Friday, October 19, 2007

masking multiple frames

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I was recently shooting a cross country race in the park and had an idea to take multiple shots as a runner went by and then strip them together. Piece of cake right? Just use a tripod and nothing changes but the runners position.
Problem was i forgot my tripod. I also wanted a very low angle. So, hand held it is. I laid on the ground and tried to hold the camera very still. I prefocused and turned auto focus off. I took multiple shots as he ran by and the shoot part was over.
In photoshop i processed the images in camera raw and then opened all the ones i wanted to use, actually more than i needed in the end. Once all were opened i held down the shift key and using the move tool drug them one by one into one frame. I used the shot where he enters from the right and drug the rest, in order of his position, onto it.
I next used the new function in cs3 called auto align layers found under the edit menu i think. It did a great job and compensated for my not having my tripod.
I clicked on "layer 1" in the layers pallate and then drew a rough selection around the guy and hit the refine edge button. I smoothed the edge a bit and used a feather of about 2, then hit ok. I then select - inverse my selection and created a layer mask in the layers pallate. Since black was my foreground color it filled my mask with black, leaving only the runner to show through to the layer underneath. I repeated this process for each layer until all runners were showing through and all backgrounds were masked except for the original image.
I flattened the image and smart sharpened it. I also used a hue saturation adjustment layer to boose the saturation up a bit and was done.
I am sure no one will ever use the shot for anything but it was just fun to have fun.
Oh, i cropped it a bit also, just height wise. It is full frame on the length.

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