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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 stage we are pretty close to finishing up this project. Yet here one of the things that you want to do is zoom out, and when you zoom out you'll see your project in a different way. And one of the things that I discover is that the guy here on the left is too far into the frame, so I need to move him over. So I'll click in the topmost layer of the guy with the hat, Shift+Click in the bottommost layer and then I'll go ahead with my Move tool, I'll just drag him over. And I want to do that just to open up the space a little bit more. Next, I want to make some other adjustments as well.
I feel like this guy is a bit too big here, a bit too competitive with the rest of the project. So I'll click in this layer, hold down the Shift key, then click in this one and press Command or Ctrl+T and just free- transform this, so it's a bit smaller, bit more of an accent than something quite so dominant. So I'm looking to try to balance things out here a little bit. All right, well, what about all these type layers? Well, now that we have more space, we might as well click in that group and move this over a little bit here and then also move our main text over a bit as well.
Now one of the things I want to do is draw more attention to this area. One way to do that would be to click on our adjustment layer icon and choose Curves. And what we could do with Curves is we could go ahead and darken up the whole image and then grab our brush. We'll right-click or Ctrl-click here to choose a nice soft edge brush. With a regular brush we could mask away in this area, so that we have the brightness that we had before. So we could try this either as a darkening effect or as a brightening effect.
And here I'm just trying to draw out from the eyes. What I'm finding is I'm not really liking this effect. So I'm going to invert my mask, press Command+I, and now what we have is a little bit of a more of a darkness here that we're painting in. So here I can paint with white or black, kind of painting in this effect, just bringing a little bit more behind the text and that's I guess what it needs. It needs that density so it kind of pops out from the background a bit. All right, well I think that's pretty good. Next I'll go ahead and click on the adjustment layer icon and choose Curves.
Then I'm going to brighten this up here a little bit, invert my mask, Command+I with my Brush tool. I'm going to paint with white over a couple of areas that I think might be nice to brighten up. I'll go down to a low opacity, say like 30%, and again just look to try to go through the image, bring a little but more brightness into this portion of the frame. So it's a subtle adjustment, but I just want more light around the face. Well, next I want to work on the overall color. To do that, click on the adjustment layer icon and we could try Curves, we could try Levels, Hue/Saturation, Color Balance, let's go with Color Balance.
Color Balance is a really easy way to mix color. We could make it a bit more cyan, blue there, and that could be kind of nice. A lot of times what you want to do when you get to these last stages of your file is just experiment. To see what happens if you swing the image one way or another, making it more cyan or more blue or try changing your color layer to a blending mode and see if that adds a little extra snap. In my case I like just the subtlety of a little color shift. The only other thing that I think I want to do is revisit the fibers layer.
I feel like these fibers are too strong. I want to back those off so it's a little bit more of a cloud deal and a little bit less of that fiber texture. Now finally what I like to do is to press F to go to Full Screen View mode, and then to change the background color by right-clicking over that and choosing black or gray or white. I am just seeing what will look best so that you can really focus in on the project. The next thing we'll do here is press F7 to open up our layers and let's zoom in so we can actually see this in its entirety.
In here we'll click-and-drag through our layers. We started with the clouds, added some texture, brought in the character, and then added some more to that. We also have this other photograph of the guy, a little bit smaller over here, and then all of our copy and this text field here. A little bit of adjustment, darkening that area and then working on the face and then the overall color, which kind of connects everything. Now when I look at my color layer I realize that's a touch too strong, and again I am just highlighting this because you really want to evaluate each little step.
Now all of this is completely subjective and you may be thinking, "gosh, you know, I've never done anything like this. This is kind of a different approach." We'll give it a try because I think what you can do is you can come up with some really interesting ways to visualize ideas or concepts, and sometimes you'll use this just for the sake of being creative. You won't ever show anyone this. With this particular project I have no intent of showing it or using it in any way, shape, or form, except perhaps to get people to think about how they can work with Photoshop in creative ways.
Because sometimes, by getting creative and getting caught up in the overall creative process, it can lead you to learn things and to make discoveries that you can then apply to other images and other areas of your workflow. All right, well, in order to finish this file up there is just one more thing I want to do. I'm going to click on my brightness layer there and I'm just going to mask it off in this area over here. I feel like the ear became too bright. I should say darken up just a little bit. And I think on that note, this one is a wrap and I hope that you enjoyed this little creative process movie, and also I hope that it inspired you to create some of these type of composites on your own.
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