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I want to use Photoshop CC to place a logo on a photo of a hot air balloon and make it look realistic.

I've tried a displacement map but the logo came out oddly distorted, as follows.

With displacement map

I've tried a simple free transform and experimented with transparency options but it didn't look realistic, as follows:

With free transform (perspective) and 'multiply' blending

The balloon is such a complicated shape (not straight, not circular, not spherical, rough surface etc etc!) that I'm having trouble making any sort of progress.

Any ideas? Thanks!

Additional 1... As requested, original images:

Balloon image without logo (low res)

Generic logo

Additional 2... I tried using a low contrast greyscale image with a little Guassian blur for the displacement map, as follows:

Low contrast greyscale displacement map

...which resulted in probably the best one yet, though I don't think it's perfect, as follows:

The result using the low contrast greyscale displacement map

Additional 3... same as above but with a little perspective transform. Pretty happy with this!

Low contrast greyscale displacement map + perspective transform

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    I think your displacement map is very, very close. The distortion effect you see is an effect of the different colours of fabric in the balloon. I guess if you try to make a version of the balloon greyscale, and manage to have it look like the balloon is one gradation of grey (while retaining its ridges), and use that as a displacement map, you're going to be pretty close to what you want! – Vincent Aug 18 '15 at 12:31
  • Thanks Vincent & Tim, I've added original images above as requested. I've also tried a low contrast greyscale image (added above) as a displacement map, and the result (also above), which is the best yet, though still not quite perfect in my view. Getting closer though! – Tom H Aug 18 '15 at 14:02
  • PS. Added a further image, the same as before (using greyscale low contrast displacement map) with a little perspective free transform -- I'm very happy with this one. If this isn't good enough, it's very close and I think I can get there with a bit of trial and error. – Tom H Aug 18 '15 at 14:11
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If you are willing to work a little for a realistic result you should calculate the number of sections of the baloon you want to place it on, cut the logo in the equivalent number of sections and place each individual section manually with the help of transform -> wrap, opacity and blending mode, good luck.

Also, this is my first answer here so I hope it's a good one.

  • @TomH , Good luck ! Maybe you can post the result when you are finished for people to see the difference :) – Alin Aug 19 '15 at 13:23
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You may need to warp the logo before mapping it. Currently, it wraps on the slices of the balloon but not on the balloon itself. It needs more three dimensional look. I presume they will apply to logo or banners on the balloon when it is flat on the ground. When it is inflated it will wrap around and the balloon and the parts that are on the sides should look smaller, narrower.

You may use the free transform tool, Ctrl-T, then click on the warp option on the toolbar, it looks like a fan. Then you can carefully pull the corners to create the illusion of wrapping around the balloon. Another option to use here may be the liquify filter. Both should be done before bump mapping.

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