Photoshop In-Depth Compositing and Design 3 : Replacing People & Backgrounds Realistically | Nawaz Shariff | Skillshare

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Photoshop In-Depth Compositing and Design 3 : Replacing People & Backgrounds Realistically

teacher avatar Nawaz Shariff, Graphic Designer • Art Director

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

4 Lessons (28m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Advanced Perpective & Light Matching

    • 3. Advanced Masking and Positioning

    • 4. Rifinement, Shadows & Colour Grading

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About This Class

In this third installment of the Photoshop In-Depth Compositing and Design Course, we will work on a project that will give you one of the most important skills a compositor and designer should have.

That is Compositing People. Taking a subject out of an environment and placing it in another, or just replacing the background may sound simple, but making the scene look realistic requires a lot of detailed work, and some advanced techniques, which you will be learning in this calss.

You Will Learn

  • Study the Lighting and Perspectives Between Scenes
  • Advance selection techniques
  • Advance Perspective Matching
  • Match Lighting 
  • Painting Shadows
  • Color Grading

Meet Your Teacher

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Nawaz Shariff

Graphic Designer • Art Director


I am a graphic designer and an art director from India, working professionally, and teaching various aspects of design for over 10 years. I have a great passion for Compositing, Typography, and Motions Design.

Now as I venture into training online, I am extremely happy for the opportunity to share my knowledge with the world, and also learn along the way.

Dream Big, Work Hard, and Keep Learning :)

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1. Introduction: Welcome back to our course on compositing in Photoshop. In this chapter, we'll be talking about one of the most useful and important techniques or composite or should have. We will be cutting out a person from his background and placing them in a different environment. Now this is something which you'll be doing quite a lot as a professional and also just for fun, working on your own images. Although it may seem quite simple to just cut a person and place them in the background to make it more realistic. There's a lot of work which goes around. So let's get started. 2. Advanced Perpective & Light Matching: Let's open up the exercise files from Chapter 3. There are quite a few images here which you can experiment with. For this example, I'll be using the skater and went down as a background. So this will be our main subject, which would be cutting out and placing it on this background. So first, let's drag in this image onto the background, just clicking and dragging it. I'm going to convert it into a smart object. Right-click. Convert to Smart Object, rename it as skater. Let's reduce its size. Now the first step before combining two images every time is to figure out the perspective of this image, make sure that they have similar perspectives. Otherwise we won't be able to match them realistically. So in this image, it can be quite easier to understand where the horizon of the images, since we have a lot of vertical and horizontal lines in this, all we have to do is follow these lines and check where they intersect. So let me use the line tool. The line tool has been updated in Photoshop 2021. Let's select a bright color and have a screw cap of about 10. And let's drag out a line on this railings. Following this, following the path of this railing. Let's do the same thing on the other side of this wall. Go along this wall. Now the part where these two lines intersect is the horizon on this image. So let's drag out a guide for that. And it's really Director lines. Let's turn on this gator layer. And the perspective in this image is quite similar to our background. As you can clearly see. It's almost close to the middle. Let me turn it off. We have a similar kind of perspective on our background as well. So I think we'll be able to composite this image fine when it comes to perspective. Now let's check out our lighting. The lighting in both the images is not so intense. They are quite evenly lit and it's kind of overcast on the skater. And although the sky is quite clear in the background, but the lighting is not so intense. To be more precise, Let's add a levels adjustment just to figure out where our highlights and shadows are coming from. I'm going to increase the white values. All right? It seems like we need to flip our background. We can flip our skater as well. But usually you don't want to do with people because really quite different when you actually flipped faces. So I think you can do that with our background. As you see the light is falling on the skater from the left side and zoom in. And the light on the background is on the right. So it's a pretty simple scenario. Can just flip the background and it can have the matching. Let's turn off our levels. Went on, lock the background by double-clicking it. Let's call it BG. And let's convert it into a Smart Object. And I did a shortcut Control Shift O. All right, so let's flip it. Control T, right-click horizontal. Let's check our levels again. Now, and they are quite similar levels. And we'll start masking. 3. Advanced Masking and Positioning: Alright, now that we are competent at our perspective and lightings mat, let's start. Masking are subjective. Let's turn off our background. When you look at this image, I think we need to take two different approaches to mask out the entire subject in the top part of the subject has a quite clear distinction from the background. So I think we'll be able to use the Quick Selection tool to select it quite nicely. And as we come down, will have to be more precise. So we'll be using our pen tool. So let's use our quick selection tool. Create our selection. As you can see, it's quite good in recognizing the edges of the image. Works pretty good when you have quite a contrast between the subject and the background. And if you look carefully, it's not so precise. And it has got to do with the resolution of the image. The Quick Selection Tool works much better when you have a higher resolution image. And this image is quite high resolution. But since we have transformed it, the quick selection is having some issues. So what I'm gonna do is delete this image for male and work on the original. Yeah, it's much higher resolution. And we'll create our mask here as much as we can and then bring this image into our background. Let's try again with our quick selection. As you can see. Now the edges are much precise. Will still need to work out the hair, which we'll do later. For now, let's just see how much we can select this. And you can clearly see the edges are much better. Thing can go even lower on this. Yeah, just one click and it's selecting the entire leg. It's quite precise. I think that's enough for this tool. The remainder, I think we'll have to use the pen tool. But I've got quite a good selection with just a few clicks here. So let's convert this to a smart object. Let's fill in some missing areas. You can hit Control Enter to create a selection out of the mask. And I think we need to invert this election called selecting everything outside of those areas where it Control Shift I to invert mask and fill it with light. It missed a few more areas and just click around it. Control Enter. Control Shift I to inverse. Then fill it with black, sorry, white. Okay. Let's work on the book. Selecting some of the shadows. Hit Control Enter. And you have some difficulty. There are certain options which can help you. Coming ahead. Hello. All right, our selection is complete. Let's hit Control Enter. Control Shift I to inverse are some extra stuff here. This sentence, we want to remove it from the mosque, fill it with black. Perfect. All right, let's drag our subject into the background. Now in order to scale our subject precisely into our background, we need to match the horizons of both the images known. This line is what we have figured out to be the horizon of our background is we need to do the same for our subject. For this, I'm going to turn off the mask and can see the horizon line is somewhere around this edge. Now we don't have to be that precise on these images because the camera angles on both of these images are quite similar. So I'm going to approximate the horizon of your subject to be somewhere around here. Let's drag out a line and hold down Shift to draw a straight line. All right, now let's select the line and our subject and align it. Let's turn on the mask. Okay? Transform it. Now we need to transform our subject exactly from this area. So I'm going to hold down Alt and click on this guide. Both the horizons of remedies are matched perfectly. Let's scale it down. Hold on all to scale from that anchor point. And as you see clearly, we can scale our subject to any distance on this plane. And the perspective will always be correct. I'm going to have them somewhere and hit Enter and zoom in. Turn off our guide. I'm going to crop some of these regions. Make sure you have turned out the delete cropped pixels option. Alright, in the next chapter, we'll refine the mask even more. Fill in the shadows and work on the colors as well. 4. Rifinement, Shadows & Colour Grading: Now that we have positioned our skater and frame the background, Let's go ahead and refine the mask further. You zoom in, you can see a lot of jagged edges around there. So I can use the select and mask command to get rid of those. Select your mask, the Select menu, click on Select and Mask, and also use the shortcut Control Alt R. So here in the panel, let's add the toe further. And let's try to ship the edge inside. Thing. A value of about minus 30 shouldn't be fine. Let's give it some contrast as well. Make sure the output is two. Layer mask. Click. Okay. Now they seem to be some purple haloing around the hat. So to take care of that, I'm going to create a new layer, rename it as color. Make sure it is clipped to the skater. And let's start painting. Need to sample a color which is around the year we are going to paint in. And it's a great technique to get rid of this now, harsh halos around objects. So sample a color. Take your paint brush and start painting. As you can see, blend in quite nicely. Now. So try to turn the blend mode of the layer to color. I think that's much better. All right, Onto the next step. Let's start painting in our shadows. I'm going to create a new layer. Make sure you get it below the skater. Do that, hold down the Control key and click on the New Layer icon. It's name it as shadows. Now to paint in the shadows will need to reference the original skater image. So I'm going to duplicate this image and turn off its mask and just shift it up slightly. Just as a reference to paint in our new shadows. The shadows on this image, as you can see, they are clearly two types of shadows here. One is the contact shadow and the other root is spreading around. Now the contact shadows needs to be really dark and the closest to the object. So let's get started with those first, going to select the shadows layer and change the blend mode to multiply. And start painting with. Depending on the complexity, I'm going to have 20 percent and start painting them in. You can also draw a straight line reference image. Looks good. Let's mask out some of the harsh shadows from this side. I'm going to add a layer mass to the shadows layer, select the black color and start painting in with a very low opacity. All right, Now our shadows appear to be completely gray, so we need to add some color to them. So I'm going to group our shadows. And let's add a curves adjustment to them. Let's select the red channel. Increase it a bit. Can see the changes. And that looks much better. Let's reduce the opacity to about 50 percent gray. As you can see, the image is looking a lot more realistic with the addition of the shadows. Alright, now let's go ahead and take care of the brightness and color values between these images. I'm going to add a black and white adjustment. Now the brightness and dark values are, seems to be blending in quite well. One thing I don't like is the color of this pitting to be very dark in contrast to the environment. So let's go ahead and add a levels adjustment. I'm going to mask it. We need to select only the dark parts of his clothes. So let's select the Quick Selection Tool. As we saw before, it did quite a greater what selecting parts of his clothes before. So it should work fine again. There you see, just one click, we have the exact selection we need. So let's add it as a mouse to the levels adjustment and increase its brightness. And that seems to be good. All right, Let's turn off the black and white adjustment. For an otter. Hey, we need to darken it a little bit more. Now moving on to color, I'll show you a great technique to see the saturation levels between two different images. Let's add a solid color. Make sure it's bright red. And I'm going to change its blend mode to you. And you can see the contrast between our background and the subject is matching up quite well. Set for his jacket, seems to be too much saturation there. Now to adjust this, we have two options. Either we can reduce the saturation on our subject or increase the saturation on our background. Now usually you'd like to know, just reduce the saturation on our subject. But in this composite, I like the bright colors. And why not just further increase it? So when we select the background and let's add vibrance layer on top of it. And let's try to increase the saturation until we see it matching with our subject. Think a value of about 32 seems to be working. Let's zoom out and turn off our color fill. There we go. Nice bright colorful composite. Now one final thing I would like to do in this composite is to add some depth of field. If you look at the original limit of the skater, can see there's a lot of blur in the background. It has a very nice depth of field. I like to add the same effect to our composite. So in order to do this, we'll be using the Lens Blur option. But you cannot apply lens blur to a smart object. You need to have a flattened layer. So let's duplicate this background and rasterize it, name it as blur. Select the layer filter. Blur, lens blur. Now the only way you will be changing here is the radius. Think a radius of about six should be fine. Click Okay. Alright, and we don't want to blur the entire background. So I'm going to mask it. And the layer mask use black and painting with a brush. And just clicking and shift clicking to the edge to create a straight line to remove some of the blur from the nearby areas. All right.