In this lesson we will transform a few ordinary pictures into cool “3D photos” and combine them into a true scene. If you have already done my previous lessons, you know that I am a big fan of the duct masks technique, therefore they will be used in this lesson.
Step 1. Open the “Office Worker” file in Photoshop. We will get rid of the background using the channel mask technique. We go to Image> Calculation (Image> Calculations) and mix the red and blue channels using the overlay mode Overlap (Overlay). Now we will increase the contrast between the black man and the white background with the help of Curves. We go to Image> Correction> Curves (Image> Adjustments> Curves), apply the settings, as in the screenshot below.
Step 2. Choose soft brush, change its blending mode to Overlap (Overlay). Set the foreground color to white and paint with a white brush over the areas shown below. Create a selection inside the employee shape using Pen (Pen tool) (P) or Lasso (Lasso tool), fill the selection with black. Make another selection, as shown below, press Ctrl + Shift + I to invert the selection and fill it with white. Now press Ctr + I to invert the colors. We will use the alpha channel to highlight the character.
Step 3. Use the tool Pen (Pen tool) (P) to select the table, then press Ctrl + Enter to convert the contour into a selection. Holding Ctrl + Shift, click on the alpha channel, thereby adding it to the selection. Press Ctrl + J to transfer the selected area to a new layer, turn off visibility for the background layer.
Step 4. Open the Cube file in Photoshop, print under the cube “3D photo” in white. Go to the menu Layer> Merge Image (Layer> Flatten Image). After that, double-click on the layer to open the style window. Set the settings as in the screenshot below. Press Ctrl + A to select everything, and Ctrl + C to copy.
Step 5. Open the “SkySport24 PCR” file. Press the key combination Ctrl + V three times to insert three copies of the “3d Photo” layer. Transform each layer and place it on the monitors as shown below. Use layer mask in order to hide the unwanted parts protruding on the girls head. Let’s go in Layer> Merge Image (Layer> Flatten Image), press Ctrl + A – select all and Ctrl + C – copy.
Step 6. Go back to the file with the office worker, press Ctrl + V to paste the image from the clipboard. Name the layer “Studio”, transfer it under the human layer. With the free transform, change the layer so that it looks like the image below. Layer with the character give the name “Office”.
Step 7. Hold down the Ctrl key and click on the thumbnail of the “Office” layer to load the selection. Press the key combination Ctrl + Alt + R to open the window Refine Selection (Refine Selection). Set the settings shown below. Add a mask to the new layer and, using a soft black brush, hide the hair.
Step 8. Pressing Ctrl, click on the thumbnail of the “Office” layer and press Ctrl + Alt + R again to open the Refine Selection window. Use the settings below.
Step 9. Select the “Office copy” and “Office copy 2” layers, press Ctrl + E to merge them. Name this layer “Office” and delete the previous layer with that name.
Step 10. Add a new adjustment layer Curves (Curves) and create a clipping mask, apply the settings shown below. Also add Curves and to the “Studio” layer, also using the clipping mask and settings shown below. Blend Mode Set Colour (Color). So we level the colors between the “Office” and “Studio” layers.
Step 11. Apply to the “Studio” layer Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur) with a radius of 2 pixels. Add adjustment layer Colour/Saturation (Hue / Saturation) to decrease saturation. Crop the image as shown below.
Step 12. Open the image with the microphone and cut the microphone using the tool Pen (Pen tool). Copy it and paste it into the document we work with. Using Free Transform, place the microphone as in the screenshot below.
Step 13. Select the black microphone knob and press Ctrl + J several times. Drag copies of the knob to the left to make the microphone holder longer. Select all the layers with the microphone and move them to the Mic group (Ctrl + G).
Step 14. Now you need to improve your skin tone and add a realistic magenta reflex to the table. We will do this with a correction layer. Selective color correction (Selective color). Select all the layers and press Ctrl + G to group them. Name the group “Scene”.
Step 15. Create a new layer by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Shift + N. We go to Filter> Vanishing Point (Filter> Vanishing point) and build the grid as on the screen. Click on the settings button and select Display grids in Photoshop (Render Grids to Photoshop), click OK. This layer will be auxiliary, so name it “Reference”.
Step 16. Open the image with a polaroid frame. Select the frame and drag it to a new layer. Now select the black area and delete it.
Hint! Use the tool Rectangular area (Rectangular marquee tool) to create a rectangle. Press Q to open the mode. quick masks and Ctrl + T to transform the selection. After you have done everything, press Enter and then Q to exit the quick mask mode.
Ctrl + Click on the layer thumbnail to select a frame, Ctrl + C to copy. Paste it into our working paper and name the layer “Frame”.
Step 17. Now go to the boring and tedious parts. Place six copies of the layer with the frame as in the image below. In order to facilitate the work itself, go to 3D> New 3D postcard from layer (3D> New 3D Postcard From Layer) and set it up so that the frames fit the perspective. After you do this, go to 3D> Rasterize (3D> Rasterize).
Step 18. Double click on the “Frame 1” layer to apply layer styles. Use the settings shown below. Hold Alt and drag the layer style to the other frames to copy.
Step 19. To avoid confusion, create several groups using Ctrl + G. Look at the image below and name the groups, as I did, so that you know where your 3D images are located.
Step 20. These steps are needed to create 3D images, they are the same for each photo.
First open the image, for example, a horse. Highlight the horse, click Ctrl + J in order to create a new layer from the selection. Right-click on the “Background” layer and select Background layer (Layer from Background) and click OK. Click on both layers, hold down the Ctrl key, so you select them at the same time, then right-click on one of them and select Link layers (Link Layers). With the tool Move (Move Tool) (V) drag and drop them into our working paper. Drag both layers to group 2, then place a frame between the two layers. We seem to make a sandwich, our two layers (a dedicated horse and a drawing with a horse) are bread, while the frame is salami. Now again, select our two layers (Ctrl + Click) and transform them so that the horse fits nicely into the frame. The final step is to add a mask to the image layer to hide everything that goes beyond the frame.
Select the part that will protrude beyond the frame and move it to a new layer. Make a regular layer out of the background layer, tie the two layers together, drag them to the working document, make a sandwich with a frame between the two layers, select the two layers again, transform them, add a mask to the bottom layer and hide everything that goes beyond the frame.
These actions look complicated and confusing, but in fact all this is very easy. I will not repeat them for each frame, instead I will refer to step 20. You can also apply this step to other images to add a 3D effect.
Step 21 Open the file Landscape. We will use the channels to highlight the tree. If we go through the channels (we look at each one — red, green, and blue), then we will notice that the blue channel has a greater contrast between the tree and the sky. We go to Image> Calculation (Image> Calculations) and use the settings below. Press Ctrl + M to open the curves window and note the following settings. Now use the tool Lasso (Lasso tool) to select a tree, press Ctrl + Shift + I to invert the selection. Fill the selected area with white. With the help of white brushes (brush tool) gently remove the two black dots. Press Ctrl + I to invert (remember that masked black hides, and white – visible), Ctrl + Click on the alpha channel to load the selection. Press Ctrl + 2 to go to RGB and Ctrl + J to create a new layer from the selection.
Step 22 Use the instructions written in step 20. Place the layers in the second group and transform until they look like the image below. With help masks hide those parts that went beyond the frame.
Step 23 Open the Tulips file. If we go through the channels, we note that the blue channel is the most contrast. We go to Image> Calculation (Image> Calculations) and apply the settings shown below. Next, Ctrl + M to open Curves (Curves), use the settings shown in the screenshot. Black brush paint over the tulips inside, and white, walk on the background. Press Ctrl + Shift + I to invert, then Ctrl + Click on the alpha channel to load the selection. The key combination Ctrl + 2 to return to RGB. Press Ctrl + J to create a new layer with a selection.
Step 24 Use the instructions from step 20. Place the layers in the second group, transform and use the mask to hide the excess. We make active the top layer (with tulips with no background) and with the help Eraser (Eraser tool) or quick masks (Quick mask) remove the lower part of the tulips so that it is visible only on the main part of the frame.
Step 25. Open the file with the exotic animal – tiger. Highlight a tiger using the tool Pen (Pen tool) or whatever you like. Transfer the selection to the new layer. Use the instructions from step 20. Place the layers in the third group. Transform them like this until you get something like the screen below. With help Eraser (Eraser tool) or quick masks (Quick mask) remove the bottom of the tiger on the layer with no background.
If your selection is not perfect, you can always use the function Refine edge (Refine Edge) for blending or removing unwanted edges with remnants of the background.
Step 26. Open the file with the rider. Highlight a horse with a jockey using Pen (Pen tool) or any other tool convenient for you. Transfer the selected area to a new layer. Use the instructions from step 20. Place the layers in the fourth group, transform them until they look like in the image below; Using the mask, hide everything that goes beyond the frame.
Step 27. Open the file with the horse. Highlight a horse using your favorite selection tool. Transfer the selected area to a new layer. Use the instructions from step 20. Place the layers in the fifth group, transform them until they look like in the image below; Using the mask, hide everything that goes beyond the frame.
Step 28. Open the file with the seagull. Select a seagull, transfer the selected area to a new layer. Use step 20 instructions. Transform the layer by fitting it under the frame, and using a mask, hide everything that goes beyond the frame.
Step 29. In the next steps, we will apply adjustment layers to make our image look like a real photo. Each adjustment layer will be applied selectively, for this we use masks. I will show you the masks for each adjustment layer. Remember – black hides, white leaves visible. Gray colors just soften the effect.
Remember, this is not an exact science, but rather a process performed through trial and error. You think: “What does this image lack now? It is a bit bland and some colors are fuzzy, so I want to increase the contrast of middle tones. Let’s do this by adding black and white adjustment layer (BlackWhite) and setting it to overlay mode Overlap (Overlay). Hmm, the effect came out too strong. Let’s change the blending mode to Soft light (Soft light) and lower the opacity. Now is better, and so on. Do not forget that adjustment layers, blending modes and masks are just tools, servants of your imagination. The tools you use and the way they are used are completely unimportant, the main thing is the result obtained. Focus on what you want to get in the end and the least worry about the techniques that others use, or the complexity of different tools.
Step 30. Let’s increase the contrast of mid tones with black and white adjustment layer (BlackWhite). Use the settings below. We do not want the adjustment layer to affect our 3D images, so use a mask to hide parts of the adjustment layer that affect the photos on the table.
Step 31 You may notice that the background is too saturated, so using Color / Saturation adjustment layer (Hue / Saturation) Slightly discolor it. We also want to increase the saturation of 3D images and the skin of our character, for this we use an adjustment layer Resonance (Vibrance).
Step 32 Let’s darken the image a bit. For this we use Two Curves Adjustment Layers (Curves) one will have an overlay mode Normal (Normal), and the second – Multiplication (Multiply). You will notice that I have masked the Curves effect on the 3D pictures and the face of the hero, so the darkening will not affect them.
Step 33 Now we will lighten the 3D images and the space around them. Add a Curves adjustment layer and fill the mask with black. Using soft white brush, Draw on the mask on the 3D images and face. Since we use a white brush on a black background, we show the effect of Curves only on white and gray areas. Remember that black hides, and white – manifests.
Step 34 I added the final step Curves adjustment layer with blend mode Soft light (Soft light) to darken the horses and the tree a little. Now you can hide the visibility of the “Reference” auxiliary layer.
In this lesson, we looked at how to use the duct masks technique to create complex selections. We also learned how to make ordinary photos look three-dimensional. I hope that I will live so long that I will still find times when this technology will be applied not only in Photoshop, but also in reality.
Some of my works you can see here. Good luck with Photshop!
Lesson author: Adrian Scheff