Join Tim Grey for an in-depth discussion in this video Removing people with Photoshop Extended, part of Photoshop: Creating Composites (2012).
From time to time, you might find a scene that you really want to photograph, but that you'd like to photograph without any people in it. But when it's a really interesting subject, there's a good chance that other people will find it interesting, too. And so, there's going to be people there and you might not be able to get a single image with no people in it. And that was certainly the case here with this staircase going up a cliff wall. I stood around for a very long time, trying to get just the right moment when nobody was in the frame, but I finally realized there was no need to wait around.
I could simply capture multiple images and then blend them together. I could use a Layer Mask for that purpose in Photoshop. But if you're using Photoshop Extended, there's actually a much easier and almost completely automatic approach that you can take. In this case, I captured three images that I'd like to blend together. They were all captured on a tripod, and in exactly the same position, and with all of the exact same exposure settings. So, the only difference from frame to frame is that people are moving. So, you can see, I have some people in position here. If I switch to the second image, you'll see that there are people in different positions and switching to the third image.
Yet again, the people have moved around a bit. And the idea is that I just need enough images that any particular portion of the photo has at least one frame where there's no people in it. Once I have those images and I've opened them in Photoshop, I'm ready to get to work. I'll go to the File menu, and then choose Scripts, followed by Load Files into Stack. When I do so, I'll get a dialog that allows me to Load layers, in other words to load multiple images into individual layers in a composite document.
And since I've already opened the images that I want to use to create the result, all I have to do is click the Add Open Files button and you'll see that all three of my images are now added to the list to be processed. I'll then turn on both check boxes down below. The first is Attempt to automatically align source images, which means just in case there was a little bit of movement in the images, the images should be adjusted in terms of their size and position. So that all of the objects, all of the elements within the frame match up perfectly, since these images were captured on a tripod.
That shouldn't be a major issue, but even a tripod there can be some minor shifting from frame to frame. And I also want to create a Smart object. And that's a critical piece of this particular technique using Photoshop Extended. With those options turned On, I'll go ahead and click the OK button. And the three images will be processed and assembled into a single stacked image, but that stacked image will be a Smart object. And that allows me to do some very cool things in Photoshop. In this case, what I want to do is apply an adjustment based on the Smart object.
Based on the layers that are embedded in the Smart object, I want to blend those images together to remove anything that's different from frame to frame. I'll go ahead and choose from the Layer menu, under Smart objects, to change the Stack Mode. In other words, the mode being use to blend the images in this stack to Medium. So with that Medium option selected, the images will be processed, and so, you can see looking at all the various positions on the stairs where we had seen people before. They're all gone. And all of that was done very quickly and easily.
Thanks to this capability in Photoshop Extended.
- Composite concepts
- Creating automatic composites
- Image compositing
- Refining layer masks
- Matching images
- Adding effects to composites
- Using layer groups