This tutorial will show you how to remove your miniatures, clean them up, and apply a new background. This is great for those pics where you need to isolate a member of a squad, or perhaps you just have an embarrassing tub of KY jelly in the background!
Photoshop Level: Intermediate
What you'll learn/use:
- The Pen Tool
- Quick Masks
- Gradient Masks
- Gradient Tool
Next, you will want to open your Layer Palette if it isn't already there. (Window > Layers or just hit F7). Double-click the Background layer and click "OK" in the dialog box that pops up. Then, press Shift+Ctrl+N to create a new layer. Click "OK" in the dialog box. Next, drag this layer (now called Layer 2) beneath Layer 1 and leave it selected.
Your layer palette should now look something like this:
Having fun yet?? It is time to get down to business. Grab your Pen Tool from the left hand tool bar, or just press the letter P on your keyboard. We are going to trace the outside edge of the model using the Pen Tool. It sounds harder than it is!
The Pen Tool works by creating anchor points each time you click a spot. When you create an anchor point, before letting go of the left mouse button, you can move the handles of the anchor to create curves. Example:
I won't lie to you, the Pen Tool takes some getting used to it, but it is the best tool for cutting out objects. Now, we are going to start cutting out the model. Each time you make an anchor point that has a curve, make sure to Alt-Click the Anchor point or else it will affect your next anchor point.
Now see, that wasn't tooooo bad. You should have something akin to this now:
With your Pen Tool still selected, right click anywhere on the line you just made (called the Path) and select [/b]Make Selection[/b].
Make sure you have Layer 1 (the layer your mini is on) selected. You need to inverse the selection by either hitting Shift+Ctrl+I or Layer > Inverse in your tool bar.
Finally, press Ctrl+X or Edit > Cut and you should be left with this:
Whew! What a job, huh? Now that we have your mini isolated from it's boring background, let's jazz him up a wee bit.
First, let's make our canvas a little bigger. Go to Image > Canvas Size and make some room beneath your model's feet.
Next, we're going to add a gradient in the background. Any color is fine, it is completely up to you. Just make sure you apply it to the Layer 2 we created at the beginning of this tutorial. The Gradient tool is located underneath the Paint Bucket in the toolbar. Second column, sixth tool down.
Click Layer 1 again and press Ctrl+J which will create an identical layer. Click back on Layer 1 again.
Now, press Ctrl+T and right click inside of the box created around your mini. Select Flip Vertical and hit Enter.
Using your Move tool (press V on the keyboard), slide this upside-down mini down as shown here:
Okay, we are going to apply a Layer Mask to Layer 1. Doing this by selecting the layer and pressing the button indicated here:
Select your Gradient Tool (pictured left) and click anywhere on the image and drag straight up. You will have to play with this a little bit to get it the exact way you want it. To undo a Gradient, just press Ctrl+Z or Edit > Undo.
Finally, I cropped my image down and added some text. You can also play with the opacity of Layer 1 for weaker/stronger effects on the reflection.
My final product:
Make sure to save two copies of this file. One in .psd format and one in jpeg or gif (for posting online). If you leave this in PSD, you can always go back and grab the model again...meaning you won't have to cut it out again!
I hope this tutorial has helped everyone. I know it is long and maybe seems a bit difficult, but once you do it a few times, it becomes second nature, trust me! Feel free to ask me any questions regarding this tutorial. And please leave C/C! Thanks.