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3 Photoshop rules for the perfect composite

As the senior environment artist at Infinity Ward, Devon Fay (opens in new tab) has a wealth of experience and insider tips when it comes to the perfect composite. Here, he talks through some important tips to help add speed and flexibility to your lighting and finishing workflow with a look at some Photoshop basics.

01. It's all just maths

3 Photoshop rules for the perfect composite

Get the basics right and you're well on your way

By simply adding and multiplying the proper layers, in the proper place, you can set yourself up for a perfect composite. Download my image guide from 3D World issue 202 Vault (opens in new tab) for a basic overview of how to add and multiply layers to affect your image.

02. Remember perspective

3 Photoshop rules for the perfect composite

Keep perspective in mind throughout the process

Make sure to warp your textures into the proper perspective
while placing them. Your whole image will seem off if you skip this step. I imported a texture from CG Textures (opens in new tab), used Warp to place it and Multiply to fix.

03. Use multiple Blur values and hues

3 Photoshop rules for the perfect composite

Explore Blur values and hues for that perfect look

By using more than one blur value, and more than one hue, you can vastly improve the overall appeal of your glows. Here, I've multiplied my Gaussian Blur again and again before colour correcting for the final result.

Words: Devon Fay (opens in new tab)

Devon is a senior environment artist at Infinity Ward as well as an instructor at the Gnomon School of VFX. He has five years' experience in the video game industry, with studios such as Blizzard and Neversoft. These tips originally appeared in 3D World issue 202. Head here (opens in new tab) to purchase the magazine for his full tutorial.

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