Elephant in the city

Often we have to deal with the discrepancy between light and shade in different images, which we would like to combine into a general picture. How to make the image inserted on a different background fit into the big picture?

One option to solve this problem is the method that the author suggested below.

Look at this image with a giant elephant. The lighting of the elephant does not fall out of the picture, and the elephant walks safely along the street.
But to achieve this goal, the author had to do a great and time-consuming work.

Elephant in the city

Step 1. Select an image for later work in it.

Elephant in the city

Step 2. The author first wanted to insert a huge robot so that he walked down the street. But having imagined what work would have to be done, changing the lighting of every detail, in the end he settled on an elephant.

It turned out that it is difficult to find an image of an elephant, so that it corresponds to the perspective and the lighting of the background image.
As a result, the author chose this image, suitable only for the future.

Elephant in the city

Step 3. The first thing the author did was to separate the elephant from the background. You can do this with any convenient tool for you, the author used Elephant in the cityLayer mask (Layer Mask).

Elephant in the city

Then the author did some cosmetic surgery, adding fangs and slightly bending the trunk of an elephant. Unfortunately the technique, the work done, did not set out.

Elephant in the city

Step 4. Now we need the elephant’s lighting to match the lighting of the overall picture. To do this, the author used a fairly simple way.

Looking at the background image, the author singled out for himself that all the objects in it were divided into a deep shadow and bright lighting.

To do this, you need two layers with the image of an elephant. Copy the layer with the elephant (Ctrl +J) and call it “Shadow“, And name the bottom layer”Shine“.

Elephant in the city

Step 5. Go to layer “Shine“And remove the visibility of the layer”Shadow“(Removing the eye near the layer miniature). On this layer, you need to achieve the same color as the objects on the background image.

There are many methods that can be used to achieve this result: Levels (Levels), Curves (Curves), Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast), Color balance (Color Balance), Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation).

But in this case, the author used the following settings.
Brightness / Contrast (Brightness/Contrast)

Elephant in the city

Color balance (ColorBalance)
* in Shadows and Lights, the parameters are more reduced, they are already adjusted at their discretion *

Elephant in the city

The purpose of this is to achieve a golden glow on the elephant, so that it corresponds to the lighting in the overall picture.

Elephant in the city

Remove visibility to this layer.

Step 6. Go to the “Shadow” layer, turn on the visibility of the layer.
Through trial and error, the author still achieved the desired result. The shadows in the overall picture do not have absolutely black color, so here these settings came up:

Brightness / Contrast (Brightness/Contrast)

Elephant in the city

Hue / Saturation (Hue/Saturation)

Elephant in the city

Elephant in the city

Step 7. Turn on visibility to all layers. To draw on the elephant a bright light from the falling rays of the sun, we will need to do the following.

Create Layer mask (Layer Mask) layer “Shadow“. Take the tool “Brush»(Brush), Select the color gray. And start in those places where the light should fall on the elephant, change the opacity and size of the brush (painting with Gray, Black color Layer mask, we will erase the upper Dark layer, and in its place the golden color of the lower layer will appear).

Try to achieve the same lighting as on the background. Imagine how the light would fall on an elephant, if it were illuminated by such a sun and try to draw the picture.

It is more convenient to work Layer mask, because at any time you can fix it if something went wrong with you.

Use Gray or Black colors, to add light to the elephant, and White to bring back the shadow, if necessary.

Elephant in the city

Ultimately, although it took the author a lot of time, after the work done, the elephant fit very well into the big picture.

Elephant in the city

Step 8. To achieve greater realism, you need to add a huge shadow from the elephant. Shadow the author had to draw by hand.

Car shadows are at least twice as long as the height of the cars themselves. Thus, the shadow of the elephant will go beyond the image, which rather simplified the work of the author.

On a new layer, changing it Blend mode (Blend mode) on Multiplication (Multiply), dark blue, the author painted the shadow of an elephant. The hardest thing was to draw the correct shadow of the trunk and tusks. But, having tried several options, he nevertheless achieved the desired result.

The author did not paint over two cars in the shade with color, as this could darken them greatly. Instead, he worked with each car individually, using the “DimmerElephant in the city(Burn Tool).

For more realism in the color of the shadow of an elephant, he took the color from the shadows of cars (holding down the Alt) and superimposed colors, until he achieved full compliance with the shadows from the cars.
Then applied Gaussian Blur with a small radius.

Elephant in the city

Step 9. At the end, the author added some figures of people crossing the street, who are looking at a huge elephant walking along the road.
(I think the shadow of the bike was made by copying the shape to a new layer, using Free transformation (Ctrl + T) and Gaussian blur (Gaussian blur))

Elephant in the city

I hope from this lesson, you can learn for yourself, a simple, but very useful technique.

Good luck in doing the lesson.

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