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Integrate a 3D Render Into a Macro Photograph Using Photoshop

In this tutorial we will explain how to integrate a rendered 3D model into a photograph to create a macro photography effect.

Tutorial Assets
The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial. Brush File (On Page 2)

Step 1
We are going to start by creating the robot final texture. Create a New Document with same dimensions of the assets provided (600px by 704px). Open Textured, Chrome and Mask images and organize them as shown, add the Mask image to the Channels Palette, select it doing Command/Ctrl-click on its thumbnail and create Masks Layers for the two robot layers.

300. Paint with 100% black some strokes on the Layer Mask to let see the chrome trough the textured surface.Step 2 Now we are going to create the scratched paint effect on the Robot. using the Brush Tool and Brushes number 200. or 400 from the brush pack provided. Step 3 .

Add the background image on a new layer below Robot Group. and create a Levels Adjustments Layer. set as shown. name it “Robot”. Select the two Robot Layers and merge them. now we have only one. Then adjust Levels as shown. name it “Light Shadows”. . Next create an Adjustments Levels Layer and mask it with the Mask Channel. Step 4 Next phase will be about adjust and create the robot shadows for incorporate it into photography.

name it “Shadows Mask”. Then select the Gradient Tool and apply a gradient Black to Transparent as shown.Step 5 For balance shadows we need the left-lower body a bit darker. . to do that Duplicate “Robot” Layer and add a Mask Layer.

and add the final Adjustments Levels Layer to match better shadows of the environment. to finish this phase. . Merge previous Layers. name it “Final Robot”.Step 6 Now. we are going to balance a little bit more shadows.

more or less of same size of the leg. place it below “Final Robot” Layer. create a new layer and fill selection with black color. merge all layers and rename it “Ground Shadows”. then go to Edit > Transform > Rotate to transform the layer as shown. name it “Ground Shadows”.Step 7 On this step we are going to add the ground shadows caused by the robot. Now using the Elliptical Marquee Tool make an elliptical selection. Create a new layer. Duplicate this layer and repeat same steps. placing a black ellipse under each leg. . for body make it a little bit bigger. When all be in place.

next go to Image > Adjustments > Channel Mixer select Monochrome and adjust levels as shown. .Step 8 For adapt shadows to the ground we are going to add a Displace Filter. Go to “Background” layer and duplicate it on a new document. so is necessary to create first the displace image of the ground. and save it as PSD file. Image > Mode > Grayscale. Now convert image to Grayscale.

the result is a new shadow that is best suited to the soil. then go to Filter > Distort > Displace and apply settings as shown. press OK and select the PSD file we created before. .Step 9 Come back to the original file and place on “Ground Shadows” layer.

Then set the Blending Mode to Soft Light and the Opacity to 80%. use the Move Tool to do it. .Step 10 It is necessary to repositioning it a bit.

Step 11 Shadows still needs more corrections. . go to Edit > Distort > Warp and tweak it for simulate the leaf curvature.

5px. do it with the Erase Tool and a Soft Round Brush with a low Opacity value.Step 12 In some areas will be necessary to remove some shadow parts. . go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and give it a radius of 0. Step 13 To finish the ground shadow apply a blur to it.

We are going to start blur it and create the "macro effect". so I decided to divide the view in three planes. . (Shift + Command/Ctrl + E).Step 14 We have the robot finished with its shadow projected on the soil. to do that will be necessary to Merge all visible layers. now is time to manipulate the whole scene.

then let’s make first plane alpha channel. . and make a gradient from top to down with white to transparent. go to Channels > New Channel. you will get this. name it “1st plane”.Step 15 We are going to work on the Channels Panel creating alpha channels for being used with the Lens Blur Filter.

then go to Select > Refine Edge > Feather and write 30px. inverse it (Shift + Command/Ctrl + I). finally go to Edit > Fill and fill selection with white color. you should have this. pick the Elliptical Marquee Tool and drag an ellipse over the robot head. name it “2nd plane”.Step 16 Create a new alpha. go to Channels > New Channel. .

Next make a gradient from bottom to the middle with white to transparent. here we will need to draw a bit more. go to Channels > New Channel. name it “3rd plane”.Step 17 Finally the last alpha. create a new alpha. Select the robot shape doing Command/Ctrl-Click on “Robot’s channel” to select its contents. and got to Edit > Fill to fill selection with white. Now using the Brush Tool and a Soft Round Brush. draw the branch shape. .

. go to Filter > Blur > Lens Blur. repeat it three times with following settings for each alpha channel.Step 18 Now we are going to use the created alphas to blur the image.

. the robot looks more integrated and small. on the top and bottom. Image already had depth of field. with the Blur Tool we will add more blur touches. but with the Lens Blur Filters we applied. now manually.Step 19 Then.

go to Image > Adjustments > Selective Color and adjust following colors as shown. to do it.Step 20 Some areas of the robot needs color correction. .

we will clarify the areas closest to the robot. to get it we will use the Dodge Tool with a Soft Round Brush with a Range of Highlights and very low exposure (3% is OK). to match robot and environment.Step 21 Light needs some balance too. .

Step 22 Now we are going to add the eye reflections. then make Command/Ctrl-click on the layer to scale and rotate its content. Repeat this for each eye. . Next use the Elliptical Selection Tool to make a circle selection of the eye. and place it on the eye. then use the area selected for apply a Layer Mask. Finally set the Blending Mode to Multiply and the Opacity to 75%. open the jpg "reflections" archive provided on the assets. import it on a new layer.

apply on it a gradient from green to transparent.Step 23 On the two following steps we are going to add some atmosphere adjustments. and from left bottom corner to top. name it “Green Atmosphere” and set his Blending Mode to Soft Light and the Opacity to 60%. to get it. Robot is too bluish and needs to capture the greenish tones of the ambient. . add a new layer.

name it “Blue Atmosphere” and set its style to Color and 25% of opacity. . from blue to transparent and from top right corner to down.Step 24 Finally we will add a blue touch to the robot to capture the sky tone. apply on it a gradient. add a new layer.

and create a new Mask layer. now pick the Brush Tool with a Soft round Brush set its Opacity to 30% and with white color paint on those edges. it needs to be lighten. name it “Rim Light” then isolate the robot shape doing Command/Ctrl-Click on any of the previous Mask Layers.Step 25 At this point I noticed that the left edge of the robot was too dark and created an unwanted “cut effect”. . Create a new layer set the Blending Mode to Soft Light and the Opacity to 100%.

Step 26 Now we are going to re-illuminate the image to continue integrating the robot on the scene. name it “Global Light” set its Blending Mode to Soft light and the Opacity to 90%. then make a gradient with white color to transparent from top right corner to down. name it “Sun Bright” set its Blending Mode to Normal and let the Opacity to 100%. . Create a new layer. Next create a new layer. and repeat same gradient but now with half of distance.

name it “Shadows Tint”. Next add another layer. name it “Blue Tint” set its Blending Mode to Color and the Opacity to 25%. Create a new layer. and once again make same gradient as before but this time with cyan (50%) color. choose a greenish blue and tint the shadows of the lower part.Step 27 Let’s cool down a bit the image for a better color balance. set its Blending Mode to Overlay and the Opacity to 50%. pick the Brush Tool with a Soft Round Brush. set its Opacity to 25%. .

then smudge carefully all the robot’s edges. now we will smooth them. Pick the Smudge Tool.Step 28 Following with the robot’s edges. set the Strength to 3% and use a Soft Round Brush with a 5px size. .

and with black color add some dirt touches on robot’s surface. set its Blending Mode to Soft light and the Opacity to 50%. . create a new layer.Step 29 It is time to add some dirt to the robot. name it “Dirt”. pick Brush number 250.

now we will add some extra highlights and flares. making size variations. for the highlights use a Hard Round Brush for paint little dots.Step 30 To continue adding details to the robot. use Brush number 500. Step 31 Now we come back to the atmosphere adding effects. we will use two different brushes. and paint only on the major brightness. name it "Brights & Flares". name it "Impurities". Some air impurities will work well. for example in the brightness of the eyes. set its Blending Mode to Normal and let the Opacity to 100%. Create a new layer. . create a new layer. For flares. use Brush number 200 and with white color. set its Blending Mode to Lighten and the Opacity to 100%. paint some random strokes.

Create a new layer.Step 32 Some "bokeh" highlights will add a nice touch. go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur with a Radius of 3. adjust them with Transform Tool if necessary. name it "White Bokeh". Repeat same steps as before but this time with light blue color. and paint random circles with white color. finally set layer’s Blending Mode to Soft light and the Opacity to 100%.5px. . select a Hard Round Brush from the Brush Palette. for it we will customize a brush. then press F5 and adjust settings as shown. Next add a Gaussian Blur.

Create a new Layer. name it "Spider Thread". use the Pen Tool and the Convert Point Tool to create the Path.Step 33 Last touch to the image will be the spider thread. the result will be some tiny dots which will give a nice effect. To give it a transparent look use Eraser Tool with a 50% of Opacity for remove some parts. first check your brush size and type. now with the custom brush we created before. then go to Path Palette > Stroke Path. Finally with Brush number 500 add a small flare to the thread. Select again the Path and stroke it again. for first stroke we will use a Round Hard Brush with 2px size. .

Conclusion Lastly. and a noise layer to finish the scene. By Azmir Othman . we will add a custom black vignette.