Discover how Renju M.V. created his realistic image Hide and Seek...
In this tutorial I will be describing my approach to creating a different atmosphere, mood and lighting setup using a stock photo.
Choosing the right reference image
The toughest part of the photo-bashing method is getting the proper reference image. Most of the time I use a variety of different images according to the subject. Luckily, this time I obtained a proper reference from Shannon Hager Photography (easily found on Google).
To start the piece, I cropped the image and fit it into a landscape view, and adjusted the image to give maximum attention to the subject.
Marking the subject
After setting the canvas, it was time to mark the main subject that I would be painting later. I removed unwanted stuff from around the scene such as excess characters and parts of the background, and added some more objects to create a more balanced scene.
Extracting the subject
I used the Lasso tool to select the parts I wanted to isolate and deleted them, so that I could change the background later. The Lasso tool was great for selection purposes.
Adding a blue tint
I used a light blue-filled layer in Blending mode > Color to get rid of the vibrant colors in the photo and give the scene a cooler atmosphere.
I duplicated the same layer, darkened it slightly and put it in Multiply mode to make it easy to read the silhouettes better. There was also an advantage to starting the lighting from a darker space, especially when it came to dramatic lighting.
Working on the background
The first thing to keep in mind when doing the background of your photo-bash is the balance between the source image and the background that you are about to add. The basic things you should keep in mind are:
- Perspective – You can't really change the perspective of your foreground, especially when you have characters in them, so be clever and choose/manipulate a background image to match your foreground.
- Subject – This was a fairly easy task because the main attention point was the children playing in the foreground, so the focus is already set. For the background, I also added some trees and vegetation that matched with the existing foreground ones.
- Lighting – Matching the lighting of both the background and foreground is a must. As this is a forest location, it was hard to have a hard light source. Lights filtered through the trees created nice rims and gave a mystique feel to the composition.
At this point I also changed the face of the little girl because it could be a distraction when she stares at the camera. It added a bit more focus to the subject too.