Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Simplifying with selections, part of Photoshop CS5: Athletic Retouching Projects.
In the next few movies, we'll be working on this photograph of this elite athlete in a wind tunnel in San Diego, California, doing some aerodynamic testing. Well, what I want to do here is I want to reduce and simplify, because this context is pretty strange. It's almost like a space-age scene. One of things I'm noticing is that this big window here is kind of giving away too much. I like these windows on this side because they're all completely blocked, and I want to reduce and simplify even further. So, in order to do that, here is what we'll do.
We'll go ahead and use our Marquee tool. Then we're going to make a pretty rough selection here, and we make a selection of this right side of the photograph, and then copy that to a new layer. To copy a selection to a new layer, we can press Command on a Mac, Ctrl on Windows, and then the J key. Think of jumping those contents to a new layer. All right, let's go ahead and name this "right side." The next thing I want to do is I want to position this right side on the left. In order to do that, I need to flip the contents here.
And this is a great technique that you can use in a number of different scenarios. And what this technique is about is taking something in your frame and using it in a new spot. To flip this, press Command on a Mac, Ctrl on Windows and then T to access free transform. Next, right-click or Ctrl+Click. That will give us the ability to flip this. We want to choose a Flip Horizontal. So we now have this side over here on the left. Next, press Enter or Return. Then we'll press the V key to choose the Move tool and just reposition this over here on this side of the frame.
What I'm going to do is just reposition it, and kind of nudge it around a bit using my arrow keys to try to get this to line up a bit. I'm just looking to try to bring this into this window area over here. All right, well if we turn off our visibility, we can start to see kind of a before and after. And in this case, we can start to imagine that these two layers might come together well pretty nicely. Well the trick, of course, is going to be finding the right spot. How can we bring this in? And how can we use these windows? Well, we need to make a selection, and we'll make a selection here by using one of our Lasso tools. The Polygonal Lasso tool I think will be a good start.
And what I'm actually going to do is turn off the visibility of this layer. And then I'll go into where I want to bring in these windows, and I'm going to simply click and then click again. I'll go all the way past the door here, just for the fun of it. And I'll just make my way through this and come back around and then finally back up here, until I have an active selection. Well, now that we have that selection, let's turn on the visibility of this layer, which is the right side flip. We should probably rename that. We'll call that "right side-flipped" so we don't get confused there.
Well, the next step is going to create a layer mask. So here click on the Add Layer Mask icon. So far, so good. And we can see that we now have that content covering that area. Here's the before and after. Yet the problem is that it's not quite lined up right. We can change that, right? Click on the link icon between your mask and the image, and then target the image. Next, select the Move tool. You can do that by clicking on it, or by pressing the V key. And then simply use your arrow keys, and have some fun. Move this around. See what happens if you move it left or right, top to bottom.
And just see if you can bring this into the context so that it's going to look really good, and so that it's going to nice and simple. Again, remember, we want to reduce and simplify. So in this case, I think we can bring it into this context here and try to find a nice spot for it. And what I want to do is just bring this in so I have my lines lined up pretty well, and I think that that's looking okay. It's not perfect, but it's a pretty good spot for starters. And then I'm going to press Command+T or Ctrl+T, and I'm actually going to free transform this a bit.
I am going to stretch this out here a touch, so that it extends all the way to the end. And I think right about there, it looks good. I'll press Enter or Return. That will then apply that free transformation. So far, so good. And the next thing we need to do is clean up our edges. So here we'll target the mask, grab our Brush tool, and we'll go ahead and paint with black. And what black will do for us on this mask is if we paint at a high opacity, like 100, we can then conceal what we brought over. And in this case, I just need to conceal this area down here, because that didn't look very good, a little bit of that wall over there, bring back in some more of that door there, and just go through this and modify these areas, however we need to, in order to bring these in.
And I'm just painting with black or white. I'm trying to find a nice mix, where I can have some of the good detail from that other layer and also some of the detail from this new layer. So in this case, I'm just kind of going back and forth here, painting away some of this content. Again, I just need to find the great mix there where I can bring in that text, but then also have this new line up top there. Okay, well, I think that's pretty good. What about the backwards copy over here? Well, we need to get rid of that, right? So we can do that by painting with black, concealing that, and so we'll go through and just conceal that in this area here, so that it can come through the underlying layer also over here.
We want to make sure not to invert that too much. Make our brush touch bigger there, just to get all of that out, and then hit the X key. And as I do that, one of things I'm noticing is that I am thinking actually it might be nice to remove that altogether. So I'm actually going to bring that back in. And I'll deal with that little text field in a second. I think it might be nice, again, just to have both of those text fields out. A couple these areas I am not quite liking so much, in regards to my masking. I do like how there is a lot of symmetry here, how this looks very similar, but I'm not really liking the text.
So let's explore how we can correct that and a few other areas of the image, and let's do that in the next movie.
- Creating and combining multiple exposures
- Repositioning subjects
- Enhancing color and tone
- Removing unwanted background elements
- Simplifying with selections
- Improving composition with cropping
- Toning with the High Dynamic Range (HDR) Pro toolset
- Enhancing eyes
- Changing shape and sculpting muscles with Liquify
- Increasing height
- Sharpening and creating final layer comps