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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....
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Canna W; 02-11-2009, 12:43 PM. Reason: Just to add the PS....

  • #2
    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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    • #3
      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.
      Attached Files

      Comment


      • #4
        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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        • #5
          Re: Main subject floating because shadow not right

          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

          Comment


          • #6
            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, 02:29 AM. Reason: typo

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            • #7
              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
              Attached Files

              Comment


              • #8
                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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Main subject floating because shadow not right

                  Also, the inside of the bowl and baby need more shadow.
                  Attached Files

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    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.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Main subject floating because shadow not right

                      It looks great, but to get a more realistic picture, the angle of the basket needs to be tilted down at the front while the baby stays the same, upright, hope it helps, Gary

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