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Masking for Transparency and Creating Depth


rntaboy

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I've been using Photoshop off and on for years, but up to this point have been basically self-taught so there is a lot of stuff I'm unfamiliar with. I'm currently working on this image, and am running into some problems that I'm not completely sure how to solve.
I'm trying to make the cassette tape look like it is sitting on top of the burnt wood. I figure that I should play around with the transparency of the clear plastic areas of the tape, so that the wood texture is visible. Is there a way to edit the transparency of specific areas of a layer? I could probably figure out some awkward way to accomplish this, but making the cassette multiple layers and adjusting them separately, but it seems like there should be a better way.
Also, what techniques can I use to give an impression of depth from this flat image of the cassette? The composition isn't set in stone yet, and any tips would be sincerely appreciated.
Thanks!
cassette.jpg
 

MrToM

Guru
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...I'm trying to make the cassette tape look like it is sitting on top of the burnt wood...
Adding just a simple dropshadow would help 10 fold...

cassette_dropShadow_MT_01.png

As to transparency, well, its difficult to do anything that will actually improve the look.....yes, you could make parts slightly more transparent than others but at the risk of it looking 'photoshopped'.

To be honest, with having it to play with its difficult to say exactly what would work and what wouldn't.

Could the PSD be made available?
No promises mind but sometimes one needs to 'fiddle' with it before offering a solution.

Regards.
MrToM.
 

Paul

Former Member
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Better images to start showing angles would really help, i found a cassette pictured at a better angle also found background on an angle too.
Tape on top of back ground drop shadow applied to follow shadow of water droplets, applied a couple of water drops on top of cassette also for a better depth/illusion of water.

angles.jpg
 
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As MrTom said, a drop shadow is a must here.
Also Paul's example working with good quality images is excellent.

I still tried to improve your posted image with:
1. Curves. Set the light point to white. Opened the mid tones a bit.
2. Color corrections. Saturated the red and the blue.
3. Again using the Curves tool I changed the BG to a brownish color, by reducing the mid tones just in the red chanel.
4. Added a drop shadow to the cassette.

cassette chrisdesign.jpg
 
Last edited:

IamSam

Administrator
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The lighting is too uniform so another suggestion would be to add a gradient.

Make a selection of the tape.
Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 8.27.50 AM.png

Create a new layer.
Use your Gradient Tool to create a gradient to match the light source.
Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 8.29.33 AM.png

Cmd/Cntrl + D to deselect.
Adjust the opacity.
Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 8.30.29 AM.png
 
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revnart

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Hello everyone :) its my first post :) I think you should try "blend if" option with smooth transition on blue to make only plastic parts of cassette semi transparent :)

Cheers, Revnart.
 

Tom Mann

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One basic problem is that the lighting on the two component images is different. The background image is illuminated from the top of the image, at a fairly low angle (...note the shadows in each crevice ), but the cassette appears to be illuminated almost uniformly using a large area light source, so that there are almost no shadows or highlights on it.

All of the earlier suggestions in this thread (eg, drop shadow, brightness gradient) were designed to remedy the above fundamental problem. This is why it is so very important to match the lighting of the component images in any composite. Doing so will save you lots of time in PS, as well as probably look much better than you could ever obtain in PS starting with un-matched lighting.

Tom M
 
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One basic problem is that the lighting on the two component images is different. The background image is illuminated from the top of the image, at a fairly low angle (...note the shadows in each crevice ), but the cassette appears to be illuminated almost uniformly using a large area light source, so that there are almost no shadows or highlights on it.

All of the earlier suggestions in this thread (eg, drop shadow, brightness gradient) were designed to remedy the above fundamental problem. This is why it is so very important to match the lighting of the component images in any composite. Doing so will save you lots of time in PS, as well as probably look much better than you could ever obtain in PS starting with un-matched lighting.

Tom M
Well said, Tom. Mismatched lighting is my nemesis.
 

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