This pic-in-pic is not a photo and it's not pure magic - it's something
Terry saw on-line and went about figuring out how to recreate the
It's a fun tutorial because it combines some a photographic set-up with
some digital editing expertise.
The photographic portion is the two or three images that make up the
A successful completion of this tutorial begins in the planning and the most important part of the work occurs long
before the computer stage.
Think about what you want to say before you start. Take extra images -
better to discard material than to try and recreate something you did
in the past because it's impossible to add photos afterwards.
Pic-in-Pic Photo Preparation
You will need
A tripod or camera support.
A shutter release or built in time delay.
Frame or framed print or mirror as part of the photograph.
Photo processing software which has layer and masking
capabilities (Photoshop, Photoshop Elements or PaintShop Pro).
Your unfettered Imagination.
Here's how to set things up for the photographic portion.
the tripod and leave it there throughout the session. Attach the shutter release or set the
delay. Switch off the auto
focus, image stabilization and set the camera on Manual mode.
Don't let the camera think for
itself - it'll surely make a wrong decisions - when you make the decisions then
you're the only one to blame.
Take a couple shots of the background - add stuff or not - whatever you
wish. If you're sitting and the chair or stool will be visible in
the final image make sure it's included in the background shots.
Take some extra images - better to discard material because
it's impossible to perfectly recreate the set-up conditions afterwards! Get yourself in position with the frame and take a shot
with the shutter release or the self timer.
Before you start
Mount the camera on the tripod and leave it in the same
place for the entire procedure.
Attach the shutter release or set the time delay. If
you're using the time delay, best be quick!
Switch off the auto focus. Switch off the image stabilisation. Set the camera to manual - using any other setting
will cause problems later in the procedure.
Choose a time when the weather will stay the same
15 minutes - these will be the building blocks of your pic-in-pic
project and you really don't want bright sun in one shot and snow or
rain in the next - but hey - maybe that would work as well.
Step One: Take the images
In the final image I wanted the pic-in-pic to have some
properties of a mirror, some properties of a picture, some properties
of an empty frame.
Step Two: Make Your Composite
I used Adobe Photoshop Elements 11. You can also use Corel PaintShop
two images you see are the background for the shot and the shot
containing the frame.
With Elements open, load up the images you are working with and select
the Background image in the Organizer (the image on the left outlined
in white is the Background ).
Load this image into Elements and then select the other image (outlined
in blue above) and drag it onto the loaded background.
Now add a Layer Mask on the top layer - this is how things look now ...
next step is to select the inside of the frame with whatever Selection
Tool you prefer.
The Quick Selection tool works well and in the case of straight lines
the Polygonal Selection Tool also works perfectly.
At this point the pic-in-pic project is perfectly set-up for the final step and
that's to remove everything inside the frame so the background shows
That's the purpose of adding the Layer Mask in a previous step.
Set Black and White as the Foreground and Background colors by pressing
the D key and if Black is not the Foreground color press the X key
(this swaps the foreground and background colors)..
Select the Paint Bucket Tool (K) and click inside the selection.
The original Background now shows through the frame and here it is ...
Step Three: Add
The pic-in-pic procedure works well however we can easily make the
image much more interesting - in this case we're going to use the
What you need to do is take a couple of extra pictures with different
things in the background or with one person in different locations
like, oh say, two shots of Terry in two different locations like these
on the Left
on the Right
An alternative backdrop was made by combining two images
containing the same person – again part of the surreal idea.
Again drag both images into the Elements Photo Bin and then
select Enhance > PhotoMerge >
Drag one of the images onto the right hand image block.
Make sure the other image is in the left hand image block.
On the left hand image highlight the piece of the image you
want to add – a mere stroke on the person will do. A composite is
made. You can combine up to 10 images (just imagine how much fun you can have with photomerge).
Click <done> and Elements will do the rest.
Now to add the frame as before.
Drag the frame image into the workspace. The layers
palette will show it sitting at the top.
Make sure the top layer is selected in the Layers palette.
Add a mask to the top layer by clicking on the "add a mask"
button in the layes palette.
Choose quick selection (or your favorite selection) and
make a selection on the inside of the frame.
When you are happy with your selection, chose the Paint
Bucket Tool. Press the 'D' key to make ‘Black and white’ the
default colours and make sure the black is the foreground colour.
Make sure the mask area is selected and then Click within
the selected area.
The image is made.
Once you've got the steps down then you can apply them to any group of pictures and make some really neat pic-in-pic images.