Oct 19, 2011

How to Change the Background in a Photograph

Building upon what we discussed on Monday, today we will actually composite an image that one of you chose!

First, we start off by picking the best photo from the submissions. It seems like that largest struggle in the submissions was matching the lighting to the photograph we took. Although it is possible to change light direction in a photograph it is very hard and time consuming. One of the biggest challenges after applying the new background was making the grass line look realistic. In order to complete that task we create a new custom brush from existing grass shapes, which is then used to define a layer mask.

Generally for this type of composite we would want to spend quite a large amount of time on perfecting the masking. We tidy it up as much as we can in the 20 minutes of the tutorial, but it could be refined a bit more in my opinion.

So, let’s hear what you guys think for Halloween week! And, for tomorrow, what do you want to add to this photograph? It can be anything you dream of!


(will not be published)

  • Balandongiv

    Hai Aaron,im enjoying your tutorial.I have a suggestion,can you show us the easiest / high quality workflow to mask or extract out only the subject (Chris).with this colorful background,i usually have a very hard time to build mask for the subject.

  • Andrea Peipe

    I tried changing the background today but ended up leaving it in b&w cause I find it more dramatic in this case… I have a color version too but I prefer the b&w one ;)

    You did a really great tutorial with this one, I was always curious about how to exchange backgrounds in a way that looks real! :)

  • Marvin Schaer

    Aaron you should ask the Swedish wildlife photographer for ideas. I’m sure he can show us some good techniques for faking in animals in photos…

    I’m looking forward to Halloween week, maybe a blood sucking tooth fairy ?! I’d like that !

  • Andrea Peipe

    Halloween week next week!!! YES!!!!
    Hmmm….I always find blood is never looking real when I do it so using blood would be a cool episode :D

    Great idea with the custom brush! I am getting good at those thanks to Aaron ;) 

    What a great episode, I learnt so much today and cannot wait to try this! 

    Oh, and I totally like the dinosaur idea! :D

  • Jeremy Cupp

    Anyone having issues with Vimeo lately? The video either won’t load or take hours to load a 20 min video. Happens at home and at work. Getting annoying.