Photo Rescue 101: A Paint Shop Pro Tutorial.

Cut a new sky into a washed out sky image
in a few easy steps.

July 17, 2003

This tutorial will work in PSP 7 and PSP 8.

 
             
   
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Today's exercise is replacing a dull, blown out sky with an exciting one .I keep a folder of Sky photos just for this purpose.

Please note, there are not a lot of screen shots, and commands.
I assume you have a working knowledge of basic
layers and selections in PSP 7 or 8. .

If you have a pretty decent image with a really blown out sky that you just HAVE to use, you can successfully cut in a new sky in a few easy steps.

     

With today's method, it is essential to have a dark background, like the trees bordering the sky.

Open Brooks3249 in PSP. Click on the image on the left to open the larger version, then save to the hard drive.

 
Make any levels/curves adjustments to the image, ignoring how bright the sky gets. Concentrate on adjusting the main part of the image. For example, Make the T-shirts look white! I applied a Levels Layer with the following settings: Levels 0,1.15, 205

Right click a layer on the layer palette and do a Merge All, combining the levels layer with the background.

Right click the Background on layer palette and do Promote Background. It becomes Raster 1 which I suggest you rename to "Background Layer."

Open the Cloud image, by clicking on the image on the left, opening the larger version.

Open in PSP. Copy the cloud image then paste as a new layer onto the Brooks3249 image. Drag this layer below the background layer on the layer palette. I suggest renaming this layer to Cloud on the layer palette.

 
 


Copy then paste as a new layer.

Drag this layer below the background layer on the layer palette.

I suggest renaming this layer to Cloud on the layer palette.

   
 

 

Position the cloud layer at the top of the image, where the should be.

Select the Background Layer on the layer palette.

 

 


Using the FreeHand Selection Tool, Point to Point option, roughly surround the white ugly non sky in the image, including the trees and fence, and other fairly dark things.

Be sure to include all the Sky showing through the trees!

 
Promote the selection to a layer Selections > Promote to Layer. Rename this layer "Sky" on the Layer Palette.

With the selection still on the image, Select the Background Layer on the layer palette.

Press the Delete key on the keyboard to erase everything in the selected area on the background layer.

( You can see what you did by mousing over the background layer on the layer palette and examining the flyout thumbnail, or by turning off the Sky Layer.)

Remove the Selection.

 


Pick the Sky layer on the layer palette.

Change its Merge Mode to Darken.

It should look like mine on the left.

Voila, New sky with exciting clouds.

   


Before merging the layers, move the Sky layer around a bit to position the clouds for better effect.

Save the image in pspimage format.

Merge the layers and export to JPEG.

Quick and easy.

This will NOT work too successfully with moderately light background.

But... with dark trees and black fence, and a blown out sky, it's great!


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