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4.3 Creating Depth

Welcome back to Introduction to Photo Manipulation in Adobe Photoshop. In this video, we'll be learning to add depth by adding detail to both the back and foreground of our image. Let's start by by dropping this lens flare directly below our subjects group, shrinking it down and setting it to screen. Now we want to add a layer mask to the lens flare and feather out the edges using a soft round brush. Set the black, making sure there are no visible harsh edges. Now, let's make this lens flare more defined by going to Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast, setting the brightness to a -77, and the contrast to 100. Ironically giving us a almost brighter looking light source despite bringing down the brightness. Now we are going to not only add some grass poking up from the foreground, but also adding some more detailed blades of grass surrounding our stones and model. We'll be using this simple grass from Envato Elements. The coolest thing about the stock image is that it's a 3D asset, meaning not only will it come background-free, but we can also change the angles of the grass. So we can get multiple tufts of grass from just one asset. Go ahead and click the View 360 Render button. Once loaded, you can drag and angle the grass any which way you want. Once you've found an angle you like, you can download it as either a PNG or a layered PSD. As we will need to remove the shadow here, let's download it as a PSD. Here is an angle I downloaded earlier. As you can see, the PSD comes with tons of helpful layers including the shadow layer that we can easily remove by just deleting it. We can actually go ahead and delete all but the subject layer, then dragging that subject layer onto our main canvas. Try and download at least five different angles of grass, so we have some variation. Now that we have all of our grass layers on our canvas, we can do some a quick color correcting using Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation, checking Colorize, and then setting hue to 84 and saturation to +46. Next, Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast. Setting brightness to 57. However, while placing our grass, we want to change these as needed. Changing them so they match their surrounded areas. But for now, let's keep them nice and bright so we can see them a bit better while placing. Let's also copy the same layer adjustments onto all four other pieces of grass. Next, we can begin placing our grass at the base of the stones and model, placing them wherever they seem to fit best. Remember to duplicate the grass to use multiple versions of the same stock image. However, make sure and try and flip or edit the grass in some way so it doesn't end up looking repetitive. Add as much grass as you'd like. Finish up placing your grass by adding extra large tufts of grass into the foreground, making sure to place them above all other grass layers. You can even group all of the foreground grass into a group of their own so they are easy to find later on, as they will get some special blurring treatment. With everything placed, we need to blend the grass into the new environment. Focusing on matching the surrounding depth and sharpness, or lack thereof, as seen here. For these blades of grass out, here we can do a simple Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. We are only blurring them about 0.3 to 0.4%. While we are doing this, we can also add a mask and mask out any hard edges that the grass tufts may have. So just go in, mask a little, and also experiment between the 0.3 and 0.4% blurring, trying to match the general sharpness of the surrounding grass. And for the front blades of grass, we're going to blur them using Filter > Blur Gallery > Field Blur, which is my favorite blurring tool, as it results in a much more natural depth of field like blur. We don't want to go too crazy, however, around seven pixels should do just fine. Once you make any final little adjustments to the grass and their shadows, you can group them all up. We are almost to the end now as we move on to color correction, and the next video of Introduction to Photo Manipulation in Adobe Photoshop.

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