Easy Ways to Add Pizzazz To Blank Walls in Photoshop
If you are looking to add some pizzazz and excitement to solid white walls, we have your solution. If boring white studio walls drive you crazy, and you cannot afford or don’t have the place to store dozens of backdrops, there are some ways to spice them up. You can change the color of a background using tools like MCP Inspire actions or even trying this. Or you can add patterns and designs.
Today, we will show you how to creatively add fun patterns to your solid walls using Photoshop, digital scrapbook paper and a free Photoshop action.
Here’s how to turn that boring wall into a fun one:
1. Open the image you want to add background to and correct any flaws, such as smoothing wrinkles or extending the backdrop.
2. Using the quick selection tool, isolate the subject from the background. Make sure your selection is on the subject not the white area. To do this, if you select the background, then invert your selection. Use the refine edge button to get all the fine details of your selection such as hair.
3. Choose “Output to” and pick New Layer with Layer Mask. Then press OK – your background should be transparent (shown as checkerboard) and your subject remains in tact.
4. Next, play the MCP Texture Applicator action in Photoshop. It will open a box for you to select the image you want to place. Choose the paper you like (you can even layer more then one by running the action a second time). A great resource for digital papers is Shabby Princess, and you can also use textures like MCP Texture Overlays.
5. Resize the paper to fit your image and be sure to keep the aspect ratio when you are dealing with patterns and shapes. After using the action, a folder with the textures will be the top layer. You need to drag and move the image with the mask that we created before to the top most layer in the layers panel.
6. Depending on your photograph and the scrapbook paper or texture you selected you may need to blur the texture layer to match the background’s depth of field. Remember, your texture should not be as sharp as your subject because if this was a true background, your texture would be behind your subject and would be out of focus. Select your layer and then use the Gaussian blur until you get the correct appearance.
7. The best part about this process is that you can mix and match, play with opacity and add as many layers as you like. Nothing will change your subject since all the changes will happen without any impact to your subject. When you are done playing, flatten the image. Now, run any action you like to polish your image. It is best to do the actions last because it unifies the background with the subject. For the final product in this image I used MCP Peachy out of the MCP Fusion Photoshop Action set with the spotlight layer up to 61%, MCP Eye Doctor, and MCP Magic Skin at 42%.
Here are some other examples. It was so freeing to be able to keep my equipment simple when I visited clients – plus have so many options. My creativity was really sparked again the dreary winter last year thanks to MCP!
Sylvia Eng is a family photographer at squeaker & yoyo PHOTOGRAPHY, as well as a digital artist working in the greater Toronto area. She specializes in family portraiture with a focus on kiddos with special needs. Find her on facebook here.