advanced photoshop

Pro composite workflow: The perfect process

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Tips & Tutorials, by Anna-lisa Saywell

Chris Crisman reveals the commercial techniques that will ensure you get professional results

Plan the composite

Pro composite workflow: The perfect process

Always begin a composite with a clear vision. Create quick mockups of the different elements to help guide your toning and colour adjustments. An image may diverge but it always helps to start with a clear idea and an inspired visual palette when you open Photoshop.

Accurate selections

Pro composite workflow: The perfect process

Creating precise and accurate selections with the Pen Path tool makes for believable composites. Although it’s a much steeper learning curve than other selection methods, it’s the industry standard and essential for cutting out various pieces in composite images.


Pro composite workflow: The perfect process

Aside from compositing multiple pieces into one final image, consider blending and combining multiple exposures into the elements of your composite. If the dynamic range of the background is too great, use manual or HDR blending of the lights and darks.

Add drama

Pro composite workflow: The perfect process

Placing different elements of the composite at varying degrees of depth within the piece not only adds to the visual drama and complexity, but can help guide the viewer’s eye and keep them engaged in the photo, which is the key to any successful visualisation

Chris Crisman

  • gururaj

    Mind blowing super hatsoff creativity

  • kycen magoyag

    this is what we called multiplicity… (papers plane) captured in different scenes, and they edit, manually using load stuck,,, this is very tricky….the background are two, diffrent… first. without girl standing.. -then second– standing….. then edit to warm and tones…. diffrenet application can do this… photoshop 3 4 5 … and corel program…..

  • Ferhan

    Great image, useless tutorial (if you can call it that).

  • Straightforward and sensible advice.
    That could just be where I’m going wrong. I never start a project with a clear vision. I just haphazardly experiment with shapes until they eventually fall into place. I’ve yet to perfect the Pen Path tool technique.

  • great tip! thanks for share….

  • A great composition and professional work. but the scene needs more drama 🙂

  • Dick

    HERE HERE: Great image, useless tutorial (if you can call it that).

  • daniel

    here’s my tutorial on how to draw an owl.