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Digital Imaging I
Class 04: Compositing


    • Selection and Transform Tools
    • Compositing Techniques
    • Assignment 04

Welcome to class fore!

Selection and Transform Tools

Selection Tools

Photoshop has a variety of tools available to select areas of the image. Generally it is best to use the more automated broad tools and work your way to the more specific manual tools. You can see an overview of selection tools available in Photoshop below.

“I’ve been selected!”

Marquee Select Tools

Rectangular Marquee Tool
Used to make a rectangular selection.
Eliptical Marquee Tool
Used to make a circular selection.
Single Row Marquee Tool
Used to make a selection of a single horizontal line.
Single Column Marquee Tool
Used to make a selection of a single horizontal line.

Lasso Tools

Lasso Tool
You can freehand draw a selection.
Polygonal Lasso Tool
Allows you to create a selection based on drawing a polygonal shape.
Magnetic Lasso Tool
While drawing freehand the selection will snap to the subjects edges.

Quick Selection Tools

Quick Selection Tool
Creates a selection based on edges of a subject.
Magic Wand Tool
Makes a selection similar to the fill tool in that it selects areas based on the similarity of what is clicked on.
Object Selection Tool
Using a marquee you select an area and Photoshop will attempt the select an object inside.

Other Ways to Select:

Select > Color Range
Creates a selection based on a selected color.
Quick Mask Mode
Using the paint brush you can paint a selection.
Select > Modify
Border, Smooth, Expand, Contract, Feather
This allows you to make adjustments to a selection after it is created.
Select > Select and Mask..
After you’ve made a selection this toolset allows you to make your selection more detailed and specific.

Transform Tools

These tools allow you to manipulate position, scale, skew, and deformation of imagery. You can see a description of the tools available below.

Edit > Free Transform
Allows you to scale and warp your object.
press ctrl/cmd + t enables free transform.
hold shift to scale proportionally.
hold ctrl/cmd to warp corner handles independently of other handles
Edit > Transform
There are a variety of options to scale and warp your selected object.Scale, Rotate, Skew, Distort, Perspective, Warp | Rotate 180, Rotate 90 Clockwise, Rotate 90 Counter Clockwise | Flip Horizontal, Flip Vertical.
Edit > Puppet Warp
Using pins you can grab and stretch areas of an object.
Filter > Liquify…
Using brushes you can warp an image.

Compositing Techniques


The process of combining multiple images to one cohesive image. Generally you are trying to make it look natural or at least somewhat believable.

Gather Images

First you must obtain your source materials. These could be photos you take, images you render, or something you find. The quality of the images is crucial. If you have smalll poor quality images you will struggle to make them homogenize.

Cut Out the Images

This can be done a number of ways but the goal is to remove the parts of each image you are not using. If possible it is best to do it non-destructively through masking.

Transform Your Layers

You will need to place and size, skew, and manipulate your images to fit in your background image. Obviously you should crop your background to the appropriate size first (6×9 at 300ppi for this class). You can activate free transform via ctrl/cmd + T to scale and skew the images you drop in. Liquify and puppet warp can be utilized to deform the composited images as well.

Adjust the Color and Value

For each of the pieces in your image you must adjust the colors and values to match the scene. This is done through adjustment and painting.

Render Extras

Shadows and lighting must be created. This helps the subjects sit in the picture.

Assignment 04

Composite Image:

For this assignment you will combine together multiple images to create a single composite. Utilize any of the methods we covered in class. Try to be creative as well as produce something that is unified.

You will submit this digitally on Blackboard. All assignments will also include the project cover sheet. You can grab it here. Just answer the questions in the document.
Be sure to post your images on the Discussion Board for critique.

You will be graded on the following:
  • Project Cover Sheet
    • Thoroughly completed and thoughtfully written with little or no grammatical errors.
  • Composite Masking
    • Masking is excellently done. Difficult areas are handled masterfully.
  • Composite Editing
    • All elements combine to create a truly unified piece. Overall image look natural.
  • Craftsmanship & Creativity
    • Beautifully and consistently completed throughout. Novel and interesting in comparison to peers.
Project Cover Sheet
You may download the project cover sheet here.
Assignment Video Tutorials
You may watch the tutorial videos below to help you complete your assignment.

Assignment Video Tutorials

You may download the images used in the tutorials here.

Wait! Before you go!

Did you remember to?

  • Read through this webpage
  • Submit Week 04 Composite Image Assignment on Blackboard
    • Composite image and project cover sheet
  • Post your finished images and description on the Week 04 Composite Image Assignment Critique Discussion Board
    • … and reply to at least two of your peers’ work on the Discussion Board