Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Photoshop Compositing

For the character studies my first stage was to put together a number of photographs into one sheet.

This was created in Photoshop, so here are some step-by-step instructions:-

  1. Open Photoshop. I'm using an old version CS3 but it works similarly on older versions
  2. File / New. Give it an appropriate title for your finished composition. Then in the Preset (second item down) from the drop down choose 'International Paper', Size of A4 and resolution of 300 pixels per inch, RGB colour and Background Contents 'White'. You won't be seeing much of the background with this method but sometimes it looks better with a black or white outline to separate the pictures. Click ok. 
  3. Image / Rotate Canvas and 90' CS to make it landscape.
  4. Now find the photos you want to include. In Photoshop go to File / Open as Smart Object as this keeps the resolution and other characteristics. Open each of your pictures like this and they will all be open but each in its own window. If you go to Window at the top you'll be able to see them all listed. 
  5. If the photos need adjusting you will need to flatten the image and duplicate the layer (rightclick on the layer and duplicate. Then you can use Image / Adjustments to increase the contrast or brightness etc
  6. Click on the rectangular  marquee tool, two items down on the lefthand toolbar that looks like a dotted square. Select the part of the picture you want with click and drag. Copy this and paste it into the canvas window anywhere on the sheet (CTRL+C and CTRL+V). It might appear very small. Close the window you copied from without saving
  7. Click on the move tool (little triangle, top icon on left toolbar) and position the photo roughly where you want it. then tick the box on top toolbar for show Transform controls. 
  8. Hold down shift to lock the aspect ratio and drag one of the corners to increase to the size you want it. It may look really out of focus at this stage. Pressing enter doesn't set it. You need to click again on the Move tool icon and it will ask you if you want to apply the transform. Click ok and it should come back into focus.
  9. Repeat this for all of your photos, readjusting their size if necessary. You can also flip photos horizontally or vertically. You will see that each photo is on a separate layer so if you can move or adjust them click to highlight the right layer first.
  10. For the picture of the bust, it has a very dark background so to avoid using a lot of ink if i print this then i'd changed the background from black to white. You can do this a number of ways but this time I've used the magic lasso tool to select the edge, inverted the selection then used the paint bucket tool to fill the area from black to white. Then click outside the photo to deselect. 
  11. When you've copied all your photos, save your project. You may also wish to merge all layers and save as a jpg file. 

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