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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!
In this, the final movie of the chapter, we are going to put this beautiful little cliff in an actual setting. So I have another image open here, which I call background, and that's going to be where we are going to put our cliff. Our cliff is going to be coming up right into this area here. So, I am going to come over here and what I am going to do is I have all of my different layers, there is the original background, which just basically kind of look kind of funny now like a little Lilliputian kind of a town there maybe. But we have all of these layers. So what I am going to do is I am going to select my top layer here, and I am going to just say Merge Visible.
Now I am going to hold down my Option key when I do this and before I do that let's just do it just by saying Merge Visible. See what happened, they all got merged into a single layer. I am going to undo that, and this time I am going to hold down my Option key and Merge Visible. Now you see what happened, it created a new layer that merged all the layers below into a single layer. Now the beauty of that is if at any time you ever want to use any of these individual pieces you still have all those original layers, so you can go back and refer to pieces of it that you might want to use somewhere else, so you are basically creating a whole little picture library for yourself based on all of the pictures that you already used, but now you can re-use pieces of them with masks and anything that you might need to be able to use this somewhere else.
So, I am going to take that layer, and we'll call this cliff, that's my cliff layer, and I am going to go in there, and I am going to take that layer and drag it into our new background, there it is. I'd say good bye to our little cliff back here, and then we'll put this one on full screen, there is our little cliff, which I am going to now enlarge to the scene that we want. So I am going to go in there and say enlarge it, and I am going to put it right down here, like so. And I want to be about there, right about that area there like that.
And there is my little scene in place. Now, I want to go in here and crop this, so I am going to crop this just like this, I want to just see that background, and that little area like this. So I am going to say Crop. Right, so now my cliff is going way down. So what I am going to do is deselect it, and I am going to go in there I am going to get my Burn tool, and I am going to go in and darken those lower areas, and I am going to enlarged Burn tool, set the Midtones, and I am going to go in there and just kind of darken down here.
Just make it little darker down there so it's way down below, okay right down there. Now, this tree here, this tree, I want that tree to come in front, because it's right near us. We are looking down into this deep column like down here so I want to get this tree to come out. So I am going to give the cliff a mask and in that mask using black I am going to start to paint my tree back into place. And as I see where my tree is I can now go in there and start to make it look more realistic.
So I'll get my brush, and I'll get one those little brushes that we had before, one of these guys, let's get one that's a little looser, little lighter like this one right here, or maybe that one right there. And then I am going to go into my Brush panel where I am going to modify it slightly. I am going to give it a little spacing just a little spacing right in there and little change in the size, not much change in the size, but I am going to play around with that angle just like that. And now I am going to go in here and start to very lightly start to paint the details of that tree back in.
So now it starts to look like the real tree being seen in front of my cliff, it's way down here in front of us. And now that area that's dark, I am going to go in there and just get rid of that. I am painting back with white again, where I want the thing to appear, come back, and there we see that we have this overall scene, and there is some parts down here, well we need to get to those too.
Let's go in there and start masking those guys in, and we'll just go in there, bring out our tree and just kind of brush in just the little edges so we get little pieces of the tree just coming through--Bob Ross would say happy little tree--coming out and coming back to life and just little dabs in the edges just to get little needles showing. Now we pull back, and there we see that we have our cliff, and this scene completely from old photographs and things that you normally wouldn't even look at.
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