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Main subject floating because shadow not right.

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  #1  
Old 02-11-2009, 12:39 PM
Canna W's Avatar
Canna W Canna W is offline
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Main subject floating because shadow not right.

A lot of shadows in the attached montage are wrong, but I'm not worried about most of them. The thing that really bugs me is that the main subject - the baby in the container - looks as though it is floating. I find this happens to me all the time. I have 'floating' subjects.

I would be very grateful for advice about what I can do to make this better.

PS. I brightened the lower part of the pic to make the problem more obvious for this forum - and as a result I've lost a lot of the shadow - it does in fact extend out of the picture....
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File Type: jpg RTP-SHADOWS-2.jpg (95.5 KB, 202 views)

Last edited by Canna W; 02-11-2009 at 12:43 PM. Reason: Just to add the PS....
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Old 02-11-2009, 01:31 PM
fromage fromage is offline
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Re: Main subject floating because shadow not right

You can try darkening the bottom of the container where it touches the ground. Currently, it appears to be receiving bounce light from the ground. But the ground is in shadow and therefore is not bouncing light.

You can also try adding a sausage or contact shadow. It's a really tight secondary shadow just underneath the item. You can see this kind of shadow when looking at car tire shadows. It's a tight, small, dark shad in addition to the larger, main shad.

Finally, do a search for ambient occlusion on the web. It's a 3d technique, but a useful trick when working in 2d, as well. It adds realistic shadows in the nooks and crannies of all objects in a scene, and helps glue the objects together.
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Old 02-11-2009, 03:23 PM
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Canna W Canna W is offline
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Re: Main subject floating because shadow not right

Hi fromage - that was incredibly useful. I've darkened the bottom of the bowl, and added a contact/sausage shadow like you suggested, and it looks loads better. I will bear it in mind for future shadows too. That is great. Thank you.

I checked out ambient occlusion, but - blush blush - I think it is way over my head.... It was good to read some introductions to the idea though. You never know, maybe one day....

Many thanks again for those really useful suggestions.
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File Type: jpg RTP-SHADOWS-3.jpg (95.1 KB, 123 views)
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Old 02-11-2009, 07:21 PM
Steve13 Steve13 is offline
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Re: Main subject floating because shadow not right

Looks to me like the perspective on the basket is wrong in relation to windows. Point of view is near the top of window opening, should be looking down on the basket more. Tends to make the front of the basket look off the ground.
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Old 02-11-2009, 07:54 PM
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Re: Main subject floating because shadow not right

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve13 View Post
Looks to me like the perspective on the basket is wrong in relation to windows. Point of view is near the top of window opening, should be looking down on the basket more. Tends to make the front of the basket look off the ground.
I have studied this pic for a long time and couldn't spot why it seemed to be flying no matter how the shadow was placed! Right ON Steve, Good Eye!!!

The curve of the tub/bowl/basket/Plant pot or whatever should be on the same plane as the railing
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Old 02-12-2009, 02:28 AM
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Canna W Canna W is offline
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Re: Main subject floating because shadow not right

Looks to me like the perspective on the basket is wrong in relation to windows. Point of view is near the top of window opening, should be looking down on the basket more. Tends to make the front of the basket look off the ground.

Thank you very much Steve. I think what you are saying is that the baby/container should be nearer the bottom of the pic? Spatial awareness is one of my worst weaknesses - not good for someone with a passion for compositing :-(

Last edited by Canna W; 02-12-2009 at 02:29 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:37 AM
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Re: Main subject floating because shadow not right

Being a visual person I threw together a very quick concept GIF which I feel demonstrates what Steve meant..
I hope you don't mind me playing with a portion of your very nice composite/montage.

If I am wrong let me know and I will remove this hastily made bad example
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File Type: gif concept.gif (65.6 KB, 90 views)
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Old 02-12-2009, 09:44 AM
SilvaFox SilvaFox is offline
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Re: Main subject floating because shadow not right

Any shadow must be darkest at the point of contact to look grounded. Look around at anything on your desk. The shadows where something contacts the ground are pretty tight and black as black can be.

Cheers
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Old 02-12-2009, 10:18 AM
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Re: Main subject floating because shadow not right

Also, the inside of the bowl and baby need more shadow.
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File Type: jpg baby.jpg (121.5 KB, 84 views)
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Old 02-12-2009, 01:23 PM
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Canna W Canna W is offline
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Re: Main subject floating because shadow not right

OlBaldy

That makes a fantastic difference! The only reason I'm not going to do it is that there isn't enough baby to fill the gap and I don't think the material quite does the trick. I'm quite stunned by what you showed me. I can't believe what a big difference it makes....


Silva Fox

Thank you. I'm beginning to realise that this is really important....


Swampy

That is great! Thank you! You version looks loads better.


I have already posted this pic now on flickr, but I'm going to replace it with a version which takes on board some of the marvellous tips in this thread. Many thanks to everyone.
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