Vanessa Rivera removes a background from an image and blends the selected object into a surreal composite in Adobe Photoshop on her iPad.
Vanessa Rivera is a photographer and artist who merges photos of her family and objects from the real world to create fantastical compositions.
Add the unexpected
Rivera was working on an underwater composition and wanted to add to the scene. With the background layer active, she tapped the image icon, tapped Files, imported the chair, and tapped Done.
To see the Chair more clearly as she worked, Rivera selected the Overlays layer group, and tapped the eye icon to hide it.
Perfect the selection
Next, Rivera selected the chair layer and held down the Select tool to show the hidden tools under it. She chose Quick Select, set the brush, adjusted the softness, then brushed over the chair to select it. She switched between Add to Selection and Subtract from Selection and adjusted the brush settings as she refined her selection.
Mask and reveal
With the chair selected, Rivera clicked the mask icon to hide the chair’s background. She selected the Brush tool and painted with black on the mask to hide any remaining blemishes. Alternatively, she brushed with white to bring back detail that was inadvertently masked.
Transform to fit
Next, Rivera repositioned the floating chair in the scene. She selected the Transform tool and dragged the bottom handle to rotate the chair to the right. Then, she dragged a corner handle to scale the chair proportionally. Finally, she dragged a side handle to condense the width of the chair slightly and tapped Done.
Add a splash of color
Rivera wanted to add a pop of color to the chair. With the chair in position, she tapped the Layer Properties icon, selected Add clipped adjustment, then Hue/Saturation. This added an adjustment layer above the chair layer.
Tidy up the details
To change the color, Rivera adjusted the Hue and Saturation sliders. The color changes were applied to the entire chair layer. Fortunately, adjustment layers also function as masks. Rivera painted this mask with a black brush to hide the color adjustments from the wood portions of the chair.
Make the ordinary extraordinary
Take some pictures, grab your iPad, and combine everyday images into otherworldly composites.
Note: Project files included with this tutorial are for practice purposes only.