Have you ever wondered how marketing banners and online shops have their products looking so sharp and crisp with a nice solid colored background? Well, you could spend money on buying the perfect studio to achieve this, or you can make a few modifications using Photoshop to achieve the same effect.
Most products online today (especially Jewelry products) are either created using 3D software (such as Gemvision Matrix 7), Taken with high end professional photography equipment, or modified in Photoshop before achieving the finished product. The latter of these methods (Photoshop) is the least difficult and expensive of the three, and this tutorial will get you started in the world of product marketing by showing you step by step how to make a photo of jewelry sparkle and shine with a perfectly white background, ready to be used for marketing or catalogs.
Some of the important tools we’re going to use in this tutorial are:
- The Pen Tool (One of the most difficult tools in Photoshop)
- Layer Masks
- Adjustment Layers
- High Pass Filter
Here’s a photo of the before and after photos.
Let’s get started!
We are going to cut the piece of jewellery out of the original image and paste it into a new image to give it a perfectly white background. To do this, we are going to use the Pen Tool.
Zoom into your object so you can draw around it more easily with the Pen. Since it’s such a difficult tool to use in Photoshop, let me give you a few tips on the Pen Tool that most of the other tutorials don’t give you.
- Left-click once to create the starting point of where you want to draw
- Left-click again to the next point where you would like the line to end up (in the example below, the second point is the dark grey square in the middle of the straight grey line). If you hold the left mouse button down while you left-click, you can bend the line around the object. As you can see below, the line curves around the edge of the object.
IMPORTANT – Once you’ve created your first line, you want to hold down the ALT key and left-Click the last point you made. You will know if you have done this correctly because you will no longer have two axel points (the two small grey circles that sit at the two ends of the straight grey line) but only one (as shown below).
Before holding down ALT and left-clicking the point (two axel points):
After holding down ALT and left-clicking the point (one axel point):
- Now, use your pen tool to draw the outline of the jewelry item. Once the Pen Tool tracs a full outline and returns to the starting point, it will close off the circuit and you can start drawing around other pieces of the item (such as the butterfly backs, which we will do next).
This is the butterfly back inside which you want to draw a circle:
- Once you have finished drawing a line around the outside of the jewelry item, also draw a line around the inside of the butterfly backs as we want make any area of background inside the item is white as well.
Check out the YouTube clip here to watch how it is done:
- Once you have completed drawing your lines, you want to right-click the Pen Tool on the photo and select “Make Selection”:
- Set the Feather Radius to 2 (the Feather Radius determines how sharp you want your outline to be – sometimes a setting of 0 can make it too obvious that you have cut the image out).
- Now click on “Edit” at the Menu Bar on the top left of your screen and “Copy”.
- Now click on “File” and “New” and create a new file with a white background.
- Now Click on “Edit” and “Paste”.
You’ve now done the hardest part: cutting and pasting your jewelry item into a nice white document for you to work with.
Now we are going to apply some Adjustment Layers to give the piece of jewelry more shine and sparkle.
- You should have two layers in your layer pallet (a Background layer and a layer containing you Jewelry image). Duplicate the jewelry layer by clicking on the layer in the layer pallet and Pressing CTRL + J. You should now see something like this:
- Now change the blending mode to “Multiply”
- You’ll notice the blue stones become a lot bolder and more striking. The metal, however, is a little too dark, so we want to remove the “Multiply” effect from the metal. To do this we will create a Layer Mask on the duplicated layer by selecting the duplicated layer in the Layer pallet and then clicking on the “Create Layer Mask” button below your layers.
- Now, you should have a Layer Mask on your duplicated layer (A white box to the side of the layer).
- Making sure your Layer Mask is selected (click on the Layer Mask to be sure), select the Brush tool, with the colour on black, and brush over the metal areas of the earring. This will remove the Multiply effect from these areas.
Your image sound look something like this
And your Layer Mask something like this:
- Now let’s merge all our layers together before we move to the third and final step.
Select the top layer in your Layer pallet, and while holding down the SHIFT key, select the bottom layer – this should highlight all layers.
Now right-click and select “Merge Layers”.
In this step we are going to sharpen the image using a “High Pass” filter.
To do this, we will first duplicate the layer again. After having merged all layers you should only have one layer, so click on the layer in Layer pallet and press CTRL + J (you should now have two identical layers).
- Select the Top Layer and change the blending mode to “Overlay”.
Your image should now look something like this:
- Now Click on “Filter” (on the Menu Bar at the top of the screen) then “Other” and then “High Pass”.
- Set the Radius to a value between 3–4, adjusting it to what you think looks best (you will notice your image sharpen in the preview as you change the value here).
- Once you are happy with the result, click OK.
There you go. You now have a professional, marketable jewelry image!