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Old 22-01-2014, 12:11   #1 (permalink)
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Superimposing Figures from one Image onto another one in Photoshop

Superimposing Figures from one Image onto another one in Photoshop

First navigate to your background image, right click on it and go to ‘open in..’ and select Photoshop. Then navigate to the image you want to superimpose on the background image and do the same to open it in Photoshop. Now go the Photoshop Window menu>arrange>tile images horizontally (if your background image is in landscape format, if not, tile images vertically). You should now see both images one above the other. Using the move tool, click on the image with the figure in it and while holding the left mouse button down, drag it onto the background image. There should now be two layers in the layers palette with the figures in the top layer. If this is so, we no longer need the image with the figures in it open, so click on it and close it down.

Now we need to separate the figures(s) in the second (top) image from the background in that image. There is more than one way of doing this and unless you have shot an image with the figure(s) with a chroma key background it is difficult to select them in order to ‘cut them out’. So to do this we will use a layer mask. Using a layer mask means that if you mess up, you can undo the error.

Making sure that the top layer is selected, click on the layer mask icon at the bottom of the layers palette. You will now see a white box alongside the image icon in the layer. We are going to be painting in this box, so click in the box to select it, and then select the paintbrush tool. Press D for default colours (black and white) and then X to swap to black. Using a large brush start painting out the background. When you get closer to the figure you will need to make the brush smaller and also change the hardness. This will depend on the image, but a soft-ish brush about 25-50% should be a good starting point. It will be easier if you enlarge the image too. When you paint out a bit of the figure that you did not want to, just press X to swap between black and white, and go over the error and what you have just painted out will come back! Press X again to swap to black and try again. You can move the image around at any time by selecting the move tool and clicking on the image, holding the left mouse button down and dragging it to where you want it.

When you have finished painting out the background move the figure to where you want it with the move tool. You can change the size of the figure by using the transform tool and also do any other editing to the figure that you want. You might want to save a copy with the layers as they are so that you can return to the image to re-edit it in the future, so ‘save as’ a tiff file. You will see a warning that including layers will increase the file size, but ignore this. Once you are happy with the image you can save a smaller file size copy of it by going to the layer menu>flatten image. Then ‘save as’ and save it as a jpg.
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Old 22-01-2014, 22:59   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Superimposing Figures from one Image onto another one in Photoshop

Thank you Graham I will try tomorrow and sort it out as you are so good on the site.
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Old 26-01-2014, 15:28   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Superimposing Figures from one Image onto another one in Photoshop

Graham, What exactly is the Chroma BG you mentioned?
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Old 26-01-2014, 15:34   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Superimposing Figures from one Image onto another one in Photoshop

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Originally Posted by colinmac View Post
Graham, What exactly is the Chroma BG you mentioned?
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They are either plain blue or plain green. Make it very easy to cut the background by using selection tools.
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Old 26-01-2014, 15:36   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Superimposing Figures from one Image onto another one in Photoshop

There is an example in the first picture here

http://www.pixalo.com/community/phot...tml#post367317
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Old 26-01-2014, 15:49   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Superimposing Figures from one Image onto another one in Photoshop

Thanks Graham, why is blue or green better than say black or white. I take it you are cutting out manually, I thought there was a special software that automatically cut out on a green Chroma BG.
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Old 26-01-2014, 16:00   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Superimposing Figures from one Image onto another one in Photoshop

With chroma key BGs you can use the magic wand or select by colour If you are going to cut out manually, you don't need a chroma key BG.

In theory you can use any plain colour, but I think that black would not be viable, and white will often be present on the subject - eyes and teeth - the light blue and green are favoured as when you select by colour they won't usually appear on the subject or their clothes.
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Old 26-01-2014, 16:09   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Superimposing Figures from one Image onto another one in Photoshop

Thanks Graham. I understand.
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Old 26-01-2014, 16:10   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Superimposing Figures from one Image onto another one in Photoshop

I personally find it easier rub the majority out with a mask the fine tune with my bamboo pad and zoom in.
That way it doesn't matter if the background is complicated. Another way to skin a cat so to speak.
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Old 26-01-2014, 16:16   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Superimposing Figures from one Image onto another one in Photoshop

Yep - a graphics tablet makes it a lot easier, I use one myself

However, it is much quicker to cut out anything by colour range - 2 or 3 clicks and its done. I think this was developed for commercial users and the movie industry where time is of the essence or for doing lots of images.
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Old 26-01-2014, 19:00   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Superimposing Figures from one Image onto another one in Photoshop

I agree it does speed things up.

i often forget and end up reinventing the wheel.
This one may have been easier if i have pre-thought it out but it was 11.40 and
hadn't got anything for my 365.

I did it exactly the same as your tutorial exept for manually pushed the second image through.

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