Gary Oldman with Michael Murphree
When it's a shot of someone like Gary Oldman it's gotta look great! So when photographer Michael Murphree got the assignment to shoot Gary he called on me to help make sure everything looked just right.
With shots like this much of the work involves making sure everything balances properly while working together to guide the viewer's eye to the most important aspects of the shot. So exposures and colors for different areas are re-worked while gradations are added to the background to give the right sense of drama to the shot.
Here's another shot from that same series.
Compositing Workshop for ASMP Portland: Nov. 9th
Join us on Saturday, November 9th for a workshop with Digital Transformer Dennis Dunbar!
In this workshop Dennis shares many of the techniques he uses to make complex composite images from Movie Posters to LifeStyle and Product shots.
Whether it’s combining many elements or dramatically re-working a single shot Dennis will show how the same techniques apply. He’ll cover the various challenges that face those who would tackle such tasks such as: Masking, Color Correction, Blending, and matching Noise or Grain.
Dennis will discuss several ways to create a professional quality mask as well as how to check to make sure your mask is working the way it should. He’ll delve into Color Correction using Curves and how to simplify your Layers using Clipping Groups. Then he’ll show you how to blend disparate images making them look as if they all belong together through the use of Depth of Field, adjusting the density and color as well as other techniques for matching the Noise or Grain of the various elements.
The workshop will begin at 10am and end at 2pm including a Q&A session, with a short lunch break at 11:30. You can see his work on his website, read tips on his blog, or follow him on Twitter.
You don't want to miss this opportunity! Register now to ensure your space!
Saturday, November 9, 2013
10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Doors Open at 9:30 AM
Michael Jones & Andy Batt Studio
1910 NW 23rd Place
Portland, Oregon [see a map]
Ehancing the Mood with Color
Anyone who's a fan of the movies knows that Color sets the tone and the mood of the movie. The same is true with photographs. The right color treatment can turn a good shot into a "Wow!" shot, adding just the right sense of drama that brings it to that higher level that commands the viewer's attention.
So when photographer Stephanie Diani contacted me with this project I was immediately interested. Color grading is fast becoming one of my favorite parts of digital imaging. The opportunities for creative input and collaboration are really emphasized in this process, and when you arrive at that magical look there is a sense of great creative satisfaction with the transformation you were able to make happen.
Since this process can be very subjective we usually begin by looking at a variety of images the photographer feels have the right mood they're looking for. Then the exploration begins. Since this was a series of images it was important to also create a streamlined workflow for getting that special look that was both easy to apply as well as allowed for just the right flexibility so the look could be tweaked easily on an image by image basis.
In the end Stephanie's final look was accomplished with just 3 Adjustment Layers. And applying the look to all the other shots in the series was as easy as a few copy/past moves.
Here's a side by side before/after shot followed by some of the rest of Stephanie's series:
Bringing Out the Drama
When most people think of CGI images they think magical renders of perfect products where every detail pops out in just the right way. And while they're right, a great image can be magical, getting that magical image can be just as much work with a CGI image as it is with an image that starts with a photo.
Earlier this year Coca Cola called Bo Opfer, of 9k9, when they needed some high quality shots of their new bottle design for their NOS Energy Drink. Knowing this would need a touch of Photoshop Magic as well as CGI Magic Bo called on Dennis to be part of the team working on the project.
As you can see above these drinks come in 3 flavors, Fruit Punch (Red), Acai-Blueberry-Pomegranate (Blue), and Raspberry Lemonade (Pink). The overall job called for various views of each bottle with different lighting schemes. The shot you see above used the more dramatic lighting inspired by a Grolsch ad while the other shots used a more conventional product lighting scheme.
While we started out with a high quality 3D model as the project moved along it quickly became pretty clear we needed to modify some aspects of the model to get the clean look the client wanted. For instance the ribs that were on the back of the grip area of the bottle needed to be deleted, (they kept showing through).
And speaking of the ribs, as with conventional photos, often times the lighting that works great on one area may not bring out all the details you're looking for. Because the ribs were an important part of the redesign of the bottle we needed to make sure they popped in just the right way. But how to make this work without doing lots of illustrative work?
Enter the magical VRayNormals render! This is one of those really cool renders today's 3D programs can produce. Basically this pass (shown below) contains different lighting information. The rainbow look of the image comes from the differences in each of the Red, Green and Blue channels. And it was in those channels that Dennis found the perfect source for a mask that would let him make those ribs stand out.
As you can see the bottom of the bottles changed pretty dramatically over the life of the project. Seems the client decided to redesign the bottle of the bottles along the way (at least twice)! Combining this with various label changes, and the fact that each bottle needed to be rendered in both wet and dry versions (with the drops editable), you can see this was a pretty lengthy project.
Below are a Before/After look at the Blue bottle as well as one of the group shots with the more conventional lighting.
Philippe McClelland called on me to help out with an editorial fashion shoot he was about to shoot on one of the beaches near Los Angeles. Given the predictable June Gloom that sets in over LA's beaches throughout the month these images needed a little work to really help them sparkle in the way Philippe and his editor had visualized.
The series involved 8 different images, some utilizing compositing of various images of doves as well as adding a floating rope. Below are a few more samples from this campaign.
V for Grand Victoria
When Roger Hagadone got the assignment to create a series of ads for Chicago's Grand Victoria Casinos he knew he'd need an extra bit of Photoshop Magic to create the final images and that's when he called on me to collaborate with him on the project.
As you can imagine casinos are busy places, and they're not about to shut down their prize assets long enough to pull off the shots Roger had in mind. So his solution was simple: shoot the backgrounds in the casinos quickly and then shoot the models in the studio and have me composite the pieces together.
Knowing matching the lighting and making sure the models fit properly into the environment would take some work Roger asked me to be on set in the studio as he shot the models for the various ads. While he worked on finessing the lighting and expressions for the models I quickly dropped the initial test shots into each background making sure the perspective and basic lighting worked.
Once the selections were made for each ad I then went to work carefully compositing each model into the appropriate background while enhancing the lighting, contrast and color to add just the right touch of drama to each shot. Once the models were in place I worked on the backgrounds themselves restoring detail to the bottles, removing unwanted lights and replacing the TV screens with the logos for the bar.
Below are the Before shots of the bar location and the model, shot in the studio.
Angelina with Michael Murphree
When the subject of the photo is Angelna Jolie it's gotta look perfect. Careful attention must be given to making sure the image shows beautiful skin texture while keeping the image looking "real". This requires a highly skilled touch to make sure the retouching is kept invisible while bringing out the subject's natural beauty.
This shot was part of a series of images photographer Michael Murphree took for a PR campaign for a movie project Angelina was part of. Below is another shot from that same series.