Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography


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