Replacing Sky with Layer Mask


Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography


Lesson Info

Replacing Sky with Layer Mask

So the next thing I wanna look after, is I want to get rid of that sky. So, I am going to do what we were doing yesterday. Well, the first thing I'm gonna to do is I'm gonna to find a sky image that I like. So, I'm gonna go here, and let's pick one. Do I like that one? I think I need something more horizon line. That one's better. I like this one, this one's cool. So double clicking it. I'm probably gonna make it just a little bit brighter. It's a little bit dark. Just gonna bring up the exposure a tiny little bit. I'm not going to worry about bringing up any ... Contrast, or anything like that. Just leave it alone. Open Image. Command + A, or Control + A. Select All, Copy, Control + C, oops. Aww man, where'd it go? Control + Shift + V, paste. So I'm going to throw this blending mode of the clouds on multiply, same as I did yesterday. Gonna hit V, which is gonna move my background around, and see how we have this nice horizon line coming along here? Because I shot it pretty close to th...

e same angle. And there's enough going on here. So I'm going to create a luminosity mask, like we did yesterday, when we were using channels. So, first thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna create a curves layer, 'cause I just wanna extract the sky. So I'm going to bring that up, and bring this down. So I'm just creating enough contrast. And hopefully I'm gonna get like a relatively clean cut on the trees. 'Cause like I said, we don't... You guys have seen how to do trees and cutting all that stuff out. So, I'm going to go to my channels. Red channel looks like that. Green channel looks like that. Blue channel looks like that. So I'm gonna try to, I'm picking the channel that's giving me the most black along this horizon line. I'm gonna hold Control, which is going to bring up that square. Gonna go to Layers, I'm gonna go to my sky layer, and I have my dancing ants, so I'm just gonna click on the mask. I'm gonna get rid of that curves layer. And so of course this isn't going to be totally perfect. I'm gonna hold Alt on my model. Sorry, Alt + Control on the model. I'm gonna go to my brush, and I'm going to invert my selection, Control + Shift + I, and I think that'll get me where I need to be. Oh no, damn it! See there's 50% chance right of getting it right, remember I was saying this? This is one of those things. Make sure we're clicking on the layer mask. There we go. Okay select that, and now I just have to clean up ... All this stuff here. So, I'm using far too soft of a brush, and I'm gonna use that dodge and burn technique here. Actually gonna lighten this up along the horizon line a little bit, whoops. Nice and low ... Too much. So remember the things that are further away, have less information. Alrighty. Now, I'm going to hold Alt, click on this, and see how we're doing here along the horizon line. So I'm going to go back to that dodge and burn technique, and I don't remember which retoucher it was. It could've been Glenn Duis, who's out of the UK. He does really nice work in retouching. It totally could've been him, but I don't remember who it was who showed me. It was just like some random YouTube video, so I cannot take credit for figuring this out. It was definitely on the internet. So, we have a little bit of haloing going on here. This grass, like these foresty trees and stuff like that, I probably would spend a lot of time going in and cleaning it up. We don't have time for that today (laughs). I don't wanna do that to you. So, I am just gonna take my brush, nice and small, and I'm gonna bring over some of this sky into her hair because we can, and it's going to look a lot more realistic. So, I've got some malfunctions in her mask going on here. Oops. Here we go.

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.