Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Making of a Reporter: Cat Art Hop

How did we create last Sunday's "Faraday the Intrepid Reporter," anyway?

It's a technique known as compositing.

The first thing we did was search for a fedora on Flickr that had a Creative Commons 3.0 license with permission to alter the photo. We did this by using Flickr's advanced search option, scrolling down to the bottom and selecting this:

Once we had our hat (yeah, some guy was wearing it), we cut it out using Photoshop's lasso tool. Then we had to find a photo of Faraday that looked like it was shot from a similar angle as the guy wearing the hat.


Then - yeah, you guessed it - we cut Faraday out. Now we have Faraday in one layer and the Fedora in another.

We created the PRESS card by freeforming a white card (lasso+fill) into a new layer and using the "create warped text" option in Photoshop's type tool:

The pencil and his notepad (made same as the press card) went into their own layers.

For the background, we searched google for free clipart of the U.S. then used a woodgrain image to create the paneled walls and shaded rectangles of various shades of blue to create the news desk behind him.

(If it looks familiar, that's because we used SNL's Weekend Update set as our inspiration!)

One way to add a bit more believability and depth to a composite image like this one is to add shadows. Here, Faraday's hat has its own shadow, as do the notepad and pencil.

In all, the Photoshop file ended up 11 layers deep.  Whewwwwww!

To view more Cat Art fun, join the Cat Art Hop at this link here!



  1. Wow 11 layers. Mum is clever. Have a super Saturday.
    Best wishes Molly

  2. That sounds like lots of work, and our mom is too computer-dumb to do all that, MOL!

    We LOVE Faraday's picture :)

  3. That's a whole lot of layers! Mommy's photoshopping skills suck.

  4. OMC - You are a pro at Photoshop. We're still trying to learn Photoshop Elements 10 over here and haven't figured out how to lasso something out yet. You are amazing.

  5. I would love to take a professional Photoshop class - I really enjoy working with the program but am such an amateur! Thanks for sharing your techniques! Purrs from the Zee and Zoey Gang!

  6. Can you teach my Mom how to use Photoshop? You're amazing!

  7. Oh My Cat! Yoo a GENIUS! Mom say she gonna try dis.....when she has eleventy days & I can bubble wrap everyting so when she throw tings dey bounce and don't break! Mom: Seriously, this sounds like such fun when after you learn how to do it. (Bucky rolls his eyes)

  8. That's great! The head peep needs more practice -- a lot more practice -- cutting things out of backgrounds. You make it look easy!

  9. This is one of our FAVE pics of Faraday!
    ...can you tell us a little more about how to find that search option for the Creative Commons images? Is there a particular link we go to?

  10. Woo! Hoo! That's how wes looks for images too! And mes LOVES what yous did with all those layers and ESPECIALLY that marvelous Man Cat Faraday!!!

  11. Great job there! We found a photo of me on one site that has the creative commons stuff. Someone had removed our watermark, called it their own and offered it for anyone to use. That really stinks, but regardless, you look amazing!

  12. My mom only use PiZap and Photo Scape , furry easy to use she say´s.
    If you ask me it´s TO easy *mol*


  13. We still don't understand layers. *sigh*

  14. It is a great photo! So glad that you explained how you created it. Have a great weekend!

  15. Awesome tutorial! Layers (and layers and layers) are awesome. My human went to an art show that had some amazing digital art with hundreds upon hundreds of layers! (It made my human wonder what kind of humungo computer and screen they were using to create it!)

  16. Thanks for the lesson. Until Mom can get her computer straightened out, she cannot even install the Photoshop she got for her birthday. You are so very talented. Best wishes for a blessed Easter, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

  17. Wow, you all sure are handy with that Photoshop! Mom is still trying to learn the ins and outs :) Very cool picture!

    By the way, we have nominated you for an award. You can read about in today's post on our blog if you'd like :) Concatulations!

  18. Very cool. The mom says one day she'll learn how to photoshop. Until then, she remains impressed with what others can do. :)

  19. Love the picture and thanks for telling us how you did it. I agree with Island Cats and say the same!

  20. Eleven layers is nothing once you get the hang of it, before Photoshop CS4 it wasn't unheard of to work with 50 or more layers. Thankfully in CS4 Adobe introduced Smart Objects and now layers can be grouped into one smart object so it appears as a single editable layer. Much better when you have lots of layers to work with.

    1. True! And have you ever worked in After Effects? We often have shows with layers 80 or more deep.


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