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October 26, 2012
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Blending: Tips and Tricks

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 3:40 PM
Hello again :wave:

In conjunction with our blending article we interviewed several fellow photomanipulators to get you the scoop on some tips and tricks when it comes to blending. Thanks again to the amazing artists who agreed to the interview, we appreciate you sharing your knowledge! This was a 3 part interview series, if you're interested in the other two links are included at the bottom of this article =)







Q: What is your overall process for blending and integrating different elements/stocks into your works?

A: I usually start by looking for stock with similar light sources. Then I add a color balance adjustment and possibly a curve adjustment to to get the colors to blend in well.  My final step would be using the the dodge tool to add extra lighting or use a clipping mask and paint it in.

Q: Did you ever find blending difficult and if so, what did you do to improve and get better?

A: Yes :) I struggled with it a lot in the beginning. Trial and error is how I got to be comfortable with it.  There's a lot of different methods out there on how to blend, and I think you just need to find a process that works for you. DA has a lot of good tutorials on blending also.

Q: Do you have any tips or tricks for someone who may be struggling with blending? Any specific tutorials that helped you out when you were learning?

A:When I first started photomanips I was on a site called worth1000.com... I think I must have followed all their tutorials! Just about every single one of them have to do with blending :) my favorite is this lighting tutorial www.worth1000.com/tutorials/16… it's excellent

:star:Member question from Enlal
Q:How can you make the main focus of a work be on the model without causing him/her to seem separate from the rest of the work.

A:If you follow the rule of thirds and place the character well it will be the main focus... Dramatic lighting or even correct lighting will help as well. Adding depth will also help, you can do that by blurring different elements at different amounts, leaving the main subject in the clearest view.

:star:Member question from Horse-Dreamer
Q: What's the best way to blend feet/ the bottom of clothing into the ground/grass?

A: I think the most important part would be using correct shadows.... Poorly placed shadows will make your model look pasted on or look floating. And a lack of shadows will will be obvious. Make sure to not only add shadows to the ground but also to the model as well... Following the lighting for the background.




SunShine N Rainbows by JennLaa  A Mermaid's Wish by JennLaa  Morning Dew by JennLaa









Q: What is your overall process for blending and integrating different elements/stocks into your works?

A: I adjust colors and contrast/luminosity of each layer, grouping them depending on their blending mode and position, and then I add general adjustments to whole sets of groups, such color overlays and so on. Less often I just play around with opacity and layer styles.

Q: Did you ever find blending difficult and if so, what did you do to improve and get better?

A: At times it can prove to be challenging when I'm dealing with complex objects which require mixed transparency, such as glass for example, or images with strong lighting. There's no direct way to get better at this - you just have to skim through guides on various topics such as masking, and even unrelated subjects such as coloring photos or icons (these are very helpful at times!). Of course it's best to just avoid problematic images and think outside the box; instead of glass photostock one could easily try looking for a 3D render that already comes rendered or with alpha channel.

Q: Do you have any tips or tricks for someone who may be struggling with blending? Any specific tutorials that helped you out when you were learning?

A: I think it might be a good start to try finding tutorials for gfx-style media such as flyers or signatures. They are much more numerous than ones for photomanipulation and they give a good insight on how to blend images of different styles, like C4Ds and sprites. Trust me, it helps. Other than that I'd say that color and lighting are the key elements of making piece look natural; to make it work it's good to read some guide about lighting and color, just to understand how it works. Then you just have apply that knowledge - determine the source of light, interaction between objects and so forth. kuschelirmel-stock really covers most essential tricks in her tutorials.

:star:Member question from Enlal
Q: How can you make the main focus of a work be on the model without causing him/her to seem separate from the rest of the work.

A: The most crucial thing is to simply make it interact with surroundings. Make it cast shadow on the ground or reflection on the water for example; if it's a reflective surface - make it reflect light. When proper attention is brought to these interactions of model and background and other objects, the copy/paste effect is significantly reduced. Another thing to mind is composition/balance/unity. If you want main focus on the model then make sure other objects do not steal attention with overly large size or centered position. For that you should mind perspective and distance between objects: it doesn't have to be precise but it's got to be believable.

:star:Member question from Horse-Dreamer
Q: What's the best way to blend feet/ the bottom of clothing into the ground/grass?

A: Paint grass/soil on a separate layer over feet/dress. Sample grass/ground color and brush over where it's needed; you can even set your brush to create texture for ground. You might also try grass brushes that are already installed in Photoshop or download custom ones.




Nemesis by zummerfish    Yin by zummerfish


:star: zummerfish also has some wonderful tutorials here zummerfish.deviantart.com/gall…




View Part 2 of Blending Tips and Tricks  here fav.me/d5gfgka and special interview on masking with the lovely Dani-Owergoor here fav.me/d5gs1ch .  Masking is an important part of blending =) 



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:iconcazcastalla:
cazcastalla Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2012
Some great tips in these interviews - I have looked around worth1000.com before, but never realised there were tutorials on there.

Thanks for the time and effort from all involved here :huggle: :dance:
Reply
:iconscatteredashe:
ScatteredAshe Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're very welcome, I'm glad you found it helpful =D

:hug:
Reply
:iconenlal:
Enlal Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Fantastic interviews! :wow: Thanks =ivy-ashe for taking the time on doing them. Very much appreciated :)
Reply
:iconscatteredashe:
ScatteredAshe Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're welcome, I'm glad they're appreciated!=D
Reply
:iconinner-outsider:
inner-outsider Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Really great interview *has even more reading to do* Thank you!
Reply
:iconscatteredashe:
ScatteredAshe Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:aw: Thank you, Sara!
Reply
:iconamberfaii-cat:
AmberfaII-Cat Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awesome!
Reply
:iconscatteredashe:
ScatteredAshe Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm glad you enjoyed the interviews! =D
Reply
:iconsweediesart:
SweediesArt Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:clap:
Reply
:iconscatteredashe:
ScatteredAshe Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you, Karin! =)
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