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Jake,Ryan different photo/background


Cindy Young
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Damien, Christina, Samantha, anyone?

I need to extend/replace the background at the top of this photo.  I do have a photo of the background by itself which is very close to the same tint.  I'd like to retain the tiny bit of hair on dad and I know it has to do with File/Place and SmartObject.  I've been using the Sky Replacement tutorial, but not having much luck.  Any help will be much appreciated.DSC02085.jpg

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I have clicked back on the mask, but I just don't understand "I began by using the gradient tool on the mask."  Do I click on the gradient tool in my tools palette, or on the gradient under Adjustments?  If only one of you Admins were sitting next to me!!

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I figure that it must be the gradient tool in my tools palette, but I do not get a window that adjusts the degrees or check or uncheck Dither/Align with layer. This is what I see on my gradient: 

Screenshot 2016-05-27 08.17.40.png

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Well, I'm getting closer because I figured out I need to use the gradient by clicking on the black/white circle at the bottom of my layers panel.  Now, to figure out how to get the color I need.  Right now, I have turned my background to orange.  I will continue studying.

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Oh, my goodness!!  I CANNOT get this and I know it is probably simple.  Here's what I have so far:  

I'm really clueless.  I think I have the eyedropper figured out.  And have watched the video at the end of the gradient layer tute.  Sure wish I could get this.

Screenshot 2016-05-27 10.26.12.png

Screenshot 2016-05-27 10.26.26.png

Screenshot 2016-05-27 10.26.36.png

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Cindy, deep breaths. :)

It looks like you're mashing together the two steps Damien suggested that you take.  FIRST do the eyedropper step, using the tutorial with the levels layer, to get the dark side roughly matching the light side.  THEN use a gradient layer to replace the background.

When you're doing the levels layer, you use the gradient tool (from your tool bar) directly on the MASK of the levels layer.  Don't add a whole separate gradient layer!  Look at the MASK on the levels layer in these two screenshots from that tutorial:

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 3.49.56 PM.png

See how the mask itself has the gradient on it, and then the gradient-ed mask is further masked off of the subject?  No separate gradient fill layers were added.  It's all on the mask of the levels layer itself.

Go sloooooooooooooooowly through the tutorials.  Pay attention to each screenshot, looking at whether Damien has added a new layer or instead done something to the existing layer masks.  It's all there in great detail, I promise!

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OK, I am getting closer.  How do I get the gradient to cover all of the bar across the top?  Did I have my degrees wrong when I selected the gradient?  Was I supposed to click on the bar for my dark color?  I clicked on two different colors on the seamless background paper. I still don't know how to get the gradient ON the levels layer itself instead of on a separate layer.Screenshot 2016-05-27 19.02.14.png 

Screenshot 2016-05-27 19.02.29.png

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Cindy, it's not a separate gradient layer at all.  So delete that entirely.  Click on the mask on the levels layer, and select your gradient tool from your toolbar.  You can use gradients, paint buckets, etc. as well as the brush tool on a mask.  You want to have a gradient going on the mask itself.

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OK, Christina, I will click on the levels mask and add the gradient from the tool bar.  BUT, how do I get all of the "angle, scale, dither, align with layer" info if I use the gradient tool from the tool bar???  I'm sorry I'm so dense, but the fog is clearing somewhat.

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OK, so do you see how the Lara tutorial says nothing at all about angle, scale, dither, etc.?  You're confusing the two tutorials.

The Lara tutorial is simply about getting the dark bit of your wall background as light as the light bit.  In some photos, the best way to do that would be a gradual fade, which is why you'd use the gradient TOOL directly on the layer mask of your levels layer.

If you download Damien's PSD file, you'll see that the gradient isn't actually necessary for your photo.  Turn off the color fill layer, and then turn the levels layer on and off to see what it is you're trying to achieve in this "Lara tutorial" step.

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7 minutes ago, Cindy Young said:

Christina, I'm trying to mask the dark area of the photo, but it only darkens it.  Do I use Quick mask?

No, it's a simple mask.  (And Quick Mask is just a different way of creating the same simple mask.)  The levels layer itself should be making everything crazy bright -- check to make sure your levels settings are the same as the ones in Damien's PSD file.  Then make sure you're clicking ON THE MASK before you try masking anything on or off.

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Here's what I am doing:  

1.  Levels layer; 2. Click on levels icon; 3. Double click on white eyedropper; 4. Choose a light part of the background; 5. Choose a dark color from the backdrop**should this be the dark color of the wall behind the backdrop?**; 6. Click on Levels mask; 7. Choose gradient TOOL from the TOOL Bar on left; 8. Draw line on photo with Gradient Tool, but almost NOTHING happens.  Where am I going wrong?

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