Photoshop Tutorial: Adding Grass to an Image

This tutorial was prepared in Adobe Photoshop CS3. Yes, I am that far behind.

I live in West Texas where good grass is a rare thing. Most yards are balding brown, some even downright dirt. It’s no surprise to me when someone asks me to add grass to an outdoor shot they need.

I’ve never written a tutorial, but I thought I would give it a try. For those of you who have a newer version of Photoshop, I’m sure the concept is the same though the tools may be different. Also, I’m sure there is an easier way to do this, probably much easier than I did it. If you know of a way, tell me about in the comments below.

I was given several pictures of the same general area that needed to have grass added. I did the same to all, but I’ll stick with this one for the tutorial:

Original Dirt Shot

Original Un-edited Dirt Shot

The first thing I noticed was that this was apparently shot with a wide angle lens. Any grass I add will need to reflect that same stretched, graduated look. I also see that there’s some extraneous stuff that can be trimmed, such as the dirt on the sidewalk at the bottom and the bit to the left of the lamp post. Trim away.

The next step, at least for me, was identifying a good clip of replacement grass. All I needed to do was search “grass” under Google images. I was presented with much more than I could have ever looked at in one setting. Give it a try and see what comes up.

I needed a wide angle shot that included some depth of field without losing focus. Anything with sky was out. I also needed it shot from the correct angle, 20-30 degrees down. That eliminated a lot. I also needed something that would fit the area, which meant fescue. Lastly, it needed to be pretty big so that I would not have to worry about enlarging it (which never turns out good for resolution). This is a reduced version of what I ended up using:


Grass image used for replacement

Now that I had my replacement grass, it was time to get rid of the dirt… which is something my wife says pretty often. [Read more…]