3 photos of my daughter into one image with photoshop?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by benny420, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. benny420
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    benny420 New Member

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    Tried doing a bunch of different google searches, but can't seem to find a tutorial for what I want to do....

    I'm planning on shooting the family X-Mas card tomorrow and need some help. I want to set up my tripod and capture my daughter doing different things from the same vantage point with the hope of getting three good shots and then merging them into one photo with photoshop. I'm an absolute photoshop n00b (basically only used it for some HDR shots and to create my watermark) but feel that if I shoot from a static spot and get the image without her in it and then 3 others, I could use the layers to stack the images?

    Any resources you could direct me towards to make this as simple as possible? I know once we get done shooting the pics, my wife will expect to be printing them a few minutes later and I don't want to deal with her nagging....


    Thanks in advance for any help that can be provided
  2. Buckster
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    Buckster Well-Known Member

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  3. dakkon76
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    dakkon76 New Member

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    So you want them stacked on top of each other? I assume you've seen what the end result usually looks like? It isn't good. It would be better to have them beside each other, so you can see the action unfolding... would look much less cluttered.

    If you truly want to stack them, then all you need to do is have 3 layers, one photo on each layer... then decrease the opacity of each layer, in this case to about 33%. I believe that's the easiest way to do it, although I've never done it... and I don't think you should either :)
  4. MLeeK
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    MLeeK New Member

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    1. make sure your camera does not move at all
    2. make sure you are in manual mode-you don't want your camera to accidentally meter differently in the different shots.
    3. Shoot the images either in controlled light (not where the sun will be setting or the clouds may change....) Or shoot them in a relatively quick sequence so that the light doesn't change.
    4. Editing: Tweak the raw images exactly the same if you are using raw.
    5. Open them all up in one document in photoshop as layers, auto aligned
    6. Mask each layer so that the child shows thru to the top layer in all of the different positions.
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  5. Big Mike
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    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    Yes, the key to this will be layers. (probably the most powerful tool/aspect of photoshop).

    In a nutshell; you will want to get all three images into one file, as separate layers. You can do this via cut & paste or just drag & drop. Then you can 'erase' the parts of the top layers that you don't want (everything but your daughter). That's really, all there is to it.
    But, I certainly don't recommend actually erasing anything. Instead, use layer masks. A layer mask can be used to hide parts of a layer, letting the layers below, show through.

    So once you have the layers in place, you need to make the mask. I'd start by selecting your daughter. There are various ways to select something....lasso, magic wand, selection brush, regular brush (in quick mask mode), color range, channels etc. The list goes on. The key to having the final image looking good, will be careful attention to detail on the edge of your selection/mask. Once you have your selection, you can click on the mask button in the layers palette. That will give you your mask. From there, you can select the mask and 'paint' it on or off by using a black or white brush.
    Repeat for the other layer and that's it.

    If you need to do this in more than one sitting, save the file as a PSD to keep the layers intact. When you're done, flatten the image and save a copy as a JPEG (or just save-as JPEG, it will make a copy).

    This type of thing is very common in Photoshop. To help your search for tutorials, search 'Masking', 'Layer Masking', 'Extracting', 'Photoshop Selection'. and so on.
  6. GooniesNeverSayDie11
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    GooniesNeverSayDie11 Well-Known Member

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    Its referred to as a "composite" although that encompasses other types of shots as well. If the camera doesn't move and the exposures are the same, hold shift when you drag the seperate image files on top of one another so that photoshop will align them. Since the backgrounds are the same, there shouldn't be too much need to do a perfect mask. If shooting RAW, I wouldn't adjust anything except Noise Reduction in AdobeCameraRaw. Just roughly erase the top layer (or make a mask ) to reveal your daughter on the second layer, and so on. If the three images of her overlap or share objects, etc. then it becomes a bit more intricate. Once you have the composite, then you can flatten the image and then begin adjustments on thef final composite image.
  7. Buckster
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    Buckster Well-Known Member

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    Everything about this is wrong, and should be ignored, except the part where he says he's never done it and doesn't think you should either.
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  8. dakkon76
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    dakkon76 New Member

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    Perhaps you can show me an example of one that's done well, then? I'd love to see a composite of 3 images where the person is doing a jumping jack, so I can see their hands in 3 different positions... This just screams class.

    A bracketed shot of a bird diving for a fish, where it's not stacked ON TOP of itself... now there you may have something... but since when is stacking a subject on top of itself a good look? Please, show me...
  9. Buckster
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    Buckster Well-Known Member

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    First, that can be done pretty easily with masking techniques, but not at all by the means you advised of reducing opacity of each layer to 33%. That was bad advice. Sorry if that hurts your feelings, but it's the truth.

    That said, what you describe for the shot (jumping jacks) is not what he said he wants to do. Read it carefully. He says he wants to capture multiple images of his daughter from the same vantage point. A vantage point is where the viewer is; where the camera is. It doesn't even imply that the daughter stays in the same spot for 3 different poses. There's no reason to think he's not talking about a simple composite, like the same person sitting or standing or posing in different places in the same room. That's a fairly common thing, easily accomplished by means of well-established techniques. There's no guesswork here for those of us familiar with those techniques.

    In both cases, jumping jacks or the regular composite type shot, it's done with masking techniques, ALWAYS, not layer opacity adjustments, EVER.

    Again, not to hurt your feelings, but your answer demonstrated that you obviously don't have any idea at all what you're talking about on this subject, and should not be giving out advice. My advice to you then is this: When you don't know something, sit tight, wait for someone who does know the answer to respond, and learn something in the process. If you think you know the answer and it turns out you were wrong, accept it and move on, again, learning something from it.

    I stand by my initial assessment: Your advice was bad advice, and should be ignored.

    You're the only one in the thread who said anything about stacking the subject. But even at that, if the goal was to show her with 4 or 6 arms by stacking those images of her all standing and posing in the same spot, it's not a difficult task to accomplish with masking techniques. That's how you make images like this:

    http://listicles.thelmagazine.com/wp-content/upload/eightarmdj.jpg
  10. jake337
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    jake337 Well-Known Member

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    I believe the OP is looking for something like these but with his daughter and a christmas theme.

    http://ryanwatkinsphotography.com/wp-content/gallery/blog-gallery/trisha-composite-alternativ.jpg

    http://www.poeticimageryphotography.com/wp-content/gallery/zoetigraph/vertical-composite-bw.jpg
  11. Buckster
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    Buckster Well-Known Member

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    This tutorial is pretty straightforward:



    She's working in PS Elements 9, but it's essentially the same technique, regardless of the editing program.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2014
  12. DiskoJoe
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    DiskoJoe New Member

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    GOOGLE: HOW TO MAKE A TRIPTYCH
  13. openingshok
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    openingshok New Member

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