Surreal Compositing in Photoshop | Khara Plicanic | Skillshare

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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

11 Lessons (1h 13m)
    • 1. Overview

    • 2. Crop to Reformat

    • 3. Save Your Work

    • 4. Adjusting & Copy/Pasting the Face

    • 5. Converting to Smart Object & Masking

    • 6. Selecting the Clock & Orange Slice

    • 7. Quick Selection Brush + Color Overlay Effect

    • 8. Finalizing the Telephone Layers

    • 9. Selecting the Hand & Cassette Tape

    • 10. Finishing Touches: Drop Shadows

    • 11. More to Learn

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About This Class

Compositing is one of the most fun ways to explore Photoshop because—anything goes! You're limited only by your imagination.

In this short, step-by-step course, you'll learn how to build a surreal composite by taking photos of everyday objects and combining them in new ways to create something unexpected. Along the way, you'll discover:

  • how to make selections
  • the importance and value of smart objects
  • the basics of working with layers
  • what makes layer masks so useful
  • how to add layer styles and special effects
  • and more

Meet Your Teacher

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Khara Plicanic

Inspiration & Know-How for Creatives


With a passion for simplicity, my courses are geared towards beginners. I take great pride in demystifying topics and concepts in a way that not only empowers new learners, but is also a whole lot of fun. Join me on a new learning adventure!

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1. Overview: Hey there, my name is Karen polygyny, which I am a longtime Photoshop nerd and design geek. And in this course, I'm going to teach you how to build a composite in Photoshop. You'll learn how to combine bits and pieces of several images into one, creating something entirely new. We'll start by reformatting our base image. Then you'll learn how to make simple selection so you can pick and choose the pieces of an image that you want. And then you'll learn how to put it all together and finish it off with some special effects. The files that I'm using in this course are all included and they can be downloaded from the resource section for this course. So before we get started, take a minute to go download them, grab your favorite beverage, and when you're ready to go, I will meet you in the next video to get this party started. 2. Crop to Reformat: The first thing we're gonna do when we build our composite is reformat the cloud image. So here we can see that the cloud image, which is going to become the base for our whole composition. The cloud is currently a horizontal image, and what I would like to do is reformatted into a vertical image with the cloud down towards the bottom. And that way we can put everything else kind of building up from the cloud. So the way that we're gonna do that is with the crop tool keyboard shortcut is the letter C for crop on your toolbar. It's the fifth tool down from the top. And now that we have the crop tool selected, we can specify a number of settings. And we're going to keep things simple in this example. So we're not going to get into resolution and image size and all of that. We're just going to read format for a certain ratio. So we're not specifying pixels, we're just specifying a length to width relationship. So from the drop-down, appear in the control panel. I'm going to select the four to five ratio. So and one side is, let's say like four inches, the other side would be five inches. So this is the same as an each ten, but we're not actually specifying inches here. We're just specifying basically how tall and narrow the rectangle will be or how short and wide. For example, if we chose square, we didn't say what size square, but we don't have a rectangle anymore. We have squared. So we're gonna do the four by five aspect ratio. And now before we expand our canvas here, I'm gonna scoot back or zoom out a little bit so that I can see what I'm doing and I have room to work. So the way that we can scoot away is you hold down command or control on a PC and then you use the plus and minus keys. So the plus key will zoom you in and the minus Q0 will zoom you out. So I'm just going to zoom out a little bit. And then I'll come up here and grab the top right corner of the crop frame. And I'm gonna just click and drag it out until it meets the edge of the image frame. And then I'll repeat that on the left click and drag out to the edge of the frame. And now with the crop tool, we need to commit the crop before we can do anything else. Basically, we're still here like sitting in our crop and photoshops like Are you done? Do you like it? We basically need to approve it before we can move on. And we can do that by pressing return on the keyboard. Or we can come up here in the control panel and click the check mark. Okay, so now you can see that we basically built an addition onto our canvas. So now the image is taller than it is wide. But of course, we have this extra room up here at the top, which is great. But we also have a big hole in our image like There's literally nothing there. It's transparent. And we can see that it's transparent because it's filled with this checkerboard pattern. And that is how photoshop communicates or a renders displays transparency or emptiness. So we need to be able to fill this with something and conveniently photoshops gonna do it for us and it's really actually symbol. So before we do that, we need to select it. So when we make selections were telling Photoshop to target a certain part of an image. So we want to target just this empty hole area. And one way that we can do that is by coming over in the control panel to the w family. So it's the fourth tool down. And if I click and hold on this, we see we have two members of the w family. We have a quick selection tool, and we have a magic wand tool. So both of these tools are kind of Wizard type selection tools. So I like to say that's why the keyboard shortcut is w. But I think it's actually because the magic wand was here first, but we'll pretend it's for wizard Tools. And we're gonna grab Actually the magic wand tool, which make selections based on similar colors, or in this case, similar emptiness. So with the magic wand tool selected, it's super easy to just select all of the emptiness. We just click in it and Photoshop selects it. So now we can see around the edges we have marching ants. So this little undulating line is representing that we have targeted or selected now this top empty area in our image. And now we're ready to fill it. To do that will come up to the Edit menu. We will select Fill. And here for contents, if you click on that dropdown, there's a number of choices here. They're all very handy. But right now the one that we want is content aware. So then we're going to click ok. Click out to close that dropped down. And we're going to leave everything else as it is and we're going to click OK. And now Photoshop is going to chew on this for a minute. And it's calculating, it's analyzing the image. And it's calculating what an intelligent choice would be to fill in this empty space. And it's actually pretty amazing. So now we can see it's done. And I just filled it in with more skylight perfectly. And if we get rid of our selection, we can even look and see even better. So to get rid of it, you can press Command or Control D to Deselect. Or if I undo that, you can come back to the select menu, menu. So if you ever forget what, how to interact with a selection, all of the selection interactions including deleting them or D selecting a selection can be found under the Select menu. So here we can see de-select and Photoshop even tells us, hey, if you want to know the keyword shortcut is in this case Command D, or on a PC, we'd be controlled d. So that gets rid of our marching ants. And you can see when we look at our image, there is not a seam. There is not any kind of funny line happening like Photoshop nailed it. It doesn't always nail it, but it's pretty impressive and it does nail it a large amount of time. Ok, so now we have our cloud. So well done, Bravo. And in the next video, we are going to bring in a face. 3. Save Your Work: It's important to make sure that you know how to save your document in case you need to put away this project and come back to it later. And of course to make sir, in case your computers anything like mine and it just wants to crash all the time. So to save your work as you go along in this project, you're gonna come up to the File menu and choose File Save As. And you can give it a name here, composite. And then down here, the important thing is that you set the format to Photoshop. So whenever you are working with your master document, in this case, this composite that we're building, we need to make sure that when we save it, we saved the layers and everything with it. And some formats like JPEG can't do that. So for this project, make sure you save your work as a Photoshop file until you're ready your final project, you can save as a JPEG for sharing online or for printing. But as you go through this mixture, you're saving it as a Photoshop file and they just would click safe. 4. Adjusting & Copy/Pasting the Face: In this video, we are going to edit this image with the face and then we're going to bring it in to our master composite, the cloud image. So here we see that this image has already had the background removed and it was nothing fancy. It's a pretty simple process, but I just didn't want to get into it in this video. So you'll find this file just like this in the course downloads for this course and making, making selections and refining them and dealing with hair and all that kind of thing is like a whole other class. In this class, we're just keeping it super simple. So I've already removed the background and I think it's really cool in the finished piece to have her face appear in black and white. So to achieve that, we're gonna do it with an adjustment layer. And the Adjustment Layer is kinda just like what it sounds like. It's an adjustment in this case will be sucking all the color out and desaturating the image. But the adjustment, instead of being applied directly to the contents of the layer, like her face. Instead, the adjustment gets its own layer. And the actual image layer just stays the same, but the adjustment lives up above. It can still affect that layer, but it's not applied or like baked into it. So let me show you what I mean. With the Layers panel open. If you don't already have it, you can find it at anytime, along with all the other panels in Photoshop under the Window menu. So you would choose window and then layers. And at the bottom of the layers panel, there is this little icon here that kinda looks like a half moon possibly or a yin-yang. It's half black, half white. And if we click on it, we get all these cool options about ways that we can adjust our image non-destructively so that that's key in Photoshop. In this case, we're going to select hue, saturation. And when we do that, two things happen. We see that a new layer gets added to our document. It's comprised of the adjustment that lives right here on this icon. And it comes with a built-in Layer Mask that we're not going to worry about right now. The second thing that happens is the Properties panel pops open and here we see some sliders, one of which is saturation. So we can take the saturation slider and drag it all the way to the left. Two D saturate all the color and basically suck out or ring out like, do you think of a sponge would be saturated with water where wringing it all out and removing all Saturation. So it now appears black and white. Okay, and then if we want to, we can close this panel, but it's gonna pop right back open in a second. Another thing that we can do while we're talking about adjustment layers is we can also use them to adjust exposure. So exposure means the brightness basically or darkness of an image. So I think that this image could benefit from a little bit of an exposure bump. So from that same half-moon at the bottom of the layers panel, I'm going to click, and this time I'm going to select levels. I've don't let the sound of it scare you. Level's just refers to the levels of luminosity or light or brightness. In other words, the levels of luminosity in a particular image, right? Not so scary. So if we look here now instead of the sliders we saw a moment ago for hue saturation, here we see what's called a histogram. And this is super cool and I will save the details for another time. I have other courses where I go into that in more depth. But here, just know that underneath the histogram, we have three sliders. We have a black one on the left that represents the shadows are the dark parts of the image. The gray one in the middle represents the mid tones. And as you might guess, the white triangle here represents the bright areas are the highlights. So we can brighten up this image by just taking this highlighter, highlight, slider, the white one, and just clicking and dragging it inward. And you can see that she just brightens up a little bit. So basically, this mountain range here represents the existing luminosity levels in our image. And you can see that where we have the highlights way over here, there was really no mountain happening. So we're brightening it up by just heading for the hills here. And I think that's really all we're gonna do. So that's pretty simple. Now we can close the Properties panel actually by double-clicking the little double arrow up here are single clicking it, sorry, single click the double arrow. That will snap it out of the way. And now we're ready to copy and paste this into our cloud picture. But before we do that, if we just copy it right now, we're on currently, I've got the levels layer selected and the levels layer is actually empty. So I can prove that to you if I hide her layer down here, we don't see anything. So the levels layer and the hue saturation and adjustment layers, they don't contain any pixel data. They just contain adjustment instructions. On those instructions always rain down below to whatever layers are underneath. So copying this layer isn't gonna do us any good. If I select her layer and we copy that, and we paste that, we would be pasting her in in color without these two adjustments. So how can we select everything that we see here, even though those things are spread out on three layers and copy them as if they were one layer. Well, of course, adobe has a solution for that and it's called Copy Merged. So before we do that, we're going to select all. So just like you would do in pretty much any other program including Microsoft Word, we're gonna select all by pressing command or control a. And now we've got those infamous marching ants all around the scene here. Now instead of doing a regular copy, which right now, because my layer 0 here is selected, would only copy her without the adjustments. Instead, we're gonna come up to the Edit menu and choose Copy, Merged. And now nothing happens that we can see. But we know that we've copied, merged, and now I can switch back to the cloud image. If I come up here, you can see I've got my images all in tabs along the top of my screen. So to switch between them, I'm just going to click over on the cloud tab. And now we just pasted in Command or Control V. So now we've got her in here, there she is. She's really quite large. And in the next video, I'm gonna show you how we non-destructively can scale her down and help her blend in a little bit more with that cloud. 5. Converting to Smart Object & Masking: Now that we've got her successfully Copy, Merged, and paste it into our image. We are ready to make her fit and work her in to the overall composition that we're building. So obviously she arrived here rather large and that's a good thing. That means that she's got lots of pixels. And before we scale her down, which effectively throws away pixels as we shrink or down, pixels just kind of vaporize. And so before we do that, the non-destructive way to do this is to convert her to something called a Smart Object. So a Smart Object is a way to keep her preserved with all of the pixels that she landed here with. And that will give us flexibility so that we can scale her down. And if we change our minds later and we want to scale her backup, we can, because we have saved the pixel data within her layer. So let me show you what I mean. So with her layer active here, I'm going to right-click or control-click. And you'll notice there's an option right here, Convert to Smart Object. So it's like super simple. So we'll click on that. And if we look in the thumbnail now for this layer, we can see that it added this little icon right here. And that just lets us know visually that this layer is not a regular layer. It's a smart objects layer. So I like to think of this little icon as a suitcase, and it's got all the pixels packed in there in case we need it later. So smart objects are useful for so much more than just that, but that's how we're going to think of it now for this project. So now that she's got all her pixels packed away for safekeeping, Now we're going to scale her down by using a command called Free Transform. You can find free transform from the Edit menu by choosing edit. Free Transform, you'll notice that the keyboard shortcut for a Mac is Command T. On a PC it's Control T. This is one of those things. We're going to have to use this with every little piece that we paste into this composite. So from here on out, you're gonna see me using the keyboard shortcut because that's really the only way to go. But if you ever forget what the keyboard shortcut is, you can find the command under the Edit menu. So we'll go ahead and select free transform and we get this box around her now. So I'm going to zoom out again so we can see the box and just like see what we're doing. So I'll hold down command or control. And I'll hit the minus c0 a couple times. And then I'm gonna drag from one of the corners. And I'm going to drag inward. Now I'm holding shift because I'm old school and I liked my preferences that way. But newer versions or like the default in newer versions like this and Photoshop, is that you no longer have to hold Shift unless you're like me and you wanna kick it old school, then you can change your preferences. So depending what you're working with, you may not need to hold shift, but I'm holding Shift to keep it proportional. So if I, if I let go shift, this happens. So if you are holding Shift and this happens, then you need to let go of shift. So it kind of just depends on your preferences. But I'm dragging inwards here to scale her down. And when I let go of my keyboard, I can mouse in here with my cursor. And now my cursor becomes kinda like the Move tool. And I can click and drag to drag her down into position. And I'm going to just kinda go about here. I think that's pretty good. And before we commit this, just to help you understand what that whole Smart Object thing is about. Let's look up here in the Control Panel and we can see for the width and the height, we've scaled her down to about 35% of her original size. So the cool thing with smart objects is we can commit this transformation. And it anytime, if we wanna go back and rescale her up, even it will know that she is still just 35% of her original size because her pixels for all her original data is in the little suitcase here. So it just gives us some flexibility and that's typically a good thing. So we're going to set this transformation by either pressing Enter or clicking the check mark up above is looking pretty good. Now there's one thing that's really, I think problematic, which is this area on her wrist here. She is. I want it to look like she is coming kind of out of the cloud or at least like she's posing in the cloud with whatever that mean. So her wrist should be softly kind of tucked in the cloud. It should not have this razor sharp edge on it, but it's kinda creepy. So what we're gonna do is we're going to soften that. And one way that you might think of doing it would be to grab the Eraser tool and you could do that. But instead of erasing that hard edge, a better, more flexible, non-destructive way of doing it is to use what we call a mask or a Layer Mask. So let's do that and I'll walk you through it as we go. I'm just going to zoom back him. So at the bottom of the layers panel, one of the little buttons is this guy right here. It's a rectangle with a circle on the inside. Some say that it looks like a camera. That is the atom Mask button. So we're gonna click on that and nothing much happens, but we see that we get this little white rectangle here next to her thumbnail. So a mask just like on Halloween if you went target treating and you wore a mask, the mask covering your face, but probably not all of it. You probably had eyes cut out so you could see where you're going. And in this case, the mask is blank right now. So this white mask means that there's not really a mask is like an empty map. It's like she's wearing a mask right now, but it's basically a clear plastic bag over her face, which is not hiding anything. So the way that we can actually add the mask and actually hide parts of this layer is instead of the Eraser tool, we actually use the paintbrush and we're going to paint a mask to hide areas that we don't want to see. And when we paid on this white mask, we're going to use black paint because black will block this layer from being visible. So I've got my mask selected over here, and I know it's selected because I can see a white little frame around it. So I'm gonna go grab my paintbrush. The keyboard shortcut is the letter B for brush. And it's also just above the middle of the toolbar right here. Before we use the brush, we need to check a few settings. We wanna make sure that one, the size of our brush cursor is appropriate. And we can change the size by coming up in the control panel. And we see right here, this is a little preview of our brush. So right now I happen to have a, a brush that measures 25 pixels in diameter. And this little circle right here is telling me that it's basically like a stroke preview of my brush. So it's showing me that I've got a hard edged brush right now. And if I'm trying to blend her in with a soft, fluffy cloud, I don't want to use a hard edged brush because I'll be right back. Like this. Creepy. Looks like she had her wrist cutoff. So we don't want that. So first let's make the size of the brush bigger. You can click right up here on this preview and there's a size slider. But this is hard because it shows me the number here of like how many pixels wide my brushes, but I don't know what that means. And a 100 pixel wide brush is going to relatively appear larger in some images and smaller in others. So this is kind of not giving me a ton of information like I can't see the brush. So a better way to do that is with our bracket keys on our keyboard. Those are the two keys next to the letter p for paint. So the left bracket key, if I just hit that, it makes the brush successively smaller and the right bracket key will make it bigger. So I want like pretty fluffy, maybe around 200 pixels. So I can see that this is a 200 pixel brush I have right now. And now I need that brush to be soft. So again, if I come up here and click in the control panel, there is a slider here for hardness. You can see it's all the way on the right. So the right bracket keys move these arrows to the right and the left bracket keys move them to the left. So the bracket keys by themselves adjust size. But in order to adjust hardness, we need to add the Shift key. So I'm going to hold down the Shift key, and now I'll hit the left bracket to move that slider. Away from that hard edge. And if I do that like four or five times, we see that this is now soft. And now if I pop this open, we see the slider is all the way on the left. Okay, so super handy stuff. One more thing while we're up here is we can control the brush opacity. So we don't want to just go in and like blast her wrist away. I want to just sort of gently fade it into the cloud. So I'm gonna lower this opacity so you can think of it as like diluting the paint. So we'll drag this slider down to like, I don't know, 2025 something percent this is all just, you know, I guess the numbers are flexible. You don't have to have the exact same numbers as me and maybe I'll decide to change them in a minute anyway. So a lot of this is trial and error. So I've lowered the opacity. I've chosen a good size, I've made my brush soft. The last thing we need to do before we can just paint this dang mask is I need to have black paint on this top square here. So these two colors are called the foreground swatch and the background swatch. The foreground swatch is the one that comes out of your brush. Like if I start painting right now, I would be painting with white on this layer mask, which is already weight, so nothing's going to happen. So to do the blocking of the visibility of that layer, I need black paint. So this double-headed arrow right here will switch the two colors, foreground and background. Or I can press X on my keyboard for x change, right? So black on top, a good size, soft, lowered opacity. Let's do this. So right now, I'm basically in my mind, I'm gonna pretend like I'm using an eraser. Even though I know I'm doing something much better than that. But I'm gonna come over here and just paint 2p and see MRD deciding the 24 opacities too low. So let's bump that up to like 50 or 60 or something. And maybe I'll make the brush a little bigger. That exaggerates the softness. But now you can see that her wrist is kind of fading into the cloud. And I can come up here and sort of fade her hand. Maybe the the clouds are coming up here too. So I'm just gently now that looks weird. I think this this was a mistake. I think I don't want to be masking her hand right here. I want I want to fix that. So to do that, let's take a look at the Layers panel and we see that the mask that was white, that was basically blank now has this black smudge here. And that is the part that is the actual mask that's doing the blocking, the hiding, right? So if I painted too much black, it's super easy to fix. I press X for X change on my keyboard and I just paint over it with white. And that fixes it. So super easy, super flexible. Gotta love it. If I wanted to just show you, you don't have to do this, but I just want to show you the mask. So here you can see like the mask actually on, overlaid over the image so you could see what we actually did. We painted black down here, and apparently I painted some black up here to unnecessarily. So I can just paint over that with white. But this is what's actually happening. So we're just painting a mask to hide parts of the layer. So now we have brought her in here, we have transformed her or converted her into a Smart Object so that she pass along all of her pixels for safekeeping if we need them later. We transformed her with command or control T. And then we added this mask from the bottom of the Layers panel. And we painted with black paint using a soft edge paintbrush and a lowered opacity to help blend her hand and her wrist into the cloud. So join me in the next video and we are going to start bringing in some accessories. 6. Selecting the Clock & Orange Slice: Ready to add some accessories to our composite or we're going to start with this picture of orange slices. So these are a lot of fun. I thought they'd make like, kinda fun eyes on her face. So we're going to be selecting this orange right here. And we could try and select this with a number of our wizardry selection tools. But there's actually a even simpler selection tool that is better suited to the task, and it is called the Elliptical Marquee tool. The marquee tools are the second tool family down from the top. So right under the Move tool. And you'll notice that there's four members. We're going to be going with the Elliptical Marquee. So I'll release my mouse on that. Up here in the control panel. We just, we could modify this behavior. This button right here tells Photoshop that every time we use this tool, we want to make a new selection. We could use this tool to add to an existing selection. This one subtracts from an existing selection. And this one is called Intersect. And it's where you make a selection and you make another part of US election. And what ultimately ends up being selected is where they overlap. We're not doing any of that for today. So we'll just click the first one here. Okay, the way this tool works is that we basically click to lay down an anchor point and then we drag to sort of stretch out or grow out, pull out a circle or an ellipse. And you can only either stretch or contract the ellipse or reposition the whole thing, but you can't do both at the same time. So when we're stretching, wherever you click first is kind of becomes your anchor points. So if you think of a rubber band and you think of like putting a nail down and then looping there were rubber band around the nail and then you can pull it and stretch it. But if you want to pick it up and move it, you kinda have to take the whole thing and pluck it up and then move it, stick it back down and then you can stretch it again. That's exactly how it works here. So I'm going to start by putting my cursor on the left side of this orange slice. And I'm not going to even try to get the positioning correct in the first place. It's really easiest if we just get the general size and shape right, and then we'll reposition it. So I'm just going to put my cursor over here. And then I'm going to click and drag, pulling out what is now an ellipse as you can see. So I'm holding my mouse down this whole time and I'm not going to let go and till we get this where we want it. So I've clicked and dragged out this whole shape to snap it into a perfect circle. I'm still holding the mouse. I'm going to add shift. And now instead of being like, let's say an ellipse like this, if I hold shift, it snaps to a circle. So I'm basically just trying to get the circle like the right size at this point. And I think they've done a pretty decent job of that. So now I'm ready to reposition it. So I'm still holding my mouth. I'm still holding Shift. And now this is like playing Twister. Now I'm going to add the spacebar. So I'm going to click and hold the space bar. And when I do that, it's like plucking the nail and everything up out of your baseboard. And now we can move it. You see I can move it around now, but now I'm not stretching it and just moving it cuz you can only do one or the other at a time. So I'm just going to position it here. If I decided I wanted to make it a little smaller, I'm going to position it where that top left ish area is the part that will become anchored. So that's what I care about most. So I'm happy with this. I'll let go of the spacebar, still holding Shift and my mouse. But because the spacebar, now I can go back to stretching it. So with that top left side nailed down, I can just pull the right side where I want it and to death. Then I let go of all all the things, put my twister Matt away, and now we're ready to copy and paste this into our cloud. So just like we did before, we're going to press command or control C to copy like just a straight up normal copy because we only have the one layer. We don't have to worry about copying merge. So then we're going to come to the cloud. I'll tap over on that file and we'll paste it in Command or Control V. Again, it's huge. That's a good thing. If it's too small and you have to stretch it to make it bigger, to make it usable, then you've got a problem because that means you don't have enough pixels in that image. So it's good that it's big. Just like the woman's face. We're going to convert this to a smart, a Smart Object to pack all those pixels in. So we'll come over here and control-click or right-click on the layer that we want to convert. And I'll select Convert to Smart Object. Again, we see another little suitcase icon here, and now we're ready to transform. So again, Command or Control T, proportionally drag from a corner. And I can let go of the keyboard and then reposition. That's still a little too big. If you hold down the Alt or Option key on your keyboard, you can scale it from both sides at once, so that can save you a little bit of dragging, i guess. Alright, so I feel like this looks good when you're happy with it, you need to remember to press enter or return, or click the check mark in the control panel. You want to reposition it. You can press V To get your Move tool and move it around if needed. All right. I like it like that. Let's go get one more thing for this video, we'll go get the clock because both these items are going to be selected with the same tool, the Elliptical Marquee. So here we have another circle. How symbol, right? So I'll switch from my move tool back to the elliptical murky. The keyboard shortcut for Marquis is M. And then I'm gonna put my cursor in here. And just like we did before, I'll position it kind of on the left, but I'm not going to worry about where it is yet. So I'm going to just click out here and drag when I get the size that I want. Also holding shift to keep it a perfect circle. When I get about to the size I want, I will add that spacebar to position it properly. Okay, so I think that's good. I'm not going to obsess over this too much. That looks pretty good. So I'm going to let go. It helps if you let go of your mouse first and then your twister situation. Because if you let go of the twister situation first, then your selection might snap out of that perfect circle and back into an ellipse or whatever. Whatever else that might want to be. Okay, now we're gonna copy again Command or Control. See, you guys get this right, will go back to the cloud image command or control V to paste it in. And again, it's big. And again, we're going to pack all those pixels away for safekeeping by converting it to a Smart Object. So in the layers panel, go to the layer with the red clock and control-click or right-click, and then choose Convert smart object. And now we'll transform it again, Command or Control T. I'm going to drag from a corner and I'll hold down Alt to or option two. Gail scale this from both sides and I'm zooming back in again, that's Command or Control. And the plus. And dragging this lake over here. Who I like that. So I like that this would smaller than this one. And I like that they overlap a little bit. I just think that looks comical. So, okay. So now what we have brought in to circular shapes and you learned how to use the Elliptical Marquee tool, which is handy for a lot more things than you would guess, joined me in the next video where we're going to bring in another object and learn a few new tricks. 7. Quick Selection Brush + Color Overlay Effect: I hope you're feeling good about what you have made so far, and there are still a few more fun things up ahead. So in this video, we are going to take this telephone and we're going to bring it in on to the image. We're gonna learn how to copy a layer. We're going to learn how to flip horizontally. We're going to learn how to add a color overlay effect to an image. And we're gonna learn how to invert an image. So, oh my goodness, so many things happening. So here we go. First, we are going to make selection of this telephone. So to do that, I'm going to press W for our good friends, the wizard family. And within the wizard family, we have this button up here at the top in our control panel that allows us to just click a button and select subject. It's almost so easy, it kinda makes you feel guilty. So we'll just go ahead and click that. And we'll pretend like we're working really hard to make the selection. And there we go. Photoshop made the selection and you know what, it's not quite perfect. I'm going to show you how easy it is to fix though. So for example, if I zoom in on this area down here, and this area, we can see that Photoshop got a little confused and it's including the shadow as part of the selection. So in this case, we're going to go to the other wizard family member, the Quick Selection Tool here. And this is basically, it's sort of like a smart paintbrush that you can make selections where it's pretty rad. So in the control panel up here, we want to make sure that we've got the select option on, because Photoshop has made a selection of the telephone and the chord, but it made too much of a selection. So we want to subtract from that selection. So we need to have the subtract option turned on up here. And then I'm just gonna go in here and paint basically paint that away and you see that it's kind of smart. So you kind of just like click and drag a little and then it, and then it kind of calculates and then it renders the improved selection. So, and I think I can never tell, but it, this, this is shadow to write. So let's paint this away. Get that out. And I painted a little too much. Man, this is where you open a can of worms. So now I have painted, here we go. I've painted to too much away and now the selections, eating into the phone and eating and over here. So you can see why Photoshop got got a little confused because this area's literally grades very gray area. So photoshop didn't know what to do with it. So now ever raised a little too much. So this time I'll switch to the plus. And I'm just going to give a little click and kind of bite my name. My knuckle. One does ever so gently clicking to pop. Pop this border out, basically. Ok. And you know, it's not going to matter if it's perfect in this environment, sometimes you really need a perfect selection and you need to spend a lot of time and a lot of care. And in this particular piece, that is not necessary, I'm going to add a little more down here too. It's getting confused. There's also a highlight happening in this part of the phone receiver. Because remember when phones looked like this, anybody, maybe you're too young. Ha, and here also, it kind of gobbling, booked this site up. So I'm just with my ad option on him painting over this to bump this selection back out. And then I'm not going to obsess. This area is not quite right either. Here we want to subtract again. I feel like I've opened a can of worms because I, I when I made the sample, I didn't even, I didn't even get this into it. Because we're going to invert the whole thing anyway, and it looks fine. It's going to end up looking like a shadow, which is actually pretty cool. Alright, so we'll call that good. Let me scroll down here and see we fix that area. This area needs a little more subtraction. This part's easy and since we're here, we might as well get it right. There we go. So I don't have to really paint the whole thing is just kinda like a click and touch. Maybe a little drag. I'm making my brush smaller to get into this little corner. And here we went to knock this part out too. Perfect. All right. We're going to call it good. So we've got our telephone selected now. And let's mascot. And basically this is how we're going to remove the background. So when we added a mask to the woman's face, we did not have an active selection when we did that. So the result was that we just got a blank mask. But another way to make a mask is to make a selection first. And then if you click the Mask button with an active selection, Photoshop will turn the rest of the image into the mask. So in other words, it will hide everything that's not included in the selection, in this case the background. So I'm gonna come over here and just click the Mask button and boom, the background disappeared. So perfect. Next, we're going to invert this whole image. And by that, I mean, we're going to basically turn this picture of a phone into a negative of itself. So it will be like an opposite. What was black will be white and vice versa. Plus, it kinda just adds to a little bit of the creepy Look to the whole composition. So to do that, I first want to make sure that I've got not the Layer Mask selected, which you can see there's a little white outline around the mask. So if I invert the mask, thus not going to be good. So I want to make sure that I'm clicking to invert the actual image. Now that that is selected, we can come up to the Image menu at the top of the screen. And I'm gonna select adjustments and come back. And I'll select invert. And you can see that the phone is now for freaky looking. And it's, it's white. And you can tell that it's like a negative. Like if you remember film, it's like that. And last but not least, we're going to add a color overlay to this noun. So that is going to be done in this case with a layer effect or a layer style. So we've got the phone selected here. We're going to come down at the bottom of the Layers panel and click the Effects button. And we're gonna select color overlay. And right now my overlay is coming in green. So to change that, I'm going to click on the color swatch right here. And this brings up the color picker. And choosing color in here is typically a two-step process, unless you know the numbers that you want to use, the way that you visually would do it. At least how I do it is I take my sliders here. And this is our Hugh spectrum, right? It's like the rainbow. So I'll drag this down to the yellow part of the rainbow and then I need to specify a shape that I want. So once I pick the General Hugh, I can come into this box and I can pick like kind of a dark grey yellow, or I can pick a very bright yellow or kind of a softer butter yellow. I'll probably just go for something like inbetween. So maybe this, then I'll click OK over here. Under blend mode, I want to have this in Multiply blend mode, but you can experiment and see if there's another blend mode that you like better. I'm gonna go with multiply it and I'm going to click okay, so now we are ready to copy. And just like earlier where we had the woman's face with the two adjustment layers. If we want to bring in this image as we see it here, we need to do a copy merged, because otherwise it's not going to come in with the yellow and the way that we see it here. So I'll press Command or Control a. And then again to copy this whole thing with all these effects and all of this as if it were merged. We're going to come to the Edit menu and choose Copy Merged. Then we'll bop back over to our cloud command or control V to paste it in. And as always, we want to pack those pixels for safekeeping. So let's convert it to a smart object by right clicking or Control clicking and selecting converts smart object. Okay, we're going to leave this here for this video and join me in the next one, where we are going to learn how to duplicate layers and horizontally flip things. 8. Finalizing the Telephone Layers: Now that we have our phone, paste it in and we've converted it to a smart object. We are ready to have some fun with it. The first thing that I'm going to do is scale this down. So again, we'll press Command or Control T. And I'm going to drag from a corner and just keep going until I want to know that this receiver is gonna fit nicely in this space. But this one's actually going to appear on this side. So this looks like a good size. I'll go ahead and press Enter or Return on my keyboard. And I'm going to switch to my move tool by pressing V, which is for move of a, right. So I've got my move tool. I'm going to click and drag it and positioning the cable here. So it's like kind of coming maybe from out her ear. I know it's kinda weird, but it's fun. So that's what this is. And I like the cable being here and fitting like this. But of course, the receiver is now out in space over here and we need it on this side. So what we'll do is duplicate this layer and we can make a copy of it by dragging it to the bottom of the layers panel. So that's layer for here. I'm clicking and dragging it and I'll drop it right on this plus right here. And that's kinda like a copy machine. It's gonna make a new layer from the old layer. So now we have two. And while we're here, let's rename this so we know what's going on. So this is the copy layer. I'm gonna double-click. We're going to be moving this to the right-hand side. So I'm going to call this telephone, right? This one is telephone left. I'm just double-clicking on the words to be able to change them. This is the clock layer. If you don't know for sure what a layer is, you can toggle the little eyeball here. This is the visibility icon. And if you toggle it, we can see that the thing that's flashing on and off is the clock. So I'll rename this clock, press enter. This is the orange press enter, and this is the face precedent. Alright, so telephone, right? We have to telephone layers in here, but we only see one because they are currently directly on top of each other. So to, to move this over and see what we're working with, I'm gonna press, I'm gonna make sure I have my move tool. And then I'm going to click and drag. And now you can see there are actually two. And I want the phone over here, but I want the cord coming off the phone and going this way. So what we need to do is take that layer and lipid around or flip it. One of those ways, horizontally, we gotta flip it over. So we can do that with transform. So I'm telling you free transform is like so powerful. You really want to get comfortable with that keyboard shortcut because you can use it for like so many things. So Command or Control, T. Brings up free transform. And now, if we right-click or control-click inside the free transform box, we get the sub-menu and then we can select flip horizontal. And now if I do this, I won't see the phone. Plus, then we have two cords like as mirror images of each other that looks, that looks photoshopped. Alright, so we're not going to worry about this part right now. We're just going to click and drag this over so that the phone is in the right place. And if I put this so that the chord is like in her ear, then I think the phone is up too high. So what I wanna do is rotate this image. Again, free transform to the rescue. If I hover my cursor outside the edge here, we see this double-headed macaroni arrow, macaroni noodle. When you see that you can click and drag to spin the whole thing. So I'm going to spin it down so the phone is rotated and I can get that chord in her ear, which just feels like so weird to say. But, but that's what I'm doing, so I'm going to own it. It's all right. So there we go, like maybe or maybe like this. Ok. So once I'm happy with the position and everything, I'm going to click that checkmark at the top. So that looks pretty good except for the obvious problem, which is this chord is like hanging out and covering up her face. If we drag it behind her face in the layers panel. That helps it still sticking out over here. But also, if I zoom in down here, we want the cord to be like going in her ear. So right now we can't have it behind it. So we need to keep this on top where it was. But as is so often the case, the solution is going to be another layer mask. So with the telephone right Layer selected will come down to the bottom and click to add a Layer Mask. And because we did not make a selection first, the mass is blank, indicated by just the fact that it's white. So again, we're going to paint with our paintbrush. So I'll press B for brush. And we want black paint again, because what we're gonna do is block this part of the telephone cord from appearing. Remember that it's kinda like a racing but better because you can erase. So instead of erasing, we mask. So we need the paintbrush and we need black paint because black paint blocks that layer from being seen. So I'm gonna flip flop my colors by pressing X for exchange. And also we still have this soft brush from the cloud masking. And in this case we don't want to thought brush. We went to hard edged brush. So I'm going to hold down the Shift key, hit that right bracket key a few times. Remember that when we do that, what's really happening behind the scenes is that we're taking the slider here and we're dragging it to the right. Okay? And I'm gonna take the opacity that is still in the middle and I'm going to drag it back up to a 100%. And then I'm just going to zoom in so you can see. And I wanna come right to the edge of her face and let's say I make a mistake. Oops, I went too far. I just press x to get white paint and I just paint it back. See the beauty of this. So I'll make my brush a little tinier. Get back to black paint. Maybe I'll go too far and then paint it back to Lake here. That looks pretty good. It again, we don't have to obsess that much. This is like a for fun learning project where we're just trying to learn about Lear mass and selections and transforming and smart objects and stuff. Okay, so we have that, that looks pretty cool, right? So this bone that looks like it's continuous, like going in and coming out over here. It's really actually two layers. It's the same layer duplicated and flipped. So good work. I will join you in the next video where we're going to bring it home with our final two items. And after that, we'll get fancy with it. 9. Selecting the Hand & Cassette Tape: In this video, we're going to bring in two more objects, making really simple selections. And it'll be good, good review, good practice. So here I want to select this hand. Now there's a number of ways we could do it. But one that actually works really well and gives us another way to think about making selections is the magic one tool, another wizard, family member. So I'm going to press W on my keyboard to remember that the magic wand is nested with quick selection tool. So you might have quick selection tool active if that's the last one you use. So I'm going to switch to the magic wand. And the magic wand to make selections based on color similarity. So in this image the background color is pretty flat. And so it's easy to select it. It's also kinda similar to the color of the hand. But if we just operate with our default tolerance appear we should be fine. So the tolerance setting the default is 32. And tolerance refers to how picky the magic wand is going to be about what it counts as being the same color or different. So the defaults 32 and it works pretty well here. The other thing we want to check is the contiguous option here. So contiguous means that when we click in an area of the image, do we want Photoshop to search the entire image for similar color? Or do we want it to just search for similar color until it bumps into something like some other kind of border or some other color, and then it won't leap to the rest of the image. So in this case, we actually do want to turn contiguous off because you can see that there's like these little pockets of background that are trapped between the fingers and the knuckles in here. And if we turn contiguous on Photoshop or the magic wand will search for the image, but when it runs into the knuckles here, it will not jump over to examine this area. So we're going to turn contiguous off because we want it to grab all of this yellow background across the whole image. And I have subtract turned on, so I don't think it would even maybe work right now. So I'm going to switch over here to new selection so that I can make sure that wherever I click we're going to get a new selection. And then I'm just going to click like boom, right here. And if I zoom in, you can see it messed up a little bit right here so we can fix that. But look what a great job it did of getting in between these cracks here. So if we want to fix this little area, let's switch back to our Quick Selection Tool. So the other member of this family, and we'll turn on the plus to add to our selection. And I'm just going to click this might be oh, actually not plus, minus. So I forgot. We selected the background, not the hand. So this is actually a subtraction situation. There we go. Oh yeah, that's way better. Good job. Alright. So let's walk through that again. So we selected the back ground, not the hand, which is why we needed to use the subtract button to get rid of a little, too much selection. But now of course we have the background selected. So if we copy and paste now we're actually copying and pasting the background to flip flop our selection, we're going to inverse are selection. So we're basically going to turn this selection inside out. So instead of having the background selected, we will have the hand selected. The reason we started by selecting the background is because it was a flat, solid color. So it was easier to select that and then turn the selection insight out than it was to try and select the hand. So to turn this selection inside out will come up to the Select menu and choose Inverse. And now you can see that the marching ants that were around the outer edge of the image are now gone and they're just around the hand itself. So now we're ready to copy and paste. And again pack all those pixels will come over here, control-click or right-click Convert to Smart Object, transform command and control T. Drag it in. And if we want to rotate it again, I can just hover. Or you can hover. We can, we can all hover outside the edge and click and drag to minute. I'm, I'll move it up here so it's sort of creepily pointing at her shoes. I don't know why this is bordering on creepy all of a sudden. Alright, now we're gonna go ahead and click the check mark to commit it. And if we wanna change the color of this or add a color overlay, like we did for the telephone. We can come in the layers panel, Double-click and name this hand so we know what we're doing. And then at the bottom, the Layers panel again, there's that affects button and we can choose again, color, overlay. And incentive yellow. Maybe we weren't like red or some yeah, who I kinda like that. Let me go with red. We can play with the Blend Mode and change this if we want to something else. But multiply tends to work nicely. Click OK. Today, there is one piece left. Let's go grab it. That's the cassette tape. So we're going to select this by using one of our wizard tool friends here. Quick Selection Tool or magic wand. They both have, well, maybe the magic one doesn't know, does they both have the select Subject button up here on the top. So we'll click back. And we select the cassette tape. Now if we zoom in, we can see that Photoshop did not cut out the holes here for the little grabbers. So we need to do that ourselves. So I'm going to switch to the Quick Selection Tool. If you don't already have it. And we're going to switch to the minus. And we'll zoom in here. And I'm just gonna click and you see that it like way over it a bit. So I'll do this one too, just to get that out of the way. So now we've carved such a big hole that we lost the teeth. So the teeth are not included in the selection now, which means we now need to add them back in. Isn't this fun? So let's go into the control panel and instead of minus this time we're gonna choose Add. And ever so gently, I'll zoom in even more. I'm just going to click on that little tooth and gingerly kinda click, click and drag my way around to mark, mark these teeth and bring them back in. Here we go. All right, so that one's added back in and now we need to add these teeth backends. So again, I've got the Quick Selection Tool. And initially we, we subtracted this part, but we kinda over subtracted. So now we're adding back. And this is really like How Selections Work. I mean, I know we have that button wherever we can literally click and select subject. And the results are often amazing, but they're also often just a starting point. And then, you know, it's to be expected that we have to do some fine tuning. Okay? Now we've got it. We're gonna copy it Command or Control C. Paste it command or control V. Let's pack those pixels. Right-click on that layer or control-click converts smart object, transforming it. And I like to just throw in a little rotation because why not? There we go. Set it in. So bravo, well-done. Join me in the next video where we will add the finishing touches. 10. Finishing Touches: Drop Shadows: We've got everything in here. We are ready to really bring this home. And one thing, before we add the special effects like drop shadows to this whole thing. I think that maybe I'm looking at this and thinking, I think I went to brighten up that cloud layer two. So kinda like we did with the woman's face. I want to do it with the cloud layer. So we're going to add another Levels Adjustment layer. And the way that adjustment layers work is that they're adjustment their instructions is like a rain cloud. It rains down. So it affects any of the layers below it, but not the layers above it. So to make sure this gets in their right place, I'm going to click the cloud layer. And then at the bottom of the layers panel, I'll click the little half-moon Adjustment Layer button and I'll choose levels. Just like we saw before. And I'm going to take this midtone slider and just drag it to the left. Yeah, I like that a little bit better. Just brighten it up and then we can we can see all these things better, so good, I feel good about that. One other thing we're gonna do for our lady friend here is that the selection that I made so quickly ahead of time for you guys is not perfect. And if we zoom in, we can see that she has kind of this white fringe happening around her. And so what we're going to do with kind of disguise that by clicking on her layer. So we've got her face selected. And then from that same Effects button down here, we're going to click and select inner shadow. And I mean, boom, it already fixed it. So these are my settings. I've got an opacity of 70%. The distance is 22 and the size is a 172. And you can play with these and experiment, but look how like what a quick, easy fix that was, right? So that's also part of why I didn't freak out too much about making that a perfect selection because we could just clean it up so easily right here. Alright. Our final touch here is that we're going to add a drop shadow to everything except the background because he can't really add a drop shadow to the background. And we're not going to put a drop shadow on her face layer. I don't think I don't know if you want to go ahead, but I don't think I'm going to. So I'm going to take all those other layers and to save ourselves a little bit of work and to tidy up our Layers panel. I'm going to group them first. And the way that we do that is I'll scroll up and click on layer one. What is that? That's the cassette. Let's rename that cassette. Ok, so I'll select the cassette layer. And then I'm gonna hold shift and click on the orange layer. So I'm leaving the faith layer out. The Levels adjustment that is again only raining down to affect the background down here. So I've got everything else selected and then we're going to group them to put them in a folder by pressing Command or Control G for group. And that command, the long hand is probably up here under the Layers panel. I never actually find it here, but here it is, layer group layers. So that's what I did. There was also layer ungroup layers. Alright, so now instead of applying a drop shadow to each item individually, because they are grouped, we can just apply the drop shadow to the whole folder, to the whole group at once. And that's great because then they're all very consistent and it's less work. And if we want to update any of them at anytime, we only have to update one thing. So with the group now selected, we can come down to that effects button and click Trump shadow. And you can see that this drop shadow gets added. And you can play around with these settings and choose something that you like. I tend to like my drop shadows coming off and look down into the right, but it really depends on the lighting in your scene. So you're going to have to kind of look in this scene. Now we can't see her face anymore, but it looks like the light's coming from pretty right on. She seems to have like from the front. So we could have it come from from straight above if we prefer. So maybe that's even a little bit more accurate. Although let's be real, this image is surreal, So none of it makes sense. So do whatever you want and you can play with the distance. So this, as you increase the distance that the objects appear to be floating even higher. So that's kind of funny. And then the size will make them either like big and fuzzy or they can have a harder edge. And then of course, a pasty just makes them more intense, are more faded and unless opaque. So whatever you like, I'm gonna go with that and click OK. And you just built a composite. So congratulations and well done. 11. More to Learn: Thank you so much for watching. I hope that you had fun, that you learned a lot and more than anything, I hope you feel inspired to keep learning and creating with Photoshop. And last but not least, Did you know that I have a whole boatload of other classes. You'll find it all over at Carboplatin And while you're there, don't forget to pick up my free creative toolkit filled with tons of fun Photoshop goodies. You can download it for yourself at caplets slash freebies. I hope you'll join me in another class soon and until you do happy compositing.