Autumn Background with Render Filters


Filters and Smart Objects


Lesson Info

Autumn Background with Render Filters

Continuing in the tree vein, an autumn scene. It's fall. I like when you did your trees, and you chose the leaf color, I didn't know you could do that. Really? Oh, awesome. Yeah, I just made em all gray and then recolored em. You know, that's a good point to say, one of the things Simon and I really enjoy about this process, and I'm not kidding you, we've both been doing this for well over 20 years, is we are forever learning new things, and I don't think you guys should expect that you know everything about this program. It is so crazy vast. It's amazing, it's one of the most amazing programs, and this way, hopefully, as you guys explore other peoples work, and open the file and go "Oh, I didn't know you could click that one little box and change all the colors." So, it's good. Always learning. Mmhmm Alright, have at it mister. So, we did this autumn scene. Here's the whole thing together. So, you've got a blur background. Leaves falling, leaves on the ground, leaves i...

n the front, leaves in the back. We took Lisa's tree, cut it apart, and put it in different spots, colored it, but then the real kicker to this is that the way the blurs all interact, give you that really sweet depth of field, and there's a couple different blurs. So the tilt blur we showed you on the road. So blurs nearest, or you can choose it for near and then get sharper, or vice versa. But then there's a couple other ones in here that's pretty killer. So the tree render we went and did the blur filter. And again, that was the same with the road, this tilt shift, we blurred it 35. Blur it real close up so you're gonna focus in the middle of the photograph. So blurs closer here and fades back this one. And this will take a minute. I'm gonna take a moment to say something. Take a moment to say something, Lisa. I love the blur gallery. I do find on occasion it can be a little buggy. Now in this particular file, he's got, what, you have four blur gallery files? So he has four different blur galleries going on and we find, especially on a lower, no, not lower end, smaller machine like a laptop, without all the same power, it can get a little stagnating. Generally it doesn't crash, it just takes a while. So, with that in mind, if you know you're going to build a file like this on a smaller machine, perhaps build it in separate files. Take the tree out and build it in its own file, do the blur, leave it live so you can adjust it, but then merge a copy and bring it into your master file. That way you're not spending 100 hours on a job. We have folders, we call them asset folders inside each job, and what we'll do is we will have the fully layered files available, but then we do a composite. And it's all about time and money, isn't it? It is indeed. So this is almost done. So when Simon said it was a tree, that was from the tree render from before. And with that one, I had rendered out the tree super huge, so it's a gigabyte large tree. Huge. So that's what's taking this, so it's blurring this whole tree. We're only using like the one little edge of it, cause I just wanted the leaves to be up close and personal. The leaves will be on the floor of the shot, but you can't just render the leaves, you have to render the whole tree. And, on that note, in terms of sausage making, as I like to say, let's look under the hood and talk about the real thing, when this file would go to the client, you would crop it. You would not leave it fully, you won't leave that tree at a gazillion gigs, you just won't do it. And you'll crop it, and keep your file fully layered, but to the client, because I know if we delivered this file to a client we'd get our head chopped off, wouldn't we? They would moan. Yeah. So that was our very first bottom set. And that's all it is. We just blurred that for the initial. With a background. And we threw another set in. And what we're gonna want to do is build this blurrier, bring it into sharp focus, and blur behind where you want your eye to go. And again, crop part of the tree when in that blur gallery, pick different parts, blurred each and every-- Can I interrupt you too? One of the things I want you to notice on the file construction is he's got a layer mask, pardon me, a mask on his layer set, and that's really a useful tool also, to mask items in and out. So you took all those branches off from the top, correct? Yep, all the tree branches there, we don't want that here. We take those out. A third set, and we're on my falling leaves you figure? Beg your pardon? My falling leaves? Oh, don't worry about those, those will come in, yeah. Oh, right right. And then they were to be colored. So, made em gold. And they were too gold, so we desaturated them a bit. Perfect. And can you do me a favor? On your leaves set, if you look at his layer set, look at the layer mode. It's on Normal. Will you change that to Pass Through? This is a good time to talk about this. Alright, Photoshop defaults to Pass Through. Will you open up that layer set for me darling? So one of the things you'll notice is he did these color corrections and its affecting leaves. If that layer set is left on Pass Through, it's gonna color the whole item. The whole document, you do not want that to happen so you want to change that to Normal. So, I have to tell you, we have this production technique, we tend to start our layer sets and turn them into Normal almost immediately, because we don't want the Pass Through. So this is another, kind of, "Danger Will Robinson," watch out for this area here. And do you want to turn on your little man? My little guy? So, this fella goes right in there. Awwwww This is a friend of ours. So what we're gonna do for you guys is we're gonna give you this file to build without the stock image and for you to put your own characters in there, your own children, your own scene, so you can kinda see how to create this on your own. Mmhmm. And you would just open up, you double-click on this Smart Object, it'll open up to another file. Drop your picture in there, save it off. And it'll save-- That small child will not be in your file, by the way. But... But once you save that off, your picture will go into this homage, and you're off. And take this apart and start playing around and figure out how this stuff is done. Alright, so I wanna talk about a cheat now. We ready to talk about a cheat? Let's talk about cheating. Alright. It's all about time and money. Money and time. So, I feel like it's a wise thing to know when to hold em and when to fold em. And what I mean by that is there are some items, third party items, that you can buy, stock items, that are cheap as chips. Cheap as chips. And for example, on Creative Market, there's this autumn leaf, how much is that, eight bucks? Eight bucks. Eight bucks for this. Somebody has gone out and photographed all of these leaves, all of these scenes. Masked them out. Masked them out. And they want the price of two gallons of fuel. A couple cups of coffee. Right? Let me show you this. So they have background scenes, colors in there. They have items. I'm going to open this up for you guys real quick in Bridge. Or maybe not. You get the leaves and all that stuff in there? You get all this in there. I think I just moved it, hang on one second. Alright. They're all turned off, they're all in here. They give it to you web sized or full size. They're already done. There's a gazillion of em. They're beautiful. You can change the colors. And I think what I want to say about this is if you look at all those images, how many that are available for you, I have to say for me personally, that is worth eight dollars. To put them in the scene. A hundred percent. And I would like to encourage y'all to buy them. Do not steal them, do not look for these for free. Buy them. Someone went out, took the photos, did all this work, buy them. It's eight bucks. Your client will pay for it. It's worth its weight in gold. And I think the key thing is to know when to go look for some extra elements. And if you pay this guy, or lady, they'll go out and shoot some other stuff for ya later. Now, I'm gonna tell you for someone like me, if it's very useful for folks who do this. If you go out and, what if you go out and shoot clouds, and mask em out, make em perfect, and sell a bunch of clouds, like 20 clouds, already masked out, all ready to go, all clean. Someone's gonna buy it, because they don't want to have to make it. So it's also a great career option, I think. Right? Mmhmm.

Class Description

Learn how filters and smart objects can enhance your images when you incorporate them into your retouching workflow. Make adjustments to your file without overwriting your original image. Professional high-end retoucher Lisa Carney will show you the many tools within filters and how to use them to improve and speed up your post-processing workflow. You’ll learn about:

  • Transforming edit functions
  • Camera Raw Techniques
  • Understanding Liquify
  • Blur and distort techniques
  • Adding textures and stylized looks
  • Incorporating third party plugins into Photoshop® like Alien Skin Software and Nik

Gain more control over your portraits or product retouching by understanding and incorporating filters and smart objects.


Pat Saizan

This is one of the best courses I have taken on Creative Live. Just amazing. This is geared towards intermediate to advanced Photoshop users. So happy to see an advanced class!! Very happy to see Alien Skin being used as a part of this course. Highly recommend this course.

a Creativelive Student

I can't say enough about this class. I am looking forward to watching this again and applying all I have learned at my leisure. Lisa Carney is am amazing instructor and I loved Simon as well, they did an awesome job! Just the handouts alone are well worth the price of the class. Thanks for another class filled with excellent content and lots of laughter. I own all of her classes and will certainly purchase any other's she instructs. Way to go Lisa! Well done and Exceptional!

Jeph DeLorme

Great class presented in a way that keeps your attention. This class is packed full of fun ideas with a ton of great take-aways for your 'bag of tricks! I would recommend this class 100%!