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Before I go any further with this edit, can you take a look at my sky replacement?  When I applied the gradient to the sky layer, and then masked it off of my subject, I sometimes ended up with white borders/halos.  I tried to address them by lowering the opacity on my brush, and re-painting over them, but due to the gradient I sometimes ended up with obvious brush strokes because the opacity was different.  I'm concerned that if I sharpen this image with the intent to print it, errors will become more apparent.  So, I'd love any feedback.

Follow on question... by following your tut on sky replacement and putting in a solid white fill layer, I lost the cracked back truck window.  Is it an all or nothing thing, or is there someway I could bring back the crack?

 Last question on this one... should I even be bothering with a sky replacement on this image?  I'm okay with the clouds as they are, but I'd really like them to have warmer sunset tones.  So, should I just leave them as they are and then dip into your magic bag of tricks to make their color better instead of swapping them entirely?

20170917_22947-sky swap.jpg

20170917_22947-soor.jpg

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I've never used gradients before and found them less than intuitive.  I think I dragged it the opposite way (top down), but the dark part was still on the bottom, so I figured it was okay?  It was gray though, not black as you had in your example.

20170917_22947-screen shot.jpg

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7 minutes ago, Ginger Wick said:

I've never used gradients before and found them less than intuitive.  I think I dragged it the opposite way (top down), but the dark part was still on the bottom, so I figured it was okay?  It was gray though, not black as you had in your example.

Then something is badly wrong.  Can you select your gradient tool and take another screenshot to show me, so I can check your settings?

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It looks like my gradient tool opacity was set to 72% instead of 100%.  That seemed to fix the gray not black issue.  And I may have toggled the "reverse" button at some point, for the top down issue.  I created a new layer, and dragged up from the bottom on this screen shot.

20170917_22947-screen shot2.jpg

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5 hours ago, Ginger Wick said:

Before I go any further with this edit, can you take a look at my sky replacement?  When I applied the gradient to the sky layer, and then masked it off of my subject, I sometimes ended up with white borders/halos.  I tried to address them by lowering the opacity on my brush, and re-painting over them, but due to the gradient I sometimes ended up with obvious brush strokes because the opacity was different.  I'm concerned that if I sharpen this image with the intent to print it, errors will become more apparent.  So, I'd love any feedback.

Follow on question... by following your tut on sky replacement and putting in a solid white fill layer, I lost the cracked back truck window.  Is it an all or nothing thing, or is there someway I could bring back the crack?

The trick to this is so easy you'll fall of your chair :)

First, mask the entire sky with your brush.  Ignore the gradient for now.  Use the brush to fill in the entire sky, in the windows of the truck, along the horizon as accurately as possible.

THEN, put the layer in a layer group by hitting Ctrl G.  Add a mask to the group, and put the gradient on THAT mask.

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7 hours ago, Ginger Wick said:

Last question on this one... should I even be bothering with a sky replacement on this image?  I'm okay with the clouds as they are, but I'd really like them to have warmer sunset tones.  So, should I just leave them as they are and then dip into your magic bag of tricks to make their color better instead of swapping them entirely?

Yeah, I like the idea of a sky swap here.  Just make sure you don't let the replacement sky be too dark, or it won't be credible.

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Unrelated question... I like level horizons.  However, this truck was parked at an angle on a hill.  If I correct the horizon in this image everything will feel off balance.  Do you have tricks to fake it?  (I probably should have addressed it before the sky swap.)

 

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11 minutes ago, Ginger Wick said:

Like so?

20170917_22947-screen shot3.jpg

Exactly like so, yes.  Now brighten the sky (add a Levels layer inside the group, above the sky layer).

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7 minutes ago, Ginger Wick said:

Unrelated question... I like level horizons.  However, this truck was parked at an angle on a hill.  If I correct the horizon in this image everything will feel off balance.  Do you have tricks to fake it?  (I probably should have addressed it before the sky swap.)

It's very easy, but yes, you're right, you should have asked it first.

You simply duplicate the Background layer, the turn on grids and Ctrl T to get the transform handles, and rotate until the horizon is straight.

Then add a new blank layer and clone in the sides of the truck a bit:

clonetruck.thumb.jpg.2b7b28a0d68dce1671e77a5004f80bb5.jpg

Then group those two layers (the rotated layer and the clone layer) and again, add a black mask to the group.  Paint white to reveal the new straight horizon:

truckstraight.thumb.jpg.2780c37e64ce2404c675577a176b7623.jpg

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