How To Replace The Sky In a Photo With Photoshop (Including Reflections!)


Hi. I’m Jesus Ramirez from the
Photoshop Training Channel. In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how
to replace the sky in a photo with Photoshop. Sometimes you may take an awesome photo, but
the weather doesn’t help with achieving the results that you want,
so you’ll need to use Photoshop to bring in a new sky and take your photo to the next
level. In this video, I’m going to teach you a powerful
method that will allow you to easily place the new sky into your photo,
and I’ll even show you how to add reflections onto the water. Okay, let’s get started. And, before we begin, I would like to mention
that this tutorial is part of a series of tutorials that I did for Adobe. You can actually find this tutorial and two
other tutorials, one on color matching and the second on hair
cutouts, on Adobe’s website by me. And the reason that you might want to check
out this tutorial on Adobe’s website is that you’ll be able to find the downloadables on
that page and also a written version of this tutorial. So I’ll place the link to those down below
in the description. So let’s begin. These are the images. To replace the sky, we will use the Blend
If sliders found in the Layer Style dialog. Before we get into that, let’s look at the
RGB channels in the background image. I’ll disable the sky layer, then I’ll go into
Window and Channels. In this panel, you will see the three channels
that make up this image. The combination of light in the red, green,
and blue channels make up all the colors that you see in this photo. You can use these channels to create a mask
or you can use their luminosity to hide or show pixels with the Blend If command. Notice that the blue channel has more contrast
between the sky and the foreground elements than the other channels. The sky is bright, almost white, and the foreground
elements are dark. Keep this in mind because the dark and bright
points in the Blend If command will reference the brightness of this channel. Click on RGB and then go back into the Layers
panel, and we will start working on the new sky and the reflection on the water. Enable the sky layer and from the toolbar,
select the Rectangular Marquee tool and click and drag down from the top left corner to
select the sky. Make sure that the sky layer is active and click on the Layer Mask icon to
hide the areas that were not selected. Then, select the move tool and click and drag
the sky layer up until it is about where the sky in the background is. Now, create the layer that will become the
reflection of the sky on the water. Duplicate the layer by pressing Ctrl J on
Windows, Command J on the Mac, then flip it upside down by pressing Ctrl
T, Command T on the Mac, to transform and right-click and select Flip Vertical. Then, drag the inverted sky layer down until
it lines up with the bottom of the original sky layer. Now, let’s work on hiding the sky from the
background layer. First, drag the background layer above the
two sky layers. Then, click on the Effects icon
from the Layers panel and select Blending Options to
bring up the Layer Style window. From here, you can use the
Blend If sliders to show or reveal pixels based on the image luminosit or the luminosity of each RGB channel. Remember that the blue channel has the strongest
contrast between the sky and the foreground. The sky is almost white and the foreground
elements are dark. So we will select Blue from the dropdown. If you drag the white point to the left, you will hide the areas that
were bright in the blue channel. Notice how the sky starts disappearing because it was bright
in the blue channel and it reveals the image below. To create a smoother transition between visible
and invisible pixels, you can hold Alt on Windows,
Option on the Mac, and click on the white point to split it in half. Then, drag the left half further to the left
to create a smoother transition. When you’re happy with the blend, press OK. It is very important to note that Blend If
is not just hiding blue objects in the photo. Blend If is hiding anything that is bright
in the Blue channel, which is why Blend If affected the buildings, the bridge, and the
ice on the water. To bring back those areas and any other area
that you want to keep, duplicate the background layer by pressing
Ctrl J on Windows, Command J on the Mac, then remove the Blend If from this layer by
right-clicking on the double square icon to the right of the layer and selecting Clear
Layer Style. Then, from the toolbar, select the Quick Selection
tool and select areas that you want to keep. You don’t have to be precise. You can fine-tune later. In some areas, you will have to tap on the
left bracket key to make the brush smaller and select the finer details. Make sure that you select the buildings reflected
on the water because you don’t want the clouds to go over them. Also, select the icy areas on the sides. When you’re done, click on the Layer Mask
icon to create a mask, which will keep only the areas that you selected and hide everything
else. The only problem now is that the new sky is
much darker than the original. The sky is what illuminates everything in
a scene, so when you replace the sky, the new sky may not have the same luminosity
as the original, so you will need to adjust it. To do so, click on the top sky copy and, from
the New Adjustment Layer icon, select Levels. From the Properties panel, you can drag the
black point to the right to brighten the new sky to match the brightness of the original
sky. Then, you can use the midpoint slider to adjust
the contrast. At this point, all you need to do is fine-tune
your image, adjust the levels adjustment, the Blend If, or the mask to get better results. This is what my image looks like with about
five minutes of fine-tuning. Let me know down in the comments below if
you enjoyed this tutorial and what you learned. Also, don’t forget to check out my other tutorials
on Adobe’s website. The link to those are down below in the description. Once again, the tutorials are the hair masking
tutorial and the advanced color replace method. Check those out. I’m sure that you’ll enjoy ’em. Also, if this was your first time at the Photoshop
Training Channel, then don’t forget to click on that Subscribe
and Notification buttons. Thank you so much for watching. I will talk to you again in the next video.

93 Replies to “How To Replace The Sky In a Photo With Photoshop (Including Reflections!)

  1. My Tutorials on Adobe's Website:

    Sky Replacement ► https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/how-to/change-sky-color.html

    Advanced Color Swap ► https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/how-to/change-color-object.html

    Advanced Hair Masking ► https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/how-to/select-mask-hair.html

  2. cool to have a control on misterious disapear areas in some technique with mask and mutiple layer for light adjustement and other misterious moves <3

  3. Very interesting and fascinating tutorial.
    Need a photoshop 7.0 tutorial about how to give perfect effects on old studio printed photo. As those photograph when shoot by high resolution camera the paper roughness reflection (doting type/texture) demage print quality. Will you please make a tutorial how to eliminate this short of problem for such picture.

  4. JR This is nice, but in Luminar 4 this can be done in 1-4 button clicks instead of all these complex machinations. But thanks anyway …

  5. This is great, dope tutorial, my old ways is cut the background sky and place the sky on my original photo is sucks waste too much time, thanks for tutorials

  6. Thought this was the best tutorial for me. Learned a ton. Shot my own skys today and applied it to one of my own pics. IT WORKS!! Thank You.

  7. You should take a look at the last Luminar 4 with AI and see how great it's at replacing skies, you will be amazed, it's even better than the most advanced technique in PS.

  8. I try this but usually get fringing on the tree branches. Any way to get rid of the fringing? I have Luminar 4 but it doesn't always work either.

  9. Gracias amigo!!! didáctico, muy bien realizado. Como sugerencia, fijate si puedes colocar subtítulos. Aún cuando sean en ingles con la traducción automática podré replicarlo a mis amigos de Argentina que no hablan ingles. Saludos

  10. Really a cool technique, Jesus! It works beautifully. When I went to the channels section the color remained and didn't go to black and white like yours. However, it turned out great. Thanks!

  11. Hi JR, great tutorial. I’m heading over to Adobe to get the practice files and then PRACTICE. I do a lot of replacing in images that I use for making my book covers. I will!!! understand Blend If. I will!!!

  12. Great work Jesús, I want to be like you when I grow up. 😉 Will check out the other tutorials, I'm working on expanding my proficiency in Photoshop and this will be a big help. Thanks.

  13. My DOCUMENT IS not open. This document contains unknown data which will be discarded to keep layers editable. To preserve the origional appearance instead, choose Flatten to load composite data as a flattened image. how can open this file thats very improtant, plz Sir help

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