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Photo Compositing Collage, montage, masking, selections, combining, etc.

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  #1  
Old 06-25-2006, 03:08 PM
Ken Rogers's Avatar
Ken Rogers Ken Rogers is offline
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Suggestions

I am working on a little project for my son's car. Could anyone offer advice on what more I could be doing to make it look real?

Ken
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File Type: jpg mustang-in-water.jpg (83.4 KB, 79 views)
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Old 06-25-2006, 03:44 PM
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Swampy Swampy is offline
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Since water meets it's own level, there appears to be to many "waves" around the front portion of the car, especially the hood and grill.

Also the reflection or image of the part of the car that is under water is too light for my eye (the water looks to murky to reveal that much detail in the car under water). Also, my eye is bothered by the acute angle of that same portion of the image in relationship to the angle the car is sitting at.
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Old 06-25-2006, 04:12 PM
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Ken Rogers Ken Rogers is offline
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Good feedback, Swampy. Thank you for your points. Initially, I created a waterline that was a perfectly straight line from left to right, but I decided that this waterline should have some bends and turns, since parts of the car are closer than others.

The car should have some reflection. This reflection is a vertically flipped image, with reduced opacity, lowered levels, and masked with a wave pattern (obviously there would not be a perfect reflection from this lake).

Can someone offer me guidance with the reflection, as well as the water action around the car? The idea should be that of a car that's been sitting in the water long enough for the water to have settled, but there should still be some water action around it (ripples).
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Old 06-25-2006, 04:19 PM
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Ken, can you give us the two elements you started with, car and lake? Or at least the car. Maybe that will help us demonstrate techniques.
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  #5  
Old 06-25-2006, 04:43 PM
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Ken Rogers Ken Rogers is offline
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Here is the .psd file (a 4.5MB download).

Mustang .psd file

Attached is an experiment I just conducted in my sink, which was very enlightening. I highlighted the water line with red.

Ken
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File Type: jpg water-line.jpg (12.2 KB, 53 views)

Last edited by Ken Rogers; 06-25-2006 at 05:12 PM.
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  #6  
Old 06-25-2006, 06:11 PM
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Ken Rogers Ken Rogers is offline
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I've redone the water line and the reflection. Just need to add a little water action (any ideas, please...)

Ken
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File Type: jpg mustang2.jpg (98.9 KB, 58 views)
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  #7  
Old 06-25-2006, 07:09 PM
recrisp recrisp is offline
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Ken,

I like the idea you have, and I hope he has a sense of humor! heheh
I personally like the positioning of the first image, it's more realistic to me.
First too, I would flop the water image, the sun's coming from the right, and the car's light is coming from the left, so if you 'just flop the water',
it will be more realistic.

Secondly, the waves in both are too still, water would be 'lapping' up against the car on 'all sides'.
The waves should also be gentle ones, not splashing ones, and they should be irregular around the whole of the car.
You can use the SMUDGE tool set to about 50% opacity (with a soft brush to size) to do that, and just pull each wave to get the desired result,
a little practice might be in order, it all depends on how well you know the tool.
I'd say that you'd be better off looking at pictures online that have waves, study them a little and you'll get a better idea as to how the work.
The first photo shows a car on it's side, I believe that if a car was actually in the water, it'd be closer to that first one, not the second.
I would definitely redo the water's edge around the car though, it's not following the true outline of the car.
The second one is following it better, but to me, that positioning isn't as convincing, the water lines are off just as much as the first.
That's a hard thing to do, but I'd draw a line around the car like you were cutting it in half, 'cause that's essentially what you're doing anyway.
To me, you'd be better off (and it'd be a lot easier too) if you had the car 'just half submerged', as if it was on all four wheels, not tilted.
I know it's not as dramatic, but if you don't get the water's edge right, it won't work anyway, so you might have to 'settle', it's just a thought.

Swampy's right about the reflection too, but, you could make a gradated mask to make it 'light to dark', with the lightest being the bottom of the image.
Although the water's not really that murky, as you can see some rocks in the foreground, it wouldn't let you see the entirety of the car.
I'd blur the reflection too, and with a gradated mask, you will also hide things like the reflection where it doesn't actually fit well.

The sharpness of the car is making the background slightly too soft to me, so you might consider blurring the car a 'little' just enough to match
they background, or, you could contrast the background, they just need to be slightly closer.

Check the light source, fix it to where the waves are more believable, and the reflection corrected, that ought to make it fairly convincing, 'cause
when I first saw it, my first reaction was that was real, so your son will view it at least that way, all depending on how much he knows about this
kind'a stuff.

I hope this helps some.
Good luck, and let us know his reaction too! heheh

Randy
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  #8  
Old 06-25-2006, 07:17 PM
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Great tips, thanks to both of you. Will post my progress later this evening.

ken
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  #9  
Old 06-25-2006, 08:19 PM
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Littlecoo Littlecoo is offline
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A few things I noticed straight off as not quite natural... the edge around your selection of the car looks unnaturally sharp to me, some softness, dither, feathering etc would help there. The car body is a reflective surface (note reflected greenery on the car door) maybe you could get away with desaturating that. Also note your light direction, the light on the water seems to be falling from a different direction than the light on the car. The water is not completely opaque (I can see the bottom), so some show through of the car (gradient mask or such) especially the lights which are turned on! Try using a smudge or liquify tool to distort your reflections etc. Sorry if I come across as a tad nit picky... tis just what I see. Hehe! I am curious as to what this manip is for? Mischief perhaps?
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  #10  
Old 06-25-2006, 09:04 PM
carlos_0575 carlos_0575 is offline
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Smile

Hi Ken

Here's my attempt. I thought the car needed to be sat 'in' the water more, and also thought with the headlights on, u could show them lit under water. I added some water behind the rear windshield, general relections, shadows and colour fading into the depths. I also warmed up the tone of the car to match the water a little.

Carlos

carlmckendrick.co.uk
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File Type: jpg mustang_carlos.JPG (99.7 KB, 49 views)
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