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The theory and flow in Image Manipulation?

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Old 03-23-2017, 11:49 PM
beefhitler beefhitler is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 39
The theory and flow in Image Manipulation?

How exactly is a typical image manipulation done start to finish IN THE BEGINNING if we are not shooting anything ourselves but dealing with stock images?

Let's say I have a concept in mind. I have a sketch in mind. And now I need to put these things together.

Example, I want to create a scene where a car is driving down a desert highway and it's being chased by a helicopter. There's an explosion in the far background. This desert highway is right next to a coastline.

Go out scouting for images on Google.

I have downloaded everything and then on a blank layer, lay these images on top of one another to make the rough outline of my scenery. Looks messy without the masks and all but I know this is gonna look great later.

And then I put the car on and it looks like the perspective is all off and if I do work on correcting the perspective, it looks like a badly drawn car.. kind of cartoonish. Seems like I have to throw this car away.

Keep looking for more images on Google for a car but no matter what, the perspectives of the cars I found are never going to be easy enough to work with to fit my actual composition. Probably spent about an hour or two just doing this. Cars are difficult for me.

Then I figured out, if I had started off with picking out the car first, and then look for the other stuff like the desert, sky, sea, coastline, hills, helicopter etc, it would have been easier. I now have something to begin with.

My entire set of background images were picked based on the extent to which I could manipulate the perspective of the car without making it look horribly off.

My next step would be to do the actual cutouts, detailed masking, matching color and light, light painting etc with all the images.

Lesson learned here is: Always pick the most difficult image first while picking stock images. It is usually the objects in the front of the scene. In this case it was the car for me. Then it was the highway. I find it easier to match perspective on natural elements like mountains, hills etc. In short, get the background images later.

This is MY theory and I am a complete noob with Image Manipulation. I think I am wrong as I don't have the experience. I want to learn it in the proper manner and not spend several hours trying to perfect something which I am approaching completely wrong.

What exactly is the process followed by you guys for these kind of stuff?

How would you have done things differently in this case?

I am not looking for speed art or tutorials as there are already plenty everywhere.

I have noticed that almost every thing related to Image Manipulation is already diving into the part of masking, coloring, detailing etc where the stock images are already there. I have not seen anyone discussing how and why are those stock images picked out. It is pointless to have 1000 images of a car if they don't have the perspective which would allow me to put it together with the rest of the 5 stock images for the background I have in my library.

Are there any advanced articles, books or videos etc which actually go in depth into discussing stuff like this?

I am looking for a bigger discussion on the part which deals with scouting for images and putting them together before actually getting down with the rest of the stuff like masking, coloring, detailing etc.
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Old 03-27-2017, 06:00 PM
Shoku Shoku is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 313
Re: The theory and flow in Image Manipulation?

It helps if you have high marks (IQ) in spatial acuity. But to make things easier in the software, it also helps to shoot all the elements yourself, from the same camera angle. You may not have the time to do that, but that’s how many compositors work, either in studio and/or on location.
I have done many composites using client supplied images and most of the time they have shot each element correctly. When they don’t, it complicates things but is usually doable with a little more time involved.
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