BA­SIC WORKFLOW FOR COM­POS­ITE PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

HWM (Singapore) - - LEARN -

Be­fore we start, Guoxin says it’s cru­cial to take note of some points. Iden­tify and de­cide on the source and di­rec­tion of the light. Then for easy edit­ing, choose pho­tos with sim­i­lar light­ing and an­gle (based on the an­gle of the back­ground) so the end re­sult is more re­al­is­tic.

PART I : Mask­ing your ob­jects

Open the im­age of Mario in Pho­to­shop.

1 First, Guoxin se­lects and mask out the Mario us­ing the “Quick Se­lec­tion Tool” (short­cut key “W”).

2 Nor­mally, Pho­to­shop does a pretty neat job in se­lect­ing the sub­ject, but this de­pends on the qual­ity of the im­age, and on how much con­trast there is be­tween the sub­ject and the back­ground. Thus, Guoxin rec­om­mends zoom­ing in to the edges to man­u­ally rene the se­lec­tion.

3 Once satised, click on the “Add Layer Mask” to cre­ate the mask based on your se­lec­tion.

4 Mario is nicely masked out.

5 Re­peat the steps to mask out the lady, and then save it. The re­sult is shown here.

Save your masked ob­jects as a Pho­to­shop le (PSD).

PART II: Pre­par­ing the back­ground

6 Here, Guoxin tweaks the color of the back­ground with a “Color Bal­ance” ad­just­ment layer to color grade it a lit­tle, giv­ing the im­age a more cine­matic feel.

7 Next, he also tweaks it to look brighter with an “Ex­po­sure” ad­just­ment layer.

PART III: Im­port­ing the masked ob­jects

Af­ter ad­just­ing the back­ground im­age, Guoxin im­ports both the edited Mario and Lady images in by click­ing and drag­ging them into it.

8 Then, he re­sizes the ob­jects to achieve the re­sults as shown in Fig. 8. The or­der of the lay­ers should be as fol­lows. Lady > Mario > Back­ground.

Note: The im­ported images will be con­verted to “Smart Ob­jects” by de­fault, but this for­mat is a good way to pre­serve the im­age qual­ity es­pe­cially when you scale it.

9 For easy man­age­ment, group the Mario and the Lady lay­ers.

Step 4 – Edit­ing Mario

10 As you can see, Mario’s right leg ap­pears to over­lap the cars. To x that, Guoxin rst hides the en­tire Mario layer to re­veal the back­ground. Then, he picks the back­ground layer and uses the Quick Se­lec­tion tool again to se­lect the cars. By click­ing Se­lect > In­verse, se­lect­ing the Mario layer, and click­ing on Cre­ate Vec­tor Mask, Guoxin cre­ates a mask on Mario to hide the por­tion of his leg that coveres the cars.

11 His next move is to se­lect the Mario layer and cre­ate a new Color Bal­ance ad­just­ment layer. For this spe­cific project, the set­tings in the Mid­tones are Cyan/Red -35, Ma­genta/Green 0, and Yel­low/Blue +21.

12 Make sure the “Clip to layer” op­tion is en­abled so that it only af­fects the Mario layer.

13 Next, Guoxin se­lects the newly added Color Bal­ance layer and then adds a Hue/Sat­u­ra­tion layer to de­sat­u­rate the col­ors by set­ting the Sat­u­ra­tion to -30. Again, be sure the “Clip to layer” op­tion is en­abled so that it only af­fects the Mario layer.

By now the Mario should look it blends well with the back­ground.

14 Guoxin then cre­ates a new blank layer on top of the Color Bal­ance and Hue/Sat­u­ra­tion lay­ers for im­age “Burn­ing”. Make sure to clip this layer to the Hue/Sat­u­ra­tion layer as you only want the ef­fects on the Mario. Then switch to Brush mode (short­cut key “B”), and pick a “Soft Round” brush (Size 125px, Opac­ity 22, Hard­ness 0) and choose black to brush the some ar­eas to give it some shadow for re­al­is­tic light­ing.

15 For this im­age, Guoxin paints the legs and shoes.

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