Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography


Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography


Lesson Info

Why You Should Sketch Your Composite

Why you should sketch your composite. So I'm gonna put this out to the crowd, why do you think sketching your composite is a good idea? And I'm not talking about high definition artwork here, I'm talking fancy stick people. (laughs) With like, colored markers. For me, it helps me get an idea of what the finished product is gonna look at like and it gives me an opportunity to adjust things before I actually take the photo. Totally, yup, and that's exactly it. When you're sketching it ahead of time, you already know what's your horizon line gonna be, your vanishing point. If you're sketching with color, you can start to know some of your color theory that your gonna use. Alright, so you start, like, piecing all these things together and literally fancy stick peoples. I've got some slides coming up in the future that will show you how stick people in my previous sketches can be (laughs). But sketching it is gonna keep everything in line so if you're up photographing a background piece...

s and you have your previous sketch already drawn up. Like say you're spending a week or so on this image, or longer, you can go out and you go, okay, I need a building shot at, you know, this angle. So you're saying, okay, I've got this, and this is my horizon line and then I want these two buildings coming this way. A lot of people in post production will photograph a building flat and turn it. Well, that doesn't work in reality because what you're doing is you're just flattening everything. So, what you're gonna do is you're gonna need to photograph that building with the same perspective cause if you have windows, let's use this. Okay, so if you take this and you just turn it flat, right, all of that information, those windows, are still gonna look big because we've just turned it sideways. Whereas if we turned this sideways in real life, we're gonna catch the spine of the book. Right, so this is why photographing it with the right perspective is really important and when you sketch your composite ahead of time, you know, going in, okay, this is what I need. Phil? Yeah. Just wanna let you know that we have... Wanna let the folks out there know that if you're new to Creative Live, you, right there on our course page, you'll see on the right is a chat button. That enables you to go to the chat rooms and have a global conversation with the other folks that are watching the class and a couple of folks also chimed in on seconding the, to get your perspective right, but also to have a clear visual idea of what your final results wanna be. Totally, yeah, and we're gonna go into that more in depth with the next batch of, you know, nuclear bomb slides. So, but that's exactly it. So you're just gonna have a very clear idea of what you're doing, you're not gonna be wasting a ton of time cause compositing is time intensive and that's why a lot of people don't like to do it cause it takes forever but that's okay. (laughs) The next thing is the importance of mood boards and I'm gonna have an example of a mood board here going forward. The importance of mood boards is like one step further from your previous sketch. So you've got your, like, rough doodles of, like, human here, car explosion here, you know, whatever. Whatever it is you want on a composite. But then you're having your mood boards and okay, so your mood board is well, what's the color palette that I wanna use? Right, what kind of makeup do I want on my person, if I want any? What kind of costuming do I want? What kind of atmospherics stuff do I want going on? So you're just kind of building and growing on your previous sketch.

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