Matching Foreground and Background, A Photo Pie Tutorial (HD)

Alright, this Photo Pie tutorial is about
how to make the foreground subject match the background. Now this topic is particularly
important when implementing our background products, because our goal at Photo Pie is
to actually put your clients inside the reality that is on this background. So in this case,
we want this model to look like she is standing inside of an elegant, regal, European hall.
Our first step is to look the first picture over and say, “What doesn’t match?”
Naturally, the first thing that you notice is she is brighter than her background. The
lightest lights on her face are brighter than the chandeliers, the windows and all the bright
places in the background. The darks in her hair and eyes are darker than the darkest
places of the background. So the overall contrast of this background needs to be adjusted in
order to match what we see in the foreground. So in order to do this contrast calibration,
we first want to take the Mask Tool and make a selection of our foreground subject. I’m
going to do this rather hastily, for time’s sake, but if you’re doing this for your
clients, and want to create a quality product, I suggest that you do this a little more meticulously.
And we’re going to do a Feather>2 pixels. Select Inverse. Now we’re going up to Layer>
New>and new Layer via Copy (or Command J, for your power users). Now that we’ve created
this new layer, you can see the new layer created. If you want to further adjust your
selection, you can take this down to Mask, it creates a black and white mask layer, and
by using the Brush Tool with the normal function, you can toggle the black and white by pushing
X and you can add or subtract to your selection by using this Brush Tool. But we’re not
going to use that right now, we’re going to go straight to the contrast adjustments.
Go to Image>Adjustments—you could use Brightness/Contrast, but we are going to use Levels because it
is a tool with more precision than the Brightness/Contrast tool. Now that we’ve created this layer
all of our adjustments are isolated to this background. So, like we said, we want to bring
in the blacks—we want to make the blacks darker, and the lights whiter. And we want
the brightness to match the light that’s on her, because hypothetically, these chandeliers
are what is lighting her face. Now you can tell that as we made these last adjustments
we’ve also increased the saturation of the picture, so we have to make a coordinating
adjustment in Hue/Saturation. We want to take down the Saturation to compensate for the
amount we just increased it. So I’m going to take it down about 30 degrees. This is
a little bit subjective, you can still take it more if you feel like it is too orange
in the background. Now that we have done this, there is still one final step. We need to
take the color of the light in the background and match that color to the light on her skin.
The contrasts are relatively the same, the darks behind here, these darks, match her
hair and eyes. The brightness, that you see back there, could, reasonably, be the same
type of brightness that it coming up on her. She might be standing by a window or have
a little extra light source. But it’s in the same ballpark of contrast-ness, so that
the eye thinks this actually could be reality. The final thing we want to do is go back to
our foreground. Usually I wouldn’t recommend working on the Background Layer, but for demonstration’s
sake I’m going to use that to adjust the model. Back to Hue/Saturation, and this time
I’m going to increase the Saturation. I’m going to increase it to about +30, maybe a
little less. I don’t want to paint her orange, but I want to leave a faint trace on her of
the orange tint that is all around her. Because, hypothetically, the light that reflects off
of these chandeliers and onto these gold plates and back onto her, would take some of that
color with her, and paint her with that faint tint. So now you see in her hairline, on her
shoulders, under her chin, all around her there is just this faint orange haze, but
she is not orange overall. And with these few simple steps we have gone most of the
way to creating a matching background and foreground. There are still a few cosmetic
things left to do, you could take out this seam line with Patch or Clone Tool or do a
few more cosmetic things on the model in the foreground. But, in general, we have gone
a long ways in putting this model into this reality. She is now a beautiful woman in a
European regal hall. So with that, I’m going to wrap up. And thank for listening to this
Photo Pie tutorial. Stay tuned for more to come.

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