Extend Realistic Foliage Using Photoshop®


Using Photoshop® to Extend Images


Lesson Info

Extend Realistic Foliage Using Photoshop®

So this is the one that came to mind when I was like, okay, extensions. It's kinda not all that sexy, is it? It's just kind of the nuts and bolts of the art finishing world. But then I started thinking. I was like, Well, there was that one job that I did that one time, then there was that other one, and then I was like holy smokes, that other job I did. What happened here was they had a poster, this was in the background, this was for a television show. So this cat gets dropped out in the woods, nothing, he's gotta, I dunno, he's gotta fight forces of evil or something like that with a backpack and a toothpick or something. But anyway, they had the piece and it can't move, and they were like, "Okay, extend the background a lot." And I was like well, give me the rest of the shot, and they're like "That's it." And I was like, okay, so you have trees with all the foliage, all the twigs, all the sticks, all the leaves, you got no ground, you got no tops of the tress, you got light bouncing...

off of everything. You got everything's on a perspective goin' away from ya. I'm like, ho, so I'm just like, it was a toughie, it was a toughie, but once it got done I was like alright that's quite a bit of work I'm rather proud of it. But this is one where there's a rendering filter in Photoshop, so you go through Photoshop, and way down hidden in the corner is this render called Trees. And you go in there and you just pick out it's got just a list of trees. Now, do they look photographic? No they do not, they look kinda Illustrator, but when you blend 'em in with stuff. So you're gonna look at this cat in the middle with his fire. So we just have to put it out there, and then just kinda paint it in. So it doesn't have to be perfect, just has to be good enough to get by, yeah? So this was where I started getting pretty excited about extensions. So this next one, this is the one we're gonna do. So we start with this, and we're gonna do a couple moves you're gonna recognize. So we're gonna stretch it, get rid of that big space first. And then there's, start lookin' for the things that aren't makin' sense, and then we're gonna throw some cheap parlor tricks at ya walkin' out the door. So, before and after. Getting rid of that big empty space, man, that's the scariest part. As soon as you, you just are sweatin', and you wanna do anything else, and you wanna go to bed, and you wanna go to the movies, but until that big stuff gets done it's not done, so get it done. Dive in, get a big shovel, just start diggin'. Once you get rid of that then the other stuff is just ticklin' stuff, it's just funsies, so. Do that, then you start finding the little things that are sticking out, which one of these things is not like the others? And then the finishing touches. (Simon humming) Alright, so open this puppy up. And again, Creative Live says we're gonna hold down Control, touch the Title bar, bring it down to Canvas size, and our Canvas is five two five zero, Tab, three zero zero zero. That's how much tree space we gotta do, and then Save As, before I forget, 'cause everyone wants to see the before and after, on the Desktop, add a underscore, W for work in progress, one, and alpha. K. Oh, okay, let's say one B. Alrighty, so we're gonna, I don't wanna call it cheatin', we're gonna call it retouching smartly, but we're gonna take what's there, that's all we got, so M for marquee, I'm gonna grab the left side of this pup, run it right down the side, there's our left side. Command+J, now one cool thing we can do is we're just gonna stretch this and worry about it later, but this is gonna look like a mirror of what's already there. If we start, you're gonna see ghost-y things, You're gonna see Step and Repeat's, because it's the same stuff. So let's do it on the other side, so if I Free Transform it, hold down Control, in here you can flip it horizontal. So I'm gonna grab the left side, move it to the right, stretch it, grab the right side, move it to the left, stretch it. Now all of a sudden it looks like I got more forest 'cause it does, you just, and you just don't pick up on it. So it's kind of a, it's slick. Alright, so move this baby over here, stretch it out, there. All the way and past, thank you very much. Right side. R-I-G-H-T, hittin' option, touch on the mask, knock it out, big brush, Control brings up my brushes. Control, Option, and I start scrubbing out a great big one. And 80%, 80%. We're gonna want that. (pen scratching) Hundred, hundred. (pen scratching) 50, 50, and then you just kinda gotta eyeball it up right there. (pen scratching) Alright. And then M for marquee, come down on the right side, which we're gonna float. Command+T for Free Transform. Control, click in the middle, hit horizontal, run it over here, and stretch this out this side. Option, Mask it, B, hundred, hundred, hundred hundred. (pen scratching) Little gentle touches here. (pen scratching) Alright. So, yes ma'am? So what are you doing between the Could you stand up? Oh, sorry, what are you doing where you're merging those together to soften that? To soften that? It's a mask, so a mask is controlling how much of it we see, so there's the whole picture right there, and then if you look at the mask, it's kinda like a frisket, you ever do airbrushing, and you hold up a piece of paper, and you blow spray paint by it? So the closer it gets to the paper the tighter the mask. You're not gonna get paint where the mask or frisket is. So think of the black as a frisket. Wherever it's black, the paint's not gonna see. Wherever it's black you're not gonna see the image. Vice versa, though, wherever the white is that's what you do see, so on this left one, here's my mask, so that's how much 100% of that image I see. I don't see any of this in the black, and then whatever feathers, so right in there you're seeing 50. So that's my left side, and then my right side's here, and there's the, you can imagine what the mask looks like, yeah? It's gonna be all white here, all black here, and then it's gonna be some kind of feathering right there, which is exactly what it is. So the mask controls how much of the image you see. Then when it gets really, you can start taking pictures, and putting the pictures in the masks, and then you can start dodging and burning the masks, then you can start gradient, yeah, it's just, It's a frisket that just has endless possibilities. Gangs of fun. It's one of the first things folks should really learn how to conquer. When you get real comfortable doing masks in Photoshop, you're well on your way to, K, give me something new to learn. But that's a good one. So there's our base, there's our right side, there's our left side. And I can already see a couple dark spots right there. Let's make a notes page. New for notes. So, I'm seein' this isn't doin' too cool. So you got light, you got one big light source, then it gets darker, and then, (grunts) it gets lighter again, so we had a couple different curves, we had a lightening and darkening, so we'll play around with that. We could just darken it over here, or we could lighten that up, or a little of each. So, little of each usually does best. So, darken some, lighten some, and then it's also happening over here too. And also you'll see some masking problems right there. So let's tighten up that. Here's another way, if you were to do this, and then really crank up the background, you can usually see problems in your mask. So that's one little trick, that's one way to look at it. There's some solar curves and stuff for real high end stuff, but today we got 20 minutes to knock through each one of these, so we're gonna be a little forgiving. But for that let's just go ahead and do D. Alright, and then the tops. I'm gonna do the whole Merge All, Command+Option+Shift+E, and that merged everything to its own layer, and I'm just gonna grab 'em and stretch. Grab this, Command+J, stretch it. Grab the bottom, and again that perspective thing comes in cool right here. So, Command+J, stretch that, and you'll see the trees go straight down, we do that little perspective thing, Command+Option+Shift, hold the corners, go away, and then you can bend them back in to what looks like true. Hit alright there. So these are right, left, top, and bottom. We don't need this anymore, we grabbed what we wanted from there. These are our extensions. E-X-T-E-N-S-I-O-N-S, now... Here's my new trick for trees. I'm gonna make a new document to do this on, 'cause if I was gonna do it on this one it's gonna, I'm gonna render a tree, but if I do it here it's gonna say, "Okay, you need a tree this big, "we're gonna make it half size." So we're gonna do it on a bigger document so it makes a nice big tree, then we'll bring it in. So here's my new document. I'm gonna make a new layer called Tree. Go up under filter, go on down here to render, go to tree. Now, in here this is pretty killer, dude. Choice number one, Oak Tree, two, 28, 32. Here's a robinia in, uh, bee bop ba. Light direction, play with that. How many leaves do you want? How big of leaves do you want? How far down do you want the branch height? Branch thickness, now you got all kinds of leaves you can choose, go all nuts. And then when everything gets just the way, just starts hittin' the, I don't know, you give me some choices and do that. You can get into all this, leaves colors, there's a bunch to play around with, yeah? I just need an old tree, so I'm back here to one. And we need no leaves, thank you very much. Oh, we'll get one leaf, give me a leaf. (audience laughing) Branches way the heck up. So, the branches are kind of sparse, so I'm gonna take that way up out of here. And bring branch thickness, leaves amount one leaf, there you go, no leaves. Yay, that's what we want. So then we just come back in here and start tickling in here, and we'll do one, we'll do two, we'll do three, and then you can just do this for a whole forest, man. You sit there all day make 'em one by one. So, okay, gimme that. There's one, there's my tree, bring it over here. Sure. Tree up there. Now when we stretch the top of it, it's kinda like okay, dude, but how you gonna fix that? I'm gonna put all these other trees over top of it so you can't see it, look. So, T. (grunts) Then I'm gonna just, Hue, Saturation, let's just do it right on it. We'll darken it, make it a little warmer, K there's one. I think I want to paint behind here. I know this doesn't bug you guys, but I can see my masking's kinda crummy right there, so I'm just gonna paint behind it, aah. Alright, that'll work. (pen scratching) That's why they pay me the big bucks, huh? Medium bucks. (audience laughing) Alright, there's one tree, let's do another tree. Hey we can just go... Yeah, we can do another one if it does the same thing. Yeah, it does, alright so New, Tree Two. Go into Filter, go into Render, go down to Tree. Slammity bangity, give me somethin' different. Branches thickness, branches height, sure. Gimme that one, yeah you got it. Then, oh, so Transform's right here, and then if you wanna do Warp, you can just hit Control, touch in the center, and pull down to Warp, and you can make this all kinda goofy. Then I'll make it a little warmer, make it a little darker. Put that over here. We'll just duplicate that, Command+J, make a second one, put that one over here, flip it, sure. (audience laughing) Way up out of there. Let's do another one, they're free. Free trees. Tree, gimme that one. Alright. Filter, Render, Trees. Alright, it's a little ghost-y. Apparently I hit the number three, it dropped it down to 30%. (hums) Free Transform that to here. Darken, a little warmer, now here's all my trees here. I'm gonna put 'em in a group. So I got a tree folder, I'm gonna take the whole folder, and make it into a Smart Object. And I'm gonna blur it, so. The reason to do that is your eye's going all the way down that forest path, and I want you to keep lookin', but I wanna fill in the goofy spots, but I don't want you do see it, see it, so I'm gonna blur 'em. Like depth of field in a camera. Like it's blurry, then it's sharp, and then it's blurry again, so I'm gonna make that happen. But I don't wanna sit around guessing. So if I have to redo it, I'm gonna do it on a Smart Object. So I'm gonna blur it, you can say one. And then, oh not enough, and it's like, uh, about 50. Oh, too much, but instead of doing it and redoing it, doing it and redoing it, it'll just be, you'll just revisit my little blur. So tree, hold down Control, bring this down to Convert to Smart Object, then I can blur this, Blur, Gaussian Blur, and everything's right there. So we want it a lot, we want it some, okay. That probably worked, but I wanna really push it and let those things blur, let your eye go down the path, yeah? Okay, then we're gonna address this floor real quick. So, darkening and lightening. B for brush, hit Control, bring up that, boom. Control, Option, circle out here, two two, darken in here. (pen scratching) Darken in there, I'm gonna hit this, lighten in here. (pen scratching) Alright, so far so good? Mm-hmm. Alright, one last thing is I'm going to bleach out all these trees in here. I'm gonna go, they call it channel pulling. So I'm gonna go in this, all these channels, and find one with really good contrast, and use it as a mask, you were asking about masks, what can you do with masks? This is pretty killer. So I'm gonna make myself a lightening curve, and I'm gonna go into my channels, I'm gonna choose this as my mask, that one right there. So All, or I'll just load it, so you hit Command, hit the channel, now that's selected, that's loaded, and in this black of this mask to the lightening adjustment layer, I'm gonna, what's loaded white in my channels, I'm gonna just drop white in my hitting Option, Delete. So that's now white in my lightening. So this adjustment layer is trying to lighten everything. It's controlled here, and it is only lightening where this mask says to do it, which is already the lightest part of the piece. So from there we can go in and start lightening and darkening this here, if we'd like. So let's just go B, a lot of overlay, oh, here's another one, Control+Shift, drop this down to overlay, now I'm painting with white on the overlay, which is going to lighten what's already lightened there. (pen scratching) And it's gonna darken on black what's already dark. So we don't want any of that light stuff down here. I'm just gonna darken down this, darken down there, darken down there, Option, really bleach out the center area right here. And then if my trees are in front of 'em, so like, my trees are here, they're blurry, the light's in front of them, if it gets too much just scrubby it down. And that all started with that. Yay! (audience laughing) Ta-da!

Class Description

Sometimes, in order to achieve the perfect composition, we have to extend our images. In this class, Simon Raible will help you master transforming, liquefying, rendering, illustrating, Content-Aware and vanishing point techniques, which are valuable not only for extension exercises, but innumerable other photo manipulation challenges as well. You’ll learn how extending tasks can be prioritized from large to small to best economize your time, and you’ll discover several professional-level techniques to feather your artwork in problem areas.



I LOVE this class! Let me preface this by saying that it's not for beginners. IMO you should be at least intermediate-advanced to keep up with the fact that the instructor assumes you understand how layers, channels and shortcuts work. Having said that, he's a fantastic educator. As someone else mentioned, it's refreshing to see someone who is teaching exactly what the course name promises, he doesn't hold back and he doesn't try to sell 3rd party products. It was interesting to learn how he goes about his edits considering there's 1000 ways to do one thing in Photoshop. I would love for Creative Live to give Simon a full course on advanced Photoshop techniques since he's funny and clearly knows his craft. For the price of this course, I highly recommend it!


Dude, I really like this instructor's style! He is funny, he explains what he does, doesn't spends time selling his own business, like many instructors do here on Creative Live. The class itself is right on point, explaining how to use the various tools to create way bigger scenes from scenes you already got, but maybe they are not big enough to fulfill your needs. The use I saw in this class is, for example, when you do a big panorama, and somehow part of it is missing, then you can complete it with examples presented here. Also, recommended for making posters, or big wallpapers. If I understood correctly, the attached files contains step by step instructions how to achieve exactly what he does, which are handy for practicing. He is definitely one of my favorite instructors from Photoshop 2018.

Paul Vincent Farrell

After the incredible value of his Business of Professional Photo Retouching class, I was itching to gain some hands-on Photoshop instruction from Simon Peter Raible in this class. I honestly don't think I've ever had more "wow!" moments or learned more immediately useful techniques in my many years of watching CreativeLive courses than in this class. I've immediately been able to do things I'd never known in 15 years of using Photoshop. Simon is also such a laid-back, relaxed instructor it's a pleasure to learn from him. An absolutely must-watch course.