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Adobe Photoshop CC - Advanced Training

How to create a double exposure in Adobe Photoshop

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi there, in this video we're going to take this model profile, this background, and do a Double Exposure. We'll do a couple of options, this one, we'll do this one. And we'll do this one, kind of sprays out the back. All right, let's jump in and learn how to do it in Photoshop. 

To get started, from your '12 Visual Styles' folder, open up 'Double Exposure 1' and '2'. Let's combine both of these, so I'm going to open my mountains, 'Select', 'All', go to 'Edit', 'Copy', and then paste it. So both together, let's give ours names. This is going to be my 'Model Layer', and this is going to be my 'Mountain'. Let's turn off the mountain for the moment. We need to apply a mask to our model to pull her out from the background, and so we can mask the mountain, inside her shape. To do it, click on the 'Model Layer', and in this case, 'Select', 'Subject's going to work perfect. So there's the new one for Photoshop, it's going to look for a person. In your selection, if you don't have that feature – I’m going to Deselect - you can just use your 'Quick Selection Tool', and just kind of work your way around. Doesn't have to be perfect, it can be pretty rough in this case. What are we missing from the nose? I'm happy with this. 

If when you apply your mask you're not happy with the mask, you can select on the 'Layer Mask', and go to 'Select and Mask', and zoom in. Kind of work on the Refine Edge. You can see there's a few little bits going along with the face here. It's not going to matter to my exercise very much, but I'm going to smooth it out anyway. Nice. And if you wanted to, in this case, the hair is not going to make much of a difference, but you can use the Refine Edge Tool, and kind of paint on these edges for the hair. Mine already looks okay though, so I'm going to click 'OK', I'm going to zoom out. 

So we've got a selection for the model. I want to apply that same selection to the mountain, let's turn it on. To get that selection, to get that Layer Mask over to here, you can hold down the 'Command' key on a Mac, and just click on the 'Layer Mask', or the 'Ctrl' key on a PC, and just give it a click. So loads it as a selection, click on mountains, and then click 'Layer Mask'. Let's have the model on top. Click, hold, and drag it so it's on top. With the actual image, not the Layer Mask selected, so the image, let's pick a Blending Mode of 'Multiply'. You might find that works fine for you. What I want to do though is remove some of the color from her face, because it's kind of interacting with the background and doing weird stuff. If your background is quite monochromatic you're not going to notice it. I am, so I'm going to go to 'Adjustments', I'm going to click on 'Black & White', and I'd like it to only affect the layer just underneath. Just the model layer. 

Now you can adjust this depending on how much of the features you want to see. This will depend on your image, the way it's shot the highlights, the darks. So in my case, because it's skin tones, I'm just going to deal with the reds and the yellows, and I want some of the freckles through. Now I want to get rid of the hair. So I'm going to click on the 'Layer Mask' on my model layer, grab my 'Brush Tool'. I'm picking a really kind of just large, brush with 0% hardness, so it's nice and fluffy. I'm going to make sure black is my foreground color, and then just paint out the hair. Make sure my Opacity is at 100%, and just paint out the hair. Back of the neck a little bit. Do I want the ear? Not sure. The suggestion of veneer. There we go, like the jawline there, it's kind of cool. And that might be your Double Exposure. 

Let's add a Background Layer. I'll use my Eyedropper tool and pick a color from this. Then hold down the 'Option-Back space', or 'Alt-Back space', just fill it. You might decide that it's enough for you. Go to your Double Exposure. Happy days. To go a bit further, you might do one of few things. I'm going to click on the 'Layer Mask' for the actual mountain, and do the same thing I did with the model's head; grab my 'Brush Tool', and probably paint the edge out. Then switch it back to white and kind of paint it back in. I'm going to lower the Opacity down to 40% just so that I can kind of work the background as a wafty kind of thing that's coming background. You can kind of see what I'm doing on this layer here. I'm just kind of painting this in, so it looks like it's kind of wafting out of the head. I'll make it go black and white by holding the 'Option' key, or the 'Alt' key on a PC, and just clicking on the 'Layer Mask'. We're getting used to some of these shortcuts now, kind of. 

You can see a couple of things that are left behind. I left this bit, and little bits up here when I was working on this Mask. So I'm just going to switch my colors around. So black's at the front, just paint those out. The forehead there. And actually on this background, instead of being all wafty, I just want it fully in, it's kind of cool. This layer here, I think I went a bit far with the black and white. So I'm going to click on the 'Black & White' layer. Just maybe pull out some of the strength. Lots of freckles though. You also might grab this whole layer, and just lower the Opacity of it, depends on what you want. So that's another option for the Double Exposure. Let me get rid of the ear here. 

What I'd like to do is I'd like to take it in a different direction. So I want to save this version and create another one, so I can do a 'File', 'Save As', or I can show you just a trick. Select all of the layers, then go to 'Layer', go to 'Duplicate Layers', and actually I'm going to say, let's be a new document, please. I'll give the document a name. 'Option B'. And all that did was, is take that first option, who's still there, I'm going to save this one, this one's going to be called 'Option A'. I'll save it to my 'Desktop'. And option B, I'm going to take in a slightly different direction with you. So got a couple of things, the background we just use the solid color, that came out of the background somewhere. What you might do is maybe a Gradient. 

So I've got a background layer, it's this one here. I'm going to grab my 'Gradient Tool'. And what I want to do is go from, say, this kind of bluey color to more this peach. So 'Eyedropper Tool', using the 'I' key on my keyboard, I'm going to click some of this blue. I want this kind of gray blue. I'll hit 'X' on my keyboard to move the foreground and background, can you see over there? The X key just toggles them. Then I'm going to click on this one. Now with the Gradient Tool I'm going to use the Radial Gradient. I'm going to click, hold, and do something like that. Actually I want to flip it around. See, it says reverse, no, I want that kind of darker color. My goal there was to try and tie it into the background a little bit more. 

That's one way, another way is, let's grab this 'Background Layer', let's duplicate it. What I'm going to do with the bottom version, is I'm going to delete the Layer Mask, just right clicking the 'Layer Mask', and deleting it. So it kind of fills in the background, that by itself is kind of cool. You might do a couple of things, you might just grab this mountain layer, and go 'Adjustments', and say, actually I'm going to grab the 'Hue & Saturation'. I'm just going to lower it down. That might be cool, it's not what I want to do. So I'm going to bin that. What I want to do is, with this mountain layer selected now, I'm going to go to 'Filter', 'Blur', and go to 'Gaussian Blur', and just find something. I don't want it totally lost, but I want, basically I want a gradient in the background that really reflects the rest of this. That's what I'm going to do. 

Now the one thing we didn't do at the beginning there, because we didn't rearrange this, we just left that wherever it's set. So what you can do is, you can click on this layer, break the link, just work on this image side, leave the mask alone, and just kind of rearrange this how you want. Let's say it's something like that. The only problem with it is we've run out of edges here. So what we're going to do is, we're going to use our cheap tricks. So with this layer selected, we're going to use 'Edit'. I'm going to go 'Content Aware Scale', see if we can just kind of scale it up to get some more mountain. So it fills the edge. More, please. More, please. Thank you very much. Hit 'Return'. 

So either gradient in the background or a faded version. I'm going to save it, 'Option B'. I'm going to make a third option for you like you saw at the beginning. The kind of sparkles coming out the back. Same thing again, I'm going to select all of these fellas. Go 'Layer', 'Duplicate Layers'. And you are going to be a new document called 'Option C'. A, B, C. And in C what I'm going to do is, this mountain layer here, I'm working on the Layer Mask, I'm going to grab my 'Brush Tool'. I'm going to make sure my foreground color is black. And I am going to paint out this. I'm even going to turn that background off. So I'm painting it back here quite far. Then basically all I want to do is paint it back in with white, using one of the special brushes. You can twirl up all these brushes, and I'm going to use the 'Special Effects Brushes', I'm going to use, you can't use any of these ones, one that have, see this little handle, it's called a Smudge Tool, won't work in this case. 

You need to use the ones that are paint brushes. These will work perfect on our mask. So white's my foreground color. I'm picking a brush size that's appropriate, I'm guessing. And what I'm going to do is, just going to kind of maybe lower the Opacity a little bit, it's a bit strong. Lower the flow as well, it's coming out way too fast for me. Here we go. I'm just going to slowly build it up now to have this kind of spray. Playing with Brush Size, playing with the Flow. When I get in tighter here, I'm going to actually just get in and get a nice kind of join along here first. I'm clicking and just wiggling my mouse around. You have to increase the flow a little bit. Then just getting bigger and kind of spraying out. I'll fast forward it, I'm just going to kind of work this until I'm happy with it. I'll see you on the other side. I'm happy enough for that. I even switched brushes to one of the other special spray brushes. So option A, B, C. Not sure which one you like. I think I like option A best, kind of cool. All right, and that is it. I will see you in the next video.