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Bringing It All Together - Compositing Project

Lesson 12 from: Essential Compositing Tips & Techniques In Photoshop 2021

Jesús Ramirez

Bringing It All Together - Compositing Project

Lesson 12 from: Essential Compositing Tips & Techniques In Photoshop 2021

Jesús Ramirez

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Lesson Info

12. Bringing It All Together - Compositing Project

Composite showing many of the principles and techniques learned in this video.

Lesson Info

Bringing It All Together - Compositing Project

Now it's time to apply everything that we learn into a composite. We're gonna work with this background and this foreground. And of course, the first step will be to extract the foreground from its background. In this case, I'm just going to use the quick action. Remove background feature. This will use Adobe Sense artificial intelligence to find the main subject and removed the background. It will do a fairly decent job. If you zoom in, you can see that there are some imperfections. Let me just to stay with the background so that we can better see that. And I will also add a solid color fail layer so that it's easier to see where the imperfections are. So pan around your image and find areas that need work. For example, like this area here. Select the brush tool, then make sure that you enabled a layer mask. Go into the option spark. Click on the one pointing arrow. You'll see all the brushes that we've been working with and under general brushes. Select soft brush and maybe increase ...

the hardness a little bit. And I could decrease the brush size by tapping on the left bracket Key on the keyboard and painting with black. If you tap the X key on the keyboard, you will swap your foreground and background colors. So with black is my background color. I'm just going to paint and what I did there is a technique in Photoshop or you click ones hold shift again and click to create a line between the two points that you clicked on. And I'm doing it that way to get better edges. I'm gonna increase my brush size now and continue painting. Obviously, I'm going a little quickly here, but do take your time in your projects again. The X key swaps so far going back on color. And now I can paint pixels back in in areas that require it. Like so and overall, I would say that the mask is pretty good. Obviously, it has some issues here with the speculum highlights on the shoe, but overall, it's a pretty good mask, and I'm gonna fix the ball in the moment. I'm just gonna take care of the shoe first, and what I'll do for the bowl is I'm going to increase the hardness to 100% and increase my brush size and I'm gonna make a brush that is roughly the size of the ball. And I campaign in the areas that are missing, like so you could always come back and find two. And of course, what I'm gonna do now is remove the edge halos. There's a lot of edge halos, and just like before, we're going to use the filter, other minimum method. And in this case, I'm just going to do 1.5 pixels, and that should take care of the edges and I'll press okay. Next, I'm going to go into the selected mask workspace and I'll smooth out the edges and add a little bit of contrast, and I'll press okay, I'll double click on the hand tool to fit the image to screen, and we'll call this good for now. Next, let's look at the background and determine where the horizon line over background. ISS The background is a composite. This is a stock photo, so it may not be 100% accurate, but the designer did have in mind the horizon line. But even though this is a composite, there is still a sky and the ground that imply the perspective So where is the perspective? Well, I'm going to click and drag down from the rulers here and you'll see, is that the sky is somewhere above this line and that the ground is somewhere below this line. You can actually see most of the ground. And if you could visualize where the ground would receive two in the foreground and where the sky would start, that probably will be right about here. So that's where the Horizon Line ISS where the ground plane meets the sky. Next, we could do that for the soccer player. For the soccer player, we have a white background. So where is his horizon line? If you remember the horizon line example with the different cubes in the car, let's look at what areas of the image we could see. Well, first of all, let me create a new layer so that I can draw on here and show you what I'm visualizing. So this is what I'm thinking about in my head. If the ball was a cube, where is the top part of the top part is right up here so I can see the top part. But I can't see the bottom part. So that means that the horizon line is above the ball. Then I'm looking at his head. And if his head was a cube, which parts can I see? I can see the bottom. I can see the bottom of the cube. I can't see the top. So the horizon line is below that cube. Another tip is to look at the center of the image. So the center of my image and let me see exactly where that is. If I press control t command you to transform, you can see that the center of the images right about here, where his fingers are. So if I cut the image in half, yeah, we can determine if the camera was tilting up or tilting down. So by looking at this photo, do you think the camera was tilting up or tilting down? Well, the camera was definitely tilting up, So that means that the horizon line is below the center of the image. So now we can determine that the horizon line is below the center of the image and above the soccer ball. So it's somewhere about here. And also, if we imagine that thesis ox were standing on their own Without his leg being there, you can see that we would be able to see just a little bit off the top part of the socks. So then that means that the horizon line is probably right about here. So that is the process that I go through in my head when I look at an image that doesn't have parallel converging lines and, you know, I could be off. I could be off by a little bit. But as long as I keep in mind that the horizon line is somewhere in that range, the composite will look realistic and actually looks like I was painting over the layer there. I selected by accident earlier. But that's okay. I'm just gonna undo several times and there we go. And I can delete this for now. So we know that the horizon line is right about where his knees are, give or take when I enable my layer mask again and I bring back the ruler. By the way, you can press control semi Colin to hide or show the rulers control semicolon. Now we know that the horizon line is not too bad. Is really close to where he is now. I think that he might be a little too tall, so I can press control t command t to transform and scale him down a little bit. But I'm gonna bring them down just so that the horizon line matches. It probably would match perfectly here. But I'm not really happy with how that looks, So I'm gonna move them up again. If you're within that range, you should be fine. But notice what happens if I go up higher than that. If I go up higher than that, he just looks like a giant. If I go down lower, it just doesn't look right. So as long as you're within that range or composite, should look pretty good. So I'm gonna play some right about here and maybe put him off centered, like, right about there. I don't need to see the horizon line anymore, so I'll press control semi colon to hide that. And I'm going to talk about briefly about something we didn't talk about earlier. But it's also very important shadows in a composite. So first of all, I'm going to create a shadow layer below hymns and I'm gonna call this layer contact shadow because this is where the shadows they're contacting the surface that is standing on will take place. So I'm going to select the brush tool, and I can just use a soft brush, and I can hold down the old key on windows. The option can the Mac to temporarily select the eyedropper tool and just select one of these darker greens because that's the color of the shadows and the composite. And I can now pain in on the ground where he's standing, like, so make sure that you change the blending mode of that layer to multiply. Wow, In real life, you're never gonna get a black shadow, so he's gonna have a tint to it. So what I like to do is I like to select shadows that are already found in the scene and apply them to the composite, and I'll do the same thing on this side, like so, where the ball is sitting and also on his other foot like so, and that makes it seem like he's really putting weight on that surface. The next thing that will do is select this bottom layer, the contact shadow layer. Hold shift and click on the soccer player layer and press control G and Windows commands and the Mac to put it into a group, and I'll call the group's soccer player. Then I can add a layer mask on this layer mask. I'm going to paint with that same brush that we talked about in the previous example. The grass brush Again. You can search for grass brush under legacy brushes. Remember to enable the legacy brushes. You can watch the previous video if you haven't done so already, but make sure that you select doing grass and make sure that you go into the brush settings and disable color dynamics. And you can paint with black on this groups layer mask. And the reason that I'm painting on the group's layer mask and not on the soccer player layer mask is because if I make a mistake or I decide that I'm not happy with the adjustment, I don't have to redo the mask from scratch. I only will have to redo the group's mask from scratch, and that's much easier. So I'm going to zoom in, and I'm just going to paint in a few grass blades in here. And obviously these blades are way too big, so I'm gonna reduce my brush size. And also they're facing the wrong direction. So I will undo and I will go into my breast settings and I'll click on this check box to flip the blades the opposite direction. And now, when I paint, you can see that that's looking much more realistic. And I can use the left arrow key on the keyboard to make my blades have a more similar angle to what is found in the composite like so, and I could do the same thing on the ball here. Try to match it as best as you can, and I'll do the same thing on the opposite foot. Think the grass might seem a little long, but that's okay, that look like on the handle to fit the image to screen, And that is that result. Now let's work on creating Mawr shadows. Next, hold control on Windows, come in in the back and click on my soccer player layer mask to make a selection out of my soccer player. And right above the background, I'm going to create a new layer, and I'm going to fill it with that same dark grave that I was using for the Shadow. Then I'll press control the on windows commanding and the back to the select and press control T commanded to Transform and Aiken transform this layer and make it look like a shadow that is hitting the ground plane or the grass. And I'm just gonna match this as best as I can. And one of the tricks is to make it seem like this bounding box it's actually laying on the floor, and you should get a shadow that works more or less for your scene like so. Then you can go into filter blur Gaussian blur, and you can blur that shadow. And, of course, you can change the blending mode to multiply and bring down the opacity. Here's the trick for you. When the shadows don't match, you could also go into edit puppet warp, and then you can create pins to adjust the shadow like so. So I'm just clicking on these pins and moving them accordingly so that they match my seen a bit better, and I can click on the check mark to commit the changes in a stadium like this, you have lights coming from different directions. So I will just repeat this process several times. I'll do it one more time, but in reality you might want to do this four or five times, depending on how many lights you think will be in the stadium. We have 123 maybe four or five. So probably would add five shadows in a composite that I was gonna finish up. But in this case, we don't have the time. So I'm just gonna add one more. I'm gonna fill this with this dark green again. Control the command data, the Select and Control T command you to transform. And again, I will distort this layer and make it seem as if that bounding boxes matching the perspective of this scene. If the bounding box looks like it's really sitting on the floor there, then the perspective should match accordingly. Something like that. Then I can go into filter. The first filter will be the last one that we use, which is the blur. So I will apply the same blur. I'll change the layer blending mode to multiply and reduce the opacity as well. And if need be. You could go into edit puppet warp and just make sure that you pin the areas that you don't want to move and that you move the areas that you do want to move like, so just so that it matches a bit better. You can click in the check mark to commit the changes and maybe even bring down the opacity down a little bit more. Something like that. Again, you can add more of these types of shadows on this composite, but I don't want this video to get too repetitive, So we're gonna move on to the next step. Let me just name these layers. It's always a good idea to name your layers and let me show you one reason why it's a good idea. If you're working with a composite like this, it has multiple layers. You can select the move, tool and right click and look at this. You can actually select the layer from the area that you clicked on. In this case, we have the soccer player. We have the shadow and the background. See that soccer player is the group. The soccer player layer the shadows to layer and the background layers. If I wanted to select the background, I could, and Photoshop automatically selects it. So this is why you want to stay organized in Photoshop. Just makes things easier to work with. I'm going to select these shadow layers and I'll group them together. Control G commend you on the Mac, and I'll call them. Cast shadows. Great. Let's now work with some check layers to match the brightness and to match the ambient color. So I'm going to create a vibrant adjustment layer. Bring the saturation all the way down, and as you can see, the foreground looks a little too bright. So I'm going to select my soccer player. Make a levels adjustment layer, clip it to the layer below and just adjust him accordingly. E think that he's too bright, So I'm going to click and drag this white point to the left so that the brightest pixel it's no longer pure white. And then I will adjust the game. I just to darken them up a little bit, and you can see that before and the after much better, I think. Obviously you can keep fine tuning this if you like next. I think that we have an ambient color problem, so I'm going to go into the solid color adjustment layer. Select a gray that is close to 50%. Gray doesn't have to be exactly 50% press okay and change the blending mode to luminosity. And you can use the human saturation adjustment layer to increase the saturation so that you can really see the colors that were working with in this ambient color. I'm gonna put those two layers into a group control G and Windows command you in the back. Now remember, the background is a composite, and it also has a color cast that is not natural. It's it's an artistic interpretation, so we have to analyze the image. Obviously, the grass is gonna have a lot of green in the sky, will have a lot of blue. But what is really creating that color cast? Well, I'm looking at these areas of the stadium. They should be a neutral gray, but they do have a lot of orange in them, so that's what I will apply to my soccer players. So select the levels adjustment layer. Click on selective color clipper to the layer below. Go into the neutrals, and I'll reduce Scion to introduce Red and add a little bit of yellow like so I'm also going to go into the blues because that's the color of his jersey and I'll reduce Scion a little bit. And I'll increase yellow a little bit just to apply some of that warming tone to his uniforms as well. When I disabled this group, you'll be able to see my result before and after. I think it's a subtle effect, but it works well, and what I'm going to do now is just rename this group and I'll call this group Amin color check. Okay. Also, you can create a selective color adjustment layer and remember the preset we created earlier, the saturation map preset. I can apply that just to make sure that the saturation works. And actually, if you look at him, he's a lot brighter than the background. So that means that he has a lot more saturation so I can come into the soccer player group and add a hue and saturation adjustment layer, clip it to the layer below and bring down the saturation so that he doesn't look so bright. And that means that the saturation will now be more similar to the background. See that? And something that I didn't talk about earlier that can really help. Your composites is a dodge and burn layer. You can create a blank new layer. Press control all G on Windows Command option Jenna Mac to clip it to the layer below, and you can call this layer dodge and burn. Then you can hold shift and backspace to bring up the fill window and change it to 50% gray from the drop down and press OK. Then change the blending mode to overlay, and now you can use the burn tool to make areas of your composite. Darker is, for example, his feet and maybe contour the ball a bit more so that it matches the scene a little bit Better. Do the same thing for his feet behind his legs, and I think you're starting to see how I'm building up the shape of his body again in your composites. Take time. I'm going fairly quickly here, but you can see the before and the after See that, and I can also go into the Dodge Tool and I can increase the brightness off certain areas of his body. By the way, make sure that the range is set to mid tones. In both cases, I had it set to highlights in one case, and I had it set to mid tones in the second, so I just noticed that the range needs to be set to mid tones and you have the exposure. This is basically the intensity of the tool that you're working with. But the point is is that it will help you add shadows and highlights and create better contours on your image before and after, see how the lighting completely changes and it matches the composite better. So dodging and burning is great for accomplishing this effect. And finally, I'm going to show you how I like to finish my composites, and that is by putting them all into a smart object. In some cases, I like to duplicate them all into a layer, so I'll show you the smart object technique. But in case you're working with a smart object with a lot of layers and your computer cannot handle that type of a smart object, you can press control all shifty on Windows Command option shift in the Mac to create Emerge, copy of everything, and you can just call this final and work on this. But in this case, this is not that big of a composite in my computer can handle it, so I will take all these layers. Select them all by holding, shift and clicking on the bottom, most layer right clicking and converting it to a smart object. So now I can work on this composite as a single layer so I can go into filter camera, raw filter. And this is the last step that I usually do it all my composites. So I'll start at the basic panel, and I can warm up the image a little bit more. Adjust the contrast, adjust the highlights and shadows. See the highlights. There shadows as well. I can increase the texture. The clarity and the vibrance is well. Vibrance is a smart way of adding saturation. It protects skin tones and already saturated pixels. Then I can go into the color grading, and I can just add a little yellow tent to my shadows just to harmonize the image and also a yellowish tint to my highlights. Like so before and after, and something that I do toe almost all my composites is at a little bit of grain just so that it gives that film look to my image. And in this case, I'll add a little bit of a vignette like so I think that I warmed up the image a little too much. So I'm gonna go back into the basic panel and cool it down just a tad, and I'm not really liking his skin tones. So I'm gonna go into the color mixer and see if I can do something in the oranges slider to just make his skin tones Not so yellow like so. And I can also adjust the blues in the image. If I'm not happy with the result of the blue on his uniforms, when you're done, you can just press okay, and all those changes will be applied to your image. The cool thing about working with a smart object is that you can always edited so I can double click on my smart object and I have all my layers and I can edit my layers. For example, I can now convert my background layer into a smart object, and I can apply a blurred to blur the background and create a depth of field effect. For example, I can go into filter, blur gallery tilt shift. Everything in between the two solid lines will be completely and focus. Anything between this solid line in this dash line will be a gradual transition into blurriness. Same thing is true for this solid line to this dash line. So I'm just going to click on these lines and bring them closer together and then click and drag from the center here and dragged down to keep the ground and focus where he's standing and then do a gradual transition to blurriness in the background also increase the light Boca so that the lights don't seem so blurry and they just seem more realistic and maybe decrease the blur a little tiny bit like so and I'll press okay. And if I close and save this smart object, that adjustment will be applied to the smart object in our main composite like you see there and this looks really, really good

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Atmospheric Perspective
Matching Brightness
Matching Saturation
Matching Ambient Color
Select and Mask
Masking Difficult Hair
Blending Modes
Custom Brushes
Putting It All Together

Ratings and Reviews


This course teaches what you need to know about creating composites. As alway Jesus delivers in a clear, precise and fun way. You can just tell this guy has a great personality and he loves what he does. I greatly enjoyed the course and would strongly recommend it. A big thumbs up!!!

a Creativelive Student

One of the best courses I've done on CreativeLive and that's a high bar! An incredible mix of in depth guidance but also some simple photoshop tips along the way, I had so many 'wow' moments, learning things I had no idea you could do in Photoshop. Really a good pace too. Quite a short course but so many good lessons to revisit. Great work!

Javier Tinoco

Great course by Jesus Ramirez. This course teaches you several techniques regardless of your experience level. I've learned a lot from this course and I will recommend it to anybody wanting to start with PS or would like to expand their knowledge.

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