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  • Sky Background

    Hi Doug,

    I checked out some of the examples (actually all of them) that you have on your business site. I noticed that on a couple of them you had basically inserted a new sky. How'd ya do that? Do you simply borrow a sky from another picture? Surely it can't be as simple as that?

    Thanks

    Amanda

  • #2
    Amanda:

    I built new skys from scratch using Kai's Power Tools (#5 or #6, I forget which). There's a thread about this over in the Software Forum.
    Learn by teaching
    Take responsibility for learning

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    • #3
      also a sky can be created by softly using the filter-render-clouds command if you use photoshop.

      Just set your foreground/background colours to a blue/white, and run the filter above on a new layer.

      Experiment and play with it. Normally it is not convincing the first time. Might need additional applications of the filter, and then rework such as applying dodge/burn and or making multiple layers and blending them together.

      edit: I forgot, you would then want to mask it into your image and then make further adjustments if necessary

      Just an alternative method ~Vp~

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      • #4
        Akj, For what this is worth(probrbly not much considering the source!) I keep a file of sky shots which I use to replace damaged or poor quality skys with. I insert by masking the sky to be replaced, then saving the mask as an Alpha channel, open a sky I like. select the whole thing by CTL>A on the keyboard, then CTL C to copy it to the clipboard, select the photo in need of a sky transplant and press CTL-ALT-V to paste the new sky in. Then make any adjustments you deem proper like add noise to simulate grain, move it around, etc.. Doug, how about a tutorial on using KPT to make skys? I've played around with making lightning, using the cloud filter (as trying to capture the real stuff can be a shocking experience). Tom

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        • #5
          Here's your tutorial:

          Make a new layer
          Activate KPT6 'SkyEffects'
          Done



          Well, you'll want to fiddle with the settings, but it's all visual. It has stuff like where the horizon is, what time of day is it, what direction are you pointing, what's the focal-length of the lens, what's the weather like, etc. It even has a cool moon you can set for phases, and there's rainbows (never a bad thing).

          The important thing is to start with a blank layer because it will unrepentantly erase anything on the working layer without asking you.
          Learn by teaching
          Take responsibility for learning

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          • #6
            Doug, Neat!! I am sensing a new toy appearing in my sandbox!! Try this for lightning--- create new pallete (I use a 7x5 landscape orientation at 72 res.) fill with a linear gradient. Then use the "difference clouds" filter, Invert the whole thing and adjust the Levels to push the histogram to the shadow end. Tom

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            • #7
              Thanks guys--sounds like I have a bit of "tinkerin" to do. I'm working on a picture of my dad which I think would like nice with a new sky. Whenever I get it done I'll post it somewhere so ya'll can see it!

              Amanda

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              • #8
                The $150 for KPT6 was a little too steep (saving for the Epson 1270 ), so I just borrowed a sky from another image and went from there.

                To see before and after images go here: www.amandakjones.com/goofypj.html

                And while I got y'all here--do you have any suggestions for the grass at the bottom of the image? I don't like the results I get using the clone stamp tool. I'm tempted to leave as. Any suggestions?

                Thanks!

                Amanda

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                • #9
                  Akj, That looks GREAT. If it aint broke, dont try to fix it. Tom

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                  • #10
                    Amanda,
                    I agree with Tom. It looks great as is. Maybe you see something we don't viewing it in a small form as opposed to how you've seen it covering your monitor. Not to mention we are usually our own worst critics. I think the sky transplant was terrific. It really looks like it originated there. Great job.
                    DJ

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                    • #11
                      There's a trick from traditional darkroom work called "edge burn" where you subtly darken the edges around the photo radiating out from the primary subject. In PS this can be done with a multiply layer (opacity way down) and a radial gradient.

                      This mimics the way our eye sees things naturally, and provides a non-concious (I said 'subtle') focus.

                      You've basically already got the left side of that effect (maybe not so subtle) already.

                      You might also try duping the layer, adding a layer mask (reveal all), running USM, then applying a radial gradient to sharpen only the softer areas (grass) a bit.

                      There also seems to be a vertical line of lightness leading from his elbow to the bottom of the frame.

                      (hey, you asked)
                      Learn by teaching
                      Take responsibility for learning

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