Getting Started with Composite Images

Lesson 1/9 - Introduction to Composites


Getting Started with Composite Images


Lesson Info

Introduction to Composites

Well, I'm always having fun when I'm presenting justcause I get a kick out of this and I always hoped that you guys were having fun, but this is, like actually literal fund. Well, maybe not literal that's taking it a little too far, but this is, like, really just having fun, and I mean that in the most literal way that I possibly can because I'm usually just sort of playing around with my images on stage, you know, making exaggerated adjustments and doing all sorts of silly things when it comes to composite image ing, I'm really going to doing some silly things that silly is not even stronger, but it's going to completely absurd and ridiculous on my excuse, which hopefully will buy into is that this is a very brief hour and a half presentation, and I'm going to try and cover a lot of material, and so I can't take my time and doing absolutely perfect job, and so, you know, the sort of two extremes, right? There's taking your time and doing a perfect job or just going the other way and j...

ust having complete fun with it and completely wacky, so please bear in mind the images that I'm working with, we're going to create some absolutely absurd images there, not the types of images I would normally really create it's just easier in this sort of context to make wacky images eh so that we're not having to worry too much about precision mostly because you guys make me nervous when you're sitting there staring at me they want to have to do a perfect job so let's talk about composite image ng I was previously in the earlier session today talking about targeted adjustment that involves adjustment layers and layers masks so that we can have adjustments appear in specific areas of the photo now we're going to take many of those same concepts and so if you understand targeted adjustments if you understand layer masks you can apply that knowledge to everything that we're going to talking about here today in this session and this just relates to pixels instead of adjustments so we're combining pixels having lots of fun along the way so I'm gonna open up this first image just so we can talk a little bit about what layer masking is what a composite image is etcetera and then we'll get into some more sort of real world examples and techniques and help you kind of master the concepts that are going to be important when you want to create composite images now I should stress right from the start I'm going to making a bunch of absurd ridiculous effects you know really kind of silly images for example right from the start we're going to take this cute little squirrel set against this rocky background and we're going to put a nice bright sky behind him not for any good reason other than we want to learn about layer masking and something that's a little wacky and fun makes little easier to understand the concepts, but when else might you use these sorts of techniques so one of the best examples is creating a composite exposure if you've got a situation where there's a lot of contrast and so the skies just totally blown out if the foreground looks good or if the sky looks good the foreground looks way too dark take two pictures set up your tripod take to exposure is one for the sky one for the foreground and blend them together exact same techniques that will cover today that's just a more sort of real world example we're going to have some fun with the basic concepts as we're learning all about layer masks and creating composite images. So what is a composite image? Put simply, a composite image is an image and photo shop that consists of more than one image, so we're taking two three, four, ten fifty however many photos we want and blending them together into a composite result. We're going to some pretty basic examples for the most part today just combining two images together replacing a background, replacing the sky whatever the case might be, well even maybe at a bird into a beach scene just for fun that will be especially wacky when we get to it, but first and foremost you'll notice that I have literally a composite image I have literally mohr than one image in a single document and so if you look at my layers panel you'll see that I have this layer called son in sky and a layer called squirrel if I click the eyeball to hide the visibility of that squirrel layer we see the clouds below we see that cloudy sky below and so obviously in this case it's probably pretty obvious I'm going to blend those two so that we can put this sky behind this little squirrel so how am I going to accomplish that through the use of a layer mask and a leather mask is literally just a stencil it is just defining where is this image visible? Where is this image in right now I don't have a layer mask at all and so this image the squirrel image is on top think of this like two four by six inch prints remember those days you'd go to the photo store and you've given me a roll of film and give you an envelope full of four by six inch prints imagine that that's exactly what this is we're holding in our hands two four by six inch prints one in front of the other so the one in the front is completely blocking the one underneath we can switch back and forth between our prints, but when we stack them together, all we see is the photo of the cute squirrel. So how am I going to blend these two images together? Well, in the real world, I would be using scissors, scissors and glue, and I would take scissors to this cute little squirrel photo being very extremely careful. I don't want to hurt the little squirrel, and I would cut out the swirl and put that picture onto the sky and glue the two together. What happens if I make a mistake? Now? I have to go back to the photo shop and have them print another squirrel image so I can start over. But now I'm in the virtual world, as it were a different photo shop, a more powerful photo shop. Now I can work with complete flexibility so they could go back and forth and fine tune and clean things up and get my image looking absolutely perfect. So I've been talking about a lair mask, which is essentially a stencil. Now I have to actually add a layer mass when we're working with adjustment layers, those adjustment layers come with a leather mask automatically when we're talking about image layers, they do not gonna go ahead and click. On the the button at the bottom of the layers panel to add a layer mascots that circle inside of a square icon, and now I have a layer mask for my squirrel layer. I'm now going to choose the brush tool letter b on the keyboard, and I can paint with black soil, press the letter d to get my default colors and then the letter x to set the foreground color to black and now anywhere I paint, I'm like magically painting sky into my photo. Obviously, I'm not going to take lots and lots of time and doing absolutely perfect result here, but you get the basic concept here that I am literally painting sky into the photo. Well, what I'm actually doing is not literally painting sky into the photo. I'm actually literally painting on a layer mask, and I'm painting with black on a layer mask, black blocks and white reveals, so you saw that that layer mask was filled with white initially so it's revealing the entirety of the squirrel picture, which means we can only see the squirrel and we can't see that sky down below. But as soon as I start painting with black in order to block portions of this squirrel image, suddenly we're able to reveal whatever happens to be below now what happens to be below could be absolutely nothing. It's possible if I had not stacked multiple images together, but because I have that son in sky layer hiding down below the squirrel there, when I hide portions of the squirrel there, I start to reveal the sky below. And now magically, no one will ever know that this was a composite image except for you guys. The rest of the world will believe that this non backlit, silhouetted squirrel really wass right in front of the sun. I was just using a flash, obviously. And again, we're going to make a bunch of these like really silly results with our composite images for sort of practice purposes today to help you understand the concepts obviously there's something to be said for choosing images that actually go together well, and that actually might be believable, although not always sometimes sort of creating a ridiculous image is number one fund in and of itself and actually creates an interesting result, and there are some wild and incredible composite's out there, so you can really take this to an extreme where you're producing incredible artistic images. We're not going to be creating incredible artistic images today, but we will learn the core concepts involved in actually making that stuff happen.

Class Description

Compositing allows you to bring together the best elements of separate images into a single masterpiece, but doing it well is often tedious and complex. In Getting Started with Composite Images, Tim Grey will teach compositing techniques that simplify the process.

Tim will demonstrate “automatic” methods you can use to create composite images in Photoshop. You’ll learn about assembling a composite panorama, working with focus stacks, and high dynamic range (HDR) images. You’ll learn how to create seamless layer masks and how to ensure an object placed in a photo matches in terms of tone and color. Tim will also teach you how to resize and reposition objects so your composites come out beautifully.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2014.2.2



This is a beginners course, with some very handy tips for advanced users also. I am considering myself an intermediate one :), but enjoyed this course a lot! Tim's style is very relaxing, entertaining, and you can learn a lot! I want to see more of this teacher, in advanced setting. Worthwhile buying this course!!!!!