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Editing Dollhouse Shoot Part 3

Lesson 37 from: Fine Art Compositing

Brooke Shaden

Editing Dollhouse Shoot Part 3

Lesson 37 from: Fine Art Compositing

Brooke Shaden

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Lesson Info

37. Editing Dollhouse Shoot Part 3

Next Lesson: Photoshop Critique


Class Trailer

Day 1


Class Introduction


Why Composite ?


Logic Checklist


What Not To Do When Compositing


Shooting for Composite


Changing Backgrounds and Light


Shoot: Simple Swaps Part 1


Lesson Info

Editing Dollhouse Shoot Part 3

and they were going to open up the images of the dollhouse which I think this was the one that I wanted to use one of one of these right through here and the problem that we might encounter here is that we can see the floor inside the stall house so because it wasn't black like it was with the model sitting in the water we can see everything below the water line so I might need to make that dark kirsten I can't see the legs of my subject below the water or maybe it just won't work so we're going to see what has to happen there okay we'll open this one because I don't know where the focal point is in any of these so I'm gonna take the exposure up on this right now and then I'm just going to start to zoom in to see where my subject might fit she would be pretty far back here I think because that's kind of focused on the back wall and now I'm going to bring up another image just to see if the focal point changes and so right now again taking that that exposure up I'm just taking a gander ...

to see which one has a better focal plane that I can work with and it's good because I can see the staircase and I can see that that's more and focus here than the last one waas so maybe we'll open that and we'll just go and see which is the best one to choose from maybe that one who knows so this is something that I would definitely have to do if I were shooting these and using a different lens can also really help in a situation like this oh yeah that's my focus you see it I like that one don't do this one okay so opening that up because that will be the one that we end up choosing and what do you think do you think that you want to see you know like the roof and the edges of the house or do we want to just crop it in so we can't see the edges because that's kind of a different thing maybe gets like the dollhouse is flooded maybe the house is flooded I'm going to crop it so that you can see it for now just so it's an option yeah I think it's kind of cool makes it look like a stage doesn't okay so let's go ahead and do that and then we'll also rotate it here so that everything is nice and straight and then we can continue to pull those lines in then we'll take this down we'll take this over and I kind of like the bottom like that words will believe wobbly yeah you just kind of crop to what works for you and then worry about it later if you're printing are I don't worry about it all when I'm printing because my printer will print whatever size I tell him whatever ratio and so then it's just a matter I do custom framing too soon it's just a matter of make making the frame to match so that's not something that I usually consider but it's something that if you're going to be using standard framing or something like that you might have to get a custom that to match it okay let's find our subject so we had our subject over here and she was doing a really good job of being really sad in this water she was drowning was a horrible ordeal for her let's see this one or this one now this is a matter of how calm the water is in our final shot so I'm going to find that shot again it's pretty calm so I'm not going to go with the one that was a little bit more rocky so I'll choose this one instead of that one because you can really see the splash on that one and we'll open that up okay now the good thing is our background here is white and I'm pretty sure that's going to stay like that so let's cut her out and I'm just going to draw a big selection right around her the bad thing is that I cut off her dress but hopefully we'll be cutting that out anyways is we'll see maybe we'll feed it okay we're working in this image and we're going to paste her in there yes she is giant so let's fix that with free transform we lost or someone come come back or should we lost her off the frame garcia's okay so now we can transform again or making her super super teensy so that she fits inside this little dollhouse area right there this perspective looks like it's okay so that's a good thing all right so now let's start to blend her now first thing that I want to try as always is my background to race or tool so we'll see what we can do with her hair here and stuff like that and one thing that you might be noticing as I zoom in is that the background has a lot more grain than she does so that's something that I would try to fix by softening the grain in the background going to make that brush a little bit bigger from my background research and just get right in there to erase that background now I'm glad that the background is naturally white because this means that I can now just sort of change the background that she was in if any remains to be a little bit brighter a little bit whiter and then I don't have to worry so much about erasing anything going in between hairs things like that um background eraser tools working really well on this one so I'm not too worried about anything that's happening there okay yeah since we cropped in so tightly on that the house picture you worried about the quality yeah if you have to print definitely I mean if I had a different lens I would have just used a different lens so I could shoot it properly but you know I was working with what I had so to do this again I would use a lens where I could just get back a lot further and zoom in on that space uh but I don't know I guess I could just ask for help from time to time but I didn't think about it okay so I'm going teo a race again and I'm gonna do this like extra fast because we definitely don't need to keep talking about that howard to a race and what not there goes her arm all right now this is the area where we might have a problem because this is quite dark but her arm is in the water so we need to do a couple things we need to make the water less dark in the shot of our subject here because the shot of our subject is of course where the believability is going to come from in terms of that water line so I want to make this a lot brighter and I want to really fade it so instead of you know having having the outside edges really uh sharp we're going to take that down so I'm going to fade this first just by erasing very quickly and now let's go ahead and make our subject a lot brighter through here so I'm just going to select a big portion of her like this and we're gonna make all of this bright or just see how that goes because I think that she could stand to be a little bit brighter and then of course I'm going to blur this a cz well so I'm going to try to put her in a spot with really good um focus but it was a bit soft so we'll see what we can do okay so I'm refining edge I'm at forty six pixels on say okay and now I am going into my curves adjustment layer which I'm pinning and let's see about making this a little bit brighter through here and I like that more and now the other problem is that she's very blue and everything else is very not blue so shifting that color's going to help tremendously but before we allow that to help tremendously I'm going to try to fade her just a little bit more so than she fits into the space I'm just going to that's bothering me so I'm gonna fix that okay so now I'm going to feed it just a little bit by lowering the capacity of my brush there we go and now I don't want to really change parks I love how blue she is but I want to make that water not yellow kes it looks like a really crazy color right now so let's go ahead with the curves adjustment layer and I put that just above our background layer and what I want to do is go to the blue curve and I'm going to add some blue to this image which consequently makes you very aware of the red so I'm going to take the red away as well nearly cow that's looking I mean it's matching a little bit better we still have a little too much blue but I want teo just will continue to add the blue but the blue is really sensitive so when I add blue I have to be aware that it's happening a lot in the shadows and things like that yeah it's different water or dark in the water so then you wouldn't see her as much yes and no I say no because I want to see how this is touching the walls exactly as it should be you can even see it in the corners like moving up into the corner of the the window and we have reflections that are really awesome so maybe for just around her I could do that on dh that could be really successful but aside from that I would really be inclined to not do that as much around the outside edges but it's certainly not about idea by any means okay so I'm just a racing a little bit more of her and then I'm going to start to blur her so when I blur her I'm looking specifically at her arm which is really in focus but we don't want it to be in focus so I'm using my polygonal lasso tool to do this because I want to create a pretty straight line across her body here where I don't want her to be in focus so I selected this area right click refined ej and I just want a big feather on that so that it's a really soft blurred transition as though the focus is shifting and now on my subject I'm going teo filter blur weaken do box blur on this one just to take a look to see what that is what it does and this gives us a pixel number for how much we want to blur something so we're going to take that down we don't want it quite so blurred oh six five five four like for so you can pinpoint yeah I mean it's definitely and that's like this is exactly what we're talking about earlier how I just don't think like that like it just doesn't occur to me to use a brush to do something like that but I mean it's a totally a good idea to dio because then you can know exactly where you're brushing it and how soft your brushes now fuzzy your brushes and how big it is and all of that stuff so you had definitely something to consider okay so now we have a lot of inconsistencies in this picture mainly how our subject is colored versus how everything else is colored so her skin is really yellow and I do not like yellow skin so I'm going to de saturate her skin so with the lasso tool I am going tio but see choose my lasso and then just select uh basically around around her skin just like this I'm trying not to get the dress too much because I don't want to saturate the dress nor do I want to saturate the water so we'll just do that refine edge and take that feather slider up to about there now I'm going tio create a hue saturation layer and within this layer I'm going to justin de saturate her erskine's then she fits into the scene a little bit better if everything is blue then it makes sense that her skin also has a little bit of blue pigment in there that it's a little bit salo I guess would be a word for that okay so we've got our subject in there and her skin is looking a little bit better but I don't like how she's very clearly lit from above and there is no lighting from above in this room and that was something that you know at the end we said uh kind of like this other room better I'm going to shoot that instead but what I like is that it's nighttime out I mean it's not actually but there is a black background back there it looks like maybe there's a bush out that way or something I don't know what it looks like something so if I wanted to I could do a couple of different things I could edit a hole in the ceiling to make it look like there's light streaming through that way I could edit a lamp up here like I could take a picture of a stealing light and then edit that in and that would give me some motivated light here but as it is we don't really have a way of doing that yet we don't have anything that's going to give us light coming down from that position the only thing that I can think of doing is coming from the the hole where the staircase is and motivating light in this direction so it would be something that's worth trying where I might go like this sort of create spilling light up through here and then of course refine edge take that feather slider up quite a bit and then puts unmotivated light in through that area so I'm going to do that but not affect my subject by clicking on the background layer and creating a curve right above that because my subjects already lit so I don't need to do that and then going into curves so now I can create some light coming from that area coming from appear and streaming down in but what I don't want is the white to hit the back wall so much because that's in the background the light wouldn't touch there so I like the light coming in around her and I can move that curve too if I want so I could just move that down a little bit so it's coming more you know in a cross her body and then on that curve we can now just erase it off of the background where it would not naturally touch okay so we don't want it on the background nothing on the background okay that's a little bit better at least we would work on that a ton I would really I know there are a lot of people out there who would love to see you do textures and kind of overall color on maybe that first image so let's go find that image I'm going to close some of these because we have a lot of tabs up here and I don't even know what's going on with the tabs so I'm gonna close some of these so we can go find our other image which thankfully I saved as a psd so it's over here okay now this image doesn't work yet we all agree on that even if I if I get rid of the house it's not working because of the colors and contrast and things like that so let's talk about this I'm gonna cross that real quick and not what that I would really do that but I just want to really focus in here on a certain portion of this image like that so let's focus here I love the color of this ocean I think it's not a notion I don't want to call it though there were waves so I just say it's an ocean but I love the color of this water I do not love the color of the skin of my subject so first things first get rid of that going teo select the skin I want to keep the yellow book pages I definitely don't need to get rid of that but we need to get rid of wherever the skin is yellow right through there right click refined edge okay wrong slider feather slider up okay so I am going teo now go down here find my subject there she is and I'm going teo create this uh hugh saturation layer take that saturation down in there okay so we're getting a subject that has very neutral skin and so now when I look at this overall image I need to start asking myself about the overall coloring pretend like I've already done the lighting which would be changed quite a bit in this picture but there is not time for that because I need like a whole day to sit here and talk to myself about this but so instead of we're going to play with overall colors now very often I will do a hue saturation adjustment layer and de saturate a lot of the image which is taking away some of that great color that we had already that was in the ocean but I would prefer to take some away from everything and then add it back in later so I've taken some away I think that what we need to do is make this book pop a little bit more so I'm going teo change the color of this book at this point and I'm gonna do this very roughly so I'm just going teo select in between her fingers to get the whole book and I like to do individual color changes before overall color changes so that's why I'm doing this first keep going so that's the thing if you ever I accidentally closed your selection you can always just hold shift and that will continue to add to your selection okay so I'm selecting the book you guys ever feel like you're just going cross eyed when you're doing this because I just got worried that my eyes were stuck it's a really weird position okay we're going to refine edge and feather isn't like you think it's so cute graphic you know I'm a logo on something I've often thought of saving my layer masks the different times especially when I'm asked out address and it looks so pretty ok so let's add some color back in through curves and I'm gonna make it blue because apparently that's all we do know it's make things blue because I want to go ahead and pump up the color of that book I'm gonna make it a little bit brighter there we go now we can really see the book a little bit more okay so I've got the blue book the blue ocean the pale skin and now I want to do on the very top of all my layers a curves adjustment layer I would add clouds into here I would be working with that so I'm going to work with us in a slightly different way because there are no clouds but first things first I have to start adjusting my contrast in almost every single picture that I create I take my shadows and I screw them grey which looks awful and I'm well aware of that I also skew my highlights down to also be gray but then I add contrast right in the middle of the two so we don't have a great point we don't have a white point but we do still maintain contrast now if I go into my channels rgb red green blue then I can start playing with overall color I almost always start on the blue channel I almost always add blue to the shadows which I have to do very minimally because the shadows are already very blue and then I would add yellow to the highlights and this is starting to create sort of like a marine look underwater sort of you know yellowish green blue cast I think that our skin might be well I don't know what you guys at home are seeing what it looks like um but I can go really extreme on that monitor monitor that you're looking ok good that one is calibrated so it looks right through our other mar other campus thank you now I know not to make her look like that okay so I'm gonna add just a little bit of a yellow hue here and now when I go to the red curve I could do the same thing from the highlights adding a little bit of red just to give it a nice sort of subtle pop of color and I could also adds and sigh in by pulling down but when you pull down in the mid tones for sigh in that's going to really take over the image in a big way especially with skin tone so if I do pull down some science that I'm going to pull up a little bit more red so you're just creating multiple points upon my uh curve graph on that line but I like that I think that that looks good very rarely visit green and if I do it's toe add magenta usually through the shadows so am I add a little bit because I think that looks nice it's kind of like bringing it together with a little bit of a warmer hugh and that's typically how I do my color toning so I'm going to leave the colors alone there for now and now I want to go get a texture which I have in a folder over here and I have a stock folder with textures so these are some actually really old textures that I just like found again and that was kind of excited by them all over again so I'm going to use some of these I think this would be kind of a neat texture to put um on top this is too harsh for me um this one is kind of fun that's a footprint that's a cat scratcher comes up in the chat room do you shoot your own textures do you save them you buy them elsewhere do you find them online I almost exclusively shoot my own textures well now I do exclusively shoot my own textures I used to get them for free online just from a flicker site and that was really great they just said these are free to use you can have them if you want them on dh in that spirit I decided that I should start giving away my textures too because I would have been very very sad if I couldn't have textures in the beginning of my journey so about teo release a huge texture texture pack that I made but all of my textures are available for download and I'm going to put them on my new blogged shortly so we could be on the lookout promoting passion dot com you're so nice about that always so I've opened up a texture and I'm going to move this texture on top of my image if I confined it so first I'm going to close some more of these files because it is just way over there think it's this one every go so I'm dropping the texture on top and I'm going to move that into the upper left hand corner just so that I can free transform it and stretch it across the image now I don't really have issues with textures and stretching them that's always been okay for me I haven't had inequality lost with printing aside from one time and I was using a very tiny texture they just happened to look a little bit weird with the image that I was printing but in general I don't have problems with that eye dues all of my textures in black and white and I do that because I don't want to have the texture cover up the color that I've already put onto my image so I'm going to take that layer mode from normal and I'm going into soft light soft light I love for blending textures because soft light tends to just sort of allow it to stick very minimally and over everything whatever is lighter in your pictures typically going to take texture a little bit a little bit better a little bit more thoroughly but we can just play with a whole bunch of different blending modes so darken is going toe to stick to whatever is lightest and lighten is going to do just the opposite and allow it to stick to whatever's darkest that looks kind of cool actually but um let's see let's play with a couple more so lighten overlay is going teo is see I don't like overlay for just about anything except for when we're talking about radiance s o I don't want overlay hard light is going to make it really intense so let's just go with soft light here and lower that opacity on the layer because I want to make this really subtle I don't need to have a huge texture happening back there I can go really really subtle with this run and still see it back there on the clouds or the lack of clouds so I say I'll do that but I always play with the textures I always sometimes will add color to them just right onto the layer through curves so sometimes I'll go in and maybe I'll make it more you're more red and then you'll see a little pop of red happening in the sky there I think that could be really nice they also blur my textures so filter blur motion blur and every once in a while I will choose a direction for my motion blur and just see what that does to the image see if it looks kind of neat or kind of not need um and that always just depends on your image and what it's kind of sticking to and what it's not you can always create a layer mask on a texture on your brush tool and I can start to erase it if it's a little bit too much in some places or if it's making something too dark but you can also clone it too so with the clone stamp tool don't be afraid to go get in there and say I don't like that splotch so I'm just gonna take it out of the image because textures don't always I mean using them exactly as they are isn't always the best thing to dio for each particular image that you're editing so I clone a lot of my textures and that makes them a little bit different each time I use thumb

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Logic Checklist
Must Have Shots
Favorite Photoshop Tools
Lighting Effects
Practice Files - Cutting out Hair from Background
Practice Files - Building a Dress
Practice Files - Swapping Hand
Practice Files - Levitation
Adorama Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews

Logan Fox

I'm so thrilled to have come across this course and to have been introduced to Brooke Shaden. As a bit of background I do photography as a hobby, and always had an appetite to composite my work. It's only after watching this course that I can finally put a name to a craft that I love, that being 'fine art photography'. Through my own personal journey I've read various books, followed online tutorials both paid and free. When I came across this course I did hesitate. I wondered 'is it going to teach me anything new'... 'would the standard of the course be up to scratch'. Well, I can honestly say with hand on heart that this is by far is one of the best courses I've come across to date. As a solo photographer myself I've found it difficult at times to be both photographer and subject at the same time. From the outset what became clear was that Brooke is just like me in this respect which made the course so 'relevant' to what I do. Brooke shows throughout the course what can be achieved with a little planning and some creative approaches to situations that can be difficult to pull off when on your own. She is such a joy to watch and listen to, I loved her sense of humor and great how the audience were involved in some of the shoots. All I can say is, if you're in to photography and interested in compositing your work, you should give this a go, you wont regret it!


I'd like to show my gratitude and gratefulness to Ms Shaden and other wonderful people at CreativeLIVE for sharing your vast knowledge without making a fuss. Not everybody has a super computer and a top-notch camera, not everyone has a studio to work in and not everyone needs to know everything as perfectly as some instructors and professionals do. I, for one, have gained so much insight and have been intrigued by Ms Shaden's present and past lessons, she makes the most difficult and surreal subjects unfold so easily and effortlessly. Ms Shaden has made me believe no matter where I be and no matter what i have, as long as i have a good story to tell, and the right vision, I should be able to handle it with a working camera and any version of Photoshop. Unlike many other instructors who kill us every 5 minutes to buy their flashes or gear and support this or that company and agency, Ms Shaden has spent the whole time teaching and teaching and teaching and I am sorry I cannot be there to thank you in person, but you, Ms Shaden, are awesome and nobody can unawesome you :)


I have been a huge fan of Brooke's work since the beginning of the flickr days. I'm so excited to see her in her element on CL. So many years ago i was so very interested in learning and creating and CL makes this possible now. A lot of my work has been inspired by Brooke's dark yet beautiful work style and i am super inspired to create some using her advice. I cannot wait to delve deeper into this world i have been waiting so long to indulge in it and now i will even more so than i have the last 3 years. Thank you Brooke and CL ! =) Sarina Gito Photography (

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