DPChallenge: A Digital Photography Contest You are not logged in. (log in or register
 

DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> How to make a moodier sky & blend into treeline?
Pages:  
Showing posts 1 - 25 of 27, (reverse)
AuthorThread
09/28/2006 05:32:59 PM · #1
Hey all...

Sorry if the subject is confusing...not sure how to phrase this.

Basically, I have a photo with a somewhat overcast sky. I'd like to add some contrast and make it a bit moodier/stormy. I can get the general effect by adding a layer set to 'Multiply' or by adjusting the levels (i.e. pulling in the shadow/highlight sliders).

The problem is where the sky meets the trees/building in my shot. I don't want to adjust the entire scene, just the sky (for this portion of the PP at least). When I try to select w/ the magic wand, select similar, etc etc and then add a mask, my finished version always has a noticable, unnatural edge where the original photo meets the adjusted layer. How do I blend this transition point so it's more natural and seamless?

Anyone?

Thanks in advance...
-Mike

-PS: I can try to link to the photo later tonight if anyone needs to see what I'm talking about. Thx
09/28/2006 05:35:47 PM · #2
Show us.

Originally posted by PSUlion01:

Hey all...

Sorry if the subject is confusing...not sure how to phrase this.

Basically, I have a photo with a somewhat overcast sky. I'd like to add some contrast and make it a bit moodier/stormy. I can get the general effect by adding a layer set to 'Multiply' or by adjusting the levels (i.e. pulling in the shadow/highlight sliders).

The problem is where the sky meets the trees/building in my shot. I don't want to adjust the entire scene, just the sky (for this portion of the PP at least). When I try to select w/ the magic wand, select similar, etc etc and then add a mask, my finished version always has a noticable, unnatural edge where the original photo meets the adjusted layer. How do I blend this transition point so it's more natural and seamless?

Anyone?

Thanks in advance...
-Mike

-PS: I can try to link to the photo later tonight if anyone needs to see what I'm talking about. Thx
09/28/2006 05:39:27 PM · #3
You could paint a soft edge into the mask using a low opacity brush. A slow and meticulous approach gives you the best results in this situation, rushing will just make things look unnatural.
09/28/2006 05:42:39 PM · #4
Originally posted by Raziel:

You could paint a soft edge into the mask using a low opacity brush. A slow and meticulous approach gives you the best results in this situation, rushing will just make things look unnatural.

A tablet/stylus makes intricate maksing a lot easier.
09/28/2006 05:44:27 PM · #5
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by Raziel:

You could paint a soft edge into the mask using a low opacity brush. A slow and meticulous approach gives you the best results in this situation, rushing will just make things look unnatural.

A tablet/stylus makes intricate maksing a lot easier.


I know, a mouse is very clumsy. Like drawing with a big, solid block of wood...
09/28/2006 05:44:38 PM · #6
One approach that often works much better than you'd think is to take and create a *very* soft-edged transition. Create your layer, do the adjustment, then add a layer mask and create a gradient (gradient tool) across the transition. Fine tune with a very large, soft brush set to moderate opacity (10-20%). Often you can get better results in a minute or two this way than you'd get in hours of trying to create a sharp transition.
09/28/2006 06:23:29 PM · #7
Select the sky, feather the selection a little, save the selection.

Duplicate the BG layer twice.

Make the levels/contrast/whatever adjustments you need to on various adjustment layers over the second duplicate BG layer. Let the foreground go to hell, it doesn't matter. Make the sky look right.

Drag the FIRST duplicate BG layer to the top of the layers palette, above all the adjustment layers. This will cover up ALL the adjustments you have made.

Load the saved sky selection and delete the sky from this layer.

This usually works pretty well, sometimes with some detail work around the edges with various tools.

R.
09/29/2006 12:11:27 AM · #8
Thanks Bear. I gave it a shot but i'm still seeing some nasty transitions. Here's a link to the photo i'm working with...maybe you can see why it's so difficult, or maybe I'm just no good at this just yet! Can't seem to get thumbnails working, so here's a direct link.

link to photo -- sorry, can't get the thumbnail to work

Ugh..need to sign up for DPC so I can start using the gallery on here.

Thanks in advance,
Mike

Message edited by author 2006-09-29 16:41:02.
09/29/2006 04:41:18 PM · #9
bump for the day crowd
09/29/2006 07:20:11 PM · #10
nm

Message edited by author 2006-09-30 19:22:08.
09/29/2006 07:29:32 PM · #11
Hey Michael,
I paste the finished version of the image over a copy of the modified sky image (darker or lighter or bluer etc...), then erase areas that I want to show through. 100% at the easy areas, and change the opacity for the tricky areas (near tree, etc...) This works good for me, and saves a lot of time masking large areas. Practice with different eraser opacity levels.

Message edited by author 2006-09-29 19:30:04.
09/29/2006 07:30:47 PM · #12
Originally posted by BradP:

Michael,
Is this more like what you were looking to do?

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/19708/thumb/403342.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/19708/thumb/403342.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/19708/thumb/403343.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/19708/thumb/403343.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
------ Your original --------------- Edited -----------
(open each in a new window and switch between them to see changes)


Brad,

EXACTLY! Now, how did you go about doing it?
09/29/2006 07:31:53 PM · #13
Originally posted by mrorange002:

Hey Michael,
I paste the finished version of the image over a copy of the modified sky image (darker or lighter or bluer etc...), then erase areas that I want to show through. 100% at the easy areas, and change the opacity for the tricky areas (near tree, etc...) This works good for me, and saves a lot of time masking large areas. Practice with different eraser opacity levels.


Ok sounds like a good plan. I'll give that a shot and see how it turns out...

Thanks!
09/29/2006 09:27:43 PM · #14
nm

Message edited by author 2006-09-30 19:21:40.
09/30/2006 03:31:51 PM · #15
nm

Message edited by author 2006-09-30 19:21:51.
10/01/2006 12:32:29 PM · #16
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/19708/thumb/404344.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/19708/thumb/404344.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' to this ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/19708/thumb/404341.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/19708/thumb/404341.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
Originally posted by PSUlion01:


EXACTLY! Now, how did you go about doing it?


I used Photoshop CS2, but most any version of PS would work fine for this.
I first made a new layer via copy, then went into Image, Adjustments, Selective colors, dropped-down to Neutral, went to the bottom slider (Black) and slid it over to the right, dropping the neutral density of the whole shot. I typically go a bit too much intentionally, then after clicking OK, go up to Edit, Fade, and adjusted the amount while watching on-screen just how much I wanted, then hitting OK.
Now for the fun (and a bit tedious part). While still in the layer, I went to the eraser tool, set the opacity to 100%, and chose a sharp-edged brush. Start erasing slowly to reveal the original image before the neutral levels drop. This requires a bit of finesse and time to erase right up to the edges, (zoom in a lot) and when doing things like the buildings, the sharp-edged brush erases right to the exact pixel clicked/dragged over. I continued erasing the tower and most of the left section of the, progressively going smaller & smaller on the brush size, eventually getting down to a 1 pixel brush to erase out the foliage, trees, building details etc. Now because the sky was made so dark, the whole section of buildings on the right would have been too bright and not very realistic if erased back 100%, so I changed the opacity of the eraser tool to anout 35% and did the buildings on the right. I changed to a soft-edged brush to blend the left side bulidings with the right so it didn't leave a noticeable line, and had to drag over the merge more than once to blend it smoothly. After getting all the buildings and foreground done, I switched back to 100% opacity and a sharp-edged brush and continued with the tree line, again going as small as a 1 pixel brush to get the fine details. When done, Layers, Flatten image. I did make a minor adjustment to the brightness (-3) and upped the contrast a bit (+8), then zoomed in, selected the blur tool, chose a small (5-10) soft-edged brush, 15% strength, and cleaned up some edges and jpeg artifacts in the sky.

Told ya it was tedious.
Sounds like a lot, but remembering it and typing it out here probably took me longer to do.
10/01/2006 01:11:51 PM · #17
BradP, you need an LCD screen. ASAP.
If you look at your edit in an LCD, you'll see the most horrible blend of the trees into the sky.
10/01/2006 01:19:03 PM · #18
The trees on the upper right were like that - look at the original.
10/01/2006 01:20:05 PM · #19
Did look at original. They aren't like that at all. Sorry...
10/01/2006 01:21:45 PM · #20
' . substr('//users.pandora.be/eforum/emoticons4u/happy/046.gif', strrpos('//users.pandora.be/eforum/emoticons4u/happy/046.gif', '/') + 1) . '
10/01/2006 02:36:51 PM · #21
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/20236/thumb/404386.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/20236/thumb/404386.jpg', '/') + 1) . '' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/20236/thumb/402480.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/20236/thumb/402480.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Hi, if i don't like my sky, i just delete the old one and stick a new one in. It takes some time and you need to use another layer for the sky and in this case another layer for the reflection in the water. I then spend some time zoomed right in blending the land with the sky using erase, clone and heal.
10/02/2006 09:01:08 AM · #22
Originally posted by BradP:

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/19708/thumb/404344.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/19708/thumb/404344.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' to this ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/19708/thumb/404341.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/19708/thumb/404341.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
Originally posted by PSUlion01:


EXACTLY! Now, how did you go about doing it?


I used Photoshop CS2, but most any version of PS would work fine for this.
I first made a new layer via copy, then went into Image, Adjustments, Selective colors, dropped-down to Neutral, went to the bottom slider (Black) and slid it over to the right, dropping the neutral density of the whole shot. I typically go a bit too much intentionally, then after clicking OK, go up to Edit, Fade, and adjusted the amount while watching on-screen just how much I wanted, then hitting OK.
Now for the fun (and a bit tedious part). While still in the layer, I went to the eraser tool, set the opacity to 100%, and chose a sharp-edged brush. Start erasing slowly to reveal the original image before the neutral levels drop. This requires a bit of finesse and time to erase right up to the edges, (zoom in a lot) and when doing things like the buildings, the sharp-edged brush erases right to the exact pixel clicked/dragged over. I continued erasing the tower and most of the left section of the, progressively going smaller & smaller on the brush size, eventually getting down to a 1 pixel brush to erase out the foliage, trees, building details etc. Now because the sky was made so dark, the whole section of buildings on the right would have been too bright and not very realistic if erased back 100%, so I changed the opacity of the eraser tool to anout 35% and did the buildings on the right. I changed to a soft-edged brush to blend the left side bulidings with the right so it didn't leave a noticeable line, and had to drag over the merge more than once to blend it smoothly. After getting all the buildings and foreground done, I switched back to 100% opacity and a sharp-edged brush and continued with the tree line, again going as small as a 1 pixel brush to get the fine details. When done, Layers, Flatten image. I did make a minor adjustment to the brightness (-3) and upped the contrast a bit (+8), then zoomed in, selected the blur tool, chose a small (5-10) soft-edged brush, 15% strength, and cleaned up some edges and jpeg artifacts in the sky.

Told ya it was tedious.
Sounds like a lot, but remembering it and typing it out here probably took me longer to do.


Brad,

Awesome stuff... As soon as I get some time this week I'm going to take another stab at this using some of your steps above, and I'll post my attempt. Again, I really appreciate you taking the time to offer your help on this.

Originally posted by Suki:


BradP, you need an LCD screen. ASAP.
If you look at your edit in an LCD, you'll see the most horrible blend of the trees into the sky.


Suki,

I think I see what you're referring to, but I don't see how having an LCD would make things better or worse. The trees in my original shot aren't in focus, which is probably making the blend that much more difficult. As I mentioned above, I'm going to take a stab at these edits sometime this week, and I'll see what I can manage to do about that transition...Ideally I want this clean enough so I can get a decent sized print out of it...

10/02/2006 09:03:24 AM · #23
Originally posted by jimika:

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/20236/thumb/404386.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/20236/thumb/404386.jpg', '/') + 1) . '' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/20236/thumb/402480.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/20236/thumb/402480.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Hi, if i don't like my sky, i just delete the old one and stick a new one in. It takes some time and you need to use another layer for the sky and in this case another layer for the reflection in the water. I then spend some time zoomed right in blending the land with the sky using erase, clone and heal.


Dude, that's freakin' awesome. I don't know how I feel about the practice in theory (I mean, it's far from capturing the scene you originally saw), but the end result is nice. I'd be interested in seeing a tutorial written up on something like that...

-mike
10/02/2006 09:51:16 AM · #24
Mike
Another simple way to make fine adustments to your mask is to select the mask in your layers, then go to filter>other then either Maximum or Minimum i think it's maximum to increase the size of the white in your mask and pick a radius of one pixel. This will reduce the size of the black area of your mask.
Then go Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and apply a one pixel blur to the mask.
This will reduce the harsh unatural line.
Hope this helps (hope it makes sense too:)
10/02/2006 10:00:02 AM · #25
Originally posted by nixter:

Mike
Another simple way to make fine adustments to your mask is to select the mask in your layers, then go to filter>other then either Maximum or Minimum i think it's maximum to increase the size of the white in your mask and pick a radius of one pixel. This will reduce the size of the black area of your mask.
Then go Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and apply a one pixel blur to the mask.
This will reduce the harsh unatural line.
Hope this helps (hope it makes sense too:)


Yeah, actually that may be exactly what I needed. I'd been trying to fade the mask myself by changing the opacity as I got closer and closer to the treeline, but I ended up with a lot of bands, or layers of mask opacity, rather than a nice blend. I'll try the blur, as that might do the trick.

Thanks!
Pages:  
Current Server Time: 10/25/2020 07:10:06 AM

Please log in or register to post to the forums.


Home - Challenges - Community - League - Photos - Cameras - Lenses - Learn - Prints! - Help - Terms of Use - Privacy - Top ^
DPChallenge, and website content and design, Copyright © 2001-2020 Challenging Technologies, LLC.
All digital photo copyrights belong to the photographers and may not be used without permission.
Proudly hosted by Sargasso Networks. Current Server Time: 10/25/2020 07:10:06 AM EDT.