Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Newbie - flying children

Feet a little flat - should have stood on tippytoes
You know how it is - you see something on a website and you want to be able to do it too.  So it was during the term holidays when I saw pictures with children flying - there are lots of websites with flying kids and they look really cool.

So my grandchildren are a little bit older and easier to arrange in a photo.  So here's how we went about it.

First we got a comfortable stool - we have a little white one from Ikea.  I don't want too much of a back on the stool because it makes the editing too hard.

I set up a tripod because I need a couple of photos.

Setting up the picture
I put each grandchild child on a stool and arranged their clothes just a little so that some of the clothes hang down over the stool or else I end up with a sort of flat stomach look.  I clicked away at a few photos until we got one that looks like a flying sort of shape.  Really the legs should be higher and it would be good to see my granddaughter's face but it's been a long day!

Background only
Note to self - Don't move the tripod!  So now I moved the grandchild and the chair away.  I took another picture of just the background.

The next step is a bit fiddly.  I opened the two photos in Photoshop - each one in a separate layer with the in the upper layer (at the top of the list of layers).  It needs to be at the top because I am going to wipe away the chair.
Now I click on the background layer.  I click the layer Mask symbol at the bottom of the screen to add a mask to the layer.  Then I click on the Inverse for the mask.  This hides the entire background picture and I see only the  image of grandaughter on the chair.  

arms should be pointing up more
Now I select the paintbrush and set the colour to white.  I need white because the mask is set to black and white is exactly the opposite colour.  With the paintbrush I carefully paint over the chair only - this removes the chair and displays the background from the photo.  I crop the photo a little to remove some of the messy garden that I should have tidied before the shot - but hey with grandchildren it's more fun to play!  Here is the finished photo.
Here are a couple of others that we played with.
great cheeky grin

Anyway we had a bit of fun and the kids got a good photo to take to school for show and tell.

  • has a good tutorial for using GIMP (free photo editor)
  •  is a good video of the process
  • uses the same technique

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