How to Expand Your World with Compositing
So essential compositing techniques allow so is this course right for you? I get asked this a lot whenever I teach workshops like you know is a composite in class right for me I don't really know I'm kind of new at photoshopped someone in support whenever you're doing something creative I think diversifying your study is incredibly important I've taking courses on car photography of taking courses on product photography of taking courses on makeup to try and help what I do better I don't ever want to be a car photographer I hate shooting product photography but every single one of the things you can pick up something that you didn't know that you didn't know before so we have this world around us right? So this circle here right the inside this is the stuff that you know you know this little circle here my hands the stuff that you know you don't know all of this is the stuff that you don't know you don't even know so the whole world that is trying to expand that someone could make peop...
le a little bit insecure I know it kills me because the more you know you don't know what the worker like I actually really don't know anything I know nothing about life the universe and everything I'm so illusion but that's okay so is this chorus right for you do you have a chance do you want to learn something new photo shop sure you know, do you want to become a better composite? Er absolutely do you want to understand some of what can go into doing you know, relatively simple composite on location? Absolutely uh if you have no desire to grow and you know everything and you're the best at what you do and you're cool with that, I guess there's your answer s so I think that's my opinion on it so these are kind of my rules find a location and see its potential for me being a creator means living in a world of ultimate potentiality so we can sit here and look at something and not see it for what it is but for what it can be and that's what I love about being a composite I can get into the studio if we were to do something in studio I can look at a grey wall and go ok what I want that to be today right are going to get a white wall or black wall are great I would not use a green screen lots people whose green screens with great success it doesn't work for me so finding a location and seeing its potential one thing that a lot of people will say it's like I don't live anywhere interesting I don't live anywhere fun, everything around here sucks right and no matter where I go in the world people say that I've been to the u k and like the uk stock so like are you kidding me? The uk is like my ultimate playground for incredible locations like whatever it's old like yeah that's cool for them they see it all the time so what you see all the time you might not see is special to you but where I'm from if winter nine months out of the year we have snow at least nine months of the year sometimes more so for me I'm like oh my god snow sucks then I go to somewhere in the southern states and they're like oh my god snow is so cool so it's like reframing what you have available to you and making that special because seeing it through somebody else's eyes where I live it's lot we have trees, we have mosquitoes, we have wheat fields but there aren't trees the skin is we feel mosquitoes are everywhere but we don't have this kind of wheat fields everywhere else in the world right? I goto utah like great field we got rocks like the rocks are awesome so look at what you have available to you and see what's special about it because there is something special about it there's lots of things that are similar around the world there's lots of things that are different right? So it's fine that location and see what you can do with it the next time is visualized in the potential of the costume and the model so the finally about models or friends or pets or whatever I mean, I did a three headed dinei cat once, so I think this could be really cool I could make a cerberus cat right? So seeing the potential but this cat could be, um visualizing the potential so you see a model or a friend or somebody's pet and you go what can I do with so if I was to change the makeup if I was to put a wig on that person if I was to change that that outfit what would I do with it? Right? So looking at them and seeing what they're capable of so if you're trying to do something let's say let's say you want to have a really high fashion he styled shoot right? Well then quintessential high fashion quote unquote are usually girls or guys that are, you know, very very, very slender, usually quite young because as we get older, we get a little squishier and that's okay, but there's not too many high fashion models that are thirty five, so you're probably gonna want to start looking at somebody who's a little bit younger, very lean and maybe they're vegetarian or vegan or something right something that that will make them quite slender and then have that genetic disposition right so then okay well that's I have the skinny person what can do with a skinny person I have this kirby person maybe you want to some pinup stuff right like pinup looks great on a woman has a lot of curves and a lot of stuff going out a lot of sass right so you're just looking at the people on going okay this is what you are now now what are the things that I can I can do with you and that's where having a great make up artist if you have a word of stylist available most of us don't if you do that's great or a friend who's got really good fashion sense all of those things are super helpful hair stylist same thing your hair what the stuff won't stick up but I wanted to look cool on the hair style is like that's cool I can do that you know and then they do stuff to it right because we're her visual artists most of us are not hairstylist most of us enough not makeup artists and that's ok so surrounding yourself with people that can help make that visualization that you have become a reality is extremely important next thing is lighting I like strobe lighting period natural light I have a project called the continuous are the lowlight project which is everything is done in camera everything's done natural light or continuously I don't do it a lot because uh it stresses me out but I I love lighting I think it's beautiful I love the look of strobe lighting on location so for me understanding lighting is very important so if I want teo they for example thie image of the girl with a big black dress in the way of coming in the magic you stuff here coming out of her hand right well this is a light source right even though we shot on location with naturally I still through a stroll batter because there's going to be light coming from this which is going to create this kind of highlight on her face so taking that stuff into consideration so you can shoot something totally blind and I do this a lot room like I have person in this costume and location I don't know let's just go do stuff kick yeah just try seven it's fine and it works out really well but a lot of times helps if you have that pre visualization because then you can go if I put her hand up like this maybe I'm gonna have a magic butterfly flying out of it which is a light source so we'll light from the side. The other side of it is if you just light it then you have to think about your compositing techniques afterwards and go oh, I had her hand up here but I didn't light it from here so there can't be something coming from this hand that has light in it now, so maybe we'll stick something dripping out of her hand instead or something, something that does not emit light. So those air things you're gonna want to take into consideration when you're lighting your composite the next one's posing that tells a story and I mean, to be honest, I could go on for like, three days on things that I think are important to compositing, but these are the stuff that I do every single time supposing that tells the story so do you want this person to be happy? Well, what do you think about when you see somebody's happy? What kind of stuff to see when somebody's like super happy one of the day? If they're happy, they're almost certainly going to be smiling, laughing, yeah, what's their body language going be doing uh uh addie's! They're not going to be at all defensive there vulnerable exactly. So that's that's your definition of happiness, right? Some people's definition of happiness is that on your own, their head back and this smiling right there jumping around their dancing in that posing and tells a happy story. But if you have that amongst us like doom and gloom composite then there's like a jar in this story right that's something isn't quite making sense so maybe trying to figure out what that emotion is that you're trying to vote before you get to the point of posing right? Or maybe you'll be inspired, the model will do something and you're like, oh my god, poland do it again do it again do it again do it again until you find something really good when we were out shooting the girl with the black dress we also shot some stuff where she was running away and turning your head. And originally she was just running away. And then she happened to turn a head at the same time and I was like, whoa, that was totally awesome. We need to do that again and so then it was a whole bunch of like me giving them all the whiplash of, like, hopping like this and turn in your head and making the hair fly everywhere and waiting for the creative genius to be like here's. The perfect skirt, flip here's the perfect hair. There was no mosquito in front of her face right in front of your lens. There was no jogger in the background. Well, like, I guess that was awesome. So those are things to consider when posing tells the story right, you want to keep all that stuff? Cohesive and you want to keep it together and then the most frustrating part and the most awesome part is post production which of course we're going to go through today so we're going to go through an image start to finish and we're going to edit it and it will hopefully look kind of cool the one thing that I do like to say whenever I'm doing live editing is that not every image turns out every time you do it and I said that's a lot to people because people come up to me all the time like oh my god my composite my photo shop stuff it sucks I hate the images that I'm working on it always throwing them out it sucks it sucks it sucks first of all I hope you never grow out of that because that means that your taste is better than your skill which means hopefully you're going to keep growing so it's okay I worked on a lot of my stuff a lot of my stuff doesn't hit the internet because I'm like, well, that was a really awesome failure that was great but the truth is is that the difference between people like, say, peter hurley and somebody has been shooting for six months or a year is that they've just failed way more than you even tried that's it they just failed a lot right? Peter take the town of photos aton of headshots and he's like tweaking and making it good and then he gets that awesome photo right but he still took a whole bunch of failures to get there and that's okay, because it's still necessary most people are not going to get perfect shot for shot it does happen we've all had those shoots I think you take a photo and you're like, oh, well, I guess we're good gets so you don't have to do anything else this is great and you take a few more and you're like note the first shot was awesome if it doesn't happen every time though it doesn't happen to me right? And even in post production I'll try a bunch of stuff and um about that sucks that sucks that sucks that glove in my face photoshopped just crashed oh my god and that's okay, so press production is something that can take a long time sometimes doesn't work out all the way that I wanted to. So this image I did edit it and finish it already, but we're just going to do it again and we do alive and hopefully it will be, you know, cool but time were finished so that's my rounds on post production will get into the details of it because it's going to take forever anyways so because the model I rip this up for facebook, sorry uh this is my sister like I said I fortunately having a sister means that we can we pillage each others time for creative stuff all the time so this is my sister so look at this and I go okay, well, what's the potential of this well, I spent like a bazillion dollars on ebay buying a bunch of cheap wigs cheap wigs don't look good in person billick terrible. They look awful on close up shot they're horrible but you take a picture of somebody from a long ways away with it it could look really cool so I said, hey, randy, I've got these wigs this tribe on john you some of them look terrible because not all haircuts are gonna look good on all the same faces. All right, we tried to on and one of them she's pretty convinced he looked like a sheepdog but it actually looks good. It looked terrible on first of all the great photos. So I said, okay, we have this I know your size you'll fit some of the costuming that I have that hanging around so next up is finding a location. This is a little bit dark filter so that that's her writing the sheepdog wig and you know it looks like a wig and that's okay, because if you shoot it properly and you light it properly and you're far enough away and then you add in post production on it's probably look pretty good and it's way cheaper then and it's easier on the models were like hey, coming back from your hair coming from a model there's nothing worse than having your hair back home super super hard it's terrible especially if you have long hair it sucks however fluffy wig we're good so now I have this location I'm like wow, this is the river's cool right? I can't shoot something like this in new york without getting robbed probably there isn't like a lot of parkland there, right there's lots of like manhattan city, right? I can't I can't shoot something with this kind of landscape in mexico because it looks a little bit different than those different vegetation, right? So it's seeing what's special about the area that I'm already and that makes meyer unique and I'm looking for some growing power plants great that's awesome we're going to get rid of that so this is our location I go okay? You know, I could probably do a lot with this so this is before I brought in strobe lighting this before I brought in anything. We're just going okay? This is our potential these are my pieces, these are my chest pieces and I'm going to start pushing chess pieces around figure out what's gonna look good it's like spinning a dial on a combination lock until you open it and you go home my god, we have something okay it's like what's of love so this is the pose that I chose and I'll go through all the images that we took um I shoot tethered to capture one version eight please use capture one version eight it's really awesome you can get a free trial of it I highly recommend it so I had my laptop in the grass on the ground shoved into cem cem stuff and I shot tethered with it actually the nice thing about shooting tethered if you's away contact but this little guy here this plugs into the side of your camera not all cameras I don't think but most of them my five d mark too and this are the exact same plug in so I don't need extra cables which is often so shocked others and then I also brought in a strobe light just to fill it in. So if you can see here if we look right here there's like a tiny little bit of highlight here and this shadow here isn't as dark as it would have been if the if the sunlight was just by itself we would have had a lot more shadows on her face here, right just from where the direction of the sun was but that's the framing I wanted all right, I could have lit this imposes for the lighting and I was like no, no, no I want this frame so that means I'm going to move my chest pieces around ok? Well, I've got two strobes available to me let's there one of them on umbrella and, you know, use a battery pack and then we can just, like, move this around so I use uh, alien be lights, they're cheap, they're disposable, somebody bust my window and takes them. I'm not too worried about it somebody took my brown colors, I would probably cry my eyes out so I don't have wrong color, by the way, but they're beautiful um so alien be lights are great and they're disposable and also if the wind decided to pick it up and throw it that's cocky but not the end of the world. So we have this umbrella coming from here, adding just a little bit of light, so you can't really tell that it's lit right? It doesn't look like it was shot with a stroke. I don't want it too if I want something that looks like it was shot with a stroke, I would put more power at it so once again deciding what you want frigging out what you're going to dio and then working with from there, so this is the final edit and when we're done, it'll look something like this I think I've got all the same pieces and everything pulled up so what I've done here with this one of course have added in the mountains I got rid of all the city stuff um addison clouds at it's a magic he stuffed it a little bit liquefy I'm going to explain my opinion of the ethical use of liquefied because liquefies one of these things that the internet just loves to jump on like you can't liquefy that she's great the way she is like stop if addresses adding ten pounds to her it's okay anyways I'll get through that rent rent rent so I've also modified the dress made a hair more fluffy more sheep doggie right? But in this image here if he didn't know she was wearing a wig it doesn't look too bad right? So I just kind of look at it and I believe it was joel grimes that said this all you want to do is sell the fake I think that was his quote it's a good one I use it a lot because all it is is you're just trying to make a picture we're not saving the lives of children not feeding hungry people in africa were making pictures so you just want to be will be able to make something but people are going to look at and they're going to go hey that's really awesome that makes me happy, sad, excited, inspired, depressed whatever. You're just trying to create something that gives a reaction to somebody doing it right. So, that's, what all this is.