In this short video, Paul Trani from Adobe shows how to match images together to create a realistic-looking composite image.
Sometimes a tutorial doesn’t need to be very long to be useful and this video is a good example of such a video. In under 2 min, Trani demonstrates how you can create a pretty realistic looking lion composite in a darkly lit forest image in Photoshop.
One of the main problems with compositing is matching lighting. It is rare that two images taken at different times and locations will match closely enough that you can composite them together without needing to create significant changes. Doing this can be time-consuming and complex, however, Trani seems to have a method in Photoshop that can make these adjustments much quicker and easier.
What you want to do after you place your second image on your main one is to add a curves adjustment layer and press on Auto while pressing the option/alt key at the same time (what a nifty trick). This will open a dialog box with some interesting options for changing the auto algorithms.
Trani chooses for this image the “find dark & light colors” and samples from the surrounding area and this gives us a much better, closer to a realistic-looking lion in a forest.
This can be used as a good starting point and you can then manually change the curves (or color channels) even more to create a truly professional-looking composite image.
We have extensively covered the topic of composite images in Photoshop in the past and you can find a lot more videos on this subject here. You can find many more Photoshop video tutorials on LensVid’s Photoshop section