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Project 1: Working with curves and masking

From: Photoshop CS5: Creative Compositing

Video: Project 1: Working with curves and masking

Here at this stage, what I want to do is start to work a little bit more on color and tone, in order to take this even further. Now one of the things that I'm noticing is it's starting to look a little bit more realistic, but I want to modify the overall color and tone, and also I want to tweak the color and tone on the subject a bit more. So in order to do that, let me go back to this Curves adjustment here at the top. This is the one that's just affecting the girl, because the mask is limited to that area. Well, here, I'll go into some of my channels like the Red channel, maybe add just a touch more red there, and also add a little bit more yellow.

Project 1: Working with curves and masking

Here at this stage, what I want to do is start to work a little bit more on color and tone, in order to take this even further. Now one of the things that I'm noticing is it's starting to look a little bit more realistic, but I want to modify the overall color and tone, and also I want to tweak the color and tone on the subject a bit more. So in order to do that, let me go back to this Curves adjustment here at the top. This is the one that's just affecting the girl, because the mask is limited to that area. Well, here, I'll go into some of my channels like the Red channel, maybe add just a touch more red there, and also add a little bit more yellow.

So, now that I see the background in this context, I want to change these colors perhaps a bit more so that it's starting to match that background, a little bit more magenta there, and just modify these just a touch there. Here we have our before and then after, again bringing those colors a little bit closer together. Now, another thing that I want to do is I want to darken the lower portion of the image a little bit. So, in order to do that, here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to click on the adjustment layer icon and choose Curves, and I'm just going to darken things up a bit.

So as I'm darkening things up, I'm just kind of looking at the image and seeing what's happening here. I realize that it will be really nice to have some of the lower area, maybe this lower leg, a bit darker, and a bit more brightness up top. So I'm going to take advantage of the mask that I already have. What you can do is you can click in your layer mask, this good mask that we've created. Hold down Option or Alt, and then click-and-drag that to a new layer. That allows you to copy and paste the layer mask onto a new layer. Here it says, do you want to do that? Do you want to replace what's there? Heck yeah! So now what we have is this darkening effect, which is just affecting the subject.

Now, in this case, I don't like how it's affecting the entirety of the subject. So, I grab my brush, I paint with black, and I'll paint with black with a real high opacity here, with a really big, soft-edge brush, make your brush bigger by pressing the Right Bracket key. Next, we'll click in the mask for this Curves adjustment here, and with this brush, we'll go ahead and paint away this darkening effect in the upper portion of the image, because we don't really need that darkening effect so much up top. But it's kind of nice to have that lower portion of the leg drop off a bit, there is too much light there.

The other thing I want to do is bring more light to the face. Because this was a backlit subject, I need more light here. So, we'll click on the adjustment layer icon, choose Curves, I'm going to create a brightening curve, invert the mask, press Command+I on a Mac, Ctrl+I on Windows, select your Brush tool, here we want to paint with white, and we'll make our brush nice and small by pressing the Left Bracket key. We're just going to add a little bit of brightness here, and I'll lower my opacity a bit more. What I want to do is kind of bring the viewer's attention to the top portion of the image and bring them up to that area there, brighten that up kind of from the top-down just a touch, and then I'll lower my opacity even more. I'm going to add a bit more to this kind of glowing effect, and zoom out a little bit and add a bit more to this glow that is happening in the background here.

By doing that, again I'm just bringing the focus up to this upper portion of the image. Here you can see the before and after, just bringing in a little bit more focus there. Next, go to the Mask panel, increase the Feather to soften those edges. Currently, I happen to be using a mouse, so I want to soften things up a bit. I'll do so as well on this underlying Curves layer, just feather those out. Then I'll lower the opacity of both of these layers, just lower it so that we can modify this again. We want to go for this subtle kind of buildup of this type of an effect.

All right, well, so far so good, yet there is more work that I want to do in regards to color and tone, and let's explore how we can take a few more steps with this composite in the next movie.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS5: Creative Compositing
Photoshop CS5: Creative Compositing

58 video lessons · 30425 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
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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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