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

At a loss...

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Old 05-02-2009, 08:14 PM
dmarie dmarie is offline
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At a loss...

I'm fairly good at glamour retouching, but when it comes to compositing I feel like I'm starting from scratch. My main problem is taking a whole subject onto a new background. I never know what to do with their always looks exactly how it is, like I plopped them in from another photo. Also, I have major problems with matching the pixel density.

Can anyone direct me to tutorials on these types of things? Anything would help, I feel like this is stopping me from getting to the next level with my work and it's driving me insane.
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Old 05-03-2009, 05:14 PM
unimatrix001 unimatrix001 is offline
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Re: At a loss...

Did a quick search on google and came up with these

Last edited by unimatrix001; 05-03-2009 at 05:16 PM. Reason: posted wrong link
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:37 AM
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Janko Janko is offline
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Re: At a loss...

I would recommend these two books. They have helped me a lot in these areas.

When doing this type of project you have to be very careful to match the perspective and lighting, and then create a realistic cast shadow.

good luck!
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Old 05-04-2009, 02:02 PM
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snook305 snook305 is offline
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Re: At a loss...

I feel for you and have had similar problems. I was told that many times it is almost necessary to shoot with the same lens that the composited background was shot. Anybody care to argue.
I was just discussing this the other day with some retouchers. I think the hardest thing about compositing is just that. If you do not have the shadow and perspective right it will always look out of place.
Anybody care to share some regular techniques so we all do not have to read through a Huge book of compositing...?? :+}
I once saw a tutorial that showed using the vanishing point to gain a perspective line that you could always use to get the ration right, but for me it just does not seem to work that well. Also shadow is the Most important thing, which is also not that hard to make but placing it correctly is.
Will keep an eye here as I am just as curious as the poster.
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Old 05-04-2009, 02:05 PM
punkjumper punkjumper is offline
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Re: At a loss...

there are lots of great tutorials and artists here the photoshop forum there is basically dedicated to this topic
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:16 PM
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Dave.Cox Dave.Cox is offline
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Re: At a loss...

There a few key things to getting a composite to work right. Having a good understanding of how to judge size and perspective is important. Finding an images vanishing point can help to do this. Paying attention to the shadows and lighting, is also very important. But with some attention to the other shadows in the image, you can figure this out. Once you have these down, you are almost there. This step is just as important as the others, yet it is the most often forgotten. What ever you add to a scene must interact with the components already in a scene.

For example: Notice how this figure interacts with the scene by being positioned partially behind the grass, and a shadow under the horse. The interaction make the figure appear to be part of the scene, instead of just pasted on in front of the background as in figure 2.
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Old 05-26-2009, 04:18 PM
shah shah is offline
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Re: At a loss...

how can i re touch my photos with studio backgrounds which free sofware should i download.
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Old 05-27-2009, 05:26 PM
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Dave.Cox Dave.Cox is offline
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Re: At a loss...

Free? Try Gimp.
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Old 06-18-2009, 04:14 AM
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Chain Chain is offline
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Re: At a loss...

Here's a recent example from a cover I made (cropped).

What I had to do to make it look natural:
  1. Make sure i had a photo very close to the right perspective/angle
  2. When inserting it I had to play around with the size until it looked right
  3. Manually painting in shadows from the new object onto the scene
  4. Adding some transparency and refraction in the glass
  5. Adding reflections of each item on the table (using the existing bowl as reference on how it should look)
  6. Adjusting curves (color/contrast/brightness) on the vase to match the image
  7. Change the lighting a bit (brightened the left side of the flowers/vase)
  8. Blur the vase a tiny bit to match the focus of that part of the image

To sum up, all the details matter, and it varies a lot what you have to do depending on the picture. As Dave.Cox pointed out it needs to interact properly with the scene.
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