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