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As we wish to decrease the contrast more the further away you get, we want the lightest areas in the background. To achieve this, we'll invert the layer by right-clicking it, choosing Effect, Channel and Invert (Fig.14).

1401_tid_image_14.jpg
Fig. 14

Then set the blending mode to Add (Fig.15).

1401_tid_image_15.jpg
Fig. 15

We have now successfully put some "air" between the foreground and the background, but in reality, this "air" isn't white on a sunny day, but the colour of the sky. We'll apply a colour correction to the Z-Depth pass by right-clicking it again and choosing Effect, Color Correction and Hue/Saturation (Fig.16).

1401_tid_image_16.jpg
Fig. 16

Check the box called Colorize and then turn the Colorize Hue knob to somewhere around -160 (Fig.17).

1401_tid_image_17.jpg
Fig. 17

Also, the sky has turned white, due to the fact that the Z-Depth pass does not contain an alpha channel. With the Z-Depth pass selected in the time line, highlight the Effect Controls panel above and press Ctrl+V/Cmd+V to paste in the matte from earlier. The Take Matte From Layer drop down resets for some reason, so we have to select our matte layer again (Fig.18).

1401_tid_image_18.jpg
Fig. 18

Step 7: Sky Replacement

Now that we have a basic composite for the buildings, we'll proceed with replacing the sky. First step is to find a suitable image. Personally, I went over to CG Textures (http://cgtextures.com/) and downloaded one of their Skies 360 images. Import the image by pressing Ctrl+I/Cmd+I and pointing to it on your hard drive (Fig.19).

1401_tid_image_19.jpg
Fig. 19

Next, drag the new sky layer into the composite, directly underneath your main layer (Fig.20).

1401_tid_image_20.jpg
Fig. 20


Right away, the sky looks too large and rather boring so we'll try making it a bit more interesting. First, reduce its size by expanding the layer (press the little triangle) and scale it down to around 40% under Transform (Fig.21).

1401_tid_image_21.jpg
Fig. 21

In the viewer, drag the sky layer upwards to match the horizon in the cityscape (Fig.22).

1401_tid_image_22.jpg
Fig. 22





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