This is page 4 of 7. "Nighttime Scene" begins here.
Also find and load a picture of a cloudy sky. Photoshop includes an effect called clouds. The supplied effect works well. I will show you how a little later.
When the moon and moon glow are ready to drag and drop into your picture, your subject will be on top of the checker board.
The checkerboard indicates that the only thing which will insert is the subject.
We’ll do the moon first and then come back to the clouds for creating the moon glow. To cut out the moon choose the Elliptical Marque Tool.
Do the full moon and the crescent moon the same way. A little later we will finish the crescent moon.
Once again this tool has different adjustments. I use 1 the fixed aspect ratio of 2 the elliptical tool to cut out a perfect circle. And 3 “New Selection.”
Move your cursor above and left of the moon. Click and hold your mouse button. Move down and to the right. When the circle is about the size of the moon, let go.
Your newly created circle will not match the moon for size or placement. Center your circle using drag and drop or by using the Up/Down/Left/Right arrow keys on your keyboard. The arrow keys are good for precise placement. If the circle will not drag, go up and click on 3 “New Selection.”
In order to get the exact size, click “Select” “Modify” and “Expand” or “Contract” and change it accordingly.
When you click “Expand” this window will pop up. “Contract” will supply the correct window for that. You will set the number of pixels to increase or decrease.
This is another one of those things that varies with each picture so I cannot say how many pixels to use. Begin with just a few pixels and experiment with it. Control z or change the size several times.
Change the size up and down until your “line of ants” marching around the moon is barely inside the perimeter. Move as necessary, using the arrow keys. For precision I zoom in quite a bit during these steps.
I’ll zoom in and move around the moon to be sure it’s close and consistent. Accuracy in this is a personal choice.
Once you’re satisfied; inside the moon right click your mouse. The dropdown menu should look like this.
Click on “Feather” and this will be the next popup window.
For this cutout I set it at 0.2 pixels. That works nicely for objects with solid edges. Things like hair have to be set higher. It also depends upon the file size you are working with. All this will come by experimentation.
Now click “OK.” Right click again on the picture and choose “Layer via copy” from the dropdown box. That will create a new layer in your Layers Bin. Now turn off the locked Background layer.
When the moon is cut out and only the copied layer is turned on, it will look like this in your Photo Bin and in the Main Editor Window.
Next I will separate the face from the dark side of the crescent moon. This way, for realism, I can make the dark side of the moon barely visible in the finished picture.
To separate the crescent moon from the dark backside, it is easiest to do it the same way you create a crescent moon. Go there and follow the steps, then return.
Remember “Drag and drop” is a general computer term. That is when you click and hold your mouse button while the cursor hovers over an object you want moved; move the mouse to a new location and then release. Whatever you clicked on will move to the new location.
In the photo bin, click back to the nighttime scene you created a while ago. Now look in your Photo Bin, at the moon you are going to use. Verify that you can see the checkerboard behind the moon. If not, return to that picture and turn off the background.
With your nighttime scene in the Main Editor Window, drag and drop your moon from the photo bin at the bottom of your screen. Drag it directly onto the nighttime scene and drop it there. Full and crescent moon are applied the same way.
Your moon in the Photo bin and the one on your nighttime scene become two separate entities. Photoshop actually creates a duplicate of the moon. It did not merely move it to your picture; which means your cut out moon picture remains unaltered.
The full moon will look something like this when you drop it onto your nighttime scene.
In the left tool bar at the top, click the “Move Tool” and then click on the moon layer in the Layers Bin. The layer will highlight in blue and this dotted box will appear around the moon.
Hover over one of the corner squares on the dotted box. When you do, you will see a double ended, diagonal arrow appear. Click your mouse and this green check mark and red circle will appear at the bottom of the box.
If those do not show, the program will automatically move the background, not the moon layer. This is another of those lessons I learned the hard way.
I tried and tried and tried to get the layer of my choosing to move, but invariably the background layer would move and throw everything off. One time I accidentally figured it out; the check mark and circle have to be there or the program defaults to the background or some other layer.
OK, now hover over the tiny corner square. The little arrow pointing diagonally and both directions will appear again.
Hold the mouse button and resize the moon to the size you like; release. Now move the cursor into the middle of the moon. From there drag and drop it wherever you like.
When you have it the size and position that you like, click on the green arrow to set it. If you change your mind later, it’s as easy as doing this again to move it somewhere else and/or resize it again.