Join Uli Staiger for an in-depth discussion in this video Inserting a firefly, part of Photoshop Artist in Action: Uli Staiger's Atlantis.
Before we put in the first firefly in this image, I think it's a smart idea to organize the layers in a new layer group. So, we take the sky, press the Shift button, and then mark the Park layer, and put everything in a new group from these layers, which is called Landscape. Just the color balance is not included in this group because also the fireflies we want to put in and other things we want to put in should be influenced by the color balance.
Okay, so now we open just the first firefly, which is called Jetfly. We have different types of them. They are all created in Cinema 4D and delivered with a mask already. So, this is why they are PSDs. You don't have to mask them. This is already done by Cinema 4D. There's no way of putting them on the really wrong position. So, just open the first one, jetfly01. Then we arrange the documents like this.
And we just take the Jetfly and put it inside the image. Just make sure that it's underneath the Color Balance. Well, now, you can just put it wherever you want. There's no, as I said, no really bad point, bad space to put them. You can put them, maybe here, maybe here. But you see that here, they're a lot more visible than here. And there are places where you maybe should not put them, like, something like this. This is what you should not do. But if you put them here or here or here or here, you choose where would you want to put these fireflies.
There are six different types. You don't have to use all six of them. You just can use 1, or maybe 2, or maybe 3. Just as you like. A good idea, I think, is to put them on the edge, something like this. Because this makes the whole image look a lot more realistic, because you don't have the impression that they are set inside the image. You have the impression that they are just by accident in this part of the image. So, this looks a lot more realistic. What we then have to do, we have to blur the big ones. Not every one is going to be blurred, but the first one, this really big monster one has to be blurred by a simple filter.
The filter is one of the Blur filters. It's a Lens blur which really works almost as a real not focused image. And as you can see we also blurred the mask so we have to do something first. We have to apply the mask by clicking this button and now it's applied. Now we can use the filters. Blur filter, Lens Blur, and maybe go a little bit closer to the image. Closer to the firefly. Yes.
And now you can just choose the radius. Don't make it too blurred. Something like this would dissolve the shape already, which is not really what we want. Something like this is not enough because it is not really blurred. So, I think around 20, 19, that should be good and the next thing we have to do, we have to brighten the highlights. The specular highlights, we have two things we can do here. With the threshold, we can just say which are the pixels to brighten, 232 means that the pixel with a brightness of 232 is set to 255.
The brightness itself is regulated here the whole impression is now that there is a real light on the back of the fire fly. Okay. So, I just close this again. And it's now perfect. The light, this is going to be made perfect later. But for the first impression, this is the first firefly that leads into the image.
- Selecting the sky with the Quick Selection tool
- Refining the selection using the Pen tool
- Expanding the canvas and adding an object
- Matching horizons and refining edges
- Creating a lighting atmosphere
- Adding fireflies to the picture
- Creating a new layer and an outline
- Adding luminescence