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3.1 Document Setup and Background

In this lesson, we will set up our document and start to build up our image, starting with the background.

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3.1 Document Setup and Background

Hello and welcome back to lesson three of how to create a with manipulation. In this we'll start our course in earnest starting with the main background element such as the sky and the foreground. So, first of all we're gonna actually make our document size. So it's gonna be 4,000 pixels wide by 3,000 high. That's a nice sort of square but a little bit more on the width, it's just a little more like a landscape feel. So resolution we're looking for 72 and the color mode RGB. If you're printing, you might want to change this to 300. But that will slow down the course a little bit, because obviously it'll take a little longer to do certain things, because high resolution uses more CPU usage. So take that in mind. If your computer can't handle 300 resolution dpi, then don't do it and keep 72. We can also go with 150, which is not bad as well. It's a bit more dots per inch. That's basically what dpi is. So, again, 72 for just this course and free if you want to print it. Say okay and we've got this nice image here of a nice square. It's looking good okay, and we can get rid of this background in a minute so I want to make sure that's not locked so I'm gonna hold control and the plus key on my keyboard as a command for the Mac and that zooms in. Same again with the minus key, that goes out. Just another little quick tip, just for, through the course I'm going to be using that a lot. So first of all let's bring in our sky image and our aerial landscape. Or arid landscape rather. So it's going to be this image here. Hold Shift+Alt on my keyboard. So if you've used Photoshop before, which you should be because this is an advanced course. Just holding Alt+Shift makes it in proportion so you can get any size, and it will be exactly how the image was, just a bit bigger. So let me make it quite big, but not too big. So I'm thinking to have this left-hand peak in on the left, and this right-hand peak, so that looks good. Is framing our image nicely. I'm gonna actually stretch this slightly just to add a bit more of the image. It's not doing too much. It's not changing it, distorting it any way. You're not gonna tell at all. But something like that will be good. Clear the tick. That looks good. Okay, so now to bring in the sky image. So there's quite a few sky images of the same image, so I'm on that stock provider on Deviant Art. But I'm gonna use this one here, it's number 25, I believe. I'm gonna actually hold Shift again, I just drag this out. Placing this here, now I want a bit more of the type sky as well so leaving out here as well and just drag this down. And especially with sky's you can change it in any way and you're not gonna tab the sky obviously there's no definite edge to a sky so you can change and throw it around. You couldn't tell if it was wrong or not. The same thing as that so I want it just over the peaks. Now to get rid of this black line at the bottom, which is obviously the landscape. Just make a mask button which is down here. Get your gradient tool. Black to transparent. Make sure it's on black to transparent. If you don't see all this, go to the section here on the settings and reset it so that you'll have the normal brushes, the normal gradients. Okay, so this one here, I'm to go up. Just a few times. As you can see, it gets rid of that for us, while we're doing that I should get rid of the white in the background, so let's actually hide this for now, this sky. For the list landscape here, right click Restore can do that, it's fine. Then go do Quick Selection. Gonna make the brush a bit bigger, and I'm gonna use a bracket on my keyboard, which is an easier way of making the brush size bigger. If you're using a Wacom tablet, then of course you can use the tools on there. But I'm just gonna use the brackets here. As you can see, my brush got bigger. It quite big. It should be fine, so about that. Just drag around here, it should select just over our peak, so just perfect. Now to get rid of the sky but not to leave, like, a little nasty white edge. I'll show you what that does. Delete it here now. If I make this black, this background black. You see there's sort of like an edge to this. So I want to get rid of that edge. So I'm actually gonna delete it, we're actually gonna add a mask as well. I'm gonna go to select, modify, expand by two pixels. Now what that does is it's gone inside our mountains by two pixels, it just means that when we mask it out we don't have any sky left. Okay so let me hit the mask button. Now we masked out the sky, we obviously we need to invert it first, because we actually masking the sky and well the landscape, not the sky. So that's fine, that's easy to do. On the fan now, off the mask just hit control I or just I on a Mac and you'll get this perfect Okay, so we need to make it a bit more soft though, cuz it's a bit rough. But first let's bring back our sky, place this underneath. Change the white layer to black, or just delete it all together. It's up to you. We're gonna be actually changing this anyway later on. Now the sky image, just bring it down a bit. To something like that, especially right by that corner here cuz you see there's a black part here. So I'll blow up bigger the sky, get rid of that. That's fine. Okay, so now we need to fix the actual sky, and the meeting of the landscape. As you can see, it doesn't blend really well at all yet. So first what you're gonna do, duplicate the sky, place it above our image. Delete the mask. And hold ALT and then click on the mask. Basically that's adding an inverted mask. So what it's doing is just completely blacking out the image, and I need to go to a white brush or a white gradient to reveal it. So with the actual gradient tool, working for this fourth one alone. And we're gonna use the white brush. So make sure there's some white. There's a cream on there, so make sure there's some white here. There you go, on the white. And then here, the opacity at the full 100%. And then let's drag it up to the point of the landscape and the sky. I'll try and just get through some of this, some of the sky coming mountains. So that looks good to me. Now is zero and let's bring it up until you like what we're looking at. So sort of like an effect to just make it blend a little bit more. Not too much, if you need to adjust it get a black brush. Soft round, jut get rid of certain areas if you need to. So let's take that a little bit further, make a new layer. Okay, and then place it just above there, that's fine. Same tool, gradient, and the same actual gradient we're going to be using. Select the color from the sky sale and around here let this dull color here, maybe actually the rock color, brighter, a bit brighter, that's fine. It's going to cover this code, you can do. And just above it I'm gonna make a size here, something like that. You just move it down, so move it down here. And that's made like a little nice fog effect. It's not too much you want to maybe Ctrl+L, brighten this up slightly and lower down your passive to zero again. I always go from zero and just go up until I like what I'm seeing. Maybe it's a bit too big, so make it a bit smaller. Like that. If you need to color this in a little bit more you can do so, go to image, adjustments, hue and saturation. Maybe add a colorize here. And change it to like, a yellow. Something like that. Maybe saturation a bit up. And then just change it again, then I'll max out the sky color. And saturation down again so you can see it works. Something like that is good. Okay so now we're going to actually add a level suggestion to the sky. So we want to group it now. If I do that, so I'll group it and show you how to do that. So just shift hold the bottom layer to the top layer. Control G or command G in Mac. And then call this, background or landscape, up to you. Okay, keep the black layer for now, that just adds, as you see, if you take it off, as you see, the transparency behind there. So if you want to change this to a I don't know, some different color you can do. I"m keeping it black, that's fine. So on natural landscape there, level adjustment. Checking all the levels attach it to the landscape, just bring it to light point, we don't want it too bright now. Bring out the shadow and bring up the mid tones as well or add a bit more saturation, a bit more sharpness, to the image as well. Like so. But it looks fine. Okay, so I have a little bit of a vignette around this edge, just to make it a little bit more, so it looks quite nice and dramatic. So what I"m gonna do just add in another, a brightness and contrast this time, just make it a piece easier for us to change. Bring down the brightness to about there. We've got the contrast. I'm going to invert the mass, so Ctrl+i like we've done before. And we have a white brush. Quite big. Just so that they'll flow a little past C, I've just got 34, 34 ideally. Then just go around the edges to reveal it back in. A bit more. About there. Zoom out a bit as well so we can see what we're doing. Control R to get rid of the ruler. It may make lag as well. You might find that. A bit more pasty. Like I said, it's a little bit more dramatic. It's framing our image. Maybe it needs to be a bit darker than that, so we can do that. That's fine. Bit darker there. That looks good. Okay so for the last step for this lesson, I'm gonna get rid of these lights from the reflection. I think they were in a train or some sort of vehicle here. So we're gonna get rid of that there. So the first thing to do, make a new layer above all our layers. New layer, rename this to clone. Just gonna be cloning out some images here. So use the clone stamp tool here. Flow, bring it down to about 28%, that would be fine. We want it to be current and below, because if we have it on current layer, there's obviously nothing in this layer. So there needs to be something in there. So make sure it's either all layers or current and below. Okay, so then hold alt, I'm just going to select some of the sky here and just try and get rid of this lights here. I'm about to zoom right in to do this, something like that. Now we are gonna have the lady here, our model here so we're worrying too much about it. It doesn't have to be too neat, as long as it doesn't distract you. So we got this set of two lines here, I know if you can them. Place some stains on the image here. Art is from the part of the vehicle, but I'm just gonna try and redo that. So another way to do this is just using the brush. So get soft brush slightly color. So hold O on the keyboard, fill in the color, and just go over it like so. It's the same effect basically, we're just using that solid color. Of course, skies are just made up of multiple colors so it's quite easy to do. You don't have to a certain shape or certain texture. There's no texture to sky, basically. What'd you think about it? So that's good, that's a lot better, we've got rid of that. So, wanna just go here a little bit more and make it a little bit brighter, using a lighter part of the sky just to add a bit more, there you go just something like that. There you go that's better, so on the left here you can see We get rid of that setting. A lot of this is just covered next to the creaminess of the sky and the dirt, so we can just use a brush for this. Okay, there's this haziness here. As you can see, just go over it like so, and it should disappear. It's a bit too solid, so let's change it to a different color. So I'll maybe lower the opacity down even more. You could actually use a sky brush or a cloud brush for this part. I'm actually gonna rub out some of this. A bit too heavy. Just select a group around this, so we don't actually interfere with anything else. And it's actually just play around with rubbing out some of this like that, and let's do the again to finish it off. Going to be entirely say image, so say something like that. That's good. I'll leave you to do that section over there. Now that's perfect. Okay, and that looks good. So that's the end of this lesson. So we've done so far we've added our background, our sky, our landscape. I've added a little bit of a foggy haze to the background to add a bit more dramatic feel to it. So please join me in the next lesson to continue doing this course.

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