in the area that I am missing down there at the bottom. I might need to reset my Sample Point a little bit and I can just scoot that over.
I use my Hand tool to move over to the right-hand side, and of course I access the Hand tool by holding down the Spacebar, and then again hold down the Option or the Alt to set my Sample Point, and then just click and paint to drag that in to just make up that extra information that I need there. I can reset my Sample Point as many times as I want just to make sure that I'm not getting any duplications of area. And I see one more time I left a little bit of area on the left side.
So again I will grab my Crop tool, scoot that over just a wee bit, and tap Enter or Return. So I just think this is a really fun way to create an image that would be obviously impossible to capture in real life by just making multiple exposures of the same scene, and having something change in the scene whether it's one person moving like a skier moving through the scene, or in this case, me just being kind of goofy with these pillars and repositioning myself.
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