A new Photoshop Restoration techniques video course: “Replacing Backgrounds” has just gone live on Lynda.com.
Course description for replacing backgrounds: A common photo restoration task involves replacing the background in an old photo—for example, to turn a snapshot into something that looks more like a studio portrait.
In this course, master restorationist Neil Rhodes shows how to accomplish tasks like these using Photoshop. He covers the entire process: evaluating the photo, choosing an appropriate replacement background, using Photoshop’s selection features to create a precise mask, and then inserting the new background and matching the grain of the original.
- Select a new background: Problems and solutions
- Create a Replacement Background
- Matching grain and shadows
I will be bringing you new courses in the future so stay tuned. If you want to view the full course click on the video and if you not yet a Lynda.com member you sign up for a free trial!
Here is a snippet from the opening video.
“In this first chapter, we will assess the photo’s suitability for a new background, and decide on the best route to take for its replacement. When we come to assess a photo for a new background, we’ll need to work out if it will improve the photo in some way and if the new background will work in the composition. With our image, we can see there is a narrow depth of field.Where the amount of focus zone extends from the camera to just in front of the faces. We can see this by looking at the faces and how they’re just out of focus, and the feet are in focus.
This makes some edges softer than others as they slip out of the focus range. A careful cut out will be required to insure we maintain these edges and keep the realism. Likewise, any image we insert needs to be suitably zoned to match the focus. Any foreground details must be sharp and in focus and any background details must be out of focus. The options we have for a new background, use a ready made image, or create a studio-style setting. For our image, I think bringing in a studio-style setting to make it fit in with our modern portraits would be best.
We can create a backdrop and foreground details to match this image. By creating one, we avoid any copyright and having to find and pay for the correct image. Fiddling with perspective and forcing our donor image to fit. We have full control on tone, style, and design of our background, allowing complete creative freedom. I will take you through creating a background for this image in the coming chapters. So next, let’s look at what hurdles we might come across if we decide to use a ready made image as a background.”
I hope you can stop by the training library and watch the video on replacing backgrounds. Replacing the background with another photo has all kinds of issues. You can read about that in photo retouching replacing a background.