The title of my post is the most accurate description I could come up with for this “simple” tutorial. Ha! It’s funny how once you know how to do something, you do it mechanically and subconsciously, without really thinking. But, while trying to convey instructions to someone else it’s like sliding down the rabbit hole. You realize how many “other” steps are involved, steps that are second nature to you, steps that you didn’t really consider “steps” until you were trying to explain the whole process in words.
Step 1: Open Photoshop Program. Yikes! I know that sounds OBVIOUS, but if you want to get all analytical, it IS a step. And there are others that I felt were a bit like that. So, for anyone who already knows Photoshop, you probably want to skip right past this post.
But then again, I might not be explaining it well for a beginner either. I consider myself a semi-beginner myself, so who knows?! All I can do is try. I’m adding a little humor (hopefully that doesn’t bomb as well!) because I had to keep my spirits up as I wrote it out—making sure I didn’t take it too seriously.
I changed up my sunflower composite for the featured image. Just another example of how much can be done with a couple of images.
So Here Goes
Step 2: Open Flower Image in Photoshop (File / Open). I’ll add both originals at the bottom of this page if you actually want to use the same images. The images were from Pixabay.com and I’m sorry I didn’t save the credits, but they can be found there along with millions of images that are free to use, and to do whatever you please with.
Above is what my screen looked like at this point.
Step 3: File / Place Embedded – and on your computer select the Road Image (my screenshot shows this choice in blue). I don’t usually do it this way, I open the file separately and then move it over with my mouse – but I could find no words to explain that maneuver.
Below is how it should look once you have successfully added the embedded file…
And the image below shows you how the program will want you to hit the check mark to commit. See that little yellow rectangle at the top that says Commit transform (Enter)? That is what comes up when you hit the check mark above it on the screen which means you are happy with the placement and ready to commit. No commitment phobia here!
Step 4: Select the Quick Selection tool. It’s the darkened tool here on the left and the pop-out tells you what the tool is and the basics of what it does.
Step 5: Left click Mouse, and select the road. This can be tricky, you just need to play around with it. You will probably need a few swipes to get the whole road and if you go out of bounds you can go back using undo (control+z on the pc and I think it’s command+z on mac but don’t quote me on that). There are other ways to “add to” selection or “remove from” selection but I’m not going to get into that.
Above shows what you will see as you select areas… the “ants” surround any selected area (which in this case is the road to happiness).
Step 6: Click on Layer Mask to add it. See little box down below at bottom right-that’s what you will see when you when you hover above the mask icon – it’s a little rectangle with a circle cut out in it. Basically, this adds a white mask to your image. Anything that is filled with black on the mask will be hidden – so in this case the hidden part will be the background.
Below is what you will see now. Since the background in the road image is now hidden, you are seeing through the transparency to the image on the layer below- which is the flower image.
When I did my original version of this I used a perspective tool from another program, so I won’t be able to show that here.
But I am kind of excited to share one of my tips for composite pieces. Getting the various images to blend together well can be difficult at times. So… when I do a piece like this I love to use the oil paint effect which is one of my favorite effects anyway. The paint effect helps create a blend.
If you want to do the paint effect, below is how I do it. If not, you can skip to saving it (Step .
Step 7: Select both layers (hold shift key while clicking each) and then hit control+e. This will merge the two layers into one. If you prefer to keep the layers separate for safety measures use control+shift+alt+e all at the same time. This will merge the two layers above the two existing layers.
Step 8: First, look below and you will see that I did, in fact, use the control+shift+alt+e method because you can see I have the layer I am going to paint and then two layers below (the flower image and the masked road image).
Then use Filter / Stylize / Oil paint (as seen below in the boxes with blue highlight).
Next you will see the oil paint tool box like below… and there are several things to play with there! Stylization, Cleanliness, Scale, Bristle Detail and so forth. This is where I have fun. You can make it look more realistic, or you can make it look all crazy wild.
Below is my painted version so you can see it in comparison to the above unpainted version. With the two layers being painted as one it really helps blend them together. That’s my two cents anyway.
Step 9: Save image using File / Export / Save for Web to get a jpg that is smaller size for using online.
When you get to the export page you’ll see places to change the size and quality. The smaller the size and the lower the quality, the smaller the file size. You can also save simply by doing File / Save a Copy and then save it.
Below is my saved image….
I used Photoshop for years before taking a class, and I’ve watched just a handful of tutorials. The program can look very intimidating when you first open it, and I have to confess that there are still tools I have yet to even try! You just need to experiment.
I thought the featured image was fun as well. I used a distortion (Filter / Distort / Polar Coordinates / Polar to Rectangular) for the flowers and so it looks a little like being underwater. That was not planned, mind you, and I think that is a perfect example of why it’s so important to just open the program and play.
Better an oops than a what if.Anonymous
Thanks for checking it out! Hopefully it was helpful. If not all of it, maybe parts of it.
That’s about all for now. Any questions… don’t be afraid to ask.
Peace & Love!
BELOW ARE THE IMAGES USED