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Creating a Suitable and Appealing Background for an Image - Adobe Photoshop 7, CS, CS2 & CS3

Hello Fellow Users: My Question: What's the best way to create a visually appealing background for an image of a person that has been cut out from another image? Working against a deadline last week I was asked to mask three people out of three separate images and paste each into their own new image against a new background. I created a new layer, filled it in with a suitable color and added a wee bit o' noise. It did for the time being, but true be told the images look like e. I'm now in the process of re-doing ...

  1. #1

    Default Creating a Suitable and Appealing Background for an Image

    Hello Fellow Users:

    My Question: What's the best way to create a visually appealing background for an image of a person that has been cut out from another image? Working against a deadline last week I was asked to mask three people out of three separate images and paste each into their own new image against a new background. I created a new layer, filled it in with a suitable color and added a wee bit o' noise. It did for the time being, but true be told the images look like e. I'm now in the process of re-doing them and would appreciate suggestions for producing something here that looks original, realistic and simply stunning without being overwhelmingly prepossessing. Huh? You know what I mean, tried, true blue and ever there that you are...

    Thanks for your help...
    John_Bastin@adobeforums.com Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Creating a Suitable and Appealing Background for an Image

    John,

    Sometimes I just use the background from the original image, only I apply a lot of Gaussian Blur to it. It may be that the colors of the objects that you cut out have been influenced by the surrounding colors and this technique preserves the overall "consistent" background color scheme without any of the detail.

    Another way of creating a harmonious background is to sample your Foreground and Background colors from two different parts of your subject. For example, you could sample the foreground color as flesh from a subject and the background color as flesh-in-shadow from a subject. Then create a background using a gradient created with those colors. Colors sampled from your subjects are always "compatible" background colors.

    There are many more possible ways of creating a suitable "synthetic" background in Photoshop, and hopefully other participants will have suggestions. You could use a background from another photo.

    -- Burton --
    Burton_Ogden@adobeforums.com Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Creating a Suitable and Appealing Background for an Image

    Thanks for that - I cant really use the background from the original image since the person was cut out from a group of people posing in the shot...
    John_Bastin@adobeforums.com Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Creating a Suitable and Appealing Background for an Image

    I think Burton is on the right track.

    Open a copy of your original background picture (any other picture will do too), convert to black and white> apply guassian blur (radius of 75-150 or more), then convert blurred image to duotone(play with it till you like it - pick a suitable color - i am a fan of blue or green these days). If you want the effect more subtle, then make a new layer (filled black -will be the color of your duotone) under the background layer and lower opacity or play with the layer blending effects. Then flatten the image and drag it to your cutout person file and see if it's what you want. (essentially you are creating a monchromatic color scheme and the color image of the person will stand out nicely) To make the background more realistic, consider making a cast shadow.

    Just a thought.

    PS> shadows work best on white backgrounds

    EDIT> Remember too, that the more you add, the richer the background will be (layering is a nice trick and is popular these days, try adding lines (aka tv scanlines), gradiant overlays, etc. If you don't understand what I am getting at, do a google search for PS tutorials...there are tons of links - can't point to any good ones cause I mostly reference from books.
    zippy2000@adobeforums.com Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Creating a Suitable and Appealing Background for an Image

    "...visually appealing..."
    This is the crux of the entire paragraph.

    Visually appealing...to whom?

    And for what end style and purpose?

    This is such an open-ended question—even considering your suggestions of "original, realistic and simply stunning without being overwhelmingly prepossessing"— that I can only imagine that any answers you receive will be slanted heavily in favor of the respondant's own æsthetic tastes and sensibilities.

    The qualities and characteristics of what will define "visually appealing" in this instance is something only you and/or your client can decide upon.

    Please see the following thread:
    Phosphor "Creating artistics photoshops" 10/5/03 11:35am </cgi-bin/webx?14.2ccdaf44/0>
    Phosphor@adobeforums.com Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Creating a Suitable and Appealing Background for an Image

    There are even plug-ins to create whole worlds if you want to get really wild.

    <http://www.digi-element.com/site/index.htm>

    has some intersting examples...
    Philip_Peterson@adobeforums.com Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Creating a Suitable and Appealing Background for an Image



    Another way of creating a harmonious background is to sample your Foreground
    and Background colors from two different parts of your subject. For example,
    you could sample the foreground color as flesh from a subject and the
    background color as flesh-in-shadow from a subject.




    I'd start here, but Render Clouds instead of a gradient. Then apply Lighting Effects, compatible with the natural light on your clipped subject. Add noise, etc. You'd wind up with something similar to a portrait photographer's background (remember school pictures?).
    Susan_Walters@adobeforums.com Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Creating a Suitable and Appealing Background for an Image

    Thanks for your response... Perhaps I ran on a bit too much at the mouth. I simply wanted something that looked 'good' to me with respect to a providing a natural fit for the cutout. Zippy's response gave me the information I needed to get the effect I wanted... Thanks a lot, people... Cutting out and hoping to find a natural fit, for now...
    John_Bastin@adobeforums.com Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Creating a Suitable and Appealing Background for an Image

    polygon lasoe and zoom in alot is pretty much all i can tell you.
    <com> wrote in message
    news:la2eafNXanI... 
    for an image of a person that has been cut out from another image? Working
    against a deadline last week I was asked to mask three people out of three
    separate images and paste each into their own new image against a new
    background. I created a new layer, filled it in with a suitable color and
    added a wee bit o' noise. It did for the time being, but true be told the
    images look like e. I'm now in the process of re-doing them and would
    appreciate suggestions for producing something here that looks original,
    realistic and simply stunning without being overwhelmingly prepossessing.
    Huh? You know what I mean, tried, true blue and ever there that you are... 


    Matt Guest

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