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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 one point or another, almost all photographers or image makers will eventually need to know how they can combine two different images together. Here we're going to look at a scenario where we have two different photographs: this initial photograph on layer 1 here, image 1, and then also image 2. Now let's say that the client really likes image 2. They like this perspective, the posture, but they need the feet. They need the shoes. So somehow what we need to do is to combine these two together in order to get the best of both worlds.
All right, well how can we do that? Well, one of the first things that you want do is click on the visibility of both layers. You want to start to analyze things. Here we notice that image 2 is up a little closer. We stepped forward when we took this picture or the photographer did. Therefore, we need to get our size a little bit closer. The best way to do that is to hold down Command on a Mac, Ctrl on Windows, and then to click on multiple layers and then to go to Edit and choose Auto-Align Layers.
Here with the Auto option selected, we'll click OK. This will correct the perspective and the size. Well, let's see how it did. If we click on the eye icon, we can see that yeah, here's our before and then after. This is now much better in regards to the position of the athlete. All right, well one of the first areas that we want to work on is the feet. So let's zoom in a bit. Press Command+Plus or Ctrl+Plus. As we do that we notice you know what, these feet are all wrong. They're in the wrong spot. So what might be nice is to actually select the feet one at a time and then modify them so we can get this looking good.
Here's how we can do it. Well, let's turn off the visibility of image 2 and let's click in the layer titled image 1. Here we'll grab our Marquee tool. We'll make a rough selection. And I mean rough. It doesn't need to be good. It doesn't matter that the tire is there. We'll copy this to a new layer by pressing Command+J or Ctrl+J. Let's name this one right foot. Next, click back in the layer image 1. Again with your Marquee tool, make another rough selection this time of the other foot. Press Command+J or Ctrl+J. This time we'll name this one left foot.
All right, well, let's turn on the visibility of our top layer. Well, now here at this juncture we're seeing anything different, but this work is fun. Let's start off with the right foot. Let's grab the Move tool and simply use the arrow keys. I'm going to use the arrow keys to nudge this around until I get it into a good spot. I want to look to line up the different areas, the highlights and the way the jeans are actually wrinkled there, so that this looks its best. I can experiment a little bit by having this at a different position and just try to get this to a good spot.
I think right about there is pretty good. Next, what we might want to experiment with is free transforming this, but free transforming this in a different way. Press Command+T or Ctrl+T and that is Command+T on a Mac, Ctrl+T on Windows. Then on a Mac, hold down Command. On Windows hold down Ctrl. Then simply click and drag your corner points. A lot of times by doing that, you can just get that exact perspective that you need just shifting or warping things just a bit in regards to the perspective. I think that might work.
Press Enter or Return. Then nudge that just into spot. I'll do that one more time just to get this a little bit better here, so I have a nice alignment on the outer edge of the jeans and then press Enter or Return. All right, well, we have one foot pretty close. Let's now mask it in. Press Option on Mac, Alt on Windows and click on the Add Layer Mask icon. That creates a layer mask filled with black i.e. concealing the new foot there. Next, we'll grab our Brush tool. We'll choose white.
We want to make sure we have a nice soft edge brush, no hardness there, nice and small, high opacity. Then we'll simply start to paint in the new shoe. As we do that, we can bring in just the shoe itself without bringing in a lot of the concrete in the background. In this way, we won't have much of a problem regards the overall texture and whatnot. All right, well so far, so good. This foot's looking okay. Now we do still have this dividing line here that we're going to need to work on, but for the most part, I think we're okay. Next, let's work on the left foot.
We'll click in that layer. We'll grab our Move tool and again, arrow keys, nudge it around. Here I'm pressing the Left Arrow key. I'm just trying to find exact spot where this looks good. In this case, we want to keep in mind where the other foot is and also look at the jeans there. Once again, press Command+T or Ctrl+T and then Command+click or Ctrl+click on those little corner points. There we can get that wrinkle to line up perfectly. Press Enter or Return and then make any final adjustments. Do that one more time.
I think that's pretty good. Press Enter or Return. That's a little bit too far. So let me just do this a little bit more here. It's all about the subtlety, isn't it? All right, well, there we have the feet all nice and lined up. Yet of course, we have some problems with our background. If we zoom out, we'll notice we have a few other problems as well. We have this dividing line problem where this image starts and stops. The tone or the brightness value is a bit different. We also have a few little background problems. Well, let's take a look at how we can clean this image up and finish it off even better.
And we'll do that in the next movie.
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