A quick Introduction to Photoshop Compositing Images

A quick Introduction to Photoshop Compositing Images

Today we are going to discuss a very new topic that is composting images. Photoshop is requisite for composting images and hence we will have an introduction to Photoshop Compositing Images. This might look like a very boring, time-consuming and long process but trust us; it is an easy task to start your journey with Photoshop. Hence, now the first question that pops in our minds is that what is composting is. So let us get started with that.

What is compositing?

Photoshop Compositing

Source: Photoshopcafe.com

The meaning of Composting is simply to combine two or more images to make a single picture. In order words, Compositing is the process of combining of visual elements from separate sources into a single image, often to create the illusion that all those elements are parts of the same scene.

How do we start?

A quick Introduction to Photoshop Compositing Images

Source: Designphotographyschool

To start to produce Photoshop Compositing, one needs to isolate the subjects from the background of the photos taken from various sources. You can use the pen tool to isolate your desired subjects. Nowadays, you can use the ‘quick selection’ and ‘refine edge’ tools which are superb and are a much faster way of extracting subjects from the images, especially for extracting hair!

In this article, we will be depicting the process through a pen tool, to create a path. The benefit of creating paths from a pen tool in this way is that they are re-editable and non-destructive. The process of Photoshop Compositing Images is quite easy.

A quick Introduction to Photoshop Compositing Images

Source: Designphotographyschool

The three key features are as follows:

  1. Selection
  2. Composition
  3. Uniform color balance and light

Now that we are well aware of the three features we have to work on, let us get started with the method step by step

  • The Pen Tool

With the help of the Pen Tool in the toolbar, choose a starting point on the photo then click and drag around the area to be selected. This will create a path (or an outline) to be saved in the Paths Palette.

  • Place the images

A quick tip when you want to put other images into a composite image, place them into the file so as to avoid a hassle. This practically means that the image is brought into your PSD file on a separate layer as a Smart Object. The photo here can be moved into position, made larger or smaller without affecting the quality.

  • Match Color

When all the elements of the photo are edited and are kept in place, use the Match Color tool for an effective way to balance the color between the two images.

Source: Designphotographyschool

  • The above photo is a concept shot titled ‘Recycled toilet paper’. What we wanted was a bright blue sky with white fluffy clouds as the background. See below:
  • Using the pen tool make selections to isolate the toilet rolls and clothesline as depicted. Zoom in up to 300 – 400% to get a good outline, as shown below.
  • Holding down the Alt/Ctrl key enables you to move anchor points and direction lines and again make any edits to your lines and curves.
  • When you have finished plotting your anchor points, you can then save this outline in the Paths Palette. This selection can then be added as a layer mask. It should resemble the black and white image on the right below.

For the next step, we shall go as follows;

  • Import the new sky background by going to the File menu and selecting Place. The image then appears as a Smart Object and on a separate layer.
  • Once, when you are happy with the position of the new sky background, merge all the layers onto one using the shortcut (Cmd/Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E) to achieve this. The reason for this is that the next adjustment isn’t non-destructive so that if you want to redo this edit, you would have to delete the layer and repeat the above step again. Isn’t Photoshop Composting Images a fun and easy task to accomplish?
  • The final adjustment was to go to the Image menu and select Match Color to make sure the color is balanced between the two images. Using Image>Adjustments>Match Color one can easily play with the two sliders to get the color of the image more uniform in appearance.

    A quick Introduction to Photoshop Compositing Images

    Source: Designphotographyschool

This was very easy and a quick Introduction to Photoshop Compositing Images. It is fun to blend two different images into one so that they don’t appear separate but as a part of a single image. This tutorial or article was for the beginners who want to excel in using Photoshop as a whole. Photoshop is powerful software with immensely powerful techniques and tools to edit photos drastically. I hope this article holds enough for your thirst to learn and reach new possibilities as a budding graphic designer.


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