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Drawing Hair Strands and Atmospheric Depth

Lesson 54 from: Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography

Renée Robyn

Drawing Hair Strands and Atmospheric Depth

Lesson 54 from: Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography

Renée Robyn

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Lesson Info

54. Drawing Hair Strands and Atmospheric Depth


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Why You Should Sketch Your Composite


What to Look for in Your Background


Posing Your Model


Communicate with Your Team


Elements of Compositing


Learning from Failure & Criticism


On-Location Safety Tips


How to Nail the Right Perspective for Your Composite Photo


Gauging Light & Exposure On-Location


On-Location Posing


Cliff Shoot Location Final Thoughts


Tips for Culling Images


Culling Images Q&A


Preparing Your Image for Composite


Composite Image Cleanup


Adding Background Image to Composite


The Difference Between Flow & Opacity


Composite Sky Elements


Using Curves to Color Match


Adding Atmospheric Depth to Image


Using Color Efex Pro to Manipulate Color


Using the Liquify Tool


Color Theory & Monitor Calibration


Adding Smoke Layer to Image


Selective Sharpening


Crop Your Image


Goal Setting for Digital Artists


Review of Location Composite


Understand Angle & Height for Your Base Plate Image


Base Plate Focus Point


Base Plate Lighting Tips


How to Use a Stand-In for Base Plate Image


Capture On-Location Base Plate Image


Student Positioning Demo


Base Plate Sketching


On-Location Sky Capture


What to Look for in a Base Plate Model


Building Composite Model Lighting


Composite Model Test Shots for Angle Matching


Composite Model Shoot: The Art of Fabric Throwing


Composite Model Shoot: Working with Hair


Composite Model Shoot: Posing Techniques


Composite Test with Final Shot


Lighting Setup Overview


Culling Model Shoot Images


Adjusting Skintone Colors


Merging Background with Model


How to Mask Hair


Creating a Layer Mask with the Brush Tool


Creating Shadow Layers


Removing Visual Distractions with Stamp Tool


Replacing Sky with Layer Mask


Drawing Hair Strands and Atmospheric Depth


Creating Contrast in Your Composite


Adding Atmospheric Elements


Using Particle Shop


Selective Color Adjustments


Cropping, Sharpening, & Final Touches


Closing Thoughts


Lesson Info

Drawing Hair Strands and Atmospheric Depth

So some of her hair strands are kind of driving me batty, like this up here, so I'm gonna go here, I'm gonna go Control+Shift+N, I'm gonna call this Hair, so I'm gonna take a brush, very, very small at 100% Flow and Opacity and simply draw in some fly aways and these hair strands are too big, make the brush even smaller, I'm just drawing in some filler strands. Now what happens when you're drawing on a photograph? What is it about painting, that doesn't make sense? (student speaking too quietly) Sorry? More sharp. That too, what else? There's no noise, so whenever we're painting, so we paint like this, there's no noise in this, so you have to add noise and we have to make it a little bit more blurry, 'cause it is far too sharp and I could also do this with, you know, using a lower Flow brush, if I wanted to have filler that way too, this also works, it doesn't have to be super, super, super strong, nice and tiny. Bring this up here, add in a few fly aways, 'cause perfect hair doesn...

't happen for any of us, I'm gonna resample color, generally I resample color a lot more, I'm definitely skipping a couple of steps here, sorry guys, yeah, generally I resample lots and lots of color. So we go down here, get rid of these sharp edges and these edges that are too fuzzy. We have a great comment here in the chatrooms, Renee says, even though she says masking is boring, it's just watching her work is magic and majestic, I'm loving it. (laughs) I'm glad they're enjoying it, I have definitely increased my vocabulary on foul language from masking, so, (laughs) sometimes it can be extremely frustrating, it's totally not for everybody, but I'm really glad that people are enjoying it, so like I said, this isn't for everyone, but if it's for you, man, do it, the world is your oyster, when you start making stuff that just only seems to exist in your brain. So I'm gonna pull this out a little bit, let's see here, make this a little bit more fly away-y. ♪ Doo doo doo ♪ More fluffiness. (student speaking too quietly) Yeah, absolutely, what's going on? With how small you have your keyboard mapped out, of course a small movement of your hand is gonna translate to a big movement on the screen, Hm-mm. Does it ever become difficult for you to do the intricate stuff or do you just always blow up your screen big enough-- I just zoom in. Is that what it is? Yeah, in a way, I totally just zoom in, I found that it wasn't worth injury, when your hand screws up too much, that you're unable to edit, you're just like anything to never go through that ever again, so that's what I've found works for me, but it's not for everybody for sure. So one thing I wanna do with this hair layer is I'm gonna see if I put this on a Blending mode, if that helps at all, so it might make things better, it might make things worse, so if I put this on Blending mode, Multiply, gonna try Overlay, Overlay didn't do anything, Soft Light's even more useless, Multiply wasn't too, too, too bad, but what's happening though is we're getting a little bit too much overlay here and this is obviously too strong, I know that, but I'm not gonna leave it here, so I'm gonna put this back onto Normal and so I'm gonna first add Filter, Blur, I'm gonna Gaussian Blur it just a tiny, little bit, so one pixel's too much, let's try half a pixel, so that's a little bit better and without spending a ton a ton of time on this, I'm gonna say yes, that's good, I'm gonna go Filter, Noise, Add Noise, I'm gonna zoom in here and look at this and I'm basically seeing how the noise is looking on these lines. Now see here, four is too much, now we have all that pixelation here and it's non-uniform with what's going on with everything else in the shot, so when I was saying how if we add too much noise, see how it gets a little spotty and everything like that, it doesn't work anymore, so generally I find between one and three pixels for my sensor anyway is enough, so I think two or three is gonna look pretty good, three might be a bit much, 'cause we're still getting a little bit of that spottiness going on, so 2's probably good, we're gonna leave it at that. So now her hair, especially when we're zoomed out here looks not too bad and we haven't done any dodge and burning yet or anything, and that's gonna add to a little bit more of the believable-ness of the hair adjustment that we did, but if we had this just before and after to compare, like everything else, it's small, it's subtle differences, but it's small, subtle differences, that are gonna make or break any composite, it's not usually the big, heavy-handed adjustments, they're generally quite small, quite subtle and very gentle. So now that I have my clouds here, one thing I did yesterday was I blurred the sky just a tiny, tiny, little bit, so I'm gonna do the same thing here, because when I photograph the sky, there's gonna be a point, that's in focus, so I'm just going to go Filter, Blur, Gaussian Blur and I'm probably just gonna go like one pixel, maybe 1. and I'm looking at it and like, no, 1.5 is too much, 'cause I'm looking at what's going on here, I'm looking at what's going on here, so one pixel blur was enough. And so this is kind of where we're sitting at, I might add a little bit of atmospheric depth here, a little bit of stuff going on in the distance, just to increase the separation of what's going on here, but really we're looking like we're in pretty good shape, so Control+Shift+N, just Control+Shift+New, I should have called this Atmosphere, learning to spell, (laughs) wow. Okay, going to make a nice soft brush, larger brush, I'm gonna sample a color that's from far away, that's gonna be of course, the atmosphere, gonna have a low Flow, gonna make it nice and soft, soft brush and this is going to be too much and I know that, so I'm gonna bring this down just a little bit and I don't want this going over top of my model, so I'm going to hold Control, I'm gonna click this Layer Mask, now what this is going to do and of course, is it's totally inverting my problem, so I'm gonna Control or Command+I my brush, or my mask rather and now see where it says, my mask here looks like this, so part of my stuff is totally getting washed out, so I'm going to correct that and bring this all out. So now it's gonna be kind of nice, whoops, don't use such a soft edge brush, because it floats over, (laughs) whoops, it's one of those days, (laughs) there we go. So it's a little bit much here coming close towards her, make the brush nice and soft again, I'm gonna take this away from Flow 100%, I'm gonna take it down to a six or and gonna paint black, just lightly bring some of that out. So it's a very subtle difference, it's a very subtle change, but like I keep saying over and over and over again, it's the little, tiny, subtle things that are gonna change everything. So from here, I have a sneaking suspicion, that if we can tackle some questions or if there's anything like that, otherwise we can jump from here, from masking, we can take a break and then smash color for the rest of the afternoon. Love it, I think we're really good over here, but I will ask you to reiterate the brush number that you've been using, Oh yeah. the brush numbers? So the brush numbers that I was using for smashing out all of the trees was number 45 to get rid of the trees, which actually was working pretty nicely, I was also using brush number for stuff, that has a harsher texture, so for stuff that's more in focus, I was actually using brush number 32 last, yesterday or the previous class to cut out the mountains and then for doing the hair, I was using brush number 59, but honestly, those brushes, 14, 24, 27, 39, 46, and 59, which of course are right here in your default slider bar are totally awesome, so if you're not sure what brushes, if your brushes are not set up like everyone else, there's this little wheely thing here, when you click on your Brush palette and these are all my brushes, you can just go Reset Brushes and that's gonna bring you back to this default, so yeah, brushes is a rabbit hole though, you wanna spend some fun time on that. (laughs)

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Texture Sample Pack
Layered Beach PSD Composite
Layered Cliff PSD Composite

Ratings and Reviews

Dino Maez

i have to say, the class was AMAZING! in every way from the tricks and technique's of mastering this art form to the personalized attention given by Renee. through the class you are able to learn information that would normally take the average person years of trial and error. Renee gives you the gift of benefitting from her her experiences and what she has learned THE HARD WAY! Renee is an outstanding instructor full of passion for what she does, and with a strong desire to not only improve the art, but more importantly, pay it forward, by sharing her knowledge with others. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the event in person, truly a once in a lifetime experience for me, the staff at creative live were THE BEST! they are helpful in every way and really made this event something special, i can't say enough about the experience i had and would highly recommend that anyone who has the opportunity to go down for a class, it will be an experience that you will never forget. but the best part of creative live is that wether you are there in person or wether you are watching from the comfort of your own home, you are involved in the class in REAL TIME, you have the ear and attention of the skilled artist giving the instruction, being there myself i can tell you that Renee was regularly given questions and comments from the viewers via the creative live staff and she would respond to them as they came, in that way you are very much apart of the class you are never left without getting that personalized attention of an amazing artist or that specific question you have answered, and even better you have the option to purchase the class and have it as a constant resource in your tool kit that you can refer back to at any point that you need a refresher or want to recall that special technique that was demonstrated. thank you thank you to renee and all the staff at creative live you have a life long member in me. and i would recomend that everyone take advantage of this valuable resource dino maez

stephen lenman

I have completed many creative courses. This is by far the best so far. Quite the most amazing and inspiring presenter with a true passion for their craft. The core information is excellent, but the thing i liked most were her subtle tangents, dropping incredible information completely on the fly. A complete real world honest view of business and practical side of the industry. Especially her advice on how she started to her business. Saving up enough in her day job so she could pay the rent, and do photography for 3-6 months.

Sheldon Carvalho

Awesome class. I've been following Renee for a very long time. I love her work and to finally see her work and get an image done from start to finish was quite something.. I love the way she sees things and the way she treats her work and all fellow creative. I would recommend this to everyone interested in getting into composting. Looking forward to creating and making my own art work. But it now :) Have fun creating. :)

Student Work