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First real photocomposite attempt

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  #1  
Old 11-23-2012, 03:14 PM
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juls juls is offline
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First real photocomposite attempt

Hi everyone, just wanted to share with you my first real atempt at creating a photocomposite, it took me almost a month to complete... I had to search for the images which took a lot of time and also changed my mind a couple of times (or more) during the process... at the end I had to tell my self to stop otherwise I would be still composing and changing things. All the images are from www.morguefile.com (thanks to them) except the cyclist which is mine.
The image concept is inspired by the work of Dave Hill.
Thanks for all your critique, specially the constructive ones!
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File Type: jpg cyclist.jpg (98.4 KB, 292 views)
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  #2  
Old 06-30-2013, 10:09 AM
MadeofMusic MadeofMusic is offline
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Re: First real photocomposite attempt

Looks quite ambitious! Is there somewhere where I can see a larger version?
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:07 AM
santoro80 santoro80 is offline
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Re: First real photocomposite attempt

Nice concept, nicely done. I have only one problem with it. The brighter right side of the image attracts too much attention, but the main subject is in the darker left side. Why? Also the fog on the left side looks a bit weird.
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Old 06-30-2013, 04:04 PM
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juls juls is offline
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Re: First real photocomposite attempt

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Originally Posted by santoro80 View Post
Nice concept, nicely done. I have only one problem with it. The brighter right side of the image attracts too much attention, but the main subject is in the darker left side. Why? Also the fog on the left side looks a bit weird.
Thanks for your opinion, now that I look at the image again you are right the bright side distracts from the main subject... i'll have to live with that for now.
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Old 06-30-2013, 04:06 PM
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juls juls is offline
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Re: First real photocomposite attempt

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Originally Posted by MadeofMusic View Post
Looks quite ambitious! Is there somewhere where I can see a larger version?
Thanks, you can see a larger version here http://julioarboleda.portfoliobox.me/ also there are some other of my works... any comment is welcomed.
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Old 06-30-2013, 05:24 PM
kav kav is offline
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Re: First real photocomposite attempt

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Originally Posted by juls View Post
Thanks for your opinion, now that I look at the image again you are right the bright side distracts from the main subject... i'll have to live with that for now.


If I was setting this up from the elements I think you have, I would plan out a desired vanishing point for the perspective of those mountainous forms, even if it lies off canvas and I'm not sure I can match it across all. It just gives me something to help align them. I would put down the mountains and think about how far away I feel like some of these elements are. Right now a lot of background elements are fairly large. It's like you're pretty far from the biker, shooting with a long lens. It doesn't quite work for me when I look at the scale of the sign and the building. They definitely feel enormous to me. The continuity from the road to the dirt isn't that bad. Perspective seems a little off, but it kind of works. What I would do is employ more images there and along the road shoulder for transitions and debris. It feels like you wanted to make them more connected yet just stuck with what you had already gathered, thus the fadeoff on the road marking.

As I said once everything was in place, I would figure out the broader lighting that is supposed to each across elements to connect them. Right now the placement of flare is a bit weird. It doesn't make much sense. It doesn't make any sense as there's an attempt to unify them with no consistent direction. For example that reddish cliff isn't affected by the haze. It's not really receiving a lot of light along the top. The sky fades off into an odd color shift if it's supposed to be a setting sun. It doesn't feel like a sunrise to me, which is why I said setting. There's not a clear path for the light though. Some of the logs and areas of the mountains don't make any sense. The biker is also a big part of this shot, yet he doesn't pop. Some accented lighting on the helmet or the already present soft highlights could really improve that. If it was me I would make any brighter portions warmer like glints of sunlight.

I really do like it. It's just some planning and aligning things could make it so much more readable. If I wanted everything to feel like a totally random juxtaposition, I would go a different route. It's just that you've tried to connect things in a certain way, yet stopped partway through. I think it's a planning issue and you're probably capable of a much better piece through that alone.

I like some of the source images. Can I ask where you look for images to use? Finding decent high res stock imagery tends to be expensive for personal projects, and I haven't gotten around to shooting much random stuff myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by juls View Post
Thanks, you can see a larger version here http://julioarboleda.portfoliobox.me/ also there are some other of my works... any comment is welcomed.
Your materials need some work on the CG stuff. I've never seen a rubber grip turn such a saturated magenta where it's lit. I at least wouldn't leave it that way. Glass and liquid can be annoying to set up aesthetically. I'm not sure that I would want to leave the liquid quite so opaque. Some translucence might be nice, but it would probably make that image very time consuming to render quickly given the high trace depth required. Typically I'll add thickness to glass too so the glass has correct exit surfaces and can correctly address the liquid.

I think you need to work on your cg lighting. There should be so much indirect light in this shot, yet I'm not feeling it. The color temperatures aren't there in the shadows and the liquid is so opaque. Your diffuse pass needs some tight AO to seat those objects, so it feels like they're sitting on something. There are other ways to do that. AO is just the easiest. The grip on the pen is way thick. The cork needs some kind of bump map as a straight diffuse color on cork looks weird there. You could add a displacement and normal map too, but if you go too detailed you'll be forced to do the same with other objects to keep them looking right. Right now the shadows are just so warm too. Typically in an outdoor shot the shadows would take more color from the sky and other reflective objects. As it is they're just a darker shade of the direct light from the sun.

I will add if you're using a Lanczos AA filter, you might want to stop. Some of those foreground objects have harsh edges. It makes it look kind of CG due to the lack of real displacement or any kind of bump to give you anything beyond that very crisp outline on what appears to be a textured "arts and crafts" kind of object. With the ornaments on that tree, once again some AO would help seat them.

You can do a lot of this in photoshop after the fact, but I would probably do it in max. Mental Ray is annoying, but it is quite powerful. Using architectural materials with the built in AO checked on in your slate material editor shader settings, working on textures a bit, and setting up a better balance of final gathering to direct light could probably improve that shot quite a bit.

Last edited by kav; 06-30-2013 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:14 AM
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juls juls is offline
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Thumbs up Re: First real photocomposite attempt

Thank you Kav for all your great advice, you really took the time appreciate it. Regarding the bycicle image I wanted to create some type of photo illustration showing the efforts of a cyclist and the different stages he goes through... I was not going for the real thing because I knew I wanted different types of landscapes and weather conditions in one image... this idea came with some limitations like the lightning and the seamless transitions, including the dark rainy sky (top left) and the sunset (top right), which I tried my best up to a point. I had trouble setting up the light and some of the images I used where lit differently from another angle...from this I've learned that for a good quality photocomposition lightning is the key.

You seem to know quiet a lot about 3D (CG) imagery... in this regard and as you have already seen I'm just a humble begginner... I'm really into it trying to learn as much as I can... right now I'm learning 3Dsmax (selftought) mainly because from what I've seen it's the more used and more complete 3D software, i'ts like the boss... but the learning curve seems pretty tough... I more or less can handdle some basic modelling but the rendering and materials seems pretty complex, too many information and variables... if you could give me any advice as to what could be the best way to learn 3Dsmax how should I approach it to feel confortable with the software, where should I start from.

Well thanks again for all your great advice and your time.

I'm a native spanish speaker so my english is not as good.
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:33 PM
kav kav is offline
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Re: First real photocomposite attempt

Quote:
Originally Posted by juls View Post
Thank you Kav for all your great advice, you really took the time appreciate it. Regarding the bycicle image I wanted to create some type of photo illustration showing the efforts of a cyclist and the different stages he goes through... I was not going for the real thing because I knew I wanted different types of landscapes and weather conditions in one image... this idea came with some limitations like the lightning and the seamless transitions, including the dark rainy sky (top left) and the sunset (top right), which I tried my best up to a point. I had trouble setting up the light and some of the images I used where lit differently from another angle...from this I've learned that for a good quality photocomposition lightning is the key.
Yeah. They need to feel unified in some ways. I didn't get the feeling of rain from it, but I like the thing overall. I get the different lighting. I was referring to specific points, but I explained it somewhat poorly. Let me think on this and maybe I'll try again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by juls View Post
You seem to know quiet a lot about 3D (CG) imagery... in this regard and as you have already seen I'm just a humble begginner... I'm really into it trying to learn as much as I can... right now I'm learning 3Dsmax (selftought) mainly because from what I've seen it's the more used and more complete 3D software, i'ts like the boss... but the learning curve seems pretty tough... I more or less can handdle some basic modelling but the rendering and materials seems pretty complex, too many information and variables... if you could give me any advice as to what could be the best way to learn 3Dsmax how should I approach it to feel confortable with the software, where should I start from.
Well there's the software and then the subject itself. Certain things are either the same or similar between packages, and ideally you want an understanding of the underlying principles along with some basic understanding of lighting. Without additional plugins just using the standard shader set, you can go a lot further than that in Max. If you were using something like the max "standard" material, I would switch to the architectural material instead as it's actually part of mental ray.


Quote:
Originally Posted by juls View Post
I'm a native spanish speaker so my english is not as good.
My poorly organized response probably didn't help there. I normally try to be more to the point.
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