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  #11  
Old 07-30-2003, 11:16 PM
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Shannon Shannon is offline
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background changing

Spinzz I think you are going in the right direction :-)
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  #12  
Old 07-31-2003, 12:04 AM
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jeaniesa jeaniesa is offline
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Lisa, I like what you did with the floor. It definitely helps. There's still something not quite right about the third girl from the left in the front. No matter what I do, I can't get her to look like she's really sitting on the floor, but perhaps I've been staring at it too long.

I did a quick mock-up of the shadow I was mentioning. I haven't done anything with the floor in this version - just added a subtle shadow trying to be cognizant of the light source that Leah pointed out.

I copied the people to a separate layer. Then added a drop shadow with the following values:
Multiply at 30%
Angle 125
Distance 26 px
Spread 0%
Size 32 px

Jeanie
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  #13  
Old 07-31-2003, 12:16 AM
Mig Mig is offline
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The crop idea is a good one.
Also, consider messing with the background to create a little depth.
Be careful with making up shadows. If you decide to use shadows avoid harsh shadows, as it gives the impression the people are standing and sitting right in front of the fake background.
Strangely, fake backgrounds like this usually don't show shadows. Nevertheless, they always look fake no matter what.
But, good job with this. Most people would just assume it was a fake background and not a faked picture.
People, take a close look at the people in the pic, can you tell who's related to who?

mig
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  #14  
Old 07-31-2003, 12:24 PM
Mike Mike is offline
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When I posted my first reply, I was in a hurry and posted the first thing that came to my mind. I have a few more minutes and would like to throw out a few ideas that I have been thinking about. I hope that all of you will look at this as an attempt to help.

First of all I am a photographer, so I tend to look at things from that viewpoint. Most photographers would light a large group like that so there would be a minimum of shadows. One has to be careful or one of the subjects will be in someone elses shadow. Also most photographers would light the set to remove any shadows from the background.

Backgrounds are usually allowed to go slightly fuzzy so as to minimize them so that the viewers eye goes to where we want it, in this case the people. We do this by picking an F stop that will give us the correct depth of field, or if shooting digital, doing the deed in PS.

Now the thing that comes to mind while looking at this and thinking about some of the things I have done while doing this kind of work is this. Scale. And what I mean by that is when you photograph a large group like that, one would need a very large background, but when you cutout the group, then you can just enlarge any background to fit around the group. If the background had been made large enough to fit behind a group that large, would the details of the background be that large?

With a background of this type, maybe you can get away with a scale change, but with something more realistic, maybe not.

I do not really know enough about this particular image to make any good suggestions, but that is the impression I got when looking at it.

Anyway, I hope this adds to the conversation and I welcome any other viewpoints.

Mike
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  #15  
Old 08-02-2003, 10:30 AM
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K. Johnstone K. Johnstone is offline
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I agree with what Mike said. I've received orders with like this asking me to actually remove shadows from backgrounds, so I don't think any should be added, even subtle ones. As this file came up it all looked natural to me until I saw their feet (56k modem hehe). The floor should be a little darker under the people. The kid on the left, his shoe should have a sharper line (this sticks out against that bright floor). The background is fine, I think. These faux scenic backgrounds always look like this, if properly lit.

That's the only problem I see, just needs a little change around their feet, because that area wouldn't be receiving light normally, right? I just did a layer via copy, changed to multiply and left it at %100, then made a mask and painted on it with an opacity at 10 until I built up a little tonal difference.
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  #16  
Old 08-02-2003, 12:57 PM
okplayer okplayer is offline
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Thank you all for your input. I've done some changes to this picture, and think I am happy with what it looks like. I would love to share it with you right now, but I'm home & it's at work. So, that doesn't work very well . I will be sure to show you as soon as I'm back at the jobby-job.
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  #17  
Old 08-02-2003, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
I've received orders with like this asking me to actually remove shadows from backgrounds, so I don't think any should be added, even subtle ones
[...]
The floor should be a little darker under the people [...] because that area wouldn't be receiving light normally, right?
My physics is a little rusty, but isn't that what we call "a shadow"?

Mike's comment about the scale suddenly made me realise what was bugging me about this image but I couldn't put my finger on. D'oh! Thank you for that - I will be sure to add it to my mental checklist for future use...
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  #18  
Old 08-02-2003, 03:57 PM
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K. Johnstone K. Johnstone is offline
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Sure! I've never been asked to remove shadows from under people, that'd be insane. Shadows on the background/backdrops have gotta go though.
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  #19  
Old 08-02-2003, 10:05 PM
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jeaniesa jeaniesa is offline
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Mike, thanks for your professional opinion on this. Very insightful!!

K, I think you hit the nail on the head with darkening the floor! That was definitely bothering me - esp. the slight "glow" around some of the feet. I tried darkening just under the people's feet/knees, but hadn't thought to darken the whole floor. That really makes a difference!

Jeanie
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  #20  
Old 08-07-2003, 09:37 AM
okplayer okplayer is offline
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this doesn't pertain to the specific image that i was working on, but while working on this question I did have another question about background changing experiences, and decided there was no need for a whole seperate post. I was checking a ton of tutorials, and none seemed to address a background change where hair was a big issue. From your experiences, what methods have you found the most effective in masking out hair that's curly or spikey the best? I haven't really been able to find a method that does it very well.
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