How to Blend Tones & Color Match for Composite Images in Photoshop

blending colors and tones photoshop tutorial

CHECK OUT THIS TECHNIQUE THAT ANYONE CAN DO! | We’ll use a couple adjustment layers and an eyedropper tool to correctly match color and tone in any composite image in Photoshop.

In this Photoshop tutorial, we’ll take a look at using Curves, Color Channels, and simple Clipping Masks to quickly and effectively match colors in a composite image using a specific numbers-based technique that is more than just looking at a photo and “knowing” what needs to be done with the image. This technique will allow you to know exactly why you’re doing what you’re doing and how to attack new composite images and solve any color or exposure differences when building a composite photo.

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Site Exclusive Tutorial Recording Notes:

Disclaimer: these are the actual notes I used to record this video and are written in a language you may or may not understand. Hopefully, you find them useful or cool.

  1. Sample shadows in subject and background to find similar darknesses
  2. Compare the RGB or CMYK values and attempt to pull them closer.
  3. Begin with the model on top of the background image
  4. Set eyedropper points shadows in BG and model first and then highlights in BG and model second
  5. TIP: The key area where you can exhibit your talent is in the fact that you kind of want the level of the shadow in the background to be about that of the model. i.e. , you don’t want to just go for the very darkest pixels in the background and the model we’ve dragged in here.
  6. Open the Info panel and set points all to CMYK and use Curves to adjust brightness and color channels. TIP: Try to withhold judgment of how your image is changing and trust the process as we shape the colors of the model to fit the background
  7. Clip a Screen and a Multiply Curves layer to our stack of layers and mask to re-light the model a little
  8. Create a Screen and Multiply Levels adjustment layer and use a 50% 2000px brush to paint a gentle light at the top of the image and a darkness at the bottom of it.
  9. Create a gradient map adjustment layer #524759 —> #ffcf79 and set to Soft Light (reduce opacity if needed)
  10. Add Selective Color layer and tweak to add some color
  11. Add Channel Mixer and check Monochrome on, boost the channels a little, and set to Multiply
  12. Add Levels below and set to 3––1.30––230 and output to 35––235 to infuse brightness into the darkened image
  13. Merge all to a new layer and apply a Camera RAW filter and adjust the vignette to brighten and adjust the midpoint.

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