Mai aur meri tanhai, aksar kuch pagal pan karte rehte hain.
So many things to do yet so little time. The day job’s good. I am doing what I love, pays well, yet I only wish I had more time for my self. Life’s too shrot. I can feel it burning away by the second. To such an extent that I would sometimes wish I had a clone. Who would help me multitask at things. Something like this.
Cloning Photography Tutorial
The biggest feature that adobe ever came up with that revolutionized the design and photography industry must have been the introduction of layer masking in photoshop. If you are not familiar with it don’t worry, I’ve got it covered in this tutorial. It’s very easy to learn, and this one technique opens up a window to a lot more new photography techniques.
You know how a mask works, right? The wearer has holes for eyes, nose and the mouth so they can see, breathe and speak. Basic principle is, you stack one image, over the other in photoshop. Then you poke through the image on top, to reveal that portion of the image below.
So what I am going to do is, I am going to take these images,
stack them all as layers in photoshop, poke through each image so I reveal the picture of me in a different position, repeat that on all the images and combine them to get all my clones in one image.
Great!! Let’s get started.
Things you will need
- Tripod: An absolute must to ensure that the scene doesn’t change.
- Camera: Any camera will do.
- Photoshop: It’s where the magic happens.
- Place the camera on the tripod and dial in the necessary settings.
- Ask the model to take their first position and take your first shot.
- Now let the model take their second position. Without changing the settings or the position of the camera, take another shot.
- Repeat this until you have all the necessary shots of the model in various positions as per the scene.
Done? Now let’s get cooking.
Step1: Load up the images in photoshop layers
Open photoshop bridge and navigate to the location where you have stored you images on your hard drive. From the top menu, go to tools-> photoshop-> load files into photoshop layers.
This will open up photoshop and stack up all your images in photoshop layers panel.
By default, the name of the images will be assigned as the name of the layers as well. For the sake of clarity, I am going to rename the layers as layer 1, layer 2 and so on.
Step 2: Layer masking
Select the top layer, which is layer 1, by clicking on it. Next, click on this icon to layer mask layer 1 over layer 2.
This will create a mask of layer 1 on layer 2.
Select a hard round brush.
Now to figure out where to paint on this mask to reveal the other me in layer 2. To do that, reduce the opacity of layer 1 to, say, 50%. This will reveal the other me from layer 2.
Select the foreground colour as black. Ensuring that layer mask is selected in the layers panel, start painting on the image to reveal the other me from layer 2.
Once you are done painting, you should have the model from the layer 1 and layer to together in one frame.
Select layer one and two together by pressing the ctrl button on the key board (command for mac) and clicking on the two layers, then right click and select merge layers.
Both the layers will merge in a single layer “layer 1”.
Step 3: Continue layer masking
Repeat what we did in step 2 for layer 1 and 3. Once you are done, you would have bought the third position of the model as well into one scene.
You are now just left with layer 1 and layer 4. Here comes the tricky part. Once you reduce the opacity of layer 1 you will see that the position of the model in layer 4 is overlapping the position of the model from layer 1 and 2. Be very careful while layer masking in such situations. Since there is a overlap, if you paint outside the area of the model in layer 4, you will end up erasing the model from layer 1.
Once you are done painting, you should have something like this.
Step 4: Finishing touches
Pat yourself on the back because you have just created a scene with all the clones of the model in one frame. As finishing touches, I will just crop the image to get the desired composition. Here, I also used nik viveza plugin to increase the structure in the image and nik colour efex to add a vignette.
Things to remember
- This is a creative process that can be done with any camera. It’s more about how creatively you plan your scene.
- Watch the shadows. You might have to create some when masking one clone into another image. To do this, just add a new blank layer in overlay mode and paint black colour with a soft round brush at about 30% opacity, wherever shadows are necessary.
- Create an interactive scene. Here i didn’t do much but just made it look like one me is sitting in the computer painting something and another me is watching him from behind. Showing more interaction has even more impact in your cloning. Something like this.