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Real World Compositing with Adobe Photoshop CS4 by Scott Valentine, Dan Moughamian

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Final Touches

By this point, you have taken the time to make sure all your subjects have been placed into the scene with a scale, a relationship to one another, a level of focus, perspective, and believable lighting and shadows. The scene now looks real (or surreal if that’s your goal) in the basic sense. But what it lacks might be a bit of moodiness, humor, or just some intangible quality that you can’t quite put your finger on, but you know it when you see it.

It’s time to make the (frankly random) small changes that every image requires to become that much more believable. These changes can include everything from tweaking the color and shininess of a wood-grained dashboard using techniques such as painting with Vivid Light to making the clouds ...

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