Putting the Model Inside A Jar - Part 2

On my March 16 blog post Putting the Model Inside A Jar, I discussed how to capture the three photographs used to achieve this fun effect. Let us now discuss how these photographs are used in Photoshop to achieve the final image. First we open the photograph of our model Crystal holding the jar:

The inside of the jar is lined with paper. The extension cord and light bulb can be seen at the top of the jar.

The inside of the jar is lined with paper. The extension cord and light bulb can be seen at the top of the jar.

Open the second image of the model holding the jar with the paper and light bulb removed. Make a selection of the jar and jar lid. I used the Pen tool. Don't worry if you do no know how to use this tool. You can simply click along the edges of the jar and the Pen tool will "connect the dots" so to speak. Once the path is completed (closed), press Command-Return (Control-Enter) to turn it into a selection. Press Command-J (Control-J) to put the selection on its own layer. Select the Move tool (V). Shift-click on its layer thumbnail and drag this layer onto the image shown above. Holding down the Shift key tells Photoshop to align the images. Close the second image because we are done with it. Label this second layer Jar Background:

Now we can see behind the jar, but Crystal's left hand is obscured.

Now we can see behind the jar, but Crystal's left hand is obscured.

Add a white layer mask, and use a 50% hardness black Brush to paint out the Jar Background layer over her hand. If you wish, you can temporarily lower the layer opacity to 50% to help see where her hand is. Once done, raise it back to 100%:

Crystal's left hand has reappeared.

Crystal's left hand has reappeared.

Add a new blank layer and name it Shadow. Select the Brush tool (B), set the foreground color to black. Press 2, then Shift-2. This sets the Opacity and the Flow of the Brush each to 20%. Use a soft Brush to paint a shadow on the bottom of the jar where the miniature Crystal will be standing. Go ahead and paint over her left thumb. Add a white mask, return the Brush to 100% Opacity and Flow, set its hardness to 50% and paint black on the mask to hide the part of the shadow over her thumb. If the shadow looks too dark, reduce the Opacity of the Shadow layer:

The shadow in place at the bottom of the jar.

The shadow in place at the bottom of the jar.

Open the third image, which in this case is the image of Crystal that will go inside the jar. Mask out the background using Photoshop's selection tools and Refine Edge or your favorite masking plugin. Once you have a good mask, we want to get a layer of just Crystal without the mask. To accomplish this, click on the layer thumbnail of the masked layer to select it. Next Command-click (Control-click) on the layer mask to get the "marching ants" selection then press Command-J (Control-J) to get the selection of Crystal on its own layer with no layer mask.

Drag this new layer onto our jar image, and give it the name of the model - in this case Crystal. Hit Command-T (Control-T) to resize rotate on position Crystal so she is standing on the shadow. If there is a fringe around Crstal, go to Layer, Matting, Defringe... and defringe Crystal by one pixel. This can only be done on a layer with no layer mask:

Crystal is now on, but not inside, the jar.

Crystal is now on, but not inside, the jar.

Add a white layer mask, and, as before, use a 50% hard black Brush to mask out the part of the foot so that the left thumb is again revealed:

Crystal looking like she is a bit more inside the jar, but the colors are not right.

Crystal looking like she is a bit more inside the jar, but the colors are not right.

At this point we have four layers. Go back down to the second layer called Jar Background, select it by clicking on its layer thumbnail, and duplicate this layer. Drag it to the top of the layers, and name it Jar Background with Orange. Use the Eyedropper tool to select a light orange from the wall just above her right hand. If you are not getting any orange selected, make sure you have Sample: All Layers turned on in the Options Bar.

Use the Direct Selection Tool to select the jar - you should see the marching ants. Fill the selection with orange, which is now our foreground color. To do this, press Option-Delete (Alt-Backspace). Finally, reduce the layer opacity. I went down to 20%:

Since our new layer already has a layer mask, the left thumb is not altered by this additional orange color.

Since our new layer already has a layer mask, the left thumb is not altered by this additional orange color.

The glass is thicker across Crystal's head, so we should make an adjustment for that also. On the top layer, make a loose selection of the thick part of the jar covering her face by using the Lasso tool (L). Command-J (Control-J) to put it on its own layer. Name this layer Jar Over Head. Use the Eyedropper tool to select a darker orange color from the top part of the wall. Use the Direct Selection tool to make a selection of this part of the jar, and fill it with the foreground color, which is now a darker orange, by pressing Option-Delete (Alt-Backspace). Mask as need by using a 50% hard black Brush on a white layer mask. Lower the opacity of this layer as needed. I brought mine down to 50%:

Crystal is now fully inside the jar.

Crystal is now fully inside the jar.

As a final touch, I suggest vignetting to pull the viewer's attention to the center of this image. Add a Curves adjustment layer, set its layer blending mode to Multiply, then use a big, 0% hard black Brush to paint over Crystal and her jar. Lower the layer opacity if you feel the vignette is too strong:

The final image.

The final image.