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Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography

Lesson 57 of 60

Using Particle Shop


Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography

Lesson 57 of 60

Using Particle Shop


Lesson Info

Using Particle Shop

Now I do like adding little glow-y, sparkly stuff there is that plugin that I kind of enjoy. If everyone knows what it is. But I'm gonna run it again, so I just created a merge layer, alt control shift E, which creates this merge layer up on top here. Gonna select all, copy and then I'm gonna go over here to this layer 'cause it's random, paste it. I'm gonna make sure that I'm converted from my image mode into eight-bit channel instead of 16-bit channel. Because Particle Shop doesn't work on 16-bit channel so I'm gonna go to Painter, Particle Shop. I'm gonna add some stuff that's gonna flap around in the sky because I think it's pretty. That's it. (laughs) Lots of stuff. Wait for it to load. Okay for those of you who weren't watching yesterday, recommend you create a copy of the selected layer or object or image before you paint in Particle Shop. Well I have my layer already made so I'm gonna say Launch. So I'll slide through some of these. Let's see what this looks like. This one's fu...

n, look at that blue stuff. No I don't want blue. So this is why this brush thing is kind of fun because I can't make a brush do that in Photoshop. So it's kind of fun. (laughs) I like it. But if I'm making stuff that's just gonna be brush strokes, right? Then I know that I can manipulate this afterwards in post-production, I can even change the color to my heart's content. So I'm gonna kinda just play with this a little bit here and I might make something that's like nice and small and a little bit blurry. Do-da-doo. And something here. I'm probably gonna hack these things up and then like move them around a little bit more. This little ember brush confuses the crap out of me, I never know what to do with it. (laughs) Like in my mind it should be awesome but I just get so confused by it. Let's pick something a little bit lighter. (hums) Blur all the things after, it's like I said one of the problems with these brushes is that they're super super super sharp. So they have to be blurred afterwards 'cause otherwise they just make a mess of things. And I know I'm gonna hack these guys up and move them around so let's just pretend that we're kinda happy with these guys here just the way that they are. I'm gonna hit save. And here it says merge brush strokes of source content, which means it's gonna flatten everything into one image which means I can't move things around but if I have it saved here, save only brush strokes, it means that only my brush strokes that are on here are going to be saved. So this is gonna turn into transparent layer and now I have this. So control A, control C. Control shift V. And now I have this. and we have this transparent layer called Particle Shop. And I'm gonna grab the marquee tool and select this little guy here. Hit the move tool and just shove it around. Twist it. Haven't really decided, I was like, "something would be interesting," but I don't know what to do with it. I do that a lot too where I'm just like, "ah, let's just, I don't know, try stuff," so I've actually made entire backgrounds out of these little Particle Shop things, kind of fun. So make it nice and small maybe. Oh I know what I can do. Idea! Let's put something in her hands. (laughs) Because why not. Now this means that I'm gonna have to like edit and color around her hands, I'm okay with that. So I can take the marquee tool here, take this guy. Like that. Move tool. Move this here. Control T, transform, gonna make it a little bit smaller. And, actually before I do that, I'm gonna move that over there. I'm gonna duplicate that little dude, there we go. So now I can erase this guy. And then I have this guy here. Because I duplicated, I highlighted only that one Particle Shop layer, right? That one little brush spot and I duplicated only that, I hit control J on my highlighted area. So that means that I duplicated just this little brush stroke. So then I erased it off the other template which has everything else on it 'cause I don't want it, I wanna manipulate this differently because I wanna change the opacity of this a whole bunch. So I'm gonna change this blending mode here to soft light. Gonna make this a little bit smaller. I'm gonna turn down the brightness of it a little bit. I go Filter, Blur, Gaussian Blur. Two pixels seems like it'll be enough. So that's kinda pretty. (laughs) If I had done this thinking ahead that I was gonna put something in her hands I probably would've put like an orange light source, so we'd have an orange glow on her chin. Now I have to paint it in which is fine. So for the rest of the stuff here I'm still gonna blur these this Particle Shop layer, Filter, blurring it the same. And I can always highlight these guys and move them around to my hearts content. So I can grab this guy here, highlight it, move. Let's shove him here. Marquee, move, so highlighting this, going to my move tool. Hack this thing up and let's put it here. Marquee tool, move. Of course you can make things like bigger and smaller, right? Because we're working with selections. So I can add this little like movement of stuff around her. If I feel so inclined. I can even make them a little bit bigger if I want to. I can twist it around a little bit. Yeah. Let's move that blending mode to overlay. That looks not too bad. So I play a lot of blending modes, I do a lot of selections, lots of sliding things around, and being like, "oh, that's a cool idea, well that's a terrible idea, that worked, that didn't." So using my marquee tool a lot, move the things, deselect the things. We've got kinda like a V going on here. So I'm gonna try to get rid of that. Not too bad. I have this harsh line here so I can probably just grab my eraser tool, one of the few times that I'm totally cool to use the eraser tool. (laughs) You know what? Even that I don't like doing it. Brush, mask, glow. Why are you creating a black layer? Hey, I invert you. So I'm always checking to make sure that I don't have any straight vertical lines in here as well because I was cutting things up and moving them around. 'Cause sometimes that can happen. So we have one right here by her head. Gonna get rid of that. This kind of stuff. Let's turn it down a little bit. I like these things to be subtle enough that they're not like bam in your face. So like the orange thing in her hands, yellow whatever, it's gonna be a little obvious. So I'm gonna create a new layer. Gonna call this glow. Gonna put the blending mode on soft light. Sample that color. Just gonna zoom in here a little bit under her chin. 'Cause she would catch a little bit of light underneath here if something was glowing. How does that look on your guys screen, does that look okay? Everybody's sleeping, they're just like nope. Okay so I kinda wanna have something a little bit brighter here, something a little bit more than just yellow. So what I can probably do is I could create a new, let's see, new layer. Thing-y. Whenever I'm doing something really weird and I'm not sure if it's gonna work out, I give it a name that really stands out away from everything else, that has nothing to do with it. And I just wanna see if I can add something here. Maybe we can throw onto like a dodge layer or something? Go dodge, there we go. Probably better if that was yellow though, so let's do that. Put this layer onto Dodge. So it's like she's holding something precious, I don't know whatever. (laughs) So if we had something yellow here there would be a little bit of yellow glow on the top of that dress. Just a little bit. That's looking not too bad. What do you guys think? Not bad. If I'm adding like magic-y things and stuff like that, this is another thing I can spend a long time on. 'Cause then I get a whole bunch of different brushes and I'm like, "let's add sparkles and glitter and signs and little circle-y stuff." And so I'll like open up a whole new document that I'm like just drawing sparkly magic-y crap and I'm like mashing it down and like layering it up. So there's the picture where I'm holding the mage book where there's like all the sparkly stuff, that was forever. That was so much time of just like layering and layering and layering and layering stuff until I was like, "eh, looks busy enough," so. (laughs)

Class Description

With the right Adobe® 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.

In this class 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.


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

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. :)