How to Properly Blend and Match Lighting and Colors for a Composite Image

When you're creating a composite image, it's a game of balancing and matching a ton of parameters to make the different elements convincingly look as if they all originated in the same frame. This helpful tutorial will show you some of the most important aspects you need to have mastered to create your best composite work.

Coming to you from Nathaniel Dodson of tutvid, this video will show you the ins and outs of blending and matching lighting and color between elements of a composite image. While there are all sorts of things you need to check and possibly adjust when working on such projects, I think that lighting and color are probably the most essential, as they're so global that most anyone can immediately spot when something isn't quite right. I particularly appreciated this method as it relies less on eyeballing and more on using Photoshop's built-in tools for precisely measuring levels of color and luminosity. I know it's difficult (at least for me) to eyeball such things, particularly when they're not off by much, and obviating the need to look back and forth between elements tends to get the job done more quickly and accurately. Give it a try!

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8 Comments

WTF is this result ? Not believable at all ! Perspective is wrong, lighting is wrong, values & colors are wrong. Please stop spitting useless tuts like this one. Hope it's a just a one bad shot since his channel has plenty more that are better (even though I find them usually way too long).

Agreed. This is a horrible composite job.

I don't know fstoppers' editorial policy but I know guys you can assess good work from bad work. So if partnership with some content creators that get regularly featured here are part of the policy, ok fair enough but you're not obligated to post their next video (as you perhaps have promised them) if its crap. Just post their video after or figure something else out. Publishing bad content is not helping anyone. Not your readers and therefore not fstoppers. Let's make fstoppers great again ! (Thank you Donald for this one ... but just for this one :P ).

wow, this is considered proper?

Martin Strauss's picture

I am getting the impression that Alex is posting more and more while leaving quality more and more far behind. sorry to say so.
once i really liked "all" articles by fstoppers, and one could be proud getting selected for pic of the day etc.pp - nowadays its more about hobby-rookie-level for rookies.

Alex Cooke's picture

Sorry you feel that way. Believe it or not, the majority of our audience is amateurs and learning basic techniques is important to them. Nonetheless, we still do a ton of advanced stuff and I would be happy to point you toward it.

The material being aimed at amateurs is not an excuse for extremely poor quality. You have to have good foundations to get anywhere. And I agree with you Martin, but that's usually what happens, quality at the expense of quantity.

How to Improperly Blend and Match Lighting and Colors for a Composite Image.