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Compositing for Digital Scrapbookers

Lesson 19 of 20

Project 2: Add Personalization


Compositing for Digital Scrapbookers

Lesson 19 of 20

Project 2: Add Personalization


Lesson Info

Project 2: Add Personalization

Alright, let's add a second extracted photo here. I'm gonna work a little bit quicker just to kind of speed up but because I also think you guys are starting to get the hang of how this stuff goes, okay. So now, I'm going to go to my second photo compositing class, go to my photos, and this is my action shot, okay. So, he's running towards the camera. You know, his leg is a little bit out of focus. It's not a big deal. I'm not gonna try and extract, I'm I'm gonna, extract as best as I can but I'm not too worried about everything because it's not going to be so big on my page, okay? Let's see, I like to sometimes when I'm working my, my with my first photo, I won't, I will extract it in its own file, but typically when I start doing this kind of extraction where I'm adding second photos or third photos, and I know exactly where they're gonna go, I start bringing it in to the layout and extracting because I need to figure out how good the extraction needs to be. The other thing is, I wil...

l increase the size of it first before I do the extraction so I know what kind of quality, caliber pixels I'm working with. Again, I'm not gonna extract it, I'm not gonna make it too, too big but I do wanna show and kind of share a little secret here that compositing layouts are very, very forgiving. So even if I enlarge this sucker a little bit more than it probably should be and start extracting, it is a-okay, it's not gonna hurt that much, okay? Actually I don't wanna extract it, I don't wanna make it too, too big before I do that because if I go to extract (chuckling) then I won't get the corners if I drag it outside of my layout. So I think what I usually will do is increase it before it starts to run off the page. Extract and increase it a little bit more. And then when you come to look at the printed stuff you'll see it's not that bad. That was a kind of a small photo of him to make that big, right? So again, we're gonna use the Quick Selection tool, and then I'm gonna show you again the kind of contrast and sceen layers that I add. So quick selection tool out this piece, and then grab that layer and start to go around him. And as you can see, because I'm working quicker it's starting to grab more than it should. So I'm just gonna come back and say no. That's not what I want, let me work a little bit slower and grab the pieces that I need, Okay? Now, when you start with a small photo like this you get 100% and it's already fuzzy. You see how fuzzy that is? That's why I'm not using this as a focal photo. Okay, it's so small, I don't wanna have to come in there and play with all those photos and if you guys come to look at my layout, if you see it online, it's not a perfect extraction. I'm not worried about that, okay? Like I said in the beginning, we are scrapbookers, okay. If we had all the time in the world to make sure that the extraction was perfect, then please, I forgive you, go do that, but if not, don't worry about it. Do not beat yourself up that you do not have the most perfect extraction in the world because on a compositing layout, maybe something where it was very simple and every, every little detail you could see, but on this kind of layout, it's blendable, it's fixable, you can hide it okay? So concentrate more on the bigger details than on the smaller dealers and then just find ways to kind of flub it, okay. So here, here's an example of that where it's trying to figure out what I want to do with it. I'm not gonna worry to much, I'm just gonna make sure that he has hands, at the very least. (chuckling) I do want to make sure that the hands stay in part but this part right here, I'm not gonna get too detailed because the photo is just so small, okay. It's not perfect, it's not going to be perfect. And again, I'm just going very slow and every time I get into a nook and cranny, I get a really small brush and start working even slower so that I can help the computer do its job, okay. So let me increase this right here. And we're gonna get rid of this area, right here. And I'm just kinda going around and seeing what I've got. Oh my goodness, look at that in the middle there, okay. And look at that face, isn't that just ridiculous. (audience giggling) But, again, it's just an action shot. This is not the close-up. That's why I chose this one. You don't have to use perfect photos at all. You just need to use photos that help you explain the theme. Concentrate on great faces with your focal photos and get those right and then let your action shots be kind of near misses, okay? (giggling) Kind of near misses. I'm going to go with this one to save us some time. I probably would play with it for about two more minutes. I'm going to go into my refine edge, which we've worked with before. I'm gonna at least try and smooth it because I do want the edges to be smoothed out and I might insert a little contrast so it looks sharpened and look. Look at how my adjust, my refined edge panel has cleaned up all of my little near misses, okay. The hands still need to be worked on just a tiny bit and I mean tiny. Do not get in there and try and work with those individual pixel details. It is not a big deal. And then click okay, and then we're gonna right click within our selection. Select layer via copy and then you can just delete the part of the photo that you don't need. And put him a little bit near the arm. I have to do it a little bit more. So yeah, I would play with my extraction a little bit more, I would also contract it. Matter of fact, let me do that. I do want to do that before I do my copy. Let me go to select, modify, contract by one pixel so I can get rid of some of those white areas that I did have, okay? Anybody have any questions about that? How quickly I work just because this is not my focal photo so I don't, I can be a lot more forgiving with myself with how that looks. Okay, good, alright. So what's the difference between refining the edge and contr-- doing that one pixel contraction? Sure, refining edge with the dialogue, that gives you so many more options for what you can do with your, with it. So the refine edge you have the ability to see what's gonna look behind it to detect some edges and do a smart radius to get a better fine tune extraction. To adjust the edges, to smooth it, to feather it out, which is gonna create a more of a soft, soft brush effect. Add extra contrast to strengthen it or make more sharper edges. Shift edge, which I haven't had to use very often, and then if you want to output it to a different layout or a different layer. So refine is just a huge dialogue that gives you more options to use for your selection. The contract, modify contract is just reducing the size of it. You don't, by one pixel, you don't have that option in refined edge so there you go, but you do have smooth, right here. So we've moved, we have going backwards, used the move tool to position the subject where we need it to go. Let me get rid of my history panel so we can see. And here he is, and then we've used the short-cut keys to slightly increase or decrease the size of the subject, but keep it smaller than the focal photo. This is not the one that's gonna take over anything so make sure it's smaller, okay? Alright, let's create some contract with this second photo. Kind of the same way that we've done before. I'm gonna jump the background layer, and duplicate and then create clipping mask, okay? And then change this to overlay and this is gonna be the one that if I decided to add some contrast I might do it. This photo's already kind of dark so I'm not gonna probably do any kind of overlay. I would just play with my screens and get it lightened first and then reduce the filopacity, okay. This might be your brightness, you know. You might feel that that back is good. You can confine it to Aries if you need to for your photo's. Again, I might add some contrast at this point because I feel like it needs it. Add a little bit of an overlay, reduce the fill so it just pops out, again, you don't have to do it that way, you can add like it curves adjustment layer, clip it and then this is your basic S-curl curve that's gonna give you some deeper contrast. You guys don't have this in Photo Shop Elements or you do but its hidin' and you gotta go out of your way. You an also do medium contrast, you know. There's different things that you can do and that's all gonna depend on your photo. But for right now, I'm just gonna leave mine like that. I'm not even gonna have a curves layer because all i really need is some lightness. Okay, alright, so we are on page 25. And we have gone through step 12, which is creating contrast within the 2nd photo. Now we need to create some kind of grounding. We need to create a shadow so let's do that. You guys kind of hopefully remember how to do that. Click on a new layer, create a new layer. Move the layer underneath your photo and then command click, right on the selection, and then, or control click right onto the thumbnail. Change to the foreground color to D, to black using a shortcut key D and then use shortcut keys alt, option, or delete to flood fill the selection, okay. And there it is, there he is. You shortcut keys command D or control D on your PC to select the selection, okay. So I'm gonna turn, toggle off the visibility of this layer so you can see my guy right here, okay. Then we're gonna go to filter, blur, gauzy and blur, to create my little shadow. I saved up to upwards of a hundred pixels. You might because it's a smaller photo need to go somewhere a little bit further down and then click okay, okay. And then you can add in there now, he's a little bit grounded to your layout, okay. Now mine again doesn't look perfect, it's not a perfect extraction but for the purposes of us being here and not spending 10 minutes (laughing) on one little small photo, I want to keep moving, okay? Now, you see where these two little pieces meet together? That's not perfect anymore. I've kind of called attention to the fact that I've chopped off his arm. That's where that lens flair can kinda help. So I'm gonna go to the top of my layers panel, click on the create new layer, use shortcut key D to make my foreground color black. Use ALT, Option, Delete to flood fill, go to my lens filter, my lens flair filter, which is gonna be in filter, render, lens flair. I'm gonna choose a brightness of 130%. I'm going to choose a 35 millimeter prime lens, which is gonna give me that nice halo effect. That's why I'm doing it because the Halo, oh it hides, Jlo hides, Halo hides (giggling). (audience laughing) I'm gonna add a blend mode of screen, we already know what it is and then reduce the philopacity if I need to and see how it mingles with the rest of my page. I'm gonna take this guy and move it so boom bada bing, where it connects, it hides, okay. That's that kind of little thing that you see where I don't want you to see that the knee and the shadow and the shoulders are coming together. I'm gonna hide it. Now you have to reduce, I reduced my philopacity to 87%, that looks pretty good. I need to add my layers mask and kind of get rid of all of that extra outline that you see around it, no big deal there. And then, moving on to the next page, move the, move your lens page, move your lens flair to where the focal photo and you second photo meet to hide any perfections okay. Very simple stuff. You can also optionally duplicate the lens flair using shortcut keys command J. If you reduce it down and you say, "You know what? "I need a little bit more Umph." Let's say you do that and you feel like you need it to be a little bit more powered, but you don't want it to be overpowered. That's how we're gonna do that. So we're literally still jumping the background layer with our lens flairs.

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.