Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography

Lesson 2/60 - Why You Should Sketch Your Composite


Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography


Lesson Info

Why You Should Sketch Your Composite

Why you should sketch your composite. So I'm gonna put this out to the crowd, why do you think sketching your composite is a good idea? And I'm not talking about high definition artwork here, I'm talking fancy stick people. (laughs) With like, colored markers. For me, it helps me get an idea of what the finished product is gonna look at like and it gives me an opportunity to adjust things before I actually take the photo. Totally, yup, and that's exactly it. When you're sketching it ahead of time, you already know what's your horizon line gonna be, your vanishing point. If you're sketching with color, you can start to know some of your color theory that your gonna use. Alright, so you start, like, piecing all these things together and literally fancy stick peoples. I've got some slides coming up in the future that will show you how stick people in my previous sketches can be (laughs). But sketching it is gonna keep everything in line so if you're up photographing a background piece...

s and you have your previous sketch already drawn up. Like say you're spending a week or so on this image, or longer, you can go out and you go, okay, I need a building shot at, you know, this angle. So you're saying, okay, I've got this, and this is my horizon line and then I want these two buildings coming this way. A lot of people in post production will photograph a building flat and turn it. Well, that doesn't work in reality because what you're doing is you're just flattening everything. So, what you're gonna do is you're gonna need to photograph that building with the same perspective cause if you have windows, let's use this. Okay, so if you take this and you just turn it flat, right, all of that information, those windows, are still gonna look big because we've just turned it sideways. Whereas if we turned this sideways in real life, we're gonna catch the spine of the book. Right, so this is why photographing it with the right perspective is really important and when you sketch your composite ahead of time, you know, going in, okay, this is what I need. Phil? Yeah. Just wanna let you know that we have... Wanna let the folks out there know that if you're new to Creative Live, you, right there on our course page, you'll see on the right is a chat button. That enables you to go to the chat rooms and have a global conversation with the other folks that are watching the class and a couple of folks also chimed in on seconding the, to get your perspective right, but also to have a clear visual idea of what your final results wanna be. Totally, yeah, and we're gonna go into that more in depth with the next batch of, you know, nuclear bomb slides. So, but that's exactly it. So you're just gonna have a very clear idea of what you're doing, you're not gonna be wasting a ton of time cause compositing is time intensive and that's why a lot of people don't like to do it cause it takes forever but that's okay. (laughs) The next thing is the importance of mood boards and I'm gonna have an example of a mood board here going forward. The importance of mood boards is like one step further from your previous sketch. So you've got your, like, rough doodles of, like, human here, car explosion here, you know, whatever. Whatever it is you want on a composite. But then you're having your mood boards and okay, so your mood board is well, what's the color palette that I wanna use? Right, what kind of makeup do I want on my person, if I want any? What kind of costuming do I want? What kind of atmospherics stuff do I want going on? So you're just kind of building and growing on your previous sketch.

Class Description

With the right Photoshop know-how and studio shoot experience, you can merge fact and fiction into a reality that lives up to your imagination. Renee Robyn has made a career of turning everyday photos from her travels into eye-catching images. Robyn will teach you how to add people and other elements to your existing landscape photos using ethereal custom effects.

Join us for “Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography” and you’ll learn:

  • How to choose or set up a shoot for your background image
  • How to direct posing during a shoot, and work with directional light in studio to make your subject fit into the background image
  • How to composite your subject into your image using Photoshop

Photo compositing allows you to breathe interesting ideas into your photos. Open your hard drive, walk into your memory, and turn past experiences into fantastic new realities.


1Class Introduction 2Why You Should Sketch Your Composite 3What to Look for in Your Background 4Posing Your Model 5Communicate with Your Team 6Elements of Compositing 7Learning from Failure & Criticism 8On-Location Safety Tips 9How to Nail the Right Perspective for Your Composite Photo 10Gauging Light & Exposure On-Location 11On-Location Posing 12Cliff Shoot Location Final Thoughts 13Tips for Culling Images 14Culling Images Q&A 15Preparing Your Image for Composite 16Composite Image Cleanup 17Adding Background Image to Composite 18The Difference Between Flow & Opacity 19Composite Sky Elements 20Using Curves to Color Match 21Adding Atmospheric Depth to Image 22Using Color Efex Pro to Manipulate Color 23Using the Liquify Tool 24Color Theory & Monitor Calibration 25Adding Smoke Layer to Image 26Selective Sharpening 27Crop Your Image 28Goal Setting for Digital Artists 29Review of Location Composite 30Understand Angle & Height for Your Base Plate Image 31Base Plate Focus Point 32Base Plate Lighting Tips 33How to Use a Stand-In for Base Plate Image 34Capture On-Location Base Plate Image 35Student Positioning Demo 36Base Plate Sketching 37On-Location Sky Capture 38What to Look for in a Base Plate Model 39Building Composite Model Lighting 40Composite Model Test Shots for Angle Matching 41Composite Model Shoot: The Art of Fabric Throwing 42Composite Model Shoot: Working with Hair 43Composite Model Shoot: Posing Techniques 44Composite Test with Final Shot 45Lighting Setup Overview 46Culling Model Shoot Images 47Adjusting Skintone Colors 48Merging Background with Model 49How to Mask Hair 50Creating a Layer Mask with the Brush Tool 51Creating Shadow Layers 52Removing Visual Distractions with Stamp Tool 53Replacing Sky with Layer Mask 54Drawing Hair Strands and Atmospheric Depth 55Creating Contrast in Your Composite 56Adding Atmospheric Elements 57Using Particle Shop 58Selective Color Adjustments 59Cropping, Sharpening, & Final Touches 60Closing Thoughts


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

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. :)

Tristan Wilhelm

Very good class. I enjoyed the very friendly, approachable and quirky style Renee teaches with. I did feel, as others have said that she could get off on bunny trails and tell stories and I was glad for Creative Live's option to speed up the video. But great tips and it was extremely helpful watching it how she would do it. Thank you much Renee, and also, I'm a PC user that unites with you.