This topic contains 13 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Frank 3 months, 2 weeks ago.

  • Author
  • #408294

    Philip Watts

    I have put my hard hat on for this one!

    I am trying to improve my processing skill, and especially composting and trying to create a “fantasy” feel.

    I used a lot of tools on this one and tried to keep them subtle. Obviously it has not worked overly well, but I wanted to post it to see what suggestions I get to learn from.

    The pictures were simple “stock” ones that I had (of my own taking) that I pulled out to experiment with. I will be taking some specific shots for “Fantasy” images soon, so any suggestions on preferred settings for that would be welcome.

    I am still trying to sort out exactly what I mean by “Fantasy” style. I think it means a reduced colour pallet and high contrast and saturation. Hmmm….


    PhilInto the woods

  • #408336

    Maureen Photograph

    Hi Phil, I like what you’re doing here!  The color palette looks good to me (although I’m not conversant on “fantasy” images).

    The “composting” or compositing, needs more work.  The figure is lacking a shadow and therefore looks ungrounded.  The total image should be more consistent on the direction of light.  I also find it odd that the ground is brightly lit both in front of and in back of the figure.  I would suggest more of a “spotlight” effect on the figure.

  • #408345

    Graham Hart

    Hi Phil, I think the girl and the forest go together well as elements but I agree with Maureen that the compositing needs more work to try and blend the two images together more.

    The light balance is probably the most important thing to dial in first so I made a quick selection of her and then adjusted the light, contrast and exposure. It looks better if everything appears to be lit by the same source. The shadow mentioned by Maureen is also a good idea to help blend her in to her surrounds. I also lifted the light coming in from the centre top of the pic to highlight her a bit and added a general vignette to emphasise this.

    I couldn’t really connect with the wood chip guy in the RH corner so left him out of my edit but I do think that someone or something placed there to give purpose to her gaze is a good idea. I also added a solid colour filter to the whole image to link the elements together a little stronger. A quick edit to demo all this…

  • #408352

    Philip Watts

    Fantastic feedback! Just what I was after!


  • #408457

    Federico Alegria

    “The light balance is probably the most important thing to dial in first so I made a quick selection of her and then adjusted the light, contrast and exposure.”

    From Graham Hart

    @phil4379, This is a great insight for the future Mate, digital retouching scopes way beyond but area of expertise, but I think that this is a valuable advice for you. His suggestion even things out and makes the overall image look less odd.

  • #408482


    Fairly recently I had a composite image critiqued.  A suggestion was made that to help blend the images together, it helps to use a soft light blend mode.  I haven’t tried this enough to know whether it works well, Philip, ……… but just a thought.

  • #408497


    Hi Philip, I really like composite images because they are so challenging and it’s hard to make them work. Shadows can be quite problematic – in this particular case, Graham’s suggestion is good. You can start from there and keep refining it.

    Another issue is the bright hair color of the girl – in the original image it looks too bright and in Graham’s image looks kinda dull. Perhaps something in between these two would work better.

    If you want to make really seamless composites, you can try to find two or more images that were shot under similar lighting conditions.

  • #408503

    Rob Eyers

    Something not mentioned yet is getting the colour balance between the different objects to match. If you take a copy of the background layer and apply BLUR/AVERAGE you get the colour cast. Doing the same with the girl etc. you will get a different colour and that is a problem.

    To resolve this you can add a layer filled with the BG cast colour set to color and mask the girl etc. Adjust the opacity as necessary. Addition HUE/SAT layers can be used to bring further colour harmony.

    Here’s an example of the layers panel and I’ll post the image in an additional post.

  • #408504

    Rob Eyers

    There are other issues such as focus of the different components plus resolution, shadows etc. but hopefully this gives you another piece of the puzzle.

    And the resulting colour adjusted image.

  • #408695

    Erik Fransman

    I am sure you had fun putting it together. That’s what counts.
    It is not a fantasy for me, but it looks more like a poster for a cheap horror movie.

    For a horror movie, you can either keep the figure on the right lower end corner or remove it. They both work, depending on what you want to communicate.

    Overall, I think everything is very hard. It makes it look too unreal.
    What I do like is that the head of the girl does not fit her body. It is like it is on a 270 degrees angle. Like the original Exorcist movie.

    • #408813

      Federico Alegria

      Jajajajaja, I wasn’t expecting that one at all Erik…

  • #408762

    Tom M

    Good job on you edit Graham, it’s not too bad. The only thing  I think is wrong is your shadow placement behind the girl. Though there aren’t many shadows in the original, there should be.The only shadow from a tree is the one immediately to the left of the girl, and that shadow, though it’s small, looks like it is trailing to the right of the tree, not the same angle as yours trailing down behind her. Just saying…

    • #408872

      Graham Hart

      The only shadows I could really see Tom are the darker backs of the trees. In the quick edit I did, I wanted to give her a shadow to ground her more in the pic but by doing that I then had to add some faint light rays coming in from the top middle of the pic down onto her to account for her shadow. Didn’t really spend too much time on it bit I get your point.

      Rob’s treatment is much better. I knew the colour cast needed matching because her dress is so stark compared to the surroundings but had no idea how to do it 🙂

  • #409215


    Graham, much better on the face, but agree that the hair is still blotchy, but better than too bright as in the original.  Keep up with the “how to make PS changes”, Rob.

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