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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 previous movie, we talked about how we could either use the Pen tool in order to create a path or how we could use Quick Select in order to select the glass area of this vintage TV. What we need to do next is we need to activate this area as a selection. Now, for using the Quick Select tool, we could simply make that quick selection, or if we were working with paths, in order to be able to save that, what we can do is simply choose one of the paths, and then hold down Command on a Mac, Ctrl on Windows, and click on it. This will activate it as a selection.
The next thing we want to do is go to our Layers panel and click in the annika layer, turn on the visibility of course, and then click on the Add Layer Mask icon. What this will do is create a layer mask based on that selection. Now, the problem with this, of course, is the image is in the wrong position. So, in order to reposition this, we need to unlink the image in the mask, then we need to target the image thumbnail here. So, we click in that. You'll see the little brackets show up around this.
If you remember, there are two great shortcuts to move between your image and your mask. On a Mac, it's Command+Backslash to go to the mask, and Command+2 to go to the image. You can see it's toggling back and forth between those by way of a shortcut. On Windows, that's Ctrl+Backslash or Ctrl+2. Now, if you don't like shortcuts, no big deal. Simply click in the image thumbnail. Next, with your Move tool, click-and- drag the photograph to reposition it in the correct spot there. All right, well, I think that's pretty good.
Next thing that I want to do is I want to make this look a little bit more realistic, because it looks like it's pasted onto this area. Well, there are a couple of things that we could do. One, let's go back to our mask, so here we'll click on that mask. You could start to soften the edges a bit. So, let's do that by going to Mask Edge. Now, in this dialog, we can do a few things in regards to this edge. It had a little bit of some rough angles there, so I'm going to go ahead and smooth that out. I can add a bit of Feather, and I can also decrease the size of this so it's kind of falling inside of the shadow.
You start to see how the outer shadow is almost falling in on this image, so it's looking a little bit more realistic. Let's click on Show Original, just so you can see that before, really harsh edge, and then after, little bit better edge. I'll zoom in a little bit further, so you can see the difference. Here's the before and then the after, making those adjustments. Okay, well, let's click OK in order to apply that. Now, how do we get this to look good in that TV, how do we blend that in? Well, there are few steps we might want to take here.
One that might be helpful to do is to press the V key and then to press Shift+Plus/Minus to scroll through your blending modes. That will go through all of these different blending modes until you find one that looks good. Here I'll press Shift+Plus, and as I do that, we're going to see different options. One of the things I'm seeing here is that I like when that reflection shows up on the image. For situations like this, Overlay or Soft Light are really going to be some good options, but I'll just go through the whole gamut, just pressing Shift+Plus in order to scroll through these, seeing if there are any good blending modes that might work for this.
Going back to that Luminosity one for a second, seeing black and white makes me think, yeah! It might be nice to convert that to black and white. All right, well, let's go back to Overlay or Soft Light, because that's really nice how it fits in the TV. We have a little bit of that reflection on the TV, so it's looking a bit better. Yet, we have a touch of a problem here. One is, is that the image perhaps is in color. I might want to make it black and white, and two is it's not quite strong enough of an image. So, first, let's desaturate this layer.
One way to do that really easily is to click in the image thumbnail or use your shortcut, Command+2 on a Mac, Ctrl+2 on Windows, and then open up Hue/Saturation. You can do that by navigating to Image, choosing Adjustments, and then selecting Hue/Saturation, or of course using the shortcut, Command+U or Ctrl+U. Here, we're going to simply desaturate and see how this looks as we remove the color from this area. It kind of takes on some of the green of the background because of that blending mode and it's looking pretty good.
Let's click OK to apply that, and then zoom out a little bit so that we can evaluate. Now again, I like how the image is starting to appear, but it's a little bit too faint for me. So, here's what you can do to kind of boost that up a bit. You can go ahead and copy this layer by pressing Command+J on a Mac, Ctrl+J on Windows, or click-and-drag this to the New Layer icon. Now, once we do that, it just gives us a little bit more boost, adding that contrast. With this second layer, you want to try Soft Light, you also want to try lowering your opacity a bit, and just see if you can kind of boost up the contrast a little bit there, just adding a bit more definition to the image, so it isn't quite so lost there.
All right, well, I am really liking the way that's looking, except now what I want to do is I want to modify the overall color and tone. I also perhaps want to add a bit of film grain. Well, let's explore how we can take those next steps in the following movie.
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