Compositing in Photoshop – Time Saving Method

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Compositing in Photoshop – Time Saving Method


What is Compositing?

 Compositing is a process of combining two or more images to create a single picture or a scene. As an artist it is important to come up with different concepts that make a good scene. When you shoot there will be numerous occasion where light is not enough or the background is too distracting. That is when the ability to create composite imagery in Photoshop comes into picture.

To composite the image you need to first isolate the subject from the background. You may isolate it using the pen tool or a quick selection tool.

In this short Photoshop Tutorial we will use pen tool to isolate the subject from the background. The main reason to use pen tool is that the path created are re editable and non destructive.

  1. The Pen Tool –Select pen tool in a toolbar, choose the starting point of the photo. Click and drag around the area to be selected to create a path. This path will be save in a path pallete.
  2. Place the images – When you want to bring the image into composite, it is brought into separate layer as a smart object. Since it is a vector image it can be resized without affecting the quality of the image.
  3. Match Color – When the photos in the scene are placed, we will use Match color tool as an effective way to balance the color between the two images


Here we have a photo of a recycled toilet paper with a flat sky in the background. Here we want a bright blue sky with white clouds in a background. The above shot did not have the background that I wanted in a scene.

compositing-with-photoshop 3

I made my selection using the pen tool to isolate the toilet rolls and clothesline. Zoom in up to 300 – 400% to get a good outline, as shown below.

compositing-with-photoshop 5

compositing-with-photoshop 5

Hold Alt+Ctrl to enable to move anchor points and direction lines to make edit to your curves. When you finish editing the anchor points, you may save the path in your path pallete. Then Add selection as a layer mask. It should resemble like an black and white image shown below.

compositing-with-photoshop 6


Now we will import the new sky background by going to File -> Place. Then the image will appear on a separate layer. Even if you increase or decrease the size of an image it will not affect the quality of the image.

The final adjustment was to go to Image menu and select Match Color to make sure the color is balanced between the two images. Using Image>Adjustments>Match ColorI played with the two sliders to get the color of the image more uniform in appearance.


Final Output

compositing-with-photoshop 1

Amod Mantri

Amod drinks lots of coffee and writes articles. A student by day , blogger by night. When a team needs a gum to hold itself together , he is there to chew it.

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