Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Combining smaller elements from one frame to another, part of Photoshop CC for Photographers: Intermediate.
In this movie, I want to dig a little bit deeper into how we can combine two different images together in order to make one photograph which is better. In the previous movie, we looked at how we can combine an expression or a face from one image to another. And you know, sometimes what you'll need to do is get even more specific. Perhaps you'll need to select a hand from one image and bring it into another. Or maybe you need to focus on just the eyes. Well that's what we're going to take a look at how we can do here. This is a photograph of my sister Amanda, and her cute little daughter Magnolia there. And I like the eyes, and the expression in this image.
Yet when we click on the other tab you'll notice that this is a really great moment. I love this moment yet the eyes don't look very good. So what we're going to do is we'll go back to the original file or the first image here and make a selection of the eyes and then bring these over to the other file. And along the way I want to highlight a few techniques which are helpful when it comes to combining multiple images together. Alright before we get started on this project I have two demo layers that I'm going to turn on the visibility of here. One is just a solid black fill layer another one is a layer where I have a box. If you select the Move tool you can click and drag this box around. The reason why I have these demo layers, is to talk about how we can free transform something.
Because when you're combining multiple images together, often you'll need to free transform in a kind of interesting and unique way. Here press Cmd + T on a Mac, or Ctrl + T on Windows. That will give us access to the free transform command. Alright, well next if we position the cursor near the edge of the bounding box here, you can see that we can rotate this area that we have free transform. Now in this case, its rotating around the registration point sometimes when it comes to modifying multiple images what you will do is you free transform something and you will move the registration point, and then click and drag.
In this way you can have a different anchor point so that you can then rotate something so that it fits right in. Still in other situations, what you might need to do is to hold down the command key on a mac or control key on windows, and click on one of the corner points. Notice how this allows you to skew or change the overall shape of this. Here if you hold down command or control, you can see how we can change the shape. And we can do this with any of these corner points so that we can create a completely different shape out of something which started as a rectangle. Now it's very rare that you'll need to make a change which is this dramatic, yet sometimes being able to make those type of adjustments Can help you modify something so that it fits into the new image.
All right? Well, now that we've seen that, I'll press the Esc key in order to deactivate Free Transform. I'll turn off the demo layers and go back to the Background layer of this file, where we want to work on the eyes. Let's go ahead and select the eyes. To do that this time, let's use the Lasso tool. We'll add a 5-pixel feather. That'll just give us a nice, soft selection. What we're going to do is just make a selection of the eyes. Now we won't need all of this selection and this will just help us get started. And we're just going to bring over a smaller area in order to keep our file size down.
Next select the move tool and then we'll go ahead and click into the selection area and click and drag this to our tab. And then drop and then now we'll have this new selection. Now next I need to zoom in of course. Press Cmd + Plus on a Mac or Ctrl + Plus on Windows to zoom in. I'm also going to press F to go to full screen mode. I like to work in full screen mode. So I have more space dedicated to the work on the image. Now when we start to position these new eyes, at first it's kind of look like. A mask, almost like the mask that the Lone Ranger would wear or something like that. Yeah, that's okay because eventually what we'll do is we'll change the tone so that the exposure matches.
And we'll also mask off our edges. So when you're working on projects like this, just keep in mind, if it doesn't look good right away, that's okay. Don't give up. Keep at it. We can make this look good. Well let's name this new layer, eyes. Next, we'll go ahead an click an drag this over to this area of the image. We can see that the angle of the eyes are off. An this looks very strange right now, but we can fix that. Lemme zoom in closer so you can see this a bit better. What's helpful to do is to turn on your eye icon or click on the eye icon to see the before an after, or To lower the opacity.
Now when we lowered the opacity we can start to see the original eyes in the background there. But we can see that our angle is off. I can position this eye so that it's in the right spot, but the one on the right is up too high. Here's where Free Transform will help. Press Cmd + T on a Mac and Ctrl + T on a Windows. I want to rotate around this eye. because this eye over here, that's in a good spot. So now when I click and rotate, notice I can just sort of lower down that eye on the right over there and bring it to just the right position. Sometimes you may need to free transform the eyes or the item that you're bringing in.
Here we could free transform the size or you could hold down the command key and you could change the overall shape of the eyes as well. In this image it doesn't look like we need to do that but sometimes you will. So I just want you to be aware of that technique. Next press Enter or Return to apply that transformation and then click on the eye icon to see your before and after, to see if you're going in a good direction. I think for the most part we are going in a good direction. I am just going to use my arrow keys to nudge this to the right a little bit. All right. Well, before we get too carried away, what we need to do is make sure that we can match the exposure.
Obviously, the skin tone in this one doesn't look very good. Again, it still kind of looks like the Lone Ranger mask here. So we need to fix this up so Maggie looks better. To do that, we'll click on the curves adjustment layer icon. Now, when you create an adjustment, you can create it as what's called a clipping mask. We've talked about this previously. If you click on this icon here, this creates a clipping mask which allows or which enables this adjustment to only affect the underlying layer. So now if I make an adjustment, we can see that I'm just affecting the eyes.
Here in the RGB composite view, let's just click and drag up in order to brighten the overall skin tone. Next we may need to change the color. You can do that by clicking in the different channels. For example, if you go into the red channel. Here we can click and drag up. Just a touch there, to add a little bit of a red hue. And then go to the blue channel. In the blue channel you can make blue, yellow changes. Drag towards the word blue The image becomes blue drag away from it and it becomes a complementary color which is yellow. So here just drag away just a little bit actually you know what I don't think I even need to do that. So scratch that we're just going to make the adjustment in the RGB composite channel and then also in the red channel.
Bringing the values up there in both channels. Well if we turn on this eye icon you can see the before and now the after. The image is looking a lot better. Well next of course we need to do some masking, right? So we'll click into this layer and then we'll click on the icon for add a layer mask. Once you have a layer mask you can grab your brush tool. Here we want to paint with black so make sure you have black as your foreground color. In regards to your brush size, you'll probably want a relatively small brush size, 0% hardness.
And we'll go ahead and just start to paint away the edges. In this case, I need to paint this away so I can bring back some of the nose there. And we may need to go through and just paint away a little bit of the edges that we have here. Again, just so this blends in really nicely. And all that we're looking to do here is to try to have. Nice natural look, so we're just looking for any little areas where that might help. Then after you've made some adjustments you'll want to click on the eye icon to see your before and after. And here I'm just going to take away a few other areas of the edges. Often when you click on that eye icon, it can help you identify little problem areas.
One of the things that I'm noticing is that the skin tone is still little bit too dark around the eyes. So back to the curves adjustment. Let's double click that curves adjustment and let's brighten up that skin tone a little bit more. I'm just going to brighten that up there. Here's the before and after. That's loooking a lot better. Then I'm going to go back to my mask and I'm just going to mask away a few other little areas, and feather the edges of the mask out. That will soften up all of that work. Then next, we want to zoom out. You want to make sure that this works up close as well as far away.
So here, we'll go ahead and zoom out so we can see the entire image. Click on those eye icons so we can see there's the before. And then here's the after. As we can see the differences we can see that we're getting pretty close. The only thing that I'm noticing here is that well no I think it actually looks pretty good. What I was going to say is that we may need to nudge the eyes around a little bit. You know sometimes you'll need to do that to customize it. Yeah I think here we got pretty close. And perhaps more important than the before and after, is how we learned a few techniques. And in particular, we looked at a technique of how we can select an area of an image, and then copy that area over to a new file. And in this case we're saving file size because this layer is really a light weight layer.
We also explored how we can create a layer clipping mask in order to modify the color and tone of that area. And then finally, how we could finish this off with a mask in order to mask those edges in, so we can get this to blend in just right. All right, well, if you do need to make any other changes, you can always do so just by using your Move tool, and then nudging this around a little bit. Perhaps I want to nudge this to the left just a bit. In order to make that more realistic, and again we're just looking to try to get those eyes to be in just the right spot. All right. Well, that wraps up our work on this image, yet we're going to continue to talk about how we can combine multiple images together, and we'll do that in the next movie.
I'll see you then.
- Optimizing your workflow with Bridge
- Correcting color casts
- Becoming an expert with layers
- Improving the edges of the mask and using masking shortcuts
- Creating hand-painted masks
- Discovering the power of blending modes
- Replacing and changing color
- Burning and dodging
- Creating an HDR image
- Applying Smart Filters
- Using Camera Raw as a Smart Filter
- Working with the Blur Gallery of effects
- Correcting lens distortion and perspective problems
- Combing multiple images
- Editing video