Friday, December 24, 2010

Taking It One Step Further

I got a kick out of what I did the other day with the Rectangular to Polar Filter (Filter/Distort/Polar Coordinates) so I thought I’d try another one and take it up a notch.  Rather than an orb floating in the blackness of space I thought I might “put it somewhere”.  I didn’t have any “file photo” I could tap into, so I had to find something to shoot.  The list on components that make up today’s image would be a long one.  It started out as a five shot panorama that got spun around into a rather oval polar Image of the original pano.  Some Free Transform (Ctrl T) action pushed it into a round configuration.  In order to get a perfect circle the Elliptical Marquee Tool (M) was used holding the Shift key down to constrain it to a circular configuration.  The Space Bar was added to move the selection around before committing it.  The Selection was then Inversed (Ctrl Shift I) and the outside Filled (Shift F5) with black.  The Free Transform applet was used again to turn the circle so the church wound up at a twelve o’clock position.  In order to spin it, more real estate had to be added around the circle using Canvas Size (Image/Canvas Size) with the Relative check box selected.  The result was Saved (File/Save) and the image Closed (File/Close).  It automatically saved an edited copy in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.3.  The blue in the sky was adjusted in the HSL (Hue/Saturation/Luminance) Panel in the Develop Module.  The adjusted image was brought back into Adobe Photoshop CS5 for further “enhancements”.  An Inner Glow (double click on the Layer indicator in the Layers Panel) was applied to the globe to give the appearance of glass.  All that was for the globe only.  To learn what else was added to complete the image. Hit the “read more”.
A snow globe typically has a base. I shot the base of a lamp in the studio just outside the computer area. After downloading the image the base was selected using the Quick Selection Tool (W). The Lasso Tool (L) was used to cut the torso of the lamp from the base. The ring the globe sits in was made by copying the top ring of the base and using the Free Transform Tool in the Warp mode to “warp” the ring around the bottom of the globe, making the globe appear to sit “in” the base.

At this point I had a “snow globe” floating in black space. Not very realistic. A background was selected almost at random. It was just a woods scene and it wouldn’t be obtrusive. Using a Mask of the snow globe the woods scene replaced the stark black. Now there was a snow globe floating in the forest. Since not very convincing. Someone needed to be holding the snow globe.

I asked my better half to stick her hand out and I took three shots to have a minimal choice. A little masking resulted in the snow globe appearing to rest in her hand.

What’s a snow globe without some snow? The snow was produced by adding another Layer and filling it with white. Then some Noise was introduced (Filter/Noise/Add Noise) to give a grainy effect. A Levels Adjustment Layer was added and the left slider brought almost all the way over to the right. This gave a small number “flakes”. The Blend Mode was changed to Hard Light and the globe’s Mask applied to contain the flakes to the inside of the globe.

That’s the story. From Panorame to snow globe in about thirty “easy” steps.