View Full Version : The Making of I'm Already Home

04-29-2009, 04:56 PM
I thought I would try something new and hopefully fun. Since I have had a lot of people ask how we create some of these, I thought I would do it here for you to watch the progression of this photograph. To keep things easier to follow, as I add things to this post, I will do it via editing this part of the thread so you don't have to scroll through the entire post to see how it was done.

So.. Let’s get started.


First here (http://www.deviantdonkey.info/v1/projects/if_your_reading_this/im-already-home-web.jpg) is the image as it sits today. This image will be updated as I add/remove or change components of the picture.


As usual I start with my background Image. In this case I took 3 pictures (28mm, ISO 200, 1/1000 @f4) and stitched them together to make 1 large 7008X3504 Image.


Once they are all stitched together via Photoshop you end up with this image (Less the branches I cloned out as soon as the background was stitched together)


Next the background needs a little work. First its way too vast for what I was looking for and needed something to break it up. So I took this picture from down the road and cut out the fence line in PS using the polygonal lasso tool.



I then pasted the fence into the background as a new layer and ran Fluid Mask in it to pull it out from the background, leaving the longer grass at the bottom.

Next job was to make the sky more dramatic which was done by duplicating the background layer, and then burning the sky in more. Once that was done a layer mask was used to mask out the lower portion of the Image. So at this point I now have a basic background. It will probably get more cleanup as the image progresses, but I am going to leave it as is for now, until more items are added. My reason for this is as you add things you will start to notice other things in the background that will need to be added, removed or changed as far as lightness, contrast etc goes. So best not to waste your time for now on the little things. I did however replace most of the grass as I wanted grass and the original field looked like it was prepped to be seaded with something.

So at this point here was what we have.


04-30-2009, 01:58 AM
Interesting stuff Jello! Thanks for showing us this.

04-30-2009, 10:04 AM
This is extremely cool and extremely educational. Thanks so much for sharing and looking forward to further progress on this shot!

04-30-2009, 10:28 AM

Now that I have my Background at a good starting point, its time to start adding elements to the picture. First since this was meant to be a more somber piece, an overall adjustment photo filter layer is made using the number 82 cooling filter. This layer will be one of the top layers so its applied to everything below it. Next its time to add the first grave marker. I started with this picture which I took the same day as the background image. Then using the Polygon Lasso tool I cut it out from the background. Once it was cut out from the background it is then pasted into the background as a new layer. Once that is one and before anything else I convert the layer to a smart object.


So at this point We now have a background with the first element a grave marker. The grave looks a unnatural at this point due to color balance, but we will fix that later.


Next we need to add some grass around the grave to better mix it in. This will initially be just a rough in with the grass. I will possibly smooth it out later, but I tend to cleanup things like this much later in the process since I may end up putting something in front of it which would mask the grass anyways.


So at this point, this is what we have.


Also since the end process which makes it somewhat "Cartoony" can really mess with things and becuase the picture looks completely different from what we are working on now, I will run the final process on the image as I go along just to be sure I haven't done anything that looks really bad. So, here is what the final image would look like if I stopped here.


04-30-2009, 02:15 PM
I am already realizing that my background isn't going to be wide enough to give the feeling of isolation I was looking for, so its time to make it wider.
The easiest way to do this is to cheat. First step is to make the camvas wider, so I doubled it's width. I know this is too wide, but I can crop it later. I made the added section blue only so you could see it as its white on my screen.


Now to fill in the blank portion of the image. This is actually a pretty straight forward process. I select the background layer and using the rectangular Markee Tool, I selected this portion on the image.


I then copy and past that portion into a new layer just about the background. Once I have that I flip it horizontally and align it with the rest of the background. I then paste it in again so I added the section in twice once flipped and once just as I copied it.

This method works well, except you can see in the grass and clouds the replication so we will clone that portion out to make it look more natural and to cover up our copy and paste. This is one of the rare times I flatten things, so first I merge or flatten the 3 background layers I now have into 1 layer. Once that is done, I start to clone out the funny looking stuff. So here's the before and after



04-30-2009, 02:45 PM
Now that I have it wide enough its starting to be too panoramic so I will add some space to the top and the bottom of the image using the same methods as I did to make the image wider. In general for images like this, I tend to pick the infinity point of the image or where the mountains meet the sky in the middle of the picture while editing, This layout will probably change and cropped smaller, but this way at least until I get further along, I shouldn't have to make anything bigger again... We Hope..

So here is what we have now, and the test with the final process which I ALWAYS do after a copy/paste/clone process just to check things.



And this is a prime example why.. The sky looked cool until I did this, now it just looks silly. I'm headed out of town for a few days on assignment so you probably won't see much in the way of updates to this image until Monday. Monday we'll start with the stupid looking sky.