Adding Smoke Layer to Image


Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography


Lesson Info

Adding Smoke Layer to Image

One thing I think I might try doing with this and this is part of, this is the bonus pack that I gave you guys. I have this smoke layer and I'm totally gonna play with it. Right click + Open with Photoshop. Control + A, select all, Control + C, Control + Shift + V. I'm going to stretch this thing to fit the frame. I am going to blur it just a tiny little bit, Gaussian Blur, it's already a little bit soft. I shoot my smoke textures intentionally a little bit soft because I know in reality it's probably going to be a little bit soft, it's gonna be a little bit forward, or a little bit behind of my subject. I don't necessarily want it to be completely and totally in focus. So gonna change my blending mode, I'm gonna throw it on a Soft Light and see what happens. That feels better, (laughs) and then I'm gonna maybe move this underneath my Color Balance layer, or Color Lookup layer, see what happens there, I like that, that's feeling better, that's feeling much better, so I'm gonna create, ...

actually I wanna try using the stamp tool first, I'm like changing my mind here, stamp, come one, stamp thank you. Okay, leaving it on current layer, I'm going to stamp see where it's lighter here in the center, where that smoke texture is, let's see if we put that up here, not 56% let's make that lower, and basically what I'm doing is I'm moving around the smoke texture and just seeing, so if I go Normal, you can see here what's going on, flow is too low, doot do doot to do, blend that a little bit, so let's see what that looks like, when I put this back onto Soft Light, before, after, it's little bit dark on her face, so maybe I'm going to mask that. Oh stop, black, when I start really getting into it, I start talking quietly (laughs), I've been recording tutorials lately at home, and I've learned that I talk to myself (laughs) like listening to them later, like, oh man, that's happening (laughs). But that's looking really nice, I'm really liking that, that makes this feel better, you know, and I can start to feel it in my hands, I sound like some weirdo but I guess I'm cool with it (laughs) okay so, this is looking nice, last thing I kinda wanna play with before we get into sharpening, I'm gonna play with the contrast a little bit, and once again with contrast and everything else we can do a lot, we can spend a ton of time on contrast, so here, I'm just gonna basically try to make this look a little bit more painterly, this is really common in a lot of artwork. Gonna go to my Curves, that little half circle down at the bottom, Curves. And pull that up just a tiny bit, pull that down just a tiny bit, and so now that I'm looking at it, and I made that adjustment I notice that this spot here, is too bright, alright, it's kinda sticking out too much, so I'll probably go here, put that on Normal, and be like, okay this here, you are my problem, stamp tool, grab that guy, let's bring that down just a tiny little bit, we're still leaving the texture in there, that's better. I have a little bit of halo going on around her face, remember the haloing I was talking about, it's like a thing, can't not see it, come on, brush, thank you, so I'm just gonna bring this in around her, again a little tiny bit, little bit higher, doot to do, the soft silence of working. Alrighty, so now that halo is kinda disappeared right, so there was that little sort of glowy thing going on around her, 'cause I used a larger soft brush and it looked kinda weird, so we're doing this instead. Now I'm looking at this and I'm sitting here, going you know what a little bit of dodge and burning probably isn't gonna kill anything, so there's lots of different ways that we can do dodge and burning, so let's say we did that little bit of like, you know, painterly contrasting, it's looking pretty good, let's try a slight bit of dodge and burning, but I'm gonna but the dodge and burning underneath my Contrast and my Color Lookup layers, so I'm gonna turn that off, Alt + Control + Shift + E, and there's so many ways to dodge and burn, so many ways, so this is just one way out of many ways, that I like to do this, oops blur, click, gonna go to my dodge tool and this is honestly just because this is gonna work the fastest for what I'm looking to do. So I'm gonna to my Midtones and I'm just lightly going to add, now there's a little bit to much, clink, gonna add just a little bit of shaping to her face, and just the tiny, tiny little bit, it's very subtle but I want it to be subtle, right, I don't want it to be really, really super noticeable, like oh my God you did that think, that looks really cool, like (groans) same thing with a little tiny bit in the hair, shine on hair by the way doesn't follow the length of the hair, so if we look at shine, it's little horizontal lines like this, so it's giving me a little bit of color screwing up-ness, let's see does that go away, no it doesn't go away, alright, so we're just gonna go back. What's a really fun challenge when you're retouching is your history, allow three (laughs) or one if you're feeling really adventurous, there's a few retouches, what we like to do is we challenge ourselves to remove the amount of history so that you can only go back so many steps so that's a good time. (laughs) So here, I went to my burn tool and I'm just going to put that onto my shadows as well and just lightly add in, just a tiny little bit of shaping, very, very subtle, following some of the lines on the fabric, once again, if I'm not doing this in a classroom I tend to spend a lot more time on this, if I tend to do it at all, and a little bit of that, and so then I can compare this, before, after, and that looks a lot more pretty, and then we have this. So that would be the quick dodge and burning if we were to jump through that, right, so where I do that totally changes image to image, I can't say that it's all one spot and it's always this one way 'cause it's not.

Class Description

With the right Photoshop know-how and studio shoot experience, you can merge fact and fiction into a reality that lives up to your imagination. Renee Robyn has made a career of turning everyday photos from her travels into eye-catching images. Robyn will teach you how to add people and other elements to your existing landscape photos using ethereal custom effects.

Join us for “Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography” and you’ll learn:

  • How to choose or set up a shoot for your background image
  • How to direct posing during a shoot, and work with directional light in studio to make your subject fit into the background image
  • How to composite your subject into your image using Photoshop

Photo compositing allows you to breathe interesting ideas into your photos. Open your hard drive, walk into your memory, and turn past experiences into fantastic new realities.


1Class Introduction
2Why You Should Sketch Your Composite
3What to Look for in Your Background
4Posing Your Model
5Communicate with Your Team
6Elements of Compositing
7Learning from Failure & Criticism
8On-Location Safety Tips
9How to Nail the Right Perspective for Your Composite Photo
10Gauging Light & Exposure On-Location
11On-Location Posing
12Cliff Shoot Location Final Thoughts
13Tips for Culling Images
14Culling Images Q&A
15Preparing Your Image for Composite
16Composite Image Cleanup
17Adding Background Image to Composite
18The Difference Between Flow & Opacity
19Composite Sky Elements
20Using Curves to Color Match
21Adding Atmospheric Depth to Image
22Using Color Efex Pro to Manipulate Color
23Using the Liquify Tool
24Color Theory & Monitor Calibration
25Adding Smoke Layer to Image
26Selective Sharpening
27Crop Your Image
28Goal Setting for Digital Artists
29Review of Location Composite
30Understand Angle & Height for Your Base Plate Image
31Base Plate Focus Point
32Base Plate Lighting Tips
33How to Use a Stand-In for Base Plate Image
34Capture On-Location Base Plate Image
35Student Positioning Demo
36Base Plate Sketching
37On-Location Sky Capture
38What to Look for in a Base Plate Model
39Building Composite Model Lighting
40Composite Model Test Shots for Angle Matching
41Composite Model Shoot: The Art of Fabric Throwing
42Composite Model Shoot: Working with Hair
43Composite Model Shoot: Posing Techniques
44Composite Test with Final Shot
45Lighting Setup Overview
46Culling Model Shoot Images
47Adjusting Skintone Colors
48Merging Background with Model
49How to Mask Hair
50Creating a Layer Mask with the Brush Tool
51Creating Shadow Layers
52Removing Visual Distractions with Stamp Tool
53Replacing Sky with Layer Mask
54Drawing Hair Strands and Atmospheric Depth
55Creating Contrast in Your Composite
56Adding Atmospheric Elements
57Using Particle Shop
58Selective Color Adjustments
59Cropping, Sharpening, & Final Touches
60Closing Thoughts