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Compositing Special Effects

Lesson 9 from: Adobe Photoshop Compositing: Essential Techniques

Aaron Nace

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Lesson Info

9. Compositing Special Effects

Lesson Info

Compositing Special Effects

let's go ahead and import our orbit so we're going to go in the light room there we go let's take off our filters and let's grab our or somebody here go to a show and find her again we're going to right click on this and say open with photo shop cc two thousand fourteen and we're going to open this image let's go ahead and up the oranges reds and yellows saturation okay now in this case I really don't need much of this image at all so instead of copying the entire image I'm going to use my marquee tool we're just going to choose that part of the image and I'm gonna use my move tool to click and drag all right it's clipped right now in our subjects so it's only visible where our subject is visible just hit the control of the command key and the close bracket a couple times and then it won't be clipped to her any more alright let's just go ahead and just look at gonna go ahead and save this out just in case huh if you wanted to reduce your style size just put a white layer on the top of ...

everything which is ridiculous that their works okay there we go now in this case you can use this like color range or you could do a simple tool like the magic one tool and uh use that to create a layer mass because it's just you know just on a backdrop there all right I'm gonna zoom in here and I'm just going to use the lasso tool it's kind of get this cut out because I don't mind if it has a little bit of ah kind of a jagged edge there it's kind of actually what I want so I'm dis using a really quick way to make a selection and that's the last o'toole alright and we're going to fill that with black all right does anyone have any questions maybe in the chat room while I while I do this I'm just gonna kind of go on autopilot for a second all right so this came from earlier from photo maker and want to know is there a way to de saturate the edges or is that what the feathering does when you're in refined mask and that's sort of what you were just showing correct yeah yeah that's a really good question you khun de saturate it is if you want to select just your edges and image that's actually a really good really good question you can control or command click on your layer mask which is going to select your edges okay and then if you want to let's say you wanted to shrink that selection a little bit what you could do is go to select modify and then contract so you could actually contract that by about ten pixels okay so now we have let's say we just have our edges selected or we wanted five pixels or something like that and now if I were to hit shift command I to invert my selection and then I created a hue saturation adjustment layer and brought my saturation down make sure that's clipped what I'm essentially just done is I've only selected can you see that I've only selected my edges and aiken bring them down in saturation not only that but if I wanted to colorize let's say I wanted to match my edges to something and I wanted my edges to have like a blue tint to that I could do that as well so I could add like a little bit of a blue tint to just the edges of my image as well terrific and want to answer the most age old question flow versus opacity flow versus opacity good question flow basically works a lot more like a what I would consider like a natural medium meaning that if you if you paint over the same area over and over again flow will build up your brush and opacity won't capacity you have to lift your brush or your pen tablet or your your cursor off of the screen or you have to unclip teo apply more uh to apply more pressure I'm probably better if I showed that all right let's do it right so a brush opacity of one hundred percent and a flow of one hundred percent is gonna look like this let's get a lighter color all right if I bring my capacity to five what it's going to do is everywhere I paint I'm gonna pay with fifty percent capacity if I let go I can stack that right so now I'm painting with another fifty percent capacity but they only stock where they intersect all right if I want to pay with a capacity of one hundred percent but a flow of fifty percent I get the same thing but if I if I go over the same area over and over again it automatically stacks without me letting go so in my opinion using flow is a much more natural way to paint in photo shop because you get a natural build up like aiken I can choose to have mohr visible in some areas and less visible in other areas depending on how many times I actually overlap what I paint great question so I'm a big fan I tend to use flow more than I use a passage changes great and then for driver forty nine I'd like to know if this is even remotely possible to do this stuff without a walk um tablet using a mouse yeah totally possible yeah one hundred percent you could totally do it I just I prefer walking tablet I find it makes my job a lot easier especially when you're getting into the little bit more complicated photoshopped stuff like we're doing but yeah hundred percent you could do it with a with a mouse I'm old school can't get away from my mouth I'll teach you what these these all right I'm just making a couple of copies of this and like scaling it down to kind of round it out just happens to be the thing that I thought I could do right now obviously I just took this picture earlier today so I have not practice of this alright so rounding that out let's go ahead and group those together all right so this is like her the orb of color that I that I want to make let's go ahead and just let's stretch this out a little bit there we got double click on this and we'll just call this orb okay I don't know what this thing is that's up to the up to the user now will go into our levels adjustment layer and I'm gonna bring this up a little bit so we're gonna just brighten up and I'm gonna go to buy red channel and we're gonna pull the left a little bit to adam or rent I'm going to my blue channel and I'm gonna pull this to the right a little bit toe add more yellows and red and yellow at added together is orange so we're now going to go back to our brush rule and I'm just gonna paint right over top of this there we go all right now any time I'm doing an effect like this I'd really like to do a couple of different layers like here I'm gonna grab a red adjustment layer and now I'm using curves which are really similar to levels they're a little more visual you can take your red channel and just kind of pull that up there we go way all right so I'm painting some of the color inside of the orb but I'm also making sure that I paint you know some outside of the orb is well because it's supposed to be kind of you know covering whatever areas are around there all right let's go to our blue channel gonna pull this down here a little bit and again I I haven't done this before now so I don't really know exactly what this is gonna look like but this's kind of the process I would normally go through all right let's create another layer and I'm going to grab this color here and just paint over there we can play with a couple layer blend modes like our colored dodge all right now that looks horrible right now but if I change it a little bit let's try double clicking on this I'm going to use my blend if to make this not visible where the underlying layer is darker so it's just going to show up over the lighter areas all right and I can hit command you to kind of change maybe the lightness of this a little bit and I could bring up the saturation of this a little bit a swell so just kind of like a couple of these really cool layer effects are just gonna help add to this orb a little bit all right now this guy this is just a uh a stock image here of the northern lights so again we're going to try changing this I'm going to go from a normal blending mowed down here to screen I'm gonna get command j because I think I'm gonna use this a couple times and any time you think you might use something a few different times it's a good idea to go ahead and just create a copy all right we're not going to use our levels to darken it up a little bit and I don't I don't know how we're gonna mean I don't know this is you know and your normal here we go let's go ahead and hit warp in a normal setting I would probably spend you know maybe an hour to kind of like playing around with this and figuring out exactly what I wanted right now I'm just doing it live so I really know what tonto but that's ok it's going to look amazing all right there we go and let's just change our hit command you on this later now and I can change the hugh of this kind of match what we've got going on here all right there we go let's he was a couple of these guys here alright right click on this goto flip horizontal that's gonna be cool all right there we go let's bring up our black point just a little bit there we go ends now what we want to do is hit command you again to kind of just change our you and you know get it something a little bit more on the warmer side I don't know what I'm doing all right there we go that looks cool scrapper saturation a little bit all right I'm gonna hit command elegant well just change just a little bit more okay and now I like that a decent but I'm gonna hit command j so I've got I've got another copy that I'm just gonna kind of save there we're going to put a layer mask on this one and then I'm gonna just paint this black over here so again we don't want to see any edges right when we do when we do this all right there we go command tea this time I'm gonna flip it this way so just kind of like using the same the same image over and over again right in kind of getting getting a little bit more versatility out of it if that's what you want all right command you and or you can hit command you or you can hit command m which is going to bring up our curves adjustment later and I realized I'm going a little bit faster at this point I just want to make sure that the end of today we actually have something to look at um I can bring my reds up and it's just going to put a little bit more read into that layer all right very cool and these air coca their galaxies right there so there's a little bit like a star effect in there as well let's bring down the capacity that one a little bit and then yeah this is just another another cool thing I want to do I'm gonna create a new layer in here and I'm gonna use my brush tool let's goto window and then down to brush and I'm gonna turn on scattering so I'm going to scatter all these like particles around all right let's make our harness a little bit higher so this is um yeah basically I've got something that like looks like that now let's go ahead and turn on both access ese um we're going to turn our spacing up a little bit so I'm creating custom brush that I wanted to look like star dust or something like that all right and now I'm gonna double click on this adjustment layer and I'm gonna go to a show that looks cool and we'll give it like a nice oranges color there all right and go ahead and change our spread maybe no we want to change her size all right to make these look like little particles of something or other alright let's take command and then hit delete and then we can just paint whatever we want on this slayer and it's going to come in with these uh you know with these little guys here all right let's make sure we lower brush size down here cool so I'm just having like basically special effects toe you know toe wherever we're we're painting all right so like little stars and effects like that things like that so this is like maybe she's holding a galaxy like in between her hands it's pretty normal thing to do I guess you got the whole world all right um yeah and normally I would probably find like other images and you know kind of place those together but you can see I'm just kind of painting around with a custom brush here and adding a little bit mohr effect to what I just did so that was just a custom brush with a with a layer effect that added a little bit of glow to that kind of make it a little bit um a little bit cooler all right and let's see we got one more of these ready for a quick question oh yeah eso this purse says hey aaron great episodes so far if you wanted to add even more particles around the glow would use a stock photo of a burning fire or would you use a brush to add them oh that's awesome question yeah fire would be cool um yeah like really just whatever you want like if you want it to look like you know fire then yeah by all means like totally you know go with go with fire at this point it's really just whatever you know whatever you want it to look like like I didn't really have too much of a plan for what I wanted to look like if that's not already completely obvious but yeah I like it you know I was thinking more of like this would be like a celestial type of orb or something like that rather than rather than a fire image but yeah if you wanted if you wanted a fire all right so this is exactly what I would do and I want to think about you know like my layer blend modes and things like this when when I'm going to look for a fire image so keep in mind those things like remember the lightning whose light colored lightning on a black background fright and there we go I want to look for something similar if I'm going to be using fire because I'm not going to go in with a layer mask and try to like laywer mask out fire that doesn't make sense if I can find an image of fire I want a black backdrop then I can use a blending mode like screen or even something like overlay it it's long as if I used overlay I would use blend if a swell but I want to find an image that's going to make it easy on me to then add to that ad that image into uh into the final all right so this is yeah this is exactly what I did you know when finding the original images just go into an image like this like that's good enough right you guys like that fire all right so we'll go in there and then a log in and then okay so you two use a comp just click on an image click on it downloaded comp image will show you something like this so this is something you guys could you if you's if you're unsure whether you're actually going teo purchase something so you can go to right click on this and this is you know it's it's water mark so you can go to right click and now you can see either saving him a chest or copy image so we're going to get a copy image let's go back to photo shop and obviously it's going to say fur tolia on it but we're going to create a new layer and we're gonna hit command be pasted okay so let's go ahead and scale this up a little bit and uh there we go now there's some really cool things we could do this shit slower rapacity someone hit v and then the number five if I hit command tea we have our standard warp tools along the top here but then we can click into this guy which gives us our options for like a gn ark or arch or other things like that so let's try and arch and I'm gonna just increase that to make it look like you know it's like going to go around the orb right so let's click that button up there now we can hit command tea and scale it down a little bit because we want this kind of looks like it's you know a fiery orb of death all right now we just want the black to be invisible here right so to do that all we have to do is change our blending mode from normal down here to scream and the blacks invisible and then you got your fiery orb of death um and for this I would probably you know make all these other effects invisible um yeah so I hope that answers that question pretty easy to do just find a picture of fire on a black background warp it correctly and in this case it's actually it's two can you see how it's too sharp it actually needs a little bit of a blur on it to make it look real so using the keyboard circuit that we created earlier shift option command g you just add a little bit of a blur to it and it would help it make it look real so there's the preview auf and then back on not a huge difference most of the time but it would help it make a little bit more real here we go and then we got in an or a bonfire weaken basket I probably won't leave this in the final because it's got a logo on it but uh but I hope that answered their questions on how on how you might fire it dear you ready for another question yeah fantastic this is from oliver vest I'm wondering american talk a little bit about the legal aspect of finding source material for artists who just can't afford to pay tons of money potentially for you know for the stock photography and then at what point in this once you've purchased from foe put a little leo tell you do you then need to credit the people were you received from them so it's a two part question okay great question legal wise I would always recommend contact if it's a gray area contact like an organisation like the mp they've got really great guidelines on that we have for our company for instance we have like kind of different guidelines to go on for instance we we created amazing tutorial recreating the american horror story graphics weii did the photo shoots in our studio we put someone in faith paint and we made them look just like the american horror story graphics for the cover with the you know all white face with like the black and the dripping eyes and stuff like that and through contacting a siri's of attorneys found out that we weren't allowed to publish that even though I photographed the model myself I applied the makeup I did the photo shop everything it came out too similar to the original one toe where we can't show it at all and that's really unfortunate because I thought we could because I'd actually didn't use any stock images on that I photographed all of it but it was still so close to the original that I was not able to display so I could talk about it right now but it came out really good I promise um so even questions like that like something I thought I would have thought we'd have been totally in the clear about it still turns out that I was wrong in that if there's any gray area I would really recommend just you know like the s and p s a really great place to look up the information a ce faras finding stock there's there's always going to be like by downloading this image you agree to our terms of service and our and our usage rights and things like that so just make sure that you read through those pretty pretty clearly yeah I don't want to give out any legal advice because I'm like I'm obviously not the person because I've done things in the past where it's like like the american horror story I thought it would be totally okay and it turns out I was totally wrong in that so awesome read the fine print is perfect so how are you feeling are we are you are you feeling at the end of the road on this yeah I feel great right there beautiful image there's someone that I'd like to do so great that profession of our subject right now is just a little bit too high especially with the blues and I like the blues I'm just going to bring those down just a little bit to kind of match what we've got in the background and then I kenbrell in the color from my background up a little bit and as you see the contrast in my image from my subject to my background is different the black levels of my subject are darker you can see how the blacks in my subject really do go pretty black but in the background image it's not that dark so what I'm gonna work on now excuse me is a little bit of the contrast and a little bit of color to help match lt's a little bit better all right so we're going to go to our blues this is a huge bachelor hugh saturation layer that's clip to my subject so notice I'm only creating these leather masks once now if I want to just the saturation my blues I can I can do this and it's only going to affect my subject stuff the real amazing part about using these clipping mask so the blues I did like but they were just a little bit too saturated so again I'm just going click and drag that down a little bit but we could see using blue and orange together in an image combination is just it's gonna be money every time all right let's go ahead and look at our background now I've created our background and I can either choose to adjust everything individually by going into the sky and everything like that or I could do things separately and it just depends kind of like adjusting things separately is usually going to get a little bit of the better result but if you if you wanted to basically I could just create a curves adjustment layer right here under our subject or levels you know what I'm going to use levels because we've used level so many times today I don't want to add any confusion here so I'm gonna bring my black point up in my background which helps to match my black point that's my subjects reflecting there we're going to go to our blue channel and I'm gonna pull in a little bit more blues in their background and you can see how that like to second change has turned our background into something that really does match what's going on in our subject a little bit more okay and now if I want to I can really go and add any of these now also keep in mind remember our sky and our mountains and everything like that they have nothing to do with each other right so like if I wanted to move my sky I could still move my sky there's no rules on that right like I could do whatever I want if I want my sky it'll be over there I couldn't do that if I want to you know make it lighter where the birds are if I want to make it darker here I want to bring it over here I can do anything I want still I just you know I want to make sure that I am still making the left side of the image a look on the light side but I can still do anything I want like if if some area for instances is keeping my image from looking good I can still adjust that if I wanted to just completely get rid of my mountains boom no mountains like it's not a big deal if this you know if my mountain is just I mean hit command tea on this if I wanted to stretch this out so it's like not sticking up between her face I could I could do that too like you know okay now we have like you know stretching wide mountains any of this stuff I I couldn't do even after I've created the composite so like all this stuff it's a really great idea to get most of it in there ahead of time but if you do want to change this stuff it's not it's not the end of the world and you know sometimes this is it's not a bad idea so and again I would probably do different variations of it and depending on your resource is you know now we got a really tall mountain um depending on your resource is like for instance I I now work in a studio with a bunch of really creative amazing people so all usually create a few different variations and I'll just ask everyone in the in you know in the studio like hey do you like this version of you like that version you know do you think I should go with this or that or that and you know if you guys have friends in your in your hometown or online or whatever it is that you trust and you you know you want to get their their opinion on it like yeah go for it there's you know I think that's a great idea like I'm all about you know asking friends for help and stuff like that you know I want the lightning to be more visible coming out of her nose I don't know I can do whatever you want let's sit command t gonna right click there and say flip horizontal so let's see you that looks so placed but whatever um yeah now you can see the lightning uh whatever whatever we want to do and I can you know I could move my bird's a little bit higher is well everyone loves those birds put a bird on it that's all right so yeah I'm making these changes you know like that's that's really it's really what it's all about you khun do this stuff at any point in time and that's why that's why these composite images they're so amazing because you're really never never research it if I want my you know my mountains to be even darker I can do that as well let's make this darker and then maybe I'll just paint this visible you know here in the foreground perico alright and then we'll just click here and I'll add a little bit more blue to that as well all right

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Fantasy Composite
Soccer Composite
Adobe® Photoshop® Keyboard Shortcuts
Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews


This was the Best Creative Live course I have had the pleasure to watch. Aaron was so informative and explained each technique very well. He was so pleasant to watch because he was so humble and was so happy and excited about what he was creating. What an excellent teacher. I hope he does more seminars.

Curtis Roberts

Fantastic Course! I've watched (and purchased) many courses from Creative Live, and there are many good instructors; excellent instructors, in fact. Aaron's course on compositing essentials is one of the best. In addition to being a technical expert, he is a great teacher; a real talent. Great information and good illustrations/explanations. He does go a little fast when using Photoshop, and while I was trying to find the short-cuts keys, I would find he was three more points down the trail ahead of me. (That's part of why I bought the course ;-) )

Juli Miranda

I love the class he is generous, clear an super fun!! i highly recomend it. A lot of trics and cool information. He is Great teacher and super high level photoshoper... So greatfull. thanks!

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