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Composite Model Test Shots for Angle Matching

Lesson 40 from: Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography

Renée Robyn

Composite Model Test Shots for Angle Matching

Lesson 40 from: Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography

Renée Robyn

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Lesson Info

40. Composite Model Test Shots for Angle Matching


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Why You Should Sketch Your Composite


What to Look for in Your Background


Posing Your Model


Communicate with Your Team


Elements of Compositing


Learning from Failure & Criticism


On-Location Safety Tips


How to Nail the Right Perspective for Your Composite Photo


Gauging Light & Exposure On-Location


On-Location Posing


Cliff Shoot Location Final Thoughts


Tips for Culling Images


Culling Images Q&A


Preparing Your Image for Composite


Composite Image Cleanup


Adding Background Image to Composite


The Difference Between Flow & Opacity


Composite Sky Elements


Using Curves to Color Match


Adding Atmospheric Depth to Image


Using Color Efex Pro to Manipulate Color


Using the Liquify Tool


Color Theory & Monitor Calibration


Adding Smoke Layer to Image


Selective Sharpening


Crop Your Image


Goal Setting for Digital Artists


Review of Location Composite


Understand Angle & Height for Your Base Plate Image


Base Plate Focus Point


Base Plate Lighting Tips


How to Use a Stand-In for Base Plate Image


Capture On-Location Base Plate Image


Student Positioning Demo


Base Plate Sketching


On-Location Sky Capture


What to Look for in a Base Plate Model


Building Composite Model Lighting


Composite Model Test Shots for Angle Matching


Composite Model Shoot: The Art of Fabric Throwing


Composite Model Shoot: Working with Hair


Composite Model Shoot: Posing Techniques


Composite Test with Final Shot


Lighting Setup Overview


Culling Model Shoot Images


Adjusting Skintone Colors


Merging Background with Model


How to Mask Hair


Creating a Layer Mask with the Brush Tool


Creating Shadow Layers


Removing Visual Distractions with Stamp Tool


Replacing Sky with Layer Mask


Drawing Hair Strands and Atmospheric Depth


Creating Contrast in Your Composite


Adding Atmospheric Elements


Using Particle Shop


Selective Color Adjustments


Cropping, Sharpening, & Final Touches


Closing Thoughts


Lesson Info

Composite Model Test Shots for Angle Matching

So in any case, I'm gonna try shooting this with a 16 to 35. It's not my favorite, I like a 50 more. But we're gonna shoot this a little bit and I'm gonna just take a couple of frames and I'm just gonna have you self throw the fabric on this. And then what I'm gonna do, is we're gonna bring this into post production, just quickly, to compare and see how we're doing on our angles. Because if I'm looking at this, she's a little bit further away and a little bit to the one side. So, I'm probably gonna photograph this a little bit to one side. Alright, so, because because I'm gonna see more of this side of her body than on the other side. When we look at this image, I'm seeing more of this side of her body than I'm seeing on that side. So, we're gonna look at that and we're gonna try to match that closely. Assuming that's where I want to put her. I'll probably photograph some stuff straight on too in case I decide to use that portrait shot. Which I'm thinking is probably gonna be the one t...

hat I use is this one here. I think that's gonna look nice, I think that's gonna look the best. But, I'm gonna photograph both because we're here and why not. So, first things first. Let's take a quick shot of you. So, um, fabric wrangling is super fun. We're gonna have you just, uh, let's fill up. Let's actually shift the skirt a little bit, so that it's a little bit more straight, that little V is flat on the front. Yeah, cool. So, I got this skirt from an opera house sale. They were like selling off a whole bunch of costumes. I got it for like 20 bucks (laughs). So, I'm gonna get you to like pull up a bunch of fabric, just like rustle it all up. So, notice her shoes and notice her stockings. I had her throw stockings on and a pair of nude shorts 'cause whenever you're throwing fabric, sometimes fabric goes crazy and you wind up seeing more than you paid for. So, having stuff that keeps everything nice and comfortable for the model, because nothing's more awkward. Speaking from experience. I was like, "Do your fabric flip," and the photographer takes the photo and you're like, "Wow, that was awesome. "Can we delete that?" We don't want to do that to people, so it's nice if you have some shorts and some stockings on underneath and the footwear actually matches the outfit nicely. So, I'm guessing those are from dance or they're just comfy. Just comfy. (laughing) So, let's just, we'll turn your body. This is our main light, so it's gonna be our brightest. And so, we're just gonna take just a couple of shots so we'll, um-- Actually, just hold it. Can I get into your space for a sec. Mm-hmm. Cool. So I want to get you to hold this here like so. Yeah, and we're literally just gonna have like a nice pose and this is just to sample to see how we're doing on our perspective. And you'll just like, one two three. Yeah, just toss it gently, so it's like, yeah. And so, just keep your hands-- We can keep your hands nice and low. Can you do that again for me? I like to see how people move before I even take the shot so I know when to take the photo for them. So, let's just do one two three again. There, yeah, and so not quite as straight down when you end, let's just like, tie your hands here, yeah. So, let's do that one more time. And just like, hands across is nice. And you don't necessarily have to look at me. So, yeah, one two three. Awesome, yeah, so I'm gonna try to get the photo of the fabric just as it touches the ground. Alright, so, let's see if this works (laughs). Alrighty. One two three. Might have shot that a little too soon. Actually, that's not too bad. Don't get your hands a little bit close, you have to move your hands a little bit faster to get them in place. And I totally-- oh, we're just zoomed in. There we go. Awesome. And so we'll actually get fabric wranglers in this for when we're really doing this, but it's just so that we can figure out, make sure our perspective's looking pretty good. One two three. Nice. Very pretty, okay. So, I'm just going to, and this is a nice part about shooting something tethered, is just very quickly... Mm, let's not do the brush. Oh my goodness. Right click, edit with, Photoshop. So I'm gonna pull over to these backgrounds. Oh, I drew right on that one, whoops. Control A, control C: so select all, copy. Control shift V: paste. I'm gonna just gonna change this blending mode of our background image which is technically on top. Just gonna put it onto multiply and I'm gonna see how we're doing. So, I'm gonna move it around a little bit and figure out. So, if we're looking at this, she's too big. So, if you put here closer towards the front it makes sense. But if we move her too far back, she's too large in the frame. Right, because if we move something further away, they should get smaller. So, if I'm putting her at the focus point, she doesn't quite make sense. But the fun part about composites is that you can move things and stretch things and whatever. So, I could make her smaller. So, I just duplicated the image of her by going control J or command J. Control T or command T to make it smaller. And I'm holding shift and I'm clicking down and I'm making her just a little bit tinier. And so now, I can move her to roughly where that focus point was and see if that's making sense. Now, I'm not loving how her head is being cut off by this. Kind of sucks. So, I might go control or command T, right click, flip horizontal. Maybe I can move her here. Maybe I can angle her a little bit so that it fits a little bit nicer. Alright, I'm probably gonna get you to drop your chin a little bit when we're shooting this. So, you have such a very nice heart shaped jawline we'll probably work with that. So, in any case, it's kind of what I'm looking at here and I'm going okay, so if I flip it, this looks a lot nicer. I could either flip the background too, it doesn't really matter, whatever. But, right now because I'm moving her around I'm just gonna flip her. Oops. Now, let's have a look. Come on. You know, Photoshop some days, it's just like, "Nah man, I'm not listening to you." That's happening right now. So, turn that off. So I'm sitting here and I'm like, "Okay, well there's my rock." Right here, that I focused on, that black one. You see my mouse. So, I'm gonna go, okay, well, technically then in focus, sliding spot should be right about here. Let's see how she looks on the size. And so there, she's still too big. Control or command T and make her smaller. So, now I know, that I'm having to make her really small to make sense in this frame. So, she has too much information, she has too much detail. So, I'm probably gonna shoot a little bit wider to make her smaller in the shot. So, let's go here. And just changing my blending mode to overlay so it's a little bit brighter so we can see a little better what's going on. So, I'm sitting here going like, "Okay, well this kind of works." Maybe we can flip this again. Control or command T, which transform, right click, flip horizontal. So, in here it's not too bad. I do kind of wish, there's a part of me, that wishes that I'd been able to put her here. But, if I'm looking at the focus, of what's actually in focus here-- Turn off my... Enter. There we go. So if I look at the rocks... This is my point that's in perfect focus. This stuff here is definitely out of focus further back. But, I'm looking here and a little bit forward and you know what I can probably get away with moving her a little bit forward here because I shot at such high aperture. There's like room for flexibility. Alright. So, in this case here, I wouldn't want to bring her all the way up here because here, you can see these stones are very out of focus and it'll be a little bit harder to match. But I might have some flexibility to move her to about here. So, if I turn this on, and I bring her forward to about here. And let's see how that's looking. An that's not so bad. So, I know that this plane here, I can still play with. Clear as mud. This is the nature of compositing, for me, at least in my world. Where I sit there and I'm like, "Okay, I photographed this, "I photographed my background piece with options." So, let's see if I wanted to play with this one here. So, I know that I probably have an allowable tolerance of putting it focus to right about here. So, if I hit control shift new, brush. I can probably get away with having her right about here. So, if I copy and paste her, select all, paste. I know if I'm gonna put her in an portrait shot, I'm gonna shoot her portrait. That distortion on the lens especially with the 16 to 35 is gonna make a lot more sense. I'm gonna duplicate in the background layer and I'm just putting this on top because it's a lot easier to see and I'm gonna put the blending mode on overlay. Just so I can see what's going on a lot easier. We could probably make her bigger because it'll shoot her larger in the frame now. And now this is starting to feel a lot better. The pose, of course, needs work. The fabric throwing needs work. But, that's looking a lot more legitimate for what it would look like early in the frame. Does that kind of make sense? Anybody disagree with me? I'm cool with people who disagree too. (laughing) Open to discussion here. But, in my mind this is looking a lot better. Of course, it's no perfect, it's certainly not going to be. But, it's getting a lot better. So, now, I know that if I'm going to shoot this, I'm gonna do this on a portrait. Like this, I'm probably gonna have her pose a lot more straight on with the fabric. Maybe I'll have her hands coming up like this and we'll have fabric ninjas throwing fabric everywhere and we'll get some hair moving a little bit if I decide that's a good idea. But, I think that this is gonna work a lot better for our purposes today. How's everyone feeling about that? Do you have any questions, yes? Yeah, what made you go for the portrait and no the landscape. Because she's just gonna be way too small in this image. She's gonna be like a very small element in this and we've put a lot of effort into how she looks and I'd like her to be a more prominent feature in this image. So, there's two different types of photos, in my opinion. There are landscapes with people in them, and then there's people in landscapes. So, one of them, the landscape is the image and there happens to be a person in there that's accentuating it. And then the other one is, there's a person who is the main feature and then the landscape is the stuff that's going on that's accentuating the person. So I just decided here, in this case, this would've been a landscape with a person, but the landscape isn't quite awesome enough to stand on its own. Right, so the landscape is just, it's nothing amazing. It's okay, it's a beach. But in this case here, we have a lot more effort and detail in her than we do in the background. So, in this case, then I would say that this would be a good choice to make it a person in an environment. So and I think if you're making photos, you should probably take that into consideration anyways, if your photographing people in it. I mean, I've seen lots of incredible wedding photos that are like, epic massive location, little tiny wedding couple, but it's an amazing photo, right. So, it's something that they're gonna love for forever. And it's just a stylistic choice, so, yeah. We'll probably shoot this portrait. I'm probably gonna throw on my 50 mill and just see how that's looking. 'Cause I don't think it'll be the end of the world, I wouldn't mind having her just like a little bit sharper. The 16 to 35, at least the one that I use, is not amazing, so (laughs). Having a little bit more detail on her would be not so bad. Okay, Renee, before we move to the 50, are you ready for a couple of questions? Oh totally yeah. Actually you can go ahead and put on the 50 while we're asking questions. Sounds great. So, Sharus would like to know, when you photograph for clients, do you typically only deal with one pose, thought or idea, or do you do multiple poses, multiple variations on the model that will be put into different composites? Or are you really only looking for one thing when you shoot something like this? That depends on the client. Yeah, there's a-- I've shot all of it. So, I actually just did a shoot for a client where it's composites and we shot all their plates for a year's worth for media. For, you know, it was a band and we shot everything that they need for an entire year. So, that means, we didn't even know what their backgrounds are yet, so we measured everything out, took a ton of photos and now basically it's my job to find and create the stock footage that they're gonna use throughout the year. So, I-- When we went into the design process, I was already had a bunch of backgrounds already in mind. Alright, so I was like, okay, these are within the tolerance of being able to photograph a group. These are probably gonna work, we measure it, we photograph it and then going forward, I edit it. But I've also had some clients, where it's like we're going for one image, one pose, this is what we're doing. So, like a singular art piece that's gonna go up on a wall somewhere. And, so that is, we previz it, we style it, we shoot it. Those shoots are the shortest because we're just looking for one thing. Alright, and then there's other times where we're like okay we're just gonna shoot a ton of stuff. The art director's gonna pick what they like and then I'm gonna have to put the pieces together. 'Cause we're service providers. That's all we are, we provide solutions to problems. Problems are, people need media. So, alright, you provide a solution for what they're looking for. So, I think, there would be a lot less egos in our industry if we just realized that we are the digital picture version of McDonald's. (laughs) Would you like fries with that? And when you say measure it... Yeah. What are you referring to? So measuring the distance. Okay. Yeah, measuring the distance of how far everyone is apart. And it's just loose, because I've worked with them before and we had great success with the images before. So, I know the formula that they need. But the first time we did it, we shot a lot more than we needed just because we'd never done the project before. And not knowing what they're agent was looking for. So, if you don't know the style of what the art director is looking for, then things, of course-- You like try to figure out as much as you can from the emails, especially if the AD is not actually at the shoot for some reason. You're just like, "Alright, "can we get this as close as possible." Keep in constant contact and sending them photos as you edit or sorry as you shoot, but it's still, you know-- You shoot-- I shot way more than I needed just because then the AD could change their mind. Right. Yeah. And that's always great to provide for an AD. So Patrick would like to know, other than matching your focal length to your background, why wouldn't you shoot the model larger in the camera to get the most pixels. Or is it with that camera, you got plenty of pixels do you need to work with. No, actually, we covered this earlier. So, the reason why I don't photograph the person with tons of pixels is, and we did this demo once, but we'll do it again just for people who weren't here. Okay, so you stay there, can I get the two of you guys, just you two, yeah. If you're comfortable with that. Come on up. Okay, so I will get, Jim we'll get you to stand here. Come forward, and then I'll get you to come here, and we'll put you here. Okay, so if we were to take photo of this, so we're just gonna reiterate this of what we did before. If I was to take a photo like this, so I'm gonna see all the detail in her face. Right, I'm gonna see everything. So, if I took this picture-- And even just by looking at it, I can see all the detail in her face, I can see less detail in his face and I can see even less detail in her face. So, if I'm creating a composite, I don't want tons and tons of detail to make them smaller. Of course when you're smaller you're reducing pixels anyways. But, when you're dealing with especially elaborate outfits, if you have, you shoot somebody really big to make them really small, there's too much detail on the outfit. I did an image recently where I had done that and it looks weird. It doesn't work, it totally stands out. So, I actually went in and I clonestamped and removed a ton of details from the costume because it was too much. You would never see those tiny little details of like stitching and buckles and everything else if they were that far away. So, that's why we do that. So, I make sure that I try to get the distance as close as possible. I don't want her to take up the whole space, I want her to match exactly as close as I can get it. The distortion that's gonna happen in the camera, the distortion that happens with where you're standing. 'Cause right here I see more of this side of her face. Here I see more of this side of her face. Right, if I move over this way, her shoulder's covering most of her body. Alright, so it's not necessarily about having this, you know all of the information, it's about matching reality. Is that good? Thank you. Thanks guys, you can sit down. (laughing) Nope, wake up. Good morning, thank you. Alright, my camera sometimes disconnects when it goes to sleep, there we go. Okay, test shot. One two three. It's probably gonna be brighter. Yeah, I had polarizer on the end of my 16 to so I'm gonna turn up my aperture on my camera to F13. See if we get that back to where it was. That's looking better, and this lens is definitely sharper. We can see the difference here. Which is much nicer. Alrighty. I'm just gonna turn my ISO down to 160. Get that looking a little bit better. But, yeah, so if I have my lighting ratio where I want it, I'm gonna try to make as many adjustments in camera within the allowance of the aperture that I want to use is possible. 'Cause if this is already set, I'm gonna have to run around and change everything. So, alrighty. So, just on three again, I'm just gonna shoot a portrait here. I'm gonna actually get back a little bit further. One two three. So, if you want to see what happens when you photograph somebody from a low angle and a top angle. One two three. Look at her height difference. Look at the ratio from her body. Alright, so that's why I like to photograph people from a low angle. Artistically, with this kind of style of shot anyways. And this also is a great example of, you know, the tip of your camera really matters. 'Cause in this case here, if I had kept the camera at the same angle as I shot her at the low angle, it'd be cutting off her feet. It'd actually be focusing just above her head. And that's what I would get. Which I mean if I was shooting a fashion portrait that'd actually be kind of cool. But I'm not. So, in any case, so tipping your camera is extremely important and the height that you're shooting at is very important. So, if you're shooting all your backgrounds from top down, you're gonna wanna photograph your subjects from top down 'cause it's gonna make the most sense.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Texture Sample Pack
Layered Beach PSD Composite
Layered Cliff PSD Composite

Ratings and Reviews

Dino Maez

i have to say, the class was AMAZING! in every way from the tricks and technique's of mastering this art form to the personalized attention given by Renee. through the class you are able to learn information that would normally take the average person years of trial and error. Renee gives you the gift of benefitting from her her experiences and what she has learned THE HARD WAY! Renee is an outstanding instructor full of passion for what she does, and with a strong desire to not only improve the art, but more importantly, pay it forward, by sharing her knowledge with others. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the event in person, truly a once in a lifetime experience for me, the staff at creative live were THE BEST! they are helpful in every way and really made this event something special, i can't say enough about the experience i had and would highly recommend that anyone who has the opportunity to go down for a class, it will be an experience that you will never forget. but the best part of creative live is that wether you are there in person or wether you are watching from the comfort of your own home, you are involved in the class in REAL TIME, you have the ear and attention of the skilled artist giving the instruction, being there myself i can tell you that Renee was regularly given questions and comments from the viewers via the creative live staff and she would respond to them as they came, in that way you are very much apart of the class you are never left without getting that personalized attention of an amazing artist or that specific question you have answered, and even better you have the option to purchase the class and have it as a constant resource in your tool kit that you can refer back to at any point that you need a refresher or want to recall that special technique that was demonstrated. thank you thank you to renee and all the staff at creative live you have a life long member in me. and i would recomend that everyone take advantage of this valuable resource dino maez

stephen lenman

I have completed many creative courses. This is by far the best so far. Quite the most amazing and inspiring presenter with a true passion for their craft. The core information is excellent, but the thing i liked most were her subtle tangents, dropping incredible information completely on the fly. A complete real world honest view of business and practical side of the industry. Especially her advice on how she started to her business. Saving up enough in her day job so she could pay the rent, and do photography for 3-6 months.

Sheldon Carvalho

Awesome class. I've been following Renee for a very long time. I love her work and to finally see her work and get an image done from start to finish was quite something.. I love the way she sees things and the way she treats her work and all fellow creative. I would recommend this to everyone interested in getting into composting. Looking forward to creating and making my own art work. But it now :) Have fun creating. :)

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