Photoshop Technique: Super Fast Compositing

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: December 20, 2010

Category: Videos

Hi All.
To start the week off I’ve got a couple of things to share with you that complete the run of Samurai posts …

Short Bio:
First of all I thought it would be good to give you a little bit of a background behind Mike and the whole Samurai connection, so Mike has very kindly sent over this short bio’:

Michael Jay is the only non-Japanese person to hold a samurai rank since William Adams, the first Englishman in Japan who, in 1600, became an adviser to Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu.

As a British Airways pilot and Group Commander in the Soma Horse Association, Michael was featured in a prestigious BBC ‘The World About Us’ programme about Soma Noma Oi, a three day celebration of skill in samurai horsemanship, and is a master swordsman of Japan’s premier and most ancient classical combat school, the Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu. Both Noma Oi and Katori Shinto Ryu are classified by the Japanese government as ‘Intangible Cultural Treasures of Japan’.

Photoshop Technique:
To finish off this particular run of ‘editing’ posts I’ve recorded a video to show you how one of the Samurai Composites was put together in Photoshop. This video covers how I took the original studio shot of Mike which was taken on grey seamless and then placed him into a new location, complete with all the shadows that were cast from the studio lights.

Word of warning though…this technique really is ‘Super Fast’ so whatever you do, don’t blink, sneeze or look away from the screen for a split second 🙂

So there you have it, a super fast technique for creating composite images and the great thing being, you don’t need to be running Photoshop CS5 to do it!

As always if you have any questions/comments then please feel free to make use of the comments section below, but in the mean time,
Enjoy 🙂

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  1. DaveT

    Quick, easy, and practical – what more could you ask for.

    Glyn, I’m assuming this works well because the grey backdrop used in the portrait is a similar colour to background image. Would this work with backgrounds of a different colour?

    Fascinating background information about Michael.


  2. Tim Skipper


    I’m going to have to try that. Also thanks for the samurai’s bio. I was thinking “he doesn’t look like a samurai”,” but now that makes sense.

  3. Keith Hammond

    can’t believe how quick and simple that was, i was thinking the same as Dave T about different colour backgrounds.
    very interesting bio from Michael, he must have dedicated a hell of a lot of time to that

    • Glyn

      @DaveT & Keith…This tutorial works well on a plain background but so long as the location image is lighter than the main parts (ie most of subject) then it will work just fine. Coloured bgd’s will create a colour cast in the final composite though which is why monochrome works so well.

      Hope that helps.
      Cheers, Glyn 🙂

  4. DaveT

    Thanks Glyn – Dave

    • Glyn

      @DaveT…No worries mate 🙂

  5. Rick Wenner

    Great tip, thanks for sharing Glyn. Been thinking about messing around with composites lately so this is a big help.

    • Glyn

      @Rick…You’re welcome mate; glad you like it 🙂



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