PhotoShop workshop – 9-June-2011

Whales & sky merge using PhotoShop layer mask and alpha channel!Having given many a taste for image manipulation in the GIMP workshop earlier this year, and having covered a few of the PhotoShop basics last year, we felt a few advanced techniques should be covered.

Ashley & I had prepared a workshop based on the manipulation of layers – so armed with some images, a bunch of laptops and a few helpers we set to work .

Ashley started proceedings and established the basics effectively by covering blurring of backgrounds with layers, the clone tool and Gaussian (not Goozean :lol:) filters along with a swag of shortcut keys……which will make life a lot easier if your in Photoshop a lot.

I followed with a presentation covering adjustment mask and layer masks – with a way to remove/replace backgrounds using simple masking tools (or if you wish to be more complete exploit the Alpha channel) and then replace with your own sky. Replacing a boring cloudy background with a brilliant blue or firey sky if done well can lift an image. There are a few club members who use such techniques already – and are often rewarded with 10s by the judges.

The image above shows this sort of layer selection and merger – although its a bit extreme as the light is coming from two directions and I haven’t taken care to blend the image edges well – but you get the idea…..

Mark Pedlar then demonstrated the use of layers in creating a whole new image – his clever Heligan Apples.

Remember though, when you alter your image be very careful in how you blend them, choose the light direction carefully as the image will appear as a cut out rather a seamless merge and don’t work on the original image (use a copy).

Ashley & I have created PDF notes of the presentations you can download – just click on the links below:

We hope you got some useful tips out of the workshop and look forward to some interesting backgrounds – keep a stock of interesting skies as Mark does!

Chris 😉


One response

  1. Yvonne

    Thanks for adding the pdfs! I’ve been confused with layer masks – typical I couldnt make that meeting 😦
    Time to have a play this arvo 🙂

    19/06/2011 at 10:47 am