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3 Steps to a Perfect Studio Backdrop

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  • 3 Steps to a Perfect Studio Backdrop

    Finally I found out how to make those soft cloudy studio backgrounds and it's incredible how easy it is. Here's what you do:

    1. On the image of your choice apply a radial gradient in the default colors to create a light center to dark edges. You can off set the light spot depending on where you start the gradient point

    2. Choose 2 colors of your choice and preferably a noticable contrast in light to dark hues. Choose filter > render > clouds

    3. Go to edit > fade clouds and adjust the slider to lessen the effect of the clouds to the desired effect.

    Here's what you should get. I could fade it even more to get a lighter center and even softer cloud look.

    Attached Files

  • #2
    Here's another file showing each step.
    Attached Files


    • #3
      Thank you so much for this tip, Wow! Is this something you learned from going to your class? Or just fiddling around yourself? This will be great to use, thanks again!


      • #4
        It was something I got in class. Not even a part of the class but some extra tip. I jumped on it because I knew I wanted to create these myself and I remember the subject came up in this forum by other members who asked how to do this too.

        I just can't get over how easy it was to do. And you can apply any color combo as long as they are different in contrast and the highlight can be shifted anywhere depending on where you set the center of your radial blur. Actually, they used a regular gradient in the class but I thought the radial a better choice.

        Glad you liked it Jill.


        • #5
          Hi DJ!

          Thank you very much for this tip!
          Backgrounds don't come easy to me...but, with your help, now they will!!!


          • #6
            Glad you like it Flora. I had the same problem and found this simple solution. You can even set an action to create it for you.


            • #7
              Brilliant idea!

              The whole procedure is so easy... the results are really striking....and the flexibilty...enormous.....


              • #8
                I would love to say I thought this one up myself but I didn't. It was a little trick Scott Kelby from the NNAP seminar I attended threw in as an interesting little bonus tidbit. Little did he realize it was a gold mine to me since I had been struggling with trying to make those type backgrounds myself with no luck.


                • #9

                  Thanks for the tip!

                  I agree with you; I can't believe how simple it is.



                  • #10
                    You're welcome Gene. Yeah, it made me feel real dumb after all the things I tried that didn't work.


                    • #11
                      Nice tip DJ. I've been busy making backgrounds all night. Nice and easy... gotta love it!



                      • #12
                        Another way/More control

                        Another way to make backgrounds and give you more control over the outcome is:

                        Select your colors

                        Render clouds

                        Render lighting effects

                        You can use the default light for now, but change the pattern to a circle

                        Pull the circle out to as big or small as you want it.

                        Adjust the intensity (6), Focus (3) and Property, Matte -50. That's what this one is set for but of course you can experiment as much as you like.

                        You can move the light pattern you just created to any location on your backdrop. So if you need a hotspot behind somebodys head you put it higher, you know what I mean.

                        I'm new to this website and thought I would share that with you because I too struggled with "what to do for a background".

                        I hope it helps someone!


                        Attached Files


                        • #13
                          Welcome aboard Joe. Thanks for tip. It definately adds a new demension to making backgrounds. I will have to try it out for sure. Never thought of using the lighting effects but I can see where that would open up a lot of variations.


                          • #14
                            Backdrop modification

                            I took your backdrop and played with it in Photoshop, adjusting it with Curves. You can produce an unlimited range of effects.

                            Check out this photo, using you modified background.


                            • #15
                              Hey Lawrence, that looks great. I'm glad you found it a useful tip. Looks like you can adjust it infinately which is great. That little fellow is adorable. The background works real well with that shot. Also, I see this is your first post so I want to say welcome to Retouch Pro. I think you're really going to have a fun time here. Look forward to seeing more of your work.


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