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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.
With this photograph, we are going to explore how to create a realistic composite. Many times, realistic composites are the result of combining two different exposures or two different frames together. And here in the Layers panel, you'll notice that we have one frame and then we also have another one where I'm holding the Apple. And the idea with this composite is to combine these two images together, so that it looks like I'm holding the Apple while the bullet is being shot through it. Now I captured this image at our ballistic setup at Brooks Institute of Photography.
And as you can imagine, our students have a ton of fun with this setup. They shoot bullets at so many different types of things, it's amazing. Well here we have something pretty simple. And in this case, the apple is being held up by a stick, and we can see that the bullet has gone through the Apple so we have a pretty good capture, except there are a few problems. For starters, the background really needs to be cleaned up, and also the bullet started to rotate. Because as it tore through the apple, it kind of ricochet off of something and then here we can see it's rotating. So one of the first things I want to work on is the bullet.
To do that, let's go ahead and click in this background layer. Next we'll use our Selection tool. Let's go ahead and just use the Rectangular Marquee tool. And let's make a nice generous selection of this bullet and copy it to its own layer. On a Mac, press Command, on Windows press Ctrl, and then the J key. Think of "jump" to jump that content of that selection to new layer. Next, let's double-click the layer name. We'll call this bullet. All right, well if we turn the visibility of this layer off for a moment, we now have the bullet on the original background layer. I want to remove that.
One easy way to remove it is to click- and-drag with the Marquee tool over this. And then press Shift+Delete. That will open up our Fill dialog. And what we want to do is we want to fill this with Content-Aware. In other words, what this will do is it will evaluate the surrounding area and then remove the bullet from this layer. Let's deselect. Navigate to the Select pull- down menu and then choose Deselect. All right, well if we turn on the visibility of the bullet layer and target that layer, we can see that we can now control this.
And in this case, I can reposition this bullet, put it in new spot, or I could rotate it. Let's rotate this by free transforming it. Navigate to Edit and then choose Free Transform. Here we'll simply approach one of the corner points and click-and-drag in order to rotate this, and then press Enter or Return. All right, well, I want to go ahead and get this in a nice spot, perhaps a little bit closer to the Apple there. I think that's kind of fun and again, we can play with this and really change its position however we want to. Well the next thing we need to do is to remove the background, because you may notice that it doesn't line up perfectly in regards to the overall brightness value. It's too dark here.
So in order to fix this up, let's turn Off the visibility of the background layer, and while targeting the bullet layer, I'll choose a different Selection tool. This time we'll use Quick Select. And here, I'll make my brush nice and small by pressing the Left Bracket key, and I'll just make a selection around the bullet here. And the selection isn't perfect, but that's okay. Just want to have a pretty close selection there, and then we'll click on the Add Layer Mask icon. Well now this case, it created a mask and it really removed a lot of the edge.
If we want to paint away more, grab our brush tool and then with black go ahead and just paint around those edges, and you can remove more of the background if you find that you brought too much of that in. Press the X key to bring back a little bit of bullet there, and just go back and forth until that looks good. All right, well let's turn On the background layer and see how we're doing. Here is that before and after, then with the Move tool, we should be able to move this around and we shouldn't see any background really distracting this. But we have a pretty good looking bullet there, and we're ready to move to stage two.
Let's zoom out a little bit and evaluate what stage two will be. Well in this case, now that we have the bullet in position, the next thing I want to do is really bring this hand into the image. Somehow we need to combine those two frames together. Well let's take a look at how we can do that in the next movie.
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