Create A Composite

6/13/2012 9:31:02 AM

‘You’ll soon discover just how simple it is to create a seamless composite image.’

Combine multiple images to create a well-blended photograph

Description: Create A Composite

We’re going to show you how to create one realistic composite image from three separate shots. Using layer masks and the trusty paintbrush tool, we’ll take you through all of the necessary steps to cut out and construct your own composite photograph in Photoshop. Follow our step-by-step guide with helpful tips focusing on blending colour tones and blur, you’ll soon discover just how simple it is to create a seamless composite image.

You can follow along at home using the same three shots as us, or alternatively you can shoot your own starting images. It’s important to remember when photographing your subjects for a composite, that the direction of light and colour temperature will need to match closely in every image. This will help to ensure that all of your images can blend together flawlessly in Photoshop. For our composite construction, we are using three images that have all been backlit, this will make sure that all three layers share in the same highlight and shadow areas.

To get started with this tutorial, you can download two of the start images from the CD. To use the same bokeh effect background, please visit the free stock photography website and simply type the code 1340675 into the search bar. You can now follow along with the steps to construct a composite like ours.

Description: Before: You can combine multiple images together in Photoshop to create a composite

Before: You can combine multiple images together in Photoshop to create a composite

Description: Before: You can combine multiple images together in Photoshop to create a composite

After: Learn how to construct your own composite image by following our nine simple steps

1.    Layering

Description: Layering

Use the model.jpg file as your start image then using the move tool, drag your background file on top. Click Apple+T to free transform the new layer and slowly drag out the sides to ensure it fits the edges

2.    Layer mask

Description: Layer mask

Click ‘Add layer mask’ at the bottom of the Layers palette, a black box should appear next to your background layer. Now select the paintbrush from the tools palette and select a medium size with a soft edge.

3.    Add in the back ground

Description: Add in the back ground

Change the foreground to white and the brush opacity to 40-50%, then start painting back in the background. The image’s blown-out background light lets you blend loosely around the model

4.    Match colour tones

Description: Description: Match colour tones

To correct mistakes, switch the foreground back to black and brush it out. Now match the colour tones between images – click on the background first and go to Image>Adjustments>Colour balance.

5.    Adjust tones

Description: Description: Adjust tones

Work through the colour sliders to change the background tones. You can now click on the model layer and go to colour balance. Click preview, and use the sliders to match her skin tone to the background.

6.    Add another image

Description: Description: Add another image

Open the hairpiece.jpg file. Drag the image onto the working composite and add a black layer mask. Then re-adjust the paintbrush size, switch the foreground colour to white and paint back the hairpiece.

7.    Resize

Description: Description: Resize

You can switch the foreground colour to make corrections as you go. Now select Apple+T to rezise the hairpiece and move it into position. To match the colour tones click on the hairpiece layer and go to Colour Balance.

8.    Alter perspective

Description: Description: Alter perspective

Adjust the colour balance sliders until the hairpiece matches the rest of the image. You can now opt to alter the perspective of the hairpiece via Edit>Transform>Perspective, slowly drag in the sliders.

9.    Add blur

Description: Description: Add blur

Finally add a Gaussian blur to the hairpiece so that it blends in with the rest of the image via Filters>Blur>Gaussian, drag the slider up between 1-2 pixels. Now you can flatten your layers and save your composite.

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