Beginners Guide to SFX
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Creating and Replacing a Background- Total Recall Part 3

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Jul 26

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Cutting Out Your Subject

The first thing tip for replacing a background is to use a solid backdrop. Try to choose something similar to the background you will then be placing your subject on since color and light will reflect (Ex: using a green backdrop will give a slightly green tint to the model).

For the sake of time I’ll use the magnetic lasso to select me out of the backdrop. It’s not going to be anywhere close to perfect, but once you have it selected you can convert that into a layer mask and select the areas you missed. The lasso tool isn’t perfect, so it’s almost always necessary to go back in and fix the areas you missed.

By bringing up the properties window you can lower the density slider which will allow you to see exactly which areas need to be added.

Once you are finished you can reduce the crisp line of the edge by going to Refine Edge. Since we’re going to be adding some motion blur and using the tiles I’m not going to be too particular about the edges being exactly perfect.

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  • Lawrence Smith

    dude you are just awesome!

  • Rvsliwa

    This is great! Do you have a Pro Tutorial close to this type of work?

  • Alonzo

    Fun work!

  • Eric Devir

    Aaron–instead of duplicating your hue/saturation level and clipping it to each layer of the composite background, couldn’t you have just created a “background” group with all the layers and clipped a single hue/saturation adjustment to the group?

  • Amanda Johnson

    probably in one of his composite Pro tutorials i’m guessing

  • Amanda Johnson

    this helped a ton! i was about to work on another image that required a lot of compositing images together and certainly learned a bunch from this episode. thanks aaron!

  • d’

    Awesome work! Thanks Aaron

  • Waseef Akhtar

    super awesomeness xD

  • Some Guy

    Y U NO use green screen?

  • Pingback: Total Recall Part 4

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  • Nick Li

    Quick Tip for all of you guys(not sure if Aaron has taught)

    When you try to key out the character,

    try to play around the blend mode of you character layer to the background layer
    when you see the edges(hair) are almost perfectly dissolved into the background.

    duplicate your character layer again and create a layer mask to mask out unnecessary areas.

  • arrowlili

    Great tip, thanks!

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Random Tips

You can quickly see the color of the Split toning in Lightroom by holding down alt or option and click the HUE you want to see.