Getting Started with Composite Images

Lesson 6/9 - Selection-Based Composite


Getting Started with Composite Images


Lesson Info

Selection-Based Composite

What about selections? Oftentimes selections airway easier than painting and detail, you'll notice some of my painting was maybe just like two percent less than perfect okay, maybe twenty percent okay, fifty percent less than perfect, but the point is that it could be a little tricky to paint right along that edge, and so very often, I prefer to use a selection as the basis of my layer mask here gonna use just a really, really simple example because I want to make it really, really easy on myself to be able to create the result here, so just I grabbed an image where selection is going to be really, really easy. Thank you, tim, for making it easy on ten, so I'm gonna make a selection here. What I want to do is take this field that's been plowed, and instead of this not so dramatic sky, I want to set it against this a little bit more dramatic sky. In reality, I probably want to go find a better field, maybe the canola field that we're looking at in the last session, but I'm going to blen...

d these two images together using a selection as the basis really, really simple basically is using a selection to define my stencil, and we've already talked about this whole notion of a stencil being a black and white image, so this election how are we presenting a selection differently from the black and white letter mass that we've seen so far? It's just a different presentation of the same information you're familiar, of course, with selections it's that marching ants display that animated dash line that moves around the selection edge that's just a way of showing you where the edges but you can think of that as being the same as a layer mask it's literally exactly the same in terms of the way photoshopped manages that information let's, go ahead and create a selection. I'll just grab my quick selection tool letter w on the keyboard, and then I will paint across this comic the brush a little bit larger. You can use the left and right square bracket keys to increase or decrease the size of the brush, respectively, and I'll click and drag across the sky. Oh, wait a minute! I didn't want to select the sky I wanted to select the foreground because when I'm using a selection as the basis of a layer mask, whatever is selected is what will remain behind. So with this election you can think of this election is being white. For the selected areas and black for the de selected or non selected areas just as a layer mask is white for the areas we want to reveal and black for the areas that we want to block and we already decided that for this image we're going to keep the plowed field in the foreground we're going to block the sky so that we can replace it with this more interesting sky in the background, so that was actually the opposite selection of what I meant to make that that's okay sometimes it's actually easier to create this election that's not what you want than it is to create this election that you do want, but now I'm going to fix my silly little mistake it was two ways actually I can fix it right now by inverting the selection I could also fix it fix it after I've created the layer mask by inverting the layer mask same basic concept just two different commands if I want to invert the selection, I could just go to the select menu and choose inverse make this selection the inverse or the opposite of what that current selection is. Keyboard shortcut control shift I on windows command shift I on macintosh I'll go ahead and choose that command and you can see my selection the marching ants move so that they're now surrounding the plowed field rather than the sky again select inverse select inverse command shift I control shift died depending which platform you're on pretty straightforward so now I have the correct selection made here if I then go to my clouds and hill layer I have that layer active you can see the little crop corners on it you can see that the layers highlighted if you're not sure just go ahead and click on the thumbnail for the layer that you want tohave active and then I get to use this selection as the basis of a layer mask you'll recall that if we add an adjustment layer with the selection active because an adjustment layer automatically comes with a layer mass that layer mask will be based on the selection that is active at the time same concept here it says we're not adding on adjustment layer that comes with a lair mask automatically instead we're adding a layer mass between existing image layer so I'll just go ahead and click on that ad layer mask but in that circle inside of a square icon at the bottom of the layers panel and show exam that was amazing and fast and easy perfect I won't zoom in because I might realize it's slightly less than perfect but from here it looks amazing all right pretty cool so what we've done we've just added a layer mask with an active selection and so the layer mask is based on that selection so many times in on maybe not all situations, but certainly the majority of situations. I find that it's, best or easiest to start with this election, make a selection that's pretty accurate and then use that as the basis of the layer mask will see some ways to find tune things a little bit later. But let's assume just for sake of argument that this was the result I ended up with. How did that happen? I don't know you weren't watching, so you might have missed it, but let's assume that I added the layer mask in. This is what resulted, so I basically blended a not so good sky with a better sky rather than blending a plowed field in with the better sky that's, the opposite selection of what I wanted. So if I had not realized that it was the wrong selection, the backward selection, the inverted selection from the start and then I add that layer mask and say, oops, I don't have to back up and undo those things. I can just invert the lair mess so again, I can invert the selection. But I can also invert the layer mask after the fact same concept, just a slightly different command. So with the layer mask active, will click on the thumbnail for the layer mask to make sure that it is active. I could just go to the image menu, for example, and choose adjustments, followed by invert. Or, as you can see, I have the keyboard shortcut control eye on windows command I on macintosh. And so I'll just go ahead and switch back and forth. And you see, we're seeing the sky in one area versus the other meaning that this guy that's underneath the better sky. But this is the version of the layer mask that I actually wanted so I can reverse or invert a selection. I can reverse or invert a layer mask, same concept, really the same thing right there. Just a stencil where black blocks and white reveals they're just being presented in different ways are being used in different contexts. Now our next step will be to find a better foreground image for that sky so that we can make an even better composite.

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!!!!!