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Compositing Tutorial

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  #1  
Old 07-15-2009, 01:12 PM
mikeconley mikeconley is offline
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Compositing Tutorial

Hello all, longtime lurker, 1st time poster.
I am looking for tutorials that will teach me how to composite 15 plus images as shown in Paul's blog. I do some composting (two or three images) so I understand it is a mixture of techniques. However, I can't begin to comprehend how to blend so many images. My goal is not to duplicate Paul’s work but understand the techniques for composting numerous images. I have a vision but lack the skills to composite to this degree.

Do the books by Katrin Eismann and Steve Caplin touch on this type of composite work?

http://paulbyun.blogspot.com/



Thanks Mike
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Old 07-16-2009, 03:32 PM
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mikedimples mikedimples is offline
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Re: Compositing Tutorial

What you linked is called HDR compositing, and it can be done automatically or manually. To have Photoshop do it, go into BridgeCS4 (3?) and select all the images, then tools > photoshop >merge to HDR. There are stand alone programs that give higher quality results, like Photomatix.

To do this manually, you'll need to mask in the best tones from each image using contrast masking.

This effect can also be faked somewhat with tonemapping, but you'll need a RAW file.

**note that you can't take any 15 images and HDR them, they must have been taken with HDR in mind using a tripod and taking many shots with varying exposure so you can capture the full tonal range of the image**

Then he separately took HDR photo of the girl with each shot lighting a different area of her. Looks like he then sloppily composited the girl and the church together -- something looks fishy in the end result.

Last edited by mikedimples; 07-16-2009 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 07-17-2009, 01:46 PM
plantphoto plantphoto is offline
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Re: Compositing Tutorial

There are plenty of books out there on comping,I have books by both the authors you mention but it still takes time & practice to produce good results (that's presuming you are new to photoshop).I also think a background as a photographer helps but that's just my view.
Cheers,
Simon
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  #4  
Old 07-17-2009, 03:53 PM
mikeconley mikeconley is offline
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Re: Compositing Tutorial

I have a reasonable level of skills in both photography and Photoshop but certainly not an expert. As I said, I do composite work today but with just a few images. I am also striving to create a “look” that is similar to Paul’s and the work of this gentleman at quantzphoto.com. He obviously has a high level of knowledge relative to compositing. His processing is close to what I am trying to achieve as well. I am working on the creation of my own look which falls somewhere in between the two folks mentioned above. To accomplish my goal, I must improve my composting skills.
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Old 07-19-2009, 12:17 PM
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snook305 snook305 is offline
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Re: Compositing Tutorial

I have done many compositing course from internet and VTC's but no one seems to tech perspective and How to deal with proper shdawo placement to make the image seem like it was actually there whne shot. I find that the most frustrating part of compositing and no one seems to teach that part. Does anybody have any good information or links as to how to grasp that.
I have been retocuhing for 18 years now and am just getting into the compositing side of things.
I would appreciate any good information on thesetechnique. MAsking and working with layers is under my belt now, just want to learn some more about perpsectively how to shade and put the elements together ina different scenes by warping and shading.
Bert Monroy has some cool things but no one ever shows people for instance in new backgrounds with their feet inluded.
Thnaks for any heads up
Snook

PS. also thsi forum seem to get very little interest, why is that and is there any other forums for compositing techniques?
Thanks again
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Old 07-19-2009, 12:40 PM
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LonK LonK is offline
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Re: Compositing Tutorial

You might want to look into the books by photomontage artist Steve Caplin. His "How to Cheat in Photoshop" also has a support website which includes a forum.
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Old 07-19-2009, 12:52 PM
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snook305 snook305 is offline
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Re: Compositing Tutorial

Thanks Lonnie I have his first book but cannot find much on shadowing.
My problem many times is I have variuos images from different shoots and want to incorporate them together, often many times I have a hard time making the feet area of people look right with the shadow, specially when it is a REALLY soft shadow and when I throw objects in making them look right? Would you use the perspective lines of the image to fit it in correctly? in other word if I have a room and throw in a chicken for example, do I make guides for the vanishing points and then place the chicken in the vanishing points?
Thanks for any further help..:+]
Snook

PS. I checked out his forums but like most there are very few replies.
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Old 07-19-2009, 06:25 PM
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LonK LonK is offline
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Re: Compositing Tutorial

If the shadow you desire drops to the rear or to the front (+/- about 45 degrees), you can generally create a reasonably good shadow from a very dark dup of the cutout subject. Use the transform tool to position the shadow using resize, skew, perspective as needed. Use liquify (and/or warp) for finer adjustments, such as positioning the shadow at the point(s) it joins the subject. Make a gradient mask with quick mask and gaussian blur, blurring more as the shadow gets further from the subject. Use the same type of mask to reduce opacity, again fading with distance.

If you wish a shadow cast from light coming from above or from the side, you'll probably have to resort to painting it as you'll likely not be able to distort a dup realistically. The shadow outline won't even resemble the shape of the subject.

It should go without saying that the shadow should correspond as nearly as possible with the direction and characteristics of the light already hitting the subject. It follows that in comping, the lighting on all of the subjects should be very similar. Not respecting these simple guidelines is the biggest reason for failure with faux shadowing. Just remember to "follow the light".

You specify REALLY soft shadow and problems with feet. Just remember that the even a very soft shadow will be pretty sharp nearer to the subject. As far as using vanishing point, I can't think of any advantage over transform/warp/liquify. Perspective, when dealing with shadows is reliant on the direction/size/distance of the light source, not the geometric perspective of the view.

HTH,
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Old 07-20-2009, 07:42 AM
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snook305 snook305 is offline
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Re: Compositing Tutorial

Hey Lonnie..
Thanks and I meant Vanishing point to get the right perspective of the object I am placing in the scene, I gues it was a 2 part question.
Thanks for help,
Snook
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  #10  
Old 07-20-2009, 11:50 AM
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LonK LonK is offline
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Re: Compositing Tutorial

AFAIK, vanishing point won't help much synchronizing the perspective of disparate objects. You can deal with one or the other, but not both at the same time. To match perspectives, I'd suggest drawing perspective lines for each subject individually, then transform to match horizons, angles and vanishing points as nearly as you can. In the example you suggested, I'd imagine it would be quite difficult to determine the perspective of a chicken, so it would probably be just a matter of logical guessing and visual judgment.
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