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Fantasy Composite Shoot Setup

Lesson 3 from: Adobe Photoshop Compositing: Essential Techniques

Aaron Nace

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Lesson Info

3. Fantasy Composite Shoot Setup

Lesson Info

Fantasy Composite Shoot Setup

we talked a little bit earlier about when you create these composites it's a really good idea to have to have your image your background image before you start compositing because it really makes a difference during the composite so let's go ahead and talk about what we're actually going to be doing today then we go full screen that and bring this and so this is this is an image that I created for today I'm just gonna pop right around here and then we are we are going to shoot today okay so we wanted to basically build this in today and say like we wanted to teach compositing but again a lot of it is building the background and a lot of what is going on in these images is done before the day of the photo shoot so this is an image that we're going to be using for today so we're going photograph for amazing model and put her into this backdrop again we're going to be putting her in the foreground but andan later today we're actually going to creating this background in in photo shop so t...

his was actually like four or five different stock images that we put together and change the colors on to make it look like this is the scene but this does not exist like that's not really so it's it's just a really cool thing that you can do in photo shop but um really really important before you start your actual photo shoot is kind of like analyze what's going on in your images analyzed what's going on your background so in the image of a giant ego you know we had to get things like our perspective and you know like the color and matched the lighting like hang the lights in the right place and everything like that in this image basically what we're going to be doing is we're going to be matching the color of the light so our subject is going to be in the foreground and we're going to kind of take a look at this and say like okay is this is it's a bright sunny day is that you know like is it a sunset like what's going on with lighting in this image and because it's an outdoor environment it's not gonna be that complex lighting if you're matching someone on outdoor scene I'm going to be really simple most of the time he's got one light sources the sun right or maybe the moon but it's usually not going to be that complex and in this case that's what we were we're working with so our lighting that we want actually use for today if we want to make someone look like they're actually in that scene the lighting we have to use is basically going to be a duplicate or like a you know trying to match what's going on in this scene and in this case because we have just like a kind of like a dark stormy like night time it's a little bit blue it's a little bit dark we're not gonna have too much like directionality to our light source it's mostly just like a blanket like blue just a lot of like blue fill light basically so that's what that's what we're basically going for today so I wanted to make sure that we taught two different things with lighting today one is to match the lighting from our from our background to what's going on here in our studio so we've got some lines and we're going to be setting those up in just a minute but basically they're they've got blue gels on them so we're using large light sources that have blue gels and that's going to basically duplicate what's going on here in our image so matching the light in the studio with like this in your backyard image and in the second like we're actually going toe we're going to do some really cool stuff after we get our background kind of like tiled and we're actually gonna bring in like or been make that glow with like a bright orange color I'm a huge fan of complementary colors and blue and orange like my favorite combination ever so any chance I get to put blue and orange in an image I'm I'm there so just what makes me a color dork I guess all right cool let's go ahead and get started with our photo shoot so basically to match this lighting and we are shooting on a green screen today so what we're gonna be doing is and john is gonna be kind of setting these up we talked them through way settle this stuff up last night and again this is like it's totally typical of a real photo shoot like oftentimes you want to get your lighting setup in relatively match closely before the day of the photo shoot so we're shooting on green screen today which is it's a really great opportunity to provide a very fast way yes yeah yeah you're good it's a fast way to basically cut people out of their backgrounds so shooting on a green screen super simple but I did want to light the green screen kind of separately from the subject and that makes it a little easier to cut out so that's why we've got to be flats here to the light to the right and left and then just a strobe firing in each into each of these b flats which is just going to kind of angle the light back in to hit the background right and then we've got this giant oversize soft box which is the biggest salt box I've ever seen on dh that's just going to go up really really high in the air and basically this has got blue gels in it and that's to match what's going on in our background image all right that looks pretty good so that's basically it we're going to start off right here and kind of adjust things as they go and that's what that's a normal progression for a photo shoot usually we'll get a you know I'll try to do as much as I can before the day the photo shoot but usually a model will come in and I'll say like all right cool hang out there for like twenty or thirty minutes I'm going to get the lighting right and then you can go ahead and you know do your thing akt act out whatever whatever role you're playing so that's kind of what we're doing today and I wanted to make it like a really kind of like a realistic version of what an actual photo should be so we've set up a much we can ahead of time and then we're going to be adding ended today all right any technical questions were using rented lights which is a great question you guys don't have to buy all your strokes were using rented pro photo d ones and we've got we're shooting with a cannon five d mark three with a twenty four to one o five four point a lens on that and we're drinking everything with pocket wizards uh plus twos can this get as high as possible smart man way played with this yesterday for quite some time um yes awesome so we're tryingto replicate like a giant sky right like a blue sky so we wanted the largest light source possible now in this case because we're shooting we've got cameras and an audience here and stuff like that I did alter the leading slightly slightly from what I would shoot normally my studio normally I would probably just grab a few lights gel then blue and then firing into the walls and the ceiling and just fill the entire room with the bright blue color so we're going to be doing that as well but uh rachel I think we're ready for you you want to come on here's our amazing model rachel swearing this amazing hedrick it's so cool you're doing you did awesome you look great christine are amazing makeup artist did a great job too so yeah basically the next step is photographing your subject and you know hopefully matching her toe what what's going on here in the background and this is going to be a little bit of a live composite so photographing let's just go ahead and see I'm gonna switch over in the light room and there we go let's see if uh all right so just our start image and hopefully this comes in the light room amazing all right so that's what we've got like that are very very start so we can see these lights from the background our lighting our green screen so we've got it's a very nice little green screen it's even from one side to the other and using our selection tools in photo shop we're really we're not gonna have a problem cutting her out of the background because it's you guys are going to see a lot of people have so many questions about you I'm saying like color casts infringing and things like that but cutting a person of the green scary is so so simple so basically we'll be able to select that out the lighting from there is nice and even and then the lighting on rachel is just a general like blanket blue light so if you want to stand right right over here awesome and then yep I'm gonna have you kind of look out in this direction really cool so we've also got this headdress from rooster baby online and she's amazing seller on at the eye contact or like a week ago and I was like I love your head torres I have a shoot in a week and she was like well I don't want to take like four weeks to make these days and I was like and she was really cool so she made this like three days and like the ship that expressed teo to us for for this photo shoot and so it was like a hazing thanks thanks so much for that so really cool headdress and this is a lot of this stuff is like this is what makes these photo shoots cool a lot of the time is you know like these these props if you want to look a little more that way rachel beautiful he's like really cool props and things like that that this is the stuff that I love in a photo shoot now often you know if you're shooting like a bride or something like that you're not gonna have her look like this like this is this is obviously you know it's a specific type of photo shoot but that would be my big recommendation is like do something you love like do something that's actually interesting to you and then you'll bring that energy to it like I could never shoot weddings because I just like I don't this stuff is more fun to me so like I did I photographed a few weddings and I had a great time because they were my friends but at the end of the day I was like you know it didn't excite me the way this sort of thing did and you know it just don't do the things that you find really cool do the other stuff if you need to to make money as well but like make sure you continue to do the stuff that you really excited about okay so this is just a really great example let's go ahead and rachel you can just hang out there so we're going to bring this into into photoshopped really really quickly all right basically I'm just going to right click here and goto show and find her all right gonna right click on the image and we're going to say open with photoshopped cc in two thousand fourteen all right I'm not going to any adjustments to this image we're just going to see like bassline how does this look all right so I'm doing here is and this would happen during a photo shoot we're just gonna click and drag our subject right into our background all right cool let's go ahead and move her up to the top and then we're gonna full screen this so basically at this point I just want to make sure like is this even gonna work like is lighting here going to work is this you know do I need to make my lights brighter or darker is do I need more blue or less blue things like that perspective and everything like that you can even turn around look you're good to go so what I'm gonna do is I'm going to just create a really quick layer mask basically like masking out you know this sort of thing just like making a couple of selections and filling with black on a layer mask audience question ask away did you just use this shortcut to move that to the top really quickly yes hit shift command close bracket thank you yes good question okay more shortcuts and we're going to provide that with the download of this course we've got keyboard shortcuts a great pdf were gonna hand out and really if you want to get fast and photoshopped there's no better way than keyboard shortcuts and there are a ton of them but if you guys have questions and I miss like if I forget to say something just asked because I I've spent years learning keyboard shortcuts and I'm more than happy to answer those questions okay so now you're under layer mass if I just let's say I go down to select and then I'd go down to color range so I'm gonna click on this green color range because there's no other way she doesn't have any this green in her right that's like the whole idea behind you know using a green screen is like aiken select out the green color because there's no other color in here so we're just going to go to select color range I'm gonna click on the backdrop and we can see our selections really nice her you know her silhouette is black and the background is white which in selection terms and photoshopped means white is a hundred percent selected and black is not selected all so we're going to be okay all right and let's just hit undo that went ahead and applied that to my layer mask which I I actually didn't want let's go to select and then go to color range you can actually choose what it's going to apply to here um somewhere I don't know if it's not asking me right now all right let's just sit okay again okay it actually selected I was on my was on my lame ass before so it selected that green and we're gonna click on my background I'm gonna hit shift delete so we've got all the green selected right and now I just want to fill this with black and hit okay on our lame ass and it it makes it completely invisible so just really really quick we were able to completely remove her from the background now I know we're going to get a ton of questions about like color casts and things like that you're going to see a little bit of green really that's not something you have to worry that much about its I'm gonna show you guys later today two seconds and photoshopped you khun right remove that color cast completely or what I actually prefer to do is change the green color cast to the color casts of the image in this case I'm going to be changing that green to more of a blue color cast and then it's going to really make it look like it blends in with the image so the other thing we're looking at is the a little bit too saturated so I'm gonna go toe hugh saturation we're gonna clip that down and I'm going to just bring down my saturation a little bit all right so our image was a little bit too saturated but you guys don't see like how quick we actually got her in there into our background and this is you know obviously there are a ton of like curves and levels adjustments and coloring weaken do in photo shop but straight outta camera I've just taken down the saturation a little bit she's looking that looks pretty good right I mean it really looks like she's in the scene because the color it's not perfect at this point because I just did it in like two seconds during the photo shoot but it's it's pretty good so now what we're going to do is we're going to kind of upped the ante a little bit I want I want to make sure this like it starts to look a little bit better so kind of going from from this area here we can see we've got a little bit of a back light in this actual in our original image right this is I created this little area of focus in the original composite because I wanted to add more interest to the actual photo shoot right like this is just something that I wanted to add to the photo shoot so we're going to replicate that little bit of a back light here in the studio so just like blanket wise right this is the first time compositing if if I didn't want to do anything else we're going to add a glowing orange or which is going to be amazing but if I didn't want to do any of that stuff if all I wanted to do was light our subject similar to what's going on in the background were most of the way done because what I did is I chose my light source had to be a very large light source because I've got a very large light sources the sky if you got like just the sons you've got a hard light source right it's a heart does everyone know the difference between a hard light source and the soft light source okay cool so a son would basically be a super hard light source we'd have to use basically instead of a soft walks we would just use a bare light but because we have a large blanket in sky here with clouds that are really defusing that light we're using a large diffuser as our light source and then we've got blue gels on it to color and the color again it's not perfect but a little bit of color correction and we could go so if all you wanted to do was matched the light in the studio to this backdrop we'd be done it's really that simple we'd totally be done and then the rest of the adjustments can be done in photo shop but we are we're gonna up the ante a little bit so I want to get a little bit of a black a backlight here that's going to kind of replicate what we've got going on here and for this we've got another stroke which is this guy right here and this either weaken jealous like a quarter see tv like color temperature blue or we could just keep this white and see what it looks like and I don't want this to be like super super bright but I wanted to be enoughto where it'll stand out and hopefully pick up a little bit more details in our feathers does anyone have any questions when we set this light up question at hand is what your favorite strobes to use and about how money wheat might you use during a typical shoot ok good good question so I started off using speed lights just you know the guys that go on the top your cameras and guys are familiar with extra bits dot com and david hobby he taught me how to use those things and that got me started with lightning which was like super cool I found after time that I just didn't like we're lying on batteries so at that point I switched from those speed lights two strobes and that was like a huge hurdle for me like getting over house what's the difference here like are they better or they like what's going on here and the bottom line is like light is light and it doesn't matter if you're using an alien b or an ellen krom or a profile pro photo whatever light is light and you might have more consistency with those higher and brands than you would with like an alien be like you're like might very intense in color from one shot to another or it might break more often or something like that but if you're using low wind lights has totally cool so for most of my career I've used things from pole see buff which is like things like alien bees white lightning's when they were out and then right now we use a lot of einstein's I love my insides they're great wait do nowadays we use pro photos in our studio as well because they were super cool when they sent them to us but I have a company called learn and we teach hundreds of thousands of people photoshopped we have a lot of exposure online like if I didn't have all that there's no way pro photo what a scent that here to me and there's no way I probably could have afforded it so I'd still be just shooting with a kind signs but a great option is always rental like otherwise that we're using today are our rentals so I really love using these these mono blockheads you know so like right now we're using pro photo d ones which you just plug him into the wall they're good to go you don't have to use a ballast or anything like that this kind of really similar set up what's going on with like your einstein's or something like that and yeah they they've always worked really well for me in the beginning I started off all right that looks good john can we bring this a little bit further anything yeah in the beginning I started off using fewer lights like I would use to you know one two maybe three lights on a photo shoot on the moor I kind of get refined he started using more lights I'd find that I really like being will do fine tune adjustments with more lights and the big one there for me especially is fill light so being able to like fill a room with a particular color of light it's huge huge huge oftentimes the big difference I see between a person who is just beginning and the person who's been shooting for a long time is they'll really they'll use like form or lights then you think they need but they're just fill lights most of the time and that winds up making a huge difference so you don't get areas that go deep into shadow you can still dodge and burn push things in photo shop if you need to but you don't tend to get things that go deep in the shadows all right let's let's go ahead and test this light out and see what it looks like the power on that one okay let's try that rachel if you want it yep alright so this this time beautiful yep way won't do the hand just yet all right just like that beautiful all right so we're going to switch back to light room so everyone can see these photos as they come in it didn't fire yeah it looks like it did anyway but let's go ahead and bring it in just a little bit more it's okay if it's kind of like on sunset yep um let's angle it make sure it's hitting right about there and then I think we can bump the power up on that so what I'm doing here is basically trying to make it look like the light is similar to what's going on in our background all right we get teo all right and then usually here all just you know in my camera I'll just click here and tried to zoom in and see what we're doing here um or we could just zoom in here on the on the screen and this is a good test of like is getting on appropriate backlight and if rachel turns her head this is you know like we can we can actually see if you want to look more towards me yep right about there look just a little more there we go people all right so we can see like if she did turn her head um we've got this light is now here we go it's now lighting all these feathers from that direction as well all right that looks right let's go ahead and bring it down a little bit more into the frame all right so right now let's come in a little right now I'm kind of playing from memory like would this look like in the original image great all right there we go and let's up the power that just a little bit more peed on my job and we are probably going to gel that with a c t b gel all right there we go all right that looks right now another trick is if you guys are shooting right into a light right like this you're going to get some flair so if you just cover up if you wanna look out there there we go if you cover up the light in the frame with like your finger most of the time you can eliminate flair and because we're doing a composite like it really you know I see it really cool right we're get to composite so it doesn't matter that my fingers they're in the flare in the image you can see this image is quite a bit of lens flare going on you could set up flags and stuff like that if you want it or you could just stick your finger right there as well you'd be surprised how many professionals use the finger method it's very common method all right so looking at this everything looks great I'm probably going to change the orientation of my camera right now it's in in landscape mode I'm going to probably change it to portrait mode which is this is not my set up so I'll do that over the break zoom in a little bit because obviously it's a composite image right we don't we don't need all that extra information around there we shouldn't capture it because if she's only taking up like five megapixels of this image or ten megapixels of this possibly twenty five megapixel image we want to capture as much of her as possible because it's you know we don't wanna have to upscale that in the end so especially with composites that's important we want to make sure we do that

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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