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Photo Compositing Collage, montage, masking, selections, combining, etc.

Combining Photos

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  #1  
Old 08-19-2006, 10:41 PM
Sobe203 Sobe203 is offline
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Combining Photos

Hi everybody,
I have something simple to learn and know there must be 10,000 tutorials on it; the problem is, I don't know what the technique is called so I don't know what term to Google!

I have some photos that were taken in August 2005. It was humid outside and my hair was frizzy. I'd like to take a picture of myself now in the same clothes I was wearing then, extract the frizzy-haired me out of the August 2005 picture, and put the new, smooth-haired 2006 me in its place.

Using the Lasso tool, I can remove myself from the 2005 picture, then once I have the new photo in a new layer, I can use the Transform tool to scale myself to the right size and place it in. I might not even have to extract myself from the old photo; I might just be able to cover it up with the new pic.

My problem lies in getting the lighting correct. The August 2005 picture was taken on a bright, sunny day - it'd be hard to get the same exact lighting now. Can I somehow adjust the brightness/lighting/color of the photo to make it look smooth and not obvious I swapped pictures of myself?

Thanks In Advance (TIA),
Jen
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  #2  
Old 08-19-2006, 10:54 PM
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creeduk creeduk is offline
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Yes, if you have CS2 you could initially try the Image > Adjustments > Match Color... function trying to color match the new one to the old one. Also you can use levels to change the shadows and highlights to match the original one. You can select points that are common in both images and match up the levels information, beyond that you can go by eye. There is also the Image > Adjustments > Shadow/highlight... function that will also let you play with the shadows and hightlights (fancy that )
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  #3  
Old 08-19-2006, 11:03 PM
mistermonday mistermonday is online now
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You can try positioning the "new you" directly above the "frizzy you" on a new layer, then select yourself and try Image>Adjust>Match Color in Photoshop CS or CS2. This may get you what you want or you may need to tweak. You may need to add shadows or apply a lighting effects filter. It's hard to tell without seeing the image. It might be a good idea to post both images so folks can make the best recommendations.
Regards, Murray
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  #4  
Old 08-21-2006, 08:36 PM
Sobe203 Sobe203 is offline
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Ok, I did a lot of work and it only needs to be blended in:

1) Took a new picture in my kitchen, with smooth hair.
2) Used the extract tool to remove the background.
3) Used the transform tool to scale it down to size, then placed it over the "frizzy" me.
4) Made a duplicate of the mascot's hand and placed it on my shoulder.

It needs minor tweaking with the colors so it isn't so obvious I Photoshopped a new pic in... I uploaded the exact PSD file to MegaUpload and would appreciate it if anyone could make it blend realistically with the original photo, then tell me how they achieved that effect. The file can be downloaded here: Jen's Photoshop File

Thanks in advance,
Jen
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  #5  
Old 08-22-2006, 02:22 AM
Dm_Cher Dm_Cher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sobe203
Hi everybody,
I have something simple to learn and know there must be 10,000 tutorials on it; the problem is, I don't know what the technique is called so I don't know what term to Google!

I have some photos that were taken in August 2005. It was humid outside and my hair was frizzy. I'd like to take a picture of myself now in the same clothes I was wearing then, extract the frizzy-haired me out of the August 2005 picture, and put the new, smooth-haired 2006 me in its place.

Using the Lasso tool, I can remove myself from the 2005 picture, then once I have the new photo in a new layer, I can use the Transform tool to scale myself to the right size and place it in. I might not even have to extract myself from the old photo; I might just be able to cover it up with the new pic.

My problem lies in getting the lighting correct. The August 2005 picture was taken on a bright, sunny day - it'd be hard to get the same exact lighting now. Can I somehow adjust the brightness/lighting/color of the photo to make it look smooth and not obvious I swapped pictures of myself?

Thanks In Advance (TIA),
Jen
Try use our product - Background Remover.

Background Remover is a Photoshop-compatible plug-in for Windows. The goal of the Background Remover is to extract object from images having complex background content with the minimum efforts.
In new version you can process translucent objects (like wool or flying away hears) now. You can receive attractive results and it takes less time and efforts.

Demo version of Background Remover you can download from
http://www.imageskill.com/background...Demo_Setup.exe

Background Remover home page is
http://www.imageskill.com/background...ndremover.html
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  #6  
Old 08-22-2006, 08:23 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Hi Dm_Cher,

I'm sure yours are great products .... it's just the wrong Forum for advertising them.

You can use our Classified Forum for adverstising ... and the Help Forum only if you have tips or advice to offer... like, for example, for the specific request:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sobe203
My problem lies in getting the lighting correct...... Can I somehow adjust the brightness/lighting/color of the photo to make it look smooth and not obvious I swapped pictures of myself?
.... which, I don't think, could be dealt with with the product you advertised here ....
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  #7  
Old 08-22-2006, 09:30 AM
Sobe203 Sobe203 is offline
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Ok, I'm guessing not a lot of people want to download a full PSD file, lol... so I'll post images. I'm using imageshack because RetouchPRO keeps telling me my file sizes are too big.

Old Picture (Eww)
New Me Cropped
Finished Product
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  #8  
Old 08-22-2006, 10:14 AM
Cassidy Cassidy is offline
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Honestly, in my opinion, the lighting is quite different, why not just transplant the hair instead of re-creating the person
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  #9  
Old 08-22-2006, 11:55 AM
Sobe203 Sobe203 is offline
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A) I spent an hour cropping the new photo and resizing it; I'd hate to see that work go down the drain.
B) I look thinner in my new picture; I'm 15 lbs lighter.
C) In general, I just look better in the 2nd photo, even when you don't account for hair and weight.

If worse comes to worst, I can take more photos of myself outside to mimick the original picture better. But if anyone thinks I can work with what I already did, please give me tips and I will goof around in Photoshop.
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  #10  
Old 08-23-2006, 09:36 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Hi Jen,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sobe203
Ok, I'm guessing not a lot of people want to download a full PSD file,
Right... many, here, are on a dial-up connection ... and 11.3 MB to download after a full minute waiting before 'megaupload.com' decides one is finally allowed to start downloading, doesn't surely help .... anyway ... that's what I was doing while posting my answer to Dm_Cher .... ...

Combining images can be done ... sometimes with great results, often with acceptable results, other times it can only become a frustrating experience, particularly when 'the lighting is quite different' as Cass said ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sobe203
A) I spent an hour cropping the new photo and resizing it; I'd hate to see that work go down the drain.
... You are right ... but the size of the new you is still not right ... In the combined picture, 'the new you' is still much too big compared to the 'old you' ... and this, unfortunately, defeats your purpose of 'looking thinner/lighter" ....

It is very difficult and, in my opinion, these two pictures will never look really good when combined ... I tried anyway ... I'm not satisfied at all... but this is the best I managed to do ... That said, here is a list of what to concentrate on when combining images...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sobe203
RetouchPRO keeps telling me my file sizes are too big.
... The size limit for each attachment (5 attachments per post) at RP is 100 KB ... (200 KB for the gallery)... Just follow the second link under my signature if you wish to know more about it ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sobe203
....so I'll post images. I'm using imageshack because RetouchPRO keeps telling me my file sizes are too big.

Old Picture (Eww)
New Me Cropped
Finished Product
.... It would be very helpful if you could also add the original version of 'New Me' ... before cropping it ...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg F_erinJenPic.jpg (99.5 KB, 75 views)

Last edited by Flora; 08-23-2006 at 09:45 AM.
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  #11  
Old 08-23-2006, 11:50 AM
Sobe203 Sobe203 is offline
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Flora,
Whoa, that looks phenomenal!!! It blends seamlessly; you can't even tell there was a new picture placed in. Thank you so much for getting such a perfect balance, that is exactly what I was hoping for. [Edit: I compared my work to your final product - thank you for all the other changes you made, such as red eye reduction, resizing and slimming my botched attempt at scaling down the new me, getting the yellow glow out of my hair (I took the picture with a yellow background), and somehow straightening my head - I really appreciate all that you did, and you gave me a lot to take into consideration. How did you straighten my head, btw, did you make a new layer for my head and keep it separate from my body?]

Can you let me know what hue/saturation adjustments you made to get it to match? I'd like to give it a try myself so I can do it in case this problem ever comes up in the future. I'm going to give it a shot tonight at red eye reduction and a better resize, then work on the hue.

Thanks so much again,
Jen

P.S. Do you happen to have a slightly larger version of your finished modified work? If not, that's ok - but if you do, I'd love a copy because my mom would like some digital prints.

Last edited by Sobe203; 08-23-2006 at 01:35 PM.
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  #12  
Old 08-24-2006, 02:30 AM
duwayne duwayne is offline
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I agree with Flora. It is very difficult to match two photos. The lighting and direction of the lighting are the major problem. I played with these two for an hour but couldn't get anything I was pleased with. I think the easiest thing to do is to go back to the original and "comb" your hair. I no hair stylist but a few clone strokes made the picture a lot better. I looks much more natural and is a lot easier to do.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg jenoumascoterinkz4a.jpg (75.5 KB, 36 views)
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  #13  
Old 08-26-2006, 08:12 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Hi Jen,

thank you so much for your kindness... so glad you liked my retouch and sorry for not reacting earlier...

What did I do with your pictures? .... Are you ready for the kitchen sink? ..

Well, here it comes ...

Using PS CS2, I worked with your full size .psd format.. Keepin the 'old you' original open for quick comparison, I concentrated first on the 'uncropped' New you' original:
  • Created a Photo Filter Adjustment Layer [Cooling Filter (80)] to remove the yellow cast and get closer to the colouring of the 'old you'.

  • Used Filter>Render>Lighting Effects to change the direction of the lighting and simulate light coming from above lightly right (my right) instead of slightly bottom centre ..

  • I used the red eye Tool to remove the red in your eyes.

    (Attachment 1)

  • Using the Green Channel, I created a mask around you for selection ... (Attachment 2)

  • Copied my selection and pasted it on top of the background of the 'old you' original

Combining the Images:
  • Used the Transform Tool to adapt the copied 'new you' (resize, rotate etc. meaning I didn't straighten your head ... I rotated the whole until it looked right...) so it fitted on the 'old you' covering it nicely while keeping the proportions right ...

  • After this, selecting specific areas each time, .... the kitchen sink .... meaning everything: Levels, Hue/Saturation, Color Balance, Selective Colors, Brightness/Contrast for correcting/adapting colours, tone and contrast; blank Layers set to Overlay, Soft Light, Color to further correct all the above and simulate the original 'play' of lights and shadows on your face and body ... Gaussian Blur and USM to blur and sharpen as close as possible to the rest of the picture
Attached Images
File Type: jpg SNAP-126.jpg (90.9 KB, 33 views)
File Type: jpg SNAP-127.jpg (66.7 KB, 25 views)
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  #14  
Old 08-26-2006, 05:10 PM
Sobe203 Sobe203 is offline
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Thanks so much! I'm going to give it a whirl myself in Photoshop and see how close I can come to yours. I guess it'll be a matter of trial and error when it comes to the shading. If worse comes to worst and I can't get it right, thank you for your work because it turned out perfectly.

Jen
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  #15  
Old 09-21-2006, 12:22 AM
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bart_hickman bart_hickman is offline
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You can do better in photoshop and you can do even better than that if you just take another photo with the lighting coming from above and behind rather than from the front (a flash).

I did a quickie tweak on your shot. Pictures are quicker than words, so I attached the result and the layer palette.

I just clipped a photo filter, curve, and color balance to the new you.

The curve is there to adjust the lighting. There's a mask on the curve which is based on the inverse of the new you--the ideal here is to attenuate the appearance of the flash, but it wasn't terribly successful. (The shadow/highlight tool might achieve a similar result.)

The photo filter (cooling) and color balance are there to match colors. Again, since you used a flash in the new you, it's not really possible to get a good match.

The top layer was for cloning out redeye and flash-induced shininess on your face.

You're going to have to do all this (except for that last clone layer) even when you shoot a new photo of yourself unless you happen to get everything perfectly matched (unlikely).

Bart
Attached Images
File Type: jpg friends_with_mascot.jpg (76.3 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg mascot_layers.jpg (20.9 KB, 9 views)
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