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3.4 Adding Trees, Shadows and Highlights Adjustments

Hello and welcome to Create a Fantasy Book Cover. This is lesson number six. In this lesson we're gonna be completing our landscape, adding some trees as well. Making it a bit more detailed. As we start to figure out what we'll be doing with our main character. Okay, so we left off in the last lesson with a group. It's a little bit unorganized. So you got a fur brush over here, which is gonna be for our background. Then we've got these overlays of the pyramids. Now we want these to be together, so select this one with the fog layer. You can rename this fog if you want. And then group these together with the pyramids and the color adjustments, Ctrl+G, and call this Pyramids. Let's call this PyramidsMain, just so we know that it's not the one with the pyramids in, but it's got everything inside of it, the pyramids and the effects. Okay, so got there. So we can add in some trees now. So the good thing about city textures the site we've got some of our stocks from it, already cut out our trees for us. Which is just amazing. So let's bring in some of the trees here. This is one of them. That's already cut out really well. So all you need to do, it's already a SmartObject, so we brought inside of Photoshop. So zoom in a bit and let's try and add some trees to this background here. Try and make it a little bit more detailed. So let's zoom in a bit, so we can actually see what we're doing. Okay, so obviously it's gonna be quite small, cuz obviously compared to the pyramid they're not gonna be absolutely massive. So we could just duplicate and just use the same one. Let's bring in the other ones as well and make it a bit more varying on the details. So let's do the same with this one. Okay, drag that in. Zoom in a bit, let's see what we can see. Okay, so something like that maybe. You'll also bring in this last one as well. Now we've got three different trees we can use. Okay. So this doesn't look quite very blended in well at the moment, but we will fix that as we've done with the pyramids, same thing. So we can maybe do somewhere like around here. Okay, zoom out, see if that looks okay. And of course, it's not going to look amazing at the moment. But that's not the point, it's completely fine. Okay, so let's have a look. So I made these blend in more, of course we're gonna do the same what we've done. So group all these branches together. Let's call it Pyramid1. Or Trees1. Let's call it Trees1. Okay, so inside here, or just above it we're gonna add in a exposured layer same as before. So exposure. Let's find that. Exposure, attach it to the trees. Now another way of doing this, instead of attaching it actually to the group, if I go back. If I put this actually inside of the trees group makes that bit less cluttered. What I can do is go to this trees group, change the layer style to Normal. And anything you affect the exposure with, it'll only affect what's inside of the group. You don't always have to attach it to the actual group, you just put it inside. Leave it like that then. Okay, so let's change this offset on the gamma, so it's something like that. Change the gamma a little bit brighter. Okay, and I think it's a bit too light as well. So let's add in some exposure on this as well on the Exposure. So let's bring that down a bit. Okay, that looks okay. Now we can add in a color balance. Okay, so Color Balance and then just change the yellow a little bit on the red. Not too much though it'll make it, you might get stark too much. That's a little bit too bright as well. Let's go back to exposure and then just lower down the exposure a little bit. Make it a bit darker. Maybe the gamma as well. There you go that's a bit better, if blends in a lot more. Nice. Okay, so now if you zoom out, now you may be able to put trees in upper locations if you want to play around with that. So let's group these as well. Call this trees, let's call it right, because it's the best right-hand side. Let's duplicate this, call it treesmiddle. And again assuming again, let's call it treesleft. So let's work on the middle group first. We can actually drag this over. And we just play around with the sizes and all this of this group here. Can always add in more if you want. Okay, let's just randomly place these in certain areas work, like this back tree, back pyramid. So something like that, maybe group these together. You can also find tree brushes as well, which does exactly the same thing really. I mean, cuz they're so far away, they don't need to be very detailed. So a brush with just a plain color will work. But we got these trees so we might as well use them, and they're obviously a little bit more detailed. Okay, so make a new layer above this. Get our brush, which we used before, which is the yellow and the soft light. The soft round brush. Low opacity, low flow. Just go over these trees, try to blend in with the scene. If you need to delete the one we used before with the pyramid you can do, just in case it's going over the top too much, which I think it is. It's a bit too hazy there. So we can go back to our pyramid main. We can actually get rid of that fog we did on the last course, last lesson. I may just add it to above the trees and they'll actually effect the the pyramid anyway. So it will be fine. Something like that, let's zoom out. So maybe it's a bit too heavy. So let's lower the opacity and see what we can do. That looks fine. Okay, so if you need to blend in the bottom of these, just group these together, the branches. And add in a mask, so you could call this, I'll put trees. Again, and just mask this out. Get a black brush and just rub out the bottom basically, or mask out the bottom like so. That blends in a bit more into the scene. Okay, so now we could actually add in a few more if you want, just copy and paste these again at different areas of the scene. So I'll zoom out you can see what it looks like. Okay, so, I think it needs a bit more somewhere over here maybe. Add a few more. Maybe use different ones. So they're not all the same. So just add one of these Zoom out there. Okay, so we actually affect this one individually. So we'd have to just add another adjustment layer. We're actually gonna rasterize this. Ctrl+L, or we can do it directly. It doesn't matter. We don't need to go back. So let's lower down the black levels of this. Play around in the mid tones a little bit. Just to make it fit more on this left hand side, so it's not so dark. Same again with this one here. You can see this isn't in the middle here. It's a little bit too dark. So, again, do the exact same thing. So brighten up a little bit. Not that one, it's this one above, I believe. That one there, okay. Levels. So bring down dark points. And just play around with the mid-tones and the highlights to make a bit more fitting to the scene. And it's all about using your eye really. It's not something I could teach you about. Do the best with what you think would match the scene. So that definitely needs to go down in the darkness. We've gone over all color correction but we can actually change them directly. Okay something like that. So if you zoom out, it just, to the eye it looks a bit more detailed it's not like we just placed some pyramids there. But the back one looks good, that looks a pretty decent, but the right hand side one is looking a bit like we placed them there. So we need to fix that. Okay, so a bit of trees right here, so this'll change the height basically, cuz they're all looking like the same height. Thinking maybe that one a bit bigger, and these could be a bit smaller. So that one's fine I think, but this one could be a lot smaller and behind the pyramid maybe. Like so. This one on the right hand side, again this will be smaller. Duplicate the top one, add it somewhere else like we did with the other ones. Not too small. The beauty of a small object, of course, is that we can, resize it and it's not gonna lose detail at all. Now we could always transform these, make them look really different, so use Perspective. Play around with that a little bit, make them a little bit different than the originals. So it doesn't look like you just copied them. So something like that. Tick. Okay, so now as we did before, we can actually affect these directly. Before that, we need to mask off the bottom part so we could use the same grass brush. But because they're trees you don't really need to add in the grass effect, cuz it's so thin that with the bark and the tree. It's not gonna matter if you just use a soft round brush, rub out the bottom. Okay, so no need to change them directly. So this one on the right hand side definitely needs to change. It's way too bright. Lower on the black levels. Okay we have the mid-tones now. Also on this levels adjustment you could also change the color. So you go down to blue and change this to the right. It will get a bit more yellow. So, if you go down to the output levels, down here, you go down on this one point, you'll get a bit more yellow. Let's go back to the RGB just so we could make it a little bit lighter. Something like that. Okay. And then play down the mid-tones, as well. So like that, that's fine. Okay, so now we can do the same to this one in the center. Just play around with it again, so Ctrl+L on your keyboard. Just bring down the black points and then this affects this as well, on the mid-tones and the shadows, something like that. Okay, so on this one as well on the left. Make it a little bit lighter and then that's fine. Let's zoom out, see what that looks like. So that's a little bit better now. Now like we did with the one behind, we need to add in some more smokiness to it. So we need to get rid of the smoke we added on to the pyramid. Because of course it'll have too much an effect. And I'll just blend together. So we've got the fog down here on the pyramids, get rid of that, or we just add it directly above the trees. Same brush, soft. Love pasty, which go over it. A few times. And that'll blend in nicely, and then make the size a bit smaller for different certain areas. And that'll just make it blend in well. Okay, so for the left hand side do exactly the same thing, I'm just gonna add it in a few places. I'm gonna pause it now, and you can pause it now, add that to your set and piece and come back. Okay, so we're back. And so, as you can see I just added it to a few sections. Just a few trees in the front really, nothing too severe. But as you see when we zoomed out, when we look at actual cover from the full size, you see the details of the trees. And just makes it, it enhances a little bit more. Makes it look like it's actually in the picture. And it just looks a lot better. Now, one more thing you can do to these trees. I'm not gonna do it, cuz I don't think it needs it. But when you think about perspective and depth and field, the front where the character is, it feels like a camera had taken the shot. He'll be in perfect quality, he'll be really sharp. In the background it would be really blurry. So what you could do to the trees and even to the pyramid if you wanted to is to add a blur to it. So basically when you zoom in, you can see there actually quite sharp. They do sort of look like they are placed there. So what you could do, right click on the trees group, on these trees group here. Now don't worry about the smokes in there, you can take out if you want. I like the smoke above each of the layers. But I don't need too, it's fine. Right-click > Convert to Smart Object. Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Now it is 0.2 or 0.1. Let's try 0.1. 0.1 is a little bit too much detail, I'll go to 0.2 that looks fine. As you can see, I turned off and on the preview. You see. You probably can't see anything on your screen, but really it does make a difference. The sharpness of the trees does not match the blurriness of the grass in the floor. So that's why we're adding this blur. Click OK, and that's fine. Okay, so that's really good. I'm really happy with that. Okay, so I'm really happy with what we got so far. One last thing to do on the trees is make them a bit more yellow just because they're not matching the yellowness of the surrounding forest, the surrounding grass, basically. So what we're gonna do is add a adjustment now to this, a hill saturation patches the trees group. Now that it's in a SmartObject, it's easier to do, so we just start to change this. I left those trees there, that's too green, so go over to the left. So let's get rid of that greenness, basically. If you wanna affect the green directly, just go down to greens and the exact same. So you want to get rid of the saturation a little bit, maybe in the yellows as well. Something like that. That's fine. Okay. Okay, so that's basically the landscape done. I mean we can still add some more things, like some more alligators and some boats. Also behind our character you might add some more stuff later on, depends how the image is feeling. Okay, so now we're gonna focus on our main character. Okay, so all we're gonna before we actually begin our next lesson. Just bring the rock up slightly. We're gonna get rid of the bottom of some grass. And that makes the mask out that's fine. Maybe change the size slightly as well, like that. Use the keys on your keyboard to move it around in increments. Change the size of character as well. It's a bit smaller. Like that. Okay, so now, it's looking a bit there's too much shadow and too much highlight for the scene. The scene is quite a bright scene, so we need to get rid of the shadows, basically. Go to image, adjustments, shadows and highlights, a really good tool to use. Obviously, already, it's done what I've wanted to do. I've already saved this basically, what I've done before. But you make it all so it's in the center, like this. So what I wanna do is just increase the shadows and the tone, the radius can be quite high. And so, and the highlights, you wanna get rid of some of the highlights, but not get rid of all of it. I like the sun effect on his right hand side, I don't want to get rid of that. The tone as well, bring down the tone. Radius, turn down the radius as well. Just do what you think looks best. But, I trust you. [LAUGH] As the mid-tones are off, the mid-tones of the image to make it a bit more contrasty. So the foot looks good, that looks good, let's take it off the preview. Exactly once. You've gone from this, which is dark, not much detail, to this. It's revealed most of the character, that's just boosted out the shadows and the highlights. Click OK, and that is the end of this lesson. So please join me in the next lesson where we continue doing this course and focusing on our character.

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