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Photoshop CS5: Creative Compositing

Nature project: Combining foreground and sky


From:

Photoshop CS5: Creative Compositing

with Chris Orwig

Video: Nature project: Combining foreground and sky

One of the areas where human vision is far superior to photographic capture has to do with overall brightness value. Now what we can see here in this photograph of the sequoias is that we have one exposure where we are able to see the foreground but the background is just completely blown out. We don't have any detail. Whereas a human eye can see the foreground and the background together, but in this case this variance in exposure kind of overwhelms the camera. It doesn't know what to do. So what we can do is we can create one exposure for one area of a scene and then we can create another exposure, in this case the background or the sky for another area, then we can bring these two exposures together in Photoshop.
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  1. 2m 30s
    1. Welcome
      52s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 38s
  2. 20m 12s
    1. Combining layers with blending modes
      1m 36s
    2. Using blending modes and color adjustment layers
      2m 21s
    3. Layer blending and shortcuts
      4m 3s
    4. Creative project: Wisdom begins in wonder
      6m 23s
    5. Creating a flamenco dancer advertisement
      5m 49s
  3. 17m 39s
    1. Snapshot project: Using Auto-Align and Auto-Blend
      3m 27s
    2. Flag project: Combining depths of field
      3m 46s
    3. Nature project: Combining foreground and sky
      4m 47s
    4. Nature project: Adding clouds and creative color
      5m 39s
  4. 15m 28s
    1. Combining multiple frames
      5m 21s
    2. Cleaning up the details
      5m 5s
    3. Modifying color and tone
      5m 2s
  5. 11m 48s
    1. Combining interior and exterior architecture
      6m 57s
    2. Increasing drama and visual interest
      4m 51s
  6. 25m 27s
    1. Composite project overview
      4m 12s
    2. Masking multiple images together
      3m 28s
    3. Extending the canvas and adding elements
      2m 58s
    4. Enhancing the main elements
      1m 47s
    5. Cleaning up the background
      4m 27s
    6. Award-winning composite inspiration
      4m 30s
    7. Photoshop composite inspiration: Web sites
      4m 5s
  7. 1h 4m
    1. Project 1: Removing a model from a background
      9m 27s
    2. Project 1: Combining multiple photographs
      3m 23s
    3. Project 1: Working with shadows
      8m 15s
    4. Project 1: Adding light and color
      5m 18s
    5. Project 1: Working with curves and masking
      3m 45s
    6. Project 1: Final color and tone adjustments
      6m 56s
    7. Project 2: Combining multiple photographs
      7m 51s
    8. Project 2: Adding shadows
      7m 21s
    9. Project 2: Organizing layers and adding blur
      5m 48s
    10. Project 2: Adding film grain
      6m 19s
  8. 22m 58s
    1. Illuminating the eyes
      4m 16s
    2. Blending graphics with photos
      4m 25s
    3. Making final color modifications
      6m 19s
    4. Creative portrait blending
      7m 58s
  9. 25m 54s
    1. Working with color and tone
      3m 46s
    2. Adding texture
      4m 4s
    3. Adding film grain
      2m 44s
    4. Modifying texture
      4m 32s
    5. Darkening edges
      3m 34s
    6. Applying a creative color effect
      7m 14s
  10. 14m 39s
    1. Creating a selection of the TV glass
      4m 14s
    2. Masking the images into the selection
      5m 16s
    3. Modifying the color and tone
      5m 9s
  11. 27m 42s
    1. Extracting elements from their backgrounds
      6m 49s
    2. Removing the words from the book
      4m 31s
    3. Masking and image blending
      4m 35s
    4. Creating composite options
      4m 56s
    5. Enhancing the color
      6m 51s
  12. 11m 39s
    1. Setting the stage with color and tone
      4m 30s
    2. Working with textures and blending
      7m 9s
  13. 20m 31s
    1. Project overview
      4m 54s
    2. Using masking and blending modes for emphasis
      5m 8s
    3. Adding and modifying typography
      4m 55s
    4. Making final color and tone adjustments
      5m 34s
  14. 24s
    1. Goodbye
      24s

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Photoshop CS5: Creative Compositing
4h 41m Intermediate Sep 02, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Extending the canvas
  • Combining multiple frames
  • Cleaning up the background
  • Modifying color and tone
  • Masking images together
  • Removing a model from a background
  • Blending graphics with photos
  • Illuminating eyes
  • Adding texture and film grain
Subjects:
Photography Masking + Compositing
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Chris Orwig

Nature project: Combining foreground and sky

One of the areas where human vision is far superior to photographic capture has to do with overall brightness value. Now what we can see here in this photograph of the sequoias is that we have one exposure where we are able to see the foreground but the background is just completely blown out. We don't have any detail. Whereas a human eye can see the foreground and the background together, but in this case this variance in exposure kind of overwhelms the camera. It doesn't know what to do. So what we can do is we can create one exposure for one area of a scene and then we can create another exposure, in this case the background or the sky for another area, then we can bring these two exposures together in Photoshop.

Now I am excited to share this particular technique with you because previously in order to do this it took a lot of work. But here now in Photoshop CS5 it's much easier. Let me explain. Let's go ahead and put the foreground layer on top of the background, because here we have a nice brightness value in the sky. Next we will click on the Add Layer Mask icon, and then what we want to do is modify this mask. We want to create a mask which is just the sky. To do that we will go ahead and click on Color Range.

Now what's interesting about Color Range is we can then click in an area of our photograph in order to see where we are building this mask. Now if you don't see it this way you may want to change your selection preview. If you look at it in white, you can't really see or define the area you are working on. So in this case I will go to this Black Matte. I also want to view the selection over here as well. Next, hold down the Shift key and click- and-drag across the sky that will build up the selection, adding more to this. I want to click in the trees and also click down here all along these areas.

Well, so far this is a pretty good mask with just a few problem areas down below. Let's click OK in order to create this. Well now that we have done this we can see that what's happening here is that this is allowing the sky to come through. If we turn off our background layer we can see that we just have the sky in this layer. That's the exact opposite of what we want. So we need to invert this mask. To do that click on the Invert button. Now the great thing about the Invert button is it gives us so much flexibility. Therefore we don't really have to be concerned with what we are selecting or not.

If we have the opposite, we just flip it and we are good to go. Next, let's Option or Alt+Click on the mask. What we want to do is cleanup this area here and when you Option+Click or Alt+Click on your mask you see it in this black-and-white view. So next we will grab our Brush tool, we will go ahead and choose the color white, make our brush nice and big and also our opacity, we will take that all the way up to 100, and we will just paint away this down here and also a little bit over here as well, just so this area isn't affected.

All right, great, so far so good. Option or Alt+Click the mask one more time. So in this case what we have done is we have removed the sky area. Let's see how we have done. Let's turn on the background visibility here. Now when I do that all of a sudden I say, oh man! big problems. I have troubles in River City. Yet we think again, we realize that you know what we can do is we can target the mask and go to Mask Edge, and what Mask Edge allows us to do is to use this brush to paint over areas where Photoshop will evaluate them in order to make this particular mask even better.

It's going to pay attention to transparency. I am going to paint over the tree and paint over the background and Photoshop is going to slowly build this up. Now so far it's done a pretty good job. Click on this icon. There is before and now here is after. Well, if I need an even better job what I can do is smooth things out just a couple of points, add a little bit of contrast or perhaps just a little bit of feather as well. Let's look at our before and after. Here is before where it was. Now here is after. That looks like a really nice mask, bringing in detail in the sky.

All right, well click OK in order to apply that. What you will notice that this is currently black, and black is concealing the sky here, which in turn punches a hole in the photograph so we can see that underlying layer. Now if ever we feel like this is too dense, in my case the edges are just a bit too dark, well, just go ahead and lower your Density, and as you do that sometimes that will just soften up that adjustment perfectly so that it looks really good. All right, well there we have it, combining two exposures and doing that by using masking, and the Mask Edge in order really sweeten up that edge in order to get the best of both worlds.

In order to see the before and after, we can Shift+Click the mask. Here it is, before and then after.

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