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Editing Levitation Shoot

Lesson 30 from: Fine Art Compositing

Brooke Shaden

Editing Levitation Shoot

Lesson 30 from: Fine Art Compositing

Brooke Shaden

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Lesson Info

30. Editing Levitation Shoot


Class Trailer

Day 1


Class Introduction


Why Composite ?


Logic Checklist


What Not To Do When Compositing


Shooting for Composite


Changing Backgrounds and Light


Shoot: Simple Swaps Part 1


Lesson Info

Editing Levitation Shoot

um I think we'll take a look at the uh levitation shop so I'm just going tio take a look and find those images and now we could do this the easy way and we could open these where we have a black backdrop but then it's not really illustrating my point here because here we can just paint black over that stool if we wanted teo but that's not the case with most levitation pictures so instead of using these we're on a ghost we can instead use thes and the reason why I want to use that is because the background is not just black so if I make a mistake editing the other one it just doesn't matter I mean if you want to really really easy start to levitation do it on a seamless backdrop because there's nothing you can do to mess it up unless you accidentally just chop her head off or something but it's unlikely to happen so we have this picture here where we have russ in the background so that's good cause that will demonstrate what happens when the background moves because as we all remember h...

e was very bad yesterday and I know if only you didn't have your glasses on there reflecting the light when you moved slightly okay the's the three images that we're going to use in this particular instance now this will be our main shot this is going to be the image that we stick with that that we start to build off of and I can already see a problem with this picture do you guys have any idea what the problem is going to be in this photo yeah the chair in front of the dress that could be a problem but I like to just cut dresses off anyways and make my own shape so absolutely a problem if you're a good editor but my problem here is that her hand is kind of overlapping the dress here and I can't get rid of that I mean that's going to be so I'm going to have to create a new shape in her dress or I'm going to have to clone I'm not a big fan of cloning so usually try to fudge it and just cut a little bit to see how that looks the only problem with cutting too far into address or anything is the light fall off so if it's too dark over here and too bright over here or maybe that's just how the shadow on dh highlight is happening then when we go in to cut this it's suddenly going toe look wrong because the shadow fall off won't be consistent across her body so we'll take a look at that and see what we can d'oh it's something that I just didn't notice when we were shooting and this happens I mean probably fifty percent of the time where I get home and I'm like oh I didn't even think about that little tiny thing that could completely mess up the shoot often it doesn't mess up the whole shoot often there's a workaround to it and you know we can sort of move on from there but in some cases it's just the tiniest little thing like a little finger being too far over in some direction that makes you fall apart photoshopped and those are the things that are very difficult to teach because I mean it's one thing to say use a stool you know move the dress create believability and all that but then it's another thing to say make sure that absolutely nothing is that all covering the line of site in front of the camera and the subject which we'd actually did talk about and I just ignored so I don't know maybe I'm just terrible with this but I'm going to open all of them up into photo shop I'm going to select all in camera aw I don't see anything that I need to fix in camera raw right now so I'm going to open those images up and she was a really good sport about this she posed beautifully and she pretty instinctively understood what to dio I had not spoken to her at all about this process I just said I hope you khun bend and that you don't have back problems and she said yes so that was all I really asked for and so what really impressed me was that we did this pose and she you know she hit it beautifully but then when I asked her to do this arm she instinctively raised the other arm and that's the kind of thing that it's so important if she had left that arm down then she would have been blocking the light on her hand and we want as much consistency as possible so even when it seems totally irrelevant like why would I ever need her to hold that pose I still just ask my models to just hold it as long as they can even if some other little part is changing and I find that they don't mind doing it it's pretty simple unless they're in some crazy weird position um actually I was just recently in the uk with renee and we were helping tio assist with somebody's levitation picture on a staircase where this girl was walking up the wall and she was balanced on books and a chair and it was the steep staircase and it was this whole big thing and so in a situation like that you can't really ask the model that just hold that position as long as they possibly can so you can get all these little details and stuff like that so there instances where you just have to make it up as you go and try to get the dress flip at a different time and try to move the hair while she's not uncomfortable and safe and things like that but for the most part it's totally doable teo asked the model to generally hold the position get the lighting right in the angle so this was our blank shot and I do have to say that we did a pretty good job with that I don't think too much is moving in between the shots so first thing that I want to do is I'm not gonna worry about the arm yet I'm just going to chop her arm off right now I might leave that the cap of the sleeve and then cut in through here but first thing that I want to do is just put this image our main shock on top of our plate the on ly time pretty much ever that I will suggest doing this is with a levitation image or when you need to use your blank shot so in this case it doesn't make a lot of sense to move our blank shot on top of the main shot despite the fact that I've been saying start with the main shot because if I do that then I would simply need to rearrange the order of my layers because when you think about how we're going to complete this levitation image I need to have my subject who's balancing on the stool on this layer with my blank shot down here so that way when I raced the stool the background shows through so if I do that and I have it the other way around I'm just going to rearrange my layers so it makes more sense to use my move tool and move the image of my subject on top of our blank shot here and this is good because this allows us to see if it matches up or not so now when I go I'm just going to zoom in to see cem detail here so now when we take a look at what's happening and I lower the opacity on that layer we khun see what moved and what didn't I am very impressed very you get a cookie yeah one through and I made myself sick off of them okay so I'm going to back off here I'm just going to zoom out so we can see the whole entire thing and assess what needs to happen before I start anything in photo shop I have this moment of assessment where I pull back and I say what are all the little details that need thio either be rid of or changed in the picture and I do that because of how many times I've not done that and meston image up where like I have legitimately left a hand in a picture till the final layer was done and that is a very frustrating thing to dio I've done it where I have a little foot sticking out over here actually printed an image with a foot in it before and it's like you know all we need to do is be a little bit more careful but I'm not a very careful person I'm learning so I know I'll just circle what we need I know that this needs to go I know that this stool needs to go I don't see anything else that you see that think that's it in terms of what needs to be erased but now I'm thinking about what needs to be changed aged so I need teo I think perhaps recreate the skirt in a really nice flow so I might do that by starting here and then creating sort of like a rounded edge coming this direction to get rid of all of that so I will obviously be erasing that hand so that can be included but then I'll probably draw just through here to create a nice curve and sort of indon her waist there and if ever I feel like I've cut too much I can always pop it back out with the warp tool or the liquefy tool or something like that but in this case I think it might work out pretty nicely and I really like that her skirt will be curving in this direction because then it makes sense that our skirts flying up because everything is sweeping the motion this direction so that's what I'm going to get rid of in this picture um yeah I think that'll be good so let's go ahead and start that process of just erasing the stool making sure everything looks good so creator layer mask on this layer with a brush on black we are going to take the opacity up and I'm just going to right click to make sure the hardness is down take that size down yeah three hundred or so pixels is good and now I can start to a race so I'm just going to erase the hands so we've gotten rid of that so that's check number one and now we need to start erasing the stool so right now I'm ok with a fuzzy brush because I want to start erasing this portion of the image right through here but when I get in and I start to cut off her hand and go along her dress and create a new shape that is when I I'm definitely going to need a harder brush and if we don't understand the distinction between a hard brush and a soft brush than the composite will fall apart the hard brush is necessary because my subject is more or less and focus therefore I'm cutting against something and focus which means I need the hardness to match that ah sharpness of the dress so for right now although I can start to race will see this is the moment of truth I'm just so impressed I can't believe it how I mean this is great now what I'm doing is I am actually erasing the shadow through here so you can see if I take a step back there is natural shading happening and that's coming from our subject but I am erasing it and this is a decision that we have to make for ourselves here in terms of do we erase the whole shadow and re create it from scratch or do we try to mimic the shadow that was already there now in this case I'm going to say that I'm going to mimic the shadow I'm going to keep this and I'm going to draw in more shadow happening through this direction here because the dress is cutting that in half so the dress is separating one shadow from another and the problem if it isn't is that now we have to try to lasso or draw in darkness while it's slightly overlapping the other shadow which means that that other shadow could get too dark in that one spot and you might have a little bit of a hard time blending it I love every once in a while just everything the whole entire shadow because that means that I can do it from scratch which means that nobody has a reference point so if I have to recreate one half of the shadow and I don't do a good enough job then what am I going to dio I mean everybody's going to see that there wasn't inconsistency there so I'll worry about that in a moment but first let's try toe work with the arm here so I'm going to make my brush smaller with the left square bracket but I also need to play with that hardness here so I'm gonna go ahead and take that up probably seventy eighty percent range something like that and we'll see if that's too hard or not hard enough take that brush size down just a little bit more and I don't know if I'm going to be using this leave at all but I'm leaving the sleeve for two reasons one is because the hair is overlapping asleep so instead of erasing it up around the hair or cutting it off in some weird way I'm just going to leave it to maintain the hair as well as toe have sort of an exit point for her new arm to come through so I could just line up her new arm which is in this shot with the sleeve that's already there and blend up the sleeve so now I can blend one sleeve into another sleeve and that will make it a little bit more of a smooth transition not like that all right so now I'm going to cut the hand off and I'm just going to go wherever I need to go here for that I'm going to follow along a line where there's a natural shadow happening at some point I'm probably going to cut that off because I think it's coming in right maybe like that okay sorry I couldn't talk because very concentrated there all right so I think maybe I want to keep a little bit more I'm gonna actually come out this week so I don't like it's too too sharp to too much there so let's go ahead and fix that I'm going to make my brush a little bit bigger and I'm just going to pull some of this back in I just flipped a white so it's nice and simple you can see that I'm really digging in here because her hand was there so that's something that I'm definitely going to end up fixing leader but at the moment I'm going to say it's all right for right now so let's see how much you know go away hand let's see how much I can get away with a racing through here and then how we can fix that leader a really good way of blending a skirt like this is to actually take the hardness and down a little bit so right through here it's a bit too sharp for me especially for how much the skirt is blurring in some places so I'm going I do take my hardness down in the fifty range fifty percent and I'm going to bring some of this back but at a much softer hardness that way we have some more believable motion blur happening here and we don't have a really sharp cut out because having a cutout is oh I don't like it I'm just going to erase the rest through here continue continue to get rid of that stool because we still have a floating hand I realize we have no arm and something that we can also try to fill in her waist again is to go in with that new arm that we're putting on to see if some of that attach is into her waist so let's just take a step back because I'm not going to move on to another portion until I take a look at what's happening here so what's happening is she looks a little bit weird because she's having arm obviously but if we zoom in on we're focusing on this area right here so if we zoom in here and we start to toggle this image on enough we can see what is happening so okay russ is distorting a little bit we're just making him a little bit wider in some places but world threading a little bit of shadow so I think it kind of makes up for it so she's popping in there the store just jumped right out really really nicely and now I'm going to just blend this area here so what happened down here was that I went in with that harder brush along the skirt and then I continued to erase into the shadow but I left it there so this is the problem with erasing something with a hard edge brush the issue is that if I don't make the brush really soft then you see exactly where you were racing so by taking the size up and the hardness down I can erase much softer through here and then you don't really see that there was ever an eraser happening through that area so that looks a little bit nicer now all right so I've got that going on I think it's good I'm going to actually try to save this one because I get a little bit worried about these things from time to time okay and now I'm going to find the arm so the arm is a pretty simple paste on there because we're just using the lasso tool and I'm going to select more than I think that I need because I would much rather blend the dress than having to cut her arm out although I'm not against doing that I'm just going to see what's necessary we'll get some of that brick just right along there and I'll copy that and I will paste it okay I think her arm's really going to do us good in this instance so I'm going to move her and match her up I guess we can go from the boobs because we don't want to have two sets of them in this picture on uh that would be an awful thing d'oh so I'm going to just line her up now I can see if I lower this opacity and zoom in a little bit more the things that I'm paying attention to hear our this edge you can kind of see that edge of her body from the underneath layer that's right here I can see where that is through this image so I can see that this needs to come up and I conceived the crook of her arm would be if I put that there then where her arm ends here is actually touching the fabric so that means that now her arm is just covering up that indian that we had so I don't need to worry about replacing it in any way we have her arm coming over here and this doesn't match up exactly but that's okay so let's see how this blends as it isthe taking that opacity up and this is just a guessing game so I don't know some secret that somebody else doesn't know I'm just seeing what matches and what doesn't and seeing how that work ox so again at one hundred percent capacity I am going in with my brother and I'm just going to start to race really softly at first all around and see what we can do so all right her sleeves up there and that's where we're hitting a problem right now the fact that the sleeve and this leave aren't really matching up so they're two things we could do first we can move her arm up a little bit to make that match maybe move it in there and then see what we can do about warping maybe we can work that arm that's leave down or that arm up or something like that but let's see how this goes so first I'm going to start to blend a little bit more with my brush so I'll go right in there make sure that's gonna work okay now this is going to be an area that I need to cut because I took some of the dress off from that area and I'm going to make my brush lice smaller just to start to get in these little detail areas now this is a question of how much I'm going to a race so here the chest is looking pretty good but I don't see a point in erasing all of that that I just erased because now we're showing that there is a problem here where her arm wa sare or is now is a little bit brighter than where it used to be so I'm going to take away that brush and I'm actually just going to leave this shading that was there to begin with from this extra arm so it's going here and we're going to work with blending the dress through this area this is the spot where it's not quite blending because we have seams or what's lie called pleats coming down from her arm and then some moving out this way so to fix that I'm going to lower the opacity of my brush to about fifty percent make it a little bit bigger and I'm going to bring back some of that dress at a lower opacity and then I'm going to erase some more at a lower opacity so now I'm at twenty three percent capacity I'm just going to continue to blend that way where I am allowing one piece of fabric to blend right into another piece of fabric now what I'm doing here is I'm following the shadows because like we've been saying light and shadow that's the most important thing here so if there is a shadow from a pleat coming down this way then I wanted to blend into another shadow going this way so that it actually looks like it's all matching up so I'm going to keep erasing very lightly because erasing a lightly that's that's what's going to allow us to blend one thing into another if we always go in with that really really hard or I should say hi opacity brush than all you have the option of doing is putting one solid image next to another instead of really letting them mixed together so what I'm doing is I have the underneath layer and then um saying ok these pixels will only be gone fifty percent that way we see both layers through and they mesh now here is a little bit of a problem because we need to make sure that we allow the skirt to come right up against that hand so I'll take that opacity up make my brush a little bit smaller and I'll just make sure to brush that right in there and now we have this area where I need to a race but I need to pay really good attention to the hardness of my brush so we'll go in and we will erase right along that oboe just like that there we go okay there uh that's almost too much we'll take it away okay so now we have this arm and this is our problem area still and that arm was moved a little bit so this white background is now on top of the black so let's fix that first before we do anything else we'll just paint right along there and again this is fabric so I can always just cut it off if I don't like it or if I need thio sort of cut in there and this is our problem we have a see through portion I'm really zoomed in but we have a see through portion of this dress with a white background instead of black so we have a couple options we can cut it off because really lady or we can change it because we want to make it absolutely perfect depending on my mood I would do either one but I'm going to select it just like this where that sort of black line right here now I'm gonna start thought over where that black line is happening in the background just going to trace it and then select this area of course all feather that because I always want a really soft transition so taking that feather slider up just a little bit I'm at six seven pixels and now I can click on the actual layer so that's her arm that's doing that they can click on the actual layer and now I can go into image adjustments replace color and when I do that I'm going to select the white make sure that I don't have too much and then I could take the lightness down on that and always play with that fuzziness just to include more or less so I've taken that down and now that will blend pretty nicely it looks like there's some darkness behind the fabric instead of light where there is a transition there and I still need to fix this sleeve so I need to see what is the most logical thing to have happened here do I want a warp her arm up so I'm gonna warp this sleeve down what needs to happen so I'm going to go out and play with her arm first so let's click on the layer with her arm and I'm going into edit transform warp I'm just going to start to play with that arm a little bit and I don't want to stretch it to much like I don't I don't wantto you know grow like that and then have it look like her arm was at some weird perspective but I think this will be pretty good I'm just paying attention to the edge of the stress right over here oh that looks nice so now the sleeve is coming down like a little cap there I'll say okay to that some more blending could happen here and this is where I would use that blending at a low capacity with my brush so I'll move right in here take that brush take the opacity down and I'm going pretty low in the thirty percent range and now I'm not only later asked now I will start to a race some in there and it's so subtle it's so hard to even see what I'm erasing in there but it is going to make a difference now one thing that I notice here is that this area here seems flatters in this area can you guys kind of see that like her arms pushing the fabric out there but not here I don't like that I would probably want to fix that despite the fact that if I zoomed out just a little bit you probably wouldn't see it but I want to make sure that it's perfect so I'm going to go ahead and make some adjustments here and those adjustments are going to be what we talked about with the dodge and burned tool remember how I was saying that with dodge and burn I tend to use it to enhance light and shadow to create a three d effect that's what I want to do here I want to focus on her initial sleeve that's on our layer one and I want to start to dodge and burn to create more of ah sort of in dende or wait what's the opposite of indent okay a ridge I was going to say outdone so I'm glad that you see oh yeah it's good okay so let's click on the dodge tool and I'm going to say I'm going to say shadows for this one as faras the range goes because this is pretty dark what's happening in here this is definitely a mid tone so we might hit both of them but on our layer here let's just start to play with that dodge tool make this a little bit brighter through here there we go it's good writing some light to her hair but I'm glad that we're adding lightened their because her arm if it really was there would not be creating a crease in the fabric there it would be running over her arm so I'm going to make sure that we have that lighting consistency so that I don't know if that was too much or not but let's just take a step back they're a brush and you can see her in there was that big shadow there and now we're kind of filling that in a little bit so that her arm fits we're going to do the same thing now just to keep the amount of light consistent on the arm layer that we just added just right in there just a little bit because I think that maybe we'll just keep the light flowing in the same way there we go you don't even know if I did anything oh it didn't it wasn't on the layer there we go how it did something yeah okay so we've just added some light to that area and now her arm looks like it might have come from that portion we're not weaken judge me later and then I will come in and just take a look at this little part that I missed here so I have to erase that from the layer with the arm and this is going to be a real really really quick fix it's been making the brush smaller and a little bit harder and I like to zoom in a lot on my images so you'll see me do that from time to time just zoom in really really far to make sure that um everything is going to flow oh no you come back oh no uh oh no but ok here oh I'm on the dodge tool you know this is good I think this is a good life lesson right like you know when you're trying to erase something and it won't work it's probably the dodge tool at least that's what I'm going to go with no I think I just undid everything I'm just that's fine we can dodge that whatever okay so now I'm on the brush tool and now we're going to the same thing except on the correct tool so I am taking my size down okay taking my capacity up and am I still doing it oh I'm still doing it wrong because I'm on the wrong layer and now it's fine okay there we go all right so we've got her arm added on I would say fairly successfully I believe that at least and it's covering up our little problem area which I'm very grateful for this is really bothering me right through here this little shadow that's definitely something that I would consider fixing now how do you fix something that's black I mean it looks like we painted black well I would probably replace it with part of the dress I would either replace it with a part that already exists here or I would actually go find that dress hoops I went the wrong way I suppose where's our dress not that dress factory and what I know is that I didn't use this part of the dress so if I were to take this portion just copy it and paste it and replace this area with that portion of the dress then I won't have the same pattern repeated at any point so I'm not taking from the same part of the dress that we already see so use my lasso tool and just select a big chunk there guess we don't want the stool in that because that would defeat the purpose altogether and I'll copy it and I will paste it face there we go now the reason why I did this instead of cloning is because I am not a fan of that thing that happens when you clone the same a thing over and over again and then you see that thing all the time I don't know why I'm saying it like that but so I'm going to use this instead and I really like this method because even though this doesn't fit exactly as it is I took it from a portion of the dress that will match and it will match because I took it from the edge of the dress which means that we have that natural light fall off happening on the corner here on this edge so that means that I can recreate the edge of this dress just follow following along this little crease and if I need to I can warp it just to make it curve a little bit into place so let's go ahead and do that first I'm lining up this piece of light strip here where it sort of billows along with this one and now I'm going to lower that opacity so I can see where it needs to go I don't really want this to go straight up I wanted to curve a little bit so I'm going to when the opacity is down so I can see what's happening I want to warp thiss so ed it transform warp and now I want to sort of pull this edge in a little bit and let's go up here and start to pull this side over like that so now we can kind of see these creases there curving in instead of going straight and I'll say ok so we take that a process he off we can see the difference there and the difference is from that to that so now all of the fabric in this area's curving and that's exactly what I want to see so now I can create a way or mask with our brush tool on black at one hundred percent opacity and take that size up quite a bit so we can do a nice big softer racer and the hardness down I'm going to start to a race splendid in the sand right through there okay now this is where you need to go in with a little bit of a harder brush and I need to do that because I'm going against the dress here as well as along the arm so we'll take that hardness upin the size down and maybe even a little bit more hardness than that in the sixty percent range okay and we'll bring some back where we erased a little bit too much and go back to black where we can erase it through there okay so now we have a new portion of the dress which I really like a lot more because I really just felt like a weird patch of block I was not gonna work for us the only thing that I noticed now is that this piece of fabric is a little bit too bright now right down there so you see how it was fading it is a little bit darker I just want to fix that really quickly by selecting on my layer choosing the lasso tool and just selecting where I feel it could be a little bit brighter I mean darker through there so I'm going to right click refine edge I'm going feather just seventy pixels that looks good for this and now I want to make it darker so I'm just going to quickly do that with a curve and why don't we go ahead with an adjustment layer curve so inner curve and now I can do that from the mid tones and that would probably work just fine for this area but again if you wanted to make it a more even exposure loss you could always go from the highlights and then I want a pin that just to that segment of the dress maybe a little bit brighter think that looks better so now that is just allowing that segment to blend a little bit it's adding a little bit of shadow to that portion so if you're thinking that I'm being really way to detail oriented right now which is probably what you're thinking it just makes such a huge difference especially when going to print and creating every little bit of believability so I always want to make absolutely certain that I'm doing that which I didn't because I messed up yeah I wonder do you ever I've no I haven't seen you do it but do not ever go back in and paint like instead of doing the curves adjustments and whatnot I know a lot of people will go in and paint like a separate layer just with a black low opacity brush or something do you have a problem what do you have a reason that you prefer to do it the way that you do it I d'oh and I have done the other method from time to time for sure I've done that but I just have a really hard time thinking in terms of painting like that so I like just you know make a lasso and see exactly the area that I'll be affecting first and then watch the color fill in or the darkness fill in because when I have a brush I find that I have to really pay so much attention to how big the brushes and how soft the brushes and if I'm going too far with it and it's just the way that I think I think it's just it's really using the information that's there already right exactly so I mean the other thing that I try not to do so much is to just paint on a layer and then add that on top of some a thing so I'll do it if it's in the background which I know was a question that was imposed the other day which I'll paint black in the background as long as a mounting a texture on top of it it's in the texture is maintained throughout the image but if I paint on top of something that already has texture that's like skin or dress or something like that then I'm essentially taking away the texture from that area that if I have to add the texture back and with an additional texture than it can look really kind of muddy or like there are some weird spots on the skin or something like that so it's the only reason why I might not do it in that way but again it's it's all just a matter of preference I think and what people seem to like better um who ignore me I just there we go I'm just fixing my mistake that I just made okay all right okay so let's finish this up by creating a shadow and you know I love how russell is just kind of like interesting I like what's happening in this picture it's it's so good not every day you see a floating lady yeah you just look so contemplated like mamie alright a research paper about this what it looked like okay so let's create the shadow now I can already see that I've made a mistake here because I have this little what what I know is a brush dot from something so I like to talkto my layers on and off just to see what is doing that there it isthe so I need to go in on my layer mask my brush tool I'm just going to take that hardness down so it's really fuzzy and figure out how to paint that back in so there we go got that taken care of and now I want to start creating my shadow now the great thing about the shadow is that we see separation in her legs in the shadow that creates believability what does not create believability is if you try to draw a shadow of her legs and it looks like this and then like that because shadows don't typically do that the problem with shadows is that they blend so easily into one another and the darkness changes very gradually that we have to be so soft with our shadows and delicate with how we deal with them so I'm going to start drawing in our shadow and this is what we talked about yesterday a little bit about shadows and how if the subject is moving away from the thing that the shadows being projected onto so if her head is further away from the floor than her feet then this shadow might not be a cz dark or as harsh as the shadow right underneath her that means that the shadow right here that we start to draw is going to be a little bit harsher than the shadow over here that we start to draw so let's do this in two parts first will draw the whole shadow and make that darker then we'll select this area again and make that just a little bit darker that way we're creating more of a dark spot right underneath her dress as opposed to underneath her arm and head so I'm going to zoom in just to see what we're doing here make sure that it's going to look all right and now I'm actually going to come a little bit to a point at the end of the shadow and then move it back out right over here I'd rather overlap the dress then not select enough and have gone like this because then we're gonna have a white part in between there and we don't want that even if we go right along the dress the moment that we feather that it's going to create a little bit of a gap in there and you're going to see a little white strip where you didn't make it dark enough in that little portion so let's do that we need to show you what that would be like if we didn't select enough and this is our shadow okay so we'll refine edge on this shadow take that feather up okay so you can see it happening here when we take that feather up you can see that there's a sort of white line right there can you guys see that and that's because that will not be a cz dark as the rest of our selection so that is why I don't want to do that and so I'm going to just refine the shadow spike point that in a little bit and now I'm going to select mohr then I need knowing that I can use a wire mask to erase it where I don't want it or I can pin it to a layer if that works better for us so I'm going to create it just from right here I'm on layer one that means that my adjustment layer is going to then pop up right above that so if it pops up right above then I don't have to worry about it affecting any other layer which it wouldn't because the waiters are further up in our frame but you know best to kind of find the layer that you actually want it to be on and stick to that layer some creating a curves oh I didn't even uninfected that did I did I end up furthering that no okay let's do that so I'm going to feather that instead of just drawing it in go back up to my last so right click and refine edge and we'll do this two ways we'll do it the painting way where we can just paint blackened and see how that looks and we'll do it this way as well so we'll take that feather up and the feather of this selection depends very greatly on what our shadow already looked like so before I do that let's go back and just take a quick gander at this shadow can you guys see how right here is a little bit sharper than right here the spread of this shadow is getting fading and fading as it gets toward the edge is more than right here and that has to do with how close your object is to the plane where the shadow is that means that this dress is flowing and it's not quite touching the floor whereas her legs were so I want to match this shadow to this portion right here in terms of fuzziness so I'm going to keep that in mind just generally refined edge will take that feather slider up I think that looks pretty good I think that's a pretty good match in terms of how much that's fading so we'll say okay and then I'm going to go into my curves adjustment layer and I'm going to pull from the highlights here oh it's just there we go I've never done that before all right so let's go ahead and make that a little bit darker all right so we're making the shadow darker and not make sense it makes sense that it's a little bit lighter than over here because the fabric in the bodies moving away and we're going to make this portion a little bit darker on its own so I'm not worried about that yet I'm concerned with how the overall shadow it looks in terms of darkness so that's good I'll say okay to that but now this got a little bit too dark and the dress I don't mind going a little bit darker but I certainly do mind it right under here so you can see what that did in that area just went a little bit too dark so let's go in with the brush tool and that will say one hundred percent opacity make sure hardness is down and I'm just going teo erase that from that area there okay so we've got that erased and now let's draw one more shadow with our lasso tool just through here now you'll notice that I did something a little weird there which is I went to a point and I'm going to appoint because that's how shadows work largely I wouldn't just want to draw big box around this area because that would mean that the shadow would just instead of spreading evenly it would just stop on the line instead of fading up into the rest of the shadow so I'm going to draw the shadow like that and right click same process refined edge take that feather up and I don't know we'll see a little bit less than before so I'm going to say that in the twenty pixel rain change maybe upper teens I'm a twenty two pixels and now I'm going to create another curve and make that just a little bit darker through there okay and now again I'm going to use that layer mask to get rid of the shadow where we don't want it so now I'm going to zoom out and we have a pretty good lookin shadow going through there like it I mean it makes sense it just continues on the same line that the other one did and we can always go back to our original image just to check it which was a way I didn't bring it in so nevermind let me go find it which is over here over here no over here third it has okay so we can see that because we had a stool we had this big blob of a shadow over here we had a lot going on in that instance so we're just following the line that she naturally made and continuing it out but the darkness looks okay the shape of it I think is looking all right I might play with the shape a little bit more maybe widen it out through here but generally I think that that's about where I want to be with that okay so if there are any questions about the levitation image will do that and if not then I'll move on to the dressmaking well first I want to point out um atala just said she's pointing out details I haven't even thought about the difference between a decent composite and a great composite and that I think is absolutely true thank you for sharing that you guys have any questions about this as we go through because we've gotten that scott yeah you when you're dealing with the shadows deal with your blend modes like tio luminosity so you don't get like weird color shifts or I don't personally it's a really good option to do and the only reason why I don't is because I am pulling from the highlights that actually keeps the colors really dull and so because I'm doing that I don't have so much of the color shift or our contrast popping in there anyth like that but when I pulled from the mid tones I definitely have that problem and so that's just a matter of how you're pulling your curve basically if you use curves to do that and if not for example I've never used levels to do this although it's totally possible to use levels s oh it's just something that I haven't really explored

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Logic Checklist
Must Have Shots
Favorite Photoshop Tools
Lighting Effects
Practice Files - Cutting out Hair from Background
Practice Files - Building a Dress
Practice Files - Swapping Hand
Practice Files - Levitation
Adorama Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews

Logan Fox

I'm so thrilled to have come across this course and to have been introduced to Brooke Shaden. As a bit of background I do photography as a hobby, and always had an appetite to composite my work. It's only after watching this course that I can finally put a name to a craft that I love, that being 'fine art photography'. Through my own personal journey I've read various books, followed online tutorials both paid and free. When I came across this course I did hesitate. I wondered 'is it going to teach me anything new'... 'would the standard of the course be up to scratch'. Well, I can honestly say with hand on heart that this is by far is one of the best courses I've come across to date. As a solo photographer myself I've found it difficult at times to be both photographer and subject at the same time. From the outset what became clear was that Brooke is just like me in this respect which made the course so 'relevant' to what I do. Brooke shows throughout the course what can be achieved with a little planning and some creative approaches to situations that can be difficult to pull off when on your own. She is such a joy to watch and listen to, I loved her sense of humor and great how the audience were involved in some of the shoots. All I can say is, if you're in to photography and interested in compositing your work, you should give this a go, you wont regret it!


I'd like to show my gratitude and gratefulness to Ms Shaden and other wonderful people at CreativeLIVE for sharing your vast knowledge without making a fuss. Not everybody has a super computer and a top-notch camera, not everyone has a studio to work in and not everyone needs to know everything as perfectly as some instructors and professionals do. I, for one, have gained so much insight and have been intrigued by Ms Shaden's present and past lessons, she makes the most difficult and surreal subjects unfold so easily and effortlessly. Ms Shaden has made me believe no matter where I be and no matter what i have, as long as i have a good story to tell, and the right vision, I should be able to handle it with a working camera and any version of Photoshop. Unlike many other instructors who kill us every 5 minutes to buy their flashes or gear and support this or that company and agency, Ms Shaden has spent the whole time teaching and teaching and teaching and I am sorry I cannot be there to thank you in person, but you, Ms Shaden, are awesome and nobody can unawesome you :)


Brooke has a wonderful way of not only making it all look so easy, but actually be easy. In a plain and down to earth manner, she can make both beginner and advanced pro comfortable with the material covered in this class. From a simple starting point to a polished post-production finished work of art, she takes us on a relaxed and joyous journey. I am a former professional commercial photographer returning to the art after a 30 year absence. When I left, there was no such thing as digital photography. Now, to be able to embrace such concepts and techniques as taught by Brooke, without any difficulty to me, says that this course provides great value and time well spent. Well done Brooke! Well done Creative Live!

Student Work