Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography

Lesson 23/60 - Using the Liquify Tool


Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography


Lesson Info

Using the Liquify Tool

So, this isn't giving me the happy feeling in my chest right now but I know that it's something else that I can work on that's bothering me too and that's her hair, cause I was totally gonna fluff that out earlier and I forgot. So I'm gonna just duplicate my color effects layer, Control + J or Command + J for Mac users. Gonna go M for marquee. I'm gonna highlight this part of her body. Control + Shift + X or Command + Shift + X for Mac users. So let's pull this out just a little bit. And it's okay if some of the clouds get screwed up around it because we're gonna fix that. I am zooming in here. I wanna make sure that I don't modify her face, so if I wind up accidentally pulling it out a bit I'm gonna push it back. And let's just fluff that out just a tiny little bit. Because originally her hair did look like this and then the wind was like, ha ha ha ha ha! And it just screwed with everything as wind does. So one of the things I like to do with this a little bit more and then we can liq...

uefy, I make sure that the pressure is not super high. So if I turn the pressure up really high and I go to make that adjustment look what happens. Alright. So I turn the pressure up to like and I zoom in, I do a brush stroke, it looks terrible. So I try and really leave it around 10, because now one of the things that I like to do, and this is where the internet loves to lose its mind when you're like, you're modifying a body, you're ruining women's self-image everywhere. I choose to not make modifications that are unrealistic to the body of what it's capable of. So in this case, one of the reasons that I had her turning her hip just a little bit slightly away from me, is it gave a nice, pleasing line down this far side of her body. Right now it looks pretty good but if she had turned her hip just a few more inches, we would've had a little bit more of pleasing line. So this is one of the times where I will do just like a tiny little snug of just the slightest little adjustment, and see how just all of a sudden that tip is a little bit nicer and it's nice and smooth. I'm not making her look unrealistic to her, because if she had turned her hips the way her body is designed, we would've achieved this look. That's all that is. So I'm not into making people that are size 10 size two. Unless, of course, it's an artistic project, and you're like, I wanna see if I can do this. Or if you wanna take a size two, make them a size 20. You can do that for artistic purposes, sure, but, I mean, I don't like to totally restructure somebody and make them not look who they are. I want them to not know that I've done any modifications to their body. Unless the client requests it. And if the client's like, hey you know what, I just had a baby, it'd be really cool if you could just like, suck in a little bit of that. I'm gonna honor that request, of course, right. If that's something that they're self-conscious about it's a photo of them and they're paying you, so you do what the client asks you to do. For another case, for artistic stuff like this, I will do just slight, tiny little tweaks, like that. And maybe pull the hair around like this. So I'm gonna just hit OK. And so now, let me deselect this. Here we go, before. After. Right. Tiny, tiny, tiny little snug on her waistline that is totally realistic if we posed her properly, like if we had just kept her hips turned away we would've achieved that. And if the wind had not eaten her hair for breakfast, we would've had fluffy hair like that, too. Because it looked like that in the morning before we stuck her head in a hood to keep her warm. (laughs) So I'm not making her look unrealistic to her. Sometimes if I'm creating a fantasy image, I don't care about accurately representing anybody. If I'm creating a character, as opposed to representing a human, then I'm gonna do whatever I want because the rules are off, right. People don't necessarily walk around with warpaint on their face all day long. (laughs) So if I'm changing them up a little bit, that's cool, but I like keeping some things the same. The color is kinda bugging me, so I think I might try playing the cooler colors. And this happens all the time when I'm working with the images and I'm like, ah this color kinda looks cool, this one looks not so cool, meh. I do this a lot and that's how it is. And some people are really, really methodical and mathematic about what color profiles they like and that's cool. And oftentimes if I have my stuff prevized out really nicely I don't run into this problem. If I had my previz color palette and everything's locked in that I know going in that okay, these are the colors that I'm gonna be using. But in this case here, we didn't really know what we were doing (laughs) until Tuesday when we were filming. So it wasn't really prevized very accurately. Which is fine, because sometimes that's exactly how it goes. So, in which case, here we are, we're doing this. So this is actually, in this case I find it's looking a little bit nicer. I'm liking the cool tones today, even though yesterday I liked the warm tones. So I'm gonna stick with that.

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.