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Discover how to use Adobe Photoshop, without any added fine art skills, to modify artwork and turn the ordinary into extraordinary. Author and illustrator Bert Monroy takes an unexciting photo and transforms it into an amazing dream sequence by combining it with other photos and techniques. His process touches on compositing, digital painting, masking, and other key image editing techniques. All you need is Photoshop, some images that could use a boost, and your imagination!
Now we need to take this plane out of this scene so that we can manipulate it and put it into our new background of the jungle. Now the jungle is back here. There we see it back there. So now it would make sense that the sky here would be an easy thing to select, but underneath here is not as easy. There are all kinds of intricate parts down here, we don't really need all these parts, like we don't need this engine, we certainly don't need the fence over here. So there are a lot of pieces that we don't want to have. We don't want the landing gear out, because the plane crashed, it wasn't landed, it crashed.
So we need to select just the portions of the plane that we want. So here is a case where we need to be very specific of how we're going to select, and that's where the Pen tool comes in. The Pen tool allows me to go in there and start to select. So we've got to go in here and start to get real close into these areas here and start defining areas that we want to start working with. So right here, I'm going to press my F key to bring me to full screen here so that way I can kind of move it around and see all my nice edges here.
So right here I'm going to start right there. Nice even plane, and it's also the beginning of image. So I've got my Pen tool, and I'm going to click and drag. Now when you click, you're getting a corner point, which means the next click is going to be all straight lines, but if you click and drag, you get the handle which allows you to go in there and get a soft or curved edge. I am going to just delete that, and I'm going to pretty much use that kind of a curved edge all around because if we look, you see there is a slight curve to the edge here, there is a curve to the engine, there is another curve here and of course there is a big curve around the propeller. So that's what we're going to use.
I'm going to start right out here, right in this safe area out here. Doesn't matter that this is not the file here, it doesn't matter. We can create the path starting out here. So I'm going to click and drag my handle, and you notice that I'm dragging in the direction of the plane that I'm trying to select. I'm going to go over here to this first edge right there where the engine starts, and I click and drag. There is another handle. Now at any time I can adjust these. So if I get in real close here, we see that there is a slight little overlap there, right? So by holding down my Command key, I automatically get the Pointer tool which allows me to manipulate those handles to change that curve, right there, see? I'm going to go in there and just get it right there so it's resting on the wing.
And now I'm going to go up this way. Now if I start clicking over here, you see this curve? That's wrong. These handles control the direction of the line that I'm creating. So right now they have to follow the tangent of the curve, and I have this new direction going here. So I need a new handle on this side to control this new line. Holding down my Option key and clicking on the point allows me to pull out a totally new independent handle which I can now have it follow the tangent of this curve here.
So I can go in there and go right up to this little edge right here and click and drag. And again, if I need to adjust it, I could do it after the fact, and in fact, I can even move the point itself so that it's right on the edge. Here, I got a slight change. So I'm going to just slightly change it a little bit, go over to this edge and click and drag. Now it's going to go up. So I raise it up a little bit, go over to this edge and click and drag. Now I have to go around this entire propeller.
Now one thing to keep in mind is that the longer your line, the smoother it's going to be. So if I add a point here, a point here, a point here, a point here, the more chances I have of that line having little dents in it. So right here, I can pretty much go all the way up to the top. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to Option- click and drag on the point, pull out a new handle, and I'm going to pull a long one, because it's going to be a fairly long line, and it's following the tangent of the curve, I come all the way up to here and click and drag, and there you can see that I'm going to get a very nice smooth line going all the way across. All right! From there, I go right over the top of the propeller just like that.
I can adjust this later, and I will. And then I go all the way down to here, click and drag. Now I need to adjust these after the fact, so I'm going to just move this one here, and this one. If it's not quite right, I can very easily as I put the Pen tool, right over the existing line, I can click, giving me a new point which I could then manipulate and put it exactly where I want it, see? Just like that. Coming back to the point where I left off.
I will click and drag a new point, get around that little curve, adjust it 'til I have it just the way I want it, click and drag a new one and come over to here, over this little area here and around, and here I'm going to change my direction again to follow this little curve right here, and finish it off right there. Now I need to lift this up a little bit, no problem. I could do everything after the fact.
I can make all the adjustments that I need. Now I can just come over here and continue the selection right across to the end here. And then out to the end of the nose, right through there, pick it up at the bottom and then start to grab along this side where I want it, see? And again I can just pull this out a little bit just to soften that and to meet that whole edge and then go all the way down to--well, I can go this far, but there is a slight curve here, so let's just go up to the top of that curve.
I can just pull it in and put it right there, and then we'll go right to this little piece here, whatever this is and go around that. We'll go right around this little curve to the edge of the propeller like that, and then we'll go around the tip of the propeller, put it where I want it, I Option-click and drag, and we'll go right to the top of the propeller right there and then go around. Now here, I am going to pull this really tight, so we can see that's getting that nice little curve in there, and there I got a little bit showing, I'll just close it off.
Now I can go to the bottom of the plane right here and here we go straight across. So I just clicked on it without dragging, so I have no handle, and I just go straight across, and we can get a little closer here, so we can see exactly what's going to happen. I'm going to go right here, straight line, so I'm just going to click. And then I'm going to now pull out a handle to go around this little curve and around this little curve there, back to here, and now we'll just put that one in position where we want it right about there, and here we'll just go straight across, right there.
Now here we have a big curve again. Let's pull back a little bit. So we can see that entire piece. Yeah, it's where we want to go, around this entire piece. I'm going to pull a long handle all the way out like that, all the way to this edge right about here and drag. Now that I have it, I can adjust this so that one pull right there, that gave me one continuous line that's nice and smooth all the way across. And right here I'm going to just go down, let me make sure this is a straight line, go down, go up and then here we're just going to close it off right here because most of this stuff is going to be on the ground.
So right up here and close off the entire path, the path has now selected so that we can go in there, and let's just clean this up a little bit. We now have the plane completely selected, so I can turn that path into a selection right there so that now I can go in there and say send it to a new Layer Via Copy, and we turn off the background, we see that the plane is completely separated from the background.
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