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Match the Scene with Color

Lesson 25 from: Using Composite Photography to Create a Fantasy World

Karen Alsop

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Lesson Info

25. Match the Scene with Color

Lesson Info

Match the Scene with Color

And with Alice I want to bring some more atmosphere around her and I want to bring some of the color from around her onto her dress and onto her hair, so to do that I do a thing called painting with light. And I create a new layer and again, this is usually done multiple times. So, it's not one step, I don't do it once and then I'm done, I usually do this several times on a layer and play with the opacity and the different colors and things like that. So, creating a new layer and clipping it to Alice means that I can do anything I want on that layer and it's only going to clip to Alice. So, if I zoom up here I'm going to show you at full flow. If I want to paint a color around her that's coming from the background, I can hit Alt or Option and grab it from that area with the eye dropper tool then I've got that color from the sky and I can paint it on top of her. Now obviously that's over done. I've just painted at full opacity over the top of Alice. But think about this. If you do this ...

very subtly and you turn it down, you start to have light and the color of the light come around your subject. So, I'm going to erase that and this pen, as I said, the bottom half is an eraser. So, if you didn't know that there's a little tip. Okay, so I usually dab where I think the light would spill over sections. I dab in corners, and I grab the light from around. I particularly use the light from the sky and the color of the sky because that would be the light that's casting down on our subject. And I dab around different areas. Now, the areas that I do the most of in these sort of in-between bits-- around the corner here and at the moment it's looking strange because it's full opacity, but I'll turn that down. Around the side. Okay. So, in turning it down, just to show you the effect, I do normally keep it on normal, but sometimes you can change your blending mode as well. Okay. Turn that up. Turn that on and off, okay. So, turning it down, just having subtle pink hue over the top. So, I'll do this in multiple layers and I'll bring some more light down here so if I want to have some areas that are more obvious and then some areas that are less obvious, then you can change the opacity of each. You can turn the flow down. So, I'll create a new layer. This one here is again clipped, and here I can bring in some of the color from the ground there. So, Alt, picking it up from here. Spinning ball. (laughs) And just dabbing it along here. And then turning it down again. So, bringing some of the color that's bouncing back up off the ground down here as well. Down here. And on the shoes. So, as I do it, it is taking its time, but as I do it, it's going to create that light. So, you think of light as color spilling over things. And turn that down. That I will do on both the rabbit and on Alice, but that's not the end of it. So, you do it around the edges, but then you can actually do a layer completely over the top and sort of have some light spill taking place. So, adjusting that just a touch. And leaving it on normal... Because you've got all your blending modes here. And if you could change to soft light, you can change to hard light, but when I'm trying to bring some of that color over the top, I find it best just to keep it as a solid color and turn it down until it sort of feels like it's just that soft foggy sort of light coming over the top.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials

The Story Art Journey eBook
Planning a Composite Video Tutorial (Large download - 1.2gb)

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Photoshop Brushes
Photoshop Hair Brush

Ratings and Reviews

Judy Mitschelen

I've found many great instructors at CreativeLive and Karen ranks right up there at the top! With her relaxed, thoughtful manner of presenting, I was immediately hooked. Her organization, clear explanations and demonstration, and on target response to questions are superb. This course covers an amazing range of skills and tricks of the trade. Whether you're interested in getting better shots to work with, better workflow at the computer, or better output at the end, Karen covers it all.

Endigo Rae

This was such an amazing class! Karen is so talented, inspiring, and such an amazing teacher. Very forthcoming and open about all of her techniques. I'm so looking forward to jumping into compositing, I feel like this is definitely something my soul desires to explore and Karen has made it so easy and accesible through her beautiful course! Thanks so much Karen and CreativeLive!


Karen is very talented and a great teacher and I enjoyed every minute of the course. But what I found to be the best part was seeing what an amazing person she is. The video of compositing the disabled children to make their dreams come true had me in tears. It has inspired me to use my talents to help others and not learn photo manipulation for self enjoyment. God bless you Karen.

Student Work