Alrighty, well I guess the best place to start is a nice little note for the Studio 1 Facilitators. This blog post is aimed at ticking off LO 3. With that said lets begin.
I will be covering 2 examples of my compositing abilities, the first will be a screenshot of a short animation I created in Adobe After Effects and the second is an image I created in Adobe Photoshop from several other images.
The first image is of Mars composited onto a background I made within After Effects, this was done as part of an exercise during Studio 1 contact time. The base image of Mars was originally square with a black background and stamping on the bottom corner. The excess image was removed using a feathered mask to give a softer edge to the image rather than leaving a harsh line that can make it easy to spot where the image has been cut out. Layered behind the now masked image of Mars is a solid colour background card. Additionally there is also a particle effect that has been used to generate twinkling stars, a red glow around Mars created with feathered masks and to top it off, a lens flare.
All in all I think it was a useful exercise in compositing, it demonstrated that even with basic components when arranged in the right orders of layers and creative use of effects a good image can become a great scene.
The second image was originally just a forest, no doubt though you have noticed the skull and tombstone, originated as these:
Some nice stand alone pieces but I wanted to see if I could integrate them into a non-native habitat. With a little cropping, some creative use of the clone stamp tool and opacity I was able to help blend the seams of the images. Using separate layers to add some colour correction and shadows I think it was a fairly successful endeavour.
Critically looking at how each element was integrated separately and the success of that integration. The skull is a little more noticeable as a foreign object to me, I feel like it wasn’t blended quite enough at the top of the image and a little more foliage build up around the skull would have made it feel more at home.
The tombstone on the other hand I feel was more successful. It is nearly seamless where it meets the ground, I attempted to build up the foliage around the base of the stone to make it feel like it had been there for quite some time. Additionally I had to apply some green tinges of colour correction around the edges where the highlights were and around the cracks, nooks and crannies. This was done to help it feel like it was more a part of the forest and that there was some moss build up on the statue.
Overall I am happy with the aesthetic outcome of this exercise however I think the most successful element of the entire experiment was the lessons learned. I have come to realise in the short time between creating this image and now critically reflecting on its success that there are places in which I could have improved the outcome. These include, softening the edges of the skull and providing it with more ground debris to help it look more like it belongs in the setting as well as more bones in the area, a lone skull stands out like a sore thumb, it it were more buried or perhaps with more associates it would look less out of place.
With these things in mind I have adjusted my ominous forest setting and here is the result.
The skull, now skulls, don’t look out of place but merely part of the tombstone, they are a little moss-infested and I am now more happy with the outcome.
Truth be told I rather enjoyed making this image, and I think that some of the lessons learned can be applied to much of my other work in the future.
‘Till next time…