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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 one of things that we want to do or at least that I want to do is bring out more of the guy. He's a little bit lost in this background. Yet before I do that I also notice that the background in this image has a defining sharp line right here. I don't like that. So I'll click on the Add Layer Mask icon and then I'll go ahead and grab my Brush tool and here I'll choose a little bit more for normal brush. And I'll just get a nice big huge brush here. And it's black, has a soft edge. I want to take my opacity all the way up so it'll actually mask out that edge.
I'll make the brush even bigger and just starting to kind of fade that out there a little bit. So I'm losing a bit of that background. Another nice way to work with backgrounds of course is to knock them out with Advanced Blending. So Advanced Blending is pretty interesting. Let me show that to you. If we got back to Normal blending we'll see that we have this image and we have a lot of white there in the background. If you double-click the layer it will open up your Layer Style effects. Here we can bring that white out by clicking-and-dragging. Now, in this case I lose a little bit of the hat there as well so it's not necessarily the greatest way to go, but it could give us some interesting blending.
You hold down Option or Alt then you click-and-drag on these in order to just modify the way that this blends in and then click OK. Now, if ever you want to undo that you can always redouble-click the layer in order to get rid of that and while we're in this view, let's go ahead and just continually mask out some of this content. So we'll click in the mask layer here and I'm just going to bring out some of the white that I'm seeing in the background. I'm not super concerned about my edges, about how exact this is.
It's more the overall experience or the overall view I should say of this guy in this context. So I want some details there and again I'm not too worried about having perfect edges because I know I'm going to use a blending mode. Let's try a blending mode now. We'll go to our blending mode of Soft Light and see how that's looks. Let's try the blending mode of Overlay and see how that looks. It gives us a bit more, but it's not quite what I'm going for. Here we'll go back to Soft Light. How can we get more of this guy? How can we bring him forward? Well let's double-click this layer, go back to our Advanced Blending, and here I'm going to bring back up some of this white here. I just want a little bit more detail.
So I'm just going to take out just a touch there and click OK. The next thing that I'm going to do is copy this layer by pressing Command+J on a Mac, Ctrl+J on Windows. Now all of the sudden I'm seeing more of him and you know what I want even more of the guy, more density. So once again, Command+J or Ctrl+ J to really bring out even more. Well now, in this case my edges are looking a little bit funny. So here's what I'm going to do. I'll click in my mask and press Shift+Delete.
Here I'll fill this all in with black so nothing is coming through. Then I'll grab my Brush and paint it with white and what I'm going to do with painting with white is just bring in the areas where I want more detail. The hat might be a little bit nice there, the eyes, maybe a little bit on the shirt, just bringing in just a touch more of these noticeable details, and bring that in a little bit more there. And that's looking good. All right, well what else can we do with this? What we of course can go back down to our other layers. For example, we have this textures layer which is pretty dominant and what we might decide is that this texture layer it just needs more masking. Going across his face just doesn't work.
So here I'll paint with black and I'm going to mask this out I want that texture there in the background, but I don't necessarily like it traveling all across the guy. I want some travel, but not just so much. I don't want it running over him and losing complete detail there. I'll also may decide to mask this out in a couple other areas too, just again interrupting that pattern, hiding that background texture there a bit. And all that this we'll do is again just build up a little bit more of this ethereal type of a look.
The great thing about masks like this is that if you go too far, you just go up to your Masks panel and lower the Density. So, here as we lower the density we can bring back a little bit more of those fibers. Also you can always keep in mind you can take this back to Soft Light, a little bit less or if you don't like it at all just get rid of it. You know this image as it is could be kind of interesting right here. Yet for the sake of this one to make a little bit more of a dreamscape I'm going to go back to Overlay. Nice texture there in the background, good detail on my guy, and I just want to go through all of my layers and try to find nice spot for all of these.
I'm going to lower the opacity here and just mask away some of the white that was brought in, so I don't need it to be dense in all areas. Again, I'm just going through customizing each little layer. Okay, well I really like how it's brought in this guy, I think that's working pretty nicely. What I want to do next is I want to take a look at how we can push this even further and we'll do that in the next movie.
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