Do you have a large collection of cute and very "so YOU!" stationary supplies? Or jewellery? Cupcakes! OK, how about turning them into beautiful personalised hero images for your blog? Come on, I'll show you how!
WHAT IS A SCENE CREATOR?
It takes a little bit of time to make your personalised scene creator, but it's sooo worth it! Having your pretty things as props, and sharing more of you and your world, is something your tribe will love!
Scene Creator is a Photoshop file with isolated items you can move around, and backgrounds you can change. With a personalised scene creator you can style the images for your blog with your own "these are so YOU!" props + you can showcase your handmade creations.
This is what I chose to use for the Mindful Pixels blog, and I loooove how I can move things around, stay true to my branding, and match each image to my content.
So, here you can see my mala (it broke recently, and this is a good thing, but that's a whole different story), my amethyst cluster, gemstones, my candle, etc.
Love the idea? So, let's DIY this thing, shall we?
HOW TO MAKE YOUR PERSONALISED SCENE CREATOR
The whole process consists of two parts - shooting your images and creating your photoshop scene file.
What you need:
- Camera - I use a DSLR camera and a tripod, but a decent phone camera should be enough for smaller scene creators.
- White cardboard for background - larger is better in this case, I use A3 size (11 x 16 inches or bigger)
- White cardboard for softening the shadows - the same size as the background cardboard; it should bend a little to cover the angles.
- Plenty (and I mean plenty!) of natural light.
- Your pretty props - pencils, bracelets, jars, teas, leaves, spoons, cupcakes, every beautiful thing that is "oh, so YOU!"
- Background textures - you can make them yourself or buy digital paper, it's up to you.
TAKE YOUR PHOTOS
Yes, you can use your phone.
No, you can't just snap a picture. Here is how to do it right:
- Start by finding the spot with the best natural light. Avoid direct sunlight.
- Found it? Great. Now place one of your cardboards there, and put your first object on it.
- Hold your second cardboard on the opposite site of your light source, slightly bent.
- Take a picture directly from above.
- Repeat for each object you want to include in your scene creator.
Here is my photo:
Now, you can stop here and use this as a hero image if you like. It does not look very fabulous, but it's a clear image and you can add text to it.
If you don't shy away from using Photoshop, let's make some layers of magic! This tutorial looks a bit scary, but it's quite easy, you'll see.
MAKE YOUR SCENE CREATOR
Time to open Photoshop and have some fun!
- Decide how big your canvas should be - this depends on your blog image sizes and your camera abilities.
- Open Photoshop and create your file - mine is 3000 x 3000 px at 72dpi. I like to have my props big - you can scale them down later on, but you cannot make them larger.
- Find your background - you can use pure white background, take a picture of watercolour paper or wood, or download textures to shake things up - no worries you can change this one later.
- Open your first prop photo in Photoshop.
- Copy and paste the prop onto your canvas.
Here comes the most interesting part. This is what you should have so far:
- Change the blending mode for the layer to Multiply
To remove the darker edges, adjust the Levels slightly:
- Create a Levels layer
- Go to the Layer Menu > select 'Create a Clipping Mask
- Adjust the Levels until the dark edges disappear
How are you doing so far? It's easy right? I hope you are learning new tricks along the way, too! OK, let's see what else we can do here.
The next step is to give the walnuts their 3D-ness back. Do you notice how flat they look on the craft paper?
- Select both the 'walnuts' layer and the Levels layer.
- Right click > Convert to Smart Object.
- Set the blending mode to Multiply again.
- Change the name of the layer from 'Levels 1' to 'shadow'.
- Make a copy of it (Layer > Duplicate Layer)
- Change the name of the new layer to 'walnuts'.
- Create a layer mask on the 'walnuts' layer.
- Paint it black (grab the paint bucket, yo!)
- Set the blending mode of the 'walnut' layer back to Normal.
- Set your background colour to black and foreground cover to white.
- Grab a soft brush - it should be smaller than the walnuts.
- Select the mask of the 'walnuts' layer.
- Tap a couple of times on the walnuts. It does not have to be perfect, but it has to look realistic. If you want to try a second time, select all, hit Delete, and have another go!
Ok, you are almost done:
- Select the 'walnuts' and the 'shadow' layers and link them.
- Add your text.
That's it! You've done it! Yay! You can now download the fully layered
DIY SCENE CREATOR
Fully layered Photoshop template featuring the famous walnuts! ;)
Move everything around, see how it works, and start creating your own magical personalised scene creator. Yay!
I SHOWED YOU MINE, NOW LET'S SEE YOURS!
This wasn't hard at all, was it? I will loooove to see your scene creator, so let us take a peek – leave a link in the comments below, if you please. Yes! Thank you, dearest, for spending your precious time with me – I hope the tutorial was helpful and you learned a thing or two from it.