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Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography

Lesson 23 of 60

Using the Liquify Tool


Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography

Lesson 23 of 60

Using the Liquify Tool


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 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. :)