Create Photoshop Libraries, Brushes And Overlays From Your Photographs
we photographed atmosphere spray and steam. But this method also works with other elements that are similar. So rain, you know, water spray droplets. So I'll show you how to use those as well from previous images that I've photographed. And those are included in your library of materials to use. Now we've photographed a lot of different atmospheric elements here. So the first thing I'm going to do is scroll through until I find one that I'd like to use as an overlay. Now they'll all have different looks. And so what I'm looking for here is one that's pretty much surrounded by the black. So this one here because it's got black around the edges and it can very easily be masked so that you can't see any strong square edges when you create the overlap. So I am going to double click this and that is going to take me into Photoshop camera raw Now like I shared before whenever I can I keep these elements as raw files. So just to go over that again, I've got the settings set up as open in Phot...
oshop as a smart object and 16 bits. So stay like that. Open the object. Now before we do that, let's crop it in so we get rid of as much as we can in camera raw. Now I do want to leave a little bit of the edge there. This there's a bit of light coming from the light there and there's obviously this area here which we need to get rid of. We can do this in camera raw pretty quickly. So I'm gonna use the healing brush tool in this section here just to get rid of this light and we'll have that pull from the very dark area there and rather than hell we wanted to clone. So that's good, we've gotten rid of the light now we also want to blend this light down so we'll go to our brush where in camera raw. And what we're doing with the brush is where bringing down the exposure around the edges. We can make the brush a bit bigger because we really don't want any very rough edge is showing up without overlay. If there is a bit of a gray edge, not completely black, it will create an issue with the overlay or with the brush. Now we're ready to open this in photo shop. Now at the moment there's a lot of detail in this and we could in fact bring that the whites up. But that's the flexibility of working in camera raw because we can always go back and change it. But what we want to first do is see how this looks just as an overlay in and of itself. So we're going to drag that across to the image that we created earlier. Now when you first place it it's going to have everything there, it's got the black there as well. Now obviously we want to be able to get rid of that black. But keep the white blending modes are really, really powerful. There's a bunch of different ones that you can try out. But when you have a look, they're actually sectioned so you can see the sections and what they do where dark and we'll get rid of the white and the lights. So this these areas here get rid of the lights and the whites. And this section here lighten screen color dodge, linear dodge, lighter color or get rid of the blacks in the middle here, that gets rid of the grays. So overlay soft light, hard light. So let's use this section here and have a look at what it does. Lighten looks okay. Screen brings in some of the whites that are over the lighter areas. So whereas lighten only brings those lights over the dark areas and colored dodge. Well in this case, color dodge really is not showing up. So we bring it up to the sky and we place it over those brighter areas in the clouds and those lighter areas, you can see what sort of effect it has. But over the darker areas, it doesn't have as much of an effect to create the overlays. You need to make sure that it's not a raw file because you will come up with an alert could not create a libra graphic because camera raw files and files with camera raw settings cannot be added. So what I recommend you doing is creating a rest arised version and pulling that in once that's in there, you could actually undo that restaurant ization and go back in and create a new version of this overlay. Maybe one that has more whites so really boost the contrast. Press OK. Rest arise that and add that in as well. Of course you can rename all of these in your library too. Now we've got both of those in there and they're ready to add anywhere at any time so I can then drag that in place it and change my settings as I need to. We've got now are file it's rest arised and it's ready to turn into a brush. Now if you've ever done this before, you may notice that it currently has this grayed out define brush preset. Great out. The reason for this is that you can't ever file that is bigger than 2000 pixels on the longest side. So all we need to do is actually change our image size to 2000. And press OK. Now when we go to edit define brush preset, it shows us that this is fine. This is going to work. Now can you see though that there's a big white box and there's a black fog area in the middle? We need to invert this so that we're when we're painting with it or masking with it. We're not masking a black box. I'm gonna show you what happens when we do it this way. So we're going to edit define brush preset, we'll save it as overlay test. Now I have a square brush and if I paint with that, that's what I get. That's not what you want. So you need to remember to invert and command I is invert and now you can see that it is going to paint like this. Now the problem we've got is if there's any sort of gray, not fully white area on that top section there, it's going to show up on our brush. So I really want to clean this up. And one great trick to test that to make sure the edges are completely white is to go to filter other and offset. And if you move that offset, you can see where the edges are. Right now, you can fix those by editing them and then going back So if we press Ok, what we want to actually do is make this area whiter. So you could simply paint with white because we're just creating a brush. Now, if we go back to filter offset, we can keep doing it until we don't see any weird edges. So then we go back to other offsets. So we're just really moving this around and move it back to the center and then we can clean up these very last areas. Now that we've done that we can go to edit define brush preset. Now you can see this is going to be a fantastic brush, we'll call it fog cl So creative live and press Ok now if we go back into here and we create a new layer I can paint with that, I can mask with it, I can do whatever I want with that brush but it's all going the same direction. So if I start painting it just does this big blobby thing. So the next thing that you do with brushes is you alter them so you go to window brush settings. We want to space this out so that when we're painting with fog it's not all one on top of the other. So we spaced this out there almost touching and then we go to shape dynamics. Now we could have size judas that means some of them are big, some of them are small so I'd pull that one up for this one angle jitter rotates each time you press it or as you draw it it's moves it around a little bit around the studio, changes the whether it's squished or full size. So you could try all of these and then what you need to do is save that as a new brush. Those settings won't hold on that brush that you created. So to save this new setting we go plus and then that's the one that I'm providing to you in the class. So if I now go down to my new brush settings you can see there's fog cl and fog cl final So don't get confused delete the first one. It is a two step process. Pray to new layout. So now you can see the kind of effect it moves, it rotates and it changes size so it creates this fog, this atmosphere wherever you want it. You can use this to paint, you can use it to mask, you can use it to add in adjustment layers. So brushes have a lot of flexibility. So over here in my homeless penguins piece, you might be able to see the rain that is cascading down from the side. It's, it's rough seas and there's a lot of rain there. So if I go into my library, my photo library and I go to the photograph of the rain that I've got here and I dropped that in and I'll provide this file for you as well. I would then want to make it look like it's actually moving rather than frozen. So the first thing I do is hold down shift so it changes the shape of that overlay and then I make sure it's over the whole thing. Now at the moment, if I change this to be a blending mode, like I showed you before screen color dodge linear dodge. They all work except that it looks like a splash instead of the rain coming down. So you can use an adjustment like filter blur and motion blur to change the angle of the rain so I'm going to make it look like it's coming down from that angle and the distance is really how fast that rains traveling or even how slow the shutter speed was. So now I have rain and I can put it in any direction I want and it really looks like that reigns cascading down. Of course I would paint it off certain areas and make it probably not as overpowering. And in my final file I've done a whole lot of work to it, but that is the method that you can use to create a bit of movement in your atmosphere overlays.
Karen Alsop is an internationally acclaimed Melbourne, Australia-based photographic digital artist. Expanding on two decades of photographic and graphic design experience, Karen brings photography and art together to create stunning artworks that tell a story and take the viewer into another world.