Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography

Lesson 48/60 - Merging Background with Model


Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography


Lesson Info

Merging Background with Model

So, I'm just gonna scan through, and I'm just in File Explorer. It doesn't really matter, I just need to see what's going on. So this one I kinda like. This is from standing. That's from squatting down, so this I can tell, higher, lower, you can look at the bottom of the image. You can see more information is bigger here, it's closer to the lens. Standing up these little rocks are quite small, so that's one of the ways that I like to tell where I was standing or whether I was sitting closer to the ground. So I'm gonna use one that was shot closer to the ground. I think I'm gonna try this one here. This will be pretty nice. We have some city crap to get rid of here. I'm not a big fan of that stuff, so we'll be digging through that. So 4443, doop-de-doo. Somebody in the comments yesterday, 'cause I read the comments, so all of you that are saying nasty stuff, you watch yourself, be nice. (laughs) Somebody said a comment about hey, she does the doop-de-doo thing. So yeah, I can't shut mys...

elf off when I'm doing this kind of stuff because my mindset when I'm editing is still pretty consistent and just instead of talking inside my brain, I'm talking outside my brain with a PG filter. (laughs) All righty, so let's pull over this one here, so Control A, Control C, Control, Shift V, so of course she's way too big. I'm gonna duplicate it and I'm just gonna hide one of these, so I'm gonna highlight this here, and I'm gonna call those high rows. So I know that if I squirrel around with this other size here I already have a layer that's saved that is exactly the resolution she was to begin with, and yes, I could work with smart objects, for those of you who are more Photoshop advanced, but this is not intended for you know, people who are as that advanced. So if you're comfortable with smart objects, use a smart object, but we're not gonna get into that today. So we are just going to go Control or Command T and I'm gonna hold Shift and make her a little tinier, and let's figure out where we want to put her. 'Cause remember there's my rock. I know right here I'm like okay, that's the spot that I focus because I made it something that I'm gonna notice, right there. That's what's in focus, so my playing area is right about here. So let's try this, I'm gonna put her onto overlay so we can see, multiply. I'm just changing the blending mode of my layer of the model, so that I can move her around and see kind of a little bit more accurately what's up. So in this case I'm turning a photo into a landscape, so in my mind, normally, she has a little bit too much information. I would have liked to have shot this, I did shoot this with the intention of making this portrait, where it's model in landscape as opposed to a landscape with model. But sometimes what happens, especially with compositing, and when you're doing stuff live, you change your mind. So in my mind she's gonna have a little too much information and I would've liked to have shot her a little bit smaller, but we'll probably be able to get away with it today. I just want to make sure that we have all the right information, so remember before we were talking about how she's facing the wrong way, because we would see more of this side of her body if we had actually photographed somebody there. So I am just going to go Command T, right click, and flip horizontal. So it's just kinda faking it, really, at the end of the day. And actually locking her in the middle isn't the worst thing. I spend a fair bit of time moving things around, and I'm pretty much okay with it. (laughs) How do you guys feel about this? Thinking that's sitting okay there? I'm totally okay if somebody says no, but in my mind that's looking pretty good. (laughs) I'm just zooming in here, looking at with the blending mode, I'm just looking here, so these rocks here are a little bit soft, just a teeny bit. Let's see if I can move her back a little bit more. In this case we're also probably running into a difference of lenses, so she's probably gonna be just a little bit sharper because it's a prime lens versus a zoom lens.

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


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

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. :)

Tristan Wilhelm

Very good class. I enjoyed the very friendly, approachable and quirky style Renee teaches with. I did feel, as others have said that she could get off on bunny trails and tell stories and I was glad for Creative Live's option to speed up the video. But great tips and it was extremely helpful watching it how she would do it. Thank you much Renee, and also, I'm a PC user that unites with you.