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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.
In the next couple of movies we'll look at a brief technique which will allow us to add an image to this vintage_ tv set and make it look realistic. Well, over here on the Layers panel you'll notice that we have a background layer, just a white background, we have the vintage TV, and then we have this photograph of my daughter Annika meeting Cinderella. You can see that she's showing Cinderella her glass slippers, and it's just kind of this really sweet moment. Here, in this first movie what I want to do is just talk about selecting the area of the TV. So, let's turn off the visibility of the Annika layer, and then click in or target the tv layer.
Now, there are a couple of different ways that you can make the selection of the tv. One technique that you might use is to create a path. To do that, press the P key to select the Pen tool and then click on the second option, which will allow you to create a path. Next, what you want to do is go to one of the corner points and click and drag. You want to click and drag in the direction that you're going, in this case clockwise, and also up in a little bit away from the corner. Move to the next corner click and drag. Then you are going to go back and hold down the Option key and you're going to sweeten this path or curve up by holding on the Option key on Mac, Alt key on Windows, and then moving these points.
Now, creating a path isn't always the best way and it may be difficult for some of you to work with paths. But nonetheless this would be a good chance to experiment with these, because they're really a powerful way to make good selections. Okay, we'll go down, here we'll simply click and drag away, hold down Option on a Mac, Alt on Windows, then move these points to get that right along the edge and then over here click and drag, again, hold down Option or Alt and just get this right along the edge of the TV there.
Then finally click and drag up here and once again Option+Click or Alt+Click in order to get this going right. Well, when you get near the end of this, one of the things that you are going to want to do is Option on a Mac, Alt on Windows, click on the square or the anchor. That will remove that little point. Then hold down Option or Alt again and click on the original point, so kind of finish it off there. This will then close things off so that we have this nice path. From, here what we need to do is go to our Paths panel.
So, we'll go look over here and we'll save this out as tv and click OK. Well, now that we have this nice path we can use this or turn this into a selection. We could turn that into a mask in order to limit the area where the photograph will be displayed. Now, as I mentioned previously some of you may be thinking, "gosh! Paths those are so difficult, I don't want to work with those." Well, fine. Another technique that you could use would be to click off your path. I'll go back the Layers panel and target the tv layer.
And then go to the Quick Select tool here. You can do so by pressing the W key and next what you want to do is simply click and drag across the TV. Now, as we do that you notice that it finds the outer edge of the TV. That's not what I want. So, hold down Option on a Mac, Alt on Windows and click and drag around the edge. Now, as you do this it will build up this quick selection knowledge and this will get better and better as you move along, so that we have really a nice selection inside of this area.
Now, when you're working with selections you can either have a selection like this and create a mask out of it or if you want to save this, you could save it as an alpha channel or as a path. Just because I introduced this topic of paths, so let's go ahead and save this one out as a path, just to compare. Here, we'll go back to our Paths tab, so we'll go ahead and click on this icon here which will then convert that into a Work Path, and then we can double-click this and call this tv 2. Now, the path isn't perfect in this case, you can see there are some wobbly lines here and there but for the most part it's a pretty good path.
All right, well now that we have this path, what we need to do next is we need to use either tv or tv 2, convert that into a selection, which in turn will become a mask, so we can blend the image into the TV set. Well, let's take a look at how we can continue with this and how we can do that in the next movie.
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