Tuesday, April 16, 2013

CoffeeShop Add Clouds Tutorial!


Before I start my tutorial, I wanted to say my thoughts and prayers are with the people of Boston.

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Sometimes an image has blown-out or cloudless skies and you might want to add some clouds to make the sky more dramatic or to direct attention to something in the image.  Today I wanted to show you one way I add clouds to my images.

I used a beautiful image from Mellissa of Serendipity Photography - Facebook) for the screenshots on this edit.  Thank you so much Mellissa!

I think the light sky in my edit directs attention to the top of the image rather than to the model's face, so I want to add some subtle clouds.  Note: I should have also cloned out the little green bush on the top left of the image.  :-)

CoffeeShop Add Clouds Tutorial:



1.  I opened this beautiful image and ran the Coffee Peachy Glow action on it.  I did not flatten the image because I wanted the edit to also apply to the cloud texture.  I then opened one of the cloud textures in this pack.


2.  I grabbed the cloud texture (clicked V for the move tool) and dropped it on top of the girl.  I then dragged the cloud layer above the Vignette layer and below everything else so the peachy tint would be applied to the cloud layer.  If you are working with a flattened image, just drag the sky above the background.

I then dropped the opacity of the cloud layer where I could see the background show through.  I free-transformed the cloud texture (Ctrl-T) and dragged and fit it to place.  Play with the cloud placement to make sure the texture in the sky looks realistic.


3.  Next I needed to erase the extra cloud texture off the mountains and model's face.

I grabbed a soft black brush, added a layer mask to the cloud layer, clicked on the cloud layer's layer mask to select it, and then painted the clouds off the mountains and model on the image.  I usually do this very fast and end up removing too much cloud texture off the sky.


4.  I zoomed in and grabbed a white soft brush and gently painted back in any of the cloud texture I had removed with the black brush.


5.  I zoomed out and made sure the horizon did not look completely fake and did some last tweaks with the black and white soft brush on the layer mask.  You can switch from a white to black brush by pressing X (your background and foreground must be black and white, click D if needed).


6.  I want very subtle clouds for this image, so I put the cloud layer at opacity 45% in Normal mode.  You can also play with Multiply mode.


7.  Finally, I added some Gaussian Blur on the cloud layer just to soften them a bit.


Here is the finished edit.  I love how the clouds really help balance the image so I spend more time looking at her face and less time looking at the bright top of the image.  Make sure you keep this type of edit subtle or it can look very obvious and fake (unless you want a very dramatic sky).

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop Actions or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures. 

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.

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