How to add realism to photos of Toy Animals in Photoshop | Sarah Hipwell | Skillshare

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How to add realism to photos of Toy Animals in Photoshop

teacher avatar Sarah Hipwell, Photographer + Digital Media

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (18m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Photoshop tutorial Motion Blur and Smudge Tool

    • 3. How I did it

    • 4. Adding texture to the Owl legs

    • 5. Creating the Owl's Talons

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About This Class

The aim of this tutorial is to demonstrate that personal projects are an excellent source for creative inspiration and keeping skills honed.

In this case, I undertook to photograph ‘toy animals’ in a natural environment. I wanted to see how realistic I could make them appear in a natural setting.

In Photoshop, I used images of real animals to add texture to the photos of the ’toy’ ones. I also used other tools and techniques such as Blend Modes, Motion Blur, the Smudge Tool and the Warp Tool to give the toy animals a more realistic look!


Meet Your Teacher

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Sarah Hipwell

Photographer + Digital Media


Sarah Hipwell is an independent professional photographer based in Dublin. She specialises in high-quality corporate, stock and portraiture photography. Her background is in Design. She received her BA in Hons Design from the University of Ulster, Belfast. She has many years commercial design experience working as a designer and as a trainer for large multimedia companies. See more of her work at

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1. Introduction: personal projects are a great way to keep your photography skills fresh and interesting. Just gonna have to shoot for fun can also keep the creative juices flowing. I came across these toy animals that I had stashed away ages ago with the intention off given them to my two young daughters. There was a little park for any over. I live with a small stream. The police is a real drawer for youngsters in the area, and I can see why This is a perfect setting for letting the imagination run wild with inventive gains. I want to try to photograph thes toy small animals in a real life setting and see how realistic they would appear. Bear minds. They're only about two inches in haIf. I used my Sony or X 100 which was really handy to get a very low to the ground and get the rice perspective. I initially had the camera lands owning millimeters away from thes plastic critters. This enabled me to create the depth of field look similar to wildlife photography. The third video is a Photoshopped tutorial where I show you how I got rid off the plastic toy. Look on added realism by using the filter of motion blur on and this much too. So let's take a look at some of the final images. 2. Photoshop tutorial Motion Blur and Smudge Tool: Let's stars with the motion blur technique, which I used to get rid off the plastic Look here in the hour. First, I'm going to go to the quick selection to on I'm going to select his head on his body. Now I normally save my selections. So if I got to select load selection, this pop up dialogue box appears on where it says channel. I've already saved the selection and I've called us our body on head. Click on us. Go OK, and you can see the march in Onze where the selection has been saved. Alternatively, if you go to your channels panel, hold down my command button on a Mac control button on a PC, kick on the some nail, and again that brings up this selection. I'm going to put the selection on a separate layers, so I'm going to hold the command plus J Enema Control plus J in a PC. And I'm going to convert this letter to a smart object. So I'm going to right click, go down Converse too. Smart object. Go to filter blur motion blur on a pop up dialogue box appears on. As you can see, I have already set in the angle box. 20 degrees Andi, then the distance In terms of pixels I've said that to 20. Look OK on You can see there's the before there's after. As you can see, the eye has also been blurred. So I'm going to click on the layer mask I come, Andi, I'm gonna go to my brush to make sure that the color is sent to black on I'm going to paint back the I like. So now here comes the fun part for us along on a click this icon to create an empty layer on If I go to here which is the blur to click and hold the smooch to is at the bottom here I now want to set the brush I'm gonna choose theory 112 It's a dune grass brush on. Now, by clicking on this icon, I'm going to bring up the brushes panel. I don't want shape dynamics. I do want scattering aunt transfer smoothing. I'm going to change the roundness to 68. I'm gonna move this spacing to 85. Okay, let me zoom up. So it's start sort of just under his chin. You can change thesis. Eyes off this particular brush. Use in the bracket keys on your keyboard as I go down, which is the left one on if I increase it, which is clicking on the right. So you click on and drag it down a little bit. Well, as you can see, it adopts the same colors that are in the area. Change in size as you go down so that you don't have it so uniformed. Change the size down as you go around body like so I really like this to that. Could be quite effective filling in the gaps. Okay. On Ethan Hawke, open around the ears on the head again. Make sure that you change the direction again. You condone George yourself how much or how little you apply cause it's on its own layer. But this is working non destructively seven bucks cows. Now go back to the to power and click on the blur too. Zoom and back in again. And this time with the blur to basically blur the base off the hairs to get rid of that stuck on look going in the same direction. That too, did the initial blur. So you can see getting rid off are smooth running down the base of the hairs in the years you can see. It's quite obvious when you're up close. Careful not to overdo it, because this is actually learning the tone and the colors together so you don't do it too much of the weather. You look really smudgy, cracks goat. To finish this tutorial, I'm now going to converse this layer to a smart object, right click. Convert to a smart object. I'm going up to filter, blur, calcium blur. I'm going to give it a radius off point age. Actually, by clicking on this icon, which looks like two arrows, I'm going to reduce the capacity down to 70%. So there's the before and now the after. I hope you enjoyed watching this to Troy. As much as I enjoyed making it 3. How I did it: when I shot this toy owl by placing it on a branch of a tree. I really liked the lighting on the conversation, but the feet or the towns did not look great. Well, it is a plastic toy, so I decided to add my own talents to enhance the image as a shoot Stock photography. I had an image of a heron on its feet or claws were perfect for this project. Now all I needed to do to finish this image was a tax church of the hours legs. I achieved this by using blend modes, and I experimented with this image of a peacock on his work to trees. Go back to the class description on check out the attached JPEG off the our image, which gives more detailed information on how I took the shot right through to post production. Right, Let's dive into this tutorial 4. Adding texture to the Owl legs: Let's begin without in texture to the hours Legs in real life. Out have feathers on the legs. As you can see from this reference image that I have here Okay for this toy how I selected the Owls leg by using the quick selection tool. Then I saved the selection. Now I've already done this, so let's get the image off the peacock. Go to file place, Choose your image, click on place And this brings in the image of a peacock. The image will still be a smart object Way smooth image into position. Thank up to select load selection on in this drop down menu. Go to our left leg click OK. And as you can see, the marching ants are here. I'm now going to click on the layer mask icon here, Hold command T on a Mac control T on a PC. This brings up the free transform to then click on warp command mode. I want to wrap this image around Thea Els leg by clicking on Dragon on the various points. When you're happy with wrapping this texture, click on this icon to commit not gonna change the blend mode to south flies on reduced to fill tour by 65%. I'm now going to add some galaxy and blur. 1.8 pixels should do it. Okay, Now I'm just going to zoom appear on the actual layer mask because the edges are a little bit too hard. Using a soft brush with the foreground color set to black, I have to flow set to about 15%. I'm just going around the address here. I just want to soften the edges, like so do it, go back and click on the layer mask. So now, while holding the old key on now here's before on after now I go to apply a new layer clippers to the mass below. Change the blend mode to overlay and fill it with 50% gray. Going to use my burn, too. Andi, I'm going to just darken the right inside. No, you go. I repeated the same steps for the other leg, except I moved the peacock image around to a different pattern so that the two legs don't look the same. Like so. All right, let's move on to the next video where I show you how I created the hours. Talyn's 5. Creating the Owl's Talons: first, I'm going to need the source image off the herons claw. I'm not going to make a smaller selection on. Put this on its own layer. You will need to convert this layer at Bath to a smart object by right clicking on the layer. And she was converse to a smart object. I'm not going to duplicate this. Layer it three more times by holding down the old button and drag each layer down. Like so I'm not gonna put them in a new group on coolers. Our talents rename each layer, telling one turn two etcetera. Go back to town. One. Go command T on a Mac control T on the PC. This brings up the free transform chill. Rotate the image around like so, then click on the warp command. But mode icon. In the options bar, you'll see a grid appears with nine quad shapes and control points on the outside, the square points behaved like baser handles similar to the pencil. This is where you should take the time to distorts the herring clog into more what an hour's town should look like. Plus, if you're new to the war command, it might take a little time to master. Were you happy with the shape? Add a layer mask. I'm paint away the outside boots to leave the shape. Using a soft brush with the hardness set to 38% by just in the size of the brush, I was able to get a good sharp outline to form the talent. Okay, by holding down on the old button, I'm clicking on the layer mask I was able to see and refined. The areas I don't need is masking. Each talon was modified slightly different in size and shape, so as they didn't have the clone look. Shadows and highlights are key in making your images look realistic when compositing. So here I added shadows directly under the towns on shadows to the right, as the light source is coming from the left. I then added some highlights using the dodge and burn chills, and finally I applied some gassing blurred. Okay, so now let's take a look at the before aunt after Thanks for watching