Selections and Layers: Pizza

One of the most effective ways to learn about the importance of selections and layers in Photoshop is by working with files and objects that, are themselves, comprised of layers: pizza, birthday cake, burgers. You know, all the fun foods. This lesson has been great for my working knowledge of layers, but not so great for cravings.

I digress.

This week’s project involved taking ingredients you would find on a yummy pie, selecting the ingredients using the quick selection tool (my selection tool of choice for this project because, well, it’s fast, easy and accurate), and placing the ingredients on the pizza crust in their own layers to create a realistic image.

Getting started: 

Every great chef knows you first shop for and prepare your ingredients and workspace. So here we go! Below are the original files for this project, in addition to the butcher’s block I chose to use as my background for the final product.

With our pizza crust serving as our blank canvas, I first opened the image in Photoshop, used the Quick Selection Tool to select the crust and copy / pasted the crust into its own layer. After moving the pizza crust to its own transparent layer, I opted to import my background file of choice by selecting File / Place Embedded to open the butcher’s block and place it as the background for our pizza crust.

Sauce, Cheese & Toppings

To create the layer of sauce, I created a new layer and selected a deeper tone of red and a large brush with full opacity. Once I was satisfied with the color and coverage, I selected a lower opacity and a lighter red to bring in a little bit of movement.

To add cheese on top, I created a new layer and selected a brush with texture and two different shades; light yellow and a creamy white to bring dimension to the cheese layer.

Now for the toppings! I imported each topping one file at a time by selecting File / Place Embedded. Once the file was embedded, I used the Quick Selection Tool to select each ingredient and used the command Copy / Paste to place the ingredient to a new layer; select the placement and rotation of each ingredient to bring a realistic element to it. Repeat with each ingredient until you have the final product!


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