Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day.

Happy Discount Chocolate Day! February 15th is my favorite part of Valentine’s, that may be because I’m happily single like most of the socks in my drawer, and besides, who can say no to discounted chocolate? Not me!

I had a few ideas in mind for my Valentine’s Day picture, but when I went to pick up the props I envisioned for my photoshoot, they were already taken. So, I walked around Spectacular Themes, (where I get my props from) trying to find some other ideas, and I spotted a kissing booth. The only problem was that it was too big to get it in my car. So, I just took a picture of it where it was, and I came home ready to make some magic with it in Photoshop.

I knew I wanted something simple, funny, and FAST! and since I didn’t get any of you a Valentine’s Day present, and I’m not buying chocolates for you today, I’m going to show you one of my favorites and simplest tricks in Photoshop.

Here’s my kissing booth already cut out of the background and placed on grass. It obviously needs some TLC.

To make these to images blend together realistically, we have to add grass on the bottom of the kissing booth. These little details are what make a photoshop composite look real. Even the silliest ones…

So, here, today, I’m going to show you one of my favorite tricks when working with composites. If you want your subject to blend perfectly when placing them on grass you have to use this simple trick. With your subject’s mask selected, pick a grass brush on the brush palette and turn both of the brushes foreground colors (black and white) to black. Make sure the size of your brush matches the size of the grass in the image.

If I remove the grass, this is how the kissing booth looks after using this trick.

I prefer using this trick than painting grass on an extra layer because this way I make sure my colors and textures match perfectly. I actually used this trick a few other times in this image. Let me show you.

I wanted to add some trees, but not any trees. I wanted this picture to be silly. I thought heart shaped trees was the way to go and I already had one that I created for a previous image.

I thought the image needed some extra cheesiness, so I added a few hearts to the trees and the grass…

I needed the hearts to blend a little better with the trees and grass, so I used the little trick I mentioned before. I picked the grass brush, set my foreground colors to black, and brushed on my mask on the bottom of the hearts that are sitting on the grass. I did the same to the hearts that are on the trees but this time with a brush shaped like leaves.

Brushes are one of the most powerful tools in Photoshop. You can either create your own customized brushes, or you can buy them online. I have a huge collection of brushes that are a big part of my workflow and come very handy when working on composites. Here you can see how the hearts blend nicely with the rest of the image.

You can use this little trick for some many things. One of my favorite ways to use it is with hair. Hair is one of the hardest things to deal with in composites. I usually mask away most of the hair of my subjects, then with a hair brush (you can make your own or get it on the interwebs) I brush it back on my mask, and it looks flawless, and I don’t have to rely on selections tools and other complicated techniques.

I hope this trick was helpful to you! Here is my final image for this year’s Valentine’s Day. Make sure to check out the dates of my upcoming workshops and my previous post about 1:1 Online Photoshop lessons.

Now go get some cheap chocolates!









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