Beginners Guide to SFX
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PRO The Outlaws
Difficulty: Advanced , Length: 3:10 Hr.
• Calculate Advanced Perspective
• Creating Shadows
• Adding Fire
• Cutting Subjects Out

Sometimes you try your best and your photos still come out boring. In this Advanced PRO Photoshop Tutorial we show you how to photograph and composite your subject onto a new background to make your image really stand out.

From retouching and compositing to special effects and coloring, this PRO Tutorial has it all!

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PRO Tutorial: The Outlaws
PRO Texture: Smoke and Fog
What is Included
What happens when you photograph your subject on a blank backdrop and decide later to composite them into a different background? In this PRO Tutorial we cover everything you need to know including:

  • Complete Photoshop Tutorial – Over 3:10 Hours of Step-by-Step instruction
    • Section 1 – Introduction and Planning
    • Section 2 – Creating a Background From Multiple Images
    • Section 3 – Cutting Subjects Out of Background
    • Section 4 – Calculate Camera Angle and Match Perspective
    • Section 5 – Highlights, Shadow, Color
    • Section 6 – Adding Fire
    • Section 7 – Retouching and Finishing Touches
  • Original Images – 20 Images Included
  • Custom Photoshop Brushes – 3 Custom Brushes
  • Custom Photoshop Action – Special Composite Action
Creating a Background
Often times you are not going to find the exact background you want for an image, so being able to create one from many different sources is a great skill to have. In this tutorial we cover all the essential steps on how to photograph and composite backgrounds together seamlessly.After the background is created it needs to be altered to fit the subjects and make sense with lighting. This can be quite difficult if you don’t have experience changing exposure and altering color and light. That is why we pay special attention to teaching it the right way in this tutorial.

Rollover the image below to see what you will learn on transforming a background.

Phlearn PRO The Outlaws
Creating Fire
It is generally not a good idea photograph a ball of fire right next to someone’s head, that is where Photoshop comes in. The freedom that Photoshop gives you is amazing and literally anything you can think of can be done. In this tutorial we show you how to cut the fire out of its background and integrate it seamlessly into the image.You will also learn how to create the light on the ground that is cast by the fireball.

Phlearn PRO The Outlaws
Learn How to Cut People Out
Any time you plan on compositing multiple images together you are going to have to cut something out. Depending on the complexity of the image, you may need to be very precise. These subjects proved to be challenging because they are each on a motorcycle with a lot of small parts and individual spokes on the wheels.No matter how complex your subject is, you will be able to cut them out properly after this tutorial. We even develop an amazing trick to get rid of the white edges so commonly associated with composites.

Phlearn PRO The Outlaws
Phlearn PRO The Outlaws
Amazing Blue Fire
You will learn far more than just how to cut out fire in this tutorial. After it is isolated from its background, we add layers upon layers of detail to make it more realistic and dynamic.What happens when you want blue fire in your image but can’t photograph blue fire? We show you how to alter the flame color while retaining color depth and detail as well as subtle highlight color shifts.

Light Cast on the Ground
The tough part of compositing these people in the background is that they are each holding a glowing ball of light. Any time you have a light source in an image, that light needs to effect everything around it to look realistic. That means that even the ground under the bikers gets lit by this blue light and needs to transfer onto the new backdrop.
Highlighting Details
There are so many great details in this image and we cover how to bring out the details you want to see and how to hide the details you don’t. When you have this much going on you have to cut out your subject perfectly so you can see the background through parts of the motorcycle.
Interacting Subjects
Remember these images we not supposed to be composited together. At the time of shooting, these were going to be separate photos on a gray background. Only after editing the images did we decide to composite them together onto a background.This means that the subjects have to blend perfectly with the background as well as each other. In this case we had to be sure the light from the orange fire casts light on the woman biker. All of it is done in Photoshop.

  • kayhettin

    Aaron, dude, this is literally like the Konami code for doing compositing. The Full Check is sooooo OP (overpowered) in the sense that it makes it so easy to place objects within the scene. You have heavily enlightened me, many many thanks.

  • Mark Hoffmann

    Hi Aaron, decided to spend my weekend going through this tutorial, with a few slight variations. :) Have attached the resulting .gif, hope it works. I used the teal/orange colour toning you discuss in the “How to make a badass photo”, and left the headlights in and used the “how to make light beams from nothing” to turn them on. Hope it looks all ok… Anyway, great tutorial, learned a lot! Cheers, Mark

  • Mark Hoffmann

    hmmm. The attachment above is supposed to be a moving .gif, looks like I can’t post it on here as it gets converted to a .jpg. I used three fireballs for each character and did some dodge and burn to simulate flickering. Can I post it onto my Deviant Art page and link here?

  • Dimitri Otero

    Hey Aaron,

    I was so excited to buy my first tutorial that I forgot to put in the discount! I love all your tutorials and have learned so much from them. Not to sound cheap, but is there any way to get the discount after the purchase? Thanks again for all the great work you show us!

  • Geoff Anderson

    For me, the best tutorial so far. I really enjoyed this comprehensive treatment and learnt a huge amount. The end product is a terrific image. Can’t wait to create my version. Missed the discount paid full price but worth every cent.

  • Dhruv Tadvi

    where can i see the full video?

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I am currently a graduate student in Art and Design and Phlearn is my number one resource for P...
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Phlearn Pros are also a great concept. I totally respect the business model and have purchased a few myself. The level of detail that can be found in these tutorials is nothing short of amazing. It's like discovering photoshop anew every time.

Something I would really love to see is one or multiple Phlearn Pro episodes where you use 3d modelling software either to create a concept or better still, to actually create assets for the final image. I have never tried using these kind of programs and having a photographer's introduction to these applications might make more sense to us than delving into video tutorials found on the net which are more targeted to hardcore 3d artists.

Thank you for all that you have done.
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