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Composite - feedback appreciated

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  • andreasv
    Composite image feedback
    andreasv
    Hi.
    I'm Andreas, new to retouchpro. I work as a photographer / retoucher.
    Recently I got these images published which was good for my confidence, but let me tell you how offended people were when they commented my photos under the article and how bad my poor and bad my work was.
    ...
    07-16-2013, 08:31 AM
  • Siciliana
    More feedback/Want to improve
    Siciliana
    Any helpful feedback about how to improve my technique is appreciated. Experienced retouchers--what would you do differently?

    Links to higher resolution files can be found here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/rastere...57627371882145

    *Use...
    08-26-2011, 12:52 AM
  • petersweden
    Composite
    petersweden
    Hi

    I am trying to pull of a composite of an athlete and lightning. I want to give the impression that the athlete is lit by the lightning. I am having trouble making this look good.

    I have added some low opacity light streaks from the lightning in the direction of the...
    01-13-2012, 08:44 AM
  • offcentre
    First composite. Above the clouds
    offcentre
    Hi!

    My first composite. This is a dance group/hiphop collective called above the clouds. I'd love to get some feedback.

    Thanks
    Oscar...
    11-08-2012, 09:53 AM
  • petersweden
    Improve this composite
    petersweden
    Hi

    I am working on a composite and would appreciate any suggestions on how to improve it.

    Thanks....
    09-01-2017, 01:23 AM
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  • #16
    Re: Composite - feedback appreciated

    OK I made changes, what still needs to be fixed (besides masking which I haven't done yet)?
    Attached Files

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    • #17
      Re: Composite - feedback appreciated

      Face is really dark all of a sudden. Brighten the face, even out the color of the skin(grey areas), refine the masks and get on with your life.

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: Composite - feedback appreciated

        Originally posted by petersweden View Post
        Thanks for the feedback.
        1. How would you change the scale?
        2. Should I motion blur the paratroopers and change the angles around?
        3. In what way is the color palette odd (besides the gray face)?
        This stuff takes a light touch. The color palette is odd in the sense that nothing seems consistent. They still look like they were shot on different days in different places. It doesn't look like the same light sources could have been present in the same scene. The grey face was definitely part of it.

        The paratroopers have an odd perspective, and they're a bit large. The clouds or smoke or whatever look massive compared to the subject. As you mentioned in a later post, it is typical to see some haze. Typically the further away they are, the hazier they look, but the effect is subtle. You want to learn subtlety and how to balance things out. As I have indicated you should look for reference material, because it may help you recognize when something is drastically off.

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: Composite - feedback appreciated

          The main issues I have during compositing are light and perspective.

          For perspective, I have been lately using perspective lines drawn on a blank layer on top and then going from there. A couple of vanishing point tutorials here and there have helped me too.

          But...

          For managing light, I am not sure what method to use. I mean, I use curve layers and do bits of light painting on the composited items. But I am pretty sure there are better methods to get the light right.

          How do you guys work with getting the light right in your composites? Do you guys use a curve layer and do light painting? Starting tips would be a great way for me to practice more.

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: Composite - feedback appreciated

            Originally posted by beefhitler View Post
            How do you guys work with getting the light right in your composites? Do you guys use a curve layer and do light painting? Starting tips would be a great way for me to practice more.
            Adding light that was never there never looks 100% natural. At that point you are basically illustrating. You determine how warm/cold it should be relative to the scene and the kind of material it's hitting. Something like glass can produce a somewhat mirror like reflection. If it's a rougher surface, the light all blends together visually, but it doesn't have a strong tint on non-metallic surfaces. As always, look up lots of reference images. Go on google images. Look at several hundred. Look at them while you work. Pick up details about them. Without doing that, you really don't learn much.

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: Composite - feedback appreciated

              Originally posted by klev View Post
              As always, look up lots of reference images. Go on google images. Look at several hundred. Look at them while you work. Pick up details about them. Without doing that, you really don't learn much.
              Good advice I tend to forget this. Would you say this is a good workflow?
              1. Come up with idea for composite
              2. Make rough sketch
              3. Find suitable background image
              4. Analyze how background image is lit
              5. Try to emulate the backgrounds lighting in studio, try to match perspective (angle, camera height, choice of lense)
              6. Shoot model
              7. Look up lots of similair reference images how lighting interacts between model and background
              8. Start compositing

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: Composite - feedback appreciated

                Unfortunately this is the workflow I have been following

                1. Come up with idea for composite
                2. Set up a lighting I think will fit my idea
                3. Shoot model
                4. Find background image
                5. Try to match model with background
                6. Get frustrated

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Composite - feedback appreciated

                  There is a great DVD by Erik Almas. He does this sort of photography.
                  Your steps are correct.
                  You choose the idea, and you chose the angle/light or at least one thing if you are a photographer. If you have an image of the model, then you shoot the backdrop if you can't find one, Or, if you have a backdrop but not a mode, then you shoot a model. Etc.

                  I can analize in depth what is wrong with this image, but here are a couple of points:
                  Perspective. If she isn't on top of a mountain or on top of a wing of a plane, the paratroopers would come from above, at lest the one nearest to her. Lighting on the legs, the things you've added to make them glow. CGI looking rain.

                  Listing them won't help you because all those elements can work, but not together on this particular image.

                  Maybe try re-creating samples, then move onto the original ideas once you've had a good practice? At least that way you know right away if things fit or not.

                  EDIT: Blend in gray areas and fix the mask and move on. It's not fantastic, but it's not the worst thing ever. You'll have a finished file.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Composite - feedback appreciated

                    Originally posted by petersweden View Post
                    Good advice I tend to forget this. Would you say this is a good workflow?
                    1. Come up with idea for composite
                    2. Make rough sketch
                    3. Find suitable background image
                    4. Analyze how background image is lit
                    5. Try to emulate the backgrounds lighting in studio, try to match perspective (angle, camera height, choice of lense)
                    6. Shoot model
                    7. Look up lots of similair reference images how lighting interacts between model and background
                    8. Start compositing
                    This is a reasonable high level idea. It's important to recognize when you are stuck and refer to reference material. It helps you learn the nuances of what constitutes a reasonable approximation.

                    Shooting the model is a big commitment. I would start without worrying about the model. Learn to build up a background from scratch. I admittedly have a difficult time doing so. I'm also out of practice right now. If I knew I would need to do such a thing in the near future, I would start practicing.

                    Your background image can be a combination of different images. You can significantly alter bits to fit your narrative. I'm merely suggesting that you break things down into manageable components, use smaller adjustments, and compare to other material as a type of sanity check.


                    Originally posted by petersweden View Post
                    Unfortunately this is the workflow I have been following

                    1. Come up with idea for composite
                    2. Set up a lighting I think will fit my idea
                    3. Shoot model
                    4. Find background image
                    5. Try to match model with background
                    6. Get frustrated
                    This does not surprise me. I would spend more time working on the background at first. I might sketch the model out. Your problems aren't terribly uncommon.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: Composite - feedback appreciated

                      Originally posted by skoobey View Post
                      There is a great DVD by Erik Almas. He does this sort of photography.
                      This one? https://rggedu.com/products/erik-alm...ion-composites

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: Composite - feedback appreciated

                        That dvd is quite expensive. This isn't exactly the same thing, but matte painting has a lot of similarity to building up backgrounds. You can find demonstrations of that on youtube. I cringe a little when the narrator in the first mentions multiply and screen blending modes (especially screen), but even he suggests caution with them.

                        They aren't really exciting, but they aren't bad either (and they're free).

                        Digital matte painting tutorial


                        Painting a digital landscape


                        Matte Painting for beginners

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: Composite - feedback appreciated

                          Oh, he has two now. The one I've seen trailers for had a beach scene with a camel, a girl on the pier of a boat house and a star gazer. Maybe all of those are in this DVD?

                          It was this one
                          https://www.slrlounge.com/official-r...by-erik-almas/

                          It's not like it's a Holly grail or anything, but it definitely has a lot of good tips, and you can see how things are made. Again, I haven't watched it start-to finish but it seems good. I posted a link to an actual review.

                          Also, maybe Kelby has some tutorials on compositing(I never followed him so I have no idea), and creative live probably has content on the topic as well. And make sure to check out retouchpro youtube channel as well as other youtube channels, there is a lot of free content out there! There was also this website phlearn.

                          Almas
                          http://acuities.erikalmas.com/
                          Kelby
                          https://kelbyone.com/
                          phlearn
                          https://phlearn.com/
                          creativelive
                          https://www.creativelive.com
                          RetouchPRO
                          https://www.youtube.com/user/RetouchPRO
                          Last edited by skoobey; 03-04-2017, 08:15 PM.

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                          • #28
                            Re: Composite - feedback appreciated

                            Thanks for all the suggestions. I will be sure to check them out.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              This reply is directed at Klev. I found the links concerning matte painting extremely useful and insightful, but out of curiosity, what exactly is it about the 'screen' and 'multiply' blending modes that you find unfavorable or cringe worthy? Is it the general desaturated effects it gives the image? Or do you just prefer the effects of other lighten and darken blending modes instead?

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Look great, but. First, I think the photo is too bright, more cheerful, does not convey the mood. It's my opinion. Second, it seems to me that against the background of yellow flashes the cold skin of a girl's face looks unnatural.

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