I’ve been practicing with some compositing in Photoshop.  Some of my efforts work well…others not so much.  Extracting the subject from the background is still hit or miss for me.  Ones that I think will be super easy end up being hard and ones I think will be super hard end up being easy.

This is composite is created with one of my friends who modeled for a photo shoot.  I shot her against a green background which I ended up changing to blue.  I decided I wanted to take her to the ocean instead.  I used some textures, bird brushes, vignettes, and Topaz Impression.  The original photo is below the composite.

Ocean ViewSeated Chair


I think I’m stuck in a Sci-Fi theme!  This one started out as a Finger Exercise for my Awake class and morphed into something entirely different.

Here is the premise.  I wanted to create a space tear that came through the rock on the beach.  The space ship belongs to the Amazon Space Warrior Woman who transports to the beach.  Please forgive her lack of clothing, I chose her because the color of her hair matched the colors inside the space tear.  Crazy, huh?

Here are the royalty free pictures I used to create the composite:

And here is the composite:


Kreative Adjustment:

  • First, I opened up the rock on the beach photo.  I cropped it.  I then made a selection around the rock and the selection on a new layer.
  • The next step was to open up the spaceship photo.  I dragged it onto the rock photo and resized it in free transform.  I then clipped the spaceship to the selected rock photo which made it fit inside the selection.  I then used free transform again to distort the image and add perspective.  I then used the liquify tool to bulge out the front part of the ship and pinched the back part to add even more perspective.  I then used the liquify tool to smooth out the edges of the rock.
  • I then open the picture in Alien Skin Bokeh 2 plug-in.  I used it to blur out the background and to twist the blur so it gave a sense zooming in towards the focal point of the spaceship in the rock.
  • The next step was to open the composite in AutoFX Mystical Gen1 plug-in.  I added a hatch flare positioning it so that it came outside of the rock boundary into the outer part of the picture.  I also used Fairy Dust with star burst settings to add some burst that went from inside the rock to outside the rock.
  • I then ran the entire composite through Topaz Impressions.  I used the history snapshot and history brush to paint in the effect where I wanted it.
  • The next step was to open up the Amazon Woman photo.  I selected the woman off of the black ground and tweaked the selection in refine edge.  I dragged the selection onto my main composite.  I used free transform to size her.
  • I created a new color fill layer using the light blue in the background.  I clipped that color fill layer to the photograph of the woman.  I changed the blend mode to screen and lowered the opacity.  This made the tone of the woman blend in more to the composite.
  • I took the composite back into AutoFx and used the fairy dust again to add sparkle around the woman to make here look like she’d just materialized on the beach.
  • I then took the entire composite back through Topaz Impressions again.  I used a couple of different presets, history snapshots, and the history brush to apply the effects exactly where I wanted them on the photograph.
  • The final step was to use the burn tool to darken around the edges of the rock to make it look like the tear had some depth.

Pictures for Realm Doors

This post is for Staci and Lisa 🙂  You all ask for the original photographs for the Finger Exercise I created title Realm Doors.  All three of these images are purchased royalty free photographs from BigStock.

Here are the three photographs used in the composite:

Here is the completed composite again:

Realm Doors Composite

Realm Doors (Finger Exercise #3)

So, I had a bit of time the other day.  I decided to do a quick little finger exercise to keep my creative juices flowing.

As I’m sure you’ve figured out, I’m kind of a Sci-Fi nerd!  I decided to take some of my purchased royalty free images and combine them into a composite piece.  This was made from 3 photographs, a solar flare, and a texture overlay.

River in a dark forest with fog in autumn
River in a dark forest with fog in autumn

Kreative Adjustment:

  • I opened up the background image of the dark forest with the river running through it.
  • I then opened up the picture of the woman warrior.  She was on a white background.  I wanted her to be dark and blend in to the background, so instead of doing a selection of her I brought in the entire photograph then set it to multiply blend mode.  She was a bit too see through at this point.  I copied the layer a couple of times until I got her to be the opacity that I wanted.
  • I then opened up the picture of the door.  This door was actually only about a 1/3 of the original photograph.  I used the lasso tool set to 70 px feather to select the door.  I then copied the selection to a separate layer.  I dragged my selection layer over into my composition.  I positioned it so that it opened into the water.  The floor blended nicely into the river because of the feathering.
  • I then opened up a solar flare.  I set it to hard light blending mode.  I adjusted the opacity and resized the flare.  I then dragged it below the woman warrior layers to add some depth.
  • The last step was to add a texture overlay from 2LilOwls.  I set the texture layer to overlay blend mode.  I then added a layer mask.  I then copied the texture layer once and added an inverted mask to the the top texture layer.  Using a white brush set at 50% I painted  over the texture along the edges of the composite.  I then clicked on the bottom texture layer. On the regular layer mask on this layer I used a black brush to paint off some of the texture over the door and solar flare.

Flower Circles

Another abstract creation.  These circles were actually made from some macro flower photographs of mine.  I used the polar coordinates filter on Photoshop to create them.  I then added some squiggly lines with some Photoshop brushes.


Human Chess – (Selection Practice)

As I continue forward on my Photoshop journey, I’m slowing learning how to do “selections.”  I’m taking an online course by Dave Cross that was suggested by Sebastian Michaels who is the guru behind Photoshop Artistry and Awake classes I’m currently taking.

The Dave Cross course is all about learning how to make selections so that you can make composite artwork in Photoshop.  Today, I was just practicing with the magic wand, lasso, and refine edge tools.  The photos are all purchased royalty free photos.  I saw the chess board photo and got the idea to used people as the pieces.  I wanted the end result to make the viewer feel like they were looking through a tear in dimensions from where they were to another world.  The one lady in the corner is looking back at the viewer.

(It’s not a perfect composition by a long shot, but I was satisfied with the selection practice!)

Chess - Selection Practice

Kreative Adjustment:

  • Opened up the Chess photograph as my background
  • Chose the images I wanted to used to practice making selections.
  • Used the magic wand tool to select the background.  Inversed my selection so the person was selected.  Then I fine tuned the selection by using the lasso tool.  Then for the final touch I used refine edge to complete the selection.  I saved the selection to a new layer.
  • Added each selection to the Chess background layer.  Position them where I wanted them.  For the ballerina, I added a new layer then painted on a shadow for her foot so it looked more like she was actually standing on the Chess board.
  • I then added a vignette grunge overlay set to multiply blend mode.
  • The final step was to add a subtle texture to the entire piece set to soft light blend mode.

Autumn (Abstract Art)

I’m still trying to embrace my inner abstract art artist.  Things don’t seem to always go the way I plan them when I try to make my artwork abstract, but I’m not going to give up.  One of these days, I’m going to create something really cool!

I’m not even sure if this can be classified as “abstract art,” but it was made with digital brushes in Photoshop. And it’s not a painting of a person or landscape. I was trying to capture the essence of leaves changing in the fall.

Here is my latest experiment:

Metamorphis - Autumn