Retouching & Post Processing: Image 3
Alright, so final image that we're going to have a look at is the building a sequence Several years ago in Veracruz, Mexico, with Dane Jackson and Rafa Ortiz, both now Red Bull athletes. Dane went over Tomata Falls which is I think sixty feet and a pretty rough landing if you landed incorrectly. And so Dane only went over the waterfall twice and kind of had bad landings both times, and so I've made a decision, one time I was gonna shoot it, I think I shot it locked off, or was I moving the camera?
No you were locked off.
Okay, first one I shot locked off so that I could actually build a sequence in the aftermath, and then the next lap over the waterfall is on a longer lens and I actually followed Dane through the action at 200 millimeters. I knew that we were gonna try to build the sequence because sequence is a great way to illustrate travel, actually showing the athlete move through time and space, and take it away (chuckles)
This is a little bit more simple version in terms of...
that Corey shot it locked off so he was on a tripod... which gives you adjustability as far as again how you might go about this process and makes it a little easier in the long run as far as not dealing with a moving background. And we will just try and walk through this really quickly as we are running out of time, but how I would start this process... is we're gonna have Photoshop do a little work for us right from the get-go so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna go to File and we'll go to Scripts, and we will go to Load Files into Stack, and what that is going to do is I'm gonna browse some files since I don't have them opened here. What that's gonna do is that's going to take all the images in this sequence which we have beforehand gone through and selected the ones that we know we want in the frame, because these days camera frame rates are just super fast. Some people like the big overlap of showing 40 subjects in the frame. For this instance, we sort of took it and had them separate and I think there's maybe nine frames in here for the whole sequence. So I'm gonna open up all of these images at once. They'll pop up here. This little checkbox here, "Attempt to Automatically Align Source Images," that's a useful feature for when you're actually shooting handheld or following the person and that will align those images for you. We don't even do that. This is shot locked off, super easy and really what it's gonna do it's gonna work here for just a few seconds hopefully, is it's gonna take all of those images and create them in layers onto one image and so now you can see in my layers panel, which I apologize again is tiny down here, you can see all of them have just been stacked on top of each other in a sequence, so as I click and reveal the image below it, they pop up... in order so you can see that sort of what we're looking for.
And I'm reminded as I look at this picture, in the field you're sort of trying to protect yourself and the light was changing, there were clouds in the sky and the sun was popping out, the sun was going away, and I can't control when Dane's gonna go over that waterfall I give him the go sign and then a cloud rolls in, and I had forgotten until we look at this picture I'm like two stops underexposed, maybe three, but I'm holding the highlights, I'm shooting RAW files, I'm doing everything in my power to make sure that we can salvage this image. It's the first time I've ever underexposed a picture. (chuckles)
Ever, that's right.
Again we're just gonna do this really quick and dirty, but an easy way to do this, there is the option of literally taking each frame, you take your plate or the original frame shot or the frame that you liked the most as far as background, and you could literally cut out each individual person in each frame and kinda drag and drop them onto your plate, or your original frame. That takes quite a bit of time. You have a little more adjustability as far as if you wanted to move them or whatever, but in this instance we're not gonna do that. What I'm gonna do is show you how to use layer masks to then just reveal the person underneath with all of these layers here.
And it's worth pointing out years ago when we first built this, I didn't know this, and we spent hours cutting out each kayak and sticking them into the frame, and that's the power of the internet, right? It's the power of Creative Live. You can watch a course like this or you can google, "How do I build a sequence?" And you can actually discover factual information that saves you hours of your life to do stuff like this more efficiently, but sometimes it's good to have a painful experience to learn that there's much more efficient ways to do this.
And sometimes it's not. (chuckles) Down here, I have clicked right on this little camera looking-dealio, which creates a layer mask on the layer that I have selected so you can see here there's my image and right here is again showing that white layer mask. I have that selected and so in my Properties tab here, it shows that I have a layer mask on this layer. For this particular instance, I'm going to... technically invert this mask, or I wanna change this white to black, which is gonna allow me to see, help me to see my image below it and in order to do that, I have my layer mask selected and all I'm gonna do is change it to black. I do that with my Paint Bucket tool. Shortcut G, and make sure that I have black selected on my color palette, and so when I click on the image there you can see what happened is now that I have this layer mask as black meaning that it's not gonna show through, it's showing me, even though my top image is there, it's showing me the one below it. In order to bring back my guy who is above in the sequence, which I want to ultimately reveal from the one below him I'm going to change the density of this layer mask like so, and you can see what I've done here is I've allowed that kayaker to sort of come back into view. Now in order to quickly reveal him through the layer mask, all I need to do is paint the opposite layer, Color, sorry, of what my layer mask is. So it's black, even though it's showing gray, it's because my density is lower. It's black at the moment and so as long as I have white selected on my color palette with a brush and I have my brush here. See? Thank goodness that I have these super talented people here around me. I have left my brush flow low meaning that if I was to try and paint, it wouldn't be full strength, and I would have sat here and scratched my head for 10 seconds because I do it every single time. And what I want to do... Apologies, wrong guy. I'm trying to reveal the one above the one below. I am going to paint, you have to make sure that you have your layer mask selected and not just the layer cause otherwise it'll just paint white over top, is I am going to paint over the section that I want revealed and in this instance, it happens to be the kayak right here, and so you can be as specific as you want. And we're there, and if I bring back up my density you can see that now I have revealed the first kayaker from above the second kayaker, and really all we have to do is continue that process down the road down the layer, the road, the layer sequence here to continue to reveal that kayaker down the waterfall.