Composite Images in Photoshop
I want to composite some images together and possibly do some retouching. And let's see what kind of project we might want to tackle, well here. Here's an image that I think I talked about earlier when we talked about tourists. And I liked that we had this city scape behind and these colorful umbrellas, didn't like these tourists here. I wanna get rid of them. Now, as with any time that I end up going to Photoshop, the first thing I'm gonna do is make sure I've done as much as I can here in Lightroom. Do you see how the city scape in the background feels a little bit hazy and all that. I'm not gonna hold off on that and say oh I'll fix it in Photoshop, or I'll do it after I'm doing getting rid of those people, because it won't be a raw file anymore, and a raw file is the only time when you get to the pure data your camera captured, and you get the most out of it. So, I'm going to first go to the grid, and we have three pictures, I'm gonna select all three. I got the first one selected,...
I hold shift, and I get the last. I'll hit the letter D to go to develop, and, I need to make sure that one setting and, I need to make sure that one setting is turned on, it's in the bottom right of my screen, and it's called Auto Sync. Do you see that? And you turn it on or off with this little light switch, right there, if you click there, it's turned off, click it again, it's turned on, if that says auto sync it's turned on. Auto sync means any change I make to the picture I'm currently viewing, should also be made to all of the other images that are currently selected. I just means change all the things that are selected, even if though I'm only viewing this one. So you remember, I had three images selected, all three will change, get the exact same changes. So now, I'm just gonna optimize this picture, and in fact, I can try a new feature, I'm not sure I've never tried it on this image, don't know if it'll help, but doesn't the area in the background feel a little hazy where the downtown is? Well there's a brand new feature in the absolute newest version of Lightroom that very recently came out, it's under Effects, and it's called Dehaze. Hmm, when'd they put that in? Well just a few days ago. (chuckles) I'm gonna take that and push it up and look what it's doing to downtown over there. Or you could turn it down and say I want a really hazy image. Try to do that, but then you see the shadow detail, and not very much of it, so I'm gonna go up here to my basic tab, bring up my shadow detail, get what I might like, and to me the image is too colorful in the reds, do you see how it's ridiculous color. So, we have vibrance and we have saturation, we could adjust those, but me it's only the reds that are messed up, so instead of doing vibrance or saturation which affects the whole image, this is when I go to HSL, HSL lets me isolate various colors, and you remember the doughnut? Click on the doughnut, I go over here to the red part and I pull it down, so get that just the right amount of red, not ridiculous nuclear red, and if there's anything else, maybe the yellows a bit much but with yellow, if it's a bit much usually you might need to darken it a little. I'll go to Luminance and I might bring the yellows down just a little. Alright, and I don't want to spend too much time on this right now though, but know that I'd optimize the image fully. But for now I want to get to Photoshop. Before I do, you got a question or comment?
Can you tell us again what is dehaze actually doing?
Dehaze is looking for areas of your image that are similar in brightness. If there is a concentrated area of your image where you don't have black, and white, instead you have these middle grays that are just kinda sitting there. That usually means it's kinda a hazy area. It's concentrating on those areas, and it's says lets take the darkest part and make it even darker. Let's take the brightest part and make it even brighter. But not everywhere, only in those areas that are really similar and gray looking, and so that's what it's doing. I might also come up here to adjust a little warming up. Not that far. Alright, so good enough for now, let's start doing it in Photoshop. I have the three images selected, here's what I'm going to do. I have two approaches. I could try to be fancy and load them all as smart objects. The only reason I'd want to load them as smart objects would be if I wanted to make changes to those sliders again. But we're gonna need to do things to this image that are gonna make that so it'll get to be too complicated. So, instead of taking advantage of smart objects, I'm gonna open it kinda the old school way where you don't have the special qualities of smart object, and I can do that by doing the following command, Photo, Edit In, since it's more than one image, Open as Layers in Photoshop. What that means, is create a brand new file of whatever size these are, and create one layer for each one of those images. So all you're doing is stacking them one on top of the other, and that makes it so we don't have to do a lot of work. I'm gonna do something here. Photoshop thinks my screen is bigger than it is, and it'll take me a minute to figure out how to get it to recognize that, I think it's thinking that my screen is the size it was before we hooked up to the projector. Their projector, I always call it a projector, I'm used to being in front of audiences in convention centers, so, before we hooked up to the Creative Live Stream, that was a funny slip. Yeah, that's it. Okay, now you can see the whole image. Alright, now let's see what we can do. We're gonna use some of the same concepts that we used with with the previous image, that means masks, I'm going to first look through these three images and try to decide which of the three has the most usable information, the most, you know, it has the least problems with it. In this case, you see the guys that are in the left side. I'll turn off the eye ball for the top layer to reveal the one that's underneath. Uh, there's kinda fewer people there, turn off the one under that, okay, which ever one I think has the fewest problems I'm gonna put at the bottom. I put it at the bottom by simply clicking on it's name in my layers panel and dragging it down, like that, just so it's the base, kind of building on top. But when I turn these eye balls on and off, do you notice that the image doesn't line up? It's at a different angle than things, well here's how we're gonna get it to line up. The bottom most layers already active. I'll hold shift and I'll click on the top layer, so they're all selected, and I'll go to the Edit Menu, and that's where I'm gonna find a choice called Auto-Align Layers. If I choose Auto-Align Layers, this comes up. And most of the time I just set it to auto, and I'm gonna click okay. That's the same technology that Photoshop were to use if you told it to stich a panorama. It's what it uses to figure out where would the edge of one picture line up with the edge of the next picture, you know, how much overlap is there, and how do you get the features to line up? But in this case, we have pictures that are almost perfectly aligned on top of each other, and it's just gonna need to rotate and possibly scale a little bit those pictures to get them to line up. So now let's see how good it looks. I'm gonna turn off the eye ball on the top layer, and let's see what it looks like compared to the layer underneath. When I turn off the top eye ball, now, look at it, it doesn't look like it's moving much anymore. There is some change, look at the tall building in the distance. Do you see it's kind of, it's waving. It's like there's a breeze and it's bending like a flagpole might. You know, so it's not always perfect. It got a little confused by the, um, what it did, is it saw the clouds which had moved and it though, oh this cloud should line up with that other cloud, it had to choose between the cloud and the building and it happened to make a choice, that I might not have. I'll hide the middle layer now and we'll compare it to the one that's at the bottom. We'll if you do that, you'll notice that the important parts of the image, they pretty much line up. So now, hide all these layers and look at this as my base. You notice there's a little checkerboard, a hint of it around the edge, that's because it had to move these images a little bit and just like when it stitches a panorama and it bends the images, you end up with some empty space on the edge. So, at the end, we'll have to crop the image to get rid of that, but, we're fine for now. So now I'm gonna take that middle layer, I'm gonna turn it's eye ball on, and I'm just gonna flick it on and off, on and off, to compare, and what I'm gonna be doing is saying what part of that layer I'm flicking on and off, on and off, would I like to use, so. In that case, it's, um, let's compare that to the top one maybe. Okay, I'm gonna go between these two. So, in this one, do you see the people that are in this portion right here? On the one above, you see that there are no people in that spot, so I wanna use this portion of the top layer so therefore, it will cover up this portion of the layer that's underneath, make sense? Let's do it. I need to add a layer mask so I can limit where this shows up. When you add a layer mask, usually the layer mask starts out with white and since it's a small portion of the area that I'd like to use, usually I'd have to paint with black all over the place, or I would have to choose that command we use, what was it called, it was Invert, wasn't it? Well there's a trick, when you add a layer mask, you have your mouse down there on the layer mask icon, you can hold down the option key, alt and windows, and when you click on it, instead of getting a white mask you get a black one. How'd this thing get down here, get up there. And so if you hold down the option key, when you add a mask, it adds a black one, if you forget to do that, just add the mask, and then invert it, no different between that. I grab my paint brush tool, in this case I'm going to be painting with white, because white means let things show up, and here goes. I'm just gonna paint where these people are, and it'll look like I'm making them disappear, all I'm doing is making the top layer appear wherever it is I paint. Isn't that cool, you can just make the people disappear? (audience chatters) Now I gotta be careful because in that top layer there was a group of people in the left side, and if I paint too far over, I'm gonna start getting those people to show up, kay, uh, if I do that by accident, I'll switch over and paint with black because black hides things and I'll get maybe a smaller brush so I can be a little bit more careful, and just kind of paint as much as I can, ah, that's the, the content from those two pictures, there is one portion where there's people in both shots, it's like darn it, and that's where the third shot might help, don't know if it will or not cause I haven't tried this before. I'm gonna drag it to the top just so that I can keep track of what I've done, the stuff I've done before is underneath. Turn on it's eye ball and I'm just gonna stare right where I can see the bottom of that little cartwheel that's sitting there and see if this one will help. Oh yeah, got pavement there right, that is by chance, I was not that mentally, you know, sharp, when I was shooting this. So I'm gonna do the same thing here, I'm gonna option click on the layer mask icon, that's gonna give me a black mask and hide this layer. And then I'm gonna paint with white and just paint where I want this particular layer to show up, which is right in there, no I gotta go, I went too far, I gotta switch over, paint with black. Sometimes it's hard to figure out what's showing up and what's disappearing, but that just means in that layer that I was painting with white on, there was a cart sitting right there. Switch paint with white, and see if I can get that tiny little, nope, there's still a tiny microscopic overlap I think where there's a wheel in two spots, but I'm getting pretty close, aren't I? So if you wanna see before and after, remember, the bottom most layer contains just one picture, I'm gonna go to its eye ball, I'm gonna hold down the option key, I'm gonna click on it, because option clicking means hide all the others. So here was just one picture, here's three combined. Now I see on issue do see it near the left side? A little showing up? I need to figure out what's adding that shine. I'll do that by just going to the various layers, and turning off their eye ball and see does that thing disappear, whatever it was, it's in this layer, can you see it changing? So I'll work on that mask and I'll turn off its eyeball to say does the thing I don't like go away when I hide this layer? Yes. And that means I need to paint with black, because black hides things, and I need to paint there. So now let's see what we really have. We have one picture, where if these top things were not there, you'd see the whole picture cause there's nothing fancy attached to it. Then on top of that is a different picture. In this thing is controlling where it shows up. The only part of it that shows up is where this is white. So, therefore, just look at this. And imagine that all you could see was that portion of this picture. We're cranking this little part and covering up what's underneath there. Then on this picture, you see where the little tiny white part is? That means we're grabbing like this tiny little part about here, and putting that on top of the result, it's no different than having three sheets of paper on my desk right here, one is obscuring your view of the others, and I wanna take a second for you camera guys to get there. But it's just like three pieces of paper here, and it's just that the top piece of paper, if I look only has a tiny little portion of it visible, floating up here, that tiny little portion is covering up whatever's down here. This piece here has got a mask on it that hides everything except for whatever little piece was useful. So we have these two pieces floating above the thing that's down below, it's just hard to see that because the mask is sitting there instead of just seeing these little pieces, but in essence we have the equivalent of this, and we're just looking at it from up here where I can't see what was in that original picture in those two spots, cause these are covering it up. Does that make sense? If I were to actually drag these masks to the trash can, I could apply them so it would look more like what I just described. Checkerboard means emptiness. So here we have this picture, imagine your eyeballs up here looking down, that's where you are. This little chunk here, covers up that, this little chunk covers up whatever was there, and that's what we have. We just have it in a way where if I choose undo a few times is more versatile, because how can I now decide to change this? You got any scotch tape or something? You know, we've done some permanent damage here, and what a layer mask allows us to do is make it so we're not permanently changing our picture, instead the mask could always be painted with white again, and everything comes back, does that make any sense? (audience chattering) I know we're gonna have questions in a second, I gotta do one final step which is simply crop the image, cause then you get rid of the checkerboard around the edge. So I'm gonna grab my crop tool on the left side incase you haven't used it before, it's this one. And with that tool I can go in here and click and drag on my picture and I'm just gonna bring it out until I can not see any checkerboard, and when I think I got it, I'll press return or enter, but before I do, up here is a choice called Delete Cropped Pixels, that means do you want to permanently throw away what's out there. If this is turned off, you'll still have the stuff that's out there, it'll just be hidden, it's as if it's beyond the edge of your document just hanging out there waiting for you to grab the crop tool again and expand it out to let it be visible again. So I might leave that off if I might be sloppy with my cropping right now. So now we have a retouch, So now we have a retouch, where, what did we do, we got rid of some tourists. If we want to get rid of more tourists, we'd have to do more work. These people in the orange shirt, I'm not sure if they, ooo, I can get rid of them. You can disable a mask, if you wanna disable a mask to see the entire contents of a layer, hold shift and click on it. See the big red X, that means this things turned off, therefore you can see the whole picture. So, I do that, shift, click, and I say, oh those orange people aren't in there, so let's use more of that. Buh-bye, buh-bye. Isn't that how you're supposed to say it? Buh-bye. Pretty close, alright. What questions do you have. Masks, load files into Photoshop layers. That stacks 'em, then find the one that has the most usable area to start with, put it at the bottom, then you can turn layers on and off to say would this one help? And just stare at the thing you wish wasn't there, and when you turn on that layer on and off, on and off, say did that thing get covered up or not? If it didn't, if there's something else there that's bad too, go to the next layer, on, off, on, off. You're just staring at an object within your thing saying did it get covered up with this layer or not. Go to the next one until you find the layer that has clean content for that spot. When that's the case, usually I move that layer so it's right above the bottom layer. Just so it's easier to remember what I've done and what I haven't. That's what I'm gonna add a layer mask to, a black mask usually. So it hides it, and I come in with my brush painting with white and I just paint right over that object that I wish was gone cause I know I've got clean content in the layer I'm making show up, and I repeat the process. So, questions, comments, anything?
I think, I mean I think everyone's blown away. Let's see, Cape Town, I mean is this the same thing Cape Town 11 says, hey Ben, please don't forget to cover focus stacking, staying up late here in South Africa to the info.
Awesome. Focus stacking is on the, whatever you call it, list of stuff I'd love to cover if we have time, we will.
Yeah. So, this is a process I use all the time. It's not always though to get rid of people. And just so you know I can get rid of all these people if I was patient enough when I was shooting. If I only took three shots though, then I only got three shots to work with. Sometimes I take 12 shots, cause it's a huge area, there's a boatload of people around, and to get rid of them all, I've gotta make sure that they've moved enough to get clean areas, and if there's one guy reading book or something, I'm gonna go do something, get him to move some where else, like start taking his picture and he'll go, (confused sound) and he'll walk over, so I'll go cool, thanks. (laughter) You know, thanks for clearing out, you know, that kind of thing, but if somebody's sitting there reading a book or sleeping, you can't get 'em to go away. But otherwise you can. Now, I'm done with this, so I'm just gonna go to the File menu, choose Save, and that's gonna automatically save it in the same folder it came from, the original raw files. I'll then close it, and I'm gonna go back to Lightroom, and now in the same folder as the original or in this case collection is where it is, it's in the same folder but it also added it to the collection. There is my end result, it's right here, see it says dash Edit, it's a tif file, I'm gonna take that image and if I want to select the others and type command G, group, and type command G, group, so now the others have been slid underneath there like a stack of photos sitting there, with the good one on top. The alternative would be to move them into the outtakes folder, not a bad thing to do because I might assume I have three versions of this scene because I might assume I have three versions of this scene that are all good and they just happened to be stacked cause I picked the best one. So if I ever do a search or look at the base folder of where these exist, I'll go, oh, there's other versions of this, and I click, and I go oh no, those are terrible ones with tourists all over the place, those should probably be my outtakes, but. Question?
Two quick questions. One, do you have to have a setting turned on for that photo to show back up in your folder, or do you have to like reimport it?
I didn't have to do either.
Oh, there's no setting?
Since the image started in Lightroom and got sent to Photoshop, they're both Adobe products, when Lightroom sent it to Photoshop, it told Photoshop, this is from Lightroom, and when I chose save, Photoshop said, hey Lightroom, here comes that image, and it automatically imported it. Now if for some reason it didn't, and the reason why it might not, is let's say I was in Lightroom, or I was in Photoshop, I did something and I went up to the image menu and I chose duplicate, that means duplicate the entire file. Well Lightroom wouldn't be aware that I did that. Photoshop now would think this is separate from that file that came from Lightroom. I save it, even if I saved it in the right folder and it just wouldn't show up in Lightroom because I kind of broke some of the communication, I did some tricks that messed it up. If that happened, I would go to the original folder that contains, that should contain the image, find it in Lightroom, I can do that by just if I'm seeing the image here I can right click, and say Go To Folder in Library, that means go to where this really is, and then I right click on the name of the folder and there's a choice called Synchronize Folder, Synchronize Folder means compare what is showing up in Lightroom to what's actually on my hard drive and make sure that all the files that are in that folder on my hard drive are actually in Lightroom and that if there are any missing ones, it would count them, and it would show your right here, it says, import new photos, and the number's zero cause they didn't find any, but had there been a picture that didn't get automatically imported and you know it's sitting there in that folder, this would've found it. So what did I do? I found the folder I know I saved the file into, and I right clicked on that folder in Lightroom, and I said synchronize it, go look on the drive for what should be there. But I didn't need to do that because most of the time it is done for you. On occasion it can mess up. But, not as often as usual.
Second question is, when you group them like that, let's say you're gonna export and you select like five photos to export and one of them is actually a group of photos, would you get five photos or would you get eight photos.
That's an interesting question, cause you'd be like yeah, it'd make sense as far as you'd need to know what's going on. Usually, to the best of my knowledge. What happens is, if the stack is collapsed, it ignores the images that are within the stack and it only pays attention to the top. That is also true of keyword searches. If I have five images that have the keyword Arizona attached but they're stacked and the stack is collapased, then when I do a search for Arizona, I see one picture, if I have my stacks expanded where you can see the pictures, and I do a search for Arizona, then all those images show up, and that's kind of an oddity, but yeah.
Um, from Lightroom, you're working with raw, you take it over to Photoshop, it changes to tif.
You bring it back to Lightroom,
You bring it back to Lightroom, it's, what is now?
It's a tif.
It's still a tif, now if you sent this file--
It will be a tif for the rest of it's life time.
And now when you send it to print?
If I send it to print, what I will do, and this is what we will cover near the end, is we will cover how to, um, export your images, so what'll happen is the original will stay as a tif, and we will export it as either a jpeg, or a different tif, or something else that will be our deliverable to give to somebody else, and then after I deliver it to them, I'll throw that file away, cause I have my master here, the tif that came from Photoshop, because the one I deliver to the client probably had one of the layers in it, they don't need the layer usually. I don't want them to see how I did my stuff.
And are there invisible laws that happen between from taking it from tif to jpeg once you send it to print as far as the crispness.
Anytime you ever work with a jpeg, there is a loss in quality.
It is the nature of jpeg. Jpeg means my priorities are give me a small file, the priority is not give me a high quality file. So jpeg is a convenience file format, it's convenience for delivery, but if you save it as a jpeg, you have a quality setting, if you set it as high as it goes, you won't any quality degradation. The time that you would notice it is if you did that, you reopened the image, continued working on it, saved it again as a jpeg and then closed it, opened it a month later do more work on it, and you used it as your working file format, you'd be building more and more compression on top of compression, and slowly but surely it would degrade in quality as you did that, so I never used jpeg as a working file format, I use tif or Photoshop, or if it's just being done in Lightroom, it stays as raw. Anyway, lemme do another quickie. This time I'm gonna do the opposite of what we did with the last picture. Here I have a series of images, I need to get them auto aligned cause I was doing this hand held. And then I want to make it so I can control where these cars are, I like the text on the road, cause anytime you have a kind of foreign text you're not used to, is kinda fun to get in the blurry cars, as it's kinda like breaking up a pattern, the pattern itself is kinda, it's nice, but it's not as exciting as when it's broken up. The text is nice, not as nice as when you break it up, break it up with something that is, you know, the motion, gives it more energy, so I just auto aligned a bunch of layers, let's see what's in them. These are just different exposures that I shot while standing on a bridge, like an overpass and got these cars going by. Like that car right there. I'm gonna take that car as my base and put it at the bottom. So I just remember, hide the others. Now I'm gonna say what other cars would I want, I'm gonna look in this isle here and this isle here, I'll turn these layers on one at a time and say would I like any of those cars too, in addition. Maybe that one coming off the frame at the very edge, you see that guy, so I'm gonna click there and I'll add a black mask by option clicking, I'm going to then paint with white, soft brush, right here to say come on in. Then I'm gonna say I want a car somewhere over here, or over here. So I'll turn on another layer, see if you got it, no, he's gonna be too close, it'll almost look like they're in an accident. Go over here, that one coming on the frame could be okay, but let's keep goin, I like the red cars, how bout that red one in the left lane, let's use him. Black mask by option clicking, paint right where he was. Go over here. That wouldn't make it look like really traffic jams, so let's add him in. Just adding a black mask and then paint the white. We're just gonna make it look like it's like rush hour and I'm getting these crazy cars, look how close they're driving together, let's get that, well that could get in an accident if we do that, oh there that red car on the edge. Option click the mask. There, and then we'd have to crop. Does that make sense how we can put that together? It's kinda interesting. Now, don't deliver that to a news organization. (audience laughs) It's just stupid to do so but it happens, because it's not news. You've now made art or something or decoration, you know, I wouldn't use this in a, for many different purposes, so, I don't know, there's too many instances when people do kind of weird things. Anyway I cropped that, the other thing you can do is something special is, you notice there's a lot of layers I didn't use? If I got to the upper right of the layers panel, there's a little icon that allows me to get to a side menu, and one of the choices in there is Delete Hidden Layers. That means the layers have the eye balls turned off, the layers that are not contributing to this end result, I'll choose that to clean out the file, so now, it's not gonna be as big of a file, and I'll go over here and chose save, now I usually crop first, but. So that's kind of the opposite of the tourist idea which was to try to get rid of stuff, we can also add it like that. Also just as an example, not actually gonna do the work, I'm just gonna talk through it, here is an example, sunset, nice silhouettes, but these people, you see how they're kind of clumped together, not quite exactly what I like, but I love this guy here, he looks like he's reading or drinking or something, okay, take that shot, I'm on a tripod here taking a shot, so take that shot, then wait for the people to move a little bit and take another, oh, I wasn't on a tripod. (chuckles) Take this, and this guy, standing all by himself, nice clean shape, kay. This one, bicycle, with the person, love that. Okay, maybe this guy cause he's isolated, don't like that these are merging together. Keep going, just sit there and take more and more pictures, that guy, maybe a good shot, right? Well you could just as easily put these together like we did the car shot and I wanna use this guy from this part, the other guy from this part and so on, I don't do that very often, cause I'm too lazy, I wanna take a picture and be done with it and go out shooting more, but, on occasion, I just cannot get the layer, the image I want, and so I have to do that.