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Commercial Photoshop Retouching: In the Studio by Glenn Honiball

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Chapter 4. Something from Nothing

One of the most difficult challenges of retouching is creating something that doesn’t already exist. There may be a portion of an image that is missing and needs to be redrawn or made up. For example, sometimes a person’s leg or finger is outside of the original shot and needs to be added in. It might be necessary to add or change a reflection to make an object look more appealing. The techniques described in this chapter will help you create something from nothing!

Creating Smoke or Steam

One common request I receive from clients is to add smoke or steam to an image. Sometimes the desired effect is wispy, floating steam to make a muffin look fresh from the oven; sometimes it’s a strong, forceful stream to indicate an iron’s wrinkle-fighting power. Knowing how to make steam is a handy tool.

Giving Your Coffee a Warm-up

Adding steam to a food item can immediately make it more appetizing. In this example, we’ll add steam to a cold cup of coffee. By the end of this exercise, the coffee should appear hot!

Let’s start with the cold, unappetizing cup of coffee in Figure 4-1. Once we add some steam, we’ll be serving the much tastier looking cup shown in Figure 4-2!

Before: a cold cup of coffee

Figure 4-1. Before: a cold cup of coffee

After: once we add steam, our java will again be suitable for drinking

Figure 4-2. After: once we add steam, our java will again be suitable for drinking

First, you’ll want to create a new layer. Next, select the Brush tool. Set the brush opacity to a low amount, such as 30 or 40, and set the foreground color to white. Now, brush S-shaped white vertical lines where the top surface of the coffee is, as I’ve done in Figure 4-3.

Brush S-shaped lines onto the layer

Figure 4-3. Brush S-shaped lines onto the layer

Once you have a few lines drawn in, select your Smudge tool and set the opacity to 50%. Shape and distort the lines with the Smudge tool, massaging the lines and pushing them around like putty until you get the look of wafting steam, as in Figure 4-4.

Modify the painted in white lines with the Smudge tool

Figure 4-4. Modify the painted in white lines with the Smudge tool

Feel free to create more layers and additional lines of steam, reshaping them differently each time. You do not want any two lines to look the same. You may want to set the opacity levels of the various steam layers at different levels so that the steam will appear more natural and have more of a 3D effect. You can also distort or change the height and width of the various steam layers. Figure 4-5 shows the final effect.

Note

You could keep this steam image on file in case you ever need steam or smoke again for another image. Steam or smoke can easily be sized up to a variety of sizes. Smoke doesn’t really show any scaling effects, especially if you throw it out of focus a small amount for larger sizes.

Our cold cup of coffee has now been revived

Figure 4-5. Our cold cup of coffee has now been revived

Directional Steam

Sometimes you, or your client, may want to make steam appear as though it is blasting out of something, like a steam kettle, for instance. To achieve this effect, we’ll add some motion to a steam layer.

Note

Other situations in which you should add motion to steam include car exhaust, airplane vapor trails, and when making someone or something appear as though it’s moving quickly, creating a motion trail behind.

Figure 4-6 shows a picture of a kettle. We’ll add steam in such a way that it appears to be shooting out of the kettle, as in Figure 4-7.

Once again, the first thing I would do is add a new layer to my file and set the attributes to normal; let’s call this layer “Steam.” Start by adding white lines to this steam layer coming from the kettle holes and project them in such a way that they are on the correct angle to the kettle, as in Figure 4-8.

Before: kettle without steam

Figure 4-6. Before: kettle without steam

After: whistling away

Figure 4-7. After: whistling away

Start with direct white lines

Figure 4-8. Start with direct white lines

Note

For the steam to appear natural, the angle of the steam must match the hole angle it’s coming out of. For instance, if you were adding steam to a picture of a steam iron, each puff of steam coming from each of the little holes on the face of the iron may vary slightly in angle. You can change the angle of the steam by selecting the appropriate steam layer and transforming it with the Edit Transform tool. Remember, though, that when you select the Transform tool, there is a little pivot point that shows up in the middle of your Transform box. Be sure to move this pivot point with your cursor to the point on your steam (or any image, for that matter) that you wish to keep stationary, and any positioning change will pivot from where you have placed the pivot point. Repeat the positioning for each puff of steam.

The next step is to add some white puffs to the straight beams of steam to give the impression of the steam diffusing as it leaves the kettle. Add a new layer and brush in some white puffs. I’ll use my Brush tool, set the foreground color to white, and set my brush opacity to about 20% and a maximum brush softness. The size of the brush will change as you brush in the steam, and you’ll have to try a few different sizes so it won’t be too perfect looking. The idea is to have it appear as though it is billowing out. So, add little blobs of white color in and around the white lines you just created, as in Figure 4-9.

Add blobs to the ends of the streams

Figure 4-9. Add blobs to the ends of the streams

Reshape the steam puffs with the Smudge tool, like we did with our coffee steam, so that they look like the puffs are diffusing as they dissipate from the kettle, as shown in Figure 4-10. Remember, the farther the steam travels from the source of projection, it loses its velocity and diffuses into puffs or cloud-like formations.

Use the Smudge tool to reshape the steam puffs

Figure 4-10. Use the Smudge tool to reshape the steam puffs

Now use the Erase tool to selectively erase portions of the steam, to create some transparency, as shown in Figure 4-11. I typically set the Erase tool to a low opacity of about 20%. I find this a good starting point for erasing portions of my steam very gradually without any hard edges developing.

If the steam looks too thick, change the layer opacity to make it appear more natural, as in Figure 4-12.

Then, duplicate the steam layer to give some fullness to the steam. Doing this also allows you to change the two steam layers so that they are different than one another, giving a more three-dimensional appearance to the diffused steam, as you can see Figure 4-13.

Note

Have some fun when creating steam or smoke. Use the Smudge tool and the Erase tool to selectively go through the steam and massage it into shape.

The Erase tool helps add transparency

Figure 4-11. The Erase tool helps add transparency

Change the layer opacity to make the steam look more natural

Figure 4-12. Change the layer opacity to make the steam look more natural

The final steam kettle image with duplicated steam layers

Figure 4-13. The final steam kettle image with duplicated steam layers

Creating a Smile

While using the Liquify tool may be kind of fun for turning people you don’t particularly like into aliens with big bulging eyes, I find that it has very practical uses as well. If used sparingly, it can be applied to realistically alter a subject’s facial expression. In our example, let’s change the demeanor of the model in Figure 4-14 to put a slight smile on her face.

Before: Serious model face

Figure 4-14. Before: Serious model face

Here, we’ll use the Liquify tool to improve her mood. Choose Filter Liquify. In the Tool options, choose a large brush (a small brush will make it difficult to keep the lines smooth and fluid). Too small a brush will cause small ripples in your change.

Use the Forward Warp tool in the upper-left corner to turn up the corners of her mouth. Do not just pull on the edges of areas where the lines are, as this will cause the area you are distorting to become blurry. Try starting the distortion a little farther away from the actual area, working out toward the edges. If you use the Liquify command in this way you will not stretch the image as much and it won’t appear distorted (Figure 4-15).

Remember that when changing the shape of any portion of the image, think of the other effects this may have on the rest of the image. Smiling changes the shape of your cheeks, eyes, and so on. Make subtle adjustments to these areas with the Liquify tool as well, as shown in the final image, Figure 4-16. Don’t be afraid to use your imagination.

Use the Liquify brush to manipulate the shape of the mouth

Figure 4-15. Use the Liquify brush to manipulate the shape of the mouth

Creating Motion from Stillness

On occasion I am asked to take a static object and add motion to it so that it appears to be moving. You can add motion to objects in a couple of different ways. For instance, you might be asked to make a lateral motion, like when a car or person goes racing by. Motion could be added to make an object to appear as though it were spinning. Motion could also be added to make an object appear as though it is coming toward or traveling away from us. So how do we create motion where there was none?

Changing the shape of the mouth also means imagining what smiling will do to eyes, cheeks, etc.

Figure 4-16. Changing the shape of the mouth also means imagining what smiling will do to eyes, cheeks, etc.

Adding Motion to a Car with Motion Blur

Adding motion to cars is typical request. This is often done because the client or manufacturer does not want to put excess mileage on to the vehicle or run the risk of damaging a new car. In this example, we’ll take the car out of its stationary background and add motion to the background and the wheels. Figure 4-17 shows our sample vehicle standing perfectly still.

A stationary vehicle

Figure 4-17. A stationary vehicle

First, create a selection with the Pen tool. Make sure the selection is accurate by following the object exactly and by using as few points possible on your mask to keep it smooth and fluid. Depending on the how the rest of the image looks, I’ll occasionally add a small degree of softness to the selection by choosing Select Feather prior to isolating the vehicle. Once a selection of your object has been made, go to Layer New Layer via Copy to paste the selection on a new layer. Then give the new layer a descriptive name.

Once the vehicle is cropped and pasted on to a new layer, use the Clone brush to remove the vehicle or a good portion of it out from the original background. You don’t have to get too fancy retouching the background, as you are going to blur it anyway, which will hide any brushing you may do. (Unless, of course, you’re only going to blur the background to small degree; then brushing the car out of the background may be a little more critical.)

You should be left with cropped vehicle on a layer and an image that is the background with much of the car retouched out, particularly around the edges, as shown in Figure 4-18.

Our car is cropped out and pasted on to a new layer and a background layer with much of the car cropped out

Figure 4-18. Our car is cropped out and pasted on to a new layer and a background layer with much of the car cropped out

Next, clone a portion of the car out of the background, because as you add motion blur to the background, the original car will blur as well and extend well outside of the original static car, if you clone some of it out. If I drop the cropped image of the car back onto a blurred background, the original car, if not airbrushed out, will be poking out around the edges because of the blur. The amount of image that has to be cloned out depends on how much blur is added. (The faster you want your car to go, the more blur should be added.) If the original car is not retouched out around the edges, when motion is added, ghosting will occur and bring the background car image through, an effect you can see in Figure 4-19. A car speeding forward would not have motion lines coming from the front of the car, unless it was rocking back and forth!

Ghosting can occur if the car is not properly selected

Figure 4-19. Ghosting can occur if the car is not properly selected

Note

The original file is kept on a layer just in case I ever have to go back to it for any reason.

Once the car has been cloned a sufficient amount, you can create the motion blur. Start by selecting Filters Blur Motion Blur. Choose the angle of your blur carefully—it is important. The blur angle should match the angle of your object to appear natural. You do not want a blur that shoots off into space when the object is going from left to right, as in Figure 4-20!

Make sure the angle is set correctly so your car doesn’t shoot off into space

Figure 4-20. Make sure the angle is set correctly so your car doesn’t shoot off into space

To avoid shooting your car off into space, set the motion blur angle to the same angle as the direction in which the car is traveling. You can judge this by setting the blur to match the two points between where the wheels of the car touch the ground. Figure 4-21 shows how the image appears after applying motion blur at the correct angle.

The amount of blur you choose is important, too. Some experimentation will be necessary. The faster you want your object to appear, the more blur you will want to add. Notice how much faster the car appears to be moving in Figure 4-22 than in Figure 4-23. Keep it real, though. Don’t add a blur that makes the object appear as though it is traveling at 500 miles per hour when it is actually a person strolling down the street!

Use the wheels of the car to set correct motion blur angle for background

Figure 4-21. Use the wheels of the car to set correct motion blur angle for background

If you have an image with a reasonable amount of foreground and background, you can apply motion blur in two steps or use a vignetted mask. To do the blur in two steps, first add a motion blur you think would be suitable for the background of the image or the portion behind the main object. Then apply this blur to the overall image. Next, add more blur so that the foreground or the part of the image in front of the main object is blurred more than the background behind the main object. To put it in perspective, as a kid, did you ever hang your head out of your parents car window as it traveled down the highway to watch the speeding guardrail whiz by only to look up and see the horizon speed by much more slowly? OK, maybe it was just me, but hopefully you get the idea. What you are trying to create here is a fast moving foreground and a slower moving background or horizon.

More blur increases the perception of speed

Figure 4-22. More blur increases the perception of speed

Because the foreground is visually closer, the amount of blur will be more in the foreground. Add less to the background of the image the farther away it is. To accomplish this, make a mask of the background. Either make a very soft mask so the transition is very subtle, or if there is a harder object that is in foreground, like a guard rail, where it is suitable for separating the background and foreground, make the mask a little more defined.

Less blur means a more leisurely pace

Figure 4-23. Less blur means a more leisurely pace

You can create this type of motion in a couple of ways. One way would be to apply one motion blur overall that is suitable for the background, apply a second blur that is more suited to the foreground, take a History snapshot of the blur, and then paint it into only the foreground of your image. The History brush will be discussed in greater detail later on in this book.

The second way to accomplish this dual blurred effect is to create a selection or mask of the foreground and, by inverting the foreground mask, you’ll have a selection for the background, and vice versa. In this way, two different blurs Figure 4-24. Using the Quick Mask function to display the Figure 4-25. The effect of the motion blur applied to the can be added to the background for a much more realistic look.

Using the Quick Mask function to display the mask selection

Figure 4-24. Using the Quick Mask function to display the mask selection

A third way would be to use the Quick Mask mode (Figure 4-24), select the Vignette tool from the Tool palette, and create a vignette that goes from the top to the bottom of your image. Once out of Quick Mask mode, make a selection through which you can blur the image. If you have made the vignette mask correctly, wherein the bottom part of your vignette mask has more color in it, then the bottom of the image will be affected more by the blur correction.

Next, go back to Picture mode and apply a motion blur to the back through the mask. The result should look like Figure 4-25.

The effect of the motion blur applied to the background through the mask

Figure 4-25. The effect of the motion blur applied to the background through the mask

The selection is inverted, and a smaller blur is added to the foreground. The only problem with this image is that no one is driving! I’ll guess I’ll have to fix up the windows so no one can see through them!

Typically, the car is what is “caught” with the camera, so the details of the car are sharp, or much sharper than the rest of the image. To finish this image, add a motion blur to the reflections in the windows (see the note) and a radial blur to the wheels and tires, technique we’ll cover in the next section. Applying a motion blur in this fashion will make a blur more realistic.

Note

Don’t forget about the information in the windows of a car! If the car is moving, the background in the windows should reflect that. Select the window(s) with any selection tool, and apply the same amount of blur to them as you did for the background blur.

Off to the Horizon with Radial and Zoom Blur

In this dramatic example, the red car sitting still in Figure 4-26 is going to be made to appear as though it is speeding past us and traveling to the road ahead (Figure 4-27).

We’ll begin by putting the wheels in motion with Photoshop’s Radial Blur tool. The radial blur is designed to be used with a straight-on, perfect circle. So if the wheels are a straight-on shot, all you’ll have to do is mask them, copy them, and paste them onto a new layer, using Layer New Layer Via Copy. (Make sure you get the tires as well. I have seen many people spin the wheel or hubcap, but forget the actual tire! If the wheels are on an angle, like they are in Figure 4-28, you’ll have to make sure they are round before adding a radial bur.

Before: the car appears to be standing still

Figure 4-26. Before: the car appears to be standing still

After: off into the horizon

Figure 4-27. After: off into the horizon

To make the wheel and tire round, first make a selection of the two wheels and put them on a separate layer, as shown in Figure 4-28.

Tire and wheel selected out from the car and put on their own layer

Figure 4-28. Tire and wheel selected out from the car and put on their own layer

Next, select one of the wheels. Choose Edit Transform Scale and scale the wheel on the horizontal plane until you have what you feel is a round looking wheel. No need to measure it or use a compass on screen! Just make sure that it looks pretty round to you, like the one shown in Figure 4-29. Initially, it will look rather odd, of course, but not to worry—you will distort the wheel back to its original shape once you are done. Do one wheel at a time and repeat this process for each wheel.

Transformed wheel being turned into a round shape

Figure 4-29. Transformed wheel being turned into a round shape

An 18-wheel truck would take you quite a while!

Once you’ve applied the Transform tool, repeat the transform process for the other wheel. Then make a circular selection around the wheel and apply a radial blur (Filter Blur Radial Blur)to the wheel, as shown in Figure 4-30.

Apply the radial blur to your transformed wheel

Figure 4-30. Apply the radial blur to your transformed wheel

Notice that the center of your wheel should match the center of the spin in the dialog box. You may have to try a couple of times to get the spin just right. If the spin is off center, the wheel spin will look off center, as it does in Figure 4-31.

Choose Spin and Best for your dialog options. You’ll have to experiment with the amount of blur or spin to use. It may take a couple of goes before you see the amount of spin that you like. Obviously, the faster the object is traveling, the more spin you will want to choose.

Using the Transform tool Scale mode, bring the wheels back to their original shape on the horizontal plane only, just as you did to originally distort them. Basically, you are just trying to do the opposite of what you had done in the first place to distort the wheels to a round shape, only this time we are changing them back to the way they were originally. Typically, to bring the wheels back into the correct shape, I would set the opacity of the wheel layer to about 50% so that I can see the old wheel through my new spinning one, as in Figure 4-32. Then use the Transform tool in the Scale mode on the horizontal plane to adjust the shape of the wheel back to its original shape. Once done, I set the layer opacity back to 100%. This works for any wheel, regardless of the angle it was shot on.

If the radial spin center is off, the image doesn’t look right

Figure 4-31. If the radial spin center is off, the image doesn’t look right

The radial blur may cause some of the original wheel to overhang onto the body of the car. You will want to erase any of the wheel that may overhang onto the body of the car. Repeat this process for the second wheel. Typically, you can use the selection that you used to crop out the wheels from the original car as your guide to erasing the excess blur overhang of the wheels. The wheels are now complete you can see the results of this phase in Figure 4-33.

The wheels are now ready to be transformed back to their original shape

Figure 4-32. The wheels are now ready to be transformed back to their original shape

Final result of the wheels having been spun

Figure 4-33. Final result of the wheels having been spun

Time to add some motion to the background of the image. Let’s call up the zoom blur option (Filter Blur Radial BlurZoom give the impression that we are speeding into the horizon. Adjust the center of the zoom blur to match the vanishing point of the horizon.

Now that we’ve got the wheels turning, let’s add some motion to the background. A zoom blur option (Figure 4-34) is suitable when we are trying to make an object appear as though it is traveling away from or toward us. This differs from a motion blur, in that a motion blur is for objects traveling horizontally or vertically.

Select the background using one of the techniques described in the previous section. Within the Radial Blur dialog box, Choose Zoom as your Blur method. Again, make sure that the center or vanishing point, the point or the center where the object is disappearing into or heading toward, matches the center point in the Blur dialog box, as indicated in the Blur Center. Of course the amount of the blur will have to be experimented with. The more blur, the faster the object appears to be traveling.

Adding zoom blur to the background gives the sense of movement off into the horizon

Figure 4-34. Adding zoom blur to the background gives the sense of movement off into the horizon

So there you have it. Our car is on its way to wherever it’s going. We’ve applied motion blur to the background. We’ve added motion to the wheels. Further motion could be added to the outside edge of the back of the car as if its paint isn’t able to keep up with the rest of the vehicle! Adding a range of motion will be discussed in the following section.

Swinging a Hammer

Sometimes clients want to give the impression that an image is moving, but show motion in such a way that it is stepped. The steps may show how many actions are required to use a tool, for instance. In the following example, I’ll use the hammer shown in Figure 4-35 and show it moved through a range of motion.

We’ll use this hammer to show a range of motions

Figure 4-35. We’ll use this hammer to show a range of motions

First, isolate the item to which you wish to add motion; in this case, select the hammer so that it is a separate element. Once you have it isolated, paste the hammer on to a new layer, and duplicate this layer depending on how many steps you would like to have. In this case, there will be three steps, so I’ll make three duplicate layers.

Next, use the Transform tool to rotate each of the hammers. Make sure that you set the pivot point of the rotation to the correct pivot point of the image. The pivot point is the little crosshair that appears in the center of your image when you select the Transform tool. In this case, the center of the hand or wrist position will be the pivot point from which the hammer rotated. Click on the little pivot point crosshair and move it to the hand position, as shown in Figure 4-36.

We will want all hammers to pivot from the same pivot point so they all appear to be the same hammer

Figure 4-36. We will want all hammers to pivot from the same pivot point so they all appear to be the same hammer

Once the pivot point is established, space out the duplicate images to show a range of motion, as in Figure 4-37.

Next, we will go to each duplicate layer and add motion. Since the hammer is swinging in a circular motion, we’ll use a radial blur. Make a large circular selection, trying to make your pivot point the center of your circular selection, as in Figure 4-38. You may need to adjust the canvas size. Just as our wheel images in the earlier example required an accurate center point, the same is true for these hammer images. You want the center of your spin to originate from the pivot point.

Space out the duplicates to show the range of motion

Figure 4-37. Space out the duplicates to show the range of motion

Call up the Radial Blur dialog box and apply a blur. You may have to try different settings based on the size of the image and the amount of motion you are looking for. Start with a blur amount of 10 or 20, and work your way on from there. Choose Spin as your blur type and the quality of Good. (You may want to choose draft mode if you are experimenting with a very large image to save some processing time. Then, when you see a setting you like, redo the blur in the Good or Best mode.)

Increase your canvas size so that you can create a full circle with the Transform tool

Figure 4-38. Increase your canvas size so that you can create a full circle with the Transform tool

Keep in mind that you will have to repeat the blur for each hammer layer; in this case, you’ll have to apply the radial blur to three of the hammers. The hammer to the far left is our final stopped hammer, so a blur isn’t required for it. Quite honestly, I usually use the good mode as it is a spin and blurry, and that in itself hides any imperfections and saves you some time over using the best mode. Ultimately, the amount of the blur effect is determined by the size and resolution of the image. A blur amount of 20 on a postcard-sized image may be too much, but on a movie poster, it may not even be all that noticeable.

Once you are happy with the motion and it has been applied, take a History snapshot of the motion you have applied, and then undo the change so that you are back to the original state of the image. Using the History brush, select the appropriate snapshot, and then brush the motion effect to the one side of the hammer in motion. Since the hammer is swinging to the left from the right, add your motion to the right of the hammer. Motion is always added to the opposite side of the direction the object is traveling to. By adding motion to just one side of the object, as in Figure 4-39, it will appear as though the hammer is traveling in one direction.

Note

You wouldn’t add motion to the front of an object, as it hasn’t “been there yet.” If you did add motion to the front of an image as well, it would appear to be rocking back and forth.

Repeat this process for all duplicate images. Once that is complete, change the opacity of each duplicate layer. You may want to start off with 25% opacity for the first image, the one farthest from the main image of the hammer, and work your way through the layers progressively. The next layer could be 50%, then 75%, and finally the main image at 100%. Of course, these layer opacity values are only a starting point, and some experimentation may be in order.

Add progressively less blur as the hammer gets closer to the first hammer on the far left to give the impression the hammer is coming to a stop or striking something like a nail

Figure 4-39. Add progressively less blur as the hammer gets closer to the first hammer on the far left to give the impression the hammer is coming to a stop or striking something like a nail

The purpose of the varying opacity percentages is to give the impression that the object is traveling in a set motion range. The lightest layer that is farthest away from the actual hammer is fading away as the hammer travels through its range of motion. You can see the final effect in Figure 4-40.

Extending Backgrounds

Often images are short on background. Many times, a client will send in an ad with the image placed off to one side so that one portion of the image does not fill the full crop of the ad. I think they do this because they can! Needless to say, it will often be necessary to rework the supplied image to fill the needs of the client’s ad. Or, on occasion, the image may fill the ad, but an extra image may be needed to satisfy the printer’s needs in the form of bleed. In this section, we’ll discuss ways to create “more” background.

Applying incremental levels of opacity helps achieve the final effect of our swinging hammer

Figure 4-40. Applying incremental levels of opacity helps achieve the final effect of our swinging hammer

Extending the Sky: a Simple Background Extension

One of the easiest ways to extend a background is to simply make a selection of as much of the background as possible, and then use the Transform function to stretch out the background until the desired crop is met. Let’s say we started with the image Figure 4-41.

Next, add to the canvas size on top so we have room to extend the background, as in Figure 4-42.

Then we’ll select the sky, as shown in Figure 4-43, and using the Transform tool, extend it to fill the area we’ve created.

The final look of the image with the background extended can be seen in Figure 4-44.

Our original country road

Figure 4-41. Our original country road

Add to the canvas size to extend the background at the top of the image

Figure 4-42. Add to the canvas size to extend the background at the top of the image

Slightly More Complicated: Extending a Row of Bricks

Previous example? Simple. But this is assuming, of course, that the background lends itself well to this kind of stretching. If you have a cobblestone road or a row of bricks, then it will look quite odd if you simply stretched the background. One way to extend difficult backgrounds is to do it the old-fashioned way and clone the background, but in the case of our next example, a row of bricks, the perspective makes it very difficult to simply clone.

The sky is stretched to fill the needed white area

Figure 4-43. The sky is stretched to fill the needed white area

The background is easily extended

Figure 4-44. The background is easily extended

Let’s say we have the image in Figure 4-45 and we want to extend the row of bricks to fill the white space indicated.

The area indicated by the white space needs to be filled with bricks

Figure 4-45. The area indicated by the white space needs to be filled with bricks

The first step is to adjust the bricks so they look like a nice, straight row of bricks. Select the bricks and use the Distort function of the Transform tool to adjust the bricks until they are straight, as in Figure 4-46. You may want to put in some guidelines to help you make sure they are straight.

Then, start cloning the bricks to fill the area, as shown in Figure 4-47.

When you are done cloning, distort the bricks back to the original shape, as shown in Figure 4-48.

The idea is to continue the flow of the lines as they had started in the original image. You can draw guidelines on a layer if you find that will help you, but I align the perspective visually. As the road gets closer to you, the bricks or stones become larger, and as they get farther away, they appear smaller. You can see the final result in Figure 4-49.

Select the Transform tool to change the perspective

Figure 4-46. Select the Transform tool to change the perspective

Clone the bricks to fill the area

Figure 4-47. Clone the bricks to fill the area

Distort the bricks back to the original shape

Figure 4-48. Distort the bricks back to the original shape

Using Vanishing Point to Extend Background

Photoshop CS2 gives you another option to consider when trying to extend an image with a problematic background, the Vanishing Point filter. The Vanishing Point filter basically allows you to set up a grid on an image that matches the perspective of the image. As you brush or copy part of the image in an attempt to fill the image area, the perspective of your efforts are magically maintained as they follow the perspective of your grid.

Figure 4-50 shows our brick image again. The image has had the necessary image area increased with the canvas size to fill the needs of the crop. The white space represents the amount of area we need to fill up with image.

Bricks distorted back to their original shape

Figure 4-49. Bricks distorted back to their original shape

Once you have your RGB image with appropriate canvas size set, access the Vanishing Point filter, Filter Vanishing Point. You are now presented with the Vanishing Point filter window, as shown in Figure 4-51.

Our brick wall with extended canvas

Figure 4-50. Our brick wall with extended canvas

Note

The Vanishing Point filter can be used only on an image in RGB mode. If your image is not in RGB mode, you will have to convert it at this point to call up the Vanishing Point filter. You may also want to use a duplicate of the image or create a duplicate layer of your image in case things don’t work out the way you have planned!

Select the Create Plane tool button, the second button from top left tool set. The first thing we have to do is create a grid over our image that matches the existing perspective of the bricks in our image. Obviously, the bricks are smaller to the right of our image and, as they get closer to us, they become larger. The grid button is the second button from the top of the tool set on the left side of the interface, as indicated in Figure 4-52.

Vanishing Point filter window

Figure 4-51. Vanishing Point filter window

Draw grid to match perspective of existing

Figure 4-52. Draw grid to match perspective of existing

You get four points to draw with. Click on the image, and a new point is made for a total of four points. You can manipulate these points once your grid has been drawn with the Arrow tool button at the top of the tool set and move the points in such a way that they match the perspective of the image. This is a very important step to get the grid matching the perspective as accurately as possible. If the grid is off, you have less chance of getting an accurate look to your image, so spend some time getting it right. It won’t be necessary to make the grid the full size of your image yet, as you will resize it later. You make the grid smaller than the full image so that you can make sure all four points are visible as points of reference on the image.

Once your grid has been made, you will want to resize the grid so it covers the entire image. The resizing of the grid is done by using the Arrow tool, grabbing the midway points on the grid lines, and clicking and dragging them to the desired size. As you can see in Figure 4-53, don’t grab the corner points, as you will change the shape of the grid! Figure 4-54 shows the grid adequately resized.

There are a couple of ways to extend the image. The first way is to use the Stamp tool. The second way is to use a selection and duplicate large chunks of the image to fill the needs of the image. We’ll start with the Stamp tool (Figure 4-55).

Using corner nodes will undesirably distort the grid you made

Figure 4-53. Using corner nodes will undesirably distort the grid you made

The final look of our grid once it has been completed and resized to fill out the image

Figure 4-54. The final look of our grid once it has been completed and resized to fill out the image

Take note of the green Xs that indicate the alignment in Figure 4-56. This is very important, as you will clone and repeat the wrong portion of the image if the alignment is off.

Once your alignment is set and you have selected your brush size, opacity, and hardness as you would for any other brushing you would do in Photoshop, you can begin brushing. Kinda cool, eh? As you can see in Figure 4-57, as you brush, the perspective of the Stamp tool changes to match the perspective of the image!

Select the Stamp tool

Figure 4-55. Select the Stamp tool

Carefully align the two brush points on the same perspective as the brick

Figure 4-56. Carefully align the two brush points on the same perspective as the brick

Figure 4-58 shows the final brushed image extended with the Stamp tool.

The other method for extending an image is to use the Marquee tool. Once you have your grid, start by making a Marquee selection containing the largest possible image area (Figure 4-59). (You don’t want to grab the white area, as it will be included only when you paste in this new selection section.) The Marquee tool will follow the perspective based on the grid you made.

Brush in the image with the stamp tool while Vanishing Point keeps your perspective

Figure 4-57. Brush in the image with the stamp tool while Vanishing Point keeps your perspective

The final effect of Vanishing Point with the Stamp tool

Figure 4-58. The final effect of Vanishing Point with the Stamp tool

While holding down the Option key, drag the selection area to an area of the image that needs extension (Figure 4-60. Placement is important. Notice how the selection changes quite dramatically as you move it around. As soon as you let go of a point, the adjustment takes effect. You do have an undo (Command+Z) if you have to undo your adusjtment.

Select the Marquee tool and grab a section of brick image

Figure 4-59. Select the Marquee tool and grab a section of brick image

If necessary, use the Transform tool to fine tune the placement of the selection. (The Transform tool is the sixth button down on the Vanishing Point tool set.) Nodes will appear on the selection, and you can make adjustments from these points. Again, as soon as you let go of a point, the adjustment will take effect. Not bad, but you can see in Figure 4-61 that the black lines inside the bricks are a little off the correct perspective.

Hold the Option key and drag the selection to extend the bricks

Figure 4-60. Hold the Option key and drag the selection to extend the bricks

I have found that adding selections can be difficult, especially in the case of the bottom portion of this image. If you go back in and make a Marquee selection of an area and try to fill another area of the image, you may run into difficulty. I won’t lie to you and say it works like magic there is a lot of fiddling around to do. You may want to visit each method I have discussed for extending a difficult image like this and see which one work best for you.

The black lines inside the bricks are slightly off perspective

Figure 4-61. The black lines inside the bricks are slightly off perspective

Shining Things Up

Another request I often get is to create highlights and add shape to an object. There can be many reasons for this. The client loves the shot, but it requires some fixing up to make it more dramatic. There may be wine glasses that require a sparkly sheen to them or a piece of metal or paint requires a shiny look. Care must be taken though, as there are different types of sheen to objects. A very shiny, smooth surface will have a hard, bright shine to it, but an object with a flat, dull finish, like a brushed metal surface, should have a flatter sheen to it.

Let’s take a round circle of color, as in Figure 4-62. I just created the circle part of the image in Photoshop by filling a circle selection with color.

Before: adding a basic circle of color in Photoshop

Figure 4-62. Before: adding a basic circle of color in Photoshop

Once you have the object identified, create a new layer in your file, call it Highlights, and set the layer to normal (default). Create another new layer, set the attributes to multiply and call it Shadows. There are a couple of different highlights and shadows we could draw on this ball to achieve two completely different looks. One could be flat looking, as if the ball were sprayed with a flat paint. Another look could be that of a very shiny ball where the highlights and shadows appear very hard with little diffusion. In Figure 4-63, I’ve created a ball with a flat look to it, and in Figure 4-64, I’ve created a very shiny ball. Let’s go through the steps to see how each was made.

After: the flat spray paint technique

Figure 4-63. After: the flat spray paint technique

After: the high-gloss technique

Figure 4-64. After: the high-gloss technique

Creating a Flat Finish

If we want the ball to look like it’s been painted with a flat purple spray paint, we’d use soft highlights without any hard edges to them. Using the Paintbrush tool with a very soft hardness setting, like 0%, again set to a very low opacity of 20%, spray on highlights in an area you think would need them, as Figure 4-65. Where you brush in highlights will be based on where the light is coming from. Let’s assume the light is coming from the right side of this page, then the highlights on the ball will land on the right side of the ball. Imagining that this is the only light source, the shadows will fall to the left of the ball. I’ve added a shadow on the left side, and the result Figure 4-66.

A selection of the ball is made and a white highlight is brushed in

Figure 4-65. A selection of the ball is made and a white highlight is brushed in

Creating a Very Shiny Finish

Now let’s see if we can shine our object up a bit. Using the Pen tool, draw in a shape in an area that I think will need highlights based on where I think the light is coming from. I’ll usually make the bottom portion of the highlight shape larger than I need to because I like to go wide on the bottoms of the highlights, as it is typical for a highlight to fall off softly without a hard edge. I can also go back in with the Erase brush, if I have to, and adjust the extra highlight. When I finish making my shapes with the Pen tool, I have shapes that look like Figure 4-67.

After adding a shadow for our dull ball, it is complete

Figure 4-66. After adding a shadow for our dull ball, it is complete

Leave the original highlight layer on, but add a shape with the Pen tool that you will use for the shine

Figure 4-67. Leave the original highlight layer on, but add a shape with the Pen tool that you will use for the shine

Next, I’ll make a selection of the shape with a slight softness to it to match the look of any other hard edges on the ball. While on your highlight layer, use a low opacity, 20%, Airbrush. Now brush through the shape until you get the desired effect, as in Figure 4-68.

The look of the ball with the shiny highlight painted in

Figure 4-68. The look of the ball with the shiny highlight painted in

Highlights typically come from the top, so I usually make the tops of the highlights the brightest points and feather them off as they move down the ball. I usually do only one shape at a time if I have more than one shape—what I brush in for one shape may not be suitable for the other shapes if they are too close together.

Then, let’s do the same thing for the shadow. I’ll create a shape for it as well that will give it a harder edge, as shown in Figure 4-69.

Give the shadow a hard edge as well

Figure 4-69. Give the shadow a hard edge as well

For a finishing touch, I added a reflection of the grass onto the bottom of the ball to appear as a very shiny ball. This was done with a low opacity Clone tool and a large brush size. I put the source of the Clone tool brush on the grass and cloned that information onto the ball. The final results are in Figure 4-70.

A touch of highlight on the grass shows just how shiny the ball has become!

Figure 4-70. A touch of highlight on the grass shows just how shiny the ball has become!

Reducing Windshield Shine

As a professional retoucher, you won’t always be asked to create that which doesn’t exist; sometimes you’ll be asked to remove something undesirable. One of these types of requests I get often is to eliminate reflections from windows (of cars, or any window for that matter, or at least tone down the reflection so that it just contains basic light rather than a bunch of distracting objects. Figure 4-71 shows the before image with a very distinct reflection, whereas in Figure 4-72 the reflection is realistic but no longer distracts from the image of the car.

Before: reflections in the car window are distracting

Figure 4-71. Before: reflections in the car window are distracting

A sleek, subtle reflection

Figure 4-72. A sleek, subtle reflection

Let’s start by selecting the area we wish to change with the Pen tool. Create a new layer for your selection. Use the Brush tool to paint in a darker color, as shown in Figure 4-73. Next, take readings of the existing color in the window (by clicking on it and noting the color information in the Info palette), and then paint with that color. If there are variations in the color of the window, take a few color readings and paint in with those colors. Choose tones for the darker and lighter colors based on what you see in the image. If there seems to be a large variation between the two colors, pick up some in-between colors to smooth the transition from dark to light. Paint in the highlight as shown in Figure 4-74.

The darker shade of the window is painted in first

Figure 4-73. The darker shade of the window is painted in first

The highlight side of the window is now painted in

Figure 4-74. The highlight side of the window is now painted in

At this point, the window looks flat, so let’s modify the window mask so we can add a hard highlight edge. Using the Polygonal Lasso tool, divide the window where you think a shine could exist—you’ll have to use your imagination! Next, use the Lasso tool to subtract some of the selection. Add a small feather to the mask (Select Feather because the Lasso tool tends to make too hard an edge. A feather of .5 should do it. With a low opacity brush, paint in a white edge along the edge of the new selection, as in Figure 4-75.

Subtract some of the original window selection to create a shine line, and then brush highlight into the selection area to create a hard shiny edge

Figure 4-75. Subtract some of the original window selection to create a shine line, and then brush highlight into the selection area to create a hard shiny edge

Next, modify the mask for the dark shadows under the top of the windows by the rain guards for the shadow area. Then, paint a hard shadow line in there, as you can see in Figure 4-76.

Paint in a hard shadow under the rain gutter

Figure 4-76. Paint in a hard shadow under the rain gutter

Next, add a tiny bit of noise to the window layer. I added a two-pixel amount to the example (Figure 4-77). This is done to help smooth out the transitions in the vignetted windows.

Add a little bit of noise to smooth out transitions

Figure 4-77. Add a little bit of noise to smooth out transitions

The window layer opacity can be changed to suit the client needs. It is typical for a client to play with the opacity of this layer. At least you have a lot to show them! In Figure 4-78, I’ve chosen 90% opacity to let a little of the building reflection shine through. This helps add a sense of realism. By all means, experiment with the layer opacity.

Learning a 3D

The final look with a little bit of the original reflections showing to make a realistic reflection

Figure 4-78. The final look with a little bit of the original reflections showing to make a realistic reflection

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