how to make a photo look like an ipod ad?

Discussion in 'Photoshop Tutorials' started by peter, Dec 21, 2004.

  1. peter

    peter Guest

    There is a web site that takes a customer's photo, then cut out the people's
    image, blacken them, add a solid color background, and draw an ipod in the
    image. The results looks like the ad in here:

    I tried to do that to a photo myself, using only photoshop, and it took more
    than an hour. Since the commercial site charges $20, I assume it takes them
    less than 30 minutes to do it in order to be profitable, possibly in 15
    minutes. I feel quit ashame.

    The question is how to do that in a streamlined, efficient way? What
    software would they use to draw or add the ipod and the wires to the image?
    peter, Dec 21, 2004
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  2. Creating the ipod and wires might take a bit of time, but then the same
    gif layer will be used on every image, as they'd all be sized the same.

    The only work would be to remove the bg. Dead easy on many shots; very
    labor intensive on others. Mileage varies also with skill levels. They'd
    also resize the image, so that the nearly automatic adding of the 'Pod
    wires would be just a matter of moving the layer to line up with where
    the ears should be.
    John McWilliams, Dec 21, 2004
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  3. peter

    Tom Nelson Guest

    The December Photoshop User magazine <>
    featured this exact technique. It's worth joining NAPP just for the

    The technique is easier in a studio setting. They recommend
    blue-screening to make background removal easier ("a cloudless sky
    should work just fine"). Don't try for a silhouette, just shoot
    normally. Use Filter>Extract to remove the background. Once you've got
    the figure cut out, you can fill it with black to make a silhouette. If
    you saved a layer with the original image, cut out the iPod to include
    in the photo. Quite simple, really.

    Tom Nelson
    Tom Nelson Photography
    Tom Nelson, Dec 21, 2004
  4. peter

    Gadgets Guest

    Gadgets, Dec 21, 2004
  5. peter

    jjs Guest

    jjs, Dec 21, 2004
  6. The tools you use and the approach you take to separate an image from the
    background will vary and depend a lot on the contrast of the photo. You can
    use the magic wand, the paint brush, the magnetic lasso, channels, the list
    is pretty long.

    Personally one of the easiest ways I find, is to make the initial selection
    using the magic wand, selecting whichever is easier, background or person,
    then switch to Quick Mask mode and use the paint brush to fine tune the
    selection. Since it will be all black, you will have a little room for
    error. Not every single strand of hair needs to be included.

    Then switch back to normal mode and your selection will be active. If it's
    the background, delete it. If it's the person, invert your selection to make
    the background the active selection, then delete.

    Lock the transparency of the layer with the person and fill with black.

    Add iPod, wires and buds. I'd use Illustrator to make the iPod and wires.

    Add a layer on the bottom of the layer stack and fill with your choice of
    color. Done.
    Jeff 'The Wizard of Draws' Bucchino
    Cartoons with a Touch of Magic?

    The Wizard's 2004 Christmas newsletter
    Wizard of Draws, Dec 22, 2004
  7. peter

    Orchid Guest

    I don't think that they do it only using Photoshop as one could do it
    much more quickly with a combination of Photoshop and Illustrator.

    Place a picture in Illustrator, trace around the outside of the image
    with the pen tool, fill the outline with black. This is easy and fast if
    you're adept at Illustrator.

    If they do this a lot, the iPod itself is probably a vector object they
    use over and over and rotate, skew or manipulate as needed (no need to
    draw it each time). The wires and headphones are easy to do quickly with
    the pen tool.

    Save the silhouette and iPod vector art in separate files. Exit

    Convert the original image to grayscale in Photoshop and colorize
    it/tint it as desired based on how one wants the parts that show through
    to look in the final artwork (like the jewelry in one of the pictures on
    Apple's iPod page).

    Paste the rasterized Illustrator-created silhouette into a layer mask,
    selectively edit the mask where you want parts of the image to show
    through (such as the jewelry). Alternately, one could just drag the
    silhouette art into another layer and erase parts of the artwork on that
    layer. This would be the trickiest part and the most time consuming but
    probably not if the images were high resolution and tolerant of a
    certain amount of sloppiness in the erasing and later reduced in size.

    Open the vector iPod image in Photoshop and drag and drop it onto a new
    layer at the top.

    Load the silhouette as a channel into the layer with the original image
    and invert the selection to delete the background of the original image
    layer. Delete the background.

    Create a new layer behind the original image and fill it with the color
    you want as a solid color background.
    This may not sound very streamlined but I'm guessing a person who was
    proficient in Illustrator and Photoshop could do this in a half hour
    (possibly less), particularly if they didn't need to be perfectionists
    about the contours of the silhouette.

    I'm curious about the place that offers the service. Can you post a link
    so I can see what their samples look like?

    Orchid, Dec 25, 2004
  8. peter

    peter Guest

    From looking at their samples, I don't think the silhouettes are created by
    filling black in a selection because some of the brighter part of the
    original image can be seen, tinted with the background color. In fact, if
    you put the sample image in photoshop and brighten it, you'd see more of the
    original image.

    After some experiments, I found one way to do this is to cut out the people
    (in photoshop), make it into gray scale, darken it, and use "overlay hard
    light" as the blend method. This way when a color layer is placed under it,
    the color will come thru in the brighter part of the silhouettes.

    Now here's an interesting question: assuming "hard light" is the method used
    to mix the silhouettes with the background, how do you remove the background
    color from their samples to see if the silhouettes is really a gray scale
    peter, Dec 25, 2004
  9. peter

    Orchid Guest

    I'd agree with you after looking at the sample. My guess would then be
    that a selection was made around the main image using the pen tool and
    the color within the selection.

    I do wonder how the technique you mention would work with an image like
    the sample of a fellow holding a fish. It would seem that, in that case
    at least, manual editing of the face and hands would have to be done
    because the skin tone is so light relative to the shirt (the face and
    hands are practically black whereas the purple shirt is fairly visible).

    My guess was based on the Apple site image that happened to pop up
    (which looked more solid black than the image on the site above). Since
    I live in Japan, I've never seen the ads associated with iPods so my
    only exposure is to pictures on the web.
    I'm not sure that I understand this question...or more accurately, I'm
    not sure that I can see how removing the background color from the
    samples will show that it's really a grayscale image.

    Orchid, Dec 28, 2004
  10. peter

    peter Guest

    Using the channel mixer with monochrome option not only allows you to make a
    color photo into grayscale, for some photos it also allows you to adjust the
    brightness of the skin relative to the other areas -- just mix in different
    percentage of red/green/blue.

    If however, the shirt also has a large red component like the skin, then
    this trick may not work. In that case manual selection and then adjusting
    the brightness is the only other way I know.
    peter, Dec 30, 2004
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