Photoshop Compositing Essential Techniques (Part 1) 9 Videos (19:06m)
  • 01 - Introduction
    Aaron explains what compositing is and what you'll be learning throughout this tutorial.
  • 02 - Matching Light
    Learn how to analyze light direction, intensity, and color so that you can light your subject in a similar way during a photoshoot.
  • 03 - Matching Perspective
    Camera angle, focal length, and horizon lines. Create seamless composites by matching perspective.
  • 04 - Masking
    Creating accurate selections and cutouts in one of the most important skills to master. Hear some tips and advice on how to make the most out of all of the selection tools in Photoshop.
  • 05 - Clipping Masks
    Clipping Masks are a powerful tool for controlling where layers are visible. Aaron breaks down how to use them and why they are important for compositing.
  • 06 - Blending Modes
    Control how layers interact with one another using Blending Modes in Photoshop.
  • 07 - Luminosity
    Even if you match the lighting to a background image, you'll still need to dial in the luminosity so that the brightest and darkest points of each image fall into the same range.
  • 08 - Matching Color
    Learn how light and color are reflected within an environment and how to properly match hue and saturation between images.
  • 09 - Check Layers
    Threshold, Black and White, and Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layers are useful tools that can guide you while attempting to match the luminosity and color between photos.
Photoshop Compositing Essential Techniques (Part 2) 13 Videos (6:42h)
  • 01 - Intro to Frame Compositing
    Aaron describes frame compositing, the combining of multiple images that were taken at the same time and same location.
  • 02 - Importing & Culling in Lightroom
    Follow along as we import and select our images using Lightroom and then bring them into Photoshop to begin our edit.
  • 03 - Frame Compositing in Photoshop (Part 1)
    Learn how to make a selection of the subject, place them onto a pure black background, and begin bringing in light elements from other images using Layer Masks.
  • 04 - Frame Compositing in Photoshop (Part 2)
    In part two, we continue adding floating candles to the background, get our project organized, add additional lighting effects, and save and export our final images.
  • 05 - Create a Cinemagraph
    With our final image ready to go, learn how to use the Video Timeline in Photoshop to make the candles flicker and then save the animation as a GIF.
  • 06 - Intro to Element Compositing
    Learn about element compositing, taking multiple images from multiple sources and environments and combining them together in Photoshop.
  • 07 - Importing & Organization in Lightroom
    See Aaron's Lightroom workflow in action as he imports and selects images for use in our final composite.
  • 08 - Element Compositing in Photoshop (Part 1)
    We start by preparing our background by selecting the mountains out of one image and adding the sky from another.
  • 09 - Element Compositing in Photoshop (Part 2)
    Make a detailed selection of the subject and place them into a snowy, mountain scene.
  • 10 - Element Compositing in Photoshop (Part 3)
    Aaron begins the process of matching color and luminosity between our subject and the background. Learn how to use check layers as a guide and custom brushes to add atmospheric effects like fog and snow.
  • 11 - Element Compositing in Photoshop (Part 4)
    We finish up our image with some advanced color work to tie the composite image together.
  • 12 - Exporting in Photoshop & Lightroom
    With our final images ready to go, learn proper workflow for saving out project files and exporting out web-ready images from Lightroom.
  • 13 - Conclusion
    It's been fun! Aaron wraps up what we've learned and offers some parting advice so you can start making amazing composites.
Home > PRO Tutorials > PRO Compositing > Photoshop Compositing: Essential Tools & Techniques

Photoshop Compositing: Essential Tools & Techniques

Description

Learning how to combine or composite multiple photos together will open a new world of possibilities for any photographer. Whether you are new to compositing or an experienced editor, this tutorial will change the way you create composite images. Follow along with the included RAW Photos and Custom Photoshop Brushes.

What’s Included

23 Sample Images   |   22 Video Tutorials   |   2 Custom Brushes
* This tutorial is part of the Photoshop Compositing Collection

Class Instructor

Aaron Nace – PHLEARN Founder

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Frame Compositing

If you are new to compositing, this is the perfect place to begin. Learn to combine multiple photos from the same shoot to create stunning effects.

Combine Any Photos

A photographer has many tools at their disposal, and the more you learn how to use, the more options you have. Creativity can flow freely when you are unrestricted by gear or technique. Learn how to combine multiple types of light sources to create stunning lighting effects.

The Essential Techniques

Photoshop Compositing can be complex, that is why we start this tutorial by breaking down all the essential techniques you need to create a great composite photo. Learn the essentials, then master compositing.

Photography, Lightroom & Photoshop

Go behind the scenes into each photo shoot and learn the details of how these images are captured, then follow the images through the editing process from Lightroom into Photoshop.

Create a Cinemagraph

Give your image the magic of movement by turning it into a Cinemagraph. Learn how to animate a still photo and save it as a Cinemagraph so it displays perfectly on the web.

Learn Perfect Masking

In order to place your subject into a new background, first you have mask or cut them out of their original photo. Depending on your subject, this can be simple or complex. Learn the tools you need to create a perfect mask every time.

Element Compositing

Flex those creative muscles, it’s time to learn element compositing. Combine photos taken around the globe to bring your concepts to life.

The PHLEARN Compositing Workflow

When creating a complex composite photo, how do you know what should be done first and how do you stay organized? Learn the workflow we have developed over years of compositing.

Photoshop Composting Essential Techniques

Instructor & Featured Artist

Aaron Nace

PHLEARN Founder

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.

Ian Elkins

Photographer/Retoucher/Influencer – Featured Artist

Ian Elkins’ work in modeling, retouching, and serving as a content creator for the world’s leading brands is sexy, adventurous, and influential. In our interview, we talk about finding balance in work and life, and how he stays inspired and strives to be his best self.
View Ian’s Instagram

Reviews

  1. Rated 5 out of 5
  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Just started pro to test out PHLEARN. I am not really new to any of the Adobe CC, but spend more of my time in Illustrator and AE. Photoshop is something I mostly use for documents like flyers and posters. I have done a few composites, but not trained to, just kind of knew the tools and figured it out. They turned out surprising fine, but it was trial and error and not a lot of knowledge of how I got there. PhLEARN compositing classes have changed all that. Many of the techniques are the same as I used, but it adds so much more and to get the way to use it is very rewarding for the low cost. I wish file sizes were not so large and we could get the PSD files to to side by side comparisons, but that is just a wish.

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    A well thought out and perfectly paced guide to composition. Aaron does not rush through any of the content and takes the time to explain his process. The short intro video giving an overview of the tools that would be used was a great way to help understand the purpose of using each tool. The addition of Lightroom videos within this tutorial was a great way for me to know how I can use LR in my compositing process. After doing this tutorial I now feel more confident with creating even better looking composites

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    A great tutorial and it was easy to follow along for me. But I guess sometimes, for users that don’t have a lot of experience, it might be not so easy.

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    I don’t have Lightroom installed on my computer. When I downloaded the files there were no sample images included. I am really interested in compositing and hope you guys do a revised version without the use of Lightroom.

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    Amazing

  7. Rated 5 out of 5

    I tried to follow this tutorial and it worked fine until the soldier part, I could follow up to level adjustment 2 for the soldier, then I could not keep up anymore. It was to many layers to remember where to darken and where to lighten, shadows and no shadows. I know that you should not copy a work but to learn I want to learn how I should think when I make own compositings. But this seems to be tough to learn.

  8. Rated 5 out of 5

    I tried this on a own composite and in the trashhold everything looked OK, but when I looked at the image in color there where no contrast at all. I can’t find where I did go wrong.

  9. Rated 4 out of 5

    Generally a really good tutorial, very knowledgeable and well thought out. I have one nitpick however, he goes way to fast through some fairly complex areas, and does not fully explain why/what he’s doing. Specifically when he’s matching lighting. There is a lot of “this is too dark, that’s too light” and it’s tough to look back and forth between his video and my screen. Otherwise it’s a great tutorial, highly recommended.

  10. Rated 5 out of 5

    Awesome as usually. Learned many new things to apply to mine. Love the check points as well

  11. Rated 5 out of 5

    Sensational tutorial, easy to follow along for any skill level. Aaron is an epic teacher, really understands the intricacies of creating art. Thank you for sharing this with us. Alldaron

    PHLEARN Staff
    Thank you!
  12. Rated 4 out of 5

    Very good, overall tutorial ! Suggestions: As is, it’s difficult to refer back to these for a particular technique. A short outline with embedded links, i.e. Apply image for color matching 12:34, would make these more useful later, rather than for one viewing. Thanks

  13. Rated 5 out of 5

    I just finished watching this tutorial it was well worth the time, I have been playing around with composites for about three years and learned a lot from this tutorial. I probably watched an hour or two over a couple of weeks. You can down load the exact same images as used in the tutorial, I just used some images of mine. You can learn a lot from the free Phlearn and other free tutorials, but if you want to take your work the the next level this tutorial is well worth the time and money.

  14. Rated 5 out of 5

    Good one! Like the thoughts about how to blend the arctic soldier’s edges with the background. The “edge glow” Aron talks about is called fresnel (“frey-nel”). Here’s a good read on the subject from the 3D rendering world: http://filmicworlds.com/blog/everything-has-fresnel/ Thanks for a great tutorial n Compositing.

  15. Rated 5 out of 5

    I wasn’t sure if i wanted to do this one, since i’ve already completed “Island of Morel” and “A dark force”, but i can say it was totally worth it. Especially the Arctic Soldier taught me a lot. Thanks you Phlearn!

  16. Rated 5 out of 5

    I finished it and my photos look just like his. And that is really awesome! So stoked! Especially going through all of the check layer/threshold stuff. He is great at explaining what light does, and how to use threshold to make sure the light levels go through your image realistically. It is so nice to go through a tutorial and have everything turn out great, without getting stuck and having to give up.

  17. Rated 5 out of 5

    very useful tut. thank you phlearn

  18. Rated 5 out of 5

    From where do you learn all these tricks??

  19. Rated 5 out of 5

    Great stuff. Good job as always!

  20. Rated 5 out of 5

    Updated and very useful compositing tutorial. The new bag of tricks as Threshold and Hue layers for checking luminosity levels and colors in composites made me aware of mistakes I really didn´t locate exactly in my previous work. Thanks Aaron for this top grade tutorial!!!

FAQ

This tutorial includes 23 sample images 22 video tutorials, and 2 Custom Brushes. Download the sample images and assets at the top of the page.

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If you need to learn the basics of Photoshop, we recommend watching the Photoshop Basics Collection and Photoshop 101-301 to familiarize yourself with all of the tools and capabilities that the software has to offer.

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