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Compositing car on a racetrack

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  • Compositing car on a racetrack

    Hi everyone, I have a photoshoot coming up with a Lexus IS-F but I want that car on a race track but it’s impossible to get the car there.

    I can get to the track without car and photograph the background.
    But this is something I never done before, I know the photoshop part but where do I I have to pay extra attention for photographing it?

    So thing like angles, writing down notes and stuf.

  • #2
    Re: Compositing car on a racetrack

    HI! some shooting for compositing tips:

    1. same light direction (shoot at the same time of day if outdoor)

    2. same light temperature and contrast ( same weather conditions)

    3. Note the distance from yur camera to your object (car), keep that distance from where you visualize your object on the track

    4. Note DOP (mm) and F stop, use the same. And if possible focus point should be on where you visualize your object.

    5. Shoot from same angle(point of wiev) with the same camera angle

    6. Save your camera Raw settings to at least have the option to use them.

    All these tips are for ideal conditions and close to "photojournalistic" result. You can obviously tweak some of this in PS if the numbers arnt totally equal. You can also skip some steps for special effects. For example shooting the background with wide angle lens, or shooting multiple shots for panorama or HDR, or changing the F number to keep everything sharp, but anyway these are some basics.

    I would recomend Katrin Eismanns Photoshop Masking and Compositing second edition. It has an own chapter only on shooting for compositing full on good tips. You can get it instantly on Kindle


    • #3
      Re: Compositing car on a racetrack

      I'd recommend getting a tripod with degree markings on all of it's axis's. You want to recreate all the height, angles, point of focus, DOF and distances. Lots of notes will help you out.


      • #4
        Re: Compositing car on a racetrack

        Thanks for both reply's, degree markings on the tripod is good solution.
        At the moment I dont have a tripod with markings but it is something to think about.

        And what is better/easier? shoot the car or the background first?


        • #5
          Re: Compositing car on a racetrack

          shoot the car first - its important to get the car in its optimum position, then make match the background. Otherwise, if you shoot the car second, you may find you didn't make the best choice for the background, but will have to match it anyways.

          At least that makes sense to me.
          --shift studio.


          • #6
            Re: Compositing car on a racetrack

            Composites are a puzzle. I suggest looking at the location first to see what kind of light it has. Use an online sun chart to figure out the position / time. You could have a great foreground shot that isn't capable of being dropped into the ideal place at the location because of sun path issues. Even if you were to shoot on location with the car, this would still be an issue.


            • #7
              Re: Compositing car on a racetrack

              If you can, when you shoot the car, try and reduce the reflections with a polarizing filter on your lens. You will have a much easier time with making the car look realistically composited if the car doesn't have a million reflections from the old environment.

              I've been learning all of this the hard way and sometimes (especially when for a client with a small budget) we have to "work with what we are given" so when you have full control over everything (the car, the location, the back plates) it helps a lot.

              Post your results when you're done (or along the way). I'd love to see.


              • #8
                Re: Compositing car on a racetrack

                Remember the windows in the car. i.e. If you take the car on an asphalt lot and the track is concrete then you've got to deal with the view through the car windows....


                • #9
                  Re: Compositing car on a racetrack

                  Thanks for the replies, I've still haven't done the real shoot but I've been playing with it lately.
                  The first problem where the reflections, a polarizing filter could help with that as you said, but I dont have them yet.
                  Blurring the background works well at the moment.

                  I post the image when I got a more final version


                  • #10
                    Re: Compositing car on a racetrack

                    When blurring the background, if done in post, use the Lens Blur filter and not Gaussian to get a believable lens blur. Or other plugins like Focal Point or Bokeh.


                    • #11
                      Re: Compositing car on a racetrack

                      Hi Wilco,

                      Have you considered going CGI with the car ?

                      for own experience I can say that is the way to go on doing automotive multicomp.

                      the only thing you will have to shoot is the HDRI backplate with a chrome ball and handle the shoots to the CGI artist.


                      It will give you better results on angles, composition, reflexions, and realism.


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