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Composite/Montage Help

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  • Composite/Montage Help

    Hey all, I just finished my 1st ever day care center photography shoot! I got the job by showing the director examples of some of the digital retouching I've done in my studio. Basically, I photography the subjects against a blue screen or white background, then extract them and place them against a much more interesting scene!

    For the kids, I chose a fisherman theme, and I photographed the kids against a white background with several fishing related props. I then go into PS Extract, remove the child, and place him or her on a fishing dock.

    I have over 40 kids to extract, and I'm looking for any tips or tutorials for getting the images to look as realistic as possible.

    I feel like I've finally gotten the hang of the PS extract tool (using the smart highlight function on a zoomed in image). I also use a small gaussian blur on a mask of the extracted child to dull the edges a bit in the composite image. I use Nik Color filters to add some sunlight to the image and I also add some shadows in the direction of the light.

    I've gotten some good comments so far from co-workers, but I am very critical and feel like the images could look less pasted.

    Come to think of it, I'll post a before and after image when I get back to the studio.

    Thanks in advance,

  • #2
    You have come to the right place. As a matter of fact Ed Ladendorf created a tutorial just for this situation. Check it out here I think this may really help clean up some of that cut out look. It's a problem we have all had and still do at times. Hope this helps you out. You have a big job ahead of you from the looks of it. Good luck and let us know how you do on them.


    • #3
      First image for montage

      Hey all, I just added the images for the fisherman montage. The images are of the original shot of the kid in the studio, a shot of the pier, and the final shot of the kid placed on the pier. I guess I have to attach them one a time, so the next two messages will have the next 2 files. (I could put them in a zip, but I'm not sure how this forum handles that)

      I'm looking for comments, suggestions, etc. I'm especially having trouble with understanding the difference in the color temperature of the lighting of the studio and the pier shots. Trying to place realistic shadows is also a challenge!

      On a personal note, it kinda hurt to have to blur out the kids face, but these are the times we live in ....

      Attached Files


      • #4
        second image

        here is a shot of the original pier
        Attached Files


        • #5
          third and last image

          here is the final image.

          As I said, there may be a better way to do this, but I don't have a conveneient web site to post them, and if I put them all in one image, it may have been too small to see effectively.

          The only good thing about posting 3 separate messages is that by getting my message count up, maybe someday soon I can be more than just a junior member!
          Attached Files


          • #6
            Royce, I'm not great with shadows myself, so I'll let someone else address that. As far as the color temperature, I do notice that and wonder if you just need to make the bridge tones a little warmer? Try adding some yellow and/or red highlight tones with color balance. Seems like the bridge is lit by clouded daylight, but perhaps I'm wrong. That's what I would try first anyway. I don't have time to fool around with it right now, but hopefully someone else will have some great ideas for you.