Tutorial: How to composite an illustration with a photo in Photoshop

By June 4, 2015 Tutorials No Comments

Most people starting out in Photoshop will always want to composite photos to create a surreal or fantasy world. And most beginners always fear combining photos because it’s hard to make very different images look like they are really in the same shot. Even more frightening is the thought of combining an illustration with a photo, because they are totally different media.

I personally overcame this fear when I finally came to the realisation that a pixel is a pixel, no matter where that pixel came from. And there’s absolutely no reason why, in an application like Photoshop, we can’t make all these pixels look good together!

So hopefully, this beginner’s tutorial shows just how quick and easy it is to do something like this. With more practice and effort, it can obviously be improved. And with more advanced techniques like Smart Objects we can definitely benefit from a non-destructive workflow. But for a start, I believe this video provides a very non-threatening overview for anyone just getting into compositing in Photoshop.

This very short demonstration is in no way meant as a replacement for reading the Photoshop manual, and going to the Help menu, so please use those as your primary learning resource. I’ve also found many fantastic video tutorials at Lynda.com and Adobe TV.

I can’t emphasise enough that compositing is more than just knowing software techniques, and which buttons to push. It’s an art. And it requires the artist behind it to develop the sensitivity to light and shadow, perspective and anatomy. As you get better at these things, together with software proficiency, you become a better digital artist.

Please post your questions and comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

About Andrew

Founder/Creative Director of Mustard Seed Creative. Andrew has been 'practicing' as a creative professional since 1992 and 'preaching' as an educator since 2004.

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