now you'll probably notice of most things that you see compositing our waist up head and shoulders and there's a very specific reason for that because it's really hard to composite a full length person and and make it look realistic that's why when you see a lot of composites there deliberately done waist up or headshot because then there's no worry about body angle but I wanted to not limit myself without I wanted to be able to try and do full length composite because while it's more challenging than also provide some interesting images so I came up with a simple little trick that I've seen other people do as well on a unique thing to me but when I go out shooting background saying oh that would be a cool background to composite someone I either have someone with me or even better someone with me with a tripod or if not me and my tripod with a self timer and I take two photographs one with me standing in it and one without where the only thing different is me so now I have a frame of ...
reference I know how tall I am six foot five I know I'm a hair under six feet tall so if I take a picture of a person I know well there around five foot three or six one five whatever so I can use that as a frame of reference for how tall they should be but also things like shadows and lighting and everything else so I have to raw files here that I want to stick someone into and hopefully make it look realistic and this is why I decided to do talk about camera off first so we've seen this before so I opened both of these files and I select all synchronize everything and just make some slight adjustment to exposures and highlight something else trying to make it look the way I want as a background image it's important that I do this now because in the next step I'm goingto depend on how I do it I can lose some of the ability edit this in camera and it depends on if you use a tripod and you know the images are exactly the same there is no difference between them than it should be okay but I'm gonna have to click open image for both of these are any both open objects I want to preserve the camera raw ability I have to do it this way but this wouldn't work typically all that well if themes were handheld unless they were very close I don't have to be identical but you want to be as close as possible I'm going to drag one on top of the other hold down the shift key will make sure there are as aligned as they can be so now if I change the order you can see hopefully when I turn this on off the main thing that's changing is just a couple little shadows like up on the roof there you can see that just over that moment of time because that was me taking a photo then running over with my self timer so I won't show you but I have multiple photos of me halfway that going oh no I didn't have the timer on properly I tried using a remote control thing it's just I could get work properly anyway if you have feeling with you it's even easier but at this point this is ultimately going to be the image onto which I'm going to composite someone but this is my frame of reference so I know this is the right height this is the kind of angle that shadows would be cast look at the shadow down there that's already giving me a heads up that if I put someone else in there their shadow should look like that because that's where the sun was at that particular time okay all right so now here's my studio shot so I want her in there so I took it on a gray background just so there'd be some contrast easy to slug I didn't care about soft boxes and and sandbags everything else because I'm course on lee working with her so just like before place in photo shop for now I'm going to not worry too much about settings I just want to make sure as it did before that it's going to be pretty easy to make a selection so now let's see what we got you know I've already whenever you place it's waiting for you to scale it down but I want to make sure I'm doing it appropriate so I lowered the opacity just enough so I can see me underneath and I know she's certainly shorter than I am so something like that's probably going to be about right and I hit enter and then put the opacity back up once I have done that then this layer has basically served its purpose that was all it was for was for me to address those kind of things so I'm going to still keep it because I still want to use as a frame of reference for the shadow but at least now I know when I move on she is the right height because one of the things is a bit of a giveaway is your like that person looks either too tall and I've had here is a perfect sample of teaching a class on compositing and I had two completely separate photos one of a alley with a brick wall and moment took in the studio and when I dragged it in and I was re sizing and I had five students I said where what how talking should be all five had a different opinion of what looked right because there was no no context no frame of reference so having something in there is a big plus other that I still wouldn't take the same approach of duplicate and use the same method of saying let's do the easy parts first by easy I mean hard edges like arms and then worry about hair later on so the quick selection tool I don't worry about that I missed hair there because I'm going to get that later on again I'm doing this zoomed out and fairly quickly because that's not really the main point of what we're doing here presque you didn't miss anything will but they're gay refined edge so that's looks pretty good for that part laywer mask okay show this layer and this is really just reviewing what we've already done the main thing differently I'm doing here is I also and gonna try toe blend her in standing up so on this layer I would do refine edge he's our radius slider let's get a little closer it's already pretty good sure together here and there and again the layer mask like okay now her color toning doesn't seem to match very well to the photograph so we hide these for a second look me just to get a kind of a reference okay so I think I need to change the color temperature a little bit and this is the part that would take some time you have to go back and forth and I need to adjust the contrasts or the highlights or whatever it might be at a bit more of this keep going it's gonna select both of those and update them now in this particular case that the the main thing with composite again is believability so you want to do things that are going to make people go wait a minute the shadows are going that way and the light source is on that side of her face so in this case if you remember that's hard to say what point out there's my main light so I deliberately was putting the light source trying at least make my life easier so I would have to flip her around face the other direction completely but we'll build on that in the second what I used to try and do if I saw like there was a shadow like here on mia's I tried toe emulate that paint but let's look a little more closely at this and one of the problems here is that the shadow is weird it's like this kind when you eyedropper it's kind like this weird blueish tone it doesn't look like most people say well paint with black and use multiply mode well that's not what this shadow looks like so in this case honestly it be much easier for me to say you know what I'm going to take this shadow is already here and try and use that rather than try and create something and simulated so why not use pixels you already got if you can so I was going to in this case I would feather it just a little bit to try and make sure I'm not getting too little and just duplicate that now take this layer and start toe move it just this is where I'd have to play a little bit to try and mix and match but right away even just that simple thing it already looks closer to what I have been trying tto do the technique I used to use many years ago that seemed to make sense was make a selection of her fill it with black and then free transform it's always like this cash shadow which was a very common technique to people make cash shadows when you look at real shadows they don't look like at a trance exact duplicate of the person like in this case there would be no point tohave the arm sticking out here because that's just not the way the shadow was when you look at the actual shadow there wasn't one so try to use the surrounding information that's available to you is going to make life a lot easier the other thing that's going to help with a lot of images depending on where the person is standing in this case I in the original mask I miss part of her foot but actually kind of works that almost looks like some of the rocks are going up on top of her foot and we'll look later on above cem other kind of finishing touches we can make the fool people's eye into thinking that someone is actually standing there context I can't stress enough is so important I've watched people do compositing and they put someone on the background they add a shadow but nothing else in the photograph has any shadows like there's trees right beside them with no shadow so why should the person have a shadow if in real life there wasn't a shadow than the person wouldn't have one either so context is everything after always be looking at it to make sure it makes sense from a standpoint of making things look the way you want okay so let's start look at how we can improve upon and thick so every composite I do basically follows those steps that's my typical workflow is placing in right away duplicate copy unless it's something I just I know I don't need it but I tend to do that just to be sure keeping things with the ability used that ability to temporary just things to make it easier for my selection tools but remember yesterday we did a couple of examples where the result while it was okay there are some pretty obvious stuff going on like the blue around here was just like yeah that's that's not good so let's look at a couple of options to try and fix those things a little better so the first one we could try is this mask edge and there is this option called decontaminate colors keeping in mind I didn't do this at the time I was using refined edge I'm doing it now as an after thought to see if I can improve on it and I might not like it all that much I'm going to have to see whether I like it or not so if I push this up see how right away it's taken a lot of that blue and it's improving it it's better but it's still not gone completely you may notice that assumes you click decontaminate colors the on ly option here is one of the only offer but I can't just use the same layer masking a prompt me to make a new layer with a layer mask and the reason it does that is it actually is adjusting the blue pixels on my original photograph so that was the only one I had and I cited for some reason later on to use that same layer I have weird stuff going around the outside of the lions for so that's why it prompts you to choose new layer with layer mask let me show you what I mean see what it did to the original photograph it did really bad things but in the for our purpose is actually a good thing but that's why we want to have a new layer with a mask just so in case we still need that we have this original one so what it does it eh make a new layer with that adjustment and also keeps the original hidden just in case you decide you need it so although that is helped it's still not looking terribly effective it's okay but it's better but it still needs some help so this is where we need to do some kind of tweaking the first thing I would try is toe add a new layer and we're goingto clone onto that layer but if I just did that I don't know how I would do it frankly because how could you clone and say but stay on lee on those little hairs not anywhere else that would be impossible so the trick that we do is in photo shop there's this wonderful thing called a clipping mask where you take advantage of the underlying layer which in this case is this mask is meaning that's all we're seeing so if I optional clicked between the two layers see how that top layer just got indented that's a thing called a clipping mask and just two prove it not that I would do this normally but I'll show you if I were just simply paint with black if I try and paint over here nothing is happening but if I paint in here see how it just goes right over just the hairs see there looks fantastic it's perfect but that's that's what the clipping mass function does it limits you to say on ly paint within the pixels that are underneath it so if I use the same thirty but take the clone stamp tool I could clone some fur and just clone that fur right over those areas where there's problems and because it's for I don't have to worry too much about it it's not following exactly the same you know angle of the lions for but it's enough to give the effect that I want where I'm getting rid of that blue information so I just go through and just keep doing that let's see how this you know you have tto go through and keep re sampling but you can see how it's doing a pretty good job of getting all that hair and getting rid of those areas so that's one option it actually works quite nicely but the key to that working is that clipping master we didn't do that I don't know how you could do it otherwise it would be next to impossible so that's one option is just to simply clone existing information you could see it does a pretty good job for a lot of situations and some situations it may be a combination of this and the next couple of potential things I'm going to show you so it may not be one quick look just do that and it's done some cases it might but I like to sell it a little further I wantto put enough doubt in people's mind that they're not like well I can tell that's a composite I want them to be uncertain and one of the biggest giveaways usually is hair or for or anything like that where there's fine little detail so we'll come back to that a second member of this guy he had another problem and that is green around the top of his hair so how could we do that well let's add a hugh saturation adjustment layer same issue here though adjustment layers by default affect all layers below so if I went in and said take out the green and would take the growing out of everything and it wouldn't look realistic anymore so I used a similar concept when I click on this little icon it means now this adjustment layers on lian affect the layer immediately below but it's also going to be clipped by this mask so if I go into for example the greens and lower the saturation look at the edge of his hair or turn it off on and off again hold on a second let's get this back here see that look at how I just basically eliminated that area by saying take the green out of that part now if you look at it and go oh hold on a second here is taking the green out of this area to then just take your paintbrush and just make sure you're painting with black in this area say I don't want you to affect that area at all it's just the outer edges of his hair but that theory can apply to a lot of different things if you find that there's a little bit of a blue fringe from the original sky or something just at a huge saturation justin layer and from this menu pick the appropriate color if blue is the problem goto scions and blues in this case it was green that saturation I've taken it out completely to say just want no green in there at all so that's another option I like both of those because they're relatively fast but there are still some times where you look at it and go but it's something about hair to still doesn't look quite the way that I want so johnny wanted to know could you talk it's some point a little bit about this smart radius and what the because we believe you're leaving it off in the decision behind that right well I'll just address it to say that the principal of smart radius is and I let me preface by saying I love adobe adobe does wonderful things and they're fantastic that's just my little disclaimer in case that anyone know he's watching this I really love you guys but sometimes when you watch a demonstration by adobe I feel like they have spent hours finding the perfect image that's going to make a function look really good because when they use smart radius they moved away and look his arm is nice and sharp and the hair looks way too I tried it didn't work so much for me so the concept is it's supposed to be a smart function that will try to do both hard and soft edges and detect them because I'm deliberately ignoring that and saying make two copies that's why I rarely use smart radio because I'm doing the body and one layer and the hair another and I don't have to worry too much about smart radius having said that it takes two seconds to try and turn on the seat does that help or not so the theory is that supposed to make a smart decision I've eliminated some of that by separating into two pieces what I'm selecting but if you're there's certainly nothing wrong with saying what does that do because you can see an instant preview see if it helps you're not okay okay uh let's see this okay so let's go back to this example here the problem is not really a cz much that her hair is the wrong color or has a fringe is just there are places like they're and I particularly member over here it just kind of disappears into mid air now depending on the situation on a lot of this there's a lot of things we have to consider there's no right or wrong answer because if they're the sky behind it was really bright in the real world thin little hairs would kind of disappear a little bit into the background because the nature of the way it works but I want to make sure that it doesn't just look like this hair is just stopping dead so one of things that I started doing a number of years ago and I can tell you that I get much better results than I used to because instead of spending on our trying to make sure I pulled out every little hair I just artificially add them back in again because sometimes it's so much easier to paint in hair than to worry about trying to pull out fine little detail that's just not possible with the combination of masking and everything else so pretty simple to do the first time it takes the heart of longest time just to get used to the privates principle but here's what looks like so I take my brush and I'm going to first of all make a brush size and it will be anywhere from one to three to four pixels depending entirely on the resolution of your file the bigger it is the bigger the brush you want the simple way to test is to just do a quick brush stroke and go does that look too big or too small at this point that looks like it's going to be okay when I do the next step because right now it doesn't look very good just looks like a big black line I made if I didn't say it out loud I out of the blank layer first so I'm painting on the blank layer one of the functions that's in photo shop is called shape dynamics and what I want to do is I don't want this just to keep painting I wanted because hair goes and thins out to a little point at some point so I want that to happen so I'm going to choose size jitter and even though I have a pressure sensitive pen that's still going to just allow me over time to change the size like this but it's never going to really fade out completely see how just does that that doesn't really help me so you know I have a pressure sensitive pen I'm gonna actually use a function called fade and this is a really mysteriously on how to say it it's just odd because the first time looking at like oh paid twenty five and it's like twenty five pixels per cent no it's something called steps twenty five steps what in fact you ask is a step nobody knows so the own that's why we do this and go okay well that didn't do anything so let's um put backto faith twenty five seconds I turned out okay here we go that's why that was happening I want to make sure that nothing else is happening so now see what happens it fades out really quickly so twenty five apparently is a very short amount of steps so that's two too quick so I need to put a higher what about eighty and this is exactly what you do there's no I haven't found a form that says I will make sure you always use a number off they will vary but now you see that's a little more like it it's fading out that's probably a little too high for my liking maybe sixty and don't rely on this little preview because that's what the little box to show you you have to look at it in the context of your file I think that's gonna work okay for me so now it's a matter of I need to paint in the same direction and angle and try and follow any slight curvature but making sure I'm using the same color so when the shortcuts we talked about right the beginning was option or all temporarily lets you sample nearby colors and then you just paint and follow that exact same area and eventually you get to the point that last one wasn't very good where it just starts toe add some realism because now we have fine little hairs and areas where there weren't before and we can paint over areas that aren't working so well now zoomed in this close I'm sure a lot of people are kind of going a day that doesn't look terribly great so far but as you do it mohr and get better at it and remember to constantly be sample more colors this is the little bit of believability that's going to sell something because people are gonna have little hairs that fly out and come around here you can also fill in little gaps if there's areas where when you're doing it you probably should sort of see through to the background but you're not one hundred per cent sure this is where you can just start painting in your own hair to make it look the way that you want and it wouldn't be unusual all part way through to say ok for this one I need a longer fade to kind of match this one so it looks the way I want because right now trying to cover up the existing one on probably picked not the best color but I assure you the idea here so keeping in mind here that again I'm zoomed in really far but as we get further out that little bit of extra hair can make all the difference in the world and for me what it did was I realized for situations were in the past I would have taken quite literally forty five minute to an hour to try and get every little hair by masking aiken paint hair for fifteen minutes and have a look really realistic and b that finishing touch and often it's a combination like in this case overall doing that cloning with the clipping mask I feel like that helped the whole off there still some hair for that just looks a little bit unrealistic so I would do exactly the same thing painting their sampling this color and adding some more just to kind of fool the eye into thinking that it's done a better job okay so anywhere where you see a fringe like this you khun apply this effect now here's one other a theory that you can try and it depends a little bit on the image in this case I don't really want to clone over the top of this or painted so I could add another layer I don't want to push aside I want to paint extra hair still add that to the clipping mask you have multiple layers all clipped by the same layer underneath and I'm going to take go back to just a regular old paintbrush I don't want any kind of check and make sure I don't need any crazy pen pressure fade anything else that looks fine and sample this nearby color and at first I should warn you it's gonna look bad until I'm finished because you just paint a brush stroke not fight didn't have that clipping mask you would see it goes way outside and looks really bad but the clipping mask make sure it stays inside then you change the blend mode to something like color and look what it did difference where you could see definite blue now it's sort of color rising the blue with the color that makes better sense so the combination of these little finishing touches together is what can start to make the edge look even more believable because what people look for where they realize it or not is mitch match of color or a fringe that shouldn't be there or hair that looks just to cut off so this combination get as much as you can the masking ability but then these finishing touches can make a big difference in terms of trying to make the edge look better so I would go around this as you the same thing all the way around you can see I can't really show you that easily but so before it had this very noticeable blue stuff happening but now it's all still needs a bit more work you see is already looking better without hours and hours of work and a lot of this still revolves around the fact that I had to start off with a good a layer mask as I could get without spending hours because the clipping mask is based on this layer mass below it so if this layer mass was missing a big chunk of information that would be pretty obvious when you started doing these other steps as well okay uh let's see and I could in this case I would you know I took the greenaway I might do just a little bit of painting here is to make sure that I'm also fooling eyes with the edge of his heras well now another thinking we can do so in this case the shadow is on its way looking pretty good the light stores was similar but I feel like it was a little brighter in reality than it was in the studio so I want to accentuate the fact that she needs tohave mohr brightness on this side of her body so if I take these two layers and I'm going to convert them to a smart object so that means I'm gonna have this one shape in effect that means now if I do things in here like a clipping mask I'm clipping it to this shape but inside of that remember is are both layers with the layer mass if I suddenly noticed oops I missed a bit hearing to tweak something I still can okay so what I want to do here is like an ill due in a couple different ways to show you the first way I would consider is you sing something like curves I'm gonna clip it to the layer below just to make sure it's on lee going to be visible inside and at first this is another one of these I feel like there should be a little a symbol that gets post in the car that says wait for it because at first is going to look bad I'll tell you that right up front because you need to always be thinking that end up with procedure so I'm goingto brighten up everything ah whole lot to the point where it looks overly bright remember justin layers have a mask so fight invert the mask I'm temporarily saying just don't show any of it now if I take my paintbrush and switch to white I can go through it say these are some areas where I want tohave mohr highlights on her so as if there was a much brighter light source coming from this side and I'm not worried about the fact that right now it looks like I'm painting white strokes on her because I'm far from finished I'm not that far I'm not quite finished yet so I would look where there's already some highlights and try toe accentuate them even more in relation to where our light source is just a little bit more this one just by the nature of the studio lighting it's not really his brightest should be anyway so this probably needs a bit more to begin with okay so this point you're thinking again yeah that looks great dave I would love to have white paint on my person so that was because I did it that way because rather than make a subtle change in curves and go I think I'm painting in the right place I want to make sure I could see what I was doing so I start off overdoing curves filling the mask of black and the painting with white and that is one of these why would call a core photoshopped function which is think about the fact that it's easier often to deliberately with adjustment layers or camera smart or anything where you know you can continually adjust overdo it either direction to like two dark so you can see what you're doing and then pull it back so now that I've painted on my okay that was a little much let me go back to the curves and pull it down a bit so it's a lot more subtle but yet you can still see it you know just adding a little bit of highlight there that we can use that showing up for you okay so ultimately I made a very subtle change but to help me see what I was doing I did a lot more and if you wanted to you could make a second curves justin layer to add a bit of darkness to the shadow side of her if that made sense in this case I'm not going to worry too much about it if you find that I'll push the brightness up a little bit more so you can still see it that it still looks a little too much like I took a paintbrush and painted lines remember the properties panel not only contains the information about the curves adjustment layer but also the mask so I went up here and adjusted the feathering I'm just softening that a little bit so it's not quite so obvious that I went like this and painted lines with my pink brush I'm now letting it spread out a little bit more and that's one those things where I might go back and forth and say well let me adjust the curve than feather it now that's too much go back to the curb back to the feather but ultimately it's those little finishing touches like this that helps sell the believability that well there is that bright a light source and there should be more brightness on that side of the person so that's one option that I found very useful one of my buddies is a guy's name is glenn do issues from the u k and he's been doing some pretty innovative things and he showed an idea once that I happily steal I mean give him credit for I did mention that he did it because I think this is pretty cool interesting idea so an ad ah layer and clip it so this is more of a just a painting effect now for this to show I'm goingto overdo it so you can see what's happening so I wouldn't normally do with this still if I want to make sure you can see let's pretend now suddenly in the middle of nelson in the desert there was a red neon light right over to her side so was casting a red light on her so I'm doing that just so you can see when I do is what I'm talking about so if I now go in and paint some red bits here and there again is gonna look really bad on obvious at first but it's going to still stay within her arm because of that clipping group but clearly that does not look anywhere remotely realistic so if I double click on this and use our good friends the blend of sliders I could start to say what if I pull the underlying layer and then start to adjusted and pulled this one and then lower the opacity and maybe try a blend mode like overlay is just adding a little bit of red highlights I'm deliberately overdoing it you can see it is you want to be more subtle but that principle of just painting on a layer and then using the blend ist lives toe let the underlying layer show through it means you're saying I want to take just the highlight areas that are already there and it's kind of colorized him a little bit so it's a combination of finding the right blend mode and the right capacity and everything else can just add that little finishing touch right now it's like she has kind of odd warping tommy that's because there really isn't any red light source in this particular photograph so that's another option that we always have available to us and even here when I've got a multi layer thing going on I've made smart objects I'm still trying to fall that same principle of preserving as many editing options one of the suggestions that I found works for me and other people tell me the same thing is I find that if I stare at a project for too long to things happens I get tired of it and I also get hypercritical because I'm like oh that's so obvious that she stand I stuck her in there but if I close it and work on something else and come back later on looking at something with fresh eyes I'm like that's pretty good but I missed that part I need to tweak that a bit so if you spend too much time staring at something I find you just get to the point where you're being overly critical ongoing cash that just there no that's not right either so give yourself a break from work on something else then come back but make sure you've got a structure like this that lets you go in and say but I want to be able to edit the smart objects the backgrounds foreign object that shadow that I added the little highlights that I've done whatever it is I want to do them all in a way that I'm never feeling like oh no I did that step yesterday that now I'm going to say some other word in trouble because I can't change my mind because projects like this it does take a while and it's not going to be mean I'm doing these fairly quickly today for the purpose of demonstration but frankly I don't move that much slower I just spent a little more time working on edges and believability but that's basically the the process that I go through now one of things that I decided last night to do when I was looking through the material per day in the last class I had a random selection of little tips and tricks and things which I'm going to show you some but I took the the counsel of my wife when we were discussing this because I just finished a project recently which is actually really fun it was like a photo shoot of well it's really fun anyway so I'm going to actually go through that entire project at the end of the day that shows the beginning to end that will pull together a lot of things we talked about not only compositing but keyboard shortcuts and finishing touches and all those kind of things so this will summarize our part for now on compositing but at the end I'll do another many project that sort of shows everything including the thought process behind things and some of the things I learned along the way that would make job easier next time so that way you can learn a lot from hope from that whole procedure um one of the users asking about under the layers menu is a something called matting yes that that's a function where it's another potential way to deal with a fringe of usually it's a fringe though when you don't have a mask so if you've literally cut someone out and just drag them all without a mask then you don't have a mass to try to deal with the edge de fringes under matting is an option which will attempt to either take away a white math or a black maps that means just it's just another why don't know wine factors and say d fringe because that's really what it is for me it's usefulness is somewhat gone away because I'm always using masks and you can't really use that command on a mask
For 25 years, Dave Cross has been helping photographers and creative professionals get the most out of their Adobe software. Since 1987, Dave has taught Adobe Photoshop®, Adobe Illustrator® and Adobe InDesign® to thousands of users around the world. He has a Bachelor of
I am an experienced photographer and retoucher and this Advanced Photoshop class with Dave Cross was exactly what I was hoping to find. I know how to accomplish everything I need in Photoshop, but was looking for the ways that I could update my workflow with the new features that have been added by Adobe. The complete use of Smart Objects and libraries is already changing my life and is incredibly useful and time saving. Dave gave a great explanation about the coarse at the beginning as to the fact that he just wanted to help users make their workflow better and he did just that...and in an enjoyable way. I highly recommend this class!
a Creativelive Student
While not highly experienced in PS I'm also not a newbie. I've done a few other online courses and am a member of other training sites but very quickly found I got information here that I hadn';t yet come across. Nesting smart objects and the non-destructive editing abilities they give me was one of those light bulb moments. Lots of other useful information in this course. Had to try the CC Library as a result. Very useful..... wish it saved the layer comps with your file though. Put some of these new learnt skills into a composite straight away.... did I say I'm loving nested smart objects!! A great course Dave.
Brilliant, love Dave's clear presentation style which is easy to follow, simply had to buy this one. I thought i had a pretty good grasp on photoshop but I'm delighted at how some of these seemingly simple tips and tricks have improved the quality of my final images and the speed at which I can work.