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Photo Retouching "Improving" photos, post-production, correction, etc.

This guy is too good, and I can't figure it out.

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  #1  
Old 01-08-2016, 07:27 PM
victorH victorH is offline
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This guy is too good, and I can't figure it out.

Hey all, new guy, first post.

Normally I am pretty good with reverse engineering what went into a shot, but these have had me stumped for a while.

it looks like really nicely balanced twilight light, but the skies look dropped in, as well as the highlights on the top part of the car that reflect that.

Also the way the different color temperatures are blended looks just right. Its possible that all of the lights were gelled to match just so, but there must be more to it.

What am I looking at here? Its beautiful, and different, and id love to take a crack at the technique. If its CG, its pretty good CG. I think this is done by Zerone, shot by Markus Wendler.

http://cdn2.levineleavitt.com/wp-con.../2014/05/5.jpg

http://www.zerone-group.de/fileadmin...ler_960_04.jpg

http://www.gosee.de/images/preview/8...b-f14ac945.jpg
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Old 02-14-2016, 01:56 PM
zackahern zackahern is offline
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Re: This guy is too good, and I can't figure it ou

Hey man, I'm just taking guesses like you are so I won't necessarily be right.

First. A lot of car stuff now days IS CG. That being said. I would agree with you that if it is CG then it would be good CG. Since his environments are sorta meh from an advertising perspective, I would guess he doesn't have the budget to do 3 CG images to this level and if he did, he would have created cooler environments (in my opinion)

So with that. I do believe it's probably captured in camera to SOME extent. Here's my guess to how the motion ones are done.

I believe he shot the car in the place it is in each frame. It doesn't look composited at all to me. I would imagine he setup on a tripod and shot his environment without the motion then added that in post. There's just no way with as much motion as he's implying that he shot that car perfectly at the speed it's going so that it is so sharp. In post, he simply masked in the car to the backplate that he liked. Once the car was separated from the background he was able to handle each separately, which I think is what you're reacting to the most is the handling of the car vs. the background. Once the car is separated he could color correct it to get rid of the weird colors from the background, but then just tune that color correction down so that the car is nicer, but still keeps the background colors to some degree, which makes it feel integrated. I think this failed the most on the last shot with the two cars as it feels the most composited to me.

I don't think the skies are dropped in for these for the simple reason that blending the sky with those light flares from the lights on the first two shots would have been a pain in the ass to make them look so natural. I think he may have handled the sky differently, but I think he shot his backplates as HDR blends so that he had sky detail as well as detail everywhere else. The car would have been a single frame. The light reflections you see from the headlights were added in post after the motion, which is how he kept them so defined with the motion.

So if you're looking to really take a stab at this technique I think from a photo perspective. Shoot separate HDR backplates without motion then mask in your car frame once you get a good one. Look up some tutorials like this one for adding organic motion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wC7y51OUY_Q

Also, he made a tiny mistake on the first image...look at how much motion is implied on the ground and in the side panels of the road...yet there's almost little to no motion on the sky, but there is in the second frame.

This is just how I would do it, I could be completely wrong and it could be all CG! (disclaimer: I'm a commercial retoucher based in Brooklyn)
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Old 02-14-2016, 03:03 PM
klev klev is offline
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Re: This guy is too good, and I can't figure it ou

Quote:
Originally Posted by zackahern View Post
Hey man, I'm just taking guesses like you are so I won't necessarily be right.

First. A lot of car stuff now days IS CG. That being said. I would agree with you that if it is CG then it would be good CG. Since his environments are sorta meh from an advertising perspective, I would guess he doesn't have the budget to do 3 CG images to this level and if he did, he would have created cooler environments (in my opinion)
I really like your explanation. I just want to add that the background could have been shot for these images, even though it isn't that interesting. It's also possible that they licensed stock backplates. There are several shops that license hdri shots for lighting + matching backplates. With the possible exception of the glass, I don't see a lot of reflections that connect the car to the heavy cloud cover, which makes this seem plausible. Paint reflections hint at things like side railing.

Again assuming they are using a CG model, they don't necessarily need to add wheel motion in post. I mean they can do that, but it's probably easier to make use of a very basic wheel rig and either non-rasterized motion blur during rendering. You can make really nice motion blur that way. It would be harder to do that for the streets, because you would have to emulate a camera pan.
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Old 03-17-2016, 09:00 PM
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ray12 ray12 is offline
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Re: This guy is too good, and I can't figure it ou

Nice shots. There is a lot of Photoshop motion blur nicely blended into some of the roadways and walls etc. That stretched line look that indicates motion is what im referencing. There is also some nice curvature (polar coordinates and stretching) of these motion streaks.

Some of the cyan coloration of the red car is nice. The teal, cyan color is the opposite of red on the color wheel...so those two colors really pop against eachother. This color can be painted as a wash over a scene by using non-destructive adjustment layers with curves and masking to control the position and intensity of the color correction curve. To get that cyan color...you would pull down on the red channel curve...and it would then become the cyan you see. I doubt that color actually existed...but the designer noted that his red car has a complementary color...and it is what you see there. Nice Huh? You can always repaint a scene using curve adjustment layers...they are clean, transparent and never cover over any pixels underneath...and with their mask you can artistically paint in that effect anywhere you want on the screen and however strong you want it. You can make ANY color you can think of with using the Curves adjustment layers and become highly artistic in your visual creations!!!

Cheers

Ray
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Old 03-29-2016, 12:14 PM
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Aladdin Aladdin is offline
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Re: This guy is too good, and I can't figure it ou

It is really simple to chive the required results, once again, it is all in Photoshop menu, mo magic, no million layers and such, just a good practical knowledge of the commands.

I performed reverse google search on the first pictures in your link, found a similar one, unprocessed. I took the liberty to edit it, all it took is two adjustment layers, a hue/saturation and brightness/contrast.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg MiamiBeachEdition_02.jpg (28.5 KB, 74 views)
File Type: jpg MiamiBeachEdition_01.jpg (85.1 KB, 75 views)
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  #6  
Old 05-17-2016, 12:28 AM
dodgenburner dodgenburner is offline
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Re: This guy is too good, and I can't figure it ou

definitely some exposure blending or hdr/local contrast. cyan was definitely added to the shadows and they enhanced the highlights of the lights already apparent. Also, another popular motion blur for car scenes is a plugin virtualrig studio for those that are not actually rigging cameras to the cars. Whole image is not cg, I've seen real cg of cars and everything is much cleaner/crisp and better overall. Matte painting is very popular with car photography as well.
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