Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Making a creative overlay effect, part of Photo Tools Weekly.
- Hi, this is Chris Orwig, and welcome, to another episode of Photo Tools Weekly. This week's episode is going to be a ton of fun, this one's about creative effects, thinking outside of the box, experimenting, and just having some fun in Photoshop. In particular, we'll look at how we can do or create an overlay effect, sometimes this is called bouquet overlay blending. I like to think of it more like, just creative layer blending. Now because the techniques that you'll see, are a little bit more abstract, or curious, or creative, I want to show you these with three different images, so that you can see how we can craft different looks, with different types of photographs.
So I think you're really going to enjoy this one, let's get those creative juices flowing, and without further delay, let's begin. Alright, so here in Photoshop, you can see some of the files that we have to work with. We'll start off with this one over here on the left, and I'll press F to go to full screen mode, so we can view this portrait. And with this portrait, what we're going to do is, create our own blur layer out of a photograph, then we'll apply three adjustments to finish off the project. Now the goal is to create portrait which is a little more atmospheric than the one that we have here.
To do that, I've brought in an image, just one that I snapped on my iPhone, just to show you that you can use any sort of type of image, this just happens to be a photograph of my daughter and her friend. It's a little bit out of focus, it's not a high quality photograph, it doesn't need to be. And often, if it's pretty even toned and dull, it can actually help out. So next, what we want to do is blur this out, so we go to Filter, Blur Gallery, and then choose Field Blur. Now we're going to use Field Blur, in a way that it wasn't really intended, we're going to apply a blur amount, then we'll go to the Effects Tab down here.
If you haven't ever been here, there's some controls where you can control the Light Bouquet, Bouquet Color and Light Range. Take a look at what happens as I increase the slider here for my Light Bouquet, you can see that it's starting to kind of create these little circle shapes, and then increase the Color slider, we're going to get increased color saturation, and also different shapes throughout the photograph. Now in regards to the light area that it's affecting, you can drag these sliders around so it's affecting more of the brightness values, or we can bring these closer together, so it's little bit more of a general effect.
Let me bring these together so it's a little bit more of a general effect, and then brighten this up. So in this case, we just kind of have this, I don't know, this out of focus blur kind of look that we have here. Bring up a little bit more of those bouquet circles. Then once you have something which is out of focus, and blurry, and it's all about these different shapes, we'll go ahead and click OK. Now with this one, I mentioned we're going to blur an image, then we'll create a few different adjustment layers. The first thing though, that we need to do, before the adjustment layers, is change the layer blending mode to one of the lighten options.
Or sometimes, you can use Overlay, here you can see through the color, Soft Light sometimes works. But most situations, I find that Screen is actually the best. So here, it's covering the image with this type of a look, now often, you'll find that it might be the opposite of what you need. So you can invert the layer, by pressing Cmd + I on a Mac, or Ctrl + I on Windows. So just try that when you're working with this, and here you can see, yeah. When I invert that, this actually looks a little bit better.
Next up, is to create an adjustment for the color and tones that we have here. If I click on an adjustment, like Hue Saturation, I can make an adjustment which affects everything, or, if we click on this icon, it will only affect the underlying layer. So for example, if I colorize that underlying layer, what I can say is, hey, you know what, that underlying layer, it want to have not a ton of color in it. But maybe a little red or something like that, and I can brighten or darken it, as you can see here. So right now, we have adjustment number one, and what we've done is, we've changed the mood of the image.
Now let's do some normal color work, like with color balance, here, maybe we'll add a little bit of, I don't know, blues to the mid tones there. Let's do one more adjustment, we'll do a curves adjustment, and perhaps add a little bit more, density to the overall image. Now with this type of a look, really I'm just going for this kind of dream like, poetic type of feel, which we're creating, because we blurred an image out, we've modified or changed its color, and then we decided to modify the overall look, that it afforded us to create.
Okay, well this one example, keep in mind, there are so many different ways to use it. So let me show you another example, just so you can see this in another scenario. With this image, we'll actually use a couple photographs that I have, like this one here, where I just shot an image out of focus, and it really shallowed up the feel, and have all these little bouquet circles and whatnot, those can be fun to use. So if you shoot things that are out of focus, you can then use that blending mode, which we talked about, which was Screen, when we do that, you can see how it now is blending all of these things in, primarily working with the brighter tones.
Let me show you an example with another one, this one right here, go to that blending mode of Screen. You can also modify these adjustments, so if you create an adjustment like Levels, and lock it the layer below, so it's only affecting the layer below, you can increase or decrease the brightness, or the darkness, you can see how that can change the look. Or, click onto the layer, add a mask, and if this bright area is bothering you, grab a brush and just kind of paint it away a little bit, right, so you can always customize this.
Or even stack these effects up, so here I'll add a little mask, and let's say I want a little bit more of the face here, and move this away from the face. Then down to this area over here, and also mask that away there. So now, what I'm getting is this atmospheric effect, but I have the subject in nice focus there. Okay, we'll look at stacking that up with another image, this just happens to be one that I grabbed, and I brought over into this document. It's a photograph of a surf board shaper, not related at all, but, it's going to give me something to work with.
So go to my Filter, just like before, Blur Gallery, and then Field Blur. And in Field Blur, what we're looking to do, experiment with the amount of blur, the Light Bouquet, the Bouquet Color, and then of course the range right, because that's going to affect, which part of the image is affected. You can see down here, there's all these little circles, if I increase the blur, those circles become even bigger, and they're a little bit more abstract. You may want to experiment with different values here, and also this light value will determine the bright or the dark areas too, or how bright it is, and whatnot.
So just kind of experiment here, you need to test out different slide values. I'm not necessarily sure what will work, but I'll try something where I have a lot of different sort of mood, random shapes, and colors, and then use that. We'll click OK, and for this one, I'm thinking, I want to create something that maybe is like a book cover, or something like that. So I use a blending mode of Screen, I can try the shortcut trick, you remember it? Cmd + I on a Mac, or Ctrl + I on Windows, sometimes that's worth while to try.
I could also try decreasing the opacity, it might be nice to have it a little bit less intense. And I can change the color, right, so let's do that. Go to Hue Saturation, create a layer clipping mask, that locks down to the layer underneath, use Colorize and here, maybe we want to bring in some reds, it kind of fits the look of this. Now after we've done all this, we have a pretty cool look right, in the image, it's kind of amazing to be able to create that, because it's this sort of atmospheric, intriguing look.
Now the only other thing I'd like to do with this image, is blur out for real, the lower area. Go to my background layer and copy it, double click this layer and call this one Blur. And this time, I'll go to the Filter pull down menu, and rather than using Field Blur, I'm going to use Tilt Shift. Click on Tilt Shift, and with Tilt Shift, what I'm looking to do, is to apply a blur effect where the subject is in focus in a nice way, but the lower portion of the image is out of focus, I really want that to just drift off to completely out of focus.
It kind of adds to the, you know, to the mood I'm trying to create with this one, maybe something like that. Go the Noise Panel, and add a little bit of gain to that area so it isn't so soft and perfect, but just a little bit more of that. And then maybe I want to bring a little blur into the top of the image too, might as well have some fun with blur here. Then I will click OK, to render or apply that. That's been applied to a separate layer, which is this one right here. Next, a couple more adjustments, now that I look at it, I'll show you what they are.
One is a curves adjustment, and I'll click and drag this down. What I realized was, this area of the image was getting to become too bright. So on the mask, we're doing a lot here right, masking, adjustment layers, blur, we got it all. So we'll click Invert, grab a brush, a really big, soft brush, and maybe a lower opacity like that's fine. And what I'm going to then is just paint in a little bit more of that darkening effect to this area.
Why I'm doing that is, I felt like it was becoming a little bit too distracting to have it be that bright down there. Alright, we can see how I'm just controlling that area down there, that's kind of cool, maybe just like that is fine. Then one more curves adjustment, and this time, going to create a little S curve here, let me see if I can't find a good value. Now, maybe just a little bit of, oh, ah, sorry I'm hesitating, I don't really know, I think it's good.
(laughs) I don't think I need to do anymore, so eventually you have to just say enough is enough. But hopefully you're getting the idea that what we're able to do, is by working with, adding a custom blur there, and then some of these overlay blending that we have on top of it, really allowed us to have some fun with different ways to stack all of this effect up. I think why I'm not liking this one so much is, I think this layer is actually too bright. So I think I just overdid that one, that one just needed to be a little bit less, but it gives a really neat and intriguing look, as you can see here.
Alright, well to round this off, and to finish off this movie, let me show you a couple more images, and this time, it will be a real quick walk through, rather than a tutorial. But here, you can see we have some photographs, above I have one of these bouquet layers, out of focus image. Go to the screen blending mode, I want to show you how this will work with different types of images. With the bright image, pretty cool right, with an image which is darker, not quite so much. The one underneath it's bright, yeah, that works really well. Just kind of adding that effect, the brighter ones, I think, work better.
If you find that happening, what you want to do is create AN adjustment. Levels or curves, lock it down to the layer underneath, and then change it. So see how I'm kind of darkening this adjustment here? And by darkening it, now it's starting to work a little bit better. So it's coming in a little bit better, rather than being so bright, and overpowering it. And sometimes, you may need to do that. Alright, let's look at one more example, this one here, I'll go to a blending mode of Screen, just another image out of focus, using that technique that we know.
This one, sort of fun kind of atmospheric, poetic, again we can see how that works here. With this one, it's not really happening. So you're not always going to hit it and get it exactly right on every single image, but sometimes, by experimenting with these different options, or testing out different images, or combinations of blending, you can come up with some really fun and interesting results. Alright, well I hope you enjoyed this exploration, and using Photoshop in this creative way.
If you feel like you didn't catch any of those tips, go back and watch this one again, because this can be a really fun way just to think outside of the box, try something you haven't tried before. And in closing, thanks so much for joining me in this week's episode, I really appreciate it, I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day, bye for now.