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Compositing for Digital Scrapbookers

Lesson 3 of 20

Build Your Compositing Studio


Compositing for Digital Scrapbookers

Lesson 3 of 20

Build Your Compositing Studio


Lesson Info

Build Your Compositing Studio

Now we need to talk about picking photos, which I think sometimes can be the hardest part, after you know, conceptualizing is really easy it's just using your imagination, but now you have to get into your own photos, your own personal photos and say "okay, what's going to work and what is not going to work?" so we need to discuss that. And if you're following along with me in the workbook, I am on page 6 at the bottom for tips for picking composite-worthy photos of your subject. Okay, so first off, chemistry and communication. We are scrapbookers okay? We are totally scrapbookers, so if you get photos of your subject, especially if it's a person, and they are looking at you into the camera, that's like pay, that's like oh yeah! When I get those photos of the kids I'm like "thank you"! It's like 1 out of a thousand. But chemistry and communication is always going to strengthen the layout that you create. And those are the kind of focal photos that you can use, they make life so much ea...

sier. My son, my daughter not so much now because she's older, but my son is perfect for that, he's always doing this lookin' at me. I can take lots of these photos. He has a lollipop, but that's okay we're gonna use it anyway. Especially though, if you can get close ups if you want to use your subject, ask them to get a little closer to you and the camera, it makes so much of a difference when you go to extract. Even if they're only like 2 or 3 feet away from you, it's harder to extract the further they are away. So if you find these kinds of photos of someone up close, just use them. Another one is action shots of the actual activity that the person is doing. I like concept pages that have both. So I want 1 probably single photo of the person up close, and a lot of action photos doing the exact thing that's going on in the layout. I think that's pretty simple, but it's easily able to visually translate an action on a concept page than a close-up. A close-up means you gotta explore the idea, well they're close to you and your face, but what does that mean? What are you trying to say visually? In an action shot, you can build a scene around an action shot a lot better than just someone close-up in the camera. Unless you're saying "look at this mirror, look at their eyes, look at their nose, whatever". But if they're in an action shot I can say, "look at them running the olympics" you know you can play around with that. I have a photo actually of my son closing the front door to our house and I wanna do a 3 bears kinda he's leaving and he's Goldilocks, it's just stuff like that that makes it so easier to concept something around. Here's one from the same kinda photos, where he's taking an action he's running, again this is our apartment and I have to extract this thing. And it's not that hard, it can be done. I just have to know the process to do it but it's perfect. The fact that his foot at the bottom is a little fuzzy does not matter it does not have to be a perfect extraction because in compositing, you can hide it. You can totally hide the fact that his foot is messed up and we're gonna talk about how. So use your less than perfect photos, especially if they're action shots, we're amateur photographers. I mean if you're a professional photographer out there in TV land, great that's awesome. We're not, okay? (laughing) so if you have dark photos, they can be lightened. If you have light photos, they can be blended. Not if they're white, okay. If you have totally blown the highlights and they are pure white, there's no saving it. I tried (laughing). One time I was surprised and I fixed it, but that was with Light Room. But light photos even if the highlights are blown, I was still able to use some of those photos because I blew out the highlights and then I can blend. So if you found some photos that have been overexposed to death, it's still okay because you can blend them you may not be able to extract them very well, but you can certainly blend them. And of course I just said fuzzy photos can be concealed. Also, you can use less than perfect photos if the photos add to your visual. Just use it, if it's the only one you got, then just find a way to make it work. This particular photo, there's a shadow over his face, and you can use blend modes to fix things like that you can also fix it like in a Light Room program, or I believe like Camera Raw, of course Camera Raw you could do it, so there's ways to fix it, but you can do it all in Photoshop too. Photoshop was made to work with photos, so we can fix a lot of these problems that we ran into. Also, there's like junk food, I don't know if you guys can see it, but he's eating a lollipop, you know it's Halloween he's got candy all over his face and stuff, I'm not gonna not use this photo because it's not perfect, I'm gonna use it. And I'm still gonna use the stuff on the face because when he grows up, he's gonna wanna see things like that and say "wow he was a clown don't show my girlfriend!" Other things, there's no highlights in his eyes his eyes are really dark, he's backlit so the light is behind his head, that's okay! In the layout that we show, that I'm gonna share with you guys I'm gonna show how to create a highlight over someone's face and show you different lighting effects. Compositing is a lot of lighting effects. And so we're gonna talk about that it's all okay.

Class Description

Scrapbooking is the experience of pulling together disparate elements of your life and creating stories that could never otherwise exist. And yet scrapbooking in the physical medium still limits your creative scope to what exists in the real world. Digital scrapbooking removes that barrier. By mastering the practice of compositing your personal photos, you can build fantastical, entirely impossible scenes around your favorite subject material.

Join Tiffany Tillman-Emanuel for this intermediate-level class, and you’ll learn:

  • How to develop and digitally sketch a theme for the page.
  • How to find and gather complementary photos for the fantasy theme.
  • How to use graphic design principles to improve the overall aesthetic of the final page.

Fantasy composites are difficult digital effects to create, and require the confident use of a photo editor. Tiffany will walk you through implementing the right kinds of blend modes and adjustment layers for different compositing results. You’ll learn her tips and techniques for creating quality selections and extractions, and applying them to your composited photos. Add new dimensions to your scrapbooking practice. Transform the things you love, and send them into worlds that exist only in your imagination.

Purchase to get the in-depth Compositing for Digital Scrapbookers workbook. The workbook includes step-by-step instructions on digitizing media, altering elements in Photoshop, and so much more!



I was in Tiffany's Mixed Media class and was also lucky enough to be in this class. Tiffany is an AWESOME instructor and well organized. Her Mixed Media class was a great building block for this class. The class is well worth the money--well organized workbook and other great bonuses. If you want to take your scrapbooking to the next artistic level, I highly recommend Tiffany's two classes at CreativeLivel.

a Creativelive Student

Great course with easy to understand ways of blending more than one photo together for a great composite layout. Excellent materials and workbooks.. Thanks Tiffany for a wonderful class! - Christa (cfile)

E.L. Bl/Du

I think Tiffany is good at explaining it so those who arent pro photgraphers can start at the basics to learn photoshop. I really liked watching this even tho my vision is in another direction, I like how she explains how to get there in photoshop. She makes it not so scary to jump in. She is clever mom too, every parent wants their own kids to be a star and she surely did that. What a neat thing to "scrapbook" the photos. I liked learning adjustment layers, would like more in curves too. But great place to start out in ps. I recommend if your lost in PS.