My Happy Place

Hello Fellow Creators!

In this fun fantasy levitation tutorial, we focused on learning how to place a subject into a completed background while adjusting lighting and tones to fit any mood.

Tara also shares where to gain additional png's found on her favorite stock websites, such as the book and glasses from Pixelsquid and a model from Deposit PhotosBut if you are a member, there are two background downloads provided.



You will start by making your additional digital selections, then download the image or add them to the lightbox. 



Use select subjects to grab your model quickly. Next, go to Select>Select and Mask and use the refined edge brush to work your way around the edges of your subject, especially around the hair. 



Use a round brush and grab any elements like fabric or fingertips that the quick selection tool missed. Sometimes the quick selection tool misses those fine details.

 Since we have worked on refining our subject, here is a great place to stop and make a copy. Control>Command J. If needed, you can put a mask layer on and use a hard black brush to clean up any areas the selection and refine tools missed. 

Pro tip: if you are a beginner, pay attention to the shortcuts. They will help cut your speed up your workflow!



Right-click on your image and apply a layer mask. Next, get the marquis tool to copy>Control/Command C, paste>control/command V, your model into the background.

Control/Command T will bring up a bounding box so you can resize. 

Tara details and shows examples of her best practices on converting and using smart filters on your images in the full-length tutorial.

Pro tip: Click the dimensions link button to ensure the smart object stays proportional.



Of course, you can always plan to shoot your model with whatever accessories you like. But for the times, you want to add additions such as the ones used in the video.

You can now grab the library book and paste it into the background; when resizing your stock, be mindful of the lighting placement in your background.

Position the glasses on your model's face and use a hard black brush to remove any unwanted areas—Right-click and warp for a perfect fit.

To create a shadow for the glasses, right-click and apply a layer mask.

Make a copy, control/command J. Go to the bottom composition of the glasses, and in your adjustments, clip down curves and bring the highlight point down. Next, merge the images, control/command E.

 Move out the shadow line as needed. Go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Blur out the shadow line a little as needed. Right-click and warp to add that shadow dimension.


In the model layer, use the eyedropper tool to select a color from her hair to get a perfect match! Next, choose a solid color layer and invert it >> control/command I.

 Select a hairbrush, and brush on strands around her edges. Play with various brushes to get the best look for your model's hair. Warp, change perspective and resize each strand as you play with options.

Pro tip: take your time with brushwork. There is enormous value in perfecting your brushwork so that images look the most realistic. Be patient! Practice and play!




Now it's time to blend the model into the background. First, click control/command J to make a copy, then drag on top of the model holding the alt/option key to clip it down.

Go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian blur and blur it almost out. Select your blend mode. Typically soft light or color works best, but review your options to see which option fits best. Pay attention to color and contrast to match your image and background.


To add some haze around your model, click layer>new fill layer>gradient. Then, choose the screen for your blend mode. Under style, making it radial and setting the scale to about 50 is a subtle step to build the full backlight. 

Pro tip: You can use the eyedropper tool to exactly match your light already present in the background.

 Next, get a solid white color layer and set it to screen. Use the alt/option key to clip it down and invert it, control/command I. Use a soft round brush along the edges with the white. Zoom in and out patiently as you work around the model to achieve perfection or close to it!

Creative tip: Lower the opacity and play with the blur to create a glow effect.


In Part 3 of this tutorial, you will learn the steps to finish this image off and add your signature style. Listed below are just a few steps you will learn.

⭐Clothing Color Change

 Use the eyedropper tool and blend modes to lighten or darken the colors of her dress or make her shoes match her outfit!

 ⭐Rosy Cheeks and Pearly Whites

 Adjust opacity and vibrancy to apply make-up and enhance a smile.

⭐Dodge and Burn 

Use a soft brush and hit some of the highlights for a painterly look.

 ⭐Extend your canvas around the perimeter

Add a completely different perspective to your images using the same skills learned. For example, you will be able to create a deeper nighttime feel or a dreamy daytime effect. 

This fun tutorial is just one of 500+ available in the TLE library when you become a Premium Member.