Not all photos will work for compositing. Learn how to find and capture images that will blend together seamlessly by matching things like light intensity, light direction, angle, perspective, and focal length.
Compositing for Beginners | Picture Frame 3 Videos (30:12m)
01 - Picture Frame - Image Analysis & Working with Smart Objects
We begin with a simple exercise of placing a picture and frame from one image into a new scene. Aaron analyzes several images to see what will work best, looking at the light and perspective in each. Then he introduces Smart Objects and how they can help you work faster and non-destructively.
In this section, you will learn to make a simple selection to remove a background and then create realistic shadows using Drop Shadows.
03 - Picture Frame - Color Matching
Even subtle differences in light and color can keep a composite from looking realistic. Learn about check layers which will help guide adjustments so that you can accurately match color and lighting.
Compositing for Beginners | Castle 3 Videos (54:13m)
01 - Castle - Image Analysis
Follow along as Aaron looks at things like the horizon line, perspective distortion, and light to find an image of a castle that will blend seamlessly into our background image.
02 - Castle - Removing a Background & Creating a Fog Effect
We start off by making a selection of the castle to remove the original background. Then we use a custom fog brush to help integrate the castle into the environment.
03 - Castle - Coloring for Composites
Matching color and adding stylistic color can help tie a composite image together. Watch as Aaron uses check layers to match the castle color to the background and add some additional light and color into the environment.
Compositing for Beginners | Portrait 3 Videos (1:00h)
01 - Portrait - Image Analysis
Aaron breaks down how light and perspective can predict how well two photos will match and a method to finding the horizon line in an image where the horizon isn't visible.
02 - Portrait - Matching the Subject and a New Background
Learn to match horizon lines, create photorealistic blur, and match lighting to an environment.
From high-end product photography to wild conceptual scenes, many of the pictures we see are actually two or more photos combined in post-production. If you’ve been searching for a great entry point into the fun and challenging world of image compositing, look no further!
In this tutorial, you will learn how to analyze light, perspective, and camera settings to predict how well two photos will merge. Then we’ll take you into Photoshop and break down the compositing process step-by-step, covering tips and techniques for making selections, finding great composition, and unifying light and color.
Image compositing has a very broad and easy-to-understand definition. When you make a composite, you merge two or more photos together to create a seamless final image. This usually involves several steps to ensure that everything looks like it was all captured straight out of camera.
Why Combine Photos in Photoshop?
There are countless reasons that learning to blend photos together can help you both creatively and professionally. Whether you’re working with products, landscapes, weddings, or you just want to create stunning visual effects, the ability to merge two or more photos together will often help you solve a number of creative problems and get the most out of your images.
A Beginner’s Guide
If you’ve ever come up with an idea for a great image but weren’t sure how to capture it in camera, this tutorial can help! Compositing images in Photoshop can help turn your imagination into reality. Whether you plan to merge two images or 200, this is a great place to start.
CREATE REALISTIC FANTASY ENVIRONMENTS
Easily Blend Multiple Images
Compositing is one of the most challenging skills to master. It requires knowledge of countless tools within Photoshop as well as a strong understanding of how to find and capture images that will blend together well. Starting your compositing journey has never been easier with our simple approach to the basics of combining pictures in Photoshop.
From Beginner to Pro
We start with the basics, but this tutorial is designed to help artists at every level. We teach the fundamentals and expand upon it by adding in powerful tools, tips, and techniques that can take your blending to the next level.
Our Secrets to Realistic Composites
Image compositing starts with finding and capturing the right photos. We start this tutorial by helping you develop the eyes of a compositing artist, teaching you how to analyze pictures in a way that will help you determine how well they will fit together. Learn the fundamentals of light, perspective, camera settings, and more!
LEARN TO MATCH LIGHTING & COLOR
Photos are all about light, which is why being able to identify light quality and direction is so important for creating great composites. Learn the differences between soft light and hard light and how to determine the directionality of light to help make sure your subject fits naturally into an environment.
In order to make everything appear like it was captured in the same environment from the same camera, you’ll want to make sure that the camera height and angle is similar across each photo. We’ll show you some tricks to help you find the vanishing point and horizon line in each image so that you can quickly and easily line up multiple photos in the same scene.
Match Focal Length & Camera Settings
A wide angle lens will exaggerate space and will stretch things out the closer they are to the camera. A telephoto lens will compress space and will typically result in more natural-looking dimensions. Learn to identify differences in focal length, perspective distortion, and depth of field to make sure all of the photos you’re compositing will fit together beautifully.
MATCH PERSPECTIVE AND ANGLES
Like many things in Photoshop, compositing is a process. We’ve created a simple guide to walk you through each step, from determining which photos you should use, to making cut-outs and selections, and tying it all together by adding additional light and color.
We don’t just show you how to merge images together, we show you why certain images will work and why certain images won’t. See several examples that demonstrate what happens when the lighting, perspective, and focal length don’t match while we try to find the right photo for the job.
We can’t always trust our eyes in Photoshop. That’s why we teach you to use tools that will help help interpret things like color and luminosity. Learn to match light levels and color saturation between any number of images faster and easier than ever before!
Family Portraits to Creative Concepts
Compositing isn’t just for ultra-conceptual, sci-fi, and fantasy images. Being able to realistically blend multiple images together will help you solve problems like fixing someone’s blinking eyes in a group photo or placing a bride and groom in front of a more romantic scene. Once you’ve mastered the ideas and techniques in this tutorial, you’ll be ready to put your compositing skills to work in a way that’s best for you and your images.
Simple Examples for Advanced Results
There’s no secret to high-end composites. We use simple examples, each blending two images in Photoshop, that will have you feeling confident enough to start combining a dozen photos in no time.
Aaron Nace is a photographer, Photoshop artist and founder of PHLEARN. He is the #1 Photoshop instructor in the world with millions of YouTube subscribers.
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