30 Days of PS
30 Days of Photoshop
Create a Realistic Photo Composite with Visual Effects 7 Videos (3:10h)
  • 01 - Introduction & Planning
  • 02 - Building a Composite Background
  • 03 - Cutting Out Subjects
  • 04 - Perspective
  • 05 - Enhance Highlights, Shadows & Color
  • 06 - Fire Effects
  • 07 - How to Retouch and Finish a Composite Photo
Home > PRO Tutorials > Compositing > Create a Realistic Photo Composite with Visual Effects – The Outlaws

Create a Realistic Photo Composite with Visual Effects – The Outlaws

Learn how to calculate advanced perspective, create shadows, cut out subjects, and add light sources and fire!

Also, Aaron shows you how to photograph and composite your subject into a new background so it really stands out.

7 Video Tutorials|20 Sample Images|Photoshop Brush|Photoshop Action
Aaron Nace Bio Image PHLEARN
Aaron Nace
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The Outlaws

Create a modern, magical scene using advanced Photoshop compositing techniques! We take you through the entire process step-by-step, from cutouts, to combining scenes, to matching light and color.

Create advanced composites

Accomplish the most challenging composites with the skills you will learn in this advanced Phlearn PRO Tutorial. We take you through step-by-step from shoot-to-edit to build new scenes that match your vision and add subjects that interact in believable ways.

Advanced Layer Masks

Cut people out of their backgrounds while preserving all the detail from the original photo. Capture perfect detail in your layer masks, allowing you to keep even the most complex details in the motorcycles.

Perfect Perspective

Always build your composite images to the correct perspective using our tested techniques. By creating a plan and keeping true to real life perspectives, your composites are guaranteed to be more amazing.

Blend and Composite

Learn the secrets to compositing and blending multiple photos together to create seamless, stunning effects. From start to finish, you will see how each image is adjusted and combined using Photoshop.

Build the Background

Learn how to combine multiple images together, even if they were taken in different locations with different lighting on completely different days. The background in this image is built from many different images.

Color Correction

Remove the complexities from correcting colors in shadows, mid-tones and highlights. At times, highlights are too warm or too saturated and need to be treated separately from other areas of an image. Learn how to correct color to make your composites blend perfectly.

Add Light Bounces

By placing a new light source into the composite, you affect everything else in the image and must retouch accordingly. See how to match the lighting between subjects and the scene.

Custom Photoshop Brushes

Create fire in any image. Learn to make your own Photoshop brushes so you’ll always have the right brush for the job. Custom brushes are excellent for advanced retouching and adding special effects to your images.

Match Highlight and Shadow

Create stronger composite images by matching the subject highlights and shadows to the background. Learn how advanced selections can keep the rest your subject intact while only editing the highlights.


  1. A very well put together tutorial along with others from Phlearn helps build up a repertoire of skills to be applied and adapted into other photos editing. Key take aways from this tutorial include creating a composite horizon and aligning any forground elements with their vanishing point with respect to that horizon (the practical upshot of which being things that weren’t in the scene originally at least look like they belong there.) A rather snazzy trick using levels to recover shadows and highlights from point light sources and a brief excursion into the wonders of the channel mixer. The challenge here is starting with entirely disassociated elements and getting them to behave in a way that makes the composite of them look like they could be natural associated. I worked on it over a weekend and was entirely satisfied with the result. https://flic.kr/p/22WHtYh

  2. I can’t say thank you enough to Aaron for making this pretty cool tutorial. I love composition and it itself takes me Photoshop. At the beginning, i’m planning to begin it with A Dark Force but until i find this tutorial, i have changed my choice. The Outlaws is just a perfect beginning for composition. It has a slightly simple composition, pretty cool characters, especially Fire and learn easily to how to calculate perspective & how to use Full Check. I just love it and if possible, yeah, i love Aaron “Master”. After this advanced tutorial, i can’t still believe that i make a true composition honestly. Now i will go ahead A Dark Force with much more confident. Check out my work above. Once more, thank you Aaron! ??


This tutorial includes 20 sample images, 7 video tutorials, a PS Action and a PS Brush. Download the sample images and assets at the top of the page.

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We suggest using the latest version of Photoshop, but our tutorials are designed to be compatible with CS4, CS5, CS6, and Photoshop CC. Get the latest version of Photoshop from Adobe.

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