Using Perspective and Vanishing Point To Create Amazing Composites In Photoshop

Using Perspective and Vanishing Point To Create Amazing Composites In Photoshop

August 17, 2019 100 By Peter Engel


Hey guys! Welcome to another very exciting
tutorial, here at the PhotoshopTrainingChannel.com. My name is Jesus Ramirez and you can find
me on Twitter @JRfromPTC. In today’s tutorial, we’ll be learning what
is perhaps the most important thing when it comes to compositing images together, and
that is perspective. What I’m going to teach you today will probably make you a way better
Photoshop user. Your composites will look much more realistic, and you’ll know exactly
what types of images you’ll need to complete a great composite. But before we go any further,
I will like to announce that I was recently invited to become one of the admins at the
Photoshop and Lightroom group on Facebook. The group is a large community of Photoshop
users that share their work and their knowledge, and I would highly recommend you checking
it out. Actually, today’s composition comes from another
group admin, Karen, who is nice enough to let us use her images for this tutorial. I
noticed one of Karen’s posts in the Photoshop and Lightroom group—this post here—and
it’s a post that she posted up of this image of a man walking in front of two women in
this field with a sunset, and Karen asked people to give constructive criticism, and
as you can see, people were giving their thoughts on proportion and different other things.
Karen thought that resizing would solve the problem, and I, actually, made a comment down
here, telling her to use the horizon line and vanishing points to set up the perspective,
and, actually, thought about while I wrote the comment that it might have been a little
too confusing just explaining it in a couple of lines. So I actually said that I would
probably make a video on it, and right after I wrote it, I decided to make the video because
I think it’s something that a lot of people will benefit from; learning how to put images
together from multiple sources, to have a cohesive perspective, and making things look
right. So this is what this training video is all
about–perspective. You can get pretty much everything right—lighting, color, shadows
and extractions—but if the perspective is off, your viewer will know something is not
right. They might not know exactly what it is, but they’ll know something is wrong. And
don’t feel too bad if you’re making these perspective mistakes. I’ve seen movie posters
and advertisements that are just horrible when it comes to perspective. So, even some
pros have problems with putting together multiple images from different sources. But anyway,
let’s get started with this tutorial. This is Karen’s image here, and as you can
see, it’s composed of this background group, which contains this field, sun, house, this
brick pathway, and this tree here on the side. And the other part of the composition is the
people, here, which is the man and the two women. Now, if you’ll look at this image as
a whole, you might be able to spot several things don’t look right to your eye, but the
only thing we’re going to focus on this tutorial is the perspective, and you’ll see that just
by fixing the perspective, things are just going to look so much better. So, how do we
fix the perspective of this particular image, or any other image? Well, let’s first talk
about horizon lines and vanishing points. Now, this is a one-point perspective illustration,
and the vanishing point is right here in the middle and what that means is that all the
lines in the image end up in this vanishing point. The vanishing point is located on the
horizon line. So, let me show you how that looks in a photo. So, there’s a photo here of a tunnel with
barrels. All the lines in the image end up in the same vanishing point. I, actually,
overlaid it so that they both have the same vanishing point, right there. So, why do we
need to know that? Well, maybe, we’re working with a composition and we want to duplicate
an item within that image, or bring in a separate item. If we want to place it and make it seem
as it belong there, so, maybe, you want to duplicate this box. So I made a duplicate
of that box and I’m going to move that box around. And, usually, when people duplicate
something, or bring something in, they just move it around and sort of guess where things
go and say, “Oh, I want this item here,” and if you just do that, things aren’t going to line up. For example, here, we can clearly
see that this item doesn’t belong here. The perspective is all off. So, the vanishing
point is here, yet this item’s vanishing point is pointing to some other vanishing point
way off here. So, what do we do to make sure that things
line up in a composition? Well, first you have to determine your vanishing point and
your horizon line. In this particular illustration, we already know where those are. The horizon
line is this black line going across, and the vanishing point is this red circle here.
Now that we have that determined, we can use the pivot point, when you press Ctrl T to
Transform, you’ll have a bounding box around your layer, and this middle item here, the
pivot point, you can Click and Drag that around. You can click and drag it over to the horizon
line, and, ideally, the vanishing point. So, I’m just going to click that and put it in
the vanishing point. Now, if I scale by holding Alt and Shift, that’s Option and Shift on
the Mac, you’ll see that I’m going to scale in perspective, so I can scale all the way,
and even make that cube come over here to the top. So, now, it seems like I have a cube
here at the top, and it’s all in perspective. Now, if I move that and bring it down, it’s
no longer in perspective. So, I can move it to the left a little bit, or to the right
a little bit. If I bring it all the way out, it’s no longer in perspective. So, we got to keep that into consideration,
that the item that we copy and paste, or that we bring in from another image, will have
limitation based on the perspective of your image. So, how does this relate to our real
photograph? Well, we’re going to go back into this photograph here, and I made a duplicate
of the barrel. And we’re going to do the same thing. We’re going to press Ctrl T to Transform,
and I’m going to put the pivot point right on the vanishing point, which is somewhere
around there. And I can hold Shift Alt, Shift and Option on the Mac, to Scale that out,
and as you can see, it sort of looks like there’s a barrel closer to us now, or I can
move that all the way to the other side, and this looks like there’s a barrel coming out
of the wall there, and it’s all within perspective. Now, I could also move this to the right a
little bit, and it still looks like it’s in perspective, simply because we’ve kept it
all constrained to the vanishing point. Now, all this is one-point perspective where we
have one vanishing point. There’s also two-point perspective where we have two vanishing points.
So this is sort of like the corner of the street, so, maybe, this is the building here,
sidewalk along the right, sidewalk along the left, and you’re standing right in the middle
taking a picture. Or, we have it where you’re taking a picture of a tall building right
from the corner, or where you’re standing on top of a taller building, taking a picture
of a shorter building, and this is what you would get. There’s also three-point perspective where
we have three vanishing points. We have a vanishing point here, here, and here. This
is our horizon line, of course. Now, these are a little more complicated, and for this
tutorial, we’re going to keep things simple and we’re going to be working with one-point
perspective. Now, another thing that you have to take into consideration when you’re going
to composite images together is the altitude of the camera, and whether the camera was
pointing up or down. The easiest thing to determine is whether the camera is pointing
up or down. In this particular image, I have a guide that’s going right across the horizon
line. This means that if this were a photograph, it would mean that when this picture was taken,
the camera was pointing right at the horizon line. Now, if we were to move this up, like
so, it would mean that the camera was pointing down when this picture was taken. Maybe, we
were taking picture of something on the ground, because the center of the frame is here, and
the horizon line is up here. So, if the horizon line is above the center of the frame, the
camera was pointing down. If the horizon line is here, below the center of the frame, it
means that the camera was pointing up; maybe, we’re taking a picture of something in the
sky, like an airplane, or a building, or something so the horizon line will be at the bottom. So now that we know all these things, we can
go back into Karen’s composition and we can determine how we’re going to fix this. So,
let’s first start with the man. I have the man file here, which is this man walking on
this dirt path. And we have to determine where the horizon line is, and the vanishing point.
So, you might be thinking, well, maybe, this is the horizon line here, or maybe up here,
somewhere, like where this fence starts, but, you know, that’s just guessing. All we know
for sure that this is the center of the frame, and just by looking at the image, you can
sort of tell that the camera was pointing down when the picture was shot, which means
that the horizon line is somewhere on this top half of the image. The question is where? Well, let’s look at the clues that the image
gives. There’s straight lines going here on this bench, and this fence sort of indicate
that the vanishing point is somewhere out here. So, what we can do is we can go to Image,
Canvass Size, and push the anchor to the left so we have more space on the right. I’m just
going to add a zero to that and press OK, and that’s going to give us all this white
space here to the right, and I can come back in, and I’m going to grab my Line Tool, and
I’m just going to change the color to red, just so we can see what we’re doing. And I’m
just going to draw a line from here, all the way to the right. I’m just going to try to
keep that in line, so, maybe, make sure I get it right, somewhere around there. And
I’m just trying to make sure that the line that I drew is right on that bench, or on
that line. And I can see there’s another line down here, and, again, I’m trying to do the
same thing. I’m trying to keep it right on it, so, maybe, there, and I can already tell
that the vanishing point is going to be somewhere around here. So you’ll see that when I bring this over
to the bottom of the bench, it’s going to line up perfectly. So, yeah, that’s more or
less where our vanishing point is. It’s like right below the edge of the frame. So, just
to make things easy enough, we’ll just say that the horizon line is right on the edge
of the frame. So, how does that relate to this image? Well, let’s make it easy on us,
and let’s just create a marquee from the top of the hat to the top of the frame, and we’ll
just see how this relates to the picture. Well, so that’s the same distance between
the top of the hat and his chin, so when we come here to this image, we’ll just draw a
marquee, top of the hat to the chin and move that up. This is, probably, not the best way
of doing it, but it’s certainly the fastest. And I’m just going to draw a line right up
here. So that’s where his horizon line is. Now, where is the horizon line on this background
image? Well, it’s sort of hard to tell. There’s no real line, and this path is not part of
the original image, so we really don’t have any lines that tell us, and the house is not
part of the original image either. So we really don’t know where the vanishing point is, and
it’s probably around here somewhere. And what we do know is that the horizon line is somewhere
around this line here, actually, represented by the grass and the trees, so we know where
the horizon line is, and it’s somewhere around there. So, that’s a good thing. If I bring the picture back, you’ll see, now,
why this looks wrong to your eye when you look at it. The horizon line for the man is
up here, yet the horizon line for the background is down here. Now, there’s two ways of fixing
that. You can either– And, actually, I’m just going to put this line in the man group.
You can either bring the man down and match the horizon line, like so, or you could bring
the background up. So let’s do that. Let’s bring the background up right there. And,
actually, I’m going to turn off the woman group, just so we can focus on this man. And
notice that as soon as I did that, things are looking much, much better. I’m going to
go ahead, and I’m going to open up my Windows, History Panel, just so we can see how we started.
So this is how we started right in the beginning, it sort of look like he’s floating, and, you
know, he really doesn’t look like he belongs, but then, once we fixed the perspective, all
these empty space here at the bottom, he, actually, looks like he belongs now. So that’s why perspective and horizons and
vanishing points are so important. They help us create believable compositions. So, again,
this tutorial is not about, you know, creating shadows and grass and all of that, so I’m
not going to worry too much about that. However, I am going to create a– just fill out that
space here at the bottom, just so it doesn’t bother us while we’re working with perspective.
I’m just going to make a selection there, click on the background, press Ctrl J, Command
J on the Mac, to duplicate just the grass. Press Ctrl T to Transform, Command T on the
Mac. I’m going to hold Shift and Alt, and I’m just going to scale that out, and I’m
going to bring it down, and put it around here somewhere, and then, maybe, bring this
down. And I know this is not perfect and, you know, it’s not the best way of doing it,
but I just wanted to fill out that background so it wasn’t distracting while we are working
with perspective. So, what I’m going to do now is I’m just going to hide the line that
determines where his horizon line is, so let me turn that off. Okay. Now let’s worry about the women. So we have
the women here. Where is their horizon line? Well, let’s look at their original photo,
and their original photo has no real lines that tell us where the horizon line might
be. We can, probably, get a clue by following this line; maybe this one, but it’s not going
to be exact. But what we do know is that if we put a line right in the middle of the frame,
we can tell that whoever shot this picture was looking down, which means that the horizon
line’s going to be on this top half. And just by looking at the image, I can pretty much
guess that the horizon line is somewhere above her elbow, and somewhere below this line here,
and that’s just an educated guess. So why don’t we split the difference and the horizon
line will probably be around where her nose or her mouth is. So let’s just use that as
reference. And, yes, sometimes you won’t be able to tell right away, but you can make
educated guesses like I just did, and things are going to look so much better than not
putting any thought at it at all. So I’m just going to grab this group, and
I’m just going to go up, down to the horizon line, right about there. See, just by moving
her up like that, and matching the horizons, these ladies look more like they belong in
this image. The only problem we have now is scale. This man is closer to us, so he should
be bigger than these ladies. So I’m going to press Ctrl T to transform, and I’m going
to scale from the horizon line, so I’m going to move the pivot point over to the horizon
line here. I’m going to hold Alt Shift, and I’m just going to scale them down a little
bit, like so, and then I’m going to press Enter. So now, everything looks into perspective.
If we wanted to increase or decrease the size of this man, we would do the same thing, Ctrl
T, Command T to Transform. Move the pivot point over to the horizon line, hold Alt and
Shift, Option and Shift on the Mac, and scale him in if he’s getting closer to us, or scale
it down if he’s getting closer to the house. So I’m just going to put him here for now.
And what I’m going to do now is I’m going to go into Window, History, and I’m going
to create a new snapshot, and this is the original image, and this is the image that
we’re working with now. Now, one of the problems that you might see
is that in this image we don’t have much of the sky, which is what made the other image
great. So what we can do is we can select all the groups and just move them down until
we get enough of the sky, and I can press Ctrl T on the man, press OK, and scale from
the horizon line. Press Ctrl Zero to get the bird’s eye view and I can see the entire bounding
box, and scale him in, just a little bit, maybe, like right there, and Zoom In. Now,
assuming that I wanted to use this image of this man, and I wanted to have everything
in perspective, this is where I need to have him, I can move him to the left and to the
right, but if I’m going to make him any bigger, his feet are going to go out of the frame.
I can’t move him up because he no longer will be in perspective, and it will look like he’s
floating again. So, I’m just going to go into Window, History, create a new snapshot. So
this is how we had it before, so we have it now, we have more of the sky. Now, if you want an image that has a man standing
right about this point, and his hat is right where the sun is, you have to take a new picture,
if you’re the one who took the original picture, or find a different photograph; a photograph
where the horizon line of the subject is right below his hip. That way, you can composite
that in, and it doesn’t look like he’s floating; and the same thing for the women. You have
to find a picture of the women that the horizon line is somewhere along their knees, or right
above their knees, just so they fit on this image. Now, if you can’t find another image,
or you want to use these particular images for whatever reason, on this exact composition,
there are some things you can do, but you do have to cheat a little bit, and I’ll show
you what they are. First, let’s work with this man, and I’m going
to press Ctrl T to Transform, and what we want to do in this composition is keep the
man’s hat right under the sun. So we’ll do that. We’ll put the pivot point right on his
hat, and we’ll just scale him up, like so. But we do have to hide his feet, and almost
anything that shows any perspective, or anything that would give away that he does not belong
in this composition. And I’m, also, going to move him to the left a little bit, and,
also, this line, sort of tells you where this man’s vanishing point is, and, maybe, the
hat, a little bit, too. So, what we need to do is press Ctrl T and rotate him to the right
a little bit, to sort of make it seem like the vanishing point is on the horizon, so
maybe, we’ll move him to the right even more, and then press Enter. Now I’m going to move
him to the left. All right. And now, let’s turn on the group for the women
walking, and I’m just going to move them down to right about there, and I’m going to take
another snapshot. So this is the original image. This is the image that shows everybody’s
full body and they’re in the right perspective. And this is the image where we had to cheat
a little bit, and move the man, and hide the man’s feet, and rotate him, just to fool the
eye, and make it think that it’s part of this perspective. And the women, we, really, didn’t
do much. We just brought them down. But even by doing this, you can see that they are now
in scale. It doesn’t look like they’re floating anymore, even though they are the same size
as in this image. Just by putting them in the right perspective, now, they look like
they belong. That’s it for this tutorial. I hope you enjoyed
it and that you learned something new. I can guarantee you that after watching this tutorial,
you’ll never look at a movie poster or a magazine advertisement the same ever again. I’m sure
you’re going to spot tons of perspective mistakes. If you have any questions about this tutorial,
feel free to leave your questions down below. Don’t forget to click on the Like button,
and, of course, don’t forget to check out the Photoshop and Lightroom group on Facebook.
And I would like to thank Karen for letting us use her composition. Once again, guys,
thank you for watching, and I’ll talk to you again next time.