Mixing and Matching


Getting Started with Composite Images


Lesson Info

Mixing and Matching

Mixing and matching so we have two techniques here basically at our disposal we can paint on a layer mask or we can use the selection is the basis of our layer mass but in the real world I'm going to use both I'm almost always the vast majority of the time I'm going to use a selection as the starting point for my layer mask almost without exception but I'm almost always going to end up needing the cleanup that layer mask in a variety of ways so let's take a look at how we can mix and match both a selection as a starting point and some painting as kind of finishing that cleaning up the retouching as it were for that layer mass so I've got this statue does anybody else find this face little creepy it's not just the eyes the eyes are a big part of it but it's lived it weird looking which is why I had to use it today just a little bit odd this is in vienna belvidere castle if you want to go check it out and stare into her eyes but I'm going to blend it with this image taken a little furthe...

r into the alps outside of vienna I've got this stand a line in the foreground that was the real subject of this photo I mean like when life gives you dandy lines take pictures how many that you also love photographing dandelions anybody nobody I know, I don't know what I was thinking that day either, but there were the alps in the background. That's cool. So I wanna blend these two images together. You can imagine, of course I'm going to have the statue and I'm going to blend it into what I would consider a little bit more interesting background in some respects, the gardens at the belvedere castle are amazing, but I think it'll just be interesting with the sky in the background. Unfortunately for me, because I planned ahead, the statue will then totally cover up. The dandy lines will correct that little mistake I made in photography. All right, so, let's, take a look at how we can start this. I'm going to start off by creating a selection and almost always. I used the quick select campbell as my starting point. It does a great job in most cases. It's really quick and easy to use. Just choose that tool. Make sure that sample all layers is turned on if applicable, that will cause the selection to be made based on what you actually see. So it's. Not like I can select the dandy lion right now because I can't see the dandy line, but if I had various adjustment layers and whatnot usually works out a little bit better if sample all layers has turned on in some cases you're working with a panorama and you want to work on just a single layer, then you might want to turn that off, but in most cases, you'll want it on and auto enhance. I almost always want that turned on, because that will cause the edge. Sometimes, you'll notice, actually, after you've painted with the quick selection tool, you let go of the mouse and you'll see the selection kind of dance around just a little bit that's photoshopped, analyzing that edge and trying to figure out exactly where it should place that selection edge. Usually, that results almost always that results in an improved result, but if you find it's not working very well, you could just turn it off, all right to having done all that. Having set up those settings, I'll come out into the image. I'll reduce my brush size using the left square bracket key again, those left and right square bracket keys ally to adjust the size of the brush for all of the various brush tools in photo shop, and then I'll just click, I don't have to paint right along the edge of the statue, I just have to sample enough of the statue so that photo shop can figure out where the statue is versus the rest of the image and so I just click and start dragging painting across the photo this is a mitt look at that I'll drag over here to clean that up it's like amazingly perfect look at the edge of the statue for the hair and you know how difficult it is to select hair in a photo and here the quick selection tools doing an amazing job as we get further down into the image you'll find that it doesn't do quite as good a job if you take a look over here for example we've got this area that got selected that should not have been and if we come over here we've got this area of the image that is not selected and should have been is in the steak right up in here now what I would normally do is come in here and clean things up a little bit so you can see my selection overall is very, very good it looks to be pretty darn accurate so now I'm gonna clean things up I'll just go grab the lasso tool that's certainly my go to tool when it comes to cleaning up selections in this case I need to subtract from my selection so by default the selection tools most of this election tools they will default to create a new selection meaning if I click and draw a little circle here, that will be the only area that has selected, the statue will no longer be selected at all. So generally I want either ad or subtract. I want to add to that selection, or I want to select subtract er is from that selection, but I never use these buttons way up here because it takes too much energy to move my mouth's way up there. Click a button movement mouse way back here, so instead I just use keyboard shortcuts. I hold the shift key for ad this election if I need to increase the area of the selection, essentially, and the all key on windows, or the option key on macintosh to subtract from the existing selection, and then the only area where I really need to be kind of precise is right along the edge of the object. So in this case, along the edge of the statues, all go above where that sort of bad area was where that mistake was, and click and drag very carefully along the edge of the statue until I get back down to below the sort of mistake area, as it were. Once I've gotten this far, I've been very careful along that edge. I can just a lasso around very lazily and loop around that existing area released the mouse and that whole area's cleaned up, so I only have to be careful right along the edge that I'm cleaning up the rest, I just have to encompass within my selection, it looks like even zoomed in close. I usually don't like to zoom in on my photos because then I find all my mistakes, but it looks like, for the most part, here's one other little mistake right here, actually, as I zoom in, I see it's a little bit bigger mistake than I thought it was, but I'll go ahead and subtract this area from that selection as well, but it looks like that pretty much takes care of it, except for this area over on the right hand side and this little pocket as it were, that gap between the hair and the rest of the statute here for the moment, I'm going to pretend like I didn't notice those things so that we can talk about this mix and match concept. So right now I'm using a selection as the basis of my layer mask, so in theory, I want to make sure that I'm doing an absolutely perfect job with that selection. It's not really that important I mean, is I don't want to encourage you to be sloppy, but you don't have to make a perfect selection because you can clean it up as the layer mass later, remember, they're basically the exact same thing being used in a different context, so don't worry too much if your selection is less than perfect, or if you're not sure we'll do, I need the feather this election. Do I need to clean up this edge? Don't need to soften it, etcetera, do I need to blend things a little bit more? Don't worry about it. Get this election as good as you can. We'll do most of our cleanup work or are fine tuning detail work for that layer mask after we've actually created the layer mask based on a selection. So once again, I've selected what I want to keep for this layer, so I'm working on the top layer the statue layer. In this case, I want to reveal part of the background layer, but for the statue air, what I want to keep, what I want to have visible is the statue itself, and so I'm selecting the statue, not the background, so with that statue selected with the statue of layer active, I can click the thumbnail for that layer if I'm not totally sure. I can then click the add layer mass button the circle inside of a square icon at the bottom of the layers panel oh my goodness that dress was amazing it's perfect and look, I can't even see the dandy line anymore away now I find the stakes again so we have the mistake over here on the right side in actual fact, this election was a little less than perfect as we had sort of started to realize and some of those areas but now let's take a look at how we might fix this after the fact well, what if I decided would actually be easier to create a selection again that'll work so this is like some weird hybrid version of what we're talking about going back to the quick selection tool and I'm gonna go to the image layer itself going to click on the thumbnail for the image layer and I'm gonna reduce the size of the brush for that quick selection tool and then I'm going to turn off in this case sample all layers because I have this mask that might confuse things. I'm just going to click and drag across this area to make that initial selection pretty darn good except for this allay area all the halt or option key to subtract from selection all paint on the statue in that area well that looked pretty good and that seemed to be a lot easier then what would have happened if I tried to paint in that area? But now how am I going to use this selection is the basis of a change table air mask that's a little bit trickier? Actually I'm gonna bolt or option click on the layer mask thumbnail itself and I'm going to zoom out just we'll get some perspective on what we're really trying to accomplish here I've made a selection of this area that was an error it should not have been selected in my original selection but it actually wass because it was selected it became white in the layer mask revealing those pixels what I wanted is for that area to be black on the layer masks so that those areas are blocked from view I wanted them not selected I wanted that area not selected in my initial selection. Oh well, that's easy so the selection I just made which was a little bit easier maybe than cleaning up this election the first time around that area should be black but it's white? Well, then I just need to fill this selection with black on the layer mask so kind of zooming out and thinking about what I'm trying to accomplish makes it a lot easier to figure out what I need to do so I have my selection made this area of the layer mask is white but should be black all click on the thumbnail for that lame ass to make sure it's active, I don't want to put pixels on my photo. I want to put pixels onto my layer mask. What kind of pixels? Black pixels, how can I do that? Why do have keyboard shortcuts for that? I could hold the all taking on windows or the option cheon macintosh, while pressing the delete key on the keyboard to fill with the current foreground color. In this case, that would be white, which is not what I want, or I can hold the control key on windows command cheon macintosh, while pressing delete on the keyboard, and that will fill with the background color, which is exactly what I want at the moment. That's black. But if you can remember those keyboard shortcuts or you're just not a keyboard person, no problem at all, we'd go up to the edit menu and choose phil, and then we can choose what were filling with well, we have black fifty percent gray or white as kind of default options as it were on this contents pop up. I want to fill with black with a normal blend mode and one hundred percent capacity. Those were just the defaults, and those are what we generally want with the phil command, so I want to feel this selected area. On this layer mask, which is active with black so he can't remember keyboard shortcuts. Just go to the edit menu, choose fill all click ok and, like magical then press control the or command d two d select that selection filled that area with black cleaning up that portion of the layer mask. Of course, we will recall we have another area to clean up for that area. Let's go and just use painting soon, not just a hair more. I'll grab my brush tool. What color running to paint with in this area of the photo that's, right, everybody in unison. We need to paint with black, which blocks the image. This is part of the statue image. We want to block this to reveal the sky below, and so I'll make sure that my foreground color is set to black again. I can press d for my default colors of white and black and then x as needed to exchange foreground background to make sure that black in this case is my four round color, use a real tiny brush for up in this area. This is where it's actually really helpful to use a tablet or to have an intern do the work for you. As we get further from the kind of finally detailed areas, I can increase the size, the brush again, I'm not going to worry about going slow and carefully to get a perfect result here you get the basic idea I can paint all of these areas you can probably also appreciate how that selection would be so much faster and easier for actually cleaning up so I could just make that selection as we did with that other area and fill it with the applicable color so in this case, fill with black, for example. Obviously if there was situation where I need to reveal portions of in this case the statue later than I could feel that area with white and once I've kind of gotten all the edge is taken care of, then I can start increasing size of russian just filling in those inner details also take a look over here this detail work this is when you really want to have an intern to do everything for you, and so I'm gonna paint with black again to block the statue layer just that outer edge we can still see part of the gardens in the background peeking through outside the edges of the statue, so I'll just come in here with my black brush really small brush, maybe a slightly softer edge and just blend all of that together and of course I would typically go around the entire image you compress and hold the space bar in photo shop at any time to get access to the hand tool so that when you're zoomed in really close on a photo, you can pan around, so clean this little area up, and then hold the space bar and then click and drag to move around the photo. Find any of those areas that look a little bit rough for that. Don't look like they got blended quite perfectly, et cetera, et cetera. All right, so not quite perfect. I still have a little bit of cleanup work to do, but I'll save that for later. Once again, those statue blended into the existing sky so there's that original statue image there's the blended result, and, conveniently, the statute covers up that dandy lion in its entirety.

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