1.16.2014

Relocating People

Relocating~Part 1
So now you can add objects into pictures using a layer mask, what next? Well, how about learning how to move something from location and making it look natural in another? Hope so because that is the lesson.

For the most part you can use this to change the location where people are located. Previously you learned how to add someone into a post who went from one location to the exact same location... How about adding people into places they may not have been or have seen, especially when the background image needs to be separated to make the image look right? To show you how to do this, I will be using a picture that I took for a friend of the family's wedding, and a picture that I had taken at Disney World.

Your first step after opening both images is going to be to select the people that are going to be relocated. The best way to select them is going to be to use either the lasso tool or the pen tool. I am going to be using the lasso tool, shown below.

Using the lasso tool, draw around the people you are planning on relocating to another location and when you have finished selecting them, you should see the ‘marching ants’ around your selection.

Once the people are selected, your next step will be to use the refine edge to clean the image up slightly. To refine the edge, right click inside of the selection and choose refine edge from the menu that pops up.

After you right click and select refine edge, a new window will open for you to set how you are going to refine the edge. There are no specific settings as each picture is different.

After refining the edge, copy with ctrl c (on a mac it is cmnd c) and then hit ctrl v (on a mac it is cmnd v). The result of refining the edge will be something similar to this, except your background may not be transparent.

As you can see, using refine edge does not always get everything you want it to. The quick fix is to select the eraser and erase what you do not want. Instead of showing you as I erase the extra along the edges, I will just show you the cleaned version below.

Now that the people are cleaned up, you will need to copy them using ctrl c (on a mac use cmnd c) and then paste them onto the background you wish by using ctrl v (on a mac use cmnd v). Before you do that though, make sure the background is the way you want it to look because it is harder to edit the backgrounds shape once you add other things to it. For this picture I am going to crop the background to center it off more and to get the castle to be pointing directly up.

Since the castle is now cropped the way I want it to be, it is time to place the people on it.

As you may have noticed from the previous pictures, the couple has been flipped to look in the other direction. The reason is that the way the background is oriented, they looked oddly positioned. To flip the people go up to the top menu and select Edit and then when the menu opens up choose Transform and finally, select Flip Horizontal.

These next few steps are going to be the most important, because now we have to put the two pictures together to make them look realistic. To do this we will need to separate the background and slip them into it correctly.

Now, if you want to really spend the time, you could actually split the picture into two pieces... but to be honest, that will take a lot of effort. A simpler way is to layer the image of the couple as if you were going to make a sandwich with the layers. To do this we need to figure out where we want the people. For this picture, it would look best to have them behind the balcony, in the one part that seems to bubble out. First you are going to line the people up where you are going to want them, but don’t worry about it too much. This is only to get it set right and you can always make corrections afterwards.

Now, instead of cutting the picture of the castle into two pieces, or trying to erase enough of the couple to make the picture look right, we are going to make a new layer. Before you create the layer, your best bet would be to temporarily hide the couple. To hide them, look over to where the layers list is and hit the box next to the couple and ensure that the box is empty and does not have an icon of an eye.

You are going to select the lasso or pen tool once again and selecting just the balcony, up until you hit the windows. It does not have the be perfect because we can clean it up after. Once you have selected the balcony, hit ctrl c (or cmnd c on a mac) and then simply hit ctrl v (or cmnd v on a mac) to paste it overtop of the couple and the background.

If it is not the top layer, simply click on the layer in the list and drag it up to the top. As you can see, the top part of the balcony also came with a part of the castle wall. The easiest way to remove it is to use the eraser and starting at one edge, click the edge just above the balcony, so the bottom of the eraser is touching the balcony. Next you are going to hold down the shift key and, while holding the key down, click up until the balcony starts to curve. Holding the shift key will keep the eraser moving in a straight line, instead of trying to erase in a straight line. Going around the curve you will just need to take it slowly as you erase. Once you get back onto the straight edge, you can again hold the shift key to keep the eraser going in one line. After you separate the balcony from the background, you can use the eraser to just erase anything that was leftover and unwanted.

What you may have noticed is that the color also changed. I increased the contrast as well as darkened the brightness to give the balcony a slight deeper feeling of depth now that there is going to be something behind it.

The final steps now that you have the balcony separated, are to check that the couple lines up behind it correctly and to make any color adjustments that may need to be made to the other parts of the image. Below is the final image.

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