Landscape Composite Projects
What we also do with compositing is we could create, we could fix backgrounds for images too so let me go ahead and open up something like, lets do this one. So this is actually, this just happened. I was here, I was at Carey Park in Seattle, and when i was photographing Carey Park in Seattle, I'm gonna go back over here so you can see it in Bridge, it's a little bit better to see it. I was, at Carey Park, the sun looked like it was going to be a beautiful sunset. I had clouds behind Mount Rainier, I had clouds behind the city skyline, and as the sun was starting to set, like every landscape photographer's nightmare, those clouds started to go out towards the west and I just lost them completely so by the time I got the shot that I actually wanted, I had completely lost those clouds. So if I go over to this file, I believe it was this image and this image, we'll just open those up, I do have some clouds behind there, but I don't have a whole lot. So you can use this to replace skies, y...
ou can use this type of compositing method, just think about compositing, it's big fancy word for just combining two images, combining layers in some way shape or form. The thing to note with this though is that I have the same focal length for both of these images. So I shot this one, I believe it is 120 millimeters, or 100 millimeters something like that. All I did was pan over with my head, and grab the clouds that were on this side of the water, which if you were to see the spread, it's about a one frame difference from here to there. So, I'll just go ahead and open these up. Let's just say I'm good with these settings, I'll just open them both. Looks like I just grabbed the one, it's okay. Grab this one. When I'm doing this, I'm not trying to do artistic processing, okay? I want to save all the artistic processing for after the composite has happened, I want to save the artistic processing for after I have put the clouds into the new foreground. I'm not gonna concern myself too much with how this one looks with how this one looks. What I'm really trying to do here is just press V for my move tool, move this over to this landscape, and drop it. I'm pressing hold shift while I'm doing that so it aligns it from the center, and then I'll drop the opacity on this, so I can see the other layer underneath, press V for my move tool and move it up to about right there, until I start getting those clouds behind the Seattle skyline. And then I'll bring up the opacity here. With this, I need to get, I don't want this to be overtop my city skyline so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna add a mask, and I'm gonna use the gradient mask to make a gradient, to make a gradient, oh you know what's wrong there? I've got diamond selected, not a good gradient for this. We need the linear one selected, okay? Now we'll click and drag this up, and get this over the skyline, okay? So I can get this to blend a little bit better, if I double click on this, and look at things like blend if, I want the underlying layers to show through. Look at that, just bring that skyline on through. Alt or option, split and feather, alt or option to split that and feather that over. Press okay, and I might have to do a bit more masking here on the, notice what I'm doing here though, I'm using blend if to get the basics done, to get that setting, to get that looking just right. I'm trying to use things that will be more advantageous for me to move this around, because if I move this now, press V for the move tool and move this around, it's still gonna have those blend if settings in there as I move it around, so it just makes my life easier if I need to move this later. I'm gonna go ahead and press B for the brush tool here, and just brush in and paint away any of the area around the space needle, because that seems to be the one the most effected by this. You know so the first time I came out here, not too long ago, I shot from Carey Park, when I went out to Olympic national park, and there was a giant crane in front of the space needle. Yeah, now this time, I come out here, and there's not a giant crane in front of the space needle, but it's wrapped up. Or open, thank you, awesome. So, this can be difficult to see where you settings are, right so if we double click here, you can turn that color overlay preview on, and see all the places where our sky that we have now is affected in the image. Both with the mask, and also with the blend if settings applied. So if I wanted to get really nit picky here, I could start painting in, on those areas, I might have to make a better selection for that, because painting that out, I'm like, we'll see what happens. And we'll zoom out, turn that color overlay off. So now I got these clouds on top of the image below. Now the blue in the background isn't quite matching up, so I could either use a curves adjustment layer, and clip it into this, or I can change the blend mode, let's try overlay, looks like it's blending a little bit better. Soft light, hard light, vivid light. Vivid light is controlled by fill, so if I drop that fill, that actually looks pretty good. Now we're getting some sunset clouds up there, and we're dropping out some of that blue. So that would be my image with no clouds back there, that's my image with clouds back there. And then I can further take this to the next level. This is where I'd start getting into that artistic processing, and I'm actually really comfortable with the way this looks, so what I can do is I can put both of these into a group, command or control G, and then I can duplicate that group by pressing command or control J, and then I can merge these together. Press control E to merge them together. Now all I did there, was merge them together, so I can work on them, and then here is all my original work, so if I ever need to go back to anything, I have the originals down there and I can just build upon this from there. So if you're thinking like what can we do with this from here on well we could go back into Adobe camera raw as a filter, maybe start pushing and pulling the highlights and shadows, some of the colors that are in there, or we could further start processing this with something like our panel here, where we maybe add that radiating type of effect or the cinematic effect or any of the looks that we want in our image to get some of that, the artistic affect through. If I grab a basics curve adjustment layer here, bring this down make this darker, bring it up and brighten it up, get that skyline in the background looking much better there. If there's too much happening in the foreground that okay, add a mask, come in with your gradient filter, to make that sky look a little bit better. Again, you can keep building up on this and building up on this, with all the things that we've learned and all the things that we've talked about, but here, those are the clouds that I wanted, that ended up leaving me, and that's okay I'll just grab them and pull them back when the shot is good enough for me. That's replacing a background without using a selection or something like that. But we can also do the same thing, we can also replace the background on something like, this image. In Yosemite, this is in tunnel view, and I really wanted this shot, I wanted it to be beautiful but it just wasn't working out for me. Didn't even get any clouds in the background. Later that afternoon we did have clouds, and they looked like this, and they were beautiful. This is actually taken from the deck of the place we were staying in Yosemite that evening so I just said, those clouds could have been there in the morning, let's just put them in! Why not, open these images up. So what I can do in this case, is I can make a selection for the sky, use my quick selection tool, bring that in, maybe use my select and mask, to refine that edge, bring that radius up, starting to get those trees in there, that's what I'm tryna do, get those trees in there. Looks pretty good, looks pretty good. Press okay, and then if I made a mask on this, again I made that selection for the sky, don't freak out if you get an opposite mask, just press command or control I, to invert that mask. And now the trick is to put these clouds in the background, press V for the move tool. This is going to be a very large cloud image, and I have included cloud images for you and this is one of them. If you bring in an image, this is a great compositing tip, if you bring in an image like this, and it's huge compared to your background, press command or control T, and then command and control 0, and it will show you just how big that image is compared to the image you are trying to replace the sky with. So just press shift and alt to make this smaller from the center, bout right there is good, press enter, and we need this to be underneath this, because this is where the mask is so we'll just drag this underneath and now we can move this right up to about here. And it looks horrible, awesome, right? It's okay, it's okay, I'm not threatened. What we need to do with this is we need to push and pull now the colors that are happening within the image to make them look like the unified, make them look like they should be there, one thing we can do with this now, what I did with this mask, was I used this mask, and dropped out the background of this image so essentially that's a transparent background, and that might be one route that I could go, or I could do this. I could drag this up and above, press alt or option on this mask, and borrow and steal it, bring it up to here, and then command or control I on that mask, and the reason I'm gonna do that is I'm gonna delete this mask here and I'm not gonna apply it to the image. Because what I wanna do to make these blend in a little bit better is I'm gonna drop the opacity on this to allow some of the underlying color from the image below to show through. It's just gonna make it blend a little bit better because it is borrowing some of the color from the image below, still it doesn't look that great but that's okay because if I add a curves adjustment layer to this, especially because this curve is going to be affecting that background, here's where I can start bringing in, more contrast to this. And bring in, clip in the darks, clip in the lights, it looks like I've gota a really bad color casting blue back here, and if that's the case I'll go to the blue channel of this, see what happens if I bring this over. Bring this over, it's gonna bring in more yellow. And start clearing out that color cast that's happening here, looks good. Especially back there in the back, where the highlights are so I add a little bit more blue, or a little bit more yellow, actually to that blue area in the back there, and that starts to unify things a little bit more. This though, if we look at the background here, still doesn't look that great, along the edge here, and that's okay, what we can do, on top of this is also add a new layer, press our brush, and just use a big white brush just on the edge here, oops. Just on the edge right there in the back, this should probably actually go, let's just, yeah let's just do that, we'll just do this. See what's happening here? See what's happening here, it's not showing, if we go up here bring this up here, I can borrow this mask, bring it up to here, and that white areas allows those mountains to still have that morning type glow, tap anything behind there but still giving us those clouds. And you can still save this picture you can keep going with this and still keep building upon this, this is just the baseline to get the merge together, but there's no holds barred whatever we did, to all of our other images in the past, to get these to tie together, we can do here, again that trick control shift alt and E, filter, blur, average, changes to the color blend mode, and drop that down will help unify those colors, that are happening between those two. So there's a lot of blue that's happening in the clouds above, once we blur them together, once we get all the colors and blur them together, we start to unify all the colors on the canvas and pull them all together, then I can continue to process this which that, compared to that, is a much better image. If i look at this curve it's a little bit heavy than these lights, so I'll bring that back up. Look at the difference that that curve made, pulling that color cast away is even something that we didn't talk about yet you can use the curve to pull those color casts away, by going into the RGB channels and the reds, the greens, the blues individually, and tweaking them especially if you know exactly what that color cast is. Here we can tell that blue is really peaking in back there, looks better, much better. Those clouds, we can still move them too. Press V for the move tool, if I move them, look what happens, it pulls away, we don't want that. So what can I do, see this little chain link right here? If I turn this chainlink off, that's gonna maintain this mask and allow me to move this frame within the mask, the mask won't move with it. So now if I move it, it allows me to move around and get those clouds placed exactly like I want to, and maybe be a little bit more on the realistic side, that looks about good right there. But remember, if it's unlinked, link them back up. Get that link back up. Clouds in the background. So, we did talk about a lot in this. We pulled everything together just like I said we would, we used blend if, we used masks, we used layers, we used opacity, we use Adobe camera raw as a filter, we used smart objects, the only thing we probably didn't do here is add shapes and text or edit video, but we did just about everything else that we've done throughout this entire course, all in one session with three different ways that we could use compositing to fix images. And this one we made a literal selection for the sky that we wanted to replace in this one, we didn't make a literal selection we just used masking, and brushing to put those clouds on to the background, and then for our final composite here, we used a mixture of selections, masking, select and mask, and really tied and unified everything all together. But this is the culmination of everything, I know it's a lot to grasp, but we're on day 20, here at the end of this four week thing, this is the most advanced part that we can get to. We've dug into a lot of topics throughout this entire course, there's a lot to take in so take it in in small bits, do it one week, maybe two weeks at a time for these individual lessons, and before you know it, you'll be at this point with no problems at all, do we have any questions about compositing, one from each, go ahead.
So um, when you were on the space needle one, and selecting out the space needle. When I'm moving in clouds I frequently have a tree that I'm trying to work around, so that rough selection you were doing with the paint brush gets very tedious if I'm going every branch and every leaf, is there a better way to, if you have a very detailed thing you're trying to bring of that ground behind.
Yeah, I would go with something like this. This one we made the selection for the background, and then we, after we made the selection for the background we feathered in, but you might be talking about like if you have a bigger tree branch.
There is, I have done a tutorial on that before, and that's where we use a sky image, we bring it up on top of the photograph, and we use blend if and specifically blend if so watch what happens here. If I just go ahead, and press, let's just go ahead and delete this mask, I'll make a duplicate copy first, control J, and then we'll delete this mask, and not apply it, just delete it, bring the opacity up, watch this. I'm going to blow your mind. So we're gonna double click on this layer, in the blend if settings, and watch what happens as I bring the blend if up. I'm allowing the underlying layers to show through, those clouds so for your question, how would you get a tree to show through, that would be very tedious. If you have the luxury of a horrible sky, that would be a luxury at this point, where you have a really big white spots, and you have a tree in the foreground and you wanna blend them together this is perfect because as you bring this up you're telling that layer if there's black areas underneath me, protect them all the way up to here, and this could be a great way to start this, and then you can split and feather that over. If you want to see what that looks like though, turn on that cover overlay, to see exactly where it's leaving over, after you have that cover overlay there, you can add a mask, and you can brush away with black, on those areas where you see magenta where magenta should not be, brush those away. Mind's blown yet?
Yes, and then we go ahead and paint that away. Blend if is amazing.
Hours of work.
Yup, hours of work done in seconds. And then if we turn that color overlay off, now we have a very similar thing, without making a selection, but then using blend if, so now if you think blend if plus selection plus mask, plus opacity, boom it's all coming together there.
So when you signing that in your apps in Photoshop the bigger picture, can you use blend if you wanted to do the dark and you faded it out and you brought you did the color thing to show how much dark, I forget what's that's called but anyway, can you split that and have that do a blend if that you can actually give depth to that when you're doing that on the figure?
On the unified color grade, is that what you mean?
On the uniform itself you said here,
When I was selecting it you mean with the camera raw filter?
With the camera raw filter you can't use blend if with that unless it's on its own separate layer. If it was on its own separate layer, you can do that, you can make a duplicate copy of him, bring that into adobe camera raw, and use that for blend if but right now as it stands that is locked in as a setting here, I get all or really nothing with that camera raw filter.
When you're adjusting the white point on your son's face, where did you get the white point, I missed that.
The white point, I really just kind of did that on the fly in the camera raw settings, I just went and adjusted the white point like that, I didn't really do any settings for that white point so, but if I press alt or option onto that, that will tell me where things are blowing out. Another this is that instead of alt or option, if you click up here on that triangle, and then move it, it shows you on the fly where things are blowing out in red. I always forget that those are on, so I just usually turn them off and I use alt or option just because it's a hot key that I know.
And then if you see it like this, on the black it's not affecting, but anywhere that's red like that, beaming out red that's where thing are blowing out.
So on the composite side, this is probably, is good at anyone to look at, would you ever stamp it at this point, and then take that image which is everything below it, and apply a color mask or something like that to the finish stamp to tie everything together?
Absolutely, there's really nothing that you can't do, so if adding a stamp to the top is going to help you build upon there, you can. From here I could continue building color grades on top of this if I wanted to, like we've talked in the past about adding a solid color grade, if I wanted to add a solid color of red here, change that to the color blend mode, and then just drop it to get that kind of color graded effect, to tie that all together I could, without even having to stamp it but if you do stamp it just know if you stamp right here, and that's an opaque layer, then anything that happens underneath is not gonna take effect anymore so we just have to know that when you make that pixel based decision to stamp everything there, what you build on top of that is only gonna be affecting that stamped layer but in this case, like with this red color fill, that red color fill affects everything without having to have a stamp but let's say, you got them unified right now, and you want to take both of them unified into something like camera raw, to push and pull that a little bit further, then you're gonna want to make that a stamp. What I would do in that case, is very similar to what I'd do if certain layers I point out to myself hey, you might want to watch this one. And then I name it red, so if you do something like that, as you're scrolling through your layers palette, okay why is this not working very well? Well this one is the stamp, and make those stamps red so you know that pixel based layer that's in that layers palette is what might be keeping you from making the effect you want to make further. So that concludes our entire bootcamp. If you want to follow me, go ahead and follow me at f64.co/cl, we talked about a lot of crazy things here, this will get you to my email list, and if you have any questions I'm very responsive and I will help you in any way shape or form because I know this was a lot to take in, and it's not just okay, I took Blake's course, and now Blake's gonna run, I will help you, I want to help you and I certainly hope you learned as much as you could possibly learn in this entire Photoshop bootcamp.