View Full Version : Help/suggetions for "merging" photos in photoshop

Dec 17, 2005, 03:48 PM
OK the story:
My grandfather died about 2 years ago now. My dad has a really nice picture of my grandfather and him together and he wants me to put his brothers in the picture also. (i.e. he wants me to remove him and put one brother in the pic then take that brother out and put the other one in). In other words he wants me to make pics for each of the brothers with them and grandfather standing together.

I am by no means a pro at this and am having problems making things look close to real. I am using photoshop at my school to do it but i need to help/suggestions on making things look as normal as possible.

My dad wants this done ASAP so he can put them in a card and send them to the brothers for christmas. I think it is a great idea and i dont mind helping but my skills are no where near good enough.

I thought about moving grandpa out of the pic and then placeing each of the brothers on a separte background.

Thanks for any help that can be given!!!

P.S. Actual pics attached

Dec 17, 2005, 03:55 PM
That's going to be tough to pull off, even for a seasoned professional. Some things to consider that make a composite look real is how the lighting and shadow falls across the faces, the grain and density of the photos, color balance, and basic sharpness.

It'll never look totally real. You can try putting together a montage, which may be better.

Here's to the Crazy Ones http://forums.macrumors.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=35452 (http://www.uriah.com/apple-qt/movies/think-different.mov)

Blue Velvet
Dec 17, 2005, 04:00 PM
It's hard to make it look real when the lighting is so obviously different in each shot. The mind picks up the smaller visual clues like depth of field and shadows' directions and intensities and without going to huge efforts, it will always look fake.

If I'm doing something like this, I would not only have each element on a separate layer I would keep them in separate sets as well with their masks, tonal and hue adjustment layers, etc.

Work on a higher resolution scan than the one provided here. Use QuickMask mode to make your selection/masks so that you can see what you're doing. Read up in Photoshop Help and other web resources about masks...

Spend some time getting the lighting to look consistent in colour, brightness and add shadows (subtly) if necessary.

Dec 17, 2005, 04:18 PM
Thanks for the suggestions

I have been talling dad that this was not going to be easy and that it WOULD look fake.

The scans i provided are wya dumbed down. The real ones i have are much better quality.

I will try to make it look good but as soon as dad says it is close enough i am stopping and printing it out.


Blue Velvet
Dec 17, 2005, 04:23 PM
...as soon as dad says it is close enough i am stopping and printing it out.

Always aim to please the client.

And post the result here if you feel like it... it'll be nice to see how you got on. Good luck. :)