Matching Lighting and Camera Angles


Compositing 101


Lesson Info

Matching Lighting and Camera Angles

As you can see there's a giant pool off quote unquote milk in front of me which is just amazing that this happened in forty five minutes during our lunch break the everything is completely changed and we've got our giant pull liquid now the first part we talked about how it was going to be basically the concept was you know we've got our subject looking into a cereal bowl if you guys remember from the sketch early this morning which seems like seven hours ago but it was that long ago way photographed that part of the image already and now we're on to the deposit so we basically figured out that we have to bring our subject into the first part of the image and then we're going to be doing oh there's our sketch right on and then what we're going to be doing is basically putting our subject into what is going to be a giant quoting cold cereal bowl and in this case it's going to be this giant pool of liquid so we've got a kiddie pool basically filled it with water I didn't do any of it so ...

mad props toe root like all the fifteen people who've got this done it was amazing and we used evaporated does anyone maybe could hand me the like evaporated milk oh it's got a logo on it we can't show you that never mind you're not going to see what we use it's just like powdered evaporated bill it's big k brand just like the serial we used earlier but anyway s o a lot of water and sprinkled that in to this image to the pool so basically what we're going to be doing now is without it being really good teaching point for us to kind of show you guys how we're going to be matching the lighting and everything like that from the original shot to this pool, so we're starting completely from scratch on dh were basically we're going to be moving, lighting around and everything like that during the shoot, and we're also going to be talking about a couple of things that were going to be kind of pulling together now over the break I also went through in kind of picked the images that I thought we're the best representation of the first segment and if we could let's filter those and do that by five starts yep that's awesome and mike is the man back there getting all this time? So these were what I thought we were the best representations given what I feel I wanted out of the shop as well as your guys this advice which I think we all kind of like unanimously agree except apologize way having the subject, not actually looking at the camera, having the subject looking there at the bowl of cereal so these are the shots that I felt I really love each of them is really great and there are a couple of things that you know we can kind of think and do whenever we're creating these type of composite. One thing to keep in mind is we can always use certain parts of one image and certain parts of another image so in my opinion I really like the interaction with her her hand in the bowl of cereal on the bottom left image of her face is good but I really like her face in the top right image I feel like it's looking down but we can still see enough detail in there and it's not like at a weird angle sometimes you know if you're if the face is too far down you lose some of those details that bring that you know, like human element into it. So those air kind of my favorite I think that you know, if this were just me and we had no one else in the room which is not the case, I would probably use her head from the top right image and place it on the body of the top or the bottom left image but this is some other images that I really liked using this with like kind of dripping in the pool over the break we talked about, you know, the flicking of the serial was it was a lot of fun, but in the end I think everyone was kind of on the same boat when the same pool whatever well we decided that it would probably be better if she was like kind of like scooping at him to be a little bit more interaction s o that we talked about that in section one maybe you know, you have one part of the of the shoot that is fun, but maybe it doesn't wind up making as much sense in the final so that's kind of what we went after they're so everyone is happy with that like, if we combined the top right with the bottom left, that seems like it works for you guys ok, cool, we were going to put it to a vote, then I don't know it's just ah, unless someone has someone's like no let's, not do that, okay, but I think that'll look really good and then yeah, so that's basically what what we're getting together. So now that we have that kind of figured out and it doesn't matter, even if we did decide, you know, tomorrow to do a slightly different facial expression or things like that, the camera and the bulls still didn't move, so the camera angle there is consistent, so now what we need to do when we're actually going to photographing jasper in this pool is we need to do a couple things we need to match our lighting and our camera angle and we talked about from very early on how that was the most important thing you could do match your lighting and match your camera angle and the composite is goingto come together so how do we match our camera angle how do we figure out and we're going to have a change in scale as well we're gonna talk a little bit about geometry guys that cool everyone alright so come on over to my cool well chalkboard over here I'm not there are people watching this who are way better at math and I am by the way so if you want to call b s on any of this be my guest this is just how it works in my head and it makes sense to me this is how I kind of figured some things out so usually not very very technically quote unquote correct these are just things that make sense and you don't have to get all these things completely correct but basically here's here's one point that I wantto I'll show you guys and this is how I figure out a lot of perspective okay, so we're going to start off with a simple circle and looking straight on to the circle everyone sees a circle right you're looking straight onto the circle now think of this circle as if you were looking straight down on that bowl of cereal or straight down on this pool like if you were straight up on the ceiling looking straight down on it the gym's getting pretty clothes pretty cool so if you were looking just about straight down here it would look like a perfect circle right? But as you change your angle and I'm going to actually use this cool chalkboard to change the angle as I start to change the angle, you guys can see that it's no longer perfect circle right? And if I continue to change it even more it's no longer perfect circle is becoming more and more of an lips as I go along and as I bring it down here pretty close it's going to become a straight line and I'm I'm showing this mostly for you guys in the audience is it the kind of working so circle and then as I continue to go down not a circle that's basically how you can calculate things now you could get a little bit more technical with it if you want so technically if you defied the if you divide the with by the height of your circle as you change, you're going to get a ratio and that's a ratio of what percentage you're looking at the image so if this is ninety percent you're looking at it a circle straight on and this is zero percent so this is let's say a forty five degree angle well, if you divide the width by the height the width should be twice as wide as the height this's my losing losing everyone I can see faces like you got explaining this okay basically, if you divide the width by the height here you have a one to one ratio right? Like if this is one this is one for you you divide that by one you get a one to one ratio if I go something like a forty five degree angle this becomes shorter in appearance but this and this like the wit will never change as I go farther and farther down the width never changes just the height so at halfway your height is going to be half the distance of you're with okay everyone's with me they're cool. So what halfway? The height is half the distance of the with which means you're a forty five degree viewing angle if it is exactly half now you don't have to get this perfect but technically looking at this bowl of cereal we can actually calculate the exact angle in which it was viewed by dividing the with by the height which is really, really cool so we can see here already let's just sit back over here maybe waken see me with one of the screens we can see here the height is quite a bit smaller than the width, right? So if we were looking at it straight from the top it would be a one to one ratio the farther down you get the shallow, more shallow it's going get so this is just by looking at it about that's about a thirty degree angle if it were a one to two ratio it would be you know, this would be half of this sensor twice distance I'm not going to go through and measure it all it doesn't you don't really have to do all that sort of thing but if you did want to do it in photo shop you could actually like, set up a ruler tool and measure up you're within your height, divide the width by the height and figure out your exact viewing angle all right does that make sense? I know there's got to be questions out there on the internet right now hopefully I can answer some of them because people are probably gonna be like that doesn't make any sense are you talking about, uh, hold schwarzenegger's? Apparently what arnold says that this is worse than the inverse square law the inverse square law okay, so maybe if you want to go over just one more time, okay, just let's forget all of the mathematics just think if you're looking at a circle straight on it's going to look like this if you're looking at it from the side it's gonna look like this so if this if the circle that you're looking at is too skinny and you needed to be if you needed to be wider, just raise your camera angle and you're going to be looking at it more like this continue to raise your camera angle you look more like this and continue raise your camera angle you're going to look like that so all I need to do with my camera is make sure that the angle is somewhat similar to what's going on here and if it's too narrow, I know that I need to raise my camera and it's gonna look like this if it's not narrow enough, I need a lower my camera that makes sense in like the final okay, I hope it's come through everyone's like no, that still doesn't make sense, but basically that's that's how we're gonna like view, this is like, you know, I'm not looking at it straight up from the top, but I'm not directly from the side, so if I'm looking at school from this angle, this is this is like close to the side and this is looking something like this, right? So at this point the height is very shallow and the width is very large, so obviously this is the wrong angle because this does not match this if I was coming from almost the top, it would be, you know, one on one ratio and that's not gonna work either. So basically, all all this talk is to figure out what we need to do is view it about an angle, something like right over here to make it look like the same proportion as our cereal. Okay? And if we did want to measure everything else we can. But it sounds like math is not what everyone wants to do today, so we're not going to measure it out. But for anyone who is interested in math, you can use the pythagorean theorem to figure out your correct angles if you wanted to. Um so so and a couple people, arnold schwarzenegger came back and said that that doesn't make sense. Thanks. And by chance, says, love the math. So and said you were doing okay perfect with the pythagorean theorem. If you are interested, it's basically, like with a triangle, you khun a square plus b squared equals c squared so you can figure out if I need to be ten feet away from this pool and I'm going to be eight feet up, then that's going to give me an exact forty five degree viewing angle. So if you needed to figure out your angles perfectly he totally could with some type of compositing that is very important with this type because we're just putting him in a giant pool of white liquid it's not as important we're just going to use our eye and we're going to rough compositing here on the set but if you didn't need to do it exactly you could do with them as well so we do have somebody who logged in and says I am a mathematician and he is right what that is awesome very very cool because I just I was just trying to think about one day how to composite things together and how to figure out angles from something you're looking at and that's how it just made sense to me so this was just something that I figured out and I'm glad to know that it actually is correct so very, very cool so do we everyone understands that now basically ok cool so that all that talk was basically hoping to answer the question of hey do you just look at it and say it doesn't look right or not which a lot of people when they're doing compositing or different types things they look at it and say yeah, that looks right or not some people are not as good as that so if you're one of those people who can't just look at something until it's right or not that's kind of like a technique or a method or you know, a little bit of math and you can use to make sure that you're actually doing it correct so you don't have to like trust your judgment, andi I'm one of those people to be totally honest, I'm I'm a person it might seem like I can just look at something intelligence right or not, but I always need those little methods to, like check if I'm actually right or not what we're actually gonna be doing now is we're going to be photographing this pool and I'm gonna match it basically taking taking my photographs from what I think is going to be about the right angle and we're going to be matching that basically during the actual photo shoot so before our subject comes into the pool or anything like that, the first thing I want to do is match my camera angle and the next thing I'm gonna do is match my lighting all right? So I'm gonna start off by matching the camera angle. Basically, what I'd like to do is I think this is about right, it might not be, but this is part of the entire process and rather than just getting it all figured out over lunch there we go perfect thank you john we're gonna actually do it live so you guys can see it this is probably not going to be the most exciting thing you've ever seen it needs to come down one one millimeter here we go and I had my focal length are focal length by the way is going to stay the same we're going to still use fifty millimeters here and I'm going to go ahead and manually focus on the outside in about the same place as where my cereal bowl was there we go and I'm gonna take a picture now are lighting is not technically correct at this point the lighting is just completely off maybe it'll it'll wind up pulling up, but the lighting I'm not so interested at this point what I'm more interested in is the camera angle that we're actually shooting out I'm gonna open up these two images so the image of our subjects era and the image that I just shot right here straight at the camera and I'm gonna compare my camera angles there so this is something I would actually do on set as I was shooting so I could just make sure like before we actually get into the photo shoot so I can make sure that my camera angles are the same all right cool, I'll take a little bit I think we got while this happens we probably got a second or two for some questions if you have any in the audience or at home I do love talking about all of this math and everything rich gil says it just goes to show that you need to put a lot of thought into your image and not just throw it together that's and that's exactly right andi I think that hopefully everyone's being you know, throughout throughout the day and throughout the weekend that the whole point is like you don't have to be a photo shop genius like that's not the point you just you just need to have like a good plan of what you want which starts with this sketch and then putting all these pieces together so once you have your plan then you kind of outline with those individual points are which we put on the on the white port earlier and now we're just kind of like taking through each one of these so we do have a couple questions in general about this so how would like when you're looking at the perspective shift? How would that work on non circular items or if you're just shooting a person for instance that's a really good question so if you're just shooting person and I have done this in my own work many different times this is a good example a perfect circle fits inside of a perfect square, so if you do need to have a square on the ground or let's say way have ah a grid like this like this floor here you could actually marked map out a perfect square on this floor pretty easily because we have horizontal and vertical lines even if you already had the image you could map out a distance here between you know, creating a perfect square on the ground and then you could create a circle in that in that perfect square if you're voting we're offering a person you can use this exact same technique however instead of like you know, a giant pool what you would want to do is put a circle I have a person stand on a perfect circle and then you can calculate the angle at which you're photographing the person and make sure that it's perfect ball so it doesn't have to be a pool but the idea of using a circle just gives you the ability divide your with by the height so hopefully will have a compositing one o two class when I can go over all this in much more depth and we can do some very, very hard stuff like this image you guys see here uses a lot of very difficult compositing techniques on a lot of math was required even three d modeling in this image as well but today it's just one circle equals another circle all right one more question from the internet from joshua he is asking to the lights change size to match the scale of the set now, since we're like on a much larger scale like, what did you take into account when setting all the lights back up? That is a great question, and after we after we dial in our angle, we are going to be focusing directly on the lighting, but he's totally right when you change scale, so this is supposed to make what's the size of a cereal box or cereal bowl, which is pretty small, is it gets larger your life sources have to get larger as well. Now keep in mind originally the light that was our cross like that was kind of coming from the side. You guys remember that was in, like a eleven inch reflector instead of a small reflector, we're using both of these soft boxes because we're trying to match basically the apparent light size. So as a czar bull, technically, this is our is a giant sirrah bullets just think of it like a giant terrible as our bull gets a lot larger soto or light sources. So we're going to be using two large soft boxes here instead of that small light source, and we're not using the v flats or anything like that. Instead, what we're going to be doing is firing these lights oh, there we go, perfect is firing these lights into the ceiling. We've got a pretty high ceiling here, but it's going to fire these lights into the ceiling it remember like the water splash analogy it's going to splash that light, come on, back down and fill fill the area with lights. So where? Before we used to be flat for fill light. Now we're just going to use the ceiling that's great. So dale, our photo says if the milk in that pool is not the same milk as the milk from the bull, do you worry about there being differences in color built between the two? And if so, what? Would you worry about that? Okay, cool, that is a good question and it's probably not the same exact color. Now we're getting pretty close here. We're not using water, we're not using, you know, chocolate milk, we're getting pretty close here, so that part comes in photo shop if we're like, you know, twenty or thirty percent there, we can do the rest in photo shop, so you don't have to get these like, perfect, what you want to get him is pretty close. So if you do need to do anything in photo shop is we're making our job a lot easier in photo shop. But let's say this is just a little bit darker in photo shop I can use a curves adjustment layer and just brighten it up a little bit if it's too saturated, I can use a huge saturation and bring that down a little bit so these sort of things we can definitely take care of in photo shop after after the fact to question arnold schwarzenegger is back again asking if you find the angles of your image don't match when you get to photo shop do you use war for change perspective of one of the images? Good question in this case if you do have control over the whole shoot which in this case we do your perspective should match if your perspective doesn't match by the time you get into photo shop, then you didn't pay attention to this segment of the course because I'm going to show you how to match perspectives if, for instance, you're working with an image that you just didn't have control over and you have to like force match perspectives in that case you can try using one, but in my opinion warp is really tough because let's say you're looking at me straight on you can see my face, you can't see the top of my head right? But if you change perspective let's say I get really low now you guys can see the top of my head right but the warp tool is not ever going to allow you to be able to see the top of someone's head if you have a two dimensional image so it will get you a little bit there but the best way to do it by far is just to get it right in camera. Mike has a really great question do you always shoot one point perspective? One point perspective that's a really good question can you ask mike to clarify that a little bit? I think just shooting for so far this composite all the elements that you're shooting is from one perspective and so your matching the shot up and so I think he's asking do you ever change that up? Do you ever change your perspective on one of the key elements a different layer? Yeah that's a really good question it depends on where the final image is going to go and it depends on your one on the perspective of the original image technically with perspective it's it's a rule and you can't really break perspective if you think of like m c escher for instance he has like a lot of perspective shifts, but he still follows all of the rules if you start breaking perspective rules, things start to not look riel and I can I can show you that basically in a pretty quick example in just a little bit but generally, you do want to stick with the same perspective if if you can, I would always recommend it, and I'll show you what it looks like when you don't stick with the same perspective in just a minute and hopefully that will clear that question out. So one last question just about a couple different questions about every thought of using an angle gage, why not use the level in the camera to keep the angles correct? You ever use outside tools beyond just your eye and photoshopped? Good question I'm using a five day mark to which does not have a level gauge the five day mark free, and I believe the seventy do so that's a pretty nice tool if you have access to those of the other interesting thing about using an angle gauge, if you do have control over all your elements in a photo angle, gates would be yeah, it would be a great tool sometimes you don't. Sometimes you have a background image that you didn't photograph that's for a different type of compositing, which we'll get to it a later date, but sometimes you don't have that, and then what you have to do is calculate the perspective off that photograph using the rules that I talked about today, and once you can calculate the perspective of that photograph, then you can match it in the photographs that you take so this is a little bit more universal, albeit more work. But it will work with multiple different types of compositing.

Class Description

Compositing is about making complex, visual masterpieces driven by your creative vision. Through mastering compositing, you will deepen your understanding of color, light, and movement — vaulting your photography skills to the next level while bringing more value to your clients and your pocket.

Instructor Aaron Nace has taught millions of photographers at every skill level how to construct vibrant images through photo manipulation. This 3-day introductory course will teach you everything you need to know about compositing — from basics to mastery.

During this in-depth workshop, Aaron will show you how to conceptualize the idea, plan out your composite, photograph and light each piece of the puzzle, and artfully combine the many parts using Photoshop.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CS6, Adobe Lightroom 5